Be It Ever So Humble, Blu Homes and Opening Lines

Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home…

The Daily Post challenge (from yesterday, but who’s counting?) was “What’s the first line of the last song you listened to (on the radio, on your music player, or anywhere else)? Use it as the first sentence of your post.”

Well, I cheated a little because I wanted to make another two-fer blog post that spoke mainly about my desire to BUILD my next home and Blu Homes is at the top of my list.

Just one of their homes...with a pool, of course!

The iconic design of the Breezehouse offers an elegant and harmonious connection between beautiful indoor and outdoor living. The Breezehouse is centered around its stunning signature Breezespace, a glass-enclosed living area situated under a distinctive “butterfly” roof. Dramatic sliding glass doors or Nanawalls© open to connect the Breezespace to the outdoors, creating an open-air living room that marries the home’s interior with the natural world surrounding it. A spacious floor plan, high ceilings, large bedrooms, luxurious bathrooms with floating vanities, utility room with side by side wash dryer, ample storage, and flexible floor plan options make the Breezehouse the perfect fit for you and your family.

via Breezehouse – Blu Homes.

No doubt you are likely reading this from the comforts of your own “humble abode”. Our “nest”, “crib” or whatever-you-call-it, home is as individual as we are.  Apart from the bare essentials, walls, roof…high-speed Internet, we fill it with those things that make it our own. Even if it’s a cookie-cutter suburban model, once you pass through the front door, what lies within is anything but identical.

Now that I have a new job…AND it’s a long-term “gig”…I feel that urge to find a home, not just a place to live. I’ve begun the process of elimination; throwing out many ideas that I’ve had over the years and trying to narrow the search down to WHERE, WHAT and WHEN/HOW.

Where is probably somewhere in southern Anne Arundle or northern Calvert Counties…close (enough) to work to be less than an hour’s commute, but retaining the luxury of LAND (love it, don’t want no cramped condo or townhouse living, no sir)!

What is dependent on a couple of factors, not the least of which is expense. Blu Homes have several models that I like, but they may not make the final cut if I build (which is my desire). I prefer ranchers over multi-story homes, or at least a downstairs master suite with additional bedrooms upstairs (and will be most for guest and resale value). I also need a pool, but will settle for a hot tub…water is a must! A garage or covered carport is highly-desirable, as is a fairly level lot with paved driveway (I have a gravel one now and I’m surprised I haven’t twisted my ankle yet!

When/how is a much larger question that will naturally fall more into place as the first two “questions” are more fully addressed. Financing houses in this area is not difficult, but can be an ordeal in and of itself…been there, got approved, but didn’t get the (two) homes that were part of the deal (probably for the best). Going it alone could be daunting, perhaps I’ll find a business partner to share in the costs and (hopefully) profits, since I doubt I’ll be retiring here.

Why we choose the place we live is as important as the location, style or landscaping. At the end of the (work) day, we come home, kick off our shoes and let it all hang out. Home is where the heart is…and the body that it lies within…

Stay tuned for further developments. It promises to be quite the journey!

The Daily Post, Opening Lines, via


Brrr…Baby It’s C-c-cold Out There!

Correction: “arctic vortex” should be “Polar Vortex”, it has even made Wikipedia:

2014 North American cold wave

Well, this time last “night”…before I went to bed, it was about 45 degrees F. Tonight, it’s FIVE (5)!

That’s a 40 degree drop in temp…and it may go down below zero. With winds whipping around (20-30 MPH), that’ll be at least a drop of as much in degrees to the bare skin. Please, take my word for it, don’t conduct that experiment yourself…not a good idea…

“They” are calling this the “arctic vortex” and much of the US (and nearly all of Canada) are firmly in its icy grip. Weather reports say it won’t last…at least not for my neck-of-the-woods, by Thursday it will return to seasonal cold and may be back in the 40s by Friday. The snow and ice are also mostly gone from the roadways, so I expect to be going to work tomorrow.

So grateful that I have a warm, comfortable place to live while others are not so “lucky”…perhaps since they can’t afford heat, or even a home…or maybe due to power outages. Count yourself lucky as well if you have both.

Be safe, keep warm and sleep well…

After the First Snow of 2014

Quick correction: It’s dubbed the Polar Vortex (not new or evens news), rather than Arctic Vortex, although the meaning is not lost either way. Just glad we’ve returned to more normal winter temps, felt practically warm at lunchtime with 35 degrees (F) out!

There’s something special in the air. There’s a certain crispness that wasn’t there before the snow. It has been cold, but I’m ever grateful for the warmth of hearth and home…wherever it is and being nestled in the woods by a river is awesome. Only in this time of no leaves on the trees can you even see the houses across the river’s ravine.

Across the River Ravine
Across the River Ravine

From the deck of my home, I can just make out the outline of the house on the opposite hill. We’re both in Laurel, Maryland, but I’m in Howard County and they’re in PG. It would be a little bit of a walk, but I could walk down to the town’s center or “up” to the dam on the other side of I-95. Yesterday was the first time I “chickened out” making the short trip from the bottom of the hill to the top in my car…for good reason, it is still snowy and slick.

Driveway after the Winter Snow of 2014
Driveway after the Winter Snow of 2014

This is a view from my still snow-covered car up my steep driveway…also snowy and potentially icy. As you can see, we got a good 6-8 inches overnight. Even midday, it’s barely 20 degrees…brrr! My only regret is not having a better camera at my disposal (this is from my Android) and not getting out there before the the snow started falling off of the trees.

Snow-covered car
Snow-covered car

After growing up in Upstate New York and going to Oswego State (usually more snow there than Buffalo), I’m used to this kind of weather…and cleanup. I’ve grown a little lazy since moving here where this is relatively rare. This doesn’t compare to Snowmageddon of February 2010, not by far! But, still, my driveway has snow on it the day after I took these pictures…even after both my housemate and I took turns making a dent in it.

Driveway after shoveling
Driveway after shoveling

That’s my housemate at the top of the driveway…bet you didn’t see him, even though he’s wearing a red coat! There’s a house at the top of the drive, technically we share the drive, but they keep their car on the other side of the house closer to the street.

Speaking of driving…time to make a trek to the store, it’s been a couple of days since I’ve done that and today’s another sunny day. Good time to venture out!

Summer’s Coming and Screenwriting Update

ImageNothing reminds me more of the impending summer than sunflowers. It was almost freezing at the beginning of the week, now it’s borderline hot…at least, to me.

I had my first one-on-one with my screenwriting teacher. He liked both of my ideas, but felt that my updated Adam and Eve with a sci-fi twist was the more marketable. He also gave me a few invaluable pointers…including, don’t start writing the screenplay quite yet. There’s still a few sections of material to get through before he wants us digging into the details.

That’s the hardest part for me…I love creating characters, backstory and other rich details that rarely make it into the final writing. All of that is like the bag full of whole spices that you steep with the broth…only to yank it out and throw away before finishing the dish.

This time next month I will be living in my new place…possibly starting to write the actual script. Summer is also a month away and a lot can happen between now and then. In the meantime, packing and studying will be high on my non-work priority list.

Love to hear from my readers…please feel free to chime in!


August Update

August has already begun to feel considerably different that the first half of this year, including July; I have a sense that great things are yet to come as I feel gratitude for this moment of clarity and Sunday morning serenity in my new home.

Summer…it is visible in the air today with its warm humidity; the overcast sky says that rain is not long away. It was a record-breakingly cool and dry July, so perhaps we catch up now that it’s August. Personally, it’s been an interesting summer…especially July; I got a job, but have not been able to start it, due to a government form that been waiting to be signed. In two days, it will have been six months exactly from the end of my last job…a record for me in terms of not being employed.

Bell in a Forest Glade
Bell in a Forest Glade

I also moved, late in June, from the apartment I had in Bethesda. I have no regrets, but fulfilling a lease without a job was done, though at times required created methods. A friend offered me a vacant house in the southern part of Maryland…almost exactly on the opposite side of DC, but still commutable to my new job and a nice piece of property on three acres…quite a change from a one-bedroom apartment in the city. It’s also been a time for re-evaluation of all that I’ve been doing.

With every physical move, I clean out some of the accumulation of the past and make decisions that only a move seems to motivate. Having spent the better part of July in this new home, I come to realize that I prefer a house to an apartment and enjoy the relative quiet of the “country life”…though I’m on the flight path to Andrews AFB, so there are very definite breaks in that silence, though not like being close to a regular airport.

If I have any regrets, it would be that it’s taken me far too long to do some of the heavy-duty kind of self-evaluations that comes with entering this stage of mortal life. But, even then, I’m grateful that I’ve had the friends and family that I have to ease the way. No man…or woman…is an island; I am no exception.

I look forward to starting my new job and getting back into the flow of life again…after this erstwhile hiatus. I’ve started a garden, some plants from seeds are popping their little heads out of the moist soil; I’m planning a meditation garden. It will have a water feature, a bench to sit on and some screening for a bit more privacy (the street and neighbors on one side are still visible from the backyard). I’m contemplating creating a labyrinth as well; perhaps informal, but perhaps I will create something truly special…time and money will certainly play their parts.

Otherwise, August has already begun to feel considerably different that the first half of this year, including July; I have a sense that great things are yet to come as I feel gratitude for this moment of clarity and Sunday morning serenity in my new home.