One of the neatest things about publishing a weblog is getting to know people whose blogs you read and who read yours. Generally that acquaintance is sustained in cyberspace and that can be good in its way. But sometimes you get the chance to meet face to face, and that's best of all.
That happened for me this evening, when I was visited by Elaine and Dylan of Bless This DIY Mess and The Old House Web. They're fellow Pittsburgh area housebloggers (actually, they're Pittsburgh housebloggers; I'm the one who lives into the "area"), but we'd never met till now. This was one of those occasions when good things come out of not-so-good events like major surgery, for when Elaine found out I was going to be activity-restricted post-op, she promised to bring me her killer Mediterranean tuna noodle casserole. And tonight was the night!
I admit that she and Dylan might have gotten back to Pittsburgh earlier were my recovery not going so well . . . I had the energy, and a totally opportunistic lack of shame, to give them the ten-dollar tour of my own DIY mess. But it was irresistible to talk to a couple who know just what you're dealing with in renovating your house. Woodwork stripping techniques, the struggle to get the right color of stain when refinishing, second thoughts and redos of paint colors, dealing with uneven walls and floors, and all the other joys of working on an older house.
And really, guys, now that you've seen the Sow's Ear, I want to return the favour. Whenever it suits us all I'll make the drive down and feast my eyes on that gorgeous stripped and soon-to-be-reshellacked staircase of yours, the exciting glowing tin ceiling above it, and all the rest of your hard work.
Tonight, though, it was fun to have my transplanted black and white soapstone Victorian mantelpiece admired (as if I were the one who'd put it in, oh yeah!) and delightful to have my little town of Beaver appreciated. True, the neighborhood showed to special advantage this evening, with the neighborhood kids making a playground of half the lawns on the block as they ran around in the brilliant warm weather.
Elaine's cooking showed to advantage, too, when I dug into the reheated casserole after she and Dylan took off home. Tuna and noodles and red sweet peppers and antichokes, yum! My dog enjoyed it, too . . . the outer corner of it, as we were outside saying goodbye-- oops! And it was hard to keep the cats out of my plate: they know good as well.
So thanks, yinz guys. I had two big helpings with a bottle of Hornsby's hard cider. And in appreciation of your appreciation of my town and neighborhood, I took the rest of the bottle over and joined the next-door neighbors at the neighbors' on the corner. Sitting on their porch talking, we hung out and watched the kids play, till the full moon had risen high over the bluffs of the Ohio, the light of day was gone, and it was time to go in.
And to happily contemplate future meals of tuna casserole and how I hope my place will look next time fellow housebloggers come by.