A few years ago, Glinda North and I started a blog entitled Those 2 Nice Girls Next Door where we planned to document our lives here at what we’ve named Villa Allegra, but which should probably be called Crazy House (about which, more in a minute.) We posted sporadically, and it was mostly me (Tracy), who did, though it was about the two of us more often than not; things like the cake we baked for our 102 year old neighbor, or adventures in Christmas cookie baking. But we’re not very good at keeping up a blog, so I thought, why not combine Buh? with T2NGND and talk about all of it? Life, books, (Glinda is a voracious reader as well.) cats, the strange things that happen here.
Which brings me to the subject of Crazy House. It seemed a pretty normal place when we moved in, but over the years, the stuff that we’ve discovered — not ghosts or anything like that, though by rights we should have one, since someone died in our basement — have made us scratch our heads. One of the most common refrains is “Why the hell did they do it that way?” By which we mean, why did the previous owners make the choices they made? What were they thinking?
Don’t get me wrong, we both love this place, and a lot of its eccentricities are endearing. Just not all of them. I’m used to the idea that my bathroom tile got laid by someone who was winging it, and that the electric bills may never make any sense, but the garden, cute as it seemed when we moved in, has been a nightmare of bizarre layout and plant choices. Eh, each to his/her own, right? I’m certain that anyone who walked into either living room (we share a two-flat, which is known as a duplex everywhere but Chicago, I think.) would wonder what we were thinking to paint our walls those colors. Mine is peacock blue, Glinda’s is a rusty orange.
We share our lives with Tommy, Buckaroo (Glinda’s boys), Peebie, and Leo (My two) and, well, they’re cats. If you’re familiar with them, you know they contribute to the crazy.
We’ve also raised butterflies, had bunnies born in our rose bed, housed a number of birds and one squirrel (see header) in a bowl under our porch roof, and named the huge water bugs that occasionally inhabit our basement (The Gigantor family. Just FYI. They pretty much don’t come up here anymore since Peebie dismembered one and left him in the hallway as a warning.) In fact we name just about everything. All our roses have names, so do our clematis, and a number of trees and shrubs — Blanche, the magnolia; Miss Pete, the pine that would not die. We like our home and the things in it. I recently got tired of being spooked when a small centipede would dash across the bathroom floor late at night, so I named him George and told him to carry on hunting but not to bother the cats or me. Last I ever saw of him.
This is our life. I hope Glinda will contribute posts, but if not, I can always show you photos of her being odd, like this one of her doing Wolverine hands at Thanksgiving.
I’m going to continue to talk about bookish things here, but because that’s all part of my life as well, all this belongs together, I think. You’ll find that the old posts from the T2NGND blog have been imported into this one, and I think they’re fun, so you might want to read some of them. Or not. Depends on why you’re here, right?
So greetings from Crazy House. We hope to amuse you if nothing else.