Evacuate the dance floor

We actually evacuated the whole darn house not long after we arrived today, walked in, and took a whiff. I am not sure what the flooring guys put down, but the wood floor looked wet and it staaaaaank. It wasn’t the final stain/sealant, because the peg holes haven’t been filled yet and we haven’t really discussed how we’d like it finished. Despite the stankification, it looks BEAUTIFUL so here are some shots I snapped quickly – you’re welcome for me having sacrificed numerous brain cells for this effort. Hopefully they are the ones that are now playing this on repeat in my brain (you’re welcome for that, too).

I am in looooove it is so pretty. The flooring guys did such a good job at interspersing the different widths and colors! In that last shot you can see the space they’ve left for the wood stove – it will be tiled (probably slate).

We also found our stair steps hanging out in the entryway:

Oh hey stair steps! You are going to be much more pleasant to walk on than the questionable 2x4s that have been in place during construction.

Sometimes our evening visits to the house take on a Nancy Drew-ish quality, when there is a perplexing mystery that we can’t figure out. Today’s mystery was this little mailbox house:

We have no idea what is going on with this. It isn’t ours, but there it sits in the garage, being hilarious and random and kind of adorable.

Finally, there is some BIG NEWS from yesterday that I shared on Facebook, but haven’t mentioned here yet: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE HAVE A SALAMANDER. By which I mean, I found my first salamander at Turtle House. And was it a puny lil redback? (No offense redbacks, I do love you)… NO! It was perhaps the raddest salamander in Michigan: the eastern tiger salamander, Ambystoma tigrinum. Those of you who know me will know that I pretty much completely lost my $hit, jumped around, squealed, and haven’t stopped smiling about it for the past 24 hours.

This brings our property herp survey up to 14 species if I get to count the northern water snake (THAT I SAW SWIMMING IN THE RIVER, BRANDON). Here is yours truly completely geeking out yesterday… Yay!!! Tiger salamander!!!


  1. you may think that mailbox isn't yours, but I think you're wrong. I mean, look at it, it's got the same kind of siding as your house. I think someone decided you needed a mailbox house to match your real house.


  2. Your floors are gorgeous and your salamander is adorable (I'm officially jealous of your critter count).

    I'm pretty sure if you yell, “Back back no tradebacks!” the mailbox will legally be yours.


  3. Super jealous of the tiger, but it will always fall behind Hemidactylium and Necturus. How did you find it? My yard count in our new place remains a depressing 1 species. Gotta love toads…


  4. Those floors are gorgeous! That mailbox is yours…gotta be…hope it looks as nice as the floors!

    I envy you your wildlife….I have aquirrels, chipmunks & skunks…none of which are pick-up-able. Okay, maybe Chip & Dale, but they're too darn fast!


  5. Jason – the tiger was under a piece of plywood we'd left out as a cover board. It's in an area of really sandy soil, and some small mammals had done some burrowing. Lifted it up one day and the tiger was hanging out at the mouth of one of the burrows! When I let him go he zipped down the hole. So awesome. I would diiie if I got a 4-toed on the property.

    Guerrina – thank you!! But – craaazy – the mailbox is gone now! So the mystery continues…


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