Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Scene of the Blog Featuring Robyn of You Think Too Much!

It can be a lot of fun surfing the internet because I never know just what-- or whom-- I'm going to find. On one of my wanderings I discovered the blog of a woman with a strong sense of place who loves to read and play the fiddle. Serendipity took me straight to Robyn of You Think Too Much.

Robyn is a sociologist, a stepmother, a reader, cook, baker, and grower of things who lives in a 170-year-old house in Madison, Indiana. Besides learning the fiddle, she's also recently taken up knitting (and I hope she has more success with it than I did).

When you read Robyn's blog, you'll not only be reading reviews of the books she's read, but you'll be learning about where she lives with posts about Madison like the one about her local library. She also hosts the Blog in Place Blog Hop in which she asks participants to tell us about the places in which they live.

Please make a point to visit Robyn's blog You Think Too Much, and say hello while you're perusing all the goodies. Before we start our tour of Robyn's creative spaces, don't forget that you can click on each photo to see it in a larger size. Let's get started!

As someone who loves place and thinking about places, I’m so excited to be featured on Scene of the Blog.  I love looking at the pictures of the places where folks live and read and blog.  I love being able to imagine my favorite bloggers sitting in those spaces and crafting their posts.  So, thanks for featuring me, Cathy!

Upstairs bookshelves
I’m a roaming reader/blogger.  I wrote most of my 543 page sociology of gender textbook in this chair next to my upstairs window.  At the time, the beautiful bookshelves built for us by our friend and neighbor were not there.  These bookshelves are shared by my husband and I, and it was my idea to paint the back of the shelves this lovely blue.  Our friend built the shelves at his workshop and then brought them in to install, and like most things in our small, 1840s house, the shelves didn’t fit in the door.  He had to stand on the roof and get these through my stepdaughter’s bedroom window.  Thankfully, I wasn’t home when that was happening.  Not all of our books actually fit here, as we’re both academics and both prolific owners of books, so down the road, our friend will be building us more bookshelves.

The couch and Kevin
This is where I do most of my reading and knitting, some writing, and a lot of blog trolling.  Some reading happens during baseball games watched by my husband, though you can pay a surprising amount of attention to a baseball game while reading.  In the window in the background is Kevin, our cat.  Kevin is a girl cat, named by our stepdaughter, perhaps after Kevin the bird in the movie "Up".  No reading or blogging takes place during NFL football games, though, and especially not the Bengals (yes, there’s a sad and ugly secret revealed—I’m a Bengals fan).

My bookshelf

This is my bookshelf, as in all my books, all the time.  As you can see, it’s generally pretty chaotic.  I’m trying to cull it down to only the books I absolutely must own, but in the meantime there’s a revolving door of library books, and ARCs and used books, and borrowed books.

605 Grille
I’ve blogged quite a bit about the 605 Grille, my family’s home away from home.  Here you see my computer set up for a morning of writing with my cappuccino, but just one.  More than one cappuccino means I’m jangly like a rodent or other prey animal for the rest of the day and likely to wake up at 5:30 in the morning and not be able to get back to sleep.  Not pictured here are Julie-Kate and Elissa, my faithful cappuccino providers, and my husband, who is often next to me before heading off to teach, or any of the other morning regulars.

Dining room table
Note that there are no pictures of an office included here.  I do have one, as well as an actual job.  But I’m on sabbatical right now, so I go there as infrequently as possible, and when I want to do any kind of work that’s not talking to students, I generally don’t do it in my office.  But sometimes you need to put your laptop somewhere besides your lap (or so my chiropractor tells me), so sometimes I write here at our dining room table.  This is our old dining room table.   Our new dining room table was also constructed by our friend and neighbor, and also did not fit in most of our doors.  At least 4 doors had to be removed before the absolutely gorgeous dining room table made from old pine wood we found in our attic successfully entered our house.

The kitchen couch
This looks like the other couch, but this is our kitchen couch.  Yes, we have a couch in our kitchen.  It is simply one of the best ideas I have ever had.  It happened because we have a large kitchen and a small living room, with no room for a couch and a love seat.  So when I moved into our house, we just put the couch in the kitchen and then never moved it.  Because a couch in the kitchen is freaking brilliant!  Whoever is not cooking can lounge while the other person cooks.   If someone is watching noxious t.v. in the living room (which usually means something from the Disney Channel or Nickelodeon), there’s another couch space available.  While the water is heating to boil the pasta, oh, look, there’s a comfy couch to sit and wait!  I’m writing this on the kitchen couch as we speak.  I should also point out that in my experience, every time you have a party, everyone goes immediately to the kitchen.  Why fight that?  Provide some comfy seating instead.  Also, you can peruse the contents of our pantry.

Robyn's fiddle
And finally, just for fun, this is my beautiful old fiddle.  Isn’t it lovely? Hope you enjoyed this tour of my particular scene!  If you’re interested in thinking about places in general, check out my new blog hop that also has is all about place, Blog In Place.  Thanks again, Cathy!

The pleasure is all mine, Robyn! I don't know about the rest of you, but I feel as though I've just had a nice chat with an old friend-- with the added bonus of a tour of her wonderful old house. I don't know where I want to go first: give Kevin a scratch, check out those handcrafted bookshelves upstairs, sit on the couch in the kitchen... argh!... what tough decisions! Hmm... perhaps a look at the upstairs bookshelves, then a sitdown on the couch in the kitchen to give Kevin that scratch while I listen to Robyn play the fiddle. What do you think? Sound like a plan?

Thank you so much for sharing your creative spaces with us, Robyn. It's too bad I'm so far away because I'd love to have that friend of yours build some furniture for me!

Scene of the Blog may be taking a short hiatus next Wednesday because none of the many book bloggers I've been in contact with have been able to send me any goodies. Hopefully that will change, so keep your fingers crossed! (If you haven't been asked and would like to participate, I am a firm believer that volunteers are wonderful. Just use the contact form up top in my header!)


  1. Robyn, your kitchen couch looks especially inviting. I now have this image in my mind of how lovely your house looks from the outside. I love old house!

  2. Thanks, Alexandra. I really can't stop people from sitting on the kitchen couch. They go straight for it and it takes serious effort to displace them. I didn't even think about a picture of the house from the outside, but I will tell you it's what we call a double in Madison, which means it's attached and shares a common wall. A lot of houses in Madison were built as doubles. We recently painted it a fairly bright green. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. A kitchen couch! That is the most brilliant idea I've ever heard! We are combining our kitchen and family room so we'll sort of have recliners in the kitchen. I'm off to visit your blog, Robyn.

  4. Thanks, Barbara. I very much like the idea of recliners in the kitchen. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. A kitchen couch is a very good thing. Thanks for showing us your working and thinking and creating spaces, Robyn. I like that whole cappucino thing as well. I don't have a laptop so I'm, more or less, tethered to my desk p.c., but beteween you and me, it's probably too late for this old dog to learn a new trick. I'm quite comfy here. :)

    P.S. Thanks to Kittling:Books for this Scene of the Blog feature.

  6. Robyn, thanks for sharing your creative spaces! I love your choice of paint colours and furniture. The colours are so soothing and the furniture looks ultra-comfortable.

    As for the kitchen couch? I might have to steal that idea! I love it. ;)

  7. Yvette, a laptop is good for hauling to the local coffee shop...not so good on your neck when you're staring down at a computer screen all the time. You might be safer where you are.

    Marie, thanks. You should see my mother shudder when I say I'm going to paint the dining room apricot, but in the middle of winter, it's so good to have nice, bright rooms. Everyone should have a kitchen couch! Steal away!


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