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March 14, 2013

Erie, CO continues to intrigue me, especially its street names.  

Towns have wild ideas about naming their streets.  Some just stick with numbers. Washington, DC, for example, went with both number, letters, and State names, with little side streets generally random.  Herndon, the town I grew up in, went with the classic Presidents and Trees.  Centreville had lots of Civil War related street names.  Tons of neighborhoods have their streets named after what I assume to be the daughters of the developers.  

Erie's streets, few that they are, are all obviously last names, and according to their historical society, named after influential residents.  I shall gleefully spend my time researching these people at some point.  

And then there's the names in my new neighborhood.  I spent way too much time researching, trying to figure out who they might have been.  My results kept turning up athletes.  and then, with that hint in my brain, I looked at the layout of the neighborhood streets again.  I realized it was a baseball field.

Can you see it?  There is a playground at the pitcher's mound, and a random cul de sac, the only one in the neighborhood, is home plate.  

With this in mind, I started researching the names again, and also looking at what positions they played to see if their position on the field played a part in which street was named what.  (PS, I know very little about baseball and had to look this stuff up.)  

This is what I came up with.  There may be other matches.
Sanders Circle - Deion Sanders, center fielder
Stockton Dr - (Dick Stockton, MLB announcer) (ok, no match here)
Conrad Dr - Brooks Conrad, 2nd/3rd Baseman
Woodson Dr - Dick Woodson, Pitcher
Hoffman Dr - John Hoffman, Catcher
Akers Ct- Fred Akers, Coach

I am amused, even if I turn out to be totally wrong.

EDIT:  I'm totally wrong, but I was entertained on a dull day for several hours!
March 12, 2013

Y'know, that post on Colorado town name and histories was so fun I think I'll do it for Northern Virginia . . . again, Wikipedia except for when an alternate link is provided.

Herndon:   Incorporated in 1879, officially named Herndon in 1858 in honor of  Commander and explorer William Lewis Herndon, who went down with the SS Central America in 1857.

Dranesville:  Named for the first postmaster in the area, Washington Drane, about 1823.

Great Falls: Named for the nearby Great Falls on the Potomac River, portions of it were owned by George Washington, who attempted to build a canal along the river.

Falls Church: Named after an Anglican Church parish, which was named for its proximity to Little Falls, a waterfall on the Potomac River.  Incorporated in 1948.

McLean: named after John Roll McLean, former publisher and owner of the Washington Post, founded in 1910.

Centreville: Originally called Newgate, established as Centreville in 1792, this town was considered the halfway point between Alexandria and Warrenton.

Chantilly: named for Chantilly Mansion, owned by the Stuart family, built around 1817.  The area has been settled since the 1700's.

Reston:  A planned community, named for Robert E. Simon, who bought the land in 1961.

Sterling:  The railroad stop for this area was renamed Sterling in 1887.

Tyson's Corner: Originally established as Peach Grove in 1851.  Renamed for Postmaster William Tyson after the Civil War.

Ashburn: Originally called Farmwell after a nearby Lee plantation, the land was named Ashburn Farm by a Quaker who purchased it in 1841.  Legend states the village was named after an ash tree that was struck by lightning and burned for a week in 1896.

Vienna: Settled in 1754, incorporated in 1890.  Originally called Ayr Hill after the first house built in the area, renamed Vienna in 1849 after Dr. William Hendrick's request the area be named after his hometown of Vienna, NY.

Fairfax: Named for Thomas Fairfax (6th Lord Fairfax of Cameron), who was granted most of the land in Northern Virginia by King Charles.  The town was established in 1805.

Leesburg: originally named George Town (after King George) by tavern owner Nicholas Minor in 1757, quickly renamed Leesburg after Thomas Lee (father of Francis Lightfoot Lee) in 1758.  

March 11, 2013

My decision to blog about Boulder turned out to be a bit limited.  I won't be living here much longer!  We'll be moving east to Erie, Colorado shortly, and everything I've scouted out will not necessarily be the most convenient to my new location.  Oh well!

I thought I'd write a little about the other towns and a little history if I can find it.  Information generally pulled from Wikipedia.  Will do more research later to fact check and expand.

Broomfield: Incorporated in 1961, named after broomcorn, or sorghum, that grows in the area.  A breakaway town from Boulder.

Boulder: named after Boulder Creek, which is full of large chunks of granite washed down from the mountain.  Settled in 1858, incorporated in 1871.

Erie: Incorporated in 1874, named in honor of the influential Rev. Richard Van Valkenburg's hometown of Erie, PA. Coal mining town.

Gunbarrel: more of an area than a town - presumably named for the straightness of the road between Boulder and Longmont, 'gunbarrel straight.'  (info found on a cached version of

Lafayette: Incorporated in 1890, named in honor of Homesteader Lafayette Miller by his wife, Mary, who donated the land for the town in 1888.  A coal mining town.

Longmont: Founded in 1871, incorporated in 1885, named for Long's Peak, a nearby mountain feature.  A planned community laid out by Chicago businessmen.

Louisville:  Incorporated in 1882, named after landowner Louis Nawatny.  (the s in Louisville IS pronounced.)  Coal mining town originally, it now regularly ranks as one of the top towns to live in the US.

Niwot: Platted in 1875. Named for Arapaho Chief Niwot (Left Hand), who attempted to interact peacefully with early settlers, but was killed in the Sand Hill Massacre of 1864.

Superior: Coal mining town, founded 1896, incorporated 1904, the coal in this area was 'superior' to the soft coal being mined along Coal Creek (Erie, Lafayette, Louisville, etc) and so proudly named.

Westminster: Settled in 1859, incorporated in 1911.  Previously called DeSpain Junction, Harris, and Darell Park.  Finally renamed after nearby Westminster University.  Gold mining town.

March 9, 2013

It's been quiet here.  We've got a contract on a house and should close on March 18th, so I've mostly been in waiting mode.  It's a big, lovely house, almost twice as big as our townhouse.  It's going to feel bare for a while until we begin buying more furniture.  We're going to need a lot of seating - and more bookshelves!

There's plenty of bedrooms.  I can have a guest room AND a craft room.  I had been planning on combining the two so I'm really rather excited.  I won't have to share the space with storage items since there's also a basement!

So while I've been waiting, I've been planning.  Subtle cowboy/western themed guest room in earth tone colors.  Probably a stagecoach valance. Not sure about the rest, but I want to make it so cozy that even I would want to sleep in it.  It will all depend on what I find.  Hopefully the movers packed the duvet cover I had in my old room - I can reuse that and finally use my Indian blanket, too.  The walls are white in there, I'll keep it that way for now.

The craft room is what I've been obsessing over.  How do I do storage?  I have a lot of items that are unrelated, will definitely need more shelves, and may have to rethink the storage I have now.  I have to write it down at this point, so you're going to get my thought processes here.  Firstly is an inventory.  Of what I can actually remember.  Feel free to skip the next section until I get to my conclusion, if any.
I have a lot of fabric.  I packed it in big tubs for the move, but I need it to be visible so I'll use it.  I have a mix of scraps and fat quarters for mini related, and then yardage for full size items.  At first I thought cube shelves would be best, but now I'm thinking that would be awkward in extracting fabric, and would want cubes with a shelf in the middle, which is hard to find.  Bed, Bath, and Beyond carries a cube storage set with additional drawers and dividers, but I want to go up high with storage, and they're not stackable.  (they had them in store, there's an option to buy the shelf with some storage items.)  So maybe a regular shelf would work better.  The problem with THAT is most bookcases don't come with enough shelves for my needs.  I may have to write and ask the company to send me more, or have some cut.

Another option would be to hang the bigger cuts of fabric.  There's plenty of closet space!  There's also plenty of hangers at the thrift shop, 10 for a dollar.  I could also rig up a clothes pole inside a bookshelf.

Before I moved, I shoved a lot of stuff into Michaels scrapbook bins.  They're plastic with a hinged lid, about 14.5" square, 3-4" high.  I think I bought 6.

2 of scrapbooking paper
1 of wood scraps
1 of felt
1 ribbon and trim
1 of beads and jewelry findings

They work best for the scrapbooking paper, and I guess for the felt, although I bought some larger pieces that take up a lot of room.  The wood scraps could go in anything, but the ribbon doesn't really work very well in it.  I wasted quite a bit of time rewrapping some of my ribbon onto smaller spools to get it to fit!

I also filled 2 plastic shoeboxes full of acrylic paints, and 1 of various sized bottles of glue.  I have a small wooden box for my Xacto knives, and I think I also filled 1 shoebox of scissors and other cutting devices.  (I'm going to need to buy a new mitre box.)  Rulers and tape measures have always floated freely in the chaos.  I never found a home for the rubber stamps I impulsively bought.  There is plastic canvas and large stencils that will also need storage.  I left the fimo clay in the sterilite drawer, which would fit in another shoebox, along with the clay/pasta machine.  Which reminds me, I also have the clay oven.

And then there's all the miniatures stuff.  Hair, stuffing, chenille stems, porcelain parts, etc for dollmaking, a ton of furniture and accessories, electrical supplies, wallpaper (currently saran wrapped to the basement floor of my turnabout house attic) and lots of finished dolls.  I also have dolls that need to go on display, ranging from 1/12 scale to 1/6 scale to whatever scale Gene is.  I sold most of my Genes but I still have the one whose face I repainted.  Mainly because I still want to design doll clothes.

Oh yes, and two dollhouses that both need work.

I'm not done!  I have a sewing machine, and all the accouterments that go with it.  Needles and thread, bobbins and feet, the iron and board and hams and so forth.  Fortunately most of this is really tiny (I threw it in a bag in a Sterilite drawer) or else really big, and already has a designated home on the back of a door.  (I can't tell you how glad I am that I didn't bother to throw away the sewing machine box and packing.)  Also a shoebox full of sandpaper and a hand sanding machine.

Michaels sells a shelf set to hold up to 7 of the scrapbooking bins, but at $80, I can't justify the cost.  (for $89 I could get a 6' Closetmaid closet shelf that's roughly the same width but twice the height, plus three clothes poles, which would be great for wrapping paper and ribbon.)

I bought the shoeboxes en masse at the Dollar Tree.  I don't really like them as the lids aren't secure, but since I was taping them all shut for the move I felt it didn't matter.  I also don't like that they're more designed for stacking inside each other and I feel that's a lot of wasted shelf space.  I want something squarer!

Also random stationery and office supplies, wrapping paper, and computer related stuff that maybe I can sneak into Brian's office supplies, as I haven't touched it in three years.

I have two 7 drawer Sterilite drawers.  I HAD three, but gave one to my mother before the move.  I had been storing things in there, like the wood and the beads, whose collection had grown too much to fit in the drawers, and I wanted to keep them in a single container.  One of them I managed to empty for the move, as they were mostly holding miniature accessories.  If I can get my houses back together all of those items can go in the houses and free up the drawers.  That will take a few months at least.  In the meantime, all the mini stuff is in shoeboxes.  I also have a couple of mismatched drawers, one that's three drawers for paper and two others that are just single drawers, and a Closetmaid type shelf that's 12"wide by 24" high.  And a banquet table.  A choice of two different sizes, technically.

Oh, my craft books.  I want those on hand.  There's a lot, but I'm not sure exactly how much, as I also had my comic books mixed in.  (Those can go in the guest room.  What better way to spend the evening adjusting to a strange bed in a new location than with Calvin and Hobbes?)

So, my storage is mostly shoebox sized, scrapbook bin sized, lots of fabric, and stuff that can go in a few drawers.  Are there shoebox cubbies?  I don't think the cube shelves are the right size, and I'd like to avoid spending extra money just because I don't like the angled walls of a cheap shoebox.

I'm wondering if it would be easiest to go back to my old standby of hanging shelves.  Y'know, those metal strips you attach to the studs in the wall, and then slip in the metal brackets for the boards?  I didn't do that in the townhouse because we didn't trust the walls, which were literally shared with the neighbors due to stupid building, so I totally forgot about this option til now.  This leaves me floor space for the dollhouses and/or the banquet table, or the sterilite drawers and the option for hanging fabric.  It's inexpensive compared to floor standing shelves and highly customizable.  They can take quite a bit of weight, plus I can also add more work space!  Not the sewing machine, of course, but I was hoping to jut that out into the center of the room under the light anyway.  I can also add lighting.

OK.  This will work.