moving is

Moving is an intriguing, in-between kind of journey. I spent yesterday packing up my belongings and somehow my lovely, much loved home is now a property.

A structure with painted walls, hardwood floors, appliances, lighting, and mechanical systems. Also pipes and faucets. But the feel of my now house? All the cute is packed up for a different place and hopefully brighter days–fingers and toes crossed.

the idiosyncratic architecture of belhaven

If real estate sparks your interest (it sure does mine), Jackson, Mississippi’s #Belhaven neighborhood is an endless trove of Southern architecture where no two houses are the same, as far as I can tell. Sidewalks start and stop, for no reason I’m able to summon. And the houses are so wonderfully different.

There is this stately Spanish Eclectic beauty on Gillespie Street.

Belhaven 1

And this bungalow a little further down Gillespie.

Belhaven 2

This traditional home on Manship is nestled in leafy spaces.

Belhaven 3

And then this Neoclassival Revival property–Kennington’s Mansion on Carlisle–boasts a broad, grassy lawn.

Belhaven 4

If you’re thinking about calling Belhaven home, be advised that Belhaven is a historic district and subject to design guidelines, which you can access here.

clean, vacuum, polish, repeat

I shared previously that my house in #Belhaven is for sale, and–Captain Obvious statement of the century–selling your house is quite an undertaking. My broker recently had the photos redone, and I love how they turned out.

House 1

House 3

House 2

I’ve tidied the house from top to bottom enough times that I’ve arrived at a cleaning formula. Cleaning this house (3 bedrooms, 2 baths) takes approximately 5 hours and involves cleaning, vacuuming, and polishing. Through trial and error, I have found these products work best:

– Scouring stick (you can use the scouring stick on tubs as well as ceramic tile)
– Comet
– Windex (cleaning glass with Windex makes a cool squeaking sound)
– Stainless steel polish
– Bona brand tile cleaner and hardwood floor polish

(The Bona brand is kind of spendy but really worth it.)

the landmark structure paper models of wurlington bros. press

I have some pretty cool friends. A friend from my Gustavus days is Matt Bergstrom who grew up in Minneapolis but calls Chicago home. Matt is wonderfully creative. And amazingly artistic–with paper. Years ago he began creating intricate paper models of landmark structures in Chicago, New York, and other cities.

There is Faneuil Hall.

Wurlington Bros. Press Paper models Faneuil Hall

The Lake Point Tower.

Wurlington Bros. Press Paper models Lake Point Tower Chicago Illinois

A collection of Lake Michigan lighthouses.

Wurlington Bros. Press Paper models Chicago Illinois Lake Michigan Lighthouses

And even a collection of Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) trains.

Wurlington Bros. Press Paper models Chicago Illinois Chicago Transit Authority trains

You can order postcards at the Wurlington Bros. Press website and build these items on your own. Fun stuff! Detailed step-by-step instructions included.

i’ll follow you

Instagram is a fun adventure if you love great photos, storytelling, and photos that tell a great story. You can follow me on Instagram if you wish, but here are some of my favorite follows:

  • Nick Ulivieri is The Chi Photo Guy, a commercial photographer who I learned about in 2016 when I was living at 15th and Blue Island in the Near West neighborhood of Chicago. Nick captures dramatic weather systems better than any photographer I know. He also branched out to frame Chicago’s built environment and landmarks. Fun fact: I met Nick in the elevator of my condo building, a 12-story 1920s warehouse that was converted into condos in 2006. He used to shoot photos of sprawling train tracks with downtown Chicago as a backdrop from one of my neighbor’s decks.
  • The Forgotten South–Kelly Gomez photographs buildings and places throughout the South that time has forgotten, and she is a master storyteller. Her photos are just as interesting as the accompanying descriptions. Since 2010, Gomez has traversed places all over the South. She also maintains a blog, which you can access here if you’re not on Insta.
  • Oh Happy Day–You wouldn’t guess an online party and lifestyle website could generate such joy, but their photos are pure sunshine. Jordan Ferney is OHD’s founder and Chief Happy Officer (c’mon, LOVE this job title). You can find Oh Happy Day on Facebook and Pinterest if those networks suit your fancy.

Happy following, you all/y’all!

the curious case of fracture healing

The human body is an amazing thing. Back in early October, I fell and shattered my left ankle in more than a dozen places. The lateral and medial malleolus were a splintered HM–hot mess. If I didn’t have access to quality surgery (not to mention 12 screws and a really long orthopedic plate holding everything together), my left ankle would certainly be disfigured. I’d also be crippled.

Just two months after surgery, I was back on both feet. Walking. Perhaps not extremely capably, but still walking. Four months later I have excellent range of motion, and my step is pretty sprightly. I am amazed to be where I am. And the process of fracture healing is an incredible journey. Follow me on this.

When you break a bone or bones, the human body springs into action. As Richard Marsell and Thomas Einhorn put it in their scholarly article, The Biology of Fracture Healing:

The biology of fracture healing is a complex biological process that follows specific regenerative patterns and involves changes in the expression of several thousand genes.

Several thousand genes? That’s right. The process of fracture healing can be described as four overlapping stages, roughly:

  1. Inflammation. Within a few hours after the break, the body rushes blood to the break site. A protective blood clot (hematoma) is formed. Think lots of swelling, bruising. Granulation tissue forms at the ends of the fracture, and specialized cells called phagocytes eat away at any dead tissue and unwanted bacteria.
  2. Creation of a primary (soft) callus. More specialized cells–this time chondroblasts–are recruited to develop a callus made of two types of collagen at the break site. Revascularization also kicks into action, ensuring a healthy blood supply.
  3. Creation of a bony (hard) callus. The soft callus is replaced by a bony callus, which helps stabilize the healing bone. At this stage, you can thank cells called osteoblasts for mineralizing the collagen to create the bony callus.
  4. Bone remodeling. This stage is pretty cool and time intensive, taking months to years. Yes, years. (As many as nine years.) The bony callus is remodeled as lamellar bone with its own medullary cavity–the area within the bone where marrow is stored. In the remodeling stage, the bone regenerates itself. It’s nerdy cool and amazing to learn up on.

Want to get schooled on the specific biological processes in fracture healing in the medical literature? Visit here.

 

puzzling

One of my closest friends gave me a Pomegranate 1,000 Art Piece Puzzle for Christmas, and putting all the pieces together is both frustrating, at least initially, and then tremendously satisfying as you get closer to completing it.

I attempted the tried-and-true approach of finding the border pieces first but that threw me off somewhat. So switched gears and completed the puzzle by design/color area of this Charley Harper artwork. I was surprised how long it took me to complete. If I had to guess, I would say at least 12 hours. Hoping the next one might go a bit quicker.