A Voyeur’s Dream, and an Interior Decorator’s Nightmare

So today, I am going to take you on a tiny tour of my humble abode, Chez Murphy.  We live in a small apartment above my in-laws.  This is just a temporaryish thing so we can get prepared to plant a church.  So don’t freak out on me.  It’s 900 square feet.  One bedroom.  One bathroom.  Tiny.  But tiny has it’s advantages.  Like:

1.  Once the house is clean, it’s pretty easy to keep clean.  Like this week.  I’m so excited about this I took pictures. 

2.  We don’t buy junk or clutter.  We just can’t.  I clean stuff out a few times a year to keep our possessions to a minimum.  Like, the girls toys, which I’m convinced mate and give birth to crappy toys in the dead of night.  The toys always needing thinning.  Also, I’m pretty sure that’s bad grammar there.  Moving on.

3.  You appreciate how the pioneers lived.  At least we have running water.

4.  Privacy becomes an all time priority.  Driving in my car by myself is now a luxury.

5.  It’s made our family closer.  After all the yelling and pulling out my hair, I accept this way of life and am content.


The one bathroom thing sucks.  Read this post from Insanity Kim and it’ll give you an idea of this complication in our apartment. 


And if you’re already bored and the drool is pooling, sorry.  Need I remind you it’s Friday?  This is the best you will get from me today.  I had to use Scary Math Skills yesterday and the pudding has now turned to liquid.  It’s not pretty in my brain.  Moving on.  Again.

So, when you walk up the stairs to our apartment, here is what you’ll see.

The Living Room

The Living Room

We heart books.

Here’s another angle.

Emma and our mismatched furniture

Emma and our mismatched furniture


To the right you find the kitchen.  It’s so tiny, you could almost add an –ette behind it. 

Addie is so serious.  I wish she would lighten up.

Addie is so serious. I wish she would lighten up.


Here in the kitchen, you’ll find a bunch of neat items worthy of note.  Unless you’re so bored you’ve moved on to something else.  In which case I’m talking to myself now. 

At any given time, there will be a plastic container with insects.  Today, it’s ladybugs.

Ladybugs bring good luck.  What happens when they die?  Hmm.

Ladybugs bring good luck. What happens when they die? Hmm.


My refrigerator is a work of art.  We love magnets.  You could say we are magnetically inclined.  ahahahahaaha  the mush, it causes crazy talk.

Holder of food and magnets

Holder of food and magnets


Ok, on to the bedroom. 

The Bed.

The Bed.


And on the other side of the room.

Bunk beds for the girls.

Bunk beds for the girls.


It’s not so bad sharing a room.  All their toys are in the closet.  It’s manageable.  For a season, at least. 

Now, for items of importance.   Here are things that make our home interesting.

Eskimo dancing fans handmade by my grandmother

Eskimo dancing fans handmade by my grandmother


Did you know I’m part Yupik Eskimo?  Here’s a close up on one of them.  These are truly amazing.  I believe it’s made from rabbit fur.  She also weaved the ring using grass reeds or something super earthy.  One for each of my girls to remind them of their heritage.




Here’s something else.

A chest.

A chest.


Ok, this is the story behind this chest.  When Emma was a wee babe, my brother in law was deployed by the Army to Afghanistan.  He was gone quite a long time.  When he came back, he brought this chest for Emma.  It was handmade by a local artisan there and was dirt cheap.  But here’s the cool thing.  All the brass inlay was done by hand and with handmade tools. It’s awesome.  It’s probably our most prized possession.  The only drawback is that the inside smells like the inside of a camel’s colon.  We just stuff it with blankets and erm, pile more on top.  Here’s a closeup of that brass inlay.




And lastly, a pottery piece made by me in high school.  My pottery teacher, Mr. Motts, was the coolest teacher ever.  I would come to him with an idea and he would do everything in his power to help me.  Once, I had the idea of making a plate of spaghetti.  So he threw me a plate, helped me with the extractor to make the noodles and oohed and awed the whole time.  Once, I spent three weeks making a rolled pitcher using porcelain, which is very hard to use, and it blew up in the kiln.  I was devastated.  Mr. Motts, however, was very positive and told me that art isn’t always intentional.  As I wasn’t going to use my pitcher in real life, I should just glue it back together and let it look rough.  So I did.

Here was my senior piece.  I made two of these, but like with the rest of all my pottery, I gave it away.  This is the only thing I kept.

Raku goblet

Raku goblet


Also, I can’t take a decent picture to save my life. Perhaps being magnetically inclined is messing with the settings. 


So, that was my home and my most prized possessions. 


Happy Friday.


16 responses to this post.

  1. Me love me some pictures! Thank you for sharing!! I want to see the car, bathroom and prom pictures next. Please. And you using the hula hoop. Yeah, that too *drooling*.


    • Posted by soundsliketomatoes on March 13, 2009 at 4:49 pm

      If you see a picture of me hula hooping, I don’t think you’ll be drooling. I think you’ll be dry heaving.


  2. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on March 13, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Also I don’t know why that one picture is wonky. But I’ve tried to fix it 47 times and just don’t care anymore.


  3. Sorry, forgot have said good post! Waiting for the next post!


  4. 1. I LOVE the Spongebob blanket in the love nest bedroom picture. Only a couple with a sense of humor can have Spongebob in their bedrooms.

    2. I also love the trunk. Too bad about the camel colon smell.

    3. How do you know what a camel’s colon smells like?

    4. It is really neat you kept your high school art.

    5. One bathroom? Now I understand how you know what a camel’s colon smells like. I mean, it has to be close……

    6. Love the bookcase full of interesting things. I like to look at other’s houses like that. You learn a lot about them by what they display and collect.

    7. Grandma’s art is fantastic!!! Is she still alive?

    8. I would like you to blog more about your heritage, I know your friends would find it very interesting!!

    9. You look like a very crafty person by what is around your environment.

    10. LOVED your captions on the pictures…so don’t worry about the quality of the photos..you did just fine!!!!


  5. I do love posts like this. A little glimpse into your real life.


  6. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on March 13, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    Retired One:
    1. The Spongebob blanket belongs to Addie. She loves it.
    2. We love that trunk. Wished I knew how to make it smell better. It’s the glue used in the felt lining.
    3. I have a vivid imagination.
    4. I have only a few things from my childhood. This piece in particular is inspiring to me. I’m so glad I have it.
    5. One bathroom. We are very hopeful for the future to have two. *Living the dream*
    6. Normally we collect piles of dust on the bookshelf. Seriously, we devour books. Love them.
    7. Sadly, my grandmother passed away last year. I got to visit her 6 months or so before she died and I’m so glad I did. We had a bad history, but that last visit was like a healing tonic. She couldn’t speak as she had sufferred a stroke, but when I gestured to the dancing fans and said how beautiful they were, she insisted I have them.
    8. My dad’s side of the family is Yupik, my mom is white. I don’t know that much, but I’ll tell you what I know. I even have an Eskimo name. It sounds like I’m cussing at you though when I say it.
    9. I love being crafty. It keeps me sane.
    10. Your camera is awesome, I am covetous now.


  7. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on March 13, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Mrs. Musings, I love seeing glimpses into the real life of others, too.

    Hope your leg is healing well.


  8. I always wanted to do something like this, but it would take some serious housekeeping! What a fun post. I’m jealous of your amazing shelf space, i have piles of books in every closet, but you’re a brave woman living in such close quarters! I love your collection of most cherished items, that’s always what makes a home special.

    And your crafty self makes some beautiful children!


    • Posted by soundsliketomatoes on March 13, 2009 at 8:04 pm

      Well, confession time. I cleaned like a crazy lady for about three days. This included barking at anyone for leaving anything out. I wasn’t very nice about it.


  9. thank you for sharing your home with me. i would like to sit on the 60 year old couch. (it’s 420 years old in dog years). i like it.


    a says aeh. and a says aah. every letter makes a sound and a says aeh aaand aah. but. twice. because you have two.


    • Posted by soundsliketomatoes on March 13, 2009 at 9:08 pm

      And lemme just tell you how much fun it is when Addie uses BOTH AT THE SAME TIME over…and over…and over…and over…


  10. Posted by Alice on March 14, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    I think you must be the most interesting person I have ever met. I loved, loved, loved this post. And I admire your intestinal fortitude for finding contentment in less than perfect circumstances. I’ve lived in some interesting places (one bathroom, three kids) but I’ve never had to share my bedroom w/ my kids. I will start praying that God will move things along for you. Love you guys & your pretty babies.


  11. So I was on networked blogs on Facebook and stumbled across your blog and I’m glad I did! You seem like such an interesting person and I enjoyed reading your blog and I loved your pictures! Holy Cow thats a bunch of books! I read a lot as well but as soon as I’m finished I give them away to my cousins kids or lend them out and then forget who I gave what to and I’m left with very few books now. LOL

    I look forward to reading more from you!


  12. Posted by soundsliketomatoes on March 16, 2009 at 4:13 pm

    Jenny, I’m so pleased you found my blog! Come back often. I do love books. Actually, several of the books on my shelf are books that I, erm, borrowed from friends and never returned. Ahem.

    Alice, you are one of my most favoritist commenters. Please do pray for us. The one bathroom thing is pretty old. There is no being content about that.


  13. Posted by Carissa on March 8, 2010 at 8:18 pm

    I loved the tour! (love the bunk beds too. We need to get us one of those!)


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