The thing that made the place click for me was moving the futon into the little room, where it will eventually be used as a couch, but for now serves as my bed. It's basically the same setup as I had at the old place - everything in one little room - so I finally feel comfortable. Saturday my new bed is being delivered, and that will fill the giant empty space in the big room. It's funny how the big open room has become my apartment's Room Where No One Walks. I go in there to get dressed in the morning, but aside from that I do not go there.
Another thing that dramatically helped make my apartment feel more like a home was the big adventure my brother and I had out at IKEA last weekend. I got four lamps, a red cabinet on casters for my oil paints, a couple small rugs, a slew of kitchen things, and a garbage can for the bathroom. I also got two big pillows which I almost decided not to get, but now am SO happy to have. They are so soft and comfortable - I fall asleep in moments now, and sleeping hasn't come so easily in recent months. My old pillows are like pillow-shaped lumps of cement in comparison.
I've been painting in the evenings after dinner - working on the big red horse. It's coming along. I know I always say that, but now it really is. I figure that if I put an hour in every night I will have it finished in no time. All three coffee cups are finally fleshed out now and I just need to touch up the horse's face and the gears, and add some shadows for the cups and smoke for the smokestack. I'm waffling on whether or not to put the radio tower in. I may leave it out - I don't want the piece to feel too crowded, and there's already so much going on.
I've been studying French in the evenings, too. It's nice I've actually been able to stick with it since the class ended. I've been making progress in my "Easy French Reader" and my text book, and with O's help I've been doing just fine.
The new walk to work is very scenic, and I never seem to walk the same route twice. This is one of the elaborate houses I passed this morning on the way in: