This is the eighth in a series of interviews with homeowners in the (East) Lansing area. The purpose of this series is to learn more about our neighbors and create a sense of community that can exist both online and out in the world!
Tell me about yourself, where you live in East Lansing, and who you live with.
I’m Diana Farmer and my husband, Charlie Richardson, and I live at 946 N.
Harrison Road. I purchased this house in May 2001. My husband moved here
from Colorado nine years ago, and we were married in 2013. We first met in 1982,
while working in Harlan County, Kentucky, with a home repair program. Some 31
years later, we wooed, and got married. We have a Cavachon dog, named Phoebe.
What’s keeping you busy these days?
Since retiring from education last spring, I did a lot of work on the presidential
campaign. Now I am learning to lean into retirement by doing art, writing,
walking, and looking forward to social gatherings! Since the pandemic began, my
husband’s band, Jackalope, was able to perform numerous shows in our backyard,
and to do so safely. He plans to retire from his full-time job on April 2nd!
What brought you to East Lansing?
I moved back to Michigan after 12 years in Virginia. I was eager to be closer to
How long have you lived in your home?
I have lived here since May 2001; Charlie joined me in 2012.
What drew you to this house? Did you have the feeling of “this is the one” when you were house hunting?
I love living in a walkable city. I love East Lansing, and many of my family
members, including myself, are Spartan alums. I love how well-built this house is.
The builder lived in this one, and designed many of the houses nearby. My
favorite features are the bow windows, plaster walls, brick exterior, and
What’s one project you thought you would do before you moved in? Have you done it – why or why not?
The one project I was most interested in was a kitchen remodel. Two years ago
we finally got around to it. While the original kitchen WAS very retro, this
remodel has been my favorite one!
How has the pandemic affected your daily routines? Due to the pandemic, is there anything you wish you could change about your home or where you live?
Charlie and I feel incredibly fortunate to live in such a wonderful neighborhood
and city. All of our neighbors have reached out to each other, sharing and
swapping meals, and enjoying outdoor socializing, including at least a half dozen
Jackalope concerts in our shared backyards.
If there were ONE THING I would change, it would be that drivers observe the
speed limit on Harrison road of 25 mph! There are numerous small children, all
around. If I could extend my wish, it would be for Saginaw Street speed limit to
be reduced to 35 mph. Many of the cars go 50-60 mph!
What are some of your favorite places to shop/eat/hang out in East Lansing?
Peanut Barrel, Georgios, Sultans, Maru, Campbells Market. It was hard to see
Mackerel Sky close.
How do you spend an ideal Saturday at home?
We like working on house and yard projects, making music, and spending time
How many TVs do you have and what are you currently binging? 2 TVs; we watch: Chef’s Table, documentaries, movies, Schitt’s Creek, The Crown.
Are you handy, crafty, hostess, or cook? YES! Both of us are handy and able to cook. I am in a year-long art class (online) as well as a weekly writing group that began April 1, 2020, and is going strong. Charlie plays his guitar, sings, and is often composing original music for his band. He is also a residential energy efficiency expert and has made numerous improvements to the house to make it more comfortable and efficient.
Can you fold a fitted sheet? Yes; Martha Stewart taught me.
What’s your “at-home” equivalent of Inbox Zero? When a manageable list of chores are done, and I’m making art, or reading a book.
What’s a favorite simple or inexpensive treat? ? Homemade stuff.
What is your favorite splurge for your home? Leaded glass window inserts in the dining room windows.
Do you have an organizing hack to share? Put “like things,” together; try to store things in the areas where they are being used.
When I say hygge, you say…. (Diana) comfort food, gas fireplace lit, music and
reading; (Charlie) “High G!”
What do you want to know about your neighbors? We actually know our neighbors pretty well! That’s really what feels so great about living in East Lansing.
Thank you, Diana and Charlie! If YOU would like to be featured on the Real Houses of East Lansing, please send an email to the editor, Carrie Sampson, at realhousesofeastlansing (at) gmail (dot) com (written out this way to prevent spam). Thx for reading!