Saturday, November 22, 2008

What's That In the Corner?

It always surprises me when I catch of a glimpse of part of my life - like clothes or the car I drive or I hear myself talking about something - and that glimpse reveals that I'm a different type of person that I had planned to be. Not better or worse, just different.

For example I always thought I'd end up in some groovy Palm Springs-type sleek house, with low-slung armless sofas and Barcelona chairs. Instead I live in a dark little Tudor Revival house. My father made furniture his whole life and the various arms of the Strong family are chock full of it. I recently ended up with this corner cupboard that he made. I never thought I was a corner cupboard person - I mean, what's next? A butter churn? But you know what? I really love it. It's handsome - solid cherry - and not fussy and offers a world of storage and let me tell you: Tudor Revivals are a little skimpy on storage closets so that really does come in handy. And I get to display my skull and crossbones crystal! And Sister Meg's girly china.

I'm still not used to it yet; I catch it out of the corner of my eye and think for a second "what the hell is THAT?" But then I remember that that's what type of person I turned out to be. A corner cupboard person. Huh.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Pussies in Heat

Well if you're looking for my cats this winter, look no further than the nearest heating vent.

Here's Miss Ellie, fat and fluffy. She likes the one behind the dining room door.

And Fanny, a hundred years old and about three pounds soaking wet. She prefers the living room, being an elderly spinster. I think she's waiting on a gentleman caller.

This, by the way, is the famous Fanny. As an added bonus, you get to see how dirty my house is in this picture and also what looks like a little cat vomit on the vent. Mmmmmmm!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Autumn and Really Old People

So today I had to drive 500 miles, from Nashville to Gatlinburg and back. I had to deliver some printed material I designed and couldn't get it delivered on Veterans' Day. Stupid Veterans! WHAT DID YOU EVER DO FOR ME? I decided to try and make it feel less work-like by jamming in a hike while I was there, since Gatlinburg is the gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park....since 2008 is DG's Year of National Parks (Six, if you include Colorado Natl Monument, which you probably shouldn't).

I left at 4:30 am so I could make me delivery by 9 EST and then I decided to have some pancakes. Gatlinburg is chock full of pancakes and I've never been able to figure out why. I'm not exaggerating: there are at least fifty pancake houses in a ten-block stretch. I settled on Log Cabin Pancake House and I ended up having country ham biscuits because I am not really a pancake person, I think. I don't like sweet in the morning.

ANYWAY, the waitress was rude - I was trying to finish Somerset Maugham's Mrs Craddock, and with just eight pages to go, she asked me to get up because she "needed the table." So I told her I needed the 20% I was going to tip and left her a dollar. Sorry, lady....I was a waiter for a decade....there are subtler ways to get the humps out of the chairs, as my (yet another!) newly-re-found friend Melissa used to say. So I still have eight pages to find out what happened to Bertha Craddock.

Then I did the short drive to the Laurel Falls trailhead. This is an easy trail - it's paved! - but only because traffic was so heavy on it they had to pave it to prevent erosion. 1.3 miles to a lovely 30-foot cascade (it looks small in the pic, but that's a pretty good guess, I think), where I promptly slipped and fell despite the five hundred signs on the trail that say "yoo-hoo, this will be slippery: children have died!" And also there were bear warnings every ten feet. What there were NOT were warning signs about: OLD PEOPLE. Here's a note for you to type into your Blackberry or your iPhone or your Rolodex or to just yell at your ASSISTANT or WHATEVER you have for this sort of thing: Fall + Veterans Day + Paved Trail equals 10,000 Grannies. And they don't say HELLO on the trail and it pisses me off. By the end of it, after I had passed the cast of The Golden Girls fifteen times, I made a point of saying REALLY LOUD: "Hi! You're ALMOST THERE! Just a FEW MORE STEPS! YOU CAN DO IT" Even though it was still like a mile and a half away. That's what you get for not saying "morning," you stupid old bags.

Anyway, it was pretty, fall, leaves, waterfall, blah blah blah. The usual with this sort of shit. Very inspiring. Sigh.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Once You Go Blackboard...

I love my new kitchen chalkboard wall! I've recently taken to writing all of the possible upcoming meals on it - based on what's in the pantry - and Sister Meg makes a checkmark by the one that she wants for dinner each night before she leaves every day...then we erase it off the list after we eat it. It's an ideal collaboration: I choose and cook all the meals and she tells me when she wants them! Also, before you say anything? I'M AFRAID OF HER.

Monday, November 3, 2008

All Fall Down

We never get a real fall, it seems like. Things just turn brown and fall off the trees and that's it. But I looked out my window today and saw this tree in my side yard blazing yellow. It'll probably only last five minutes so I ran out and took pictures. I like the yellow and blue and the red brick all together.

You can all probably sleep better now.