Friday, January 8, 2016

Foolish Pleasure, Lasting Value

The week between Christmas and New Year's eve is prime time for de-junking the house. Mopping up after visitors flew home, I cruised the house ridgepole to sump and realized, fortunately, that there was little dead wood for the donation bag. The visitors were younger family with daily stresses and preferences I do not share. I scanned possessions with an eye to their usefulness in the future. 

My great-grandmother blew significant late nineteenth century dollars on a nickel-steel frying pan. It looks like a regulation cast iron model with shiny sides and has been in daily use since she, literally, trotted it home to the log cabin. 

A sturdy and not cheap maple kitchen cart arrived mail order over thirty years ago. It seemed self-indulgent and overly ambitious to spend the money, but it, too, has been in daily use and has overshadowed any urge toward wasteful kitchen remodeling in this development property. Similar but lesser carts sell for three times the original price of mine at a high end kitchen chain downtown.

It's worthwhile to invest in low-tech housekeeping gear that is well-designed and made of substantial materials. It doesn't take much: one cooking pot, a chef's knife, and a lovely vase suffice to present a home-cooked feast.

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More after the jump.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Pull Things Out And Try Them

I rooted through a pantry drawer preparing a Sunday table and ran across an embroidered luncheon-sized cloth I had inherited and never used. My rooms change function frequently, and a Civil war era garage sale find was front and center. The old-fashioned cloth was the making of the old-fashioned table. 

Incessant stomping of inventory produces storage areas full of live possibilities and expensive living space that gives its all. There's no reason to hold the best in reserve: it's the best because it works well and holds up. Things are like coinage-the cheap drives out the good, leaving daily life sadder and harder than need be.


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More after the jump.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Rat Bag

Though I now spend little time in the field, I could not resist the Great Big Hiking Co-op's steel mesh food storage pouch. Over the holidays I stored bulky snacks in it.

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More after the jump.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Push Pin Yoga

The push pin was a revolutionary innovation. Unlike the thumb tack, it lands on its side. Pins are available in sturdy aluminum with needle-sharp points that leave minimal marks. Commercial artists do not impale materials that they mount on a wall: pins are placed gently at the edges of a piece to hold it in position, leaving no mark when they are removed.


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More after the jump.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Why A Loaf Of Bread Is Like Car Insurance

Each generates the urge toward maximum usage. Bread goes stale, a car becomes transportation of first choice when insurance is paid ahead of time.

Back in the day, bakers offered small loaves. Now I substitute a good cracker when I want to minimize carbs.

The first thing I found after discarding the family car was that I had many transportation options rather than one.


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More after the jump.