Friday, October 6, 2017

The Keeping Room

Early American architecture structured a domicile with what was called a keeping room, that centered on a hearth. The space was furnished not unlike a coffee shop. 

I find that life is most comfortable and productive when I manage the back parlor of This Old Architecture as if it were a keeping room. Sedentary work is most easily accomplished in a space that forestalls shivering. The kitchen is close by, and I can easily manage basic life support functions by getting off my seat every twenty minutes or so. Chair expert Galen Kranz's recommends that maximum period of arsch arbeit.


An open hearth was furnished with a pot hook for stewing. A slow cooker on the back porch does the same thing and is equally well ventilated -30-
More after the jump.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Stocking Stuffers

I like to include little necessities with the chocolate and cheap toys I put into the Christmas stocking of an adult. This year's collection will include the usual new toothbrush plus a lead test kit for tableware, a sheet of flag stamps, and a tiny leatherette notebook from the Academic Bookstore -30-
More after the jump.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Pecking Away

Last year's thoroughgoing cruise through the house generated a daunting pile of fragile paper artifacts. I had been accumulating posters and minor works of art for decades. Next to textiles and baskets, work on paper is the most demanding to conserve.

From time to time over the last ten years or so, I had sent things along to permanent homes. What remained in the house was the stubborn core of a collection: too bulky to manage willingly, and too precious simply to discard. It's like managing a litter of puppies, I should think.


When I opened up the main physical storage folder, I was pleasantly surprised to find only four or five unresolved items. All but one went immediately to new homes that were eager to have them, and the last is in the stack that's headed to the framer -30-
More after the jump.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Coffee On A Log

An old family custom of repairing to the beach for a coffee break-in any kind of weather-took a new turn the other day. My host brought out a thermos and a welcome innovation in drinking ware: from his side bag he unfolded food grade silicone stemless wine cups. All I had to do was kick a depression in the sand to hold the thing. It didn't burn my fingers, and one member of the party observed that one could bake or freeze in it as well-30-
More after the jump.

Monday, October 2, 2017

The Wrap

A recently published photo showed a young person, tired from a trail ride, wrapped up in an Oregon Round-up blanket asleep in the ground. That's a technique I had learned as a child,  but forgotten.


Spread a blanket on the ground, lie down, and roll up in it. Build wiggle room using knees and elbows. It ain't hundreds of dollars worth of down and ripstop, but sometimes a blanket is just right. The limiting factor is the willingness to set wool onto soil, but those blankets are intended to function as bedding, architecture, furniture, clothing, upholstery, and yardage for garments. Hand wash in a bathtub in July -30-
More after the jump.