Friday, October 13, 2017


It's time to suggest to a Northwest native that he moved home to have an excuse to buy the tweed suit he's been eyeing -30-
More after the jump.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

The Floor

Japanese architectural tradition distinguishes between "people of the floor" and those without one. The floor is a piece of furniture.Tending to the floor is housekeeping bedrock. Laurence Van Der Post's "A Story Like The Wind" has an enchanting and, to one who kept house during the fulminating days of Seventies feminism, deeply heartening scene in which a young !Kung woman details the floor of a cave that is sheltering her and three companions. My archaeological source tells me that keeping sharp things off the floor is the oldest, most fundamental principle of good shelter-keeping.

I've been experimenting with sleeping on the floor, using a luxury self-inflating air mattress to cushion the process. A Pilates instructor advised her class that one's ability to get up off the floor is a reliable indicator of prospective life span. I reasoned that getting up off the floor at least once in an ordinary day would be a good way to keep track of my fitness.

This particular floor is very clean, because we take our street shoes off in the front hall. The floor is also quite comfortable, because the wool rug covers an electric heat mat, ideal for basking in chilly Seattle weather. It's ideal for unwinding kinks from the back, and just hard enough without the mattress to effect an auto-massage. After a few mid-day minutes on the floor, my bod begins to do Pilates on its own.

On a block where eighty square feet cost more than the monthly mortgage of a well-designed new house in Burien several years ago, I have grown to appreciate every bit of space at my disposal. Shifting to the high-tech version of a futon has transformed the sleeping room into a daytime all-purpose resource. Because I separate sleep and dressing functions, the minuscule 1890 closet is nearly empty, and it's trivial to stow bedding after I get going in the morning.

The simple volume of the place is calming. My core strength is improving, flexibility is automatic, and the change has done wonders for my posture -30-

More after the jump.

The SimpleLife

Wear t-shirts that carry no message.
Keep two of every staple in reserve.
Choose white linens.
Let high-maintenance plants die.
Design a personal uniform and reconsider it every couple of years.
Steer your life support system toward zero waste.
Let charity be anonymous -30-
More after the jump.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Very Simple Decoration

Last winter a neighbor outlined her living room window with a string of pinpoint white incandescent holiday lights. They were a straightforward, elegant, welcoming, and stunningly simple accent that turned her simple bungalow entry into a gracious transition from this lively urban streetscape into her old family home. The lights stayed on until the long days of June rendered them irrelevant.

A new tenant next door has done much the same thing with her second story balcony, outlining the railing, wall, post, and overhang with a string of slightly larger warm, small globes. It, too, is breathtakingly simple, effective, and socially heartening. 

I doubt that it will be long before the practice spreads. It's important to conserve electricity, so when I noodle around looking for light strings of my own, I'll factor in LED and solar variants -30-
More after the jump.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Detailing Kit

I should not be surprised that a nail artist's featherweight lockable rolling tabouret is as efficient and convenient a housekeeping amenity as any I have found, but I am. The one I picked up on sale at a beauty supply last spring finds a new use for itself nearly every week  -30-

More after the jump.