Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Really Cheaping Out

At the height of the Seventies' craze for carpeting, I enjoyed an illuminating chat with a wise older friend. Daisie was frank: she said her hand-knotted oriental carpet had been less expensive over time than the wall to wall her friends had installed and replaced and installed and replaced. A true friend of the hand-knotted rug will buy a small one to set in the center of a room rather than subjecting a larger one to the assaults of furniture legs. Spare the sport shoes and spike heels as well. Removing footgear at the entrance reduces maintenance in all areas.

A long life filled with hand-me-downs, thrift follies, and expedient imports has taught me that biting the linen bullet to pay for first quality dinner-sized shamrock napkins is still a smart move, especially if I factor in the time and travel cost of acquisition. Get white. It's the most serviceable and can be bleached. I'm still using my grandmother's collection from 1948. 

A large linen napkin makes guests feel safe. It doesn't have to be ironed, although ironing from the back to raise the grain of the fabric is an elegant move. Never iron a crease: linen's tubular fibers will crack before long -30-

More after the jump.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Two Minutes

For a couple of months, I groused about dusting an elaborate 1895 knick-knack shelf every time I walked past it. The English National Trust housekeeping manual recommends delaying dusting until one is rested and motivated. When I finally emptied the shelves and set out a vacuum cleaner and a photographer's equipment dusting brush, that resembles a shaving brush on steroids, dusting the what-not took two minutes.

The piece is a twentieth century housekeeping nightmare, but a nineteenth century small space whiz at storing necessities. Aping a carpenter, I get the vacuum going to collect dust with one hand while I raise it with the other -30- More after the jump.

Monday, November 20, 2017

The (Relatively) Slow Lane

When I buy stamps, I buy first-class "forever" stamps. Now and then a new design is issued before I use up the ones I have. It has been interesting to observe new graphic style as it emerges. These stamps are turning into the correspondence equivalent of classic wardrobe design. A slowly accumulating collection allows me judicious choice of style when composing a written message.

I had been planning to commission writing paper embellished with a snail. A retired letter carrier told me how offensive he finds the rhyming term, so I'll save some money and revert to USPS -30- More after the jump.