Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Our Daybed

Teh Awesome Daybed!
For almost as long as I have known her, Kris has talked up the virtues of a daybed, sort of a couch upon which a lady may array herself, to enjoy a book, some bon-bons, and what-she-will. We knew that, sooner or later, we would find one.
Sooner became now on Monday, when I was at the Thrift store. A man dropped of the pictured item, explaining that his grandmother had had it from Colorado, where it had come from a saloon or some such. He wasn't sure whether it was worth donating, but I assured him it was a generous donation and would be an asset.
Don, who usually prices vintage material, wasn't in that day, but I kept my eye on it. When Kris was done shopping, she saw it and instantly knew: This Was It!
The next day, I came in after morning yoga and asked about a price. It was a steep price, measured one way, but very reasonable, considering everything about it, and I paid it without hesitation. (This had the advantage also of freeing up floor space for some other items.)
By great luck, my brother's pickup was available (I'd driven it home from the airport Sunday, when he went to work) so bringing the thing home was not a big problem. Mother-in-law helped bring it into the living room, where it may stay for an awefully long time ... both Kris and the cats love it.
Looking more closely at the daybed, it's handmade of real wood - no particleboard! It'll probably need a little linseed oil, and we plan to redo the upholstery in a fabric more like the original ... perhaps red velvet. When you consider that this daybed is actually very practical, and will last as long as we do, it's really a very reasonable thing to get!
A nice thing about having a settled place to live is that we can gradually stock our space with quality stuff, collected a little at a time. We're not fancy people, but having read wood furniture means we won't have to replace things every decade or so. And who knows what the story behind this vintage item may be ... if only the wood could talk!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Pilates Dog

Jeannelle and a downward facing dog!
Sundays we head in the direction of Ballard for Kris' Pilates class. Usually I drink coffee and get in an hour of writing; afterwards we may brunch with friends or head to the farmer's market.
This Sunday, New Year's Day, class was scheduled and hour later and one of the participants brought her very well-mannered dog to observe. We had a good time playing pull-the-rope-and-growl!

Monday, January 02, 2012

O, Dog Samaritan!

Our friends for the moment...
Pulling up to the Roanoke for a sandwich, Kris and I saw a black dog standing confused in the road. A man in a pickup truck was looking at him, but the two were clearly not related - the dog was shying away barking, and the man was not calling to it.
I parked and Kris & I went over. The dog seemed lost; no collar, wet all over, and the truck man said he'd emerged from Lid Park. I talked to the dog and he barked back, but didn't seem interested going anywhere. I offered him a granola bar, which swiftly disappeared and he begged for more.
The other guy had to go off to work, and thanked us for taking care of the lost dog. I went into the Roanoke; the manager suggested maybe the dog had jumped out of a customer's car. I asked the crowd if anyone had a black dog in their car and one man perked up - he couldn't see how his dog could've gotten out but we went to see.
It wasn't his dog; his dog was still in his truck, and so was some dog food. So our new friend got some food in a bowl and fed the stranger dog. We talked with the dog, and knocked on a couple of doors next to the Roanoke, but no-one was home. The Rowy's manager came out with some water and some bacon; the dog wasn't thirsty but wolfed the bacon.
Finally, we called the nonemergency line, and the police said they'd send someone over. We figured we could wait; a car stopped and asked if we'd seen their dog - but it was a different dog.
Kris and I stepped inside the Roanoke to get takeout while the other guy watched the dog, when he came in. Someone done the street and come and called the dog, who came!
It looks like we may have been had - or maybe the dog really was lost. Who knows? But we had fun taking care of the dog for a while, and maybe the dog has learned that if he comes to the Roanoke, he'll get fed. We always do!

Lessons from the War of 1812

I just finished C.S.Forester's The Age Of Fighting Sail which, while several decades old, offers an important lesson to serious students of military campaigns. In this account of the naval side of the War of 1812, Forester points out that British superiority at sea lead their frigate captains to offer battle so secure in the certainty of victory that they lost, five in a row, starting with Constitution's victory over Gueriere.

This gave us Americans great confidence and, in turn, our side started offering battle under foolish conditions, ending in several completely unnecessary and pointless defeats. Eventually both sides got tired of a war which neither could "win" in any meaningful sense (Wellington refused the leadership of the war against the Americans, on the grounds that while he could easily occupy all the cities, he could not control the countryside ... sound familiar?), signed a treaty and are now the best of friends.

We Americans all  need to learn and remember this lesson but I don't think our corporate leadership wants us to.