Archive for December 16th, 2010

“The time has come, the Walrus said, to talk of other things.

Of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings. . .”

Lewis Carroll

For some reason this song came to mind as I was doing some badly needed vacuuming this morning, having been ambushed by one of the dust kitties that had been forming under the bed.   Somehow it had sprouted feathers and actually attached itself to my slippers.   That’s the trouble with down comforters —

Anyway, as I was working I was musing upon the need that young ladies seem to have developed over the last few years to share their vast collections of shoes with the rest of the world.   There are whole industries devoted to the storage technology required by high fashion footwear.   These less than utilitarian works of art even featured in a mystery story I read a few months ago, where the existence of footprints made by Manolo Blahnik shoes at the crime scene ultimately revealed the identity of the murderer.  In order to understand the twists and turns of the plot I was forced to learn more about the stratospherically expensive foot fetishes purveyed by Choo and his ilk than I really cared to.

So as I vacuumed under my bed, which was remarkably free of containers of anything, especially shoes, I mused upon my own shoe collection.   I had to drag them all out of the closet so I could vacuum back there.   I did not also drag out our extensive collection of duffel bags, but since I had the shoes out anyway, I took a picture of them.

Notice a theme here?

I would like to point out to my Gentle Readers that the ones on the upper left, which actually do sport 1 3/4″ heels in complete opposition to my usual position on heel heights, are obscenely expensive ballroom dancing shoes, complete with suede soles, which must NEVER, under any circumstances, be worn off the polished wood of a dance floor.  There are also the requisite pair of black pumps (on the far right), which I have had for about 8 years now and I figure will last me the rest of my life since I wear them about twice a year, usually to funerals but occasionally to weddings.   Which makes me think of a friend I have who would ask what was the difference (between weddings and funerals, that is)?

Having given a lick and a promise to completed the cleaning of my closet, I threw them all back in there and continued on my merry way, where I discovered just exactly how appropriate that tune really was.  Since I am proposing to entertain guests in the next few weeks, I felt it necesssary to assess the readiness of my library. . . er. . . back bedroom guest room. I use that term loosely, because I believe in the old days this would have been referred to as the “Box Room.”

Those boxes, which have been painstakingly saved over the course of centuries years, came out of the closet featured below, which is rapidly approaching the status of “Fibber McGee’s Closet”.   This closet could also be referred to as the Graveyard of Miscellaneous Electronic Junk Parts, but Fibber McGee has a better ring to it, not to mention a much longer history.

Just to the right of the closet hangs the shadow box given to Jim when he retired from the Navy, with all the insignia of the ranks he held plus insignias from ships and bases he was posted to during his career.   I guess that about covers the “ships” part of the doggerel.

The other half of the box collection is not actually in the closet right now because on the northwhere  wall of that closet is the little wooden hatch that gives you access to the faucets that control the water to my bathtub is located.  That faucet was dripping in a most fountainlike fashion recently,  so the major plumbing repair person of the house was conducting an archaelogical expedition in search of that fabled opening into the catacombs of the house.  The boxes had to move, and so far have not moved back even though the drip has been successfully dealt with.

The room cries out for a swift tidying up, but I barely could stand to be in there long enough to run the vacuum around in there quickly.   The heavy paper bags featured below contain my canna, calla, elephant ears, and acidanthera bulbs.  The temperature in there is perfect for storing them, right around 45-50ºF (9ºC), and if I intend to have guests in there I suppose I’m going to have to turn the heat on and move the bulbs and tubers out to the root cellar, which has finally cooled off enough they will store there nicely.

And now a little more holiday decor.

Daisyfae has been congratulating me in the comments here lately on my facility for bringing the outside in artfully.   Sometimes I think I’m a little too good at that, especially when I am trying to beat the outside back out in the utility room.   (Where ARE the boundaries, anyway??  Apparently not at the door.)  During fall, when elm leaves had a habit of attaching themselves to anything moving, I found them everywhere in the house and began to doubt that there really was any true boundary between outside and inside.   I’ve posted about this subject before, how owning a house and having things in it brings the laws of thermodynamics and entropy into play.

I caution young people about exercising their god-given right to be consumers.   The more stuff you have, the harder it is to keep your house clean!

I close with the poignant Morse code call I discovered in one of my glass ornaments.   This one was hand blown by some artisan in Oregon out of glass he made by melting Mt. St. Helens ash that he collected from his property after that mountain exploded.


The HAM operator’s plaintive cry to the cosmos, “I Seek You.”   Is anyone out there?

“Of why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings. . . .”

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