Friday, July 29, 2011

Security Porch Cat

My cat killed a cucumber today!

Earlier in the spring I did a couple of postings about a design plan for the courtyard and the Dining Porch.  I’m still working on the courtyard plan.  I’m about 80% sure I know what I want to do.  But, since it’s going to cost a fortune and I don’t have an extra fortune lying around, I’m in no hurry to share with you.  I won’t be starting that project anytime soon.  But, I have made some progress on the Dining Porch.  Actually, it’s turning out to be more of a lounging porch. Though it’s not going to be for dining, The Dining Porch is what it was titled on the architect’s plan, so that’s what it will always be called.  The drapes are up, rug, table and chairs in place and I have a super cool design idea for the walls.  That’s the only part I haven’t completed.  As soon as I get that done, I’ll share in more detail.

I’ve mentioned Bandit the Obnoxious Cat in a few previous postings; usually because he inserts himself in the projects I’m working on.  Not because I’m particularly interested in talking about him. Example being, he has yet to get all the white paint off his little cat body when he decided to help me paint the garden shed last weekend.  

I don’t make a habit of writing post about yard cats, especially this one since he’s generally worthless.  It’s too damn hot to do many chores or projects and I don’t like to clean the house, which I doubt you would really care to hear about anyway.  So, I’m running low on farm blog material these days. 

Here's the Dining Porch before I started.  Yes, that's a cat
sitting in the shadow between the door and the paint cans!
As I’ve said before Bandit’s here to be a farm mouser.  This task is hard for him since I’ve also noted he has a tendency to not leave the porch.  And, clearly Bandit thinks the new Dining Porch is for his sole comfort and use.  For him to catch a mouse, the mouse would have to jump up on the porch and dance around him.  Then I’d still put my money on the mouse to win.  C seems to think Bandit’s lack of mouse catching ability is because he was abandoned and I got him at an early age so he didn’t have any female influence to show him how to hunt.  Or it could be that he’s more like me than I want to admit including a big lazy streak.  But, I think he’s just stupid.

I went outside my comfort zone and used
blue sunbrella drapes.  That's a big deal
since my idea of color is grey, black or
Actually, I may be slightly off base on this matter.  Bandit does leave the porch.  We have porches on all sides of the house, but he seems to like the back Dining Porch and the wrap-around-porch on the side of the house the best.  When it’s really hot he goes under the porch.  The wrap-around-porch borders the far end of the kitchen and the Dining Porch is along the back of the kitchen and the courtyard. When either of us is in the kitchen Bandit sits on the porch and stares in the door.  As I walk from one side of the kitchen to the other he runs from porch to porch.  This means he has to jump the six foot courtyard wall, clear a rose bush hedge and maneuver the porch railings.  So for a cat that does nothing, he gets plenty of exercise!  This explains why he stays so trim, that and the fact that he doesn’t snack between meals, because he can’t catch any fucking thing!

2 views of the wrap-around-side porch

So technically speaking Bandit does occassionally leave the porch.  His feet touch the ground as he runs from the dining porch to the side porch or under the porch to sleep in the shade. 

But things seem to be changing.  Now as he approaches his first birthday, he just may be turning into a mighty hunter.

He now leaves the porches to follow me out to the vegetable garden.  No matter how fast I walk he runs between and around my feet, I stumble, kick him out of the way and he just comes back for more.  Once in the garden he finds a comfortable little spot, like a soft pine-straw mulched area next to an heirloom tomato plant where he mauls an invisible rat.  He paws the ground, throws around the pine straw and pounces in the air several times, landing on and no doubt killing his invisible prey.  Then he looks over at me to make sure I saw him.  I can tell what he’s thinking, “Did you see that dude?  I fucking destroyed that invisible rat.  If it wasn’t for me, you’d probably be rat bait right now!”

If I’m in the garden long enough, he sometimes manages to find and dissect a lizard.  I have a feeling the doomed lizard was sleeping in the sun and never saw Bandit approaching or it was so arthritic that it was just laying there peacefully waiting to die and about to draw it’s last breath when Bandit snatched it up.

We’ve had a good garden this season.  All the work done in the spring has really paid off and the fresh organic vegetables have been plentiful.  So much at times that a few things have stayed on the vines.  C planted a type of small cucumber this year.  If left on the vine one day too long they go from cute baby cucumber to something that resembles a tennis ball, especially if it’s rained.

This morning I stepped out the back door onto the porch and was startled to see a dead cucumber strategically placed on my black Greek Key outdoor rug.  It had been completely and effectively mauled by what was no doubt the mouth of an attack cat.  I guess finding a mutilated cucumber on my door step is better than half a mouse or the ears, tail and foot of a squirrel as an offering from an admiring feline. 

And, here I though Bandit was worthless.  He is smart enough to understand that the abundance of over plump baby cucumbers might detach from their vines and hurl themselves at me en mass as I stroll through the garden one evening.  Considering I’d have a glass of wine in my hand and not see them coming I could be severely injured.  Bandit is just looking after my well being.  Oh, and I forgot – two days ago I saw him catch and eat a three-legged cricket!  Yes, he’s is quite the porch security cat.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Display Beds

Not my house...but I like it!
One night sometime last year I drank too much wine and decided the bed in our guest room would be grand if placed in the middle of the room. Living in an old house means we have the luxury of decent size rooms.  The bed in my bedroom is not the type bed that works tossed in the middle of a room.  But I have a great sleigh bed in the guest bedroom.  Normally my skirt’s not all blown up by a sleigh bed, but this one is a very classic shape and it makes me think Marc Anthony & Cleopatra would have done the nasty there. 

It’s a pain in the ass to move since it has to be taken a part.  But, with C’s help into the center of the room it went. 

That was last fall, since then everyone who’s been here to visit hasn’t liked it.  They've not come right out and said it, but I can tell.  It’s cold and uncomfortable.  I think it made people feel like they were on display or laid up in some type primitive alter. 

I’ve learned that it’s not that the bed doesn’t work in the center of the room; it’s just that everything else in the room is the problem.  I’ve moved every piece of furniture in the room to accommodate the center bed placement, but it always feels awkward.  For a bed to work in the center of a room, the room is best left with as few other pieces as possible.  Although I love that idea, I’m just not capable of going that sparse.  Besides, I have no place to put all the stuff I would be removing from the room. 

Before this past July 4th, one evening I popped open a second bottle of pinot grigio and drug C upstairs to help me move the bed out of the center of the room. 

My 4th of July guest was happy and the room feels more comfortable. 

Then today I found these photos and thought how much I like these bedrooms. But, I’m just going to admire them.  The bed in my guest room is staying right where it is…for the time being anyway! 

Photo credit Alexandre Bailmache

photo credit Josh McHugh

photo credit Josh McHugh

photo credit Mark Luscombe-Whyte

photo credit Pieter Estersohn

photo credit Roger Davies

photo credit Simon Upton

photo credit Simon Upton
photo credit William Waldron

photo credit William Waldron

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Columns & Pedestals

I think everyone needs a column, or at bare minimum a pedestal.  You can see my column in the first photo.  I’ve lugged around this nine foot fluted column since I was about twenty two years old.  I bought it at an architectural salvage store years ago.  I was with a friend of mine (a middle aged Julia Child beast of a woman) and we were scouting around for good stuff.  Being the lover of all things classic, I thought this particular column would be bang up in my gray living room.  But, considering we were about 30 miles from my house and I was not going to suggest fitting the column into Julia’s new Cadillac, I sighed and assumed the column would never be mine. 

“Maybe I can come back for it.”  I thought.  Then I remembered I drove a 1968 (gray of course) Mercedes and the underside of the car was so rusted out it was about to split in two.  It could barely carry me much less my new found treasure.  Besides, I knew a tow truck would be in my future if I asked my car to go 30 miles in one direction and then attempt a return trip. 

But sensing my lust of the column, my friend quickly forced me to part with sixty dollars (which was a fortune to me at the time) and she had the column in the trunk of her Coup De Ville so quick my head was spinning. 

Over the years I think I outgrow my column and it became a thing associated with the days when I decorated with posters and junk store finds.  Slowly its moved from places of prominence to secondary vignettes. 

That column has been painted black, white, gray and back again so many times its grown three inches in diameter.  It’s been in every room in every house I’ve lived in since it first came home with me.  Currently it resides in the back entrance of our Carriage House (which is a nice name for our garage apartment guest house and my office)! 

These images make me think I should rethink its home.

photo credit Bruno Suet

photo credit Eric Roth

photo credit Francois Halard

photo credit Francois Halard

photo credit Richard Felber

photo credit Richard Felber

photo credit Roger Davies

photo credit Roger Davies

photo credit William Waldron

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunflower Envy

Over the 4th of July holiday a friend of mine commented on a vase of sunflowers I had strategically placed on the kitchen island. "Those are the most perfect sunflowers I've ever seen", she said.  She knew they had been cut from our garden.  She's visited enough to understand that if I wanted fresh sunflowers in the house, I'd have to drive in to Atlanta to get them!  Hooterville doesn't have a wide range of options when it comes to securing  cut flowers!  Besides, my friend took a tour of the vegetable garden when she arrived and had seen the many sunflowers in bloom.

There are several varieties, including ones that just showed up on their own...

And even an acid version! 

So I was feeling pretty good about my sunflowers this year...


A mile or so from our house is a huge peach farm.  There's hundreds of acres of assorted sized peach trees.  Not long ago, I noticed a section of one of the peach fields had been plowed.  Soon after I noticed some type crop began to emerge.  I assumed it was okra or soy beans, because...well this is Hooterville and other than peaches...its okra or soy beans...

So, I was totally shocked when last week I drove by and the field had busted open in sunflower blooms! What you can't tell is the sunflowers border a long dirt drive back to a small cabin on a lake. I assumed the sunflowers where planted as a cash crop and not to create aesthetic impact...because...well this is Hooterville and people don't do aesthetic shit here... Except for us!

...but it would be nice to think so!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Salon Inspiration

photo credit William Waldron
I haven’t been very inspired lately.  Perhaps you can tell from my lack of postings!  Actually my inspirational void is only part of the problem.  There have been some technical and environmental issues which have made computering a tad frustrating, but I won’t force the details on you. 

I like to sometimes refer to my living room as ‘the Salon’.  It sounds more chic. Very Oscar Wilde.  Besides, I certainly don't live in it, in fact I rarely step foot in there.  Occassionally I stick my head in the door just to make sure no one has taken up residence without my knowledge. 

I like the feeling the word ‘salon’ evokes – intelligent conversation, thought provoking books, and sophisticated gatherings.  Not that much of that goes on in my house, but I still like the idea.  If it were a true 'salon' maybe I would use it more.

In an effort to kick start my design motivation; here are some examples of my idea of how a salon should look.  Inspiration, I seek thee!

Reed Krakoff
Josha McHugh

Keith Johnson

Miguel Flores Vianna

Peter Vitale

Simon Upton

photo credit William Waldron

photo credit William Waldron

photo credit William Waldron

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Politics of Style

OK…stay with me for a minute…

As you know this is not a political blog.  But, I LIVE for politics.  However, there are enough people who rant on about that subject, so generally I do not feel the need to do so – at least here.  But, today I’m going to venture into the political landscape, but I promise once I’m done it will be relevant to the blog’s concept of Design, Food & Lifestyle.  Promise…

Oh…I intend to be non-partisan and simply state the facts as I see them…really…


I’ve been hearing rumors that this woman may want to score the gig of Head of the World Bank. 

And the rumor mill has it that this man would then become Secretary of State.

Which means this guy has to find a new running mate for 2012.

Today I saw a news report that this guy is a lead contender for the VP slot.


I predict that this man will be the Republican Presidential Nominee for 2012.

I predict he will very begrudgingly pick this woman as his running mate (or someone equally as conservative to satisfy the Right which hates him).

I predict these two will beat…

…these two, for obvious reasons.


This guy will then be the sitting VP and a shoe-in for the Democrat Presidential nomination in 2016. 

This guy wants to run now, but knows he can’t win.  So, he’s going to wait until 2016.  If he gets the Republican nomination (and I predict he will because no matter what they say the world is not ready for more Bush) will look like this….

New Jersey VS. New York...
and the Southern Rednecks will just stay home...

which means…this guy wins.

PART FOUR…here’s the punch line…

This woman could be the First Lady!

The boxwoods at the entrance to the White House will be replaced with plastic sunflowers.  There will be a different 'tablescape' for every occasion.  Tator Tots will be back in fashion.  State dinners will be semi-homemade.  We'll all be talking about the new White House decor style of 'Semi-Shabby'.  But, I bet the White House Easter Egg Roll will be an event to end all events.

Now do you see why I had to at least bring up the subject?  It's never too early to be thinking about design at a high level!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...