Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Plannin' some meals

You would think that with two sons in college and working and with one son who is, for all practical purposes, finished homeschooling and is also working , I would be feeling like life is getting less complicated.

Ummmmm. No.

It will help when we have another car. We've been down one since that unfortunate event in the Menard's parking lot. (Can I just take a moment to say, "Sven, I miss you!") Jonathan, Andrew, and I share a car. Or rather, Jonathan and I share a car, and I chauffeur Andrew.

And then there's my job. Which I love. A lot. If I didn't, I would quit, because last year it cost us more in taxes than I made, so it's really more like a hobby. But, I will just think that I am really caught up--or even ahead--and then things happen. Like musicians.* Or Sundays unobserved in recent memory. And this always happens during holidays when I have extra stuff to do in the rest of my life.

And then there's my business that I am trying to resurrect. (I seem to lack the energy and ability to roll with the changes** that I used to have.)

So I am doing something that is going to shock those who know me well. I am going to simplify my life by planning our during-the-week meals. Starting after the holidays, Monday will be roast chicken and vegetables. Tuesday will be something with ground beef. Wednesday will be pasta or some take on mac & cheese. Thursday will be soup. Friday will be left-overs/fend-for-yourself night (since I'm usually the only one here.) On the weekends I will continue to cook what sounds good to the hubby.

I think that this plan will simplify my grocery shopping for the next couple of months. It will cut down on food waste. It will save money. The leftovers will be used. But it still leaves me room to make a dinner that will please my palate any given night.

* I LOVE MUSICIANS. I love it when they play their lovely music. But they tend to complicate my job. Not mentioning any particular names here.

**REO Speedwagon, where are you when I need you?
This could work on a Tuesday. Sweet potato shepherd's pie.

Monday, December 16, 2013

This is definitely what you call a first world problem

I know that some of you are going to think that I'm crazy, but this has been bugging me.

I want to go someplace that requires me to dress up. Really, really dress up.

We used to have some fancy holiday events to attend for Colin's job. At one time there were some fairly formal events for the Bach Collegium. But since Colin's job left town there are no more parties or events, and the Collegium events are far more ordinary than they used to be.

I dress nicely for church, concerts, the theater, and any other chance I get, but I want to get REALLY dressed up. Long skirt, sparkly jewelry, cute little clutch bag, the whole bit.

Maybe it's because really dressed up usually means we're going out and doing something fun. It's possible that my real desire is to go out and have fun with my husband. (And preferably some fun friends, too.)

But I still want an opportunity to get really dressed up.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

My Anthropologie knock-off hat rack

Last year I saw this hook rack on Anthropologie's website.

I liked the idea, but I knew that my hubby could make me a rack for way less than $88.

We spent about $22 on wood and hooks, and used stain from several old cans in the garage. It turned out exactly as I hoped.

Since the men in this house are regular hat wearers, this is a really, really useful thing to have.

Thanks, honey!

Friday, December 13, 2013

The first decorations

My Gaudete tree.

Really, I just fell in love with this little tree when I saw it at Target, but what better time to put it up?!
What a reminder it will be to rejoice!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Feeling contrary

I don't know if there's anyone else who starts feeling a bit contrary around this time of year, or if it's just me, but all of the push to spend, spend, SPEND, makes me want to go make some homemade gifts and send off a check to World Vision or Heifer, International.

As anyone who knows me knows, I'm not averse to spending money. At all. I enjoy shopping. I like nice things. I love to buy gifts and often pick up little things that I think that the people I love will like here and there during the year. But, boy do I hate the constant inundation of ads in my email, my mailbox, and on my radio for DISCOUNTS!, LAST CHANCE!, BUY STUFF!

I can't imagine thinking that my buying RIGHT NOW is so important that I encourage retailers to open on national holidays, causing thousands of moms and dads, sons and daughters, to have to miss holiday time, often with family who have traveled far to be there.

I can't imagine believing that it is so vital that I get my hands on some discounted piece of made-in-China gadgetry that I will trample other people to get to it.

Or that it is so necessary that my child have a particular toy under the tree that I will engage in a hair-pulling fight to ensure its presence.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not one of those, "The world has ruined Christmas" people. Sometime the second week in December or so, when the furor of bargain-grabbing has subsided, I will dress up and go to the mall. (I will, however,  leave town and go to a specific mall where I don't think I'll see anyone shopping in her pajamas, and where I often feel delightfully underdressed.) I will get my triple grande one-pump caramel brulee latte. I will wander in and out of festively decorated stores and pick up a few final gifts. I will enjoy the Christmas music.

I will decorate my house a little at a time, until the tree goes up in a couple of weeks. I'll break out my Christmas music. I'll bake cookies. And if someone wishes me "Happy Holidays" I certainly won't snarl at them.

The world can't ruin Christmas, because it isn't theirs to ruin. They can't even ruin Advent, which is the actual season of the world's "Christmas" frenzy. We can ruin it for ourselves and our loved ones by getting caught up in the pressure to do, be, and buy too much. I always find it anchoring to attend church during Advent. Not just on Sunday, but midweek, too. And if you are blessed, as I am, to be in a church where there are daily services, attending them can be a great antidote to the pre-Christmas stress that overindulgence of all sorts can bring. It's a good channel for my contrary feelings. It reminds us that this is a season of repentance, anticipation, and preparation.

Although a check to Heifer isn't a bad channel for contrarian impulses, either.

“Stir up Your power, O Lord, and come, that by your protection we may be rescued from the threatening perils of our sins and saved by your mighty deliverance.”
(Collect for the First Sunday in Advent.)

Monday, November 25, 2013

Thinking about color

I've been a bit obsessed recently with colors. My colors, to be more specific. My friend Polly started it, when she mentioned her Zyla colors. Of course, I had to know what she was talking about. She was talking about David Zyla and his book Color Your Style.

I dabbled in figuring out what season I am, many years ago. Most of the time I don't think a lot about the color of my clothes, as long as something isn't terrible, because I shop for fit. I end up wearing a lot of black, because it's available. But I was intrigued by what I could find out about Zyla on the internet.

So I ordered the book and read it. And then I made a couple of other people get it. And I have been spending an inordinate amount of time gazing into my own eyes. And at my veins. And at paint swatches. And Pinterest boards. I look at the palettes that Zyla has done in private consultations and I seriously think about spending money on such a thing.

I think that part of the reason this is so interesting is that, beyond color, Zyla delves into style and personality, by breaking each season into various "archetypes." I'm still working on figuring out what mine is. When I do, I'll share. He also tells you how to find various colors for yourself, using the aformentioned eyes and veins, as well as skin and hair.

So if you see me sitting in my car, staring into my own eyes, just know that I'm trying to figure out what color to paint my bedroom.

This sweater contains my "romantic" color. Too bad the style was bad!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Looking for suggestions again

Last year I asked for your must-read books. From your suggestions I crafted a reading challenge. A number of my friends joined me in this challenge, and I think it has been one of the more valuable challenges that I have done this year. I have thoroughly enjoyed the books that I have read for it and I intend to do it again next year.

Since I have several books in progress that I want to finish by the end of the year, and because I read one of my alternates, I know that one of my choices for this year will carry over to next year.

So again, I ask you, what books have you read that--for whatever reason--you would recommend highly. They can be serious or fun. Fiction, non-fiction, acclaimed or obscure. The only requirement is that you love them.

Please comment here and not on the Book of Face, so that I can keep track of your replies. Thanks in advance.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Reading troubles

I have a book blog, mostly to keep track of the various reading challenges that I engage in each year. I post the occasional review and sometimes progress reports and updates, but, in the main, it is my way of keeping track of what I am, or should be, reading.

I say "should be" because, for me, the challenges function as a curb. They, theoretically, keep me from reading too much fluff. They steer me toward some specific books, some higher quality literature, and more variety than I would likely consume if left completely unchecked.

Some years this works better than others. This year I am in a bit of trouble with my challenges, partially because I've been lazy, partially because I've had a couple of crazy busy times, partially because of my eye trouble, and partially because I have had lots of opportunity to peruse--and check out--the new books at the library.

Another problem is that I've had a couple of books that have really bogged me down. They've been slow going. I just decided that I've had enough of one of them. After half the book, I'm calling a halt. I won't count it for any of my totals, but I will check it off of the challenges that required this particular book, because I am DONE with it.

My sons don't understand it, but I really don't like Dostoyevsky. I didn't like Crime and Punishment. And I have now abandoned The Brothers Karamazov. In fact, I don't believe that I have as yet particularly enjoyed a book by a Russian. I can appreciate certain things about the book, but I don't enjoy it. I figure that I am old enough at this point to not spend any more time on a book that I am practically skimming to get through.

I am about 1/6 of the way through Middlemarch and am enjoying that, but for tonight I think I'm going to curl up with something completely different. Tam Lin and The Book of Three--both recommended and chosen for my "Friends" challenge--arrived last week from Amazon, so I think I'll choose one of those.

I may not do as well with some of my challenges this year as I thought I would. I hate not finishing them. But I also don't want to ruin one of the greatest pleasures in my life by turning it into too much of a chore.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Happy thing #30

This is my last promised happy thing. But it definitely isn't my last happy thing post. As I go through my days and weeks, I will be keeping my eyes open for the little things that make my life good, happy, enjoyable. . . .

It's fun to get compliments. And every single time that I wear this necklace I get compliments.
I don't have expensive jewelry. I am more than a little insecure about how I look. I am, and always have been, on the chubby side. I have had severe rosacea since I was 19. I have bad hair.

So, if I want to look good, I pay a lot of attention to my clothes and accessories. On a bad day, wearing this necklace is almost a sure pick me up. I love it, and it must look good, because even strangers comment on it. And I am just shallow enough that that makes me happy.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Happy things #29

My house. It has been, and continues to be a challenge. But I love it. It is more HOME than anyplace that I have ever lived. I love the creaky floors and the wonderful warm Beeswax color of the walls in my living room. I love the butler's pantry, the front porch, the brick, the linen press, and all of the windows. I love my neighborhood.

There is still a lot to do, but we have made so much progress. And even on its worst days, my house makes me happy.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Happy things #28

I love scrapbooking. These are two of my favorite pages that I did this weekend. The first one is an absolutely simple, unadorned page of fantastic photos of some of my favorite people. The second is the opening page of my Patrick book, and I think it's perfect.

I got 40 pages scrapped this weekend. That makes me happy.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Happy things #27

Yes, I missed a day.

But that's because I was busy having a happy birthday.

 Look at that sunrise!

 If you want a clue about what the inside of my head looks like....

 I went for a lovely walk around the camp in the breezy fall weather.

A room full of scrapbookers.

I look forward to this weekend all year long. Knowing that it's coming makes me happy, being here makes me happy, and adding the work that I get done here to my books will make me happy.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Happy things #26

Eighteen years ago today I gave birth to an extremely happy thing. Adorable. Hilarious. Smart. Goofy. Loving.

And as he's gotten older he has shown himself to be hard-working, honest, and determined, without losing his goofiness and sense of fun.

I can't believe that my sweet baby is 18!

Happy birthday, Andrew!

Thursday, November 07, 2013

Happy things #25

This is my bed. I just climbed out of its warm softness and fired my computer up again so that I could write this blog post. (I knew that if I blew it off, I would hear about it from my sons. They are very good at holding my feet to the fire.)

And, in moments, I am going to climb back in. It is a very comfy bed. It makes me happy.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Happy things #24

This was my walk home from work today. Yes it was drizzling. Yes it was grey. Yes the colors have faded and a few of the trees are bare. But it is still fall, and fall makes me happy.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Happy things #23

A couple of pictures of Bethany and Evan in their kitchen when I visited in August:

Three years ago today Evan and Bethany went on their first date.

While they were off enjoying the first evening of their changed relationship, I sat in my car waiting for Jonathan to finish at the Civic Theatre and made a guest list for the wedding. That's how sure I was that this was a perfect match.

I was right.

For a mother, seeing your child happily married to a compatible spouse who shares her faith has to be one of the happiest things there is. And it's a special bonus when the rest of the family really, really likes him, too.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Happy things #22


I tried to find a good picture, but any group picture leaves too many good friends out, so Jacqui gets to symbolize all of them.

And I decided that the incredible friends my kids have are every bit as much a happy thing as my own incredible friends, so it's good that a couple of them are in this picture.

I have been blessed with an abundance of wonderful friends. They live all over, from next door--literally--to the other side of the world. They are all so different, and I love each of them.

Sunday, November 03, 2013

A brief break from happy things

This weekend was the first of two scrapbooking retreats that I attend in a row. Something happened this weekend that I don't recall ever happening before at any of the multiple retreats a year that I've gone to over the last nine or ten years.

Political conversation.

 Not just once. Several times. In various groups of people. And always mainly about the Orwelliffically-named Affordable Care Act.

To me this is more proof that, unlike other government actions and overreaches, this one is hitting real people where they live. When a bunch of middle class, mid-western women--who seem far more interested in TV shows and pop music than politics--who are on a getaway weekend to indulge in a hobby, are so bothered by what their government is doing that it keeps coming up, something is wrong.

Very, very wrong.

Happy things #21

I love a new hat. I wore this one to church today, with a new dress, too.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

Happy things #20

This is our Godson Arthur. Today I have been getting to enjoy watching his mother scrapbook lots of pictures of him.

He is a very happy thing.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Happy things #19

 There are two happy things here.

The one that I intended to capture was all of my stuff ready to go for  the first of my two my scrapbooking retreats. Each fall, I attend retreats two weekends in a row. I look forward so much to the time with my friends and the chance to get some work done on my scrapbooks. (And this weekend, the retreat is at a bed & breakfast, and the hubby joins me, too.)

The second happy thing is the cat. She just rejoined the family after spending over a month living in the basement after some fairly traumatic treatment after a fight. (She is still partially bald and has a wound that hasn't completely healed.) She is friendlier than she has been in years, and seems to enjoy being around people again.

And she still climbs on top of whatever is on the floor.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy things #18

Post-it notes are awesome. Fun shaped post-it notes are even better.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Happy things #17

Video chats. 'Nuff said.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy things #16

How awesome is it that there is a place that you can go and bring home stacks of books, and as long as you take  them back on time, you don't have to pay?*

This is my stack from yesterday. It's pretty light reading.I'm interspersing these books with The Brothers Karamazov on my Kindle. I read a chapter of that, and then another book. It keeps me from getting that dark, Russian feeling.

Stacks of library books are one of my life-long happy things.

*(And yes, I know about taxes. I pay them. I know what our library taxes are and it is a deal. I get my money's worth. And I think that libraries are completely within the purview of local government.)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Happy thing #15

I know some of you are going to totally crack up when you see this one. And some of you will not get it.

But that's okay.

For over two years, our house has been, at some level, a construction zone.

Right now there are a few big projects that need to be done, like pretty much gutting the kitchen. There are medium projects that need to be done, like shoring up the basement stairs and pulling through all new wiring. And there are small projects that need to be done. LOTS of them.

One of the small projects was done yesterday.

The people who lived here before us thought that changing the heating system so that the heat on the second floor comes from above was a good idea. (Don't get me started. . . .) So there were openings for heating vents in all of the ceilings from when we redid the ceilings during the Great Mold Eradication of July 2011. Openings. Without vent covers.

As of yesterday, there are vent covers. SO, SO HAPPY!

Sometimes, it really is the little things.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Happy thing #14

Meet Angelique.

My Grandma Beery got my cousin Ann and I matching paper dolls to keep at her house when I was seven years old. Most of my paper dolls--which I loved unreasonably--were lost to paper moths when I was in high school. (I will admit that I cried some bitter tears.) But Angelique was safe in Grandma's attic. (I don't think that any kind of bug would have dared breach Grandma's walls.)

Now Angelique lives on the window sill in my office/scrapbooking room. I change her clothes frequently. She makes me smile every time I look at her, remembering my Grandma, how much I looked up to my cousin--who was 10 1/2 months older than me and thus my ruler--and the hours of fun that I had with paper dolls when I was a kid.

Side note: My dad's younger sisters had an incredible paper doll collection that was at my Grandma Caston's when I was a kid. I always felt so privileged that those sophisticated college students would let me play with their paper dolls.

Happy, happy memories.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Happy things #13

Tonight I need to post a multi-part happy thing. I had a lovely afternoon hanging out with my husband. After some work at church and some storing up of food, we ran a few errands. We stopped by JCP to see Patrick and arranged for him to meet us at J.K. O'Donnell's when he got off work. We did a little shopping and I compared grips on a few possible replacements for my Ruger.

Then we went to JK's.

This is one of my favorite relaxing places to go.  They have a great beer selection and good pub food. I like to sit by the window and watch people downtown.

Happy thing #1, my husband of over 27 years, who I do not get to see nearly enough of.

Happy thing #2: Dragon's Milk. This is one of my favorite beers, but because it is expensive it is a very occasional treat. Tonight's date was one of those occasions.

Happy thing #3: Patchy. Who also does not see enough of his father. I really enjoy watching these two together. (By the way, this wasn't posed. I love it.)

Happy thing #4: My dinner. A Lamb Pasty. I get cravings for this thing.

So lots of happy things all in one happy evening.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Happy thing #12

Today was an incredibly busy day and I've been on my feet since 9:00 a.m. I didn't get a picture taken, so I'm going to share with you one of my happiest of happy things.

This is the beach on Siesta Key. At sunset. With birds.

This is one of my favorite places in the world. We go every few years, and I can't wait to go back.

Just the fact that is exists makes me happy.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Happy thing # 11

This is a peek at our main guest room.

It is a happy room. I love the color, the bed from IKEA, and the happy Jonathan Adler pillow.

It is still a work in progress. I need to figure out window treatments, and there are a few other things that I want to do, but it is an increasingly pleasant room for company.

And that's the other reason this is a happy thing. I love to have company. And part of the reason that the room is so happy today is that EC, the Mad Musician, and Sparkle Kitty arrived this afternoon.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Happy thing #10

This painting greets me every morning when I wake up. I see it when I walk into my room. I have gazed at it in different kinds of light.

It is called Waiting, and I can see that in it. But there is a forward motion in the figure that says to me, waiting, but actively. Moving forward. There's something restrained, but hopeful.

I love this painting.

I love the colors.

I love that it was painted by the very talented, Genie Maples, who I have known for a number of years. I have a few of her paintings. Not as many as I would like, because her talent commands a price that's out of my budget most of the time. (There is one particular work of hers that I still mourn someone else's purchase of.)

This isn't a great photo. It doesn't capture the colors well. It captures the feel, to a certain extent, but not completely. The only remedy is to come visit me, so you can see it.

And that would make me happy, too.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Happy things #9

Tonight you get several pictures. And quite a few words.

I had a very rare entire day at home today. It was my day off work and I didn't have a car. I had decided last night that I was going to tackle our unmatched sock monster today. And I did. But that's another story.

While I was working on the sock project, I decided that I should work on the linen closet. And then, while I was at it, I decided to work on the linen press, too.

Presenting today's happy thing.

This is my linen closet. Nothing is falling out or falling over. Tomorrow I will use my label maker, which I keep at church, to label the spots where the post-its are. On the top shelf on the left are the queen sheets, on the right are two of the king sets and my summer duvet cover and shams, each tied with a nice piece of tulle ribbon. 
Below that, from left to right are full sheets, twin sheets, and pillow cases.

I got rid of the pillowcases that no one likes. I got rid of a few fitted sheets that had lost their elasticity. A couple of the sheets that are no longer fit for that purpose are going to become pillow cases, since I like large pillows and king cases are expensive. I also have a list of a couple of items that we need.

I also got rid of any wash cloths and hand towels that had gotten too shabby. Getting rid of a stack of hand towels bought me enough room that when most of our towels are clean, they will fit in the closet in three stacks. If they're ever all clean, we're in trouble.

An extra mattress pad, comforter, and blanket fill in the final shelf. The Rubbermaid container is full of stuff for ongoing house projects, that's a good place for it, for now.

It isn't Pinterest-worthy, but it is neat and functional and I am ecstatic.

THIS is one of those awesome things about an old house. This is the linen press. It is across our 9'x 9' upstairs hall from the linen closet. The cabinet is three feet wide and two feet deep.

 Nothing is falling out of it either. Everything is organized. The top shelf has back up toilet paper and paper towels, three comforters, and a blanket. The second shelf has a dozen beach towels; tissues; a tote with swiffer cloths, cleaning wipes, a few dust cloths that I can just grab quickly; and back up laundry supplies. The lowest shelf has the current toilet paper  and paper towel packages, cleaning supplies, and extra personal care items.

I have a rag drawer. I have a drawer for tablecloths, but they are needing a bit more room, so I'm working on consolidating the middle two drawers which have first aid supplies, hair-cutting stuff, and a lot of miscellaneous.

We have a lot of linens. We have eight beds that will sleep eleven people, and air mattresses and couches to accommodate another eight or so. We still have a few more comforters that need homes, but we'll get there.

 Tonight, these two spaces make me very, very happy.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Happy thing #8

Today is a gray, cool-and-getting-colder, rainy day. I've been away from home all day, and am leaving again in a few minutes. It's the kind of evening that curling up with a book and a mug of tea sounds like one of the most awesome things in the world.

That's what I'm going to do when I get back from these last few errands.

And my tea is going to go into one of my favorite mugs.

My mother-in-law has been getting me these lovely hand-painted Polish mugs for Christmas the last couple of years. I love the size and shape and the beautiful designs. I know that my coffee and tea don't taste any better out of a pretty mug, but I definitely enjoy them more that way.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Happy thing #7

We have old furniture. For the most part it isn't antique, it's just old. We have old china hutches that belonged to Colin's paternal grandmother and mine. We also have Colin's grandma's old dining room table and chairs, which I have never liked, but which had the merits of being big and solid and free. We have my in-laws' old dressers and one that my brother and I had growing up. We have lots of cast-off bookshelves. We do have a few pieces of quality wood furniture that we bought unfinished and Colin finished. We have a couch that we shopped for for months, that we spent what was for us a huge amount on, that is going to be the ONE COUCH for the rest of our lives. We have two upholstered chairs that were my grandma's that we bought for $25 when their things were auctioned, that are now in pretty severe need of reupholstering.

I don't spend money on furniture. Especially not on a whim.

When I'm on vacation.

But I did last December when we were in Tennessee for my nephew Matthew's wedding. I found this dresser. Showed Colin. Went and had lunch. Measured the space in the back of our van. And went back and bought it.


This is my dresser. I love it. I love the Eastlake style. I love the burled wood on the drawers. I love the fact that the ornamentation has the imperfections of hand-carved wood. It seems so at home in my old house.

Each day when I get dressed, my dresser makes me smile.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Happy thing #6

You knew this was coming.

You had to.

How could you not.

Helen Irene

Friday, October 18, 2013

Happy things #5

Some of you are going to laugh at this one. I know it.

If you know me well at all, you know that rock is my usual music of choice. But I have pretty eclectic taste in music and have a little bit of folk, country, R&B, Sinatra, and even some rap in my collection. I've also been known to listen to Sunday Baroque on NPR. And I love hymns.

Then there are some old favorites. I don't know what the genre is. Seventies something-or-other. The stuff my mom listened to when I was a kid. Neil Diamond, Gordon Lightfoot, Olivia Newton-John, Jim Croce, and this one. My favorite:

I have loved the Carpenters since I was a little kid. But the reason that this CD is one of my happy things is because Karen Carpenter's voice is JUST PERFECT for me to sing along with. When I sing along with Karen, I feel like I can really sing.

And that makes me happy.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Happy things #4

For my fourth post on the things that make me happy, I vacillated.

There are two things that I really wanted to post today. But I ultimately decided to go with this one, because of the timing.

Seven years ago Tuesday, my Grandpa Beery died. He was 93 and had had a good life. He was happily married to my grandma for 70 years. He was loved and admired by his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was always one of my favorite people. He is now enjoying Heaven with my sweet grandma, waiting for the rest of us to join them.

This box is something that he made when he was young. I am not sure how old he was when he made it. My mom might know. It sits on my enclosed front porch in its well-made, but rustic, glory and holds our boots and serves as a seat, if need be.

By the way, this post isn't about them, but my paisley rain boots make me happy, too.