Saturday, September 24, 2016

Late Summer Sunset

On Monday, we walked to the Charles River to see the sunset after the dull, rainy afternoon had finally cleared.

At first, the sky was opalescent:

At first we thought that was all the color there would be for the evening. But then it intensified:

Then it turned bolder:

We went up to the bridge for a better view. It was psychedelic:

And then it became apocalyptic:

As darkness set in, the water stayed on fire:

And finally orange turned to rose. We headed home, dazzled and grateful that we'd made that last-minute decision to take a walk.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Our Cats Are in the Paper

The packing paper, that is. Our favorite Arm & Hammer cat litter arrives from Amazon these days in 60-pound loads because all the local Star and Shaw's supermarkets stopped carrying the unscented variety. Scented cat litter is an abomination to cats and sensible humans alike. The 20-pound cartons come in two big boxes, both packed with long swathes of packing paper for reasons unknown to me, since a crumpled paper won't prevent a 20-pound carton of cat litter from shifting around inside a box.

But the cats love the paper, so we don't mind the mess it makes in our living room or the racket they make jumping in it at night. 

In gratitude, everyone stopped playing long enough to sit for their portraits:






The cats often play hide and seek, attacking each other in the paper. They also like to chase toys around underneath it, but the best thing is rolling the lighted ball around in the Turbo StarChaser while it's partially covered with paper. While they rarely tire of that toy, hiding it under paper makes it even more fascinating. 

Here's Toffee, worrying that we think he's having more fun than is good for him:

Don't Try This at Home: Dancing on the Ceiling

There's this house for sale in Somerville, offered by Brokers Collaborative. Its kitchen confuses and disorients me and I'm here to show you why. (All photos via

Tell me that's not vinyl floor tile on the ceiling:

I think it wanted to be a tin ceiling. You get a lot of bang for your buck with a tin ceiling in the kitchen, especially if you choose one of the simpler designs. A tin ceiling in this kitchen would have looked nice. They are simple to install and not that expensive. But I'm guessing that vinyl floor tile is even cheaper and easier to install — and now you can dance on this ceiling if you get urge.

Now, please tell me that those walls aren't covered in bathroom floor tile:

In many cases, tile is tile, meaning that many types of tile are suitable for both floor and wall applications. But it's not always the case. You never see white ceramic subway tile on a floor, for example. And you rarely see these tiny, inexpensive black-and-white hexagon or octagon tiles on walls. They are the classic choice for old-fashioned bathroom floors. Not walls. On the walls, they look like polka-dots. And a polka-dot kitchen is weird. It would annoy me.

The dining room in this house also has issues. First, let's check out the paneling on that soffit in the corner. How much do you want to bet that it's flooring — either wood or durable, scratch-resistant composite?

Something else in this room bothers me even more. One would think that, by now, no one would install those ceiling fixtures, which are popularly known as "boob lights" and have been for ages. One boob light is bad enough, but here we have two. They are spaced far apart, but two boob lights together is still very wrong.

It's probably not even very cold in that room, but you'd think it was freezing in there all the time.

Let's move into the living room to warm up.

Oh, my — are those rafters or is that a bookshelf on the ceiling?

We know the right answer to that question by now. This is a weird house.

We will not be going to the open house although I'm sure many eager if not desperate homebuyers will be.

Recent Adorableness: Harris and Possy

These two are in the habit of sleeping together under the ceiling fan every afternoon:

If I speak to Harris he will roll onto his back, purring and extending his paws toward me, waiting for a belly rub. Possum, always dignified when he's not displaying his own impressive belly, looks on quietly.

It's a study in contentment. I cherish the sight of them all the more now that I know we'll soon be enduring the racket of a gut-renovation project two doors away for nine hours a day, five days week, starting one of these days at 7 am sharp. It shouldn't take more than a year, or a year and a half . . . .

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Dress

In case you're new here, I'm not an impulse shopper. I'm picky and frugal, and I hate to pay for shipping. I wait for sales. But when I saw this dress during Anthropologie's recent 20%-off promotion I stepped out of character and ordered it despite the shipping fee that ate up a chunk of the savings.

I ordered it late Sunday night and it arrived yesterday afternoon, so I've forgiven Anthro for the $13 shipping fee. And the dress is even nicer in person than in the photo, elegant, substantial, and flattering. The fabric is crinkled, similar to Fortuny pleats, but the skirt is full, not clingy. And I love the color and the low back, which isn't too low:

I'm even starting to like those gold pumps:

I thought the heels were too chunky and high at first but they are growing on me; I really like the simple shape of the shoe from the front, then the surprise of the heel. I initially thought the heels were tortoiseshell, which would be very cool, but I think they are actually covered in glitter. 

Whatever they are, they are not on the Anthro website and I'm probably still too cheap to spring for them anyway.  My old wedding shoes look great with it — Ferragamo T-straps in bronze kidskin, with narrow toes, skinny straps, and French heels. They cost me a whopping $13.12 in the original Filene's Basement . . . 19 years ago. Those were the days, when a dedicated bargain hunter could turn up astonishing finds.

For me, dressing up is often a struggle but I think I've solved that problem for a while. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sleeping Party 2: Possum and Harris

Possum and Harris are close friends. When they curl up together for a nap — often after they've given each other a head bath — it can be hard to tell where one leaves off and the other begins. 

This arrangement was more free-form: