Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Thing of Beauty(?)….A Joy FOREVER?

While I must admit that I am guilty of collecting animals, my husband is guilty of collecting everything else. For him, all of his things fall into one of two categories: an item is either something of great sentimental value or something that he might need to fix or build something. Period. There is no such thing as “junk”. As a girl who has “clutter busting” sessions routinely with her own stuff, his outlook on stuff has been the subject of many discussions, and somehow I lose every stinking time.

There have been times that his pack rat ways have been useful. I remember the time that I had redecorated the guest bedroom in a black-and-white motif and I knew that it would be just beautiful, if only I could find a black light switch. As I was whining and moaning about the fact that none of the area hardware stores had a black light switch, he disappeared. He emerged from his storage shed, strutting like a peacock, and handed me a black light switch. “Still think all my stuff is junk?” Mr. Stud Muffin asked.

“No, I guess not,” I conceded, clutching my treasure to my chest.

But not all of his possessions are as useful. Many years ago, we were visiting Mr. Stud Muffin’s mother and stepfather (Carl), when Carl proudly showed off his collection of glass insulators. These little jewels were used for many years on telegraph lines, telephone lines, power lines, etc. Apparently, there is a whole lot that can be learned about insulators, and you can even join an organization called “The National Insulator Association”. Anyway, somehow, someway, Mr. Stud Muffin (heretofore referred to as “MSM”) ended up taking a mini-collection of insulators home. Before too long, they were everywhere. “They breed like flies,” is a saying that I sometimes use, and that’s true of insulators:

Apparently, MSM had bought even more insulators, sorely needed because he was going to surprise Carl with a light fixture made from them. Unfortunately, Carl passed away before MSM was able to make said light fixture. There is an unwritten rule at our house (even I subscribe to it) that says that if someone passes away, anything that they gave you cannot be thrown away. Ever. This meant that those insulators would now be sitting in the garage (or storage shed). Collecting dust. Taking up space. Forever.

Everything changed when my sister called a couple of months ago. She was over the moon that she had won “the bid” on e-bay. “What did you bid on?” I asked.

“Well, you may not know what they are,” she began, “But there are these old, antique, glass insulators that are really beautiful.”

Oh My Lanta. I was stunned. To understand the magnitude of this statement, you would have to understand my sister. For her, items also fall into two categories: items that you can use and items that have no purpose. “Items that have no purpose” are usually banished from her house, for she is even more of a clutter buster than I am. Now she was collecting glass insulators? She even had a name for them: her “Little Bevy of Beauties”. (How twisted is that?)

My sister’s “Little Bevy of Beauties”:

The wheels began to turn. I explained that yes, yes, I knew what they were, and that MSM had a ton of them. I could speak with him and see if he was willing to give her a couple if she would like. Oh, yes! Yes! She would like! Hooray!

MSM agreed that he had some extras that he had bought, and within a week or two my sister was at our house, and she and MSM were clucking like a couple of hens as they poured over the treasures, comparing colors and styles and sizes. My sister told MSM all about her “bevy” and how beautiful they looked sitting in an arrangement on her mantle.

It wasn’t long before MSM had his own “little bevy” sitting on a shelf in his office (twisted, twisted, twisted!):

Still, I had to admit that they looked kind of cute sitting there. So many different colors, and shapes, and sizes. The white ceramic insulator was especially neat.

Not long after this, I returned from the grocery store, and sitting there in my flower bed was this big boy:

“How cute!” I squealed to MSM when I saw it. “I had no idea that you had that one! I love it!”

I don’t know whether it was the praise he had received, or just a desire to clean out his storage shed, but it wasn't long before even more insulators were sprouting up in my flower bed, making the whole front porch look beautiful and artistic:

I have learned a valuable lesson from all of this. I guess there really is no such thing as junk, and sometimes all an old antique needs is to have the dust wiped off and to be put in a different setting in order to shine.

This leads me to wonder…Maybe I would look cuter in a different setting? I’ll have to talk to MSM about that…

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Greener Grass on the Other Side

We often catch Molly sitting at our fence, gazing longingly into our neighbors' yard. It doesn’t matter what time of the day it is, you will often find her, watching and waiting for something.

Is she looking at their back porch, hoping to see some action in their little fish pond?

Is she looking at their perfectly manicured lawn and their bird bath, where an endless number of birds come to cool off?

Is she looking at their beautiful garden spot, complete with cute little windmill?

She might be looking at those things, but here is the true object of her affection:

This is Maggie, our neighbors’ elderly golden retriever. Dee Dee and I are convinced that Molly thinks that this is her mother, and she is waiting to be reunited with her beloved mom. Maggie, who is convinced that she is human, generally has no interest in Molly at all. But today, wonder of wonders, Maggie actually made her way over to the fence, and gave Molly a little sniff:

Molly was absolutely delighted, and I have a feeling that we will now find her sitting at the fence, looking for Maggie, even more often now!