May 11, 2008

A Great Day: Amish Friendship Bread, Morels, and One Large Malamute

This, my friends, is my story.

It started by meeting Stacie and her malamute, Taiga, at her house in Adair Village. (Psst, this is where the malamute comes in. All 105 pounds of him.) We load my stuff into the truck and we're off to Corvallis. At OSU, we add Lisa, Annie, and Jane. Five women and Taiga. A great day!

After we load their stuff, the three of them pile into the back seat with Taiga as a foot warmer. Annie and Jane brought fresh baked Amish friendship bread. You've all seen it, the one that grows exponetially. One bag turns into five! They figured, bake it and they will eat it. Little did they know the nature of the beast.

It opens tin cans with it's teeth for a snack. Pulls pots off the stove without spilling a drop. Opens the refrigerator to rummage when needed. Honestly, they didn't stand a chance.

Annie figured, one slice, we'll give Taiga one slice. That will keep him busy or maybe even satisfy. What was thought to be a foot warmer soon turned into performance art. A slip of the hand and a very quick dog was all it took for that loaf of bread to be on the floor and rapidly canine lips. Other than retrieving the aluminum foil that once housed the bread, no human hands were needed.

After the shock dissipated a bit, we were all on the road. Our goal? The elusive morel.

But, first lunch in Sisters at the Coyote Cafe. They have a nice patio when you have a three day funk after a backpacking trip. Today, I got to eat inside (no three day funk and all) and actually eat how I should. Veggie protein bowl - lemon pepper chicken over snow peas and carrots.

While we may not have been prepared for the beast, we were prepared for morels.

I did mention this dog has a thing about food, right? That's him, eyeballing Lisa's avocado. Turns out he wasn't all that interested in Annie's pretzels though!

Unfortunately, our actual mushroom hunting was much less eventful than our morning. We went to a number of places that might produce but really didn't find much. I will brag though and tell you, of the 6 or so we did find, I found the first two. Really, they count as two right, even if they're connected?

Oh well, we think maybe we were just a bit early. With a lot of snow left on the pass, things on the east side are just now starting to thaw. It was still a great day. Any day, not working, spending time with great people, looking for mushrooms, is a great day!

Below, are my two little morels... as still life.

May 1, 2008

Just a table?

What makes a piece of furniture valuable? Is it quality, availability, color, look, versatility, or society even? Is it valuable because it's old, because your grandma had one? Or, is it valuable because it's new and doesn't remind you of your childhood? Does it have to "match" or does it have value on it's own - separate from anything else you may own?

Andy and I have been looking for a dining table for about a year now. But not just any had to be the perfect table. Not a lot of moolah, maybe modern, maybe old. Probably light colored. Not sure. Not sure, you say. Why yes, not sure. That was the biggest problem.

Once in a while, we'd go to a furniture store. Or, I'd email Andy a Craigslist posting. Nothing struck us...that is, until last week. Old, simple, versatile and I was sure I could get the price down.

After borrowing a truck on Saturday, we went to check her out. She's been loved but is solid and has great lines. And, I talked them down $100. We loaded her up and brought her home.

Wednesday, Katr and I decided to figure out just what she is. Previous owners thought Duncan Phyfe but "couldn't find anything." It took us all of 2 minutes to think the stamp on the bottom of the chairs said, "Heywood Wakefield" and about another minute to find a fully legible stamp on the table itself. So much for not finding anything! Built between 1948 and 1955 or so. And, possibly to the right people, worth much more than the $350 we payed.
This company wants nearly $4000 for a refinished version (our chairs are a little different). I also saw people trying to sell the table, alone, for $700-1500. I don't think I would have ever payed that much - for us it's just a very practical table. But, I do feel like doing a little "I got a deal" dance!
Wanna join me?

Love Letters to My Sons..