Cardboard Jungle



BREAKING NEWS: “we at ercol are just about to start making the day bed again.” -ercol
(check out the comments…)


Found it!
I saw this picture ages ago, but it was in a blog feed somewhere organized by color and didn't really go into the details of the picture (either that, or more likely, I didn't pay attention to the details and attribution).

(Sunday lounging by Christianna's Earthly Delights)

Here's another view of it:

I've been looking and looking and looking for the daybed and finally landed back on this page…its an Ercol vintage daybed.

See also:

(Ercol daybed by skinnylaminx)


(Ercol Daybed by Kokor Hekkus)

I'd put white canvas or linen covers on it and then toss a bunch of down filled kilim pillows all over it.
Such as these from Ten Thousand Villages:

Craigslist here I come.

Read about more Ercol studio daybeds:


coming up on the final hours until I have to have the house DONE.
(It isn’t, of course… Tex got broken and hasn’t been able to do anything for the last week…normally that would be ok, but it meant that I had to take care of him and Bunny and do everything. Feh.)

OK, pics tomorrow when I have done the last minute stuff.

Emerging from the fog.

I had possibly the worst headache I have ever had that wasn’t a migraine last week.
Ended up staying home from work 2 days (and missed the layoffs… my timing is amazing. Just was a little trepidatious going back to work just in case they saved my pink slip for me to be there. They didn’t, am still gainfully employed…phew.) and not doing anything for a solid week (last weekend was a complete wash, but then I didn’t know if I had a flu or what and didn’t want to expose others much less move from my bed.) Being home with Bunny was nice though. She was sitting on me most of the time save when she got a bit too cold and then went back to her heating pad.
This was on the heels of having one of the most awesome Fridays I have had in a long time.
Tex stayed home with Bunny and let me go see Zoe Keating and I got to know a person from work better (she’s awesome… now I think I am separated at birth from several people now… very strange.) Anyhoo, completely wonderful concert.

Bunny is doing pretty well. Tex works Saturdays and is home on Mondays, and since he is available to be her beck and call boy, we have instituted “snot Mondays”. Its not really snot, but you wouldn’t know to dish up this cat food. Its Hill’s Prescription Diet Feline k/d with Chicken and it is possibly the most disgusting substance ever created by man. She loves it until it gets oxidized and then won’t have anything to do with it. So Tex dishes it up on Mondays in tiny little bits until she refuses it.
This seems to help with her stomach acid problem over and above the pepcid I give her every night. The vet said that it shouldn’t be a big deal if she eats only the Royal Canin pouches all the time, but it makes a difference nonetheless. So, we do it.

Remember when music was EVERYTHING? (and, of course, it might STILL be for you, Rob Gordon)
You didn’t have to obsess over mortgages, side businesses, kids, illness, daily pill schedules and all that other pesky shit that being an adult entails.You could focus on the newest music (work in a music shop then discover music that no one’s ever discovered right in the back of the shop, on the left!), make mix tapes WITH DEEP PHILOSOPHICAL IMPORT and do cover art that is teh awesome and immerse yourself in it… wallowing in the angst (and joy) like a dog rolling around in something smelly.
Anyhoo, in the midst of my terrible weekend and ensuing bad week, I Netflix’d Nick and Nora’s Infinite Playlist and sat down to watch it.
Its another “all night teen adventure” movie, but it was definitely cute and the music kicked ass. Brought back those old immersion memories.

Seriously this last month and a half has kicked my ass 9 ways from Sunday.
But I just keep trudging though (its what I do) until I get through to the next part where it might not suck so much. Its just that sometimes its very tiring to do so.

There’s another post worth of crap to talk about, but I’m not in the mood to weed through my melodrama, so I will leave you with a charming photo of my shower curtain because I know that is why you read this…

New Year’s Day and beans.

I grew up with the dictum that you had to eat black eyed peas on New Year’s day for some reason (there actually is a reason, it just never made it into my skull) also I hated them, so I would eat 1 pea and run away.
Then I found a cheap store brand of canned black eyed peas that didn’t taste like playground sand and suddenly I put them in lots of things.
And when recently broke out my crock pot [black beans, beef stew] that had been languishing in a cabinet as it didn’t have room to work anywhere until I cleared off some things… and made some black beans that were utter heaven, I decided to try my hand at black eyed peas for New Year’s Day.

O. My. Gawd.
They were fantastic…and when I put a little brisket juice in there I just about wept.

We also put up the Stolmen in the kitchen (in between me eating huge serving spoonful’s of beans and Tex gnawing on the brisket like a great white shark on a dead whale); it looks rather nifty. (My arms don’t work very well anymore, but such trifles…)
I got one more stacking shelf on top of the one I have already, tucked it in to the area that the freezer doesn’t take up, and now I have a nifty set of shelves for my 400,000 pound cast iron enamelware pot that I… um… can’t currently lift, my other enamelware pan that is mocking me as well and my electric kettle that doesn’t get used too terribly much lately, the rice cooker (a.k.a. quinoa cooker) and some odds and ends.*

crockpot1I also broke down and spent $11 on a wee tiny crock pot (<— 1.5 qt ChefMate @ Target, that image isn’t exactly it, but it is close.) so that I can lift it, clean it quickly and store it in the shelves easily.

crockpot2I returned the 1.5 qt crockpot in favor of a 2.5 qt version. It isn’t as pretty, I did like the all white, but I needed that extra quart.

I’ll be doing little batches of beans here and there so this should make it lots easier. I’ll still have my monster crock (6qt) for parties and potlucks at work (I’ve been recently adopted by the Sales team who seem to like my cooking) and the occasional meal, but frankly, I think the size of it in my small kitchen kept me from using it more often.. not to mention that it doesn’t really fit in my sink to wash and it is stoneware, so it weighs a ton. After all that buzzing around, I’m too pooped to wash it immediately.
It gets soaked with some soap in it more often than not.

(Also, I can’t wait to test the little guy with the Kill-A-Watt to see how it performs. I bet I could run it easily on a solar panel.)

I need to put together the last two magazine storage boxes from Ikea that will house things like travel mugs, tea cozies and other infrequently used linens, my KitchenAid mixer attachments (juicer, meat grinder), party ware (cups and plastic ware that I still have after years) and a few other odds and ends that I don’t need to get to on more than a monthly basis. I put a clothes rail on the long section so that I can hang my veggie hanging basket, but otherwise, aside from still being cluttered from the rearrange, its almost done.
Yes, I will post a picture soon.

Black Eyed Peas
Mine were done in a 6 quart slow cooker, it filled about half the pot when all was said and done.

  • 1 pound dried black eyed peas
  • 1/3 pound bacon
  • 1/4 white onion chopped
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 tsp (?) minced garlic

1. Put the peas into a large pot covered with 2 inches of water over the tops of the peas.
2. Bring peas to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Turn off heat and let peas sit for 1 hour
4. Drain peas, remove unpretty and icky looking peas from the bowl.
5. Pour peas into slow cooker (its still off at this point)
6. In a pan, melt butter and saute onion and garlic until onions are translucent
7.enamelware In another pan (or the same one if big enough-I do all of this in my cast iron enamelware pot.) cook the bacon, then chop into 1 inch pieces.
8. Pour ALL of this onto the beans in the crockpot (bacon grease and all)
9. Add water to cover about 1 inch over top of beans, set to LOW and cook for 12 hours.
NOTE: I tend to start these around 8 pm the night before and then add a bit of water just before I go to bed to make certain they don’t cook off too much water and dry out.
10. In the morning, about an hour before you are ready to spoon them, up, taste the beans. They may need some salt. I usually add about a tbsp of coarse sea salt and give it a good stir. Adding salt at the table for individual tastes at this point usually is pretty easy to make it right.
BONUS: If you have a brisket cooking as well, add a spoonful or two of juice to each bowl of beans you spoon up…
Black Eyed Peas

I’m seriously pondering using the big pot again next weekend and making a soup of collard green’s, black eyed peas, brisket meat and naming it New Year’s soup.
Spicy cornbreads to accompany it, natch.

Next experiment might just be a gumbo.
My uncle makes them so I guess its in my genetic makeup to be able to cook them (as well as being genetically a smart-ass and having a predilection for puns).
[Mom, send me Unc Gary’s number please. Thankyouvermuch.]

*I’m not experiencing any strange neuralgia or weakening in any weird medical sense, but I go crazy cooking, cleaning and rearranging furniture after not doing it for a while then my poor little arms get sore. But really, those damn enamelware pots are fekkin’ heavy regardless.

after n’at

(Hi Eden!)

After all that stupid fluster over acorn pans and crap customer service, guess what showed up on my door on xmoose eve?
I have no idea how they managed that since 1. it was supposed to be shipped to the store so I wouldn’t pay shipping and 2. I told them to cancel the order in my digust-I suppose the order wasn’t truly canceled nor were they actually paying attention.
I left it in its box and glared at it for a few days to let Williams-Sonoma know that I haven’t quite forgiven them for that whole FUBAR transaction (my guess is that they haven’t noticed), then broke it out on the 27th and made little spicy cornbreads for the party.
Yum… and yes, they were adorable…and no, of course I didn’t remember to take pictures of anything.
Some food blogger I am.
Party menu always fluctuates, since, in my haste (and in my teeny tiny nigh to overflowing kitchen) I inevitably forget something. Its not the end of the world, but I think I need to design a print out page for party planning for myself (I’ll post a PDF when it is done).
The menu turned out like this:

Black beans: with a can of Guinness, 1/2 pound of applewood smoked bacon and half an onion, slow cooked for 24 hours.
Wee Acorn shaped cornbreads: made with honey, sweet corn, Zatarain’s, heavy cream and parmesan cheese all on top of the Jiffy cornbread mix
Chicken salad: (based on Costco’s Chicken Sonoma salad which wasn’t in fekkin’ stock) chicken, cranberries, poppy seed dressing, pasta shells
baked brie
deli meats
french bread
chips and spinach dip
a giant cupcake
chocolate chip cookies

The little puff pastry appetizers that I got and baked stuck to the foil on the pan and WOULD NOT release, so i didn’t put them out, though I noticed that they got eaten anyway.
Still, disappointing.

Xmoose meal had to be portable, so i decided to try my hand at a brisket. I called the world’s expert in brisket making (my dad) and he told me the ‘recipe’ over several days (several different calls saying “Did I tell you this? No? Well, do this.”)
Effectively it ended up being this:

  1. get a brisket
  2. stick it in a pan, fat side up (one of those disposable turkey pans is fine)
  3. cover it in pepper (who does he think he’s talking to? I skipped that step)
  4. cover it in garlic powder (now we’re talking)
  5. cover the pan in foil
  6. cook it at 225 for 8-10 hours (or till it falls apart when you poke it)

I think I got a substantially larger brisket than he does usually because mine took 12 hours.
I popped it in before I went to bed around 11:30pm, poked at it when I got up to feed Bunny then went back to bed for a few hours while it finished up, then let it cool and packed it up to go to Mikey’s.
It was yummy. So very tender (and fatty, but I have ordered a gravy separator to combat this…and considering I like my moo cow well marbled, this is saying something. I also bought a real roasting pan as this will start being a regular food in the house. Just have to plan the timing around overnight cooking. I wonder if I could do this in the crock pot…?) and it seemed to go over well at the dinner.
…and Tex keeps asking for more.
So, as it is cheap, easy and even *I* didn’t screw it up, I will do another…especially as I got that nifty roasting pan on sale and with a coupon. ;) Its not an especially heavy pan, but I just didn’t want to start buying and going through those disposable ones unless I really needed to (like traveling with the food); it just seemed a waste. But I think it will be ok if I am nice to it.
Last night I stood in the kitchen (doing a post mortem on my party) and looked at my current configuration of the dining area. I can’t do much to the kitchen itself (but if I ever bought this apartment – do you do that? mentally list the structural changes you would do if you owned the place you live in now and money wasn’t an issue? (provided you don’t own the place you live in already and are richer than Croesus?) as it is a mess o’ built-ins, cheap appliances and not plumbed or wired for much interesting stuff. Not to mention plaster and lathe walls that don’t support anything without crumbling. Plus, there’s that whole earthquake thing that you have to plan for just in case… though I’ve never had anything fall, the minute I put something up precariously, we’d have a big fucker.) Anyhoo… I looked at my options and they involved going up and being freestanding. I wanted that corner maple unit that I tried to order ages ago (with a couple of bookshelves, a corner storage area and closed storage) but it still isn’t orderable. I didn’t find anything else that suited my tastes. So Tex suggested Stolmen.
I like that idea, as it is modular, it can work in another space and he seems to like it. Fine by me.
So over the next few weeks, we’ll build a set that straddles the chest freezer, a clothes rail high enough to open the freezer door (and I’ll hang my veggie baskets on it which can be moved easily out of the way to open the freezer door), a couple of high up shelves for deep storage (like xmoose decorations and other things that aren’t too heavy. I might put a string around the top shelves to keep the magazine boxes from Ikea from sliding off if we have a shaker.).
Then I’ll get one more pole and do a short set of shelves where the Mac Mini is now with a clothes rail at the very top for hanging a paper lantern for light.
I got some pieces last night at Ikea… so I’ll bribe Tex with brisket, and we’ll put up the shelves (and snipe at each other while we do this as we always do) on New Year’s Day.
Living room still needs some tidying but I’ll get pics posted eventually along with the progress in the kitchen.
Also, I want a dishwasher. I’m just saying.
Also also, these parties are starting to kick my ass, I feel hungover after them… am I getting old? Arg.

I was trolling around Facebook for apps and found an iTunes gadget, it purports to post what you are listening to on iTunes in your status, however, as I am currently listening to a 3 song playlist *on repeat* for at least 5 hours a day (yeah, I know.) it probably is of limited interest to the Facebookians who watch my status updates with bated breath. But then again , most of my updates aren’t that startlingly interesting.

Last week, as you know, my aunt died and while virtually everyone in my family piled into cars and  airplanes to get to a tiny town in West Texas, I did not.
This doesn’t mean I didn’t love her, but I would have been a mess and would have probably spent the weekend hiding in a closet blubbering incoherently and missing Bunny (as well as getting psychotic over my cat’s well-being) hence, my lack of movement.
I did spend about 50% of each day on mom’s iPhone or the house phone at my grandmother’s talking to anyone there. I got text messages, pictures and wildly incoherent voice-mails documenting late night cookie making processes and the subsequent torment of my grandmother by her older grand children and her daughter (this is not unusual, we do this anyway. And since Meme hasn’t smothered any of us in our sleep, we have to assume she likes it since she has had ample opportunity to put us out of her misery.)
Mom said the funeral and the memorial service was brutal, so while I will always feel guilty about not going, I am glad I made that policy and don’t go to these things anymore.
I did extract a promise from my cousins that we would all go there when someone wasn’t dead (though I phrased it as “during a happier time”).
Lots of good pictures came out of it… and some video I will be squirreling away for blackmail at a later date. ;)

Am back at work now, and its kind of a relief. Sad.
Though I do get to start my new Moleskine 2009 calendar book this week! Hooray!

so…the living room.

This last week was not good.
My aunt died, and given how I deal with that kind of thing (umm…I don’t.) I decided to finally do the living room cleanup/rearrange/prep for a possible tv addition to keep myself from dwelling on it.
I pondered several systems (actual entertainment systems need not apply… I need the lego/tetris aspect of furniture to rearrange into something else eventually.) like the cube system from IKEA…but as much as I love it, I just couldn’t go shell out for it (that in itself is telling) because even though it was beautiful, it was a bit too expensive to be so inflexible and heavy for furniture …

Then I thought about doing Stolmen in the living room..and would love to do that eventually, but I don’t want to lay out $350 right now.

OK, how about about rearranging my 3 shelf bookcase (see below, the little shelf on the right) and adding one more to make a stand ($20 additional outlay)… putting them together and it would be the perfect height.
Living Room Shelves
Well, then I measured and pondered and schemed (and got my xmoose present from grama) and then hopped in the car at 9:45pm (hooray for Target’s extended holiday hours) and got several more shelves to go all the way across the wall.

I think the best picture I have of them is my craptacular Treo picture:
I still have some rearrangifying to do and artfully arranging all the Gameboy and PSP games that we have…but that shouldn’t be too difficult. That one big hole in the middle is about the only place that I really don’t have something that specifically lives there.

And here they are all fancy with little lights on…
center block of shelves

OK, I like.

…and I promise to take a picture of the living room as a whole slightly before the party saturday (a.k.a. the cleanest the place will be until my next party. ;))