The Adventures of the Rocking Chair

or, Where Should We Put This Thing, Anyway?

I promised you the story of the Adventures of the Rocking Chair, and here it is.

Once upon a time, I went on a road trip with my significant other to visit family in Oregon*.  And we happened into a shop that sells wood things made locally.  In fact, many of the things were made in that very shop, as we discovered when we** asked and were shown the huge rooms full of uncarved wood, and the huger room full of tools and more uncarved wood, and the hugest room yet stacked full of uncarved wood and great big tools.  Not to mention the shop across the street with the saw-of-some-sort that could cut a 20′ piece of wood.  But in the front of the shop were gorgeous things: clocks, shelves, tables, bowls.  And rocking chairs.  They came in three sizes: small, medium, and large.  First thing, we had to sit in them.  Ahhh, comfy.

This is the first one I bothered to take a picture of:

Chair in the store

We ogled.  We asked the shop owners about the chairs.  (We bought a couple of pieces of uncarved wood.)  And then we left.

A few days later we were back in town, and back at the shop ready to choose a chair and make a deal.  We sat in every single chair they had, including the dozen in a storage unit around the corner.  We wanted the right balance of comfort for me, comfort for Ben (we’re not the same size), and attractiveness.  They were all made by the same guy, so there wasn’t a lot of variation in style, but most of them were made out of very nice wood, and a couple were made of absolutely gorgeous figured wood.  (I didn’t get a picture of the most gorgeous one.  You’ll have to take my word for it.)

We hemmed and hawed.  And finally we chose the same one I’d taken a picture of when we first saw it.  It really is pretty.  It’s a little big for me, and a little small for him, but better than any other chair we tried.

And we told them we’d be back in a couple of days to put it in our truck.  Have I mentioned the truck?  We have a FWD truck with an awesome cap on the back that fits a mattress and all of our camping gear underneath, so we can go camping in comfort and luxury, without the crummy gas mileage of an RV.  So we figured, sure we’re buying a piece of furniture, and sure we have to drive it 500 miles home… but we have space!

See?  It totally fits.  (It’s behind the pillows.  Yes, those are our pillows.  We sleep on them.  Also, they protect the delicate corners.  Worked a dream.)

Chair in the truck

Here’s closer view:

Chair in the truck, closer

The only question then was, where were we going to put the chair whenever we needed to put ourselves in the back to sleep at night***?

As it happens, earlier in the week we’d decided we wanted to camp at this one specific campsite, because everyone knows that Oregon’s campsites are the best evah.  When we called to make a reservation, they only had a campsite with a yurt left.  It’s more expensive, but it’s a yurt.  We looked at each other and said, “Sure, that sounds like fun.”

Turns out the yurt is basically a tarp-covered frame with furniture inside.  The windows were all velcro’ed closed, so it smelled mildewy and awful.  Also, we would’ve had to strip the bedding out of our truck and put it on the bed in the yurt.  We looked inside the yurt, and we looked at our comfy mattress in the truck, and we said to ourselves, selves, we said, we’ll be much happier sleeping in the truck.  And the chair can sleep in the yurt.

Chair in the yurt

So that’s how the chair ended up sleeping in its very own yurt that can sleep six plus furniture.

The next night was slightly less exciting for the chair.  We hadn’t made reservations and we couldn’t find a spot anywhere we wanted to camp†, so we ended up at a Holiday Inn Express.  It was really nice.  The pillows were nice, the mattress was nice.  Having a place to rest and change so we could go out for dinner was nice.  Our pillows stayed in the truck, cushioning the chair as it slept.

The next morning we hit the road, refreshed and excited to find somewhere nice to camp.  Maybe somewhere along the Avenue of the Giants.  But lo, it was not meant to be.  There was smoke from a fire somewhere in Oregon.  Once we got beyond that, it was hot and icky.  Once we got beyond that we were back in civilization and there was no reason to try camping.  Instead, we stopped at my grandparents’ house, where my aunt had just arrived for a visit.

And because we are weird, and we really like our setup in the truck, we slept in the truck outside, while the chair slept in the house.

Chair at grandparents' house

Everyone admired the chair, and we felt quite pleased with ourselves and ate too much ice cream, as one does, and we left for home the next morning.

Chair at home

And we all lived happily ever after.

——

* Gorgeous up there, by the way.  I really liked being in the middle of nowhere.  The only downside to small towns in the middle of nowhere is that when you ask the gas attendant^ if there’s a coffee shop with WiFi anywhere nearby, she literally laughs out loud.

^ Cuz Oregon doesn’t let you pump your own gas, you know.

** This is the euphemistic “we” used by couples.  In this case the “we” didn’t include me, though I did follow along.

*** We did, in fact, try to put the chair into the cab of the truck.  Because of the runners, the chair was just a couple inches too big, no matter which way we angled it.  And then as we tried to pull it out again, I felt like the guy with the couch in DIRK GENTLY’S HOLISTIC DETECTIVE AGENCY, who gets his couch stuck halfway up the staircase in his apartment building, and then when he models it on the computer he finds there’s no way the couch could’ve gotten into that position without knocking a hole in a wall. If you haven’t read it, you should totally read DIRK GENTLY. It’s Douglas Adams. It’s hilarious. There’s time travel, ghosts, and a couch stuck in a staircase that couldn’t possibly have gotten there. And a dodo.

We did remove the chair without removing any part of the truck.

† We stopped at one place by the beach.  Ben went into the restroom, I did not.  He left without having used it.  Apparently it was really really bad.

Back Now

Selfie at Sleeping Beauty's Castle in Disneyland

I went away and did ALL THE THINGS!  Disneyland, Oregon, a gorgeous wooden rocking chair, I had my picture taken with Pluto* and my sisters, and I bought a silly tiny mad-hatter-does-tinkerbell hat.  And we made saurkraut!  Not at all in that order.**

I want to tell you about all those things because they were fun and silly and I have PICTURES.  (Not enough, though, because my dad has a bunch of them, and my aunt does, and other people, and I haven’t gathered them all to me yet.  And also because I forget to take pictures.)  But it’s going to take time, because I’m a slow story-writer, which might not be obvious when you only see the output (or you listen to me talk), but is totally obvious when you’re in my head.  Or when you know that I started composing the Adventures of the Rocking Chair over a month ago, and still haven’t finished it, or even gotten the pictures in order.  I’ve been busy, I swear.

In other words, this is the post to tell you I have stories to tell you, but it isn’t actually the stories, because they aren’t written yet, but I want to get back on the blogging thing today, even if it’s just to say I’ll tell you stories later.  And I have Writing to do now***, so I’m going to go do that, and I’ll get back to you with stories later.

Here’s the silly hat:

My "Mad Hatter does Tinker Bell" hat.  It has wings on the back, which you can't see.

———

* Who I thought was Goofy, because I’m a spaz and forgot which one wears clothes.

** And if you’re my friend on facebook (or my friend in general), then you might’ve heard about most of it already…

*** Umm… after I finish getting distracted making myself silly avatars on the internet.  I can’t claim that’s Writing, not even a little bit.

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Glorious day by the coast


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I mean, uh, it’s horrible and cold and you wouldn’t like it.  Yeah.

Well, none of the tourists believe me, either, and all the attractions (Barbara’s Fish Trap, for example) are very crowded.

The sky is blue, the air is warm, I’m wearing a tank-top.  Ben and I went for a walk at the Point, and I took my fleecy off.  I *never* take my fleecy off while walking up there, it’s too cold.  So this, today, is one of the five beautiful days we get per year.  In a month it’ll be foggy and cold, but for now the flowers are amazing (we counted 30 different types of flower blooming in our backyard), the sun is warm, and it’s just like summer.

We had Ben’s family over for brunch today, and we had all different yummy food.  We decided to make all the food ourselves, not do a potluck, so we picked yummy simple things.  Homefries, a frittata* (gruyere, mushroom, and scallions), braised greens (chard** and kale), a fruit salad (strawberries, mango, orange, and grapefruit), a bean salad, and something Sunset Magazine calls an “apple oven cake”, which I’ve made several times now and is super yummy (butter and brown sugar, apples and a little cinnamon, with an egg/flour/milk mixture to hold it together).  It was all a big hit, but the apple stuff was the biggest hit, and was definitely the easiest to make.  🙂  Oh yeah, and mimosas.  Except a bunch of us had orange juice-free mimosas, aka champagne.  Mmm, it was good.

We managed to prepare a lot of stuff last night, and get everything chopped and ready this morning, so we could just compile everything and cook it at the last minute when they were here.  The homefries took longer than we expected, and we were waiting for them to finish before starting everything else, but everything came together perfectly for us to sit down with all of the food ready (except the frittata, which was a little slow, so I guess it was only nearly-perfect).  It was so yummy.  And even though it seemed like a lot of food, everything was finished off except the homefries and bean salad. And the ingredients for a second apple oven cake.  So we’ll have those for breakfast tomorrow!

None of Ben’s family have been over since Ben finished my office, so I straightened it all up (no extra papers or boxes anywhere in sight!) and we showed it off.  It’s so nice and comfortable in there.  Everyone was very impressed with Ben’s handiwork.

Last night Ben and I thought to pull out the two of my mom’s paintings*** that I have, and we discovered that one of them looks wonderful in the room, so we’re going to hang it up.  The other is too dark (lots of black), so I think maybe I’ll trade it in for a different one, because there’s plenty of space for two on my wall.  And it’ll be nice to have Mommy art hanging in my office.  🙂

Other than that… I started writing a vampire story the other day.  I don’t do vampires, but I had a title that included vampires, so it had to be about vampires.

Recently I’ve noticed that I have trouble distinguishing between “I must continue working on story x so that I’ll finish it some day” and “I must only work on story x, to the exclusion of all other stories or writing”–the latter of which is incredibly stifling to me.  And then I wonder why I don’t want to write.  So, I’m trying to ease up on myself and write whatever I want… while keeping in mind that I have Story X which I’d like to be working on if I’m so inspired.  In other words, I must write in order to write.  BIC.

* How do you spell that? Firefox doesn’t like fritata, frittata, or fritatta.  How about frittatta? No, that can’t be it.  Google + wikipedia tell me it’s frittata.

** I’ve discovered I really like braised chard, whereas kale tends to be more tough even when braised.

*** You can see her art at her website, but neither of the two I have are up there so I can’t show them to you specifically.  My mom is so prolific that the website doesn’t even contain a tenth of all of her art. If we included all of her drawings, it might not even be one percent.  So, the likelihood of me having one of those is pretty small.  :-/

† And with a new update, WordPress + LivePress will properly cross-post daggers (†) to LiveJournal, so my footnotes should go more smoothly.  Yay!

To do today

Yesterday morning my mom called saying she was feeling dizzy and would I come over in case she needed to go to urgent care?  🙁  So of course I did, and we didn’t go to urgent care, but I stayed to help make food and make sure I was around in case she needed me.  And we watched an episode each of Star Trek TOS, TNG, and Voyager.  It was great fun.  🙂

But because of that, all the things I meant to do this weekend have to happen today.  And I need a list, or I won’t do anything*:

  • Call my Dad, my Aunt, and my Dad’s Second Cousin (left messages)
  • Do laundry
  • Write a post about the book I read yesterday.
  • Work on my story
  • Pick out at least one book** and one DVD about Archetypes to acquire – either library or Amazon (found several at the local library… now I just need to go get a library card.)
  • Plant the succulents Mommy gave me  -> Next week
  • Plant a few onions
  • Plant bulbs
  • Repot succulents into a strawberry pot  -> Next week
  • And apparently I was gonna write about going to see Avatar for my birthday a week ago, but never did.  Weird.

EtA: Alright, I’ve done a few things… and now we’re going to make risotto.  Yummy.

* Yesterday morning Ben and I had a conversation about all the things we wanted to do this weekend.  And at the end of it I said, “Alright, on that note, I’m gonna read a book.”  This is how I deal with having things to do.  :-/  It was a fun book.  🙂  So really, having the list may not make me any more likely to do things.  But when I do, I can cross them off!

** this is homework, so it doesn’t break my no-new-books rule