“Help, there’s a hog in my kitchen!”

Sometimes you just know you got the name *right* on a wonderful pet you adopted, yes?

Just sitting here with Lenny at my elbow, I am sure of a few things: 

We got the name right…We got the attitude right….Not too sure about the look, though…

250px-Lenny_and_the_Squigtones_LP Lenny on the edge Lenny gets the bug Lenny and squiggy vegas suits lenny squiggy no.1 sidekicks lenny-and-squiggy dumb face

I mean really, just LOOK at that face!  (the one on the left… so far we’ve never met a cat stupid enough to name Squiggy.  Mainly because we’ve never met a stupid cat.)  But check out these facts about Lenny.  Since I was never a huge fan of Laverne and Shirley, I think it’s doubly astonishing how accurate we got with this name!  What a character.  Love the part about his name…

  • Leonard “Lenny” Kosnowski (Michael McKean)—A lovable goof who pesters Laverne and Shirley along with his best friend and roommate Squiggy (who both live upstairs, on the third floor, from Laverne and Shirley’s basement apartment). Lenny works as a truck driver at the Shotz brewery, and prizes a stuffed iguana named Jeffrey. Raised by his father after his mother abandoned them, during the series it was learned that Lenny was the 89th in line to the Polish Throne. Lenny says that, while he is not completely sure, he thinks his last name (Kosnowski) is Polish for “Help, there’s a hog in my kitchen”.
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Stop! Whoa yes, wait a minute Mr. Postman

The Dexter Mailbox - Classic

I used to love that old song.  I always thought it was written by the Carpenters, but like so many of my youthful assumptions, I would be proven wrong.  Apparently it was first performed by the Marvelettes and shortly thereafter by the young Beatles.  (I must not have been the only one who got caught up in the catchy hooks.)  To my childish ears, it was like candy – a wee fluff of cotton candy on a warm summer day.  I didn’t try to delve too deeply into the angst-filled words of the singer, who was hoping for ‘just a card, or just a letter… saying that he’s coming home to me!’

I am thinking about mail more and more lately though, and not because it’s summer or I’m craving cotton candy.  No, I am not awaiting some long-lost suitor either.  It’s the weighty issue of locating the *perfect* mailbox for our newly constructed front yard/fence/driveway combo.  When we moved in over a year ago, we were well aware that the little tiny old-fashioned mailbox someone had installed was not only silly and unsuitably styled for the house, it was woafully small and inadequate for the vast quantities of junk mail we seem to generate.  (disclaimer: the majority of catalogs we now get are the result of forwarding my mother-in-law’s mail to our house.  She was a huge fan of catague shopping.)  So now that we installed a cool courtyard enclosure, the idea is to save the mail person a few steps and put in a new, improved model of mailbox.  One that not only fits the modern style we are trying to go for, but has some vast tracts of land associated with it… enough at least to support the amount of future recycling we’ll be receiving. 

Contenders included these lovelies:

mailbox blue

Let’s face it, a mailbox is like the ‘earrings’ of a house.  It’s the little sparkly thing we get to choose that actually says something about our tastes that is semi-affordable and do-able, unlike a new swimming pool or fountain with Bellagio-style timing.  Although… that would be pretty cool.mailbox teak

This one is a work of art by a gal on Etsy… she uses real teak and lovingly joins wood to wood to create a smooth pull-out box that is a joy to behold.  Too bad ours is going to be under full sun and rain.  This one needs protection from elements.

We liked this next one for the simplicity…but ultimately it lacked the ‘it factor’ that the last one did, which we are planning on ordering from the manufacturer in Austin, TX!

Stainless Steel Mailbox - Standard - Vertical Style

And the winner is….

The Gibson Mailbox - Classic

STeel mailbox winnerSo the Gibson Mailbox by AustinDecor/ Steelworks is customizable, with space for our address letters where the word “POST” is on the first photo.

What do you think?  It’s heavy and strong and should hold up to the elements pretty well.  Very modern but also has a slightly crunchy artisan feel to it.  Large enough, but not out of control.  Not least of all, we won’t be feeling as bad for the poor post-person, forever trying to wedge our mail into that tiny old box outside the door!

Sssssssooo…. how’s about them snakes?

Steve and I found a snake today in our backyard.  He was rather predicatably hiding under my sandbox (meant for castings but not used much since I found out how hard it was to make anything that looked half way decent). We had to move his happy place over a few feet in order to mow the lawn.  Steve went to find a stick and when he came back, neither of us could locate our new-found friend.  We can only hope he slithered to a better (read: underground) space before Steve got after the yard with the lawnmower.  He didn’t look much like this one, but I couldnt’ resist:

silver snake ring emerald

Seeing the small brown grass-snake reminded me of a post I had wanted to write a few weeks ago.  About snakes.  I tend to obsess a little bit about trends (although you could never tell that by looking at me), and I think I am seeing one toward snakes… which makes me happy.  Why?  Well maybe I’m strange (or worked too many years at the zoo), but I think they are beautiful.  Plus, it *is* the Chinese year of the Snake.  And I was born in the year of the snake… maybe that has something to do with my fascination. 

At any rate, it’s very fitting that they should be featured in jewelry and decorative goods.  Back in the turn of the century, the Art Nouveau movement captured them to great effect in staircase railings, necklaces, rings, tiaras, chandeliers, light fixtures, etc.  But what I find so interesting is just how far back our fascination with snakes has gone.  Of course there were the regal cobras featured in the headdresses of the pharoahs of Egypt, but the trend for snakes of all backgrounds and species existed even throughout the early and middle ages, from the heydays of the Greeks and Romans on through the dark ages.  Found in tombs and sacred sites all over Britain and the north countries were fairly large numbers of arm circlets, neck torques, and finger rings making reference to that particular reptile.  

In fact, much like my friend in the yard, snakes really never went away. They just slithered somewhere and hid out for a bit, until another civilization picked up on their simple, graphic beauty. 

These simple snake rings from Etsy are lovely. 

snake crossover ring etsy

The Celts were known well for the cladaugh design of the heart and hands, but did you know about the much more ancient symbol of the orobouros?  This ring design was found in many tombs across the pictish areas of what is now Norway, Finland, Scotland and Ireland.  The rings are being reinterpreted by modern jewelry artists in the same spirit.  Just look at this design; graphic and simple and kind of creepy.  But beautiful.

snake ring silver

Wow.