: views from the Hill

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Our exciting weekend

We're spending the weekend packing things up and sorting through what-not. We made a trip to the Goodwill this morning and off-loaded a backseat and a trunkful. That makes three or maybe four trips since we started sorting through things in April. More trips will follow.

Funny how when we gather things all together out of cupboards, garage and boxes we find we have three french fry cutters, circa 1955 or so. (Who still uses a french fry cutter to make french fries?) One is just a flat, grid cutter. The other two are hand-operated mechanical types, one still in the box, albeit not un-used.

Funny how when we gather things all together out of cupboards, garage and boxes we find we have four rolling pins -- one without handles that belonged to my grandfather, who was once a baker, another without handles, two with handles and bearings. We saved the one that belonged to Grandpa because that's the one I tend to use. Saved the handled one that spins easier of the two. Set the other two aside in case the younger guys want one. We find multiple vegetable peelers, multiple turkey basters, glass pie pans up the wahzoo.

Really, there's no reason for more than one turkey baster except maybe to have one on hand as backup? What would you do, in the middle of roasting a turkey, if your baster heads south? Same reason we have two replacement seals for the pressure cooker. No, the reason for that is because we had a replacement seal ... just in case, and Case had a replacement seal ... just in case, and when we acquired all Case's stuff, well ... there we be with two replacement seals. Here's hoping the rubber still holds when the day comes when we need a new seal.

The french fry cutters, though, that's really odd. How many french fry cutters do you need? The backup of the backup is probably the result of picking up "interesting" stuff at the Goodwill and the weekend collectibles shows and forgetting we already had stuff stashed away way back. Tell us the last time we even toasted up store-boughten frozen french fries at home, let alone cut them from scratch. Might be an interesting experiment to use the cutters to cut other sorts of veggies, though.

And mugs! Mugs! We raided Dale's stash of mugs to supply Hill back when rather than buy anything new. (Heaven forfend!) Today we went through the stash that continued to grow at Dale. We saved the mugs from defunct companies. Saved the clear glass Stanford Sierra Camp mug on which the geniuses in marketing etched butterflies and the mug's slogan: GA/GR Conference 2000 / Millenium Metamorphosis. Saved the DECUS mugs ... that's almost like a defunct company, isn't it? Saved the mugs we love. Saved the mugs we use every day. In the end, we packed up twenty-two coffee mugs for the Goodwill, and that's just the coffee mugs.

As a break from the sorting (and a reward for sorting yesterday), we trekked off earlier today to the Saratoga Rotary Art Show -- held at West Valley College in Saratoga on the first Sunday in May. The juried show ("the largest single-day, fine art show in the western United States") showcases 175 artists, selling a wide variety of artwork, wearable art, jewelry and more. Some of our favorites keep coming back. We like to check out what they have new and see what other artists are doing. Some favorites weren't there this year. We'll have to trawl the Web, checking to see if they're scheduled for the Union Street Fair the first weekend in June or, perhaps, some other venue.

Among our returning favorites:

Stan Beckman. His Paris Bookshop print "Librairie de Seine" hangs in the stairwell at Hill.

Dennis Kohn. His Santorini collage, which we bought fifteen years ago, hangs at Dale. Kohn had some wonderful works focused on Nepal at today's show, some of which I'd seen before, some not. His latest "theme" is Prague. There were several of his works, I could've taken home in a flash. I was especially taken with this one. If I ever win the Lotto ...

Claus Sievert was exhibiting his tree and nature etchings. Lovely stuff. Can't find a Web site for him. Sievert's also printing his work on note cards again: ten cards/$20. I'll probably regret not buying a set.

We didn't buy a single thing today at the show. Didn't buy a single thing at the Goodwill either when we peeked inside after dropping off the donations. Somehow the piles of stuff still waiting to be sorted make it hard contemplate buying anything.