Up until a few years ago, I had no interest whatsoever in antiques. Then my former spouse mentioned going through her parents’ crystal collection, and I was reminded that I had inherited some Carnival glass from my Aunt Lucy. I discovered it had little marks on the bottom. I discovered you could look up these marks and patterns on line. I started matching my stuff with these marks. I started realizing it was pretty! I decided I had to have more. But I am not a great shopper, not even for things I like, so this sort of thing happens no more than twice a year, max. We live near Plant City, another antique Mecca, and we vacation near Apalachicola, likewise. So occasionally we go looking for glass. It reminds me of my grandparents’ house, which is a very pleasant memory for me. And Joyce thinks some of it looks nice. Not all of it, though, as you will see, because I have also re-discovered milk glass, homely relative of Carnival glass. And we have limited space so I have to be pretty judicious about it, and have limited myself mostly to animal-themed items. And then we use it for holiday decorating at Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving and so on.
So we did laundry and laid around napping and watching TV, and making sure we never climbed up the stairs to use the bathroom without taking something up or down at the same time. Now, our dogs knew nothing about stairs. They almost never see anything higher than a curb. And for their first stairs, of course, they encounter a steep, slippery flight with no means of gripping the floor whatsoever. There were marks where treads had been, I have no idea why they weren’t replaced. I can do stairs all right, but among us, I was only one at first. The little dogs learned it pretty well, trial and error. Joyce used the banister to haul herself up.
Then there was Nick. He’s 18 and while sturdy and muscular, he’s ancient. He has old bones, though no real sign of arthritis (because he's been on preventive meds for years). For his size and breeds, that works out to about 90 years old. So we blocked the stairs at the bottom and made up his bed in the kitchen. That lasted about five minutes, the length of time it took him to remove the obstacles and slowly but surely, haul his ass up there. So I went out and got his bed stairs* and we spent the next day working out how the hell to get him down. We weren’t about to let him try that on his own, and when he went up, one of us was always right behind him, although in a day or two he could just fly up them as well as the others. And he has to go out several times a night, so when I get up, I just take him out. The best way to maneuver him down the stairs was to get ahead of him, put a hand on his chest, and let gravity do the rest. Got a lot of exercise at the Horsefly. At least I could let him into the garden instead of walking him. It was so cold at night he did his business and was back upstairs in bed before I could even lock the door!
That Monday was also the day the five Great Danes arrived at the Dung Beetle for a dog show. Although the entire area was supposed to be dog-friendly, Stella isn’t, so we had to make sure none of the big dogs were out when we took ours anywhere, leashed, of course. And now, here are some of the surrounding buildings. They are not part of the cottage complex, but have their own characteristics and deserve special names, too, I think.
First, the Blow-Fly, a hideous warehouse of abandoned donations, apparently. This was right across from our back garden, and a fence had been erected on "our" property to block the view. It didn't work very well.
Next, the Millipede, directly across from our front door. A horrible, deteriorating residential row. A man who enjoyed flaunting his underwear lived over there, coming out all but naked at random times. So I did not wish to go over there to take a picture of the front of the Horsefly.
Finally, the Silverfish, kitty-corner to us at the four-way stop. This housing and a crumbling apartment house not pictured (the Ant Hill) were why we had to park in back and off the street. It was too dangerous to park down front. Another thing you can't tell from the website.
I want to emphasize the houses and grounds were beautiful, and situated away from urban blight, they would have been more than adequate. But they weren't. In fact, every diesel-operated vehicle in the town, as well as every motorcycle, would roar in and out of that four-way intersection day and night. You didn't get 15 minutes of quiet all at once, ever. The nasty buildings across the way would have rendered the fire-pit and gardens unusable if the weather had permitted, but it was cold and rainy most of the time so that was never a real issue. And this is why they say, in real estate, "Location, location, location."
* Bed stairs: a small, covered plastic staircase we schlep around so Nick can climb into all the beds he visits.