Monday, August 29, 2011

Men with Schemes

My dad is like the Thomas Edison of western North Carolina, especially when it comes to the drinking of whiskey. He is filled with schemes and little lifehacks to make it better and more pleasurable. Over the weekend he decided to wash some river pebbles and then put them in the freezer, in hopes that they would cool his drink without diluting it.

Sidebar: growing up, there were often weird things in our freezer. My siblings will testify. One I remember was an Indigo Bunting that died in our backyard. Dad wanted to figure out why it died, so he froze it, in our household freezer, for some future postmortem. Then there was the time that a Sharp-Shinned Hawk smacked the sliding glass door and died, so Dad took his feet (!) and put them in non-iodized salt to dry them out. They went on the bookcase. And THEN there was the time he took the head of a dead cardinal and put it in an ant bed so the ants would clean the skull. He reports he still has the skull, yes, on his bookcase. You would be right in thinking he is something of a character--kind of a cabinet-of-curiosities naturalist--but lovable and normal-seeming. Normal enough. Also, at this very moment, in the mountain house freezer, my mom has a bunch of bright fall leaves from last year. I guess she was conducting an experiment to see if they'd stay fresh and colorful. They are really quite a pair.

Anyway, so the river rocks were supposed to cool the whiskey without melting like ice. Dad reports that it turns out, they don't cool the drink. I'm thinking that if that worked--if rocks held on to cold like that--mountain rivers would stay icy 'til June. But I'm not the scientifical one.

And on Friday night, I saw him inflate an air mattress with a leaf blower. Ingenuity.

I look different with a mustache.

Sunday afternoon, my mom and I joined the literati of Sylva, NC to hear Ron Rash read from his new book of poems. I admire his work, and he's one of the town's favorite sons. If you liked Serena, you'll be glad to know he has a new novel coming out in April. I think that when the movie of Serena gets made, he'll be a big(ger) deal. Anyway, we got some culture and there was wine there.

Then we went to an antiques barn, where I inspected every piece of merchandise in the place. I scored a Russell Wright cream pitcher, perfect condition, for six bucks. Now I will spend my life looking for its sugar bowl. WHERE ARE YOU, SUGAR BOWL? I also snagged a $7 Italian vase that I think isn't exactly Bitossi but is a Bitossi cousin or step-cousin. Nice mid-century look, in any case.

That's it on the left. It looks happy with its new family, the little Rosenthal-Netter and that Danish egg thing, don't you think?

Mom and Dad took us to a new swimming hole on Straight Fork Creek, just inside the national park. It was beautiful. Also, this just in: beagles are not water dogs. Percy checked the place out for a while, and then went and sat by the car. I had to snap a pic of her in her signature pose.

What I didn't do this weekend was blog. Darn it! But it was such a nice respite from Atlanta, where it was hot as balls last week. Did y'all have a nice one? Did you get Irened?

Missed you. More tomorrow. xoxo


Elizabeth said...

I was in Yosemite this weekend, having a grand time with some friends and my boys. I love reading these little tidbits about your father -- he sounds more than exceptional, actually. He sounds perfect. I think he should blog about his artifacts. Perhaps a photo with a brief description -- past projects and ones in process --

Amy said...

1. I remember the indigo bunting. It was in there for YEARS.

2. I didn't know about the hawk. That's a bit weird, Dad.

3. I forgot about the cardinal skull. How do you remember these things so well, Beck?

4. There's also the rock I brought him from Africa 15ish years ago that he waters regularly, so the moss will continue to grow.

5. Looks like a lovely weekend! Miss you. xo

My Kids' Mom said...

I sat around the ballpark sweating and watching little league this weekend. Who thinks it is cool enough for ball in Atlanta in August anyway?

You should change your blogger photo to one with your new cute short curls.

sally said...

Delurking to let you know that there is such a thing as whiskey stones. (google it. I think you csn get them a t sur la table or some such place) You put them in the freezer and they cool your drink without diluting it. Bought some for my father-in-law last Christmas, so. . . .your dad is on to something, the river stones were probably not the right kind of rock.

Also, I LOVe your blog and the depictions of suburban life. yay that that you are posting more regularly.

sally said...

Goodness me. That's what I get for not previewing my comment. Sorry for all the typos.

Amy said...

I had a very deja-vu moment re the freezer as one of the books on my bedside table right now had a very similar thread on a character. I'm not coming up with which of the five or so books it is. But will report back on this.

Amy said...

Ahah! "The Dirty Life" - which I am loving. It's the mother of the man the author falls in love with, and her freezer is home to various animals awaiting "recreational dissection." Best book I've read in months - light but not fluffy.

Becky said...

Thanks for the book rec! Too funny.

Sally, I wonder if the ones you got were slate? Seems like that might work. Hmm.

Ginny Marie said...

My dad would totally try the river rock thing, only his drink is gin. ~Blech~

Star said...

LOVED your moustache pic. Really needed that, today, thanks!