The Rat’s Nest

The Rat’s Nest is like Dooce’s Daily Style page or Oprah’s Favorite Things, except that there is nothing to buy here and there never– quote me on this– ever will be. We have style (and favorites) at Rhapsody but not the kind that’s for sale, daily, weekly or at any other interval.

This is more like that drawer in the kitchen where you keep matches and a bottle opener and scotch tape and that little olive fork and the neighbor’s spare key that doesn’t work anymore. You know the one?

Well, if you lived inside that drawer, you’d be home now.

I’m going to find marvelous, interesting things from my travels and squirrel them away here and forget where I put them.  You should feel free to do the same. Just bear in mind that I moderate all the comments and I don’t like a guest with a potty mouth. If, on the other hand, you are someone who likes to make indices or organize closets and you’d like to suggest an order to this random assortment, I will consider it. Really– I’m very open to new ideas. If we find something we think everyone in the salon needs to see, we’ll make a post about it, you and I.

Here’s a thing my friend Nancy said she would like to be able to find again sometime because she liked it the first go ’round. It’s my letter to Plow and Hearth:

Dear Plow and Hearth catalogue,

What a pleasure to set down my plow, and curl up by the hearth this afternoon to page through your fall catalogue. Now that I have tossed it into my Classic Wooden Hearth Bucket with the rest of the lavender-scented kindling, I had to send you my thanks.

I’m aglow, just like my incredibly well tended fireside, at the way you’ve anticipated my need for Fireplace Bellows, Wellingtons that take me “from garden to grocery store” (the only two locations I am aware of) and—the piece that truly captures the rustically absurd comforts of my home, the Space-Saving Canoe Shelf. Until today, I have saved space by simply not having indoor canoes, but I love your fresh ideas!

Yet it’s a much humbler product that captured my heart this season: fake boulders. Or as you’ve impishly named them, Mock Rocks. No more will I lie awake in my solid oak, four poster bed, burning with shame at the thought of “pipes, meters, stumps and bare spots” in our yard, nakedly exposed as if no one had even thought to put a pretend stone over these obscenities.

Never again will I pass by a “boulder” on someone else’s lawn and mistake it for simple geologic reality—no. I’ll see it for the sly, yet sophisticated decoy it really is, covering up some unspeakable foulness like maybe a bunch of really lame-looking actual rocks.

But if I may point out a missed opportunity: Mock Rocks are not simply a chance to to “camouflage a variety of challenges” but to actually hide oneself from challenges. Your Extra Large Mock Rock in Brown is just two discreetly placed eyeholes and a beverage holder away from being my new favorite get-away (except the hearth, obviously). How cozily I could snuggle there in my Reversible Juliet Quilt, secure in the knowledge that I am providing “visual contrast to beds and borders” while remaining completely invisible to my family!

To throw them off my scent, I have only to set the Laptop Rabbit lawn ornament out in front of my hideaway. Because (as you clearly know) my children no longer know the difference between my face and the back of an Mac PowerBook, they are unlikely to realize that this cute bespectacled rabbit is not their real mother!

But I leave the details to you, and eagerly await your spring catalogue. Back to turning my compost, or maybe just rotating the selection of tasty holiday nutmeats in my Snack Carousel…



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