The fabric of our lives

I’m just gonna warn you right now that I have no direction in mind today. I just opened the laptop, asked Edsel to MOVE HIS DAMN HEAD oh my god with that dog, and got started with talking to you.

Why do I get all these clingy animals, such as for example e.g. Lily and Edsel? I like a hands-off pet, whom I can admire from a distance. You know who I liked? Steely Dan. Oh, I loved that cat. He really, really is keeping his distance at present.

I keep hoping the chip people will call me and say they found him, and he’ll be an older, grizzled, cuddlier version of Steely Dan. Like when Morgan Freeman got out of prison. Red was here.

Oh! I know something I can tell you!

This was my grandmother’s chair. The grandmother I’ve turned into. When she owned it, it was a burgundy Naugahyde with brass tacks in it. At some point in the ’70s, she gave it to my mother and me.

This weekend I went through every photo I have, throwing out stupid pictures of scenery, out-of-focus shots, people I didn’t know, etc. (Although of course I still have my collection of photos of people I don’t know.) (There’s a difference between photos of people I don’t know from 1940 as opposed to some random guy in a Saginaw bar in 1990.) (I don’t KNOW why. Stop asking.)

I got rid of a ton of useless photos (really, stop taking pictures of the horizon) and reorganized my photo area in these roomy 1922 closets I have here. At some point I found a shot of Grammy’s chair in its original state; when we first got it it was still burgundy Naugahyde. And did I take a photo of it to show you? I did not. It sort of looked like this, although of course not this shape:

I gotta tell you: I hate today’s designs. Everything looks thin and flimsy. It’s all supposed to look “clean” but to me it just looks unsubstantial. Like a souffle. Everything’s a souffle and I want a steak.

That table would fall right over if you sat on it in conversation. You’re tryina have a dramatic Lifetime Television fight, and you sit on the edge of that table for emphasis, and go flying. Also, what’s that douche doing on the table?

Anyway, Grammy’s chair used to be burgundy Naugahyde and it had, like, brass tacks along it. I sort of wish it still looked like that. Grammy was always in it, with her More cigarette and her thick plastic insulated glass filled with diet 7-Up on ice. I believe she stored that on a TV tray, and why didn’t she get a real side table?

At some time in the ’90s, my mother recovered the chair. In 2011 she gave it to me.

My dogs immediately got this fabric dirty, and I really never cottoned to the Little Naugahyde on the Prairie look of this fabric. So when I finally got some money together, I had it recovered.

Careful viewers will note the footstool is missing. That is because recovering the chair was, like, $750, and I didn’t have the scratch for the footstool. You know who DOES have the scratch for the chair? That goddamn Milhous, who is the scratchiest cat I’ve ever owned.

Anyway, last week I got an email. The guy who owns the recovering store, which I would have called 12-Step Recovery but he did not, sent out an email saying although his place wasn’t open, he was willing to let people drop off their stuff safely, contact-free, and he would personally recover furniture one piece at a time, not using any employees.

I’ve been killing myself tryina support my friends with small businesses. Kit’s going to be able to survive another month because I just spent $15 on a pair of camellia prints from the ’30s. I actually can’t wait to get my prints. She’s delivering them to my door because I have an in.

Kit is currently on Instagram (@designarchivesvintage) doing videos, showing off her wares since people can’t go to her stores, and I screamed on over to tell her I wanted the camellia prints she was recently touting. “I thought of you when I saw those,” she said, because I’m overblown and slightly red.

So I emailed my furniture guy. “I want my footstool recovered! Can you fit me in?” And that is how I found myself driving across town to the guy’s store. The parking lot was empty. It was all sort of eerie. He came out with mask and gloves, propped open his door, I ran just barely inside with the footstool, never speaking to him, ran back to my car, and then we made plans over the phone.

It’s gonna cost $200, which I don’t actually have to spend, but I’m trying, folks. I’m trying to help.

The best part of that whole scenario was finding the fabric I’d bought for the footstool. I knew it was here somewhere. The fabric store had had a big sale at one point, and I knew I wanted to one day cover that dang thing, so back on October 4, 2018 I traipsed out to the fabric shop and got it on the cheap. I know this because once I finally located that fabric in this roomy house, it was still in the original shopping bag with the receipt still tidily inside.

Anyway that’s exciting. I’ll have a footstool for Milhous to claw. Also new camellia prints that are old.

I’d better go. Yesterday I did the thing where I changed from pajamas to a new pair of pajamas. Today my goal is to shower and put on yoga pants. I know! Stretch goals.

You know what really annoys me, other than having a pandemic, which is annoying in general? My counters are always sticky. Is this what happens when you eat at home all the time? And WHY are they always sticky? I feel like I’m constantly wiping them, and then next time I check, WHAT IS ON THE COUNTER?

Also I run the dishwasher like 5x a week. I used to run it once weekly.

I miss Sonic. I miss my Sonic youth.

Okay, really going now.
The touch, the feel, of June-ton

49 thoughts on “The fabric of our lives

  1. Thanks for writing so much lately. It really lifts my spirits. I look forward to it .

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  2. OH MY GOD! The counters! Mine aren’t sticky but there are crumbs EVERYWHERE! Even after I just cleaned them up! And the dishes? Ridiculous. I predict that our dishwasher will not outlast this pandemic.

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  3. Okay, I feel like I’m imagining things…I swear I remember you posting an old photo in the past month (on here or social media) and mentioning that we could see part of the chair back when it was naugahyde, but I can’t find the photo if you did. Did you mention it in another post??

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  4. Your version is the best one of that chair. That fabric is so pretty. The color combination is great. I am looking forward to seeing the stool too. I agree vintage furniture is made so much better! My sister has a thing for it, drum tables are her current favorite.

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  5. I really need to sit down and go through my boxes and boxes and boxes of photos. I was looking for a particular picture the other day and opened one of the boxes and asked myself, “Why do I have duplicates of crappy photos?” So of course after finding the particular photo, I just put the lid back on the box and shoved it back into the cabinet. There is a part of me that thinks if I throw photos away, it’s like throwing the memory away but do I really need a jillion photos from a NASCAR race that took place 15 years ago? The answer to that is No.

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    1. Though , if you have the 1cent doubles make someone else that would be interested in them a photo album for their memories.

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  6. Your footstool will look so good! How smart you were to buy the fabric way in advance.
    Yesterday I did several loads of laundry and realized not one item required ironing. Athleisure is the winner of my Pandemic affections. (Also, makeup. What’s that??)
    I’ll check out Kit’s store!

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    1. Yes, Pandemic laundry is so easy….normally I have a million things that need to dry flat but I cheat and use a drying rack so I have to go through every load as it comes out to make sure I don’t ruin something by accidentally drying it. Now, I feel like a teenager again, just take it from the washer right tot he dryer! #PANDEMICGOALS

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  7. I have a schedule posted on the fridge in you know PLAIN SIGHT so the kids know who is supposed to empty the dishwasher and who needs to wipe down the island, the table, etc. It’s hard to keep that kitchen clean because
    A) no one reads the list till I am going to bed grumpy because no one did their job
    B) half of these kids sleep till noon and by then the kitchen looks like a crime scene, and
    C) you probably deduced that NO ONE cares how gross the kitchen gets. But Coach and I.

    I am excited for your footstool to be recovered. I bought a butt load of books from a small local used book store. Trying to make the kids read stuff and learn more because e-learning for the youngest 2 is over by 10 am. Again, no one cares.

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  8. I am so happy to learn I am not the only one with sticky counters! I hardly ever even make anything sticky, so what is up with that?!!!

    I have my grandmother’s chair that was dark green velvet. I have had it recovered twice in my lifetime, yes, in the same green velvet. You know what, it has the same tear in a place my grandmothers always did, too. (That does not sound right, but grammarly.com insists it is… now I know this is not right.) Too bad the chair isn’t comfortable!

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  9. Housekeeping tip of the day: Combine one part Hydrogen Peroxide and one part water in spray bottle. Use to clean counters, sinks, bathroom. It sanitizes without the toxicity of bleach and the best part – no more sticky counters.

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    1. Seriously? I just found a bottle of hydrogen peroxide and wondered, what the hell can I use this for, other than when I get canker sores? I WILL DO IT. Thanks.

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  10. Dang it, you’ve just killed my dream. My kitchen is always sticky, but I figured it was because of all the damn kids. I dreamed of the days when the kids all moved out, and I had a non-sticky kitchen… Now my dream is dead! lol!

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  11. My favorite chair is very similar to yours, one that my father gave to my grandmother. Probably 1940s vintage, with those cute little curvy Queen Anne legs. Originally it was gold/white brocade (fancy!), and my mother decided that making a dark green *corduroy* slipcover would be a good idea. Not.

    I took it with me when I left home, and I loved that gold brocade. Sort of bordello-like. Kept it that way for years, till the poor fabric was practically hanging off the frame. Got it recovered and paired it with a cool, round ’50s leather ottoman to match, and it’s been great, but it’s been this way for 30 years.

    After seeing your beautiful chair, I’m ready for a new version of mine. Can’t wait to see your little footstool.

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  12. I’m tickled by the frame around your light switch and I laugh every time I see the portrait of Edsel S Distinguished. I caught the reference to dear departed Lu, may he rest in peace. Also with the new styles, what is it with pointy sticks criss-crossed and holding up end tables and coffee tables? A sales person was pointing out the up to date look of one of those sadistic looking things and I tactlessly said I wanted furniture that didn’t look like it wanted to hurt me.
    I saw “The Fabric of our Lives” and ready to vote on Stitch Fix.

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    1. I’ve been too lazy to create one of those Stitch Fix posts–they’re a real pain in the patoot. Sorry for my strong language. Anyway I think I’ll just keep the shoes. The shoes are adorable. They’re melon-colored!

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  13. I have been obsessing about Popeyes ever since I watched Shameless last week and they were eating it….. (not a small business but we aren’t even getting take out these days) well we finally ventured to the drive through and my chicken sandwich wasn’t cooked. SOOOO disappointing and I am not going to complain as I appreciate the people who are working but I was ANNOYED! Small problems though, I try to be grateful.

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    1. When Popeyes is good, it is the best fried chicken ever. But when it’s bad, it’s AWFUL and sadly, it’s a crapshoot on which kind you’ll get.

      My sister raves about Raising Cane’s chicken so when they opened one near me, I screamed over there to try it out and it was Not Good. Very watery. It LOOKED like it was cooked but it didn’t taste like it. I was so disappointed.

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  14. I find it amazing that you had the forethought years ago to purchase fabric to recover that footstool some day, save the bag it was in, save the footstool that didn’t match anything, and be able to find them now! Bravo June!

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  15. I have a regret. I got rid of two chairs from my grandmother’s living room years ago. I can’t remember if my sister has them now, or if I gave them away. I wish I had them now! People don’t make things the way they used to. I need a new chair. The one I sit on all the time has had its time–it needs to go. I wish I could go out and go shopping!

    Anyway, I am excited that you will have a footstool. And Edsel’s face is so sweet.

    Lovely post, lovely June!

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  16. I love your green chair and can’t wait to see the footstool. I agree current furniture is less than quality. We are supporting our locally owned businesses. Seems like every other day we (I stay in the car) to the hardware store and the feed and seed store, both are landmarks in our town, both family owned and operated. The feed and seed store is being operated by the grandkids, who are adults, now. That business has been having record breaking days with all the people that are planting gardens.
    Tee

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  17. I’m LOLing about my ads today – all for Fabreez. “Freshen up your sofa stink”. “Freshen up your pillow stink”. You got sofa stink over there June?

    I have been gifted with multiple boxes of family photo collections twice – once when my MIL died and the second time when we moved my mom out of her house. I let those boxes sit for eons before I finally decided to sort through them. And what I found was lots of bad scenery pictures from vacations they went on decades ago, blurry photos of people who we didn’t know and – bonus – remember when the photo developing places would give you duplicates for a penny? Lots and lots of duplicates of the above. Those giant boxes that they “treasured” (but never actually dealt with themselves) got winnowed down into one small envelope from each giant collection.

    Congrats on the upcoming recovery – 12 Steps Recovering would indeed be a great name. And kudos to your upholsterer for trying to make it work.

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  18. Hey Jooooon, if it’s ok with you, and Kit, I will post Kit’s website in our June Facebook Support Small Businesses Group (or whatever we called it). I am similarly trying to support local and small businesses and encouraging others to do so. EFF TARGET. EFF MACY’S. Also, am headed to Kit’s website myself now.

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    1. Yes! Please do! My father ordered a t-shirt from her store (they have local stuff too, not just vintage) and he said she packed it beautifully, with a nice note.

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            1. Yes. A little sedate to be named after you. I would’ve expected pink, lame, sparkles, maybe flashing lights.

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          1. You know what would be helpful? (Duh) If I posted the website and name of the FB group. It is called
            “(F)aceBook of June Supports Independent Businesses. And So Should You!”

            And here’s the link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/216010749492660/
            (I hope that works and doesn’t go to a FB Porn site.)
            (If you have to join, I’ll add you.)

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  19. I put on jeans yesterday. I do not recommend that. When I got home I put on my sweatpants with the sloths on them. Better. I need to work harder at supporting the small businesses around here but back in the old days when you could just walk in I ran into so many who were just arrogant & snotty about their business it turned me off. I’m sure I can find nicer ones if I look.

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    1. There’s an antique store near me where every time I went in, which is seriously probably 20 times, the person who ran it would be talking to her rich friends who hung around there all the time, and she’d acknowledge me not one bit. I bought several things there. Didn’t matter. She’d just keep talking to her friends. It was like it was annoying that I was there ruining their good time.

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  20. My counters get sticky from the carbonation that sprinkles in the air and lands there when I pour Pepsi in the glass of ice. We run the dishwasher every day now, sometimes twice a day. All we do around here is cook, eat and clean up. I am getting so sick of food!

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    1. My area of sticky Pepsi droplets is our kitchen table, that is conveniently the best place to set the bottle whilst pouring. I don’t even drink it, but I am the one constantly wiping off that table!

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  21. I really like the chair without the Little House ruffles. I am not a frilly person but agree that the thin plain crap out there now is a little too far in the other direction. Also, saving small businesses is a great thing to do.

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