Greetings, weblings. In the tradition of many a blogger before me, and because I know you all want to get to know me just that much better, I will begin to present glimpses of Chez Nator in all it's squalid glory. Today's feature is:
Click to see a larger version
Without further ado, the Key:
1. A pretty purple piece of fabric that came with the note from the seller in Japan when he sent me the kimono I bought for Mrs. Nator a few years ago. The kimono is quite striking, and hangs on our bedroom wall. I might feature it in a later entry, if anyone's interested.
2. Various rocks, crystals, shells and graven images given to me (mostly by my mother) or that we've picked up in places like Costa Rica, Hawaii and Cape Cod. They probably have all kinds of new-age energetic mineral properties I don't remember or understand, but mostly we thought they were pretty and now don't know what the heck to do with them. One only hopes that the lifeforce waves, or whatever it is that they're sending out, aren't all converging in some discordant, anti-feng shui brew that will lead to early onset feminine baldness, or some such, in our future.
3. A pottery sea otter. Since I was a kid, my mom had this pretty little pottery piping plover (say that five times fast) that I was fascinated with. Somehow, thirty-odd years later, remembered that, figured that I like otters and got me this - I think from the same potter in Maine. It's cute, but I'd rather have the real thing. (Hey, all I need is a big pool and a lifetime supply of fish, right?)
4. An origami cat I made. I got really into origami for a while, but generally once I made something once or twice, I'd get bored, not make it again and forget how to do it completely. After I met Mrs. Nator, it turned out that she'd liked to do origami, too (I know, we're a match made in heaven) and she got me a new book and paper set that included this kind of kitty. Being a cat freak, I made a lot more of these than any other foldings, but I still abandoned them and now don't know how I did it. This cat, therefore, is both decoration and evidence.
5. A lucky cat (Maneki Neko) bank someone gave me. I don't remember who, so I'm a terrible person. As you will see, the Asian and feline themes continue with...
6. Cat Bud-dha! Cat Bud-dha! Cat, Cat, Cat Bud-dha! W00T!
(Incidentally, this is not my original Cat Buddha, which I bought in a store in Woodstock, NY, and treasured for about 20 minutes before losing it. It was four or five years later that I found the artist who made it and special ordered this replacement in the same cheery yellow. It was then that I achieved Tchotchkele Nirvana.)
7. A Chinese statue of Quan Yin (Kuan Yin, Guan Yin, Kwannon, etc.), allegedly "antique," that I bought. This was not long after we named our youngest cat Quan Yin, which is another story, and I was enamoured with the thought of having a goddess of compassion looking after our little family. Not to mention, I thought the statue was beautiful, and fit with the Asian theme we were cobbling together in the bedroom. Befitting her compassion, this Quan Yin was quite reasonably priced, too, and has been blessing our household with implied, if unlikely, authenticity ever since.
8. I can't believe I left out the key to #8 when I first posted this. Nevermind, this is me - I believe it.
These are salt and pepper shakers hand-painted by my great-aunt (or great-great aunt, I'm not exactly sure), one Molly Dunker. Besides being lovely to look at, they connect me to the shadowy legend of my heritage, involving the Hapsburg court, three sisters, a carriage accident and a nunnery. I am not making this up! Although I've seen a few other pieces by Molly (who I think passed on before I was born), these are the only ones that have been passed down to me, allowing me to ponder the dramatic tale associated with them, what Ms. Dunker's life must have been like, and wonder whether I am actually a decendent of a powerful royal family or my forebears just liked making things up.
And finally, we come to...
?. Here is where we normally find a certain wallet-sized photo, removed for this picture. Is it of a respected ancestor or venerated spiritual leader? No, it is a chubby, pre-pubescent Mrs. Nator in her cheesy softball uniform, complete with red 'fro sticking out of an ill-advised visor. I find it ridiculously endearing, but, as she is appalled that even I've seen it, I have removed it to protect her... aw, hell, it's to protect me from gettin' a beat-down.
And there you have it. Who knows what other meaningful and artistic flourishes embellish the House of Nator? Tune in next time, little ones...