It's 12:28 in the morning and I just turned on the furnace. You'd never know it's May by the chill in the air tonight. I'm tucked into my fuzzy green blanket, but I'm still a little blue around the edges. I'm enjoying it while I can, though.
Any day now the oppressive summer heat is going to flop down on us like a sweaty old hippo and we won't see the tail of it 'til Halloween.
I enjoy these peaceful nights, alone here at my computer. It's such a calm contrast to our usual hectic days. I am one dot of light in an otherwise dark house, pale blue on one side where the computer monitor illuminates me; warmest gold on the other from the lamplight glowing through the beaded silk shade.
My chocolate Lab is snoring in the kitchen, and occasionally I hear my youngest son mumble something incoherent from his bed. People always ask why I stay up so late at night, and this is one reason why. This house is never as quiet as at this time of night, and I love it.
I don't have to pretend like I'm working if everyone else is asleep, either. One of my latest online hobbies - not that I've had many online hobbies, mind you - is to browse the free online classified listings on www.craigslist.org. This is fun for two reasons.
One, I've found some really cool things on Craigslist. My husband brought one of them home today: a bookcase that exactly matches one we already own. I've wanted a second one for a while now, to balance the layout of our living room. But as luck would have it, the manufacturer quit making this style several years ago.
I'd given up hope of ever finding another, when lo and behold; Craigslist led me to a dear man in Decatur who sold me the perfect match at half the original retail price. I was all over it like a cheap suit.
The second thing I enjoy about Craigslist is that it is unedited and, therefore, overflowing with funny, miswritten ads. Couple these innocent mistakes with the whole other version of English that we use down here in the South, and you end up with some pretty amusing stuff. I like to garnish these ads with a little sarcasm and forward them to friends for a laugh.
For example, I've lost count of the number of "chester drawers" I've seen for sale on Craigslist. Now, I'm about as southern as they come. I was probably in my teens before I realized that the correct term for that piece of furniture was "chest of drawers."
But thankfully, I did realize it. And at that point, fearing an embarrassing slip into my native drawl, I decided to just call it a dresser and let poor old Chester keep his drawers.
I was momentarily perplexed by a recent ad for a set of "rod iron candle laubers". Thank heavens the accompanying photo provided translation. It was a pair of black wrought-iron candelabras, something that would look just lovely atop my chester drawers.
And to complete the décor - or "daycore," as one ad spelled it - there was a heck of a deal on a floral "Pershing" rug. A few clicks below that, I saw a larger carpet, hand-crafted in that Far Eastern country called "Inda."
I didn't understand the dishes for four featuring an "untique" finish. The plain white plates looked neither antique nor unique, so I'm not sure what the seller was trying to convey. The red "satan" blanket caught my eye, but it was just plain shiny material bearing no resemblance to Beelzebub at all.
There's a lot of free stuff on Craigslist, too. At the moment, for the bargain price of zero American dollars, you can get a fallen cherry tree, a non-working office copier, and a toilet described as "white with round seat."
And if you're into soap making, somebody is giving away 50 gallons of glycerol. You can't just go pick that up at the Covington Wal-Mart.
So stop by www.craigslist.org and see if you also enjoy my little hobby. And if you find a funny ad, please forward it to me. I'm always hungry for new material.
Kari Apted may be reached at email@example.com.