Tuesday, June 10, 2014

On Portraits & Presidents

I told y'all that gypsy life was in no way stopping just because I moved, right? I am currently splitting my time between unpacking my home and house sitting in my old neighborhood. It's been a wild week.

Thankfully Psycho Kitten and Griffin are being unusually cooperative. There may have been one or two nights of racing around the house at odd hours, but so far neither of them have given me a heart attack by creeping into my room while I sleep. I think they're getting used to me.

I still don't have internet set up at the new house, which is awesome for getting stuff accomplished. It eliminates all sorts of things I would normally be doing in the evening hours. Oh, you mean I can't virtually couch shop without an internet connection? Well, I guess I'll unpack more boxes. And so I am making progress. But it also means I can't update this little corner of the web either. It's a trade off.

But I did want to tell you about one project that I managed to check off my list last week. It may be my favorite thing about this new place so far. It brings out the total and complete geek in me. My living room my not have a sofa or any thing on which to sit yet, but I hung a portrait on the wall.

Many towns have streets named for former presidents. And this mountain town is no different. And since I was moving to one of those streets, I took a little inspiration from my favorite magazine. (Have you read Garden & Gun? I love it. And if you don't know what I want for my b-day, I have two words for you: Subscription, please.)  Here's the photo from G&G's article "Inside Beautiful Botherum" by M.K. Quilan (October 17, 2013):

Photo by Caroline Allison from Garden & Gun magazine

The photo sparked the plan. And I began scouring thrift stores and Goodwill for the perfect frame. The tiny house doesn't have a fireplace or a mantel over which to hang the portrait, but I liked the gold accents. And I thought I'd add my own twist with an oval or round frame. Eventually I found something a little more unique. And after I got the keys, I ordered the print and cut the mat so it'd be ready to hang. 

Here's the first thing to be hung on the walls of my new home: 

Now I know you all are gonna say "there's a reason people hang portrait of Lincoln everywhere." Believe me, I know. His bust hovers over my shoulder every day at the office. Not even joking here people:

I get Lincoln is everyone's favorite. And I can guess you have no idea which president is hanging on my wall. But in my opinion, Mr. Taft may be the most underrated president. He's often only remembered for his size. He was a big guy, at least by early 1900s standards.

But did you know he was the only president to serve in both the executive and the judicial branches of government? The only one. Many others have served in Congress, of course, but Taft was appointed Chief Justice of the United States by President Harding. 

In addition to being president and Chief Justice, Taft was also an activist for peace. He helped form the League to Enforce Peace during World War I, which was a precursor to the League of Nations.

And if that doesn't do it for you, he was the last president to rock facial hair. Come on all you hipsters with your beards and handle-bar mustaches, Taft should be your favorite, or at least in the running! 

Can y'all tell I did my elementary school president report on Taft? 

Also, it is becoming apparent to me that 5 1/2 years working in the legal field is bringing out a hidden interest in Chief Justices. Here's a photo I snapped on vacation a few months ago: 

If you're beginning to think I don't give the 16th president his due, I did drive something like 20 miles out-of-the-way to visit his "supposed" birthplace in Kentucky. If that isn't enough, this was actually the second time I stopped at this place and took a picture with the cabin that was not actually the one he was born in as advertised.

Lincoln, despite the false advertisement, you're still a pretty radical dude. I just like a few other guys too. And right now, Taft rules!


  1. I agree, Taft was pretty underrated. Love your decorations! I still have nothing on my walls. For shame.

    1. Well by most standards, my hanging anything on my walls was premature, seeing as how I have basically no furniture. I'll get there eventually :-)