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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday Favorites -- Sunshine, Good News, and My First Post

We are finally having dry days here in northern New Jersey! Hooray!
That Old House is basking in the sunshine love.

(Taken this morning by a very patient husband.)


Yesterday we celebrated the 4th of July in a most quiet manner. . . .

. . . but a joyous one.
We cancelled our planned party, and instead brought my father home from the hospital.

He is doing much better. Turns out he was cooking pneumonia and a UTI, and through the miracle of antibiotics (and I do mean miracle, God bless medical science) he is recovering rapidly.

Many thanks for all your kind wishes. They are much appreciated.


I am participating in Chari's Sunday Favorites meme on her Happy To Design blog. Click here to find more blog posts that you may have missed the first time around.

In looking over past posts for something to put up for today, I went all the way back to the oldest -- my first post ever. A newly hatched blogger, that's what I was. Don't expect pretty pictures -- didn't know about that part of it yet!

Now... climb into Mr. Peabody's Way Back Machine again, 'way back to October 1, 2008.


(10/1/08) If you live in our part of New Jersey, you probably know our house. It's the old house next to the high school, raised up off the road by an old stone wall, its clapboard siding painted yellow, with a big columned front porch and dark green shutters, and a newer glassed-in conservatory on the side.... and by now you are saying, "Oh! You live in that old house!"

Yes, yes we do. And have since May of 2008.

Howard and I are empty-nesters -- both daughters away at college and grad school -- and because we wanted a larger nest to host guests when our chickens do come home to roost, and also because I wanted a change from the house we'd raised our girls in, we decided to move.

In the fall of 2007 I saw an old farmhouse in an online realty listing... and decided to take a look.

When I did, I was a goner.

It was MY house. It was the house I wished I lived in when I was a little girl. It had its drawbacks -- but hey, nothing is perfect!

That was the end of October. We bought the house in March, although our other house was still on the market with no buyers in sight. But miracles do happen, even in slumping real estate markets -- we got two offers on our own house, and accepted a solid full price contract. (Thank you, St. Joseph.)

We hired plumbers, electricians, painters, an air conditioning installer (God bless central air!), handymen, an iron fabricator, and a contractor to shore up a few saggy floors and spongy joists.

The original 1832 section of this house is built without any nails. The timbers are hand-cut, and fit together like a giant puzzle, an enormous hand wrought Erector set of timbers. It's beautiful to see, and clearly visible in the attic and cellar.

We also hired a landscaper, my husband having finally abandoned the fiction of his enjoying yard work. However, the pro and I don't see eye to eye about the importance of a perfect green lawn. Our 3/4 acre was mostly wet muddy ruts back in March, and now, on this first day of October, I look out my windows and I see green.

I am happy. Landscape guy is not.

"It's all crab grass," says he.

"So?" says I. "It's green!"

He thinks I'm nuts. He may be right, but I'm happy. . . .

We are holding off on more big projects until the spring. They will include exterior painting, maybe roofing, replacing missing shutters, and some fencing so our dogs can run around and sniff out squirrels and chipmunks without the annoyance of always being on lead.

The house is still very much a work in progress, but then ... so are we all.

And a July 2009 update --- That Old House still has crab grass, although not as much, and is still a work in progress. Our big projects planned for the spring of '09 didn't materialize; like most of the rest of the world, we've tightened up the budget this year.

Stay tuned! -- Cass

"Real" shot of the day -- peeling paint on our porch railings,
all dressed up with daughter Anne's patriotic house bling:

That's life -- There is always some dust or some peeling paint, somewhere.


  1. So glad to hear Dad is home & medically 'saved'. What better a 4ththan this ... TTFN ~Marydon

  2. Better the dust and peeling paint on the house and not on you.
    I hope your father continues to get well. Did you know that UTI's in the aged can bring on hallucinations? I can't think of the name of it but my friends mother just went through it.
    Actually Sherman it is/was a Wabac machine, (like the Univac at the time ). Not that I am old enough to remember.
    Your house was beautiful even then. You saw that right away. Now all it takes is time and money right.

  3. Your house is lovely, has charm, and, although a work in progress, will bring you many more years of enjoyment. Our home is only 20 years old and is beginning to need some little things done to it. I cannot imagine having to do things to a house like yours. Your home's character- from your header picture - looks to be is adorable. I grew up in an older home, and the parentals were always doing something... glad to hear the good news about your father.
    :-) Sue

  4. Your home is just lovely! We own an 1800's home also, and love it. We're sorta in the same neck of the woods as you!

    Your story was cute.

    I'm glad your father is on the mend!

  5. I am glad your dad is better. God certainly does work miracles. I enjoyed your post. Your home is such a lovely place. Thanks for sharing.


  6. What an answer to prayer for the recovery of your dad. Your home is just gorgeous. We downsized when we retired, and I am so sorry. I still wish we had space. I think you were wise to buy this wonderful home and I love everything about it. Hugs, Marty

  7. I adore your old house! They really knew how to build them back then!

  8. Oh, forgot to say I'm happy your dad is much better!

  9. Glad to hear your Father is doing much better. Know what you mean about the budget - a lot of my "to dos" are not done because my budget is on a diet. :-) Have a great week.

  10. Hi Cass...

    My friend, thank you so much for the warm welcome home! We had a marvelous time getting together with family but's good to be home again! The saying of "There's no place like home" is certainly true!!! I have so much "catching up" to do...but I'm looking forward to it! I've missed you and all of my blogger friends!

    Thank you so much for joining in with Sunday Favorites...I almost missed it this week. We stayed in Texas a bit longer than originally planned. I sure did enjoy reading your very first blog post! I always love visiting you and "That Old House"...the process of restoring that beautiful home has been so interesting to me! Thanks again for sharing your home with all of inspirational!!!

    I see that your Dad was happy to hear that he is doing well and home from the hospital!

    Well my friend, I will talk with you later...Happy 4th of July!!!

    Warmest wishes,

  11. Oh, I LOVE that you reposted this because it was posted originally BEFORE I found you and your blog.

    Hmmmm - - - the original part of your house is from the 1800's - - - that means your GHOSTS are not only hungry, they're WRINKLED with age. Hehehehehehehe

  12. Hi! I just came over from Chari's! I love your old house! Thanks for reposting so newcomers like me can see! God Bless! Lauralu :)

  13. Hi Cass! I'm so glad to hear you Dad is home from the hospital and prayerfully he'll continue to feel better!
    Oh, I love looking at your old house - then and especially now!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  14. I love your old house. Old houses have character that new houses cannot compete with. I also love the wrap around porch. This house makes me want to say "good nite John boy!"

  15. Your house is delightful, and I'm sure your "work in progress" is giving you much pleasure. Happy renovating.

  16. I'm glad to read that you dad is at home with you.
    I remember this post - I loved the line that gave your blog site its name.

  17. I am happy to hear your Dad is better than before. I know that takes a great weight off your shoulders. I am not sure what is worse caring for sick children or sick parents.

    Fan of St.Joesph, eh? I keep asking him to take care of our house but not yet.....His statue is properly buried and I am a prayin'.....*sigh*

  18. What a lovely old home and how fortunate you are to be able to buy it and turn it into your dream home.
    You sound like a loving daughter..and I hope your Dad continues to improve!


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