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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Favorite -- A Walk Around That Old House

It is Sunday, and I'm re-issuing a post from May 20th of this year,
when flowers were in bloom and the sun was warm!

I need the cheering up of this cheery post. It has been raining off and on for several days, and more importantly -- our dear dog Dion is in the emergency animal hospital.

He collapsed Saturday evening after a normal dinner and walk. We still don't know why.
Please keep our sweet boy in your thoughts.

Update as of 2:30 PM --- Dion is home again! He is doing well, will recover, and it is still a mystery why he collapsed last night. Probably something he ate, which is not surprising; our Dion would eat Howard's Jeep if he could get hold of a pair of tin snips.
Thanks for your good wishes! He scared the life out of me.


Thanks to Chari of Happy To Design, who gives us the chance to recycle old posts on the day of rest with her Sunday Favorites blog party. Click here to find more of these re-runs!

(From May 2009) . . . .
Come with me as I saddle up Dion and take a stroll around That Old House.
Please forgive the slow pace; Dion needs to read his pee-mail along the way. . . .

Ready for our walk? On goes Dion's macho Harley-Davidson leash, and we are off!


It is a perfect gift of a day -- sunny, warm and breezy. Let's walk clockwise as we leave the sunroom . . . and Mother Nature has come through handsomely for us, with the first iris blooms of the season:

Right next to the house, a gathering of iris plants!

Iris blossoms are so over-the-top, no elegant restraint in their makeup.
They are flowers, and darned proud of it.

Around the front of the house... do we have window boxes on the porch?

Nope, just flats of impatiens waiting to be planted!


a big sprawling angel wing begonia that I hope is big enough to distract you from the peeling paint:

Dion de-coding secret messages left in the fading azalea next to the porch steps:

If you squint your eyes and don't look closely, the porch looks pretty good, with its Boston and asparagus fern hanging baskets, and when I plant window boxes and some foundation plantings other than dandelions . . . it will go a long way toward distracting from crooked shutters and faded paint!

Crab grass and other assorted greenies masquerading as a lawn in the side yard:

And our mystery:
Look closely at the side of the house.

There are no shutters on this side, although their hardware remains. But that's not the mystery. Enlarge the photo below, and notice the clapboard siding on the front of the house.
It is original cedar (ca. 1832):

Do you see? At the top of the wall, the siding is narrowly lapped, and as you come down the wall, it widens, until it gets to the level of the bottom windows, where it's widest of all. On the rear part of the house, built in the 1880s, the clapboards are of uniform size.

I figured this couldn't be just sloppy carpentry, so I did some research
and discovered that it was most likely done on purpose.

This side of the house takes the brunt of the weather, with the upper floors more exposed to wind and rain. The savvy fellow who built this house gave his upper clapboards minimal exposure to the elements, while allowing maximum exposure for the lower ones which would not take such heavy weathering. It was a common practice.

Clever, no? And it worked; those cedar clapboards are still in good condition after all these years.

Well, let's keep walking, toward the back of the house.
A little patch of Lily of the Valley is fading fast:

Further along the back wall, a round flat grindstone leans against the old stones:

And I present to you the world's ugliest conifer, below. What the heck is it?
It looks as if it is waiting to be beamed back up to the mothership.

Across from the wall, a sprawling rose bush is ready to pop hundreds of dark red blossoms:

The bleeding heart is still going strong:
Along the wall, another iris has burst forth!
Nearby, a clump of chives cuddles up to rampant spearmint:

You can just glimpse some gazania and cosmos Alida popped into the border yesterday.

Annie tidied up the ivy . . .
and now we need to tidy up the tidying:
Back to beauty; in a nearby pot, a hibiscus begins its summer show:
And Oriental poppies are almost ready to pop!

Time to go back inside. At the edge of the granite slab that serves as our doorstep, a basket of pansies has been valiantly blooming since March, and showing no signs of stopping:

You can just make out the pink begonias Anne tucked in along the conservatory border yesterday.

I hope you enjoyed our stroll around That Old House,
and the "mystery" on the side wall of the building!

Dion has decided he wants to stay outside for a little while.
This will last until he realizes that I am inside, where the refrigerator lives.

Enjoy your Wednesday! -- Cass

Or . . . Enjoy your Sunday. Don't you miss the early flowers?
I know I do -- although the begonias that Annie planted by the sunroom foundation are still in full bloom!


  1. Sending many wellness thoughts to your darling Dion, and gentle huggles for you all

    Michelle and Zebbycat

  2. Good morning Cass!

    First may I say, THANK YOU FOR BECOMMING A FOLLOWER OF MINE AT MY COLONIAL HOME...good to have new friends.

    This is my first visit here and I love it already just reading your May re-post and I love that idea.

    Thanks for sharing such a delighttful post and your home is gorgeous and how interesting about the siding.

    My Colonial Home

  3. I do hope Dion is okay -- you don't need a sick puppy now, too!

    Love the spring flowers!

  4. Beautiful flowers - funny post! I hope Dion is doing ok!

  5. Sending many tender thoughts for your darling little man. I know you must be miserable right now - I know only too well. Please let us know what is going on with the little guy as soon as you are able.

    Until then, I will continue to hold him and his mommy close to my heart in prayer.

  6. Hi Cass,
    I always love seeing photos of your big, beautiful old house! I hope puppy is feeling well soon! Hugs, Cindy

  7. Hi Cass--
    Hope all is well with Dion!
    He's sooo cute.

    Beautiful flowers. It's supposed to be a little warmer here with tomorrow in the 70's!!!!!!

    Have a great day!


  8. I feel downright happy whenever I look at your old house! Happy week to you and family!

  9. Best wishes to Dion and his family. And I hope spring returns quickly to That Old House.

  10. Oh my - hope that precious dog is going to be ok.

  11. Lovely, lovely!!

    I remember Lilies of the Valley - - - those WERE the lovely little delicate flowers that WERE growing around our last house before Fisherhubby decided they were weeds and MOWED THEM DOWN.

  12. HI Cass! Oh,poor little Dion! I'm so glad to know he's okay! I know that really scared you.
    I have enjoyed my walk around your lovely home!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  13. Bless sweet Dion! I hope you find out what happened, so you will know how to prevent it in the future! Keep us posted..
    My four-legged kids will keep Dion in their prayers! And I will also!
    Blessings, Misha

  14. Oh my gosh. Your house looks SO muchlike the one my mom grew up in - even the yellow siding and all the flowers. What a beautiful space and great read. I'm glad you chose to re-share. Oh spring! Makes me homesick for the US all over again.

  15. well I'm very glad to hear dion is getting better, I don't know how I'll handle it when oneday, my little cav doesn't come home - very stressful time for you. Aren't they the most beautiful dogs around!!! I love mine to bits.

  16. Hello Cass...

    So sorry, my being so late to get over to your was a crazy busy weekend and I'm just now sitting down to the computer!

    Well my friend, I thoroughly enjoyed our walk around That Old House today...of course, you know that I'm a huge fan of your fabulous home! I loved seeing your beautiful flowers...ohhh, love the iris'...and I don't believe I've ever seen an iris in that pretty peach color before...gorgeous!!! I love your stacked rock fence...I just love that look and the ambiance it very sweet!!! awesome! have the original old cedar clapboard still in place and you're right about it being in such good shape! Isn't that interesting about the narrow spacing up at the eaves and how the builder spaced it wider and wider as he went down the house! I love that and agree that he was an intelligent man! Now I will be looking at the siding of all the old homes that I see to check this out! Hehe!

    Loved visiting with your precious little Dion glad that these wasn't anything serious going on with him when he collapsed! Thank you so much for sharing this fabulous post with us again for Sunday Favorites, my friend...I thoroughly enjoyed my tour!!!

    Warmest wishes,


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