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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Of Pillows, Potatoes, and Dogs

If you still make homemade mashed potatoes (and is there anything better?) you probably use a potato ricer, or a plastic-handled tool with a wiggly wiry metal masher-thingy on the end of it. Or maybe a masher with a flat metal plate with lots of little holes in it.

I doubt that you use one of these:

But my grandmother did, and this is hers. It is probably a good century old, as Grandma set up housekeeping around 1900.

The handle is warped. You can only wash wood so many times before it gets a little bent.

Well worn and well used, it bears the scars of countless battles with stubborn spuds.

It's worn smooth with use.

Age has its privileges.
Grandma's old potato masher lives in retirement in our kitchen,
a reminder of when kitchen tools were made by hand and powered the same way.

My Dad still loves good homemade mashed potatoes.
(Although he's not too sure about that skin-left-on business.)


My sister Peggy and I went to lunch with our father today; Peggy had my Christmas gift for me.
I love presents.

Last fall, while leafing through a catalogue, Peg found some sweatshirts that reminded her of each of her siblings (don't ask). But rather than just give us sweatshirts, she transformed them into something entirely different!

The sweatshirt that she chose for me says,
"A book in my hand and a dog by my side... We belong together."

If you know me, you know this is perfect.

And I love the Edward Gorey illustration!

On the back, Peg used the ribbing from the bottom of the sweatshirt.
I can remove the pillow through that opening and wash the cover.

My little sister has talent! Thanks, Peggy!

Dion thinks this is brilliant.
He is a big fan of pillows. Books, not so much.

But I think he is about to tell me to leave the computer, grab a book, and snuggle up on a sofa with him.

He's waiting. 'Bye! -- Cass

Thanks to Leigh of Tales From Bloggeritaville for hosting Thrifty Thursday. Click here!

And thanks also to Suzanne of Coloradolady blog, for hosting Vintage Thingy Thursday! Click here.

And thanks also to Gina at The Shabby Chic Cottage for Transformation Thursday. CLICK!


  1. Dion is tight- it IS brilliant!! What a great gift! I absolutely love the illustration and I have a dear friend who that shirt was made for. Fabulous Cass
    xoxo Pattie

  2. Good grief! I meant Dion is RIGHT. It's been a loooong day

  3. Your doggie is absolutely precious. So nice to have a pet who loves to snuggle. My big ol' chocolate Lab just doesn't know much about that. lol
    Ladybug Creek

  4. I just adore that sweatshirt pillow, what a great idea, and Dion's face is just the most precious. Cavalier King Charles Spaniels (did I say that right?) are very popular around here, but expensive too. Their personality far outweighs the purchase price. :-)

  5. Thank you !!! We have one of those potatoe mashers and I did not know what it was. We've had is for years and it has always been a mystery to me. And I love the pillow .

  6. You have two many karen friends. but Karen is a good name. :)

  7. The pillow is just it! But....I love the masher, I have never seen that before! Happy VTT!

  8. Your sister is quite clever. I love your masher. I have my grandmother's ricer but prefer the masher that I've had for 30-something years, lol.

    Sweet pup :)


  9. Hi Cass!

    Oh, I love your grandma's potato masher!

    that pillow is adorable.

    Have a wonderful Day.

  10. I love that spud masher. I would never had known!! How nice to have an old treasure like that.

    I love the pillow. I would say your sister is very talented!! Does she ship them out? ;-)


  11. Cute gift idea. It looks so sft and cozy!


  12. The potato masher brings back memories. My grandma had one and she also had a potato ricer. Dion is adorable! Happy VTT!

  13. When I make mashed potatoes, they are always homemade. Those flake things are NOT potatoes! That masher is wonderful and what a treasure to have. I would love to know how you sister made that pillow. Adorable!

  14. The pillow really was nice! And WOW, the potatoe masher was just cool.

  15. Cass, thank you for your visit and comment about my grandson's engagement.

    I love your tater masher so much. what a treasure to have as a memory. I use an electric beater. HA!

    I adore your pillow your sister made. The sentiment suits me so well too.

    Your pup is beautiful. We love our little poodle very much as well. It is amazing how much love we have for a small dog. (who thinks she is a person)

    Hugs, Jeanne

  16. Cass, you always have the best stories! I LOVE the potato masher...bc it is so used and abused. More used. LOVE its look.
    The sweatshirt....I am going to do that with one of mine that says "Rita Time". Smile.

    Dion wants me to hug him. He really does. HUGS Dion!

    Thanks for linking up to Thrifty Thursday this week!
    Tales from Bloggeritaville

  17. Cute pillow, but Dion is a lot cuter, he has the sweetest little face. Love those old 'tater mashers!

  18. The potato masher can be used for mashing berries, too. My mother told me to wash wooden kitchen things in hot water and rinse in cold so the surface is 'closed'.
    - I love your Edward Gorey pillow!

  19. That potato mashier is something!
    I love the sweatshirt idea and just might borrow it.

  20. The masher is awesome!
    I'm so glad that we have "new and improved" stand mixers and hand mixers.

    I would never cook if I had utensils like that to use.

  21. Love that pillow Cass! What a great idea! Creative! I love creative! I have my Grandmothers wooden biscuit bowl. It is worn through on the bottom and she patched it and kept using it!

  22. Cass, I would have never known that was a potato masher. I only know ricers and mashers with square holes! LOL This baby of yours looks as if it could conk someone on the head if they looked at you the wrong way. not really...... haha I am so tired of snow and ice- we have all been hit hard with it. I long for spring and the rebirth of many things..... hugs, Sue

  23. I would never have know what that was used for..but I love it. Imagine the use it's gotten..I just love vintage.
    p.s. The pillow is probably one of the coolest,neatest,best..most ingenious pillows I've ever seen..and did I mention,I love it.

  24. Of course he is right - how can you resist that adorable face? I had one of the old wooden potato mashers. It was not a family piece. Guess it was one of those things I got rid of when I cleaned out most of my country stuff.

  25. Hi Cass....I just love that second picture of Dion...those eyes!! and what a great idea your sister had turning a sweatshirt into a pillow...How is your dad doing?

  26. I can't imagine having to use a wood masher for potatoes! I use my electric beater, how spoiled am I. And what a great idea for the gift from your sister.

  27. What a great idea! And, what a great sister!

  28. First off, I love Dion, so if you need a sitter.... secondly that sweatshirt is a great idea and cute too. Thirdly (?) I LOVE MASHED POTATOES.

  29. Hope your sister doesn't mind...I'm going to steal her idea!


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