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Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Kindergarten And Potted Plant Association

Yes, that is a mouthful.
And yes, The Kindergarten And Potted Plant Association
was an actual organization of society women in 1890s New York,
who endeavored to bring beauty into the lives of tenement-dwelling 5-year olds
by giving them potted plants to care for.

The Rich, as they say, are different.
And in the case of these babes, well-meaning but apparently not terribly bright.

I'm betting the kids would rather have had shoes.

But more on this later.  First, a trip downstairs to our newly French-drained cellar.

I think of this project as
The Nineteenth Century Strikes Back!
Ta-da-da-DA-da . . . 

While these cement floors look innocent enough, in reality they are the Supermen of their ilk.
 They were, according to the work crew, the hardest they had ever encountered.

And their attempts to put a pipe through any of the foundation walls for drainage?
That Old House was having none of it.  The foundation was too hard and thick, impossible to breach.
 Which kind of amuses me.  Those old guys knew how to build, didn't they?
Use granite stones, and you can pretty much bank on them not going anywhere without a really big fight.

I shared the spooky progress pictures of this project earlier this week.

Now, the first of the afters; French drains in place, and major appliances and utility sink
no longer gallivanting all over the basement, but meekly back in their rightful places.
 Instead of our original plan to escape to the beach house this weekend, Howard and I
are going to try and get the whole basement cleaned, the few remaining shelves painted,
and some heavy duty plastic shelving units installed, put in a dehumidifier, all so that the mess upstairs
can be tidily stowed back downstairs, where it belongs.  Where it will be dry.

Now, about those well-meaning but air-headed ladies of the Kindergarten And Potted Plant Association?
They have a role in the new play Anne is working on, The Giantess.

She's building over-the-top giddy costumes for them.

I'm hoping there will be leftovers of some of her fabrics, because they'd make dandy decorative pillow covers.

How 'bout this bustle?

Imagine that -- a time when you wanted your husband to say,
"Gee, that dress makes your butt look big!"

 As you can see, we still have the cellar boxes and bits in the study.
And the hallway.
And the kitchen.
And the dining room.
Yeah, no beach house for us this week, unless we work really fast tomorrow afternoon! -- Cass


  1. Anne is one talented woman! I'm thinking maybe bustles made the butts look bigger so the waists could look smaller - corset, anyone!?

  2. Anne is very talented! VERY talented!! I love that your French drain is finally in place...they sure knew how to build those old structures, didn't they? xo Diana

  3. LOL! I made a bustle dress and really enjoyed asking my honey "Does this make my butt look big" He paid me back though when I asked him to unlace my corset and he whipped out his knife so he could "cut me out of my stays" LOL! Your cellar looks much better. Maybe you should just go with the flow and do a medieval castle theme for it. Do you ever get too freaked out to go down there at night? I think I would LOL!

  4. Oh Cass.......sure don't envy you the cleanup. But, those old cellars were the place to be during a heat wave. I can remember taking the ironing board, playpen and baby to the cellar along with a small tv (rabbit ears, remember?) on sweltering NH days. Now it's air conditioning in Florida. Go figure.

  5. Cass,
    Ann is surely talented! Love seeing her creations.
    It will be good to get the basement stuff back where it belongs. At least it must be cool down there!

  6. It must be a lot of fun to watch Ann create.
    The bustle - the hoop skirt....bring them back. They'd make all of us look like we have a tiny waist.

  7. Unfortunately, the biggest bustle in the world wouldn't make my waist look any smaller, lol. Anne is so talented, I sew quite a bit, but I need a pattern to follow, too, can't just wing it. Glad to see the basement is finished; what an ordeal.

    And the Kindergarten and Potted Plant Ladies...oh, my, what a hoot! "Here you go, poor little child, this orchid is all yours. Now you just make sure to tend it carefully and it will reward you with a flower."

  8. Hi Cass, I would say Im new to your blog but the truth is I just finished reading the whole thing! Ive been blog surfing for months since Ive become disabled and my laptop is my buddy. I just have to tell you, you are one of the funniest person I have ever met. Except you havent met me. Im not in the blog world yet so I feel like a spy. I have told my family about some of your blogs, I am obsessed with Dion, and your house is like a dream! I pray you never stop blogging! I feel like a distant relative just catching up on the fam. I didnt know how to post a comment until today. I will try to use my name at the end but I think it will only post by "anonymous". But Im Jill, so from now on when your wit and humour have me cracking up I will be able to comment!

  9. Yeah!! It worked!! next step is to have the courage to start my blog!

  10. Yes, Jill, it worked! I would have emailed you to say Thanks for such a sweet note, but your message comes to my inbox with "no reply."
    So -- yes! Time to set up your blog.
    You never know what lovely people you will meet.

    And make sure you read my blog today... it won't be published for a bit as I need to run some errands -- pesky LIFE interfering -- but you may find it fun.
    Best wishes,

  11. I enjoy reading your posts, Cass. I'm glad those wayward appliances have been tamed. Those fabrics are just scrumptious, I hope you get some leftovers, too. The ladies and the plants remind me of some of the inane "projects" you see today, I guess some things don't change. Hugs, Kim


Thank you for visiting That Old House; it's always exciting to find new comments -- they are treasured! Because of increasing spam, I have reluctantly eliminated "Anonymous" commenting. Legitimate anonymous commenters, please forgive me! You might try using "Open ID" instead. Blogger's spam software worked for a good long time, but, sadly, no longer.