Welcome to That Old House

Thank you for finding That Old House amidst the chaos of the Internet.
This blog named itself. When I tell local people where we live, they almost always say, "Oh! You live in that old house!"
We do, and I'm glad you've come to visit -- Cass

Monday, January 31, 2011

The Color White

Is White a color?
It depends on whom you ask.
Google it and you will see what I mean.

I found an article entitled "Colors That Go With White."
Seriously?

I suspect it is a long article, much longer than its sister piece,
"Colors That Do Not Go With White."

In our part of the world, white is about all we see these days.
This week's snowscape at That Old House:

Last year's landscape . . . looks eerily familiar:
I'm seeing a pattern here.

But last winter saw some lovely whites inside as well.

And last June saw similar whites outside That Old House.

 This white, below, is missing.
Gone AWOL.
It's a matelasse spread I took to the beach house last year, and now can't find there, or here.
Bummer.
If white is truly the absence of all color, maybe this nice Peacock Alley spread just simply disappeared.

White shows up unexpectedly,
like in a sheaf of old papers stuffed into the dining room breakfront
that turn out to be the loose pages of a recipe notebook I compiled almost 30 years ago.
At least it proves that B.C. (Before Children), I used to actually cook.
And used a manual typewriter.  How quaint!

And I cannot write about whites without mentioning
Patty, Maxine and LaVerne, my big white ironstone pitcher gals.
A mix of gifts and thrifts, like most of what's here.

Some scientists or physicists would have us believe that white is the presence of all color.
Most artists and chemists would say nay -- it is the absence of all color.

Me?  I'm simple.  White's a color.  There.  Finis.
Why?  Because I said so.
If you can print it on a can of Benjamin Moore, it's a color.

I'll be at a place with lots of white, later today.
My dear Dad is back in the hospital, brought in yesterday,
just exactly one week after his last ER trip.
Your good thoughts are asked, and appreciated. -- Cass


Miss Mary at Little Red House is our hostess for
Mosaic Monday.  Clicketh thee here!

Yes, in the Northeast we are getting white-weary; we are not used to this much snow, this often.
But our last snowfall brought a brilliant gift; it is the most glittery snow I have ever seen.
It's like Martha Stewart glass glitter was spilled everywhere.
I just can't get a good picture of it!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Help! I Have The Snow Sillies!



There are times when our neighborhood:

 reminds me of this:
This cutout.  Can you see it?  Am I nuts?
Don't answer that.

From my perch in the conservatory high above the street,
I look down at the other side, where the peasants live,
and watch them go about their little lives for my amusement.

While I eat cake.  Mwah-hah-hah!

Oh golly, I hope none of my neighbors reads this blog.
Because I am kidding.  Of course I am.  You knew that, right?
Don't answer that, either.

********************************************
Blame it on the snow.
I have the chilly sillies.
Remember the good old days, back about 2 weeks ago, when I thought this was snow?
Ha!  I say, as I look out at the stone steps now.

That's a snow you can sink your teeth into!
As long as your teeth aren't sensitive to the cold, that is.

*******************************************
 And remember when this was a nicely laden winter table?

Well, feast your eyes on Mother Nature's perfect and pristine tablescape:

William Yeoward, eat your heart out!
*********************************************
 Remember when these little back steps looked snow covered,
back in late December?
  What back steps???

I am not sure why, but in the snow . . .
 our little neighborhood takes on the look of a toy village.
I want to put a train set around it.

And every time I look out at this part of the side yard, I think how much
our girls would have loved that slope of snow when they were little.

Two years ago they slid down it, on the lids from Rubbermaid Christmas ornament containers.
Those are the containers that now have the useless broken lids . . . .

It's chilly out, but inside the house is warm
and there's always hot coffee . . . or at least
there's always coffee to reheat! . . . so come
and say Hello on this snowy day.
You'd be the first!


By the way, I didn't promise cake.
So don't sue me when none is served.

Have a happy, silly snow day.  Lots of them.





Visit Cindy at My Romantic Home for 


Go ahead, you know you want to!

Cass

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Beak, A Peek, And A Tweak


Disclaimer: I wrote this post late at night, too late at night, and I need to offer my apologies to Big Chickie.  I believe that She is really a He.  As in, a rooster.  Maybe it's the pastel colors that have lulled me into thinking of her -- umm, him -- as a chicken. Perhaps it is the proud, impressive bosom. Or, maybe he just likes it that way.  I ain't judging.  But for today, he's a she.  Big Chickie it is.

Big Chickie welcomes you.


 Some years ago, my sister Peggy and I gave this big chicken to our Mom,
who collected all things rooster and chicken.  Big Chickie is temporarily roosting in my kitchen,
on the old jam cupboard, where she can admire herself in a big mirror.  She likes that.

 She invites you to take a peek out of a window in the study.

This is my peek, from the window to the right of my computer.
I love seeing who comes up on the front porch.
I always hope they are bringing me presents, but mostly . . . they are not.

Big Chickie and I both thought this evening sky, from last week, was particularly lovely.
We have new neighbors in that sweet white cottage on the corner.
I should bring them a present.  On their front porch.

Big Chickie has gotten me looking at little spaces here and there in That Old House.
Like, the coat closet under the front hall stairs.
The door is old wide beadboard, but what is sweetest about it is its knob.

 You turn the round knob, and the little lever on the left lifts up and voila! you are in the closet!
The lever part is iron.  I think the knob is bronze.  Like, really old bronze.
 Ah, in this shot you can see the dent in the round knobby.
Someone was impatient to get a coat once upon a time.

Above the closet is something I rarely notice.  And never dust.
See those two wood thing-a-ma-jigs hanging down?
 They are the bottoms of the stairway posts, the one at the top of the first and longer flight,
and then the one at the top of the short landing flight.
 I don't recall seeing the bottoms of stair posts in other houses.
I assume this was done on purpose, and not just a boo-boo on the part of some 19th century carpenter.

A moment of random noticing:
I just like how those turquoise and gold glasses look on the kitchen cupboard shelf.
That little bit of mid-century bling in the middle of all the ironstone.

*************************************************
 And speaking of milk glass. . . .
(Yes, I know we weren't speaking of milk glass, but let's play pretend.)

About 2-1/2 years ago I was browsing eBay and found an old table lamp.
It looked interesting.  It had no harp or shade, and it needed rewiring.
I bid $10 and got it.
 Then the seller emailed, to tell me that as she was packing it for shipment, it fell apart.
"It's more like a lamp kit now," she said.  "I can't get it back together."
"Send it anyway," said I.

I mean, really . . . what would you do?

My vintage lamp kit arrived, a box of random parts, and I took it to my Dad.
Who could always fix anything.
He surveyed the parts, we went to the hardware store and got what he needed,
and in a few days . . . That Old House had a new resident lamp.

Yay, Dad!

But there's more -- a little more -- to this story.
One night, late, I was watching The Divine Secrets of The  .... yeah, you know the rest ...
and in the scene that takes place in Whatsername's mother's bedroom, the scene with the ring ... 
c'mon you know the scene ... right on her mother's nightstand is . . . my lamp!

This lamp!  One and the same.  Only, of course, not this lamp,
but a glamorous Hollywood twin of this lamp.
I backed up the movie to make sure.  Yes, the same.
Right on the nightstand of that poor bat-poo-crazy lady.
I have since promoted her from the study to the parlor,
where she is happily hobnobbing with my Imari porcelain lamp from Craigslist.
And preparing for her closeup, Mr. DeMille.

She is asking for a new lampshade, though, and I can't blame her.
Just can't seem to find the right shape and size!
Maybe I should put "Divine Secrets yada yada yada" in my Netflix queue, and see what crazy lady used on her lamp.


Thursday, and some links ....

Leigh of Tales from Bloggeritaville hosts Thrifty Thursday.  My kind of gal!  Click here!
At The Shabby Chic Cottage, join Gina for Transformation Thursday.  Click here!
Suzanne at Colorado Lady is hosting Vintage Thingies Thursday; she has doggies!  Click here!

Enjoy your Thursday!
I've been scarce -- my Dad was in the hospital again, but he's back home now.
Then, I got sick on Tuesday (you don't want to know) but thankfully am feeling much better.
And we just received another 8 inches or so from Mother Nature's over-achieving Snow Factory.  Snowcones anyone? -- Cass






Saturday, January 22, 2011

Be Kind -- I'm Expecting A Blessed Event

I've been among the Blogging missing this week.
I have a good excuse:  I'm expecting.


Yes, our family is expanding to include a Son.
In. 
Law.

The gestational period for becoming a mother-in-law is quite variable.
I've heard of some that lasted for years.

Mine will last not quite 6 months, from engagement to wedding day on June 25, 2011.


Pretty good deal, eh?

**********************************************
 Our daughter Alida lives in California but is getting married here in New Jersey.
So, Mom's going to be very busy.
Details, lists, shopping, endless phone chats, more lists, more details, and more lists yet again.
Plus the occasional meltdown.

It's very exciting.
And still not quite real.

Wish me luck!

***********************************************

And as it is Sunday, I am going to participate in Sunday Favorites,
a blog party hosted by Chari of Happy To Design.


This is a post that some of you may remember, about The Three Pierres and
their visit to That Old House, and my niece's wedding.
Without further "adieu" (a little French humor there), my post from April 6, 2009:

***************************************************************

Background: In 2007, my daughter Alida studied at the University of Edinburgh.
She met lots of people . . . including the Pierres.

*********************************

To introduce today's offering from That Old House,
here is a brief dialogue for
Two Women and Their Cell Phones:

Alida (at home in California): Ma? You remember those two French guys I was friends with in Scotland? The Pierres?
Me (at home in New Jersey): I think so. . . .
Alida: I traveled around the Highlands with them?
Me (suddenly recalling sleep-robbing nightmare visions of teensy rental car packed with 20-somethings plunging off treacherous rural Highland roads in blinding mountain blizzards): Ah. Yes, now I remember.
Alida: Well, they're coming to New York in November, that first weekend, and I kind of told them that they could stay at our house. (short pause)  I'll be home that weekend, too.
Me: You will be home for your cousin Maggie's wedding.
Alida: Ummm...yeah. Is that a problem?
Me (realizing that 22 is the new 8): Well. . . .
Alida: Oh! And they'll have another guy with them. Guess what his name is?
Me (taking a wild stab): Pierre?
Alida: Yeah. (short pause) Pretty funny, huh?

**********************************************
And so,  A Tale of Three Pierres . . .


The Three Pierres were a big hit at Maggie's wedding:

Left to right, New Pierre, Tall Pierre, Alida, and Pierre Pierre.
(How else does one tell one's Pierres apart?)


My gracious sister invited our out-of-town guests to Maggie and Garrett's wedding.
They had a blast; weddings in New Jersey are apparently quite different
from weddings in France. We have way more food. The Pierres ate themselves silly.

After discovering that the three under-dressed guys who talked funny were not gate-crashers,
the other guests were quite taken with The Three Pierres.

Alida became "that girl who brought three dates."


(Pithy social commentary, from Tall Pierre, on marriage:
"This being with one woman for the rest of your life --
I do not see it, unless you are very sick and will be soon dead.")


The Morning After, the Three Pierres made crepes for us at That Old House:


Let me tell you, genuine Frenchmen make wicked good crepes:


We ate the crepes, French style, with a slathering of butter, a light sprinkling of sugar,
and a good big squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Try it. . . you will like it!  Nutella works, too.

These are not just any Three Pierres, not your common garden variety sort of charming French fellows. They are graduate students in Civil Engineering, studying last fall in South America, and together had just won an international prize for some sort of something-or-other involving ... cement. Or concrete. I can't remember which is the right term.


We were sad to see them go. Who knows what else they might have cooked?

Goodbye, Tall Pierre, New Pierre, and Pierre Pierre!

My niece Grace, bride Maggie's 20-year old sister, will be studying in Paris next fall at the Sorbonne. Tall Pierre lives in a houseboat on the Seine. I casually suggested to my sister, Grace's mom, that Alida give Tall Pierre's cell phone number to Grace, so she would have someone in Paris whom she knows.

"Ummm... Tall Pierre?," said my sister. "And Grace? Umm... no. No. No."

But cousin Maggie and her three sisters all say that every girl should have Three Pierres at her wedding.

 That Old House is quite miffed that she is not the subject of today's post,
but I told her that she can't always be the star.

And after all, how many ladies of her age have three Frenchmen spend the night with her?
All on the same night? Oooo lah lah!

******************************************
  Alida will not be having the Three Pierres at her wedding.
But we'll soldier on anyway!  Have a lovely Sunday.

I am leaving soon for the hospital; my Dad is being admitted
with what is likely another bout of pneumonia.  Please send good thoughts!
Thank you ... Cass 

Monday, January 17, 2011

Exchanging Greens

Outside, all is still covered in snow.


Inside, we have made a few changes, switching this green:

 for this one:

I love all babies, including baby leaves!
Sometimes, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.
*************************************************
This weekend, Howard helped his reluctant wife (that would be me) denude the no-longer-very-fresh
fir tree in the sunroom.  All things considered, I think it still looked pretty darn good.
For a dead tree.
Four-plus Rubbermaid containers of ornaments later, there were still 1500 lights to come off.
That's Howard's job.
Mama don't do no lights.
A 9-foot tree is a hefty bugger.
Howard grabbed it cozily around its middle
and waltzed it out, up the stone steps, up the driveway, to the curb,
from whence it will depart sometime this week for its future as mulch.

When he came back in the house, he said, "I got a few pine needles in my ear.
And . . . I think I swallowed some."

Now I wish I'd gotten pictures of that.  At least it's good fiber.

 After the Annual Great Needle Suck-Up by the vacuum,
Howard got to work replacing the sunroom ceiling fixture.
By the way, it didn't take him from daylight to dark to do this - in between we went out!
Ta-Da!  Back to normal.

 Normal, but kind of dull, compared to this:
Christmas trees do not photograph well in daylight.  Neither do I.
But -- 2011 will bring another Christmas, another monster tree to deck,
and another January weekend when my man does what he has to do:
force me to say goodbye to the Season.
 I put just a bowl of ivy on the table.  And cough drops; I cough in cold weather.
 Pewter candlesticks I got at Goodwill some months back.
Ditto the silverplate Revere bowl holding the ivy.
And now it's up to the attic with the storage bins.  There are more to fill,
but I'll leave those till tomorrow when the weather will probably be brutal and I'll be glad to be inside.

Happy Monday!  -- Cass


Link Parties:

Metamorphosis Monday, at Between Naps On the Porch.  Visit Susan, click here!
Mosaic Monday at Little Red HouseClick here, say Hi to Mary!
At The House In The Roses, it's Show Off Your Cottage Monday.  Visit Cielo by clicking here.