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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Things I Like A Lot, and Some Stupid Things

I was supposed to go on a thrifting junket with Emily
today, but the Household Gods had other ideas.

Instead, today I am home watching a mason fix and shore up
our old stone steps and retaining walls behind That Old House.

Below, a picture from a couple of years ago and yes, those little stones
tucked in under the stone steps don't really do a very good job at holding the treads steady.

But now, voila!
A dab of cement here and there, not too intrusive, and our pretty steps are more navigable.
I may miss the thrill of rocking back and forth on the second step from the bottom
-- that was the Fun Ride Step -- but I doubt that our guests will miss it.
I will also miss the surprised and sometimes terrified looks on guests' faces as steps moved beneath their feet.
Ah, good times, good times.
If these steps are a-rockin' . . . call the mason and make him come back.
Inside That Old House, I am trying to bring order out of chaos,
and by chaos I mean my bazillions of (mostly) decorating magazines.
The enormous old walnut dining room table we bought a couple of months ago to re-sell
has landed in my kitchen.  Temporarily.
I think I am going to keep it, and move it upstairs to use as a big sewing and crafts table.  
 In the meantime, today it is wearing its Organizer Hat.
I am making tidy piles of old magazines that I don't want to recycle; I do go back
and thumb through them. This is not even the tiniest tip of my magazine iceberg, but it is a beginning.

Taking it one pile o'mess at a time.
I am donating old books to make room on my shelves for magazines.
Howard thinks I am donating old books because I am a nice person.
Hahahahahahahaha.  He's so cute.
 I am not a hoarder.
Well, actually, maybe I am.  Of magazines.
Not of old Burger King wrappers or used tissues or chewed-up Chiclets stuck to bits of waxed paper.
I have my standards.

Speaking of standards, Country Living messed up my tidy piles by changing its size last year.
It is both longer and wider, as if it's trying to fool us into thinking it is really House Beautiful.
We are on to you, Country Living.  Pah!  Pick a size and stick to it.
Hoarders have a hard enough time as it is without your magazine shape-shifting.

Yes, in the upper left hand corner of that picture, above, is a can of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.
Upside down -- because the sales lady said that's how to get the pigment distributed.
I think she just didn't have any paint stirrers to give me.

I have heard great things about this paint, and am going to try it one of these days.
In the meantime, it keeps me amused with its charming and clever antics.
"Look Ma!  I'm wearing a sombrero!"

In my pile of oddball one-off magazines is a 1980 Woman's Day 101 Sweaters.
I love my old knitting magazines.  My hoarding began years ago.
I'm pretty sure the kid in the upper right is picking her nose.

It's a time capsule.
Maybe I'll make this one as a surprise for Howard.
Yeah, that's the ticket.

 A time capsule of What-The-Heck-Were-We-Thinking fashions of the early 80s. 
Seriously, Woman's Day.  Seriously?  Do you think anyone actually knitted this giant Geoduck of a garment?
My apologies to any reader who knitted this ...garment ... back in the 80s.
I'd like to hear from you, if they allow email in the asylum.

I actually made the sweater on the right in the picture below.
In red.  For my Mom.
But because I have Knitting ADD and get bored and impatient after I finish the front and the back, 
and then decide that sleeves are kind of optional, I turned it into a vest.
She wore it, my Mom, 'cause that's what Moms do.

Speaking of yarn . . . .

After visiting our cousin in Philadelphia last Friday, my sister Peggy and I detoured to some other place in or near Philly
(hey, she was navigating, I can't remember everything) so she could check out this:

An electronic knitting machine.  It's pretty amazing.  It does all kinds of knitting, and is fast,
which is good because Peggy 's Knitting ADD is worse than mine.
Lace fabric made with knitting machine.
On the right a Tassel making kit, that apparently also can turn you into a crazy-red-haired Wonder Woman.
I'm in.  How about you?

At the yarn shop, I met a gentleman named Tiger.
"Excuse me.  Do I know you?  Give me your lap, but only touch me if you mean it."
 Tiger lives in the knitting shop, which surprises me as I thought cats played with yarn.
Apparently not this one.  He toys with humans.
"I have claimed you as one of my own.  Keep skritching my neck, and I will let you live."
 Naturally I got pictures of some of the yarn, because I love yarn.
Don't you just want to be in that picture, touching the yarn, sniffing it, rubbing up against it . . . .
Okay, that's a little creepy.  Or, I have become a cat.

Back to reality, and my piles of magazines.
I need to get back to work.
Sorting magazines is quite time consuming and labor intensive,
and of course that is not at all because of the reading that goes on while you do it. 

And now for something completely stupid . . . my camera took this picture when I was not looking.
No, really.  It did.  I have no idea how I got this shot of the corner of the walnut cupboard in the kitchen,
 with a box of -- wait for it -- magazines nearby, to be sorted.
Nice nails.  Not the kind you manicure.
It's Outdoor Wednesday over at Susan's A Southern Daydreamer blog.
Go visit, my friends!  -- Cass
Outdoor Wednesday: Click on the picture below to learn more...


  1. So much great stuff to look at!!
    First of all ...Tiger ... Love him!!
    Second of all... Last year our youngest, after 40 years of living with us moved out with ALL her KRAP (changed spelling cleverly to protect the innocent)!! LOL!! After that I started heaving junk which included oodles of magazines. The only ones I keep now are Mary Janes Farm & my old Mary Englebreit ones. Everything else gets donated after I am done & before the next arrives!!
    Ain't that a plan??
    Hugs ..... Marilyn

  2. What a fun visit I had! We "Here in the Land of Blog" think so much alike "It's scary", OR SHOULD I SAY FUN! I "DO" all of the above! I have organized my magazines according to MONTH instead of years and names. This lets me just TAKE OUT the appropriate PILE according to season. AND Let's face it they NEVER go out of style!!! I have a stack or two OR MORE of knitting and crocheting mags "AND", I don't knit or crochet more than a CHAIN(Bwaaaaaaaaaa!) I also collect BEAUTIFUL YARNS I love. Whenever in Europe I bring back BASKETS of different yarns. LOVE THOSE SOUVENIRS! The ladies I would buy them from would ask "What are you making"? and I always reply, "I don't know YET"! I'm too embarrassed to tell them "I don't have a clue because I don't knit"!
    That's an AWFUL PRETTY dish under that can of chalk paint. Looks like Limoges BUT Hmmm, you wouldn't do that WOULD YOU? I'm anxious to know "WHAT you are making with all your goodies"...

  3. Cass, you CRACK ME UP! I don't even get any magazines, have never used chalk paint, and STILL I giggled all through this. How do you DO that?

    BTW - - - I still miss the shutters on That Old House.

    Just sayin' - - -

    1. on the shutters..
      i too miss them..
      and the beautiful previous yellow paint.
      and yes.. Cass can do that!!
      I love coming in for a visit!!
      hugs to you!

  4. I thoroughly understand the magazine hoarding habit. Did it myself for YEARS. Used to have a whole wall of bookshelves in my sewing room at a previous house FULL of file boxes with magazines sorted by title and date (I'm a bit OCD like that) When we moved here, I didn't even sort them ... I offered them to friends and I took the remains to the recycling center. It was temporarily painful (like pulling off a bandaid) but it felt better to be rid of the clutter. Even organized clutter is STILL clutter.

    You already saw the mystery photo that my camera took the other day while I was putting it back in my pocket. I like yours. Why can't we do this when we're trying?

    Open the chalk paint and paint something!! I guarantee you'll like it. If you need me to hold your hand, consider it held. Get to it!

  5. Cass-I think we have been bitten by the same hoarding bug..although I will say that I have started weeding some of my old mags the ones with the gianormous sweaters that served as dresses back in the 80's!\;>) My friend knitted something like that I told her it looked like something made by Omar the Tentmaker. I don't think she ever wore it again-Hey! What are friends for, right?

    Love that your steps are all bolstered up now. We have some that go down to the beach that are in serious need of shoring up, too. They are kinda scary for everyone. Hope you have a wonderful week-sorting! xo Diana

  6. I too hoard magazines. It's such a fun, harmless thing isn't it?

  7. Hard to part with magazines... I have stacks... hmmmm... toss or keep... usually KEEP!

  8. I like your comments here and there .. just like over a cup of coffee or tea. I hear you on the Country Living. It's really trying a makeover.

  9. Hi Cass...

    My friend, I love your old stone steps! Just beautiful and so lovely! They look great after getting a bit of sprucing and stability! Hehe!

    Ohhh certainly do have a nice collection of publications! I have stacks and stacks as well...I can't bear to part with them. I just keep thinking that kids are going to have fun...going through my things! Sounds like you are keeping busy..busy, dear friend! Take care and have a wonderfully sweet day!

    Love ya,

  10. You have been nominated for "The Versatile Blogger Award". It is a fun award that requires you to nominate 15 of your own bloggers plus list 7 fun facts about yourself. More details at

  11. I'm disappointed -- when I come to TOH, the stairs won't be rocking! (But I must admit that they look better). I am a magazine junkie as well -- I have a cedar chest full of them! And I have notebooks FULL of things I've torn out of magazines -- some dating back to the 60's when I was a teen!

    I love my magazines!

    1. I too have the same sorts of "stuff saved" that have traveled the world and back with me..
      tackling it as I sort and pack for the upcoming move..

  12. Capital "K" for Knutt. But adorable one. Our outside stairs need rebuilding BUT Joe has to do everything himself so one of us or dare I say a friend will fall and then he will rebuild them. He cannot hire anybody to do anything that would be awful...I could pinch him.

    1. When we moved here 4 years ago, Howard discovered the most beautiful phrase in the English language: "Pay the man."
      And now we do.
      After 30 years of DIY, we are DONE.
      Even my Dad, the King of DIY, eventually began to hire out jobs he just didn't want to do.
      Of course, he was in his 80s by then ....

  13. Hi Cass!
    thanks for stopping by, viewing and commenting on my pics!
    i guess the love of flowers comes through loud and clear..
    this is my way of expressing my creativeness..
    i can no longer paint due to the arthritis..
    so I use my Nikon instead of brushes..
    there is NOTHING wrong with your photography skills..
    I especially LOVE the ones of Dion's many facial expressions..
    paired with your witty sayings/comments!!
    also blurbed about the Retina problem..
    ps.. still decrapifying as i sort and pack..
    warmest hugs..

  14. Cass,
    You are on a roll today. Or I am, as I am rolling around, laughing. What a fun, chatty, humorous visit!

  15. The step repair looks like it was very well done!
    Loved the close-up of the kitty in the yarn shop...that had to be a fun day.
    And 'yes', I would love to reach into that photo of the yarn balls & just play!


    p.s. I know where you can get rid of ONE certain book on Dishes!!!!! *wink*

  16. thanks for this post!! I am so glad to know I'm not the only magazine hoarder out there! And I really do go back and read them, get recipes etc... You made me laugh out loud LOL with this post!

  17. Great job on the step repair. your post makes me smile. Love the kitty by the yarn.
    I try to keep some favorite magazines handy for inspiration. Thanks for your lovely post.

  18. The magazines - they are an addiction and there should be a 12 Step program for addicts.
    I think you should knit that sweater for Howard and the Geoduck thingy for yourself....and then get on a cruise ship and come on up here and walk around Victoria. Honestly, no one would even blink - I'm pretty sure I've seen both those things on the street here.

  19. Ha...very entertaining as usual! I have a few magazines that I've kept for a number of years, not nearly as many as you have, probably. They are mostly 'Victorian Homes' magazines because I can't bear to toss them!

  20. I simply hate to part with old magazines, I wrote to Country Living magazine, and told them I disliked the size of theirs, I was published in the letters to the editor section....they kept the size :(
    Love those stone steps, it looks like the mason did a wonderful job.
    Pretty kitty, such a beautiful face.

  21. Nice post, thanks for sharing this wonderful


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