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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Stuffing In More Stuff

You wouldn't think, to look at it,
that our old house is made of elastic.

Turns out, it is not.
Despite our best efforts to make it so, it is not made of elastic.
Turns out, cedar clapboards will only stretch so far
to accommodate too much stuff.

In the past 10 days, we've incorporated much of my cousin Janet's
belongings from her Philadelphia apartment into That Old House.

An old jelly cupboard, that was loaded with . . .
art supplies!  Boxes and boxes of them.

Then there are the paintings.
Janet's brother, my cousin Bill, was an accomplished artist,
as was their mother, my Aunt Lillian.
(For whom our daughter Anne Lillian is named.)  

Some of the paintings have gone, or are going, to other family members.
Some will live here at That Old House. 
Like this one, above the study sofa.

These two are casually leaning up against the parlor mantel,
as they wait to learn where they will live.

I think this is one that my sister will want.
So, Peggy - items left more than 30 days become the property of the management.
I'm just letting you know.

This big oil is destined for the beach house.  Perfect colors, perfect size.

This still life of fruit, by my Aunt Lillian, has found its home in our dining room.
Yes, there are more paintings.  They are not the stuff problem!

No, I'm afraid the real stuff problem stems from the boxes from Janet's apartment,
combined with our Annie's moving back to That Old House from her apartment in New Brunswick.
Kitchen boxes from Anne's kitchen.  Now in my kitchen.

On Tuesday of this week, Anne moved back home until she can afford an apartment.
She gave away some of her furniture to friends, but some (lots?) came home with her.

Like these big Frenchy dudes, squatting in our study for the time being.

A 1980s vintage Ethan Allen Swedish style settee and some other things are shoe-horned into the
dining room.  By the way, that's another cousin Bill painting on the wall -- the seagulls.
That is not its permanent home; Howard hung it there to keep it safe.

In the front hall, plastic bins and a suitcase.

In the sunroom, we welcome back the Art Deco cocktail table.
And when we say cocktail table,
 we really mean cocktail table!  Hidden bars swing out from each end of this cutie.

 There is stuff all over the place.  I have not photographed the worst of the clutter,
and I'm not even bringing the camera upstairs, where the movers brought most of the boxes and furniture.

It doesn't seem possible that it has been three years since I wrote a blog post about Anne shopping our house
to furnish her grad school apartment.  Wow.  Time does indeed fly.  Three years later, and she's gotten
her Masters in Fine Arts, and yesterday wrapped up her first professional gig, and has two more lined up.  

And I'm still here, still trying to finish decorating That Old House.

Howard lay down the law this morning, as he picked his way through boxes
and climbed over small tables and bins.  Two words: "Storage unit."

Well, I'll get a storage unit.  After all, Howard got his new toy:

Okay, I am lying. 
That is Howard in the driver's seat of that Porsche.
 And my niece Mary in the passenger seat.

And this is Howard painfully unfolding himself from the driver's seat of the Porsche,
which clearly is designed to be driven by people too young to afford it.
But the car belongs to my brother Lindy.
Yes, he has good toys, and he plays nice and shares them.

Now about that storage unit -- I just hate paying money to store stuff.

Hmmm . . . think I can sell that cocktail table at my booth?
What about those two big Frenchy chairs?
Sshhh . . . don't tell Anne.

Do you know I have not posted in almost 2 weeks?
Between Janet's passing and Anne's graduation, my mind has not been much in blog mode.
By now, though, I've got a long list of projects for That Old House.  You'll see!  

Have a lovely Thursday!  -- Cass


  1. I'm lucky -- once Sarah moved out she stayed "out"!!!! Ah, stuff -- life brings us stuff and like you I can't see paying money to store it -- unless it is a temporary fix i.e. keeping you out of the divorce courts and biding time until you can sort through everything.

    Was so happy to see your post!

  2. Yes you've been missing, but we know there's always a reason. You have even more projects going on now! Hope the shop is going well.

  3. Sorry for the loss of your family member.
    The paintings are beautiful, what a talented family.

  4. My house tends to look like a storage unit every May when school is out. I lug it home and back in the fall. Only in the fall, I need to get "autumn" things out of the basement, not all the "spring" stuff that is on its way to the basement. There's just not enough storage at school to keep all of my stuff. And all of it is GOOD stuff! Good luck. The chairs are quite nice and that table with storage for all the bar paraphernalia is a hoot.♥♫

  5. Hi Cass, Wow, that's a lot of stuff! The paintings are very nice. I hope you will come visit me on my blog. Have a great week!

  6. Cass~
    I've missed you..
    my house is crammed with boxes for my upcoming move,,
    as i de-crapify, i'm making new discoveries every day,,
    found the original printer CD's which I'd "filed" 7 years ago..
    which i needed and couldn't find even when searching "everywhere"..
    until AFTER it went to Goodwill..
    at least the discoveries you are making are interesting..and NEW!
    Sorry about the loss of your relative..

  7. I had to smile at the picture of Howard getting out of the car. My husband has a little roadster and it is a pain the butt to get in and out! There is just no elegant way to do it!

    I am loving your original artwork. You have that creative gene running through your family!

    Welcome home Anne!


  8. OMGoodness, Cass, thank you for the fit of giggles! My wee house still looks a bit like yours! Certain rooms are clutter-free, but others have one side that is organized and looking good, but turn around and AHHHHH! We will all get there eventually :) Thank you for voting for my story. Sorry to be so shamelessly self-promoting, but it sure would help with high deductible insurance.
    **happy smiles** Deb

  9. I was so hoping you were gong to say one or more of those paintings were headed to the beach house. They are just soooo perfect. What a treasure trove of art supplies. These things will help you through when the grief rolls in like the tide. You can do a project or look at a painting and think of those you love.

    Having your daughter home will be sweet. It will likely go too quickly. So.....I'm thinking it is worth the inconvenience of the stuff. Congrats to her on her degree! Impressive.

    Have a lovely day. Hope you sell a ton at your booth.

  10. I'm so sorry to read about the loss of your cousin. It is good of you to store her belongings until it can be decided what to do with them. Thank goodness you have the space, huh? Sort of ;) I cannot imagine the chaos that is taking place now. BTW, I so love your home...even if it's not made of elastic! :)


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