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Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Foiling The Klepto-Ghosts of That Old House

They are still at it, our kleptomaniac ghosties 
here at That Old House.
Check out this post from October 2012 . . . .

As an update, nearly a year later, and the 2 Williamsburg Royal Scroll dinner forks and the teaspoon are still missing, and now . . . they have been joined in exile by still more of this beautiful flatware that I've only had for two years.
An old tablescape.  Johnson Bros. dishes, Royal Scroll flatware.

Come on, ghosts! 
This prank ain't funny anymore.

And another old tablescape.  A breakfast tray, I think.
Johnson Bros. Indies Blue china,  Royal  Scroll flatware.

So, against my inclination to use this nice flatware every day,
I'm going to leave it in its drawer, unmolested, and keep an eye on it.
Meaning, obsessively count it.
Over and over and over again.

And a third old tablescape.  Mish-mash of Home Goods and thrifting finds.
And, of course, the Royal Scroll.

But we need flatware to useor we're going to get
awfully tired of sandwiches, and slurping our soup from thick mugs.

Love me some grilled cheese, but not for Thanksgiving dinner.

After spending countless hours cruising the web for knives and forks and spoons 
that I could live with, and that wouldn't bankrupt us,
I hit on Mikasa French Countryside stainless flatware.

It's not cheap, unless you are me, and get lucky.
Because, through sheer dumb luck, I scored service for 12 
in this pattern on Amazon for a price that was astounding.
The cheapskate gods were smiling on me that day.

Top, the new French Countryside.  Bottom, my 2-year old Royal Scroll.

 On Amazon, there was only one set left.  And now, there are none.
Because that one set is mine, all mine!  (Cue cackling crone laugh.)

So, for now, we'll use this Mikasa flatware as our everyday,
and it will live atop Jabba The Hutch in a glass vase, 

so both we and the ghosties can easily find it.

It looks a lot like the Royal Scroll.
Old Stuff
New Stuff

It's almost as heavy, also 18/10 stainless, and with similar lines.
I am hoping to fool the ghosts into stealing it instead of the other.

See?  Here are both patterns together.
Don't you think that will totally confuse kleptomaniacal ghosties?
It will absolutely confuse my husband, and he is at least as smart as our ghosts.

Please, Ghoulies & Ghosties & Long-leggedy Beasties - stop stealing our stuff!
But if you must, please steal the cheaper things!
You can find what you need to feed yourself right here:

Don't open the drawers; there's no Royal Scroll flatware in there!
And please don't steal Gilda the dog.

Flatware, clothes, books, garden tools -- so many things
have gone missing since 2008.  Where are you keeping it all? 
Let me know; I may hire you as closet organizers.

And now . . . our moment of real:
So there I am, snapping pictures in my not-really-ready-for-primetime kitchen,
and I realize that A) there's the back and tail of our dog Dylan
in the bottom of this shot, and B) the dishwasher is open.

Happy Wednesday, blogging friends.
Now go count your flatware.  I did.  Not good news . . . . -- Cass

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Ee-I-Ee-I-Oh! A Farm In The Garden State

No better use for land, is there?
Just a few miles from That Old House, there's an old place 
that's been farmed since 1803.  Continuously.  

Now that's A Good Thing.

 The Ayers-Knuth Farm is on the New Jersey and 
Federal Registers of Historic Sites.

And you can buy veggies, fruit and plants at Union Hill Farmstand, 
just past the Ayers-Knuth barn.  Which is here:

This farm used to have one of the largest barns in New Jersey, for a dairy operation, 
but it burned down in 1936, and the family farm fell on hard times.
Now it is run by a community organization of volunteers.

I love this side of the barn, with the 2nd story door
from what I guess was the hay loft.
Watch that last step, it's a doozy!

I love summer; there are enough farms nearby to keep us in zucchini and
tomatoes and amazing corn, blueberries and peaches and ripe red strawberries,
for the entire season, and all within commuting distance of midtown Manhattan.
After all, New Jersey's official nickname is The Garden State.  :-)
-- Cass

Visit Outdoor Wednesday, at A Southern Daydreamer.
At Bluff Area Daily Blog, I'm joining Barn Charm.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hounds, Hydrangeas, and Horrible Storms

I think I have forgotten how to blog.
It's been almost a month.
This one may take awhile, so it's a good thing it's Sunday.

In the month since last we met, pretty much nothing has happened.
Well, not entirely true.
We agreed to be foster parents for this young fellow:

He is a handsome young Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, a Blenheim,
and he was surrendered by his owners to Cavalier Rescue
for placement in a new home. (Not ours; we are foster parents!)

He was so big and furry when we got him, 
that he reminded us of Sasquatch, the Abominable Snowman, 
so we nicknamed this boy Dogsquatch.

Then we had him groomed, and had all the old fur and mats 

(there were a lot) cut off, and he became Nakedsquatch.

Normally Cavaliers are not clipped, but when a coat is neglected badly, there's no alternative!

Not only does he look better, but his grooming transformed him;
before, he was standoffish, didn't want to be touched, 
didn't want to see a dog brush!  Not a happy boy.

There were mats hiding under his big coat - and they had tightened up
close to his skin - so being touched or petted or brushed hurt.  A lot.
Now he's a happy guy!  He's cuddly and charming,
his true self emerging from his pile of fur.

Look how much younger
and happier he looks,
from before (l) and after (r).
Happy Nakedsquatch.
Now that's a change!

So, what about those Hydrangeas mentioned in the title?
Well, we have 3 regular ol' mopheads, in our upper border.
Most of the time they bloom like gangbusters.
This year, the total number of blooms among all 3 bushes is . . . one.
And this is it:

One lonely little mophead blossom.
I don't even have the heart to cut it and bring it in to dry.

But around the corner, along the side of the house, 
there's a stalwart lacecap Hydrangea.  She does not disappoint.

Beautiful pink blooms. . . 

and on the same bush, blue blooms!

How goofy is that?

I love Hydrangeas, and am disappointed at the lousy showing
of my three ladies in the border.
I will have to find out what went wrong.  Their foliage is gorgeous!
What is not gorgeous is the pile of giant tree limbs that's right in front of That Old House.
Last week, a fierce fast storm whipped through, short and violent, and
ripped off top branches from the two big maples in our front yard.
They covered half our street, and posed quite an obstacle for motorists.

We've had some funky landscaping in our time, 
but this one takes the cake.

I told you that I was rusty in putting together a blog post.
I began this one early afternoon on Sunday; it's nearly 10:30 at night, and I'm just wrapping up.
Okay, I did do other things in between: dinner, watering potted plants, sorting through
some linens in the dining room . . . but yikes!  I need to get back in blogging shape!
Have a lovely week! -- Cass

For info on Nakedsquatch's life with That Old House's resident canines,
you can visit Dylan DiPoochy on Facebook.
Yes, my dog is on FB.  Not me.  Go figure.

And I am joining Susan's Metamorphosis Monday blog party,
at Between Naps On The Porch.  Click here!
One on sidebar