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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

A Village Time Forgot, AND Pink Is Not My (Eye) Color

I think I mentioned a couple of days ago that my husband Howard has been 
dealing with a both-eyes case of viral conjunctivitis, or Pink Eye.
Howard always shares so generously with me.
That's all I'm saying, except that Pink, in this case, is definitely not my color.

And now, today's post.  Don't worry - no pictures of me!  Or either of my eyes.


There are places you visit that call you back.
Again, and again.

One of those places, for me, is the hamlet of Oysterponds
in Orient, near the very end of Long Island's North Fork.

Things change slowly, if at all, in Oysterponds.

The original 5 families who received their land grants from the
English King in the 1600s and settled the area still live there.

Well, their descendants live there . . . .

Salt air can do a lot to keep you healthy, but it has its limits.

Oysterponds is about a 20-minutes' drive east.
along a beautiful road, from our family beach house.

A tiny village with narrow roads, nearly every house is old.
17th, 18th, 19th century old.

The older houses are small and hug the earth; most are
Cape Cod style.  Like the houses built by the Pilgrims,
these houses were built to withstand the bufferings of ocean winds.

Turncoat Benedict Arnold staged raids
on Patriot controlled Connecticut from Oysterponds.

Peconic Bay nearly surrounds the hamlet.

In the far distance, Long Island's South Fork, home to the famous Hamptons.

One of the original families, the Tuthills, had a number of "little people" born in the 19th century.
 They were not hidden away, and they did not become sideshow or circus performers,
which was the fate of most Little People of their time.
Instead, they were part of the Oysterponds community, and the family built them houses,
on a smaller scale.  The women were seamstresses, and Addison (I think the only man)
was a farmer, and he was smaller than Mr. Barnum's Colonel Tom Thumb.
Addison turned down lucrative offers from Mr. Barnum, choosing a life of hard work and dignity,
growing his Brussels sprouts and potatoes and cauliflower in Orient, part of his community.

I just love the heavy moldings on this little front door.

My kids used to love to visit Oysterponds.  In fact, they still do.
There's a shop called The Candyman, just before you turn
off the Main Road onto Village Lane.  Stop if you go.

 I visit for the houses;
the homemade chocolates are just a bonus.

Oysterponds is on my list of
Places I Want to Live When I Grow Up.
 I think I better get going on that, huh?

And thanks to Karen, The Graphics Fairy, for the antique eye image!  

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

A Blob Post

Almost exactly 3 years ago, Howard took
this picture of a chipmunk, who was sitting
near a drainpipe here at That Old House.

On this day Mr. Chipmunk, or more likely his many descendants,
would be wiser to stay under cover. 

 Although today looks a lot like this time, two years ago:


When it snows, I tend to take pictures from inside the house.
Our side yard, this morning, from the dining room:

Our side yard, two years ago, from the front porch,
at that odd "blue light" time of day in the late afternoon. 

 I am not the only family member who thinks it's best
to stay under cover on a nasty day.
Dylan is napping in his favorite spot: the back of the Study sofa.
He has never tumbled off backwards; he leads a charmed life. 
Or, possibly, there's a zipper in that nice coat of his, and inside there's a cat. 
My Mom used to say that the Lord watches over little children, drunk men, and fools.  Dogs, too?

Gilda prefers terra firma.
She is sawing wood in the Study crate.
Note to her foster Mom, Adriane -- see how sleek her coat is?  We done good.

While I was snapping pictures out of windows this morning,
I noticed that the Parlor mantel is nekkid.  Like, totally. 

 But I also saw something even more odd
than a nekkid mantel shelf.
See it?  Lower right corner.  Fuzzy cloudy blobby thing.

My Nikon camera sometimes produces an image with
a fuzzy spot, but today I was using my Canon.
Which doesn't.  Make spots I mean.
 I took two of these shots, and both show the blob.

 Have our spirits returned?
Happy Tuesday!  -- Cass 
 (Who needs to clean the lens on her camera!)

Monday, March 18, 2013

Oh, March - Pull Up Your Socks!

In February, I wrote 3 blog posts.

Tally so far this month:  one, from March 2nd.
This will make 2 posts, so I have a pretty good chance
of beating my sorry February record. 

It's not that there's nothing going on around That Old House.
Well, yes, actually . . . there is nothing going on around That Old House.

Of course, there's always the weather.

On Saturday, after Gilda's bath (which explains the crazy curly hair),
she and Dylan heard tap-tap-tapping on the Sunroom roof. 

Lo and behold . . . snow.
 Not piles and piles of it, but eventually it covered the ground
and bushes, and even this Monday morning there are lingering
snow lumpers here and there in the yard.

We are how many days away from Spring?
And expecting more snow tonight.
Ah, Mother Nature. 
You are such a cut-up. 
At That Old House, there are always the dogs to talk about.
For Mary's Mosaic Monday (link below),
I've done a couple of canine collages.

 Gilda went to the pet shop on Friday.
She came home with an Easter dress.
Oh, dear.
If I start dressing the dogs in footie pajamas and 
walking them all over town in a double stroller,
arrange for an intervention, promise? 

How is your March shaping up?
Howard's got a nasty case of conjunctivitis, in both eyes,
Anne's got a hacking cough,
the house is a museum of winter fustiness,
and I am still one lucky middle aged frau.  -- Cass

Now, go visit Mary's beautiful Little Red House blog,
Her mosaic is a dreamy, Welcome Spring collage of tiny, tender blooms.  


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Chilly Birds, Hot Pea Soup, Bananas, and an Old Magazine

I have not written a blog post in more than 2 weeks.
Let's chalk it up to the February blahs, okay? 

So . . . Happy March!

Is the month that will bring us Spring,
as gentle as a lamb,
coming in like a lion for you?
In New Jersey, we've had some mighty chilly and windy days.
Teeny birds were hanging for dear life onto the
bare branches of bushes outside our local Wal-Mart.

One little guy looked particularly stressed.
 At least he had the good sense to face into the wind.

  This is going to be an oddly random post.
As if my posts are usually so well planned and thought out!

Question: Do the diners in your part of the world
offer pea soup on Thursdays?
This is the tradition in New Jersey;
I didn't know this until we moved here 5 years ago.
 But it's a great tradition.
Mmmm . . . Pea soup and coffee in thick white diner china.

I once asked a waitress why every diner or coffee shop
made pea soup every Thursday, and she said,
"Because it's
Thursday, hon."  
Which brings us to bananas.
Because I found pictures Anne took last week.

Bananas, getting nekkid:

 And why are they getting nekkid, sliced into a
Chinese food container, and heading for the freezer?
 Ha!  Anne can fill you in on that in a couple of days.
It's not my project.

And that brings us to an old magazine.
 House Beautiful is the oldest shelter magazine in continuous
publication in the USA.  I've been a subscriber since
shortly after I got married, about a hundred years ago.
Today I was wading through stacks and stacks of old
magazines, while watching an episode of Hoarders,
and - because I don't want to find myself
on one of those shows - reluctantly relegating some of them
to the Recycle bin, and others to the Giveaway bin. 
And then I found this in the pile:
 Check out the date.  And the price.
 It isn't a mistake that I have a 28-year old magazine on my bookshelves.
I wanted it there; I wrote this:
 But I couldn't remember why I saved it.
So I flipped through it.
It featured some beautiful, some eccentric, private spaces - some of them
carved out of larger dwellings, like Tricia Guild's hideaway in
her London apartment, below.   
 Some of them, including a darling English cottage,
featured on the cover,
were tiny hideaways all on their own.

It struck me that much of what was in that issue looks timeless.
Like Guild's room, above, and even what she is wearing:
linen cropped pants, blazer, huaraches.
There was a story about a charming antiques shop on Long Island:
Was I harboring plans to someday sell antiques myself?

Howard, our dog Brandy, and I were living in a roomy old railroad flat,
without central heat, in New York City, and in May 1985 
were brand-newly expecting our first child.

We were looking at houses in New Jersey that we couldn't yet afford;
maybe the pictures of quirky homes and their intensely personal decoration spoke to me, given some of the extremely
quirky houses we'd looked at that year.

Or, maybe, I just wanted this Chocolate Mousse recipe
from the old "Quick Cook" column:
I am pretty sure I made this mousse - it seems very familiar!
Some things don't change.
This ad is for the food processor that I use now,
and I bought it just a few years ago. 

They endure.
I think I'll keep this issue of House Beautiful,
for maybe another 28 years.
Thank you, JoAnn Barwick.
-- Cass
P.S.  Looking through an old magazine highlights the changes in the last decades.  The photography is not as crisp as today's digital images, and there are no websites listed in the advertisements, and no phone app do-hickeys.  Ah, I am a dinosaur.