Thank you for finding That Old House amidst the chaos of the Internet. We are delighted that you are here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How Cold Is It?

Looks like this rooster is peering through frosted glass, doesn't it? The type of crackly frosted glass you see on old fashioned shower doors.

But, no. This rooster is actually looking out of one of our sunroom windows, thick-coated with ice, courtesy of Mother Nature and her morning's wicked wintry mix.
Those are our sunroom doors. And I need to actually open them and venture out, soon, to take my dogs out. I don't want to do this, really I don't. Those dark blobs glimpsed through the ice are arborvitae shrubs. Even they look cold.

Spring can't come soon enough.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Something's Fishy

Years ago... many years ago... my best-friend-since-Kindergarten Mardi-Ellen and I found this fish at an art festival in an old whaling village on eastern Long Island. We bought it for my parents, who had a beach house nearby in Southold. We thought it was "artsy."

My mother graciously displayed it on an end table. In years to come, it would be a resting place for a grandchild's pacifier -- which fit right into the fish's open mouth -- and a permanent dust catcher.

What was not permanent was my parents' residency at their beloved bayfront home. A year and a half ago they moved to an assisted living facility in New Jersey, near my house. They still own the beach house, but it's not occupied now, and my siblings and I are slowly clearing things out -- donating or dumping, giving away, and (often) bringing home.

Since I had given the fish to them, I took it home.

It's residing now on an end table in my sunroom. Sometimes he looks quite snazzy:

Who knew fish could wear earrings?

(Be careful what you give your folks; it may end up in your house someday!)
PS I have my computer back. Hooray!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Snow, Sun and Seventeen Degrees!

Ooooo... baby, it's cold outside.

My daughter in Pasadena watched the sun set over the Pacific Ocean last night, on Santa Monica beach, sharing a picnic supper with her boyfriend. While she's having a heat wave, we are having a cold wave. Or whatever it's called.

Now I ask you, how cold does THIS landcape look? It started snowing again -- just flurries -- and the sun was still shining. I went out on my front porch and aimed the camera back toward the cul-de-sac behind our house. Brrr... I haven't even gone up there to pick up my mail yet today; you can see my mailbox to the right of that tree past the hedges. Too far away!

Even my dogs don't want to leave the house.

I turned around and shot a picture in the other direction. Anyone know of someone who is good at restoring old shutters? And replacing missing ones? We hope to paint the house this coming spring, and I love the old shutters but they are crying out for a visit to a shutter spa.

Yikes I better go back outside and take in the Christmas wreath!

Stay warm, everyone. Unless you are in California, in which case don't tell me that you are wearing shorts and flip-flops today.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Party's Over....

A mercifully short-lived winter cold has kept me indoors but curled up under an afghan for the last few days. It's a good time to be hibernating.

Every year since they were "little," my two girls have had their own Christmas tree in our family room. This year's tree had a former life as a dorm room tree, so it's a little tabletop fellow, and not quite big enough to hold all the girls' ornaments. When my girls have their own homes, they'll have a head start on a collection of quirky, funny, sentimental, homemade, vintage and other tree ornaments.

And inspired by Mary at Little Red House, I put a tree in the dining room. I planned to wire teacups on it, like Mary's tree, but A) this tree is too small and spindly for that and B) I ran out of time. So instead I poked in some beaded and glittered fruit.

Our "real tree" is down, now, lying barren at the curb, all the ornaments packed away. Now to tackle the other big tree. Tomorrow....

There is a tiny tree in my powder room, in a Santa boot, with Santa ornaments, but for some reason when I try and put up a picture of it, the picture comes out sideways and looks very odd indeed.

I am looking forward to the house getting back to as normal as it ever is, and getting ALL the corners cleaned out!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

O Tannenbaum(s) . . . .

So... this is the "alternative" tree in our Parlor; it's the 4th Christmas we've had a not-cut-from-the-forest tree and I never will love it, but I do admit that it does a bang-up job of holding those heavy ornaments that fall right off a fresh tree.

However, in this house, this year, we have a second tree... a "fresh" one, in our Sunroom. Yay! Can't beat the smell of the Frasier Fir needles, and the suspense of wondering, "Will anyone notice that big bald spot on the side?"

And now it is two days past Epiphany, and our house is still sporting its Christmas bling. Both the Sunroom and Parlor trees are up and decorated; in a way I hate denuding the "fresh" one in the sunroom, as it is still valiantly hanging on to nearly all of its needles.

See? A closeup, and still plenty of spiny green things.

We put a tree, of sorts, in every room on our first floor this year, and also in the front hall. My husband had his doubts about the little one in the powder room, but even he admits it adds to the holiday cheer.

A blessed 2009 to all!

(Next year: More trees. Shh.. don't tell my family.)