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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Random Thoughts From Dion

Mr. Dion DiPoochy is our nearly-11 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel,

and a most beloved member of our family.

Today, he blogs.


Dion, in his own words:

You know how sometimes you lie on your back with your legs all floppily,
and just sort of air out and think deep thoughts?

I do that a lot.

And I wrestle with deep philosophical questions, cause you know my mind is always
going a mile a minute even if my body is slumped on the sofa.

I think about things like . . .

How come people put clothes on their dogs?
Don't they know that, unlike humans, we are not ashamed of our nekkidness?
Which is probably because we're so darned much better looking than humans.

When we lick people, why do they mistake it for a kiss?
Don't they know we are tasting them, and just haven't found a really delicious human yet?

Why are the most delicious humans usually mailmen?

When the humans say, "Dion, you smell!" what is the proper way to thank them?
Or are they just being polite?

Why isn't it disgusting when they "go" in the house?

Do cats have brains?

What's so great about colors, anyway?

And most importantly of all . . . Why don't we have pockets?

Now, time for more deep thoughts.
Do Not Disturb. . .

Dion would be very appreciative if anyone has answers to those important questions that clearly give him sleepless nights, and days, and . . . Zzzzzzz....zzz..zzz..zzz

Have a lovely day! -- Cass, owned by Dion

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Summer ReRun On A Winter's Day

Remember when Sunday afternoon meant a leisurely dinner with extended family? In our house, it was usually leg of lamb studded with garlic, which roasted in the oven while we were at church.

I'm not as organized as my Mom was, but we often host family -- especially my father -- on Sundays.

But this Sunday I'll be spending a lot of time at the hospital, where my Dad was admitted for pneumonia yesterday. He's doing well, and when he's recovered, he'll be back at That Old House for his favorite Sunday dinners again.

Just like last summer . . . .

Join me for a trip down memory lane, courtesy of the Sunday Favorites blog party (links at end!).

(August 2009)

Mmmmm . . . summer.

My 89-year old father has Parkinson's Disease, and last month was hospitalized with pneumonia. He was very weak afterward. I promised him that as soon as he was able to walk down the stone steps from our driveway to our house, he'd come for dinner.

He loves to visit, and he loves my cooking, so he worked hard to get better.

On Sunday, he was ready!


As I prepared for my Dad, my sister, and brother-in-law, to come for dinner on Sunday -- a meal of
seasonal fresh vegetables and fruits, grilled chicken, and whole grains -- I took pictures:

I had planned to continue taking pictures -- of the finished food, the set table, the (hopefully) smiling guests -- but when my Dad and his entourage arrived, there were three extra people with them, and I had to switch gears from Dinner for Five, to Dinner for Eight.

Quick addition of place settings, removal of salad bowls and votive candles to make more room, another cup of brown rice popped into the microwave -- all done so the guests wouldn't notice it happening -- and a whisper to Howard to take only one small grilled chicken cutlet, or risk getting kicked under the table!

There went my plans to carefully record A Summer Supper in pictures.


We had a lovely time. I thoroughly enjoyed squashing in three more people, especially my lovely nieces and a boyfriend, and as usually happens when your house spreads its arms and hugs a few more people, there was plenty of food. I have leftovers in the refrigerator . . . even some leftover chicken!

I think of it as the Loaves and Fishes effect.
He always provides. -- Cass

Quiz: In the Mosaic, can you spot Howard doing the most romantic thing a husband can do? Ladies, teach this to your sons!

Join Chari at Happy To Design for more Sunday Favorites stories! Click the logo!

Friday, February 26, 2010

There's No Business Like SNOW Business!

When it comes to major snowstorms, Mr. Dion DiPoochy has wonderful coping skills.

He goes to sleep.
And when he wakes, someone else has shoveled out a walking and -- ahem -- business path for him.

It's a good system.

My personal coping mechanism is to stay inside, and take pictures through the windows.
It also works.

This storm is nuts.
The morning brought more relentless snowfall, and this afternoon brought sessions of both brilliant sunshine and heavy wet snow, sometimes within the same 15 minutes. Nuts, I tell you.

At 5 o'clock on Friday morning, the high winds were making eerie snow sculptures in the landscape.

Also at 5 AM, the overnight snow had obliterated all of Howard's Thursday shoveling.
You can still see the stone wall behind the house, but where did the steps go?

There was more snow to come. Okay, now where is our stone wall?

I stepped briefly out of the sunroom door to get a picture of the table and chairs on the patio.
Yesterday you could see them. Today, not so much.

Through a side window, below, a shot of our next-door neighbors' house. They are usually
meticulous about clearing their driveway and those long stairs to their front door.

For this storm, even our intrepid neighbors gave up until there was a break in the snowfall.
(You can't see their steps, either. That makes me ridiculously happy.)

Howard tackled our back steps late in the morning,
after taking care of that pesky thing called work, from home:

Look out below! Attack of Snowblower Man!
Howard managed to shoot the stuff all the way from the driveway
to the sunroom windows. Pretty impressive.

It is beautiful here today, especially right now, mid-afternoon -- the sun is out (well, sometimes), it has gotten milder, and everything gleams with fresh white snow. The tree limbs are laden with it, and the shrubs are all decked out in fluffy snow blobbies.

And I'm glad I'm inside.
I'm also glad Howard is inside now, too, and not playing with the snowblower anymore.
That thing makes me nervous.

Well that's my Snow and Tell for today!

I am not sure what the next few days will bring; my Dad does have pneumonia, again, but it's being treated "at home." Keep your fingers crossed for him, please, that he doesn't need hospitalization. That's no fun at any age, but when you are almost 90 it is very stressful.

Have a wonderful weekend! -- Cass

SNOW Doubt About It, We Are Ready For Spring!

Lucky us.

It began snowing here about 4 o'clock on Thursday morning, continued all day, is pouring down the white stuff overnight tonight, and will continue throughout the day Friday . . . and on into Saturday.

See this?

That was just before dusk. By now there is twice that much snow.
It is dramatic, I'll say that for it.

Towards the back. . .

Believe it or not, Howard had cleared those steps twice!

Looking out toward the street from the sunroom:

The best thing to do? Light a candle, or two,

and think of this:

I've been wrestling with listing the table and chairs featured in Tuesday's post, on Ebay. This is my first time doing this, and there's a steep learning curve! My poor blog took a back seat.

I plan to be back tomorrow with a Friday post, but my father is feeling poorly since a fall he had Wednesday morning; I hope we won't be trekking through the snow to the emergency room. My poor Pop has had a rough year.

If you are under the same snow gun as That Old House, stay inside if you can, don't worry about the shoveling because it all just fills up again in an hour, and read some good blogs. And don't forget that old standby remedy: chocolate! -- Cass

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Too Much Of A Good Thing

Does this chair look lonely? Don't worry, it's got seven siblings. . . .
That Old House is joining Three Or More Tuesday, and 2nd Time Around Tuesday -- links at end!

The crazy lady who lives in my head took husband Howard off into the untamed wilds of Connecticut on Sunday. It was just the three of us -- Me, Howard, and The Crazy Lady In My Head -- and an otherwise empty mini-van.

We had a nice ride on a beautiful day, and returned to That Old House with a car full of this:

And lots more of these:

Remember when an addiction was defined as something that was an actual physical dependence on a substance? Like, say, an addiction to heroin, or good chocolate? Well, if Tiger Woods, who is a plain old pig, can claim to be addicted, then I am claiming an addiction to furniture. And chocolate.

Here's what happened.
I saw a table and chairs on Ebay last week.
The pictures were so poor that I wasn't even sure what it all was, so I did a little research.

Turns out, the table is a country French design, the exact size and style of the Pierre Deux Biche Refectory Table.
Which costs $3,995.00 on the PD website. Check it out here.

The chairs are similar to the Pierre Deux La Fleur side chairs, $795.00 each,
only these have X-shaped supports on the legs. Check out the PD ones here.

Now clearly this table and these chairs are not Pierre Deux, but they have the look.

Anyway, I bid on the set and much to my surprise and dismay, I won. By a buck.
Really, people listing things on Ebay need to take better pictures.
Also to my surprise, there were 8 chairs included; I had thought there were 6.

And now what to do?
I just put a new dining table in our red room.
We can't fit a table that extends to 11-feet anyway.
And the plum-colored upholstery on the chairs would be awful against the red walls in the dining room. No one could eat!

The table and 4 of the chairs are squooshed into the Parlor right now
and it's very hard to get good pictures, but I'll give it a try . . . .

A corner of a leaf with the "breadboard" edges.

Chair feet, lovely scrolls.
(The table's simple cabriole legs end in split hoof feet.)

Crest carving, on each of the 8 chairs.

The upholstery is velvet and feels like cotton; it's in very good condition.

Underneath the table top is a gap, for storing the extensions.

At each end of the table top, the slots for the extension arms:

Peek-A-Boo! I got fresh, and looked underneath one extension.
You can see the arms, which hold and support the leaves. It's a pretty ingenious design!

So what am I going to do with this country Frenchy table and chairs?
I'm going to sell them. They deserve a good home, and someone deserves a bargain.
That's the plan, anyway. I'm going wild and listing them on Ebay. Wish me luck!

Besides, if I don't sell them, Howard might load me and the Crazy Lady Who Lives In My Head
back in the van, drive us to Connecticut, and leave us there. -- Cass

Thanks to Tam at The Gypsy's Corner for Three Or More Tuesday. Visit here!

Thanks to Diane for 2nd Time Around Tuesday; visit her A Picture Is Worth 1000 Words blog. Here!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Table Hopping

Mr. Dion DiPoochy is peeking into the dining room, wondering what all the hullaballoo is about.

There's been a big change in the dining room at That Old House, and by big, I do mean big.
Thank goodness for thrifty finds on Craigslist!

Join me today for a Metamorphosis in the Dining Room, and a Mystery Mosaic!


Where once dwelt this:

Now dwells this:

Thanks to these:

Brother-in-law Bill, hubby Howard,
whom I thanked like this:

Sister Peggy, Bill, my Dad, Howard, and our new old table with all three of its leaves.
We are using less than 1/2 the table. Sweet.

This table will seat 12.

With room to walk around the seats at each end.

This is the old Henkel-Harris double pedestal table I mentioned previously.
Like, over and over again.

It does have a crazing issue in the tabletop -- which looks much worse in this picture than in real life:

The leaves and pedestals are in fine shape.

When the weather warms up, we'll take Big Bertha outside and give her the
Elizabeth Arden Behind-The-Red-Door beauty treatment for ladies of a certain age . . .

. . . and she shall be renewed -- wrinkles banished, and mahogony gleaming once again.

With no leaves, Bertha looks a little puny.

Most of the time, we'll keep one leaf in the table, to seat 8 nicely.

Now I'm going to sell the dining table and chairs that used to live here,
the Bombay Company set that was just too small.

Beautiful, but just too small. Sat only 6 comfortably.
Daughter Anne is sad; she would like us to keep these for her, table and chairs,
for someday when she has room for them.

Annie, as your Daddy said, "You are welcome to bid when Mom lists them on Ebay."
(If we had storage space, we would keep them for her. We aren't really mean. Much.)

Thank you, Bill, for helping haul in the tabletop and get it set up.
Thanks also to Peggy and Pop, for joining our inaugural dinner!

And now I am on the prowl for 8 chairs to supplement my 4 Chippendale-style seats.
(Can you hear Howard groan all the way from Manhattan?)

On Sunday, a gloriously beautiful day by New Jersey February standards, Howard and I drove to Connecticut, and we did not come back with an empty van.

A Mosaic Mystery Hint:

Please join Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday,
and oodles of beautiful photo collages!

And it's Metamorphosis Monday at Susan's Between Naps On The Porch blog.
Always well worth a visit!

Enjoy your Monday!
I'll see you tomorrow, and reveal our latest thrifty treasures, our imports from Connecticut!
Ooo la lah! -- Cass