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Monday, February 28, 2011

Of Roses and Daisies and Dions

It's been ten days since my last post.
I had no idea I'd been gone that long.
I've been posting in my head, but that doesn't really work, does it?

Two weeks ago, on Valentine's Day, my husband sent me roses.
I blogged about them the next day.  
Remember how pretty they were?  So fresh and bright:
Believe it or not, they are still here.  After two weeks they are starting to show their age,
as roses live life in the fast lane and burn out quickly.  But heck!  Who am I to hold that against them?
 Their color is darker and duller.
Their edges are getting rather, well, oddly purple and crinkly.

But they have not dropped even one petal.  I reward that kind of tough-it-out behavior.
These babies aren't going into the compost heap until they start
scattering rose petals like over-excited flower girls at a wedding.
Honestly?  I like their blowsy, woman-of-the-world look.
Kind of like a woman of a certain age that you might meet in a New York City bar,
wearing an old Chanel suit, holding court in a gravelly smoker's voice, and drinking a martini.
A real martini, not one of these newfangled apple-kiwi-caramel concoctions.
 Okay, I admit it -- that's who I want to be when I'm 80.
Not that I hang out in bars, or smoke, or drink martinis.  But maybe I will when I'm 80.  Why not?
 New flowers arrived on the scene today to steal the limelight.

A gift from friends whose dog -- Dion's sister Nina -- we minded over the weekend.
Minding Nina is a joy; she's what I call an "easy keeper," and is as sweet and dainty as can be.
If Queen Victoria were a Cavalier spaniel, she'd be Nina.

Dion, on the other hand, has never been much interested in being an "easy keeper."
A few nights ago, he decided again that the bathroom tissue
(see how elegant I am being, not calling it toilet paper?)
needed to be dragged from the powder room through the kitchen to the sunroom.
Till it ran out.
He tried to deny involvement, but the scrap of paper caught in his chest hair was pretty incriminating.

Tomorrow I've got a raft of thrifty buys to share with you.
Furniture, flatware . . .  more furniture.
I've been busy.

Happy Monday!  I'm late, but there are plenty of earlier entries at Mosaic Monday,
at Mary's Little Red House blog.  Click here to visit!  You will be glad you did.
Mary's own collage is of hyacinths and -- well, go see!  -- Cass

Friday, February 18, 2011

And The Green Grass Growing All Around, All Around . . . .

I've been in a sort of limbo this week.
And not the fun kind of limbo involving bamboo poles
and bongo drums and flowery Hawaiian shirts.

No, I've been hibernating.
I pulled my shell up over me and spent the past few days remembering and second-guessing and thinking . . . 
but this morning I got up, ready to rejoin the human race.

So here I am.

And now I'm noticing that while I was wallowing in my pity party,
my house was going to rack and ruin.  Or is that wrack and ruin?  Rack or wrack?

I looked it up.  Turns out it used to be "wrack," the great-great-grandpa to the word "wreck," but along about 1599
the "w"  retired and was last seen (he never was heard!) living in a villa in the Canary Islands, and leaving the hard work to the "r."  
Whaddya know.

Anyway, as I yank my brain back to the matter at hand, I realized that not only has That Old House not had
a good cleaning in about . . . well, in a long time . . . but we also brought home things
from my Dad's apartment that we didn't want to leave to the tender mercies of a self-storage unit,
and now . . .

I don't . . . 
Rosemaling on wood, and some wood cups my Dad turned on a lathe.

know where . . . 
This is one of the two nightstand lamps my parents had. My mother hated them.  I kinda like them, and will rewire them.  I can't remember what that sort of opaque rough-ish feeling glass/china is called.  Do you?

I'm going to put it all.
This is going to be a project.

Because, remember --
My Mom's gentle reminder.

I need to find out who wants what amongst my siblings.
We just boxed and brought pretty much everything that was on the walls home, for safekeeping.

And I really can't remember what's in these boxes:
Or these:

Oh my.

But, for now, I'm going to leave all of these things where they lay.
Because it's much too lovely a day outside to spend it inside.

We have grass showing!
It's not exactly green, it's more of an army drab, but it's genuine grass.

You can even see the back steps to the driveway once more.  In . . . how many weeks?
I know the cold weather is lurking just around the corner, but today
I will celebrate Life and Spring and even olive green Grass!

Stop by My Romantic Home, where Cindy is hosting Show and Tell Friday.
Scads of gorgeous things to swoon over!   Click here.

At the French Country Cottage blog, where owner Courtney is contemplating a bedroom
makeover (great pics!), it's Feathered Nest Friday.  Go see!  Click here.

I wish you a happy, safe, and joyous weekend.  I'm shopping with daughter Anne tomorrow,
and on Sunday afternoon am picking up some Ebay furniture finds.
I'll share them next week.
3 pieces for a total of seven dollars.  Would I lie?  -- Cass

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Come Celebrate -- It's Just Us Tonight

Sometimes the smallest parties are the sweetest.
 Won't you join me in
the dining room?
 We'll keep the lights low.
You won't notice the dust then.  Did I say that out loud?
 You're the guest; where would you like to sit?
 Good choice.  You get the best view from the end of the table.
 Now, I wonder what we'll have for dinner?
Should I have thought about that ahead of time?
 The smoke must have befuddled my brain.
 Chinese maybe?  Anything would look delicious on these old Aynsley plates.
 We've got the monogrammed silver out for you.
 And the funky mid-century glasses, with their gold and turquoise.
 Wine?  You betcha.
And I've always thought a good Scotch goes very well with Chinese food.
Or pretty much anything.
 Even the linen napkins have gotten dolled up.
They are their own neckties.

 A wildly goofy piece of Italian majolica holds faux glittered fruit and a few flowers and ribbons.

I confess.
The flowers
are faux.

As in, fake.
How daring.

 A hastily tossed-together centerpiece.
Necessity being an effective motivator.
 Ah, the obligatory stomach's-eye view of the tablesetting.
 And that's it.  Now, who's going to call China Garden and order?

  What I used in the table setting:
China -- Aynsley's Tatton Hall -- thrift shop find 2 years ago
Flatware -- Georgian pattern plate, various monograms, very vintage -- ca. 1912
Rocks glasses -- mid-20th century, gold leafed, were my parents' Scotch glasses
Double old-fashioned glasses -- Goodwill find, turquoise & gold, set of 6
Wine glasses -- handblown tulips, ca. 1970s, wedding present
Majolica centerpiece bowl -- Goodwill (seven dollars!)
Napkins -- New old stock, eBay, last fall
Crystal candlesticks -- various Tiffany, Lord & Taylor, and Big Lots
Crocheted runner -- can't remember!  I think my Mom gave it to me, with a smaller matching piece
Glittered, beaded, gold-leafed fruits -- Dollar Tree, Michael's, and the mists of time . . .

I think that's it!

And I am stunningly late to the Thursday blog parties.  My bad.

Susan's Tablescape Thursday is an amazing gathering of tablesetting genius.  Click here!
It's all happening at Between Naps On The Porch.

Leigh at Tales from Bloggeritaville hosts Thrifty Thursday, and my table is nothing if not thrifty!

Go visit and be amazed, amused, and inspired.  I'm going to call China Garden now....  Cass

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sunshine . . . On My Molder . . . Makes Me Happy

With apologies to the late John Denver,
and also with apologies to That Old House.

She isn't really moldering away.  Much.  I don't think . . . .


But it was a brilliantly sunny morning this sparkling Wednesday,
and I thought I'd show you how winter sunshine peeks in,
and what it reveals!

 Our house faces East, so it's a challenge for the sun to slide across the covered front porch and --
 in through the front door sidelights and parlor windows.
But it manages to do so, and it climbs a bit of the front stairs.
 That Old House asks that you not gossip about the bottom of her newel post being a bit cracked.
She says if you were 180 years old, you'd have a few cracks yourself.   Well, she's right about that.

The front windows let in a bit of low angled sun that slants along the fireplace.
And highlights all the old lumps and bumps under the 3-year old paint.
 I'm afraid I like the old lumps and bumps, being the owner of a few of them myself.
Ladies, we all know that makeup can only do so much!

A sliver of sun brings out the gold in the wide pine floors in the parlor.
 And light from the front door illuminates the front hall where it meets the dining room.
Wood floors that match?  Oh my, wouldn't that be novel?
We have at least 6 different types of wood floors here, in random juxtapositions.  Time capsules at our feet.

In the sunroom, which earns its moniker in the mornings,
there is no covered porch blocking the rays, and warm bright light pours in.
 I think the ivy needs water, don't you?  If I had fed my kids the way I feed my houseplants, I'd have been in jail.
 I think the ivy could use a dusting.  Oh my, what a surprise!
Ivy doesn't have naturally fuzzy leaves, does it?  Are you sure?
I love pots of ivy, with their gracefully wandering stems.

A Christmas cactus, still blooming.
 Still expecting!  Quintuplets by the look of things.

And tucked along the side, by the door,
where the sun is not reaching him, dog Dion waits for a walk.
 He's just grabbing a cat nap.  He stayed up late last night to see who won Westminster.
We cheered on the Scottish Deerhound; what a magnificent dog,
and I do love it when the unexpected entry wins the whole enchilada.

But seriously, folks -- that Pekingese.
Are we sure that's really a dog, or something off a Mother Ship?
I don't trust them; I think their ultimate goal is world domination.

Enjoy your Wednesday!  -- Cass

And because it's Wednesday, why not click over to 
Susan's blog -- A Southern Daydreamer -- for
You'll be glad you did -- especially to see bare earth and flowers on Susan's own blog!