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Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Body In The Library, at That Old House

The other morning, after The Colonel had left
for work, Gilda the maid woke me, frantic and fearful.
"Oh Ma'am, come quick," she barked in her distress.
"There's a body bag in the library!"

I hurried into my dressing gown and flew down
the front stairs, following Gilda's lead.
And there it was: a body bag.
  We did not dare to touch it, for fear of what we might discover.

"Who could be behind this?"  I asked my trembling housemaid.

She gave me a wise look.
"I hate to say this, Ma'am, but I think it is
your wastrel son, Dylan.  He's been hanging out with
one of them Bunnies, a girl who's no better
than she should be, if you know what I mean."

Sadly, I did know what Gilda meant.
I'd actually seen Dylan sleeping with this Bunny!

Would our Dylan commit a crime for love of this Bunny?
She was not the first to catch his eye.  
I'd seen Dylan sharing his bed with 
dozens of loose-living characters, some of whom had so little
backbone or moral fortitude that it was as if
their very stuffing had been removed.  
Gilda went on.
"And the other day, Ma'am, I saw Dylan acting
very suspicious in the Sunroom.  Sneaking around, he was,
and goin' places that he shouldn't oughta go."

Tough love.
I believe it is the only way to raise young ones,
and so I called the local cops who came
and took Dylan away for questioning.

So there our boy sits, in the local lockup.

What - or who? - is in the body bag?
What was Dylan's plan?
And what has happened to the soft and silky Bunny,
who has been missing since this incident began?

Did I do the right thing, handing our boy over to the police?

I had a moment's doubt, when I caught sight of
Gilda the Housemaid getting rather chummy with the Colonel:
And then there is that second body bag that I found
stuffed in the coat closet.  Empty.  And just my size, too.  

This may not have a happy ending.

"I'm innocent, I tell ya.  I'm INNOCENT!"
Yes, you are right.
Absolutely NOTHING is going on here at
That Old HouseThat makes me get silly.  -- Cass

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Who Needs Words When You Have Teacups?

I am at my desk in the windowed Study nook,
brilliant sun in my eyes through the matchstick
blinds, and two dogs snoring behind my chair;
a peaceful Tuesday morning.

But my computer keyboard has gone haywire on me, spelling
words such as "Emily" in this manner: Emiiillylyiim.

Really, truly, I am not tipsy.  But perhaps my keyboard is.

At any rate, this is going to be a post short on words,
and long on pictures. 

In fact, I pretty much need just one word: Teacups!
At That Old House, we got lotsa them.  Here are some.

Colclough's Amaretto Rose:

Deep cobalt and gilt cups, from Japan.

Aynsley's Tatton Hall pattern:

Johnson Brother's Indies Blue:

Who hasn't bought Birthday Month tea cups?
This one, February, for daughter Alida.

And July, for daughter Anne.

Wedgwood's Patrician ware, painted in the Bognor pattern:
And except for the birthday cups, which I think we
bought years ago at Disney World,
all of these tea cups were ferreted out at flea markets,
thrift shops, Goodwill, or Ebay.
Pretty and cheap.  My favorite combination.
 Go ahead, put the kettle on. 
And invite me!  -- Cass
If we are lucky, someone else will do the cleanup!
Link Parties for Tuesday

Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage, and Tea Time Tuesday.  Click here!
Marty at A Stroll Thru Life -- it's Tabletop Tuesday.  Click here!
At Linda's Coastal Charm blog, it's Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays Click here!
Terri at Artful Affirmations is hosting Tea Cup Tuesday.  Click here!

PS  I think I managed to find all of the wacky keyboard typos and boo-boos.
       Please excuse some spacing and other odd copy crazies -- it's the Keyboard, it's not me!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Two Cute Dogs and an Inauguration Lunch

Okay, long post title.
But not a terribly long post.

Today's info and pictures are courtesy of my hubby, Howard.

He caught our two dogs with his camera phone.

When he sent me this picture of Gilda, he captioned it:
"What a cutie pie!"

As for Dylan, he sent this shot, with this caption:
"What is going on in his tiny little head?"

Do you think he's got a favorite?  :-)

It is Inauguration Day for the President and VP.
(Isn't that a funny word?  Inauguration, not day!)

As part of his job in news, Howard gets all sorts of
oddball information, bits and pieces, floating across his desk.

Statuary Hall, ready for today's Luncheon.

The menu, even recipes, for today's
Inaugural Luncheon at the Capitol Building are
easily found online, but not so the nutritional information.
Mmmm . . . lobster.  Now that might tempt me to go to this shindig.

Howard asked:
"How many Weight Watchers 'Points Plus' would this meal be?"
Anne figured it out.

The calorie count for the whole meal tops
3,000 calories - if you eat everything.

First Course: Steamed Lobster with New England Clam Chowder Sauce
Lobster Tails
New England Clam Chowder Sauce
Sauteed Spinach
Sweet Potato Hay
Per Serving: Calories 783, Fat 45.7g, Saturated Fat 16g, Cholesterol 247 mg, Sodium 1819 mg, Carbohydrates 55g, Dietary Fiber 7.5g, Sugar 14g, Protein 29g

Second Course: Hickory Grilled Bison with Red Potato Horseradish Cake and Wild Huckleberry Reduction
Butternut Squash Puree
Baby Golden Beets and Green Beans
Red Potato Horseradish Cake
Strawberry Preserve and Red Cabbage
Wild Huckleberry Reduction
Per Serving: Calories 1184, Fat 34.6g, Saturated Fat 16g, Cholesterol 177mg, Sodium 7445mg, Carbohydrates, 149g, Dietary Fiber 16.7, Sugar 97.2g, Protein 51g

Third Course: Hudson Valley Apple Pie with Sour Cream Ice Cream, Aged Cheese and Honey
Pie Dough
Cinnamon Crumble
Sour Cream Ice Cream
Maple Caramel Sauce
Artisan Cheeses
Per Serving: Calories 1060, Fat 64.4g, Saturated Fat 39g, Cholesterol 331mg, Sodium 488mg, Carbohydrates, 108.5g, Dietary Fiber 1.7g, Sugar 75g, Protein 14g

Total Nutritional Counts (not including wine pairing): Calories 3027, Fat 145 g, Saturated Fat 71g (49% of fat), Sodium 9752 mg, Total Carbs 312.5g, Sugar 186.2g (59% of carbs)

That comes to a whopping 77 points.

But did you read that menu?  I'm thinking . . . well worth it.

Merlot grapes in the Bedell orchards in Cutchogue, on Long Island's North Fork -- only a couple of miles from our beach house.
And they served a Long Island wine, a 2009 Bedell Cellars Merlot,
about $30 a bottle, with the main course of Bison.  Yes, Bison.

And of course, we have to check out the tablescaping.

And now I'm off to a fabric store, just because.  -- Cass

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Lazy Sunday

Would you believe we are still packing away
Christmas decorations?  

If you know me at all, then yes . . .
of course you will believe it.

Because it is Sunday and I am bone lazy, I decided to go back
and look at what we were up to on the past mid-Januarys
since we have lived at That Old House.

On January 15th, I wrote about the cold, here.
It was 17 degrees when I stood on our porch
in slippers and took this picture:

And I wrote about Tablescapes, here.

The metamorphosis of the Sunroom from Christmas
to its usual state, here.
And we still don't have 4 matching chairs for the oak table.
Someday.  Someday.

Mid-month, and I was busy reviving old furniture for
my antiques booth.  Here, the story of a really 
spooky old table, given to me by a picker for free.
And yes, it sold!

Wow.  2013 - our 5th January at That Old House.
And what were we doing on this mid-month Sunday?

Dylan has decided that his new sister Gilda makes one heck of a great pillow!

Pretty much the same thing as our dogs.

I hope you had the weekend you wanted, whether it was
filled with activity, or chock full of snores.  :-)

And I'm still wishing everyone a Happy New Year,
as long as January lasts!  -- Cass

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

In Praise of a Nanny State

Nope, not going all political on you.

But our newest family member has gotten an official job title.

See this young lad?
Dylan Dog at the Beach House, January 6, 2013.

We adopted him the weekend that Hurricane Sandy blew in.

He came with baggage -- suitcases and trunks just stuffed with crazy.
Among Dylan's endearing quirks was not sleeping through the night.
Having a dog wake you two, three times a night,
to go out, gets old really fast.

Cue the newest player in this family drama:
Our own Mary Poppins.

Last Saturday, just 4 short days ago, we adopted this lady:

She is an 8-year old Ruby Cavalier.
A breeder got many, many puppies out of this sweet dog,
and then handed her to Rescue to find a forever home for her.

I admit it -- I am a sucker for older gals with saggy bellies.

Her given name, Emunah, which means "Faith" in Hebrew,
proved too cumbersome and hard to remember, so we have 
given this dog a brand new moniker:
She's a gorgeous redhead, like Rita Hayworth, who immortalized
the part of Gilda in the film noir movie of the same name.

Luckily, Cavalier Rescue placed her with the same foster "mom" who
had cared for Dylan, and she realized that we needed this mama dog.
"I may look all grown up, but inside I'm a little boy who needs a real Mama."
And we do.  Because guess who is sleeping through the night now?
Yes, all of us -- Gilda, Dylan, and Howard and I.

Gilda has taken on the role of Nanny to Dylan.
He follows her, gives her shy little kisses, snuggles up for naps, and
yesterday, he let her lick off a peanut-butter-filled spoon with him.

That's a first. 

So thank you, Foster Mom Adriane, for steering us to this
sweet little retired Mama, who is luxuriating
in the pampering and attention she was not used to getting.

Good news -- making progress on the de-Christmasing.
There may be pictures for tomorrow!  -- Cass

Because Gilda is most definitely
 a redhead, I'm linking
to the Rednesday blog party
at It's A Very Cherry World.  

PS  Thank you for all the great name suggestions for Emunah/Gilda.  I personally was very tempted
to name her "Golda Meir," but decided to go with glamour instead of political power!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Another Mama at That Old House

So what do you do when Cavalier Rescue is looking
for a good home for a breeder's retired mama dog,
and thinks your home would be perfect for her?

Well, you agree.

Meet Emunah (which is Hebrew for "faith"),
a ruby-colored Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Sorry about the fuzzy pictures!
She is 8 years old, has had many litters of puppies,
and is a little like that aunt who always gave you
crunching big hugs, and asked about your love life.

Emunah came home with us today from her foster home . . .
the same foster home that sheltered our Dylan Dog.

Dylan looked askance at the interloper at first.

"Get lost."
But after a surprisingly short time, Emunah left the sanctuary
of Anne's lap, and joined Dylan and Stuffed Chicken on the study sofa.

Dylan is a little leery still, but since Emunah shows
no interest at all in molesting Stuffed Chicken,
we are not expecting major conflicts.

Just the usual sibling stuff.

Actually, I expect Emunah will treat Dylan much like
she probably treated her puppies, with Tough Love.

In the long run, despite any early bumps, it's good for most dogs
to have another canine in the house, someone who speaks the same language.

We are seriously considering changing or at least modifying
Emunah's name, as even we are having trouble remembering it.

Any suggestions?
It can't be Emma; there's a new family baby
about to be born with that lovely name!  -- Cass

Friday, January 11, 2013

We Need A Little Magic

I need a Fairy Blingmother to flit into
That Old House and begin the de-Christmas-ing.

 As much as I like tarting up the old barn in December,
is how much I do not like packing it all up again in January.

The house looks so bare and spare when all the
sizzle and lights are taken away.

But needs must, as they say.  This weekend,
slightly behind most of the rest of the world, we will get it done.

And I know there are others of you out there who
are also still gazing at your Christmas trees in full blaze.

You know who you are.
'Fess up.
Dylan Dog is unsympathetic.
He doesn't understand the whole
tree-in-the-house thing anyway, and as long as he's got
his stuffed toys and warm soft places to snooze, he's good.

Today was not his favorite day of this week.
He got a bath.

"Watch out, Mom, them's my eyes!"

"I don't think I am supposed to be this wet.  Ever."

"See?  This is not a good look for me!" 

And a few seconds of video, of Dylan in his bath.
He fights getting into the sink, but once in he's pretty cooperative.
Although it takes him awhile, and lots of snacks, for him to forgive us.
That's Anne, telling Dylan he's a good boy.

So, I guess no matter how much I dislike putting away the
Christmas decor, I can always tell myself it could be worse:
I could be a dog, getting a bath.

Have a lovely Friday evening -- Cass

P.S.  My apologies to Mary of Little Red House; she posted on Facebook 
about being willing to pay someone to de-decorate her house, and I thought, "What a great idea!"
And then, I stole it.  Except changed it to a Fairy, whom we all know would work for free.