The old loveseat was 14 years old. It seemed we bought it more recently than that. But if I think about it, I’d realize how much has happened during these years. Garry and I have grown old on the old loveseat. It had collapsed on both ends, so we were both sitting at a weird angle. Not helping our backs any. I never thought, when I ordered it, we’d be in such a financial pickle but it needed replacing.

This morning, just as I was brushing my teeth, I heard that “beep beep beep” of a truck backing down the driveway. There they were. First step was to remove the old loveseat which had at least an entire dog’s worth of hair under it. Surprisingly, not much else except a few pens and Duke’s yellow squeaky tennis ball. I had the broom and pan ready, with the hand vac and the big vac off to one side. We must have cleaned relatively recently because 14 years of dirt would have been much worse. Probably when I had the house cleaned a few times in the past year and I know while looking for missing object, we moved the sofa.

So here I am, sitting on the new loveseat that looks exactly like the old loveseat except for its color which is brown rather than red. Although we’ve only had it a few hours, there are patches of white Duke-hair on it. That’s just part of the experience, I suppose. Soon it will have bits of food, human and dog. Crumbs. Bits of chips. Little sticky places where some jelly fell or a muffin. New — until it grows old.

We grew old on its predecessor and we will grow older on the new one.


I recently went to the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum in New York City with my daughter. She’s studying interior design so we focused on furniture and home decor through the centuries.

Here are some more photos of the wonderful pieces we saw.

I love the different tones of wood on this hutch
A wonderful old Grandfather Clock
Unusual piece with two-toned wood and an odd-shaped base
A lovely desk/dressing table
The beautiful wood pattern on this dining room storage unit
17th or 18th century harpsichord

Chairs are my favorite furniture item. Here are a few from American history

Wood chair with leather seat
Big upholstered wing chair with an odd foldable, two-tiered table next to it
SImple chair with elegant fabric
My favorite chair. Beautiful lines and shapes.
Intricate and delicate wood inlay work
Gorgeous inlaid marble table

WHY I WAS BUYING A LAMP AT 3 AM – Marilyn Armstrong

And there I was. Amazon. It’s three in the morning and I’m online looking for an inexpensive lamp.  Why? Because Garry managed to fall over getting out of bed.

It was only a matter of time. Because our bedroom is pretty small, there isn’t really room next to his bed for an end table, so he doesn’t have a light he can just reach for so he can see what’s going on. This time, he got all tangled in the thing he uses as an end table (it’s actually a three-legged step-ladder), followed by a solid thump as Garry hit the floor.

Garry’s end of the bed

“Is anything broken?” I asked him.

“No,” he said, limping to the bathroom.

That was it. That man needs a light and someplace he can put the remote control, his glasses, the headphones and a lamp he can turn on with a simple switch. So I bought him a little lamp, much like the one I use — I could have given him the mate to the one I use, but it’s a glow-in-the-dark Snow White lamp and I thought maybe something less girly would be a better “fit.”

My night-light. Garry could have its mate, but I went for something less girlish.

Not that he would really care. He is long past trying to establish his masculinity and has always thought he looked good in pink, especially pink shirts with white collars. And a well done Windsor knot in his tie.

So, in the end, I spent $10 on the lamp, and another $29.75 on two very narrow end tables that should fit into the available space (they are only 13 inches square). It won’t make the room bigger, but at least he can turn on a light and not fall over.

We aren’t getting any younger and a little bruise from twenty years ago feels a  lot bigger today.


My father hated change. My mother loved to redecorate. What could possibly go wrong?

There were lots of fights about decorating in my house growing up. Constantly. My mother won, but it could get surprisingly unpleasant before then – not to mention very loud. My father would shout that all decorating was too expensive and totally unnecessary, no matter how long it had been since the room had been fixed up. He was morally opposed to changing anything. Ever. Not a faded chair, a broken lamp, peeling wallpaper.


The NYC dining room set up for a party

My mother tried to mollify him in many ways. She tried to involve my father in the decision-making process. She tried to give him control over the decorating choices so as to make the change less jarring for him. Nothing worked.

Eventually my mother instituted the blitzkrieg form of decorating, which I call passive-aggressive decorating. Here’s how it worked.

We spent every summer in our house in Connecticut so the New York apartment was vacant for three months., which also meant that the Connecticut house was vacant for nine months.

My mother used her time well. She carefully made all her plans for redecorating a room in New York without telling my father. She chose the furniture, the wall color or paper, fabric for the upholstered pieces. She picked out every lamp, piece of art and chatchkah. Then, when my father was safely in Connecticut for the summer, she’d have the workmen swoop in. They would completely redo the room, top to bottom. One year, the walls in the study went from beige grasscloth to a bold fabric with a deep red background and large, bright-colored flowers.

Fabric that ended up on one wall, a sofa and two comfy chairs

My father would leave one room in June and come back to a completely different room in September. He would scream and yell about how he hated change. He would excoriate my mother about her ridiculous obsession with redecorating. He would get all of this out of his system in one big explosion – and then it was over. After that, he would become gradually used to the ‘new’ room. Then, ten or so years later, when it got changed again, he would rant and rave about the loss of the old ‘new’ room.

The process was reversed when it came to the house in Connecticut. When Dad said goodbye to the New England house in September, my mother had until June to do a complete make-over on one of the rooms in the house. The same scene would occur there when Dad discovered the bi-annual treachery.

After which, all would be calm. Until the next time.

The New York apartment had 11 rooms and the Connecticut house had 10. So this went on every year, twice a year, for thirty years! It’s a pretty dramatic way to get a new sofa or bedroom set. But Mom was persistent. She did what she had to do. Both homes were beautiful, warm, and inviting.

Even Dad thought so. After he stopped yelling.


Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Any Seating including Tables and Chairs


If we stay up too late, the dogs get annoyed. We are sitting on their bed. Or, more to the point, Bonnie’s bed. Gibbs prefers the big sofa in front of the window. They allow us to use our upholstered furnishing to a point, but when it gets late, we are expected to gracefully retire leaving them to get a good night’s sleep to add to their long afternoon and morning naps.

Bonnie and Gibbs need a lot of rest. Begging for treats, eating, and occasionally going outside for a good, hearty bark is exhausting!


Garry feels he ought to have a few rights, like using the loveseat and his laptop.


Stuff — especially camera equipment and reading matter — tends to spill onto all available surfaces. Also, anything that I prefer the dogs not drag outside. Particularly, my shoes and sandals. Maybe it’s unreasonable, but I don’t think the tooth marks add to sartorial elegance.


Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge Badge



Indoor seating? We got that. Sofas and chairs, bar stools and piano benches. In a theater, in a diner … and at home!

Seating in Boston's Symphony Hall
Seating in Boston’s Symphony Hall
In the diner ... would you like a booth or sit at the counter?
In the diner … would you like a booth or sit at the counter?



cee's fun foto chall


Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: Week 11

My entry this week is about as odd as any picture I’ve ever taken. I don’t know why I took it except it was kind of interesting. Lots of stuff. Textures. Colors.


We may have dust bunnies the size of deer, but our living room is neat, sort of and nowhere near this interesting. Neat if you don’t count all the leaves and junk the dogs drag around. And the socks Bonnie steals then deposits until the next time she feels like killing an inanimate object.

THE PORCH – Marilyn Armstrong

Across from the old barn is the house. Fully restored, it dates to the mid 1700s. The owner painted all the rocking chairs herself.


The Porch


Across from the old barn is the house. Fully restored, it dates to the mid 1700s. The owner painted all the rocking chairs herself.