March 29, 2011

Sugar Shack!

Hhmmmmmm. A sugar shack. Lift your nose into the air and smell pine wood burning mingled with the aroma of evaporating maple syrup.
Picture a plate of fluffy buttermilk blueberry pancakes. Now - before you put a little New England liquid gold on top - consider from whenceth your maple syrup cameth: Maybe it came from this boiler?
Maybe the sap dripped into the boiler here?
Maybe this man stocked the boiler with wood and used a hydrometer to measure the syrup density?
Maybe it was strained here?
Maybe you don't care where your syrup came from and would just like to eat your pancakes thank you very much.  But I doubt it.

March 27, 2011

Wait. I've Got More To Say About That Beaver.

Remember the mid century modern (looking) beaver I found on a thrifting expedition? Let's examine it little more closely.
It's inscribed on the bottom 'Stiefel Hoselton' and the number '109'.  Using my 'I'm a Librarian's Daughter' secret decoder kit (, I garnered the following:

-The Hoselton company is a Canadian manufacturer of small aluminum figurines, many of which have a Canadian theme (loons, beavers, poutine, etc.) The pieces they sell now are ACK! What happened?! DECIDEDLY less modern. According to the company website, Gordon Hoselton creates their current designs. No idea if he's related to Stiefel.
-E-bay has a few vintage Stiefel Hoselton figurines. They appear to be worth.....not much. But they are really beautiful.
What is it about this little thing? It TOTALLY cracks me up.

March 18, 2011

Yes, He's a Fart Machine. But He's *Our* Fart Machine

Oh Morgan, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:
1. Your tip tip tip tippy toes.
2. Those noble ears, and the fact that there is little else 'noble' about you.
3. Your sunny spot GPS locating system.

March 16, 2011

Design Talent Runs in The Family

Design talent must run in the family - Mr. Man's family that is. (My family has talent too! For example, we are awesome at freezing blueberries and buying fancy dinner napkins on sale.)

Mr. Man's niece graduated from Massachusetts College of Art. One of her artistic forreys was into ceramics, and we are the beneficiaries of her amazing eye. Look at that shape. Look at that glaze. Ignore that hideous wallpaper.
Oh my.
Also? My family is REALLY good at yelling at the TV and Radio if Newt Gingrich is saying something.

March 14, 2011

Mid-Century Modern Moratorium Lifted

Remember when Mr. Man issued a mid-century modern moratorium at Holyoke Home because our house was "starting to look like a Mad Man set"?  Well. The moratorium's been lifted for items smaller than a breadbox. I immediately pulled on my thermal underwear, slung my weapon over my shoulder and went-a-huntin. And what did I find? Nice beaver.
And a pair of AWESOME teak candle holders.
Last image brought to you courtesy of my dad. He bought me a macro lens. Thanks dad.

March 7, 2011

Holyoke Home Situation

I keep a mostly positive attitude on this blog is really short and I'm a really lucky girl. And I've thought a LOT about whether or not I should write this post. I've hinted at this issue before but never really spelled it out. As spring approaches though, it's time. I'm gonna tell you about the bane of my Holyoke Home existence:
We have situation. Our next door neighbor feeds a feral cat colony.  I've counted twelve cats this winter (there are more during the rest of the year):
- Two orange tabbies
- Two regular tabbies (brown/black-ish?)
- One orange and black tabbie
- One lightbrown/grey tabbie (big one!)
- Two mixed color long hairs
- One white and orange short hair (this one is mostly blind, poor guy)
- One totally black short hair (that keeps having babies)
- One totally grey with grey eyes
- One mostly grey with white chest

Our neighbor feeds the cats from her front and back porches twice a day. The cats get wet and dry food (hmmmmm, wet cat food in the summer.) And apparently our neighbor's yard is full up, because the cats come into our yard to poop. Every day. Let me remind you: there are at least twelve cats. Also? Some of them spray to mark their territory. And some have decided our front and back porches are their territory.

As you know, we've worked hard to create planting beds in the back, side and front yards.  I have picked up so. many. piles. of cat shit. And I have stepped in so. many. piles. of cat shit.  And in what  - so far - has been the nadir of my cat shit experience, I wiped the sweat off my brow one day and marked my forehead with......wait for shit. Here's what we've tried:
-6 foot fencing
-Essential oils and every other product that is non-toxic but supposed to smell nasty to cats.
-Motion detected water devices.
-Motion detected sonic devices.
-Asking neighbor to put out kitty litter boxes (she refused)

Look, I love animals. Really. Look at my ridiculous dog: he sleeps on cashmere for gods sake. But he is licensed and I pick up after him. It's not the cat's fault. And - honestly- if it weren't for the poop and cat urine smell, I wouldn't mind them at all.

Holyoke passed a new ordinance last year requiring anyone feeding four or more feral cats to register with the city. This spring, our neighbors' request will be working its way through the process. I plan to keep you updated as we go along.

March 4, 2011

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Blogs

 If I spent one-half of one percent of the the time I spend reading other blogs, say.....designing bathroom plumbing I'd have a lot more home improvement posts. But I can't resist my favorites. Click the logos below to visit their sites.

Salsa Pie- So creative. Such tender love for her girls that I often cry reading her posts. And wonderful photographs of her creative projects.

Small Burst - Watching her expand her photographic skills and business has been a real treat. I also have brand envy. Look at that LOGO!


Just Over the River - Has an entire storage area devoted to shoes. I know. But, in her defense? A lot of those shoes are for exercising.

Is It A House Yet? Hilarious. Do not drink hot coffee while reading this blog or you may hurt yourself.  EXCELLENT writer.  I feel serious home improvement empathy for her.

March 2, 2011

No. You Can't Come Over.

Mr. Man's godmother is fairly well known 'round these parts. She is an Italian-American woman who's been baking treats for her loved ones for....oh.....about 60 years. And she loves her godson. She loves him so much, she made him a cake in the shape of a lamb.  Seriously.  A lamb.  But she also makes the world's best biscotti.

And there is an entire tin of in my house.

Right now.