Black Friday, Black Cats, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Magic

It’s Black Friday, the big sale day after Thanksgiving here in the US — the day for dedicated downsizers to remember NOT to shop.

That said, I still like to go antiquing. It’s more like time travel than shopping. I get to see things like my parents and grandparents had when I was growing up. There’s an almost-magical aura of presence about vintage objects, or maybe it’s a patina, spiritual as well as physical.

And, bonus — whenever I find an antique store with a resident animal, I’m instantly in love. Here’s a little black-cat-magic from a recent stop at Through the Years, in Bedford Iowa.

Black Cat Jack at Through the Years Antiques in Bedford Iowa

Black Cat ‘Jack’ at Through the Years Antiques in Bedford Iowa — The only thing better than a store with a cat? — a store with two cats (and a bird!) There must be magic involved, because the cats wander everywhere and the glassware survives.

Some stores have dogs…

Soulful Wiener Dog at Board of Trade Consignments

Could you resist this face? — (not for sale though) — Board of Trade Consignments in Roswell Georgia

And sleeping dogs still lie, at the Rescued Too shop, in Marietta Georgia.

Sleeping Dogs still lie, at the 'Rescued Too' shop in Marietta Georgia

So, maybe I will go shopping on Black Friday. Not for things — sorry Economy, I won’t be helping you out today… but my companions might — I’ll shop for some magical antique interest, and if I’m lucky, a little bonus cat-and-dog sighting.

What are you shopping for today?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Magic


Aesop’s Fables in Words of One Syllable, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Tiny

Life is short, and like art, the job of sorting books is long. Still, the words themselves aren’t necessarily long. This little book must have been Bob’s…


The tiny tot on the cover seems dwarfed by a dragonfly.

I’m loving the illustrations… this copy doesn’t have a publication or copyright date, and none of the similar listings on Amazon have the same cover. I think mine is from the early 1900s.


Poor fox — I’m a big fan of grapes and they look pretty good to me too.

The next page worried me — “shadow” — last time I looked that had two syllables. I guess the one-syllable rule doesn’t apply to the titles, which came about long before the syllable simplification of the text. Tortoise (or rather “tor-toise” in the text, like “sha-dow” here, get it?) gets the same word-division in a later story.

The Dog and the ShadowWondering if books in “words of one syllable” were once a thing, I looked around on Amazon. And yes, there’s Pilgrim’s Progress in Words of One Syllable, and Swiss Family Robinson, and Robinson Crusoe. Is it just me, or do these seem a little heavy for early readers? Even The Life of George Washington gets into the one syllable action.  I’m mystified by their Alice in Wonderland though. What will become of the jabberwock? (I might have to break one of my rules and buy a copy)

One more illustration — because it’s a chicken.

Aesop's Fables in Words of One Syllable: The Cock and the Gem

The Cock and the Gem… is this really where “pearls before swine” comes from?

Nope – I just looked it up. It’s from the Bible, Matthew 7:6.

I think that, once I finally finish, I’ll miss having books to sort. I may have to hire myself out to go through other peoples’ collections.

Do you have any boxes of books that need sorting?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Tiny

Light from the Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2016, and catching up with past Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine

I always have to “go toward the light” when I see a gorgeous fixture —

Following the light fixture

Following the light fixture,  Castleberry Hill Loft Tour (Oct 22, 2016)

Following the light fixture

Here it is from beneath…

But meanwhile, that balcony view led to something shiny too – the roof in the distance. I’m not a sports fan, so had to ask–  it’s the new Atlanta Falcons’ Stadium. Here it is from the terrace off the top floor (and how about that fountain?).

Stadium view from Castleberry Hill

Shiny roof — stadium view from Castleberry Hill

Sam has sharper eyes than I do, he’s the one who said, “Look at the workers on the roof!”  I had to use my telephoto to see them. Zooming in…

Workers on the stadium roof - Atlanta

Workers on the stadium roof - Atlanta

Workers on the stadium roof - Atlanta

Of course, after enjoying the tour I had to come home to my own mess.  Today I’ve been listening to an audiobook called Does This Clutter Make my Butt Look Fat? while sorting and consolidating piles and boxes of stuff displaced by bath remodeling.

Here’s a quote —

Your home shouldn’t overwhelm you. It should give you shelter from the storm, and it should be more than a roof over your head. It’s up to you to make your home support you in your quest for happiness.

Does This Clutter Make my Butt Look Fat?  – Peter Walsh

–I missed the photo challenge Shine, but I see the next is Chaos — is that right up my alley or what? (And you know I can’t help but wonder, does this clutter make my butt look fat?)


More on the past Weekly Photo Challenge: Shine

Dragon Con and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Transmogrify

I stared at these ladies for a while before it came to me — Lego Ghostbusters! It’s hard to get any more transmogrified than cosplay, so this week’s challenge gives me an excuse to share some photos from Dragon Con (Labor Day weekend in Atlanta).

Lego Ghostbusters at Dragon Con 2016

Lego Ghostbusters

Here’s one more for scale — dancing Lego Ghostbusters, not exactly high-stepping though.


Photo ops at Dragon Con 2016

Don’t get too close to the Transformer…

Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes from the Star Wars Cantena

Jivin’ to Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes from the Star Wars Cantena

Guinan from Star Trek TNG - Dragon Con 2016

And in a bar next door — Cheers from Guinan , Star Trek TNG

Dancers from the Sheraton Lobby

Dancers from the Sheraton Lobby

I could use some help identifying this ghost. (Pokemon, maybe?) Anyone know?

Ghostly costume

It was a little early then, but just right today — Happy Halloween!

Meanwhile, on the downsizing/remodeling front, house painters are here this week transmogrifying the exterior. But wait — it’s Halloween, maybe I should have waited a week. Those spider webs they cleaned off the windows could have served as decoration.

What are you wearing for Halloween?


More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Transmogrify

More on Dragon Con

2016’s Castleberry Hill Loft Tour, Coming Up Oct 22 (and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Local)

Atlanta locals, take note. It’s almost time for this year’s Castleberry Hill Loft Tour. Meanwhile, just for inspiration, here’s a mini-photo-tour from last year…

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015 - dining area

I love the rhyming lines in the stair railing and the chair backs.

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015

In the same home, with Sam checking out a window of the laundry room.

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015

A great idea for displaying a collection of vinyl…

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015

Can you tell the owner here also runs an art gallery?

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015 - mannequin and art

Another view — art? mannequin? hat-rack?

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015

Welcome now to more signs of my obsession with stairways…

Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015


Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2015 - art and stairwell

Down one more stairway and out — back soon for this year’s tour.

Revisiting last year’s tour is wake-up call for me; I see that yet another year has passed and I still haven’t finished downsizing. If I’m going to get out of my house and find a new home in a condo, apartment, or loft by this time next year I’m going to have to focus. Meanwhile, on Saturday I’ll get another look at Castleberry Hill — an historic intown neighborhood,  interior brick walls, stairway angles, tall ceilings and gallery walls — all very appealing.

What do you think? Doesn’t a loft look like a great alternative?

More on the Castleberry Hill Loft Tour 2016

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Local


Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: H2O

The stresses of bathroom remodeling and personal access to H2O were getting to me, so what better way to make my peace with the element than to visit a watery refuge that doesn’t depend on plumbing…

Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge - heron

Life imitates Art – this heron blends in with the surroundings so well, it reminds me of Arts & Crafts wallpaper.

Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge - coots

These are coots – apparently they’re shy and I made too much noise approaching…

… because, next photo, here they are, fleeing. Still, they splash the H2O around nicely.

Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge - coots

The official beginning of migration season is coming up on October 15, so I got to Squaw Creek a little early.

Now, it’s time to get back home and splash in my own new tub.  Well, maybe not quite time, as you can see, this bath still needs some finishing. The counter-top will be ready in a couple of days, after that it’s get the sinks installed, the walls painted, and the rest of the cleaning up done.


I’m just posting this “during” remodel photo in a blatant bid for sympathy… so how about it, are you sympathetic yet?

More on Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge:   “The refuge includes 7,440 acres of wetlands, grasslands, and forests along the eastern edge of the Missouri River floodplain.”

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: H2O

Seeing the Light Fixtures, Remodeling Can be Fun, and the Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest

Remodeling projects are a quest for beauty, practicality, and OK, resale value. But here’s what I hadn’t realized —  they can also be a quest for fun. Before I settle down and get practical, I’ll share these favorites among the lights I’ve seen while shopping and touring.

Who knew there were light fixtures for plane and train fans (and small boys)… these were a happy surprise when I was shopping.

Airplane light fixture

Airplane light

Train car light fixture - "Choo Choo"

It’s “Choo Choo”, the train car light. I loved the airplane so much that I had to ask what else was available — this is from the catalog.

Hall light fixtures from Modern Atlanta Homes Tour house

I love this starry minimalist light from the Modern Atlanta Homes Tour – too bad I’ve neither the budget nor the expansive hallway to support one.

Sputnik light - Modern Atlanta Homes Tour

And lights can be fun — this one reminds me of the Sputnik era. And I love how they echoed the shape with the plant below.

Pendant lights with telephone pole insulator shades

Going retro with telephone pole insulator shades

Pendant lights with telephone pole insulator shades

And for the nostalgic, a closer look

And for those who prefer a quest for fire, I’ll include these, also from past Modern Atlanta Homes Tours…

Fireplace and painting from the Modern Atlanta Homes Tour 2016

If I were that tree I might be a little nervous (fireplace and painting from the Modern Atlanta Homes Tour 2016)

Fireplace from the Modern Atlanta Homes Tour 2013

One more modern quest for fire (Modern Atlanta Homes Tour 2013)

What will it be, fire or light?

More on the Weekly Photo Challenge: Quest