Putting the retro in retro
Thursday January 28th 2021, 12:00 am
Filed under: Life

The windstorm blew the covers off the mango tree. That has never happened before. It seems to have stayed just warm enough, though, but just in case I checked the lights and replaced three bulbs.

Rain and more rain.

A neighbor posted that she’d been given roses from the garden of a friend who had just passed away and was wondering if there was any way now to root them and grow any of them for a memorial bush?

Likely not at this stage, and I was frank about that, but I told her I had Root Riot plugs designed specifically to get cuttings to root and a matching seed starter tray to hold them up in and she was welcome to a set to try. Best to cut the bottoms and flowers off and keep it to a few nodes for the new roots to have to support.

It’s out on the curb waiting for her now, with a packet of tomato seeds tucked in a card (under the tray’s cover to protect it from the rain.) She wanted to try for five on the roses and I gave her all twelve slots’ worth of plugs and told her frankly that someone giving me a few extra tomato seedlings got me started on the whole veggie thing years ago so she was welcome to them.

Funky house find for the day (while wondering if the owner has any clue why that 11th picture will keep people from considering the place, and my apologies for its interruption. There is such a thing as too retro.)

Back to the house itself: not one but two koi ponds inside the living room–that’s one way to keep the herons and raccoons from raiding them–and a range that my husband’s Great Aunt Irma, born around 1900 and living in her parents’ frontier-era house in Downey, Idaho had one very much like when we went to visit her 40 years ago. I had never seen one like it. She took great delight in telling us of how she was able to bake bread for the amazed younger neighbors when the power went out, and demonstrated sticking her arm in to feel if the burning wood had gotten it to the right warmth yet for the dough.

Her neighbors thought but you can’t do that if you don’t know what the temperature is!

Her reaction: I most certainly do! I’ve been doing this all my life, and I know!

And she wanted to make sure we knew about that and how proud she was of this lovely old home her father had built when the railroad came through. He’d dug a well and the railroad had wanted water and so they struck a deal on just where it would be built. They had themselves a little boom town that grew around that whistle stop.

Now, probably everybody else knew this but me, but, it turns out you can have a new range like that if you want it enough; the Elmira company will even give you the woodburning oven feature if you want your bread baked just so. The Heartland company clearly made the particular one in that house listing, scrolling halfway down their blog page, but they apparently went out of business about a year ago. Which is a shame because that thing is a work of art even if it would never fit in my mid-century modern.

Everything old is new again.

For somebody else in this case.

5 Comments so far
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The doll on the rocking horse (in another view) is a bit odd. If you want funky, try an AGA cooker. Only downside is that they are pretty much always “on”, and there is a learning curve to using them.

Comment by Anne 01.28.21 @ 2:04 am

There is an Elmira dealer 20 minutes from my house. They have such cool stuff. Did you notice they also have ‘50’s era which almost kinda sorta fits with your mid century mod.

Comment by Chris S in Canada 01.28.21 @ 11:09 am

I was dumbfounded by the ponds in the living room. Who on earth thought that was a good idea?

Comment by ccr in MA 01.28.21 @ 2:03 pm

Wow. Just wow. The placement of one of those koi ponds struck me as a bit strange – it looked like it was right at the feet of one of the chairs, although that might have been the angle of the photo. Toe nibbling koi, perhaps? And the doll in the bedroom, facing the bed, would put me off of sleeping!

Just goes to show, my realtor Daddy was right. There’s a house for every buyer, and a buyer for every house. That one is pending this morning!

Comment by Pegi F 01.29.21 @ 4:06 am

I have lived most of my life within about 30 miles of Downey–my daughter lived there all her married life until she passed away and her home was the old Downey depot. I can probably guess Aunt Irma’s family name.

Comment by Sharon Stanger 01.30.21 @ 10:59 am

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