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It’s nearly Christmas so naturally, we are going camping.

Yes, I know we live in Ontario, home of frosty windows and big, fat snowflakes and other wintery stuff (like -40 antifreeze for the car because we need that, yes, we truly do) but, camping in December is not such a stretch.

We’ve got trees in the forest on our property.

We’ve got a fire pit, around which to toast marshmallows and the like.

We’ve got the super-duper, flannel, camping sheet set and three or twelve duvets (and a partridge in a pear tree.)

Okay, fine.

We’re not camping.

That’s just Practical Man, driving around the lawn on your average Tuesday, towing our vintage Boler travel trailer.

I’m pretty sure the neighbours are whispering about me.  They wouldn’t blame it on Practical Man because they all know him.  I’m the mysterious person who drives up the driveway into the garage and disappears inside (away from The Nature).  He is the guy who is always out in the yard on one tractor or another, or on the roof, or in the forest, or building something or growing something.  Plus, he fixes things for the neighbours, regularly.  People who fix things don’t drive around the lawn on your average Tuesday in December in Ontario, towing their travel trailer, unless they are very sweet and have been put up to it by an annoyingly festive ELF.

Like this one:

me, dressed as an elf, standing beside our Christmas tree

Tra-la-la.

Or, as I like to say at Christmas, when I’m wearing an elf get-up that I made out of a green sweater, some felt, and a pair of socks:

Fa-la-Tra-la-la!

Aren’t you glad you don’t live with me?

(The socks are at my wrists, in case you can’t concentrate, after my costume-making teaser.)

It all began when I joined one of those groups on Facebook–or maybe, I can blame the Facebook algorithm.  You know the algorithm:  it thinks I need bifocals and wrinkle cream.

Evil algorithm.

Yes, let’s blame it.

Anyhoo, I kept seeing pictures from some group foisted on me by the evil, mind-reading algorithm.  Disturbing, provocative pictures–you know the kind–pictures of pretty barns and burlap all swirly-dirly and bells and thing-a-ma-bobs that bring out the inner decorator dictator in me.

Mere minutes scrolling through these groups and I get obsessed with teeny, insignificant details…like angels and angles.

Now that sounded a bit confusing.

That is to say, I’m obsessed with whether the angels on our shelves are at a 45 degree angle to…I’m not sure what.

They looked so good on Pinterest.

There are evil algorithms there, too.

Algorithms and angled angels anon.

(That’s called festive alliteration.)

Lest you think I’m reaching, I’ll have you know that “anon” is the festive word for “and other junk that I feel the need to copy, for reasons that must be based in my primitive, lizard brain because it is un-explainable, even to me, why I would care about this kind of fluff”.

To get back to my point, I was on one of those groups and there were other vintage trailer weirdos like me and well, they don’t live in Ontario.  They live in warm climates where there is still green grass visible on the ground, not to mention palm trees (public service announcement:  it’s very un-Christmassy to blatantly display aka gloat about your palm trees at this time of year to a Canadian).  Then, to add insult to palm-tree injury, they post pictures of their vintage trailers all dicky-doo’d up for the holidays.

I do love a little festooning and such.

So says the evil algorithm.

Insert lizard brain here.

But, I live in Ontario, home of frosty windows and big, fat snowflakes and other wintery stuff (like -40 antifreeze for the car because we need that, yes, we truly do).

Year-round festooning.  What luxury is this?

The luxury is living in San Anbambino or some place where they don’t know what long underwear is–that’s what.

Still, all I see is post after post of cute, vintage trailers with Christmas lights and mistletoe and plaid blankets and stuff.

Sometimes with snow (why oh why doesn’t our snow fall when I have a camera in hand?)

Sometimes without snow (and avec the aforementioned gloat-y palm trees.)

‘Tis the season to be jolly.

Or, as I like to say,

‘Tis the season to be jealous.

At any rate, before I knew it, out on the lawn, there arose such a clatter.

The clatter being due to the fact that I had batted my not-insignificant eyelashes (Rimmel’s Extra Super Lash mascara) and asked Practical Man to hitch up the “sleigh” (aka vintage Boler travel trailer) and move it to a more photogenic location so I could get my festive festooning underway.

On the one day we haven’t had snow in the last 2 months, yessirree.

Practical Man is forever granting my Christmas wishes.  Year round.

But, even he can’t summon the snow where the snow won’t be summoned.

Palm trees, either (although with enough notice, I have no doubt he would have grown something from a pineapple nub he got at the grocery store).

The point is, there I was, in the front of the front yard’s brown-ish grass, throw cushions and wreathes in hand, decorator dictatorship rearing its ugly head.

Cue the whispering neighbours.

green and white boler decorated with red chairs, ,pillows and a vintage metal cooler

My lizard brain was desperate to decorate and I love our tiny Boler but, its figurative chair (or vintage, metal lawn chairs, as the case may be) is never at our Christmas table, on account of it’s always put away for the winter at this time of year.

It’s kind of the Tiny Tim of our yard.

Sob.

But now, joy of joys!  Thanks to Practical Man and my lizard brain, here was my very own Tiny Tim, in the front yard.  So, in the repentant manner of Ebenezer Scrooge, I got busy with the festive festooning while also reflecting on the 2016 ghosts of past, present, and future.

  • Practical Man had a near record maple syrup crop in the Spring.
  • I learned more songs on the guitar from musicians too-soon taken.
  • We met new friends who joined us as I twirled my way through our first Bolerama.  And, Practical Man survived!
  • We shared wonderful memories (and mosquitoes) with family and friends in the summer.
  • We worried about people fleeing violence around the world and here.
  • We cried for Practical Man’s Mutti, who died in October.  She will be cried about for some long time to come.
  • I made a snowman, tobogganned and shovelled snow with some English sweeties, before Winter was really due.
  • We are trying to be advocates and people of hope in the wake of an earthquake-y election, even though it wasn’t ours.

I feel so lucky to have a small, safe place like a Boler.

It’s a little nest.  A place to curl up and take a nap or maybe just stare around the inside or pretend you’re Laurie Partridge for a while (because when you’re a Boler geek like I am, that’s a fun afternoon).

Of course, the Boler is not my only blessing or refuge, by a long shot.  I am sheltered and fed and loved and safe.

Occasionally, I have useful eyelashes.

I am so, so lucky.

I hope you all are, too.

Except for the evil algorithm.

Sorry.

That was my lizard brain again.

A Very Merry Christmas and Happy Everything from our house to yours.

Green and white Boler travel trailer decorated for Christmas, with 2 red chairs in front, a vintage, plaid cooler, red wreath, bell wreath and "Santa, I can explain" sign.

 


Last week, I traded maple syrup for mold.

What, what, what?

Maple Sap bucket full of sap attached to a tree

Yep.  You see, around these parts, it’s maple syrup season.  I wrote about the details of this rural Canadian pastime last year.  Basically, it means a whole lotta:

  • gathering of sap
  • obsessively clicking The Weather Network’s website to see if the conditions will be right for sap flow
  • collecting sap into barrels and piling snow from around the yard against them so the sap won’t spoil
  • obsessively clicking The Weather Network’s website to see if the conditions will be right for sap boiling
  • spending from early morning until evening standing over a giant, homemade, sap-boiling extravaganza while sticky steam gives you a sort of reverse facial and, if you’re me, you somehow get a sunburn on your legs, even though you’re not really an outdoor girl and you probably only helped for a grand total of 15 minutes AND you were wearing two layers of clothing
  • skimming and scooping and skimming and scooping and thwacking the thing that you used for skimming to get the sludge off and then some more skimming and scooping
  • and so on and so on…for about 4-6 weeks

Practical Man l-o-o-oves this time of year.  He is in his element.  That is, out in The Nature, that I love not quite so much, and making something out of mostly nothing.

What could be better?

Practical Man moving sap from one pan to another

He looks cute in his lumberjack shirt and he smells of yummy wood smoke after a day of boiling sap, so I go along with it.

What can I say?  I am weak for wood smoke and plaid clothing.

Anyway, the whole maple syrup thing, while quaint and stereotypical for some of us rural Canucks, is a LOT of work.  There are many more bullet points I left out of my list above, because I thought you’d get tired of reading them (and I know I get tired just writing them) and I definitely get tired doing more than a few of them, so I am pretty much only a sporadic cheerleader, inept and inconsistent skimmer, lunch runner and such.

I’m basically maple syrup middle management.

Luckily, Practical Man is not a complainer by nature.  Even though he’s married to a person who is a complainer about The Nature.

During one of the sap boils this season, I realized I had a bonafide excuse for getting out of maple syrup work and I gleefully embarked on it.

Dressed to kill, as you can see:

Me, wearing an elaborate breathing mask

We have recently met some new Boler Buddies–people who are in love with the cute, vintage, marshmallow-shaped trailers known as Bolers in Canada and Scamps in the US–and we have offered to fix up their trailer a little, so they could try camping in it this summer.

Boler trailer with orange bottom and cream top

This is our Boler Buddies’ Boler…but I’m sort of pretending it’s ours, even though I’m obviously giving it back once we’ve finished with its spa treatments.

Having two Bolers on our property made me as giddy as a Practical Man, boiling sap.

Tra-la-la!

So giddy, that I didn’t mind at all the first job involved with the little jewel:  scraping the un-adhered interior paint, applied by a previous owner, where it had been disguising some fairly extensive surface mold.

Mmmmm.  Mold.

And you thought my breathing apparatus getup was just for fun.

Scraaaaape.

Scraaaaape.

Scraaaaape.

Scraped kitchen walls in the Boler - paint chips everywhere and mold visible

I was scraping with a cool, rounded scraper thingy that only a Practical Man would own.  It didn’t damage any of the interior insulation (called Ensolite) but it niftily scraped off the loose paint.

From outside the little Boler, it sounded as if a very large rodent was trying to claw its way out.  But really, it was just a very large rodent who was not helping with the sap boil, whatsoever.

Ha!

Inside the Boler, there was lots of flaking paint.  Lots of surface mold.  But, the definite bonus was that I could pretend I was Darth Vader with a sunburn.

I do recall he was pasty like me, when they took his mask off.

Anyway, my arms jiggly from the scraping (yep, that’s why they’re jiggly), I then got to use one of my favourite tools:  the shop vac.

Wee-whoo!  I love me a shop vac.

Lady Gaga and I shop vac’d the flaking paint up a storm (and chipmunk droppings accumulated during the Boler’s 14 years bravely surviving The Nature).  There may have been some gyrating hips, I do confess.

What happens in the Boler, stays in the Boler.

Tra-la-la.

Copyright Christine Fader, 2016.  Did you enjoy this post from A Vintage Life?    Share on Facebook       Tweet

 


We were camping last weekend in the Boler.

AKA Twinkle Tows:  the vintage travel trailer that I l-o-o-o-ve.Boler and screen house, set up at campsite

It needs a paint job on the outside but we re-did the inside a few years ago.

dinette inside boler, red cushions

Pretty, pretty.

The owner of the mega-apartment-building-sized, it’s got walk-in-closets-kind-of-slide-outs trailer parked next to us last weekend came over for a little chat.   He was all “oh, isn’t that just too cute” and “you don’t see many of these anymore”.
Bench inside boler

In other words, J-E-A-L-OUS.

Even though he has a walk-in closet and on board shower and a/c facilities.

The Boler has that effect on people.

I fall hard for the Boler every time I see it, too.

I love the wind-out windows that you can keep fully open during a hot night’s rain.

Pitter patter, pitter patter.

wind out windows on the Boler

I love the original avocado green stove.

And range hood.

Very vintage, 70s – tra, la, la!

Kitchen with avocado green range hood and sink

Practical Man and my dad made the doors from ash trees on our property.

They added the flowers with a minimal amount of sighing.

Before I go to sleep in the Boler, I like to wiggle my toes while lying on the dinette/bed and stare in wonderment around the little marshmallow-shaped interior.

Y’know, just for maybe an hour or so.

Wiggle, wiggle.  Giggle, giggle.

inside boler at night

Ditto for the mornings.

Wiggle, wiggle.  Giggle, giggle.

Boler curtains with dancing flower in front of them

Practical Man just smiles (and sometimes rolls his eyes the teeniest bit) while I’m doing this.

But, he loves the Boler, too.

twinkle toes pillow

I can tell by the way he doesn’t really complain about the (optimistically-named) “double” bed being slightly squishy even though he has to share it with someone who tends towards active dreaming (about buying more Bolers) and snoring and stealing the covers.

I can tell by the way he keeps a running list of “stuff the Boler needs”.

I can tell by the way he agrees to pay for camping, even though he’s a northern Ontario boy who defines camping as “parking on Crown land because why oh why would you ever pay for camping?”

And then, when I twirl happily to the creek side on our (NOT free) campsite, wearing my snazzy new trailer/Boler pants (check out the ankle ruffles!) that my aunt, Heather-the-Feather, gave me:

pajama pants with vintage trailers on them

Okay, there might be a little more eye rolling but that quickly turns into twinkles.

Twinkles are the universal sign for “I love you, even though you’re fairly kooky”.

Tra-la-la.

Back of the boler, as it's rolling down the road.

Copyright Christine Fader, 2015.  Did you enjoy this post from A Vintage Life?    Share on Facebook       Tweet

 

 

 


As I’ve said before, not everyone appreciates a vintage life.

Case in point:  Practical Man has been known to shake his head at something I’ve purchased while muttering, “I threw one of those out in 1978” under his breath.

It seems to happen quite frequently during yard/garage sale season.  Lots and lots of head shaking and muttering.

But, I ask you:

Who will bring the ugly ducklings of the world home to be loved and cherished, if not I?

daisy pattern on the Lawnware lamp - up close

Oooh, look at the pretty patterns!

Especially when they’re vintage Lawnware for RVs (whatever that is) and only $1.

This particular vintage Lawnware for RVs needed a plug, but Practical Man is so very handy that a mere plug was no impediment to the purchase.

More muttering.

inside the lamp

A look up into the “gubbins” of the lamp, as my dad would say. Isn’t saying “gubbins” fun?

When I lived in England decades ago, I once wired a plug on to my newly-purchased curling iron after arriving home and remembering (when I went to use said curling iron and had only some metal wire sticking out the end of the cord) that small appliances didn’t come with plugs.  That way, they could sell them all over Europe and everyone could put their respective plug on or electrocute themselves trying because they couldn’t remember how to do it since it was O level Physics the last time they had tried and there was a really cute teenager distracting them from Ms. Russell’s fascinating lessons on plugs and besides that was so long ago because O level Physics hasn’t existed in a generation.

Anyway.

I haven’t wired a plug since then, but I will assume that Practical Man did it correctly.

Possibly, while muttering.

Even I have to admit, this is kind of an ugly duckling.  But, it has a style about its ugly duckling-ness, don’t you think?

The lamp in its entirety

Especially once the wasp nest inside and 40 years of gummified dust was cleaned off.

It will work perfectly for a romantic evening under the stars (or Ugliest Lamp in the World)  celebration as we hang out on our $1 for the pair, vintage, metal, scald-your-legs lawn chairs (totally impractical but I l-o-v-e them anyway).

red vintage lawn chairs (2)

Mutter, mutter.

Or, it will look fetching and appropriately “Lawnware for RV-ish” in our ugly duckling, vintage Boler trailer.

The lamp lit, with all its multi-coloured lights glowing

Ooooooh Aaaaaaah!

It’s like the Lite Brite of lamps!

Who wouldn’t like that?

Practical Man seems to be raising his hand.

And muttering.

Tra-la-la.

Copyright Christine Fader, 2015.  Did you enjoy this post from A Vintage Life?    Share on Facebook       Tweet


Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Banana.

Banana who?

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Banana.

Banana, who?

I interrupt this vintage joke to ask an important question:

Do you like orange?

It seems like one of those colours that people have a love it or hate it thing for.

Christine wearing an orange and burgundy striped hat and burnt orange scarf.

Lately, I’ve been cozied up in this burnt orange scarf.

I’m on the side of love it.  Maybe that’s because I learned the magical, mystical power of orange when my friend, Grover, introduced me to Ugly Orange Sweater, way back in 1986.

Y’see, not only is orange the colour of creamsicles and beach vacation toenail polish, it is one of the few colours Grover can really identify, on account of the fact that he has colour blindness.

And, even though he is super talented and great at lots of things including but not limited to gift giving and swinging on non-pinchy-bum swings, Grover couldn’t really appreciate the nuances of periwinkle blue, Tiffany blue, or the colour of a certain Leonard Cohen raincoat.

So, orange it was.

Then came the day that his mom (if I’m remembering the legend correctly) knitted him a gigantic orange sweater.  It was (let me emphasize again) gigantic and orange and the wool kind of pilled up and the sweater ended up looking like a gigantic and orange, wearable muppet.  Grover (who I also think of as a lovely, wearable muppet, hence his nom de plum) named it Ugly Orange Sweater (U.O.S.) and it became a Thing.

If you don’t get the significance of a Thing to teenagers, you need to stop everything and read more John Green books.

Anyway, ever since 1986, I have loved Grover and U.O.S. and orange.

I found these two melamine plates recently and even though I have enough vintage melamine to host the entire cast of the Mary Tyler Moore show, they had to come home with me.

On account of the orange.

melamine plate with orange funky flower design

Yep, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  Even though I keep putting “tiny house” pics on Pinterest and we’re supposed to be downsizing, not bringing even more stuff that Practical Man gave away in 1976, into the house.  And, even though the orange in these awesome plates is not really the same colour as the orange in U.O.S.

Anyhoo.

These are vintage Maplex (from Toronto, Canada).  And, even though I’m definitely down-sizing, I just love their funky, flower-power motif.

Of course I do.

They go so well with the vintage daisy Pyrex (that my friend Shades gave me) and the vintage orange melamine (that we found in the melamine-mecca of Ompah, Ontario two years ago) and the little Japanese creamer that almost looks like the same flower-power pattern (that I found for 10 cents on a sunny morning of yard sale-ing with my sister-in-law in Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, four years ago).

Vintage pyrex bowls with daisy lids; orange melamine coffee cups and plates

It’s as if they were all meant to be together, from the beginning.  So, if you happen to find this Maplex pattern anywhere (I can’t find it, even online), please save it for me because, these would look great in our vintage Boler trailer.

Yes Indeedy, I am incurable.

It might be Grover’s fault.  Too much cozy orange scarf and not enough non-pinchy-bum swings or U.O.S. sightings.

Or something.

But in the end, all that really matters, of course, is:

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Orange.

Orange who?

Orange You Glad I Didn’t Say Banana?!

——————————————————–

Copyright Christine Fader, 2015.  Did you enjoy this post from A Vintage Life?    Share on Facebook       Tweet


Is there anything more quintessentially retro than fondue?

Of course not!  No wonder it’s becoming mainstream again (you might notice, as I have, a scarcity of fondue paraphenalia in thrift stores lately.  Boo hoo).

In case you’re a fondue novice (as one of our guests was) or a fondue skeptic (what, what?!), here are a few tips I came up with, based on the fondue party we had this past weekend.

FonDO break out your “heirloom”, harvest-gold  fondue set from the time your parents almost set the table on fire.

Gold fondue pot from the 1970s

I like to do this while singing songs by John Denver, Arlo Guthrie, and The Mamas and the Papas (some of the soundtrack of my childhood in the 70s) but no matter how peace-love-and-frolicky you feel, pay attention for a second because this also leads me to my next, important suggestion (actually, it’s my mother’s suggestion):

FonDO put your fondus pot(s) on a cutting board.  Our two modern fondue pots actually come with this as part of the set, but in the days of hippy love and fondue mania, folks lived free and dangerously.  The cutting board was the only thing that stood between my parents almost setting the table on fire and my parents actually setting the table (not to mention their 100% polyester outfits) on fire.

FonDO go overboard with the event.  Why have only one fondue when you can have four?  At our fondue last weekend, we had:

  • oil fondue (for meat or better:  dipping tempura-coated cheese, broccoli, mushrooms…)
  • cheese fondue (for dipping bread, veggies, olives, let’s face it:  anything tastes good when dipped in cheese!)
  • broth fondue (we found this most amazingly-delicious recipe for roasted garlic broth!)
  • chocolate fondue (for dipping cake, marshmallows, fruits, nuts, let’s face it:  anything tastes good when dipped in chocolate!)

Three fondue sets in a row on my table

FonDO make things easy on yourself:  buy the packaged cheese fondue.  I used to be a die-hard, must-grate-my-fingers-off-while-preparing-heaps-of-expensive-and-frankly-slightly-stinky-swiss-and- gruyere-and-dithering-about-what-the-heck-to-do-with-the-rest-of-the-bottle-of-icky-kirsch kind of a girl.  But, a couple of years ago, I was short on time and my sister suggested the packaged cheese fondue from a national grocery chain (find it in the cheese section, likely in a box or bag).  It was divine and ready in the microwave in less than 5 minutes!  Trust me, there’s enough chopping and dicing in fondue that you can forgive yourself for cheating on this one step.

Seriously, as long as there’s warm, melty cheese to dunk things in, NO ONE WILL CARE.

FonDO get creative with your dunkings.  Y’know, if you just can’t bear to make things easy on yourself. Sure you can cut up a hunk of French loaf and swirl it in the cheese and it will be DIVINE, but why deprive yourself of making things complicated? Practical Man gave me this daisy pan so we made daisy-shaped mini pound cakes for dunking in the chocolate fondue.  They were totally unnecessary, but they made me smile (or, maybe that was the sugar high, who can tell?)

daisy shaped mini pound cakes

FonDO make the leftovers into something equally yummy.  I suggest caramelized onion pizza with fondue cheese and roasted red peppers (pictured below).  Or re-boil and strain the roasted garlic broth and then use it to crock-pot a delicious roast.

We did both this week.  Didn’t you hear the groans of delight?

pizza made with leftover caramelized onions, fondue cheese and roasted red peppers

FonDON’T forget to hunt in your relatives’ basements/attics and local thrift stores/garage sales for lots of fondue forks.  Seriously, you can never have too many.  Despite this, people will still tussle over which colour they get.  Practical Man calls dibs on the reds.

bundle of fondue forks with coloured ends showing

FonDON’T invite too many people.  Yes, you want to share the awesomeness that is fondue, but if there are too many people, you will end up with fondue pot traffic jams and some people sitting too far away from the pots.  This encourages risky reaching behaviour, not to mention mounting frustration because the cheese fondue inevitably ends up farthest away from where you’re sitting, and all your peace-love-and-fondue-ing will end in tears and cheese-pot-proximity envy.

Friends don’t let friends suffer from cheese-pot-proximity envy.

For 3 fondue pots, I find six people is probably ideal.  Eight, tops, if the invited tend towards self-sacrifice or are fondue Jedi masters.

FonDON’T forget to use the practical fondue plates.  Even if they’re slightly chippy because your parents obviously had a lot of fun at their ’70s fondue parties.  At first, I’m sure Practical Man thought I was just using these because they came in awesome vintage colours that matched the stoves and fridges we had growing up (harvest gold, fresh avocado, coppertone…) – okay, guilty.

But, it turns out that they really are very practical.

Sectioned fondue plates in white, gold, avocado green, coppertone

And, we need some more (but it’s winter, so no garage sales and the local thrift store have been fondue’d out on account of it was New Year’s Eve not so long ago).  So, swoop in and acquire these funky, retro treasures, if you find them!  It’s important to use those little divided sections to keep your raw stuff (especially meat or shrimp or scallops) away from your cooked stuff and dippy do’s.  Which brings me to:

FonDON’T touch the fondue fork to your lips.  Bad, bad burning sensation!    Fondue is hot, hot, hot (and some people, like me, are slow learners.)  Always cool your food slightly (or take off the fondu fork and transfer to your fun, fondue plate) before tasting.

bundle of fondue forks

FonDON’T overlook the fun dippy do’s!  In addition to the fun dunking and cooking and chatting at fondues, there should be lots of fun dunking and dipping.  While you are waiting for your scalded lips to stop throbbing, survey the land of toppings and goos.  A variety of mustards, hot sauces, aiolis, sirachas, basically any kind of goo that you can plop on your plate and dunk your fondue pieces in, will go a long way to pushing your fondue from fon-dull to fon-delicious!

(Sorry, I couldn’t help myself).

Fondue pot with dippy-do containers around it

This fondue pot we got for our wedding comes with a handy wooden base and containers for a few dippy-do’s (note, these containers are merely a starting point: the best fondues have LOTS of dippy-do’s!)

And last, but not least:

FonDON’T spend the whole party away from the table, if you are hosting.   The best part about fondue is that everyone cooks their own stuff (heck, they can even bring some of their own food and dippy-do’s!)  Other than drinks and a little flame management (deftly provided by Practical Man), there’s not much to do except straighten your polyester muumuu and dive in to having a great time!

White fondue pot surrounded by four dippy do containers

Copyright Christine Fader, 2015.  Did you enjoy this post from A Vintage Life?    Share on Facebook       Tweet


The Camptown Ladies sing this song,
doo da, doo da,
The Camptown racetrack’s five miles long,
Oh, de doo dah day.
– Stephen Foster (1826-1864)

I have been humming this very vintage song lately.  Not because I’ve ever been to the camptown races (or even know what they are, if I’m honest).

I have a rather frilly and can-can-esque vision of the “camptown ladies” from the song in my head (probably wrong and sexist to boot but I’m a little afraid to google “camptown ladies”) and I had no idea that the song’s writer was walking around (and probably humming some annoying song from his village mistral), well before Canada’s confederation.

I can’t help but be impressed.  200 years is some serious longevity for a song that isn’t, y’know, required singing like the national anthem or 99 Bottles of Beer On the Wall.

I wonder if, in 200 years, people will be walking around humming one of Taylor Swift’s extremely catchy/annoying songs.

Ack!  Just a second while I (groan) shake it off, shake it off.

Or as we’ll sing it in the year 2214:  Shake It Off 99 Bottles of Beer On The Wall while We Stand on Guard For Thee.

Anyway, back to the camptown races because yep, that song is annoying me almost as much as Taylor’s is these days,  and I believe it all started with the doo da-s.

Yep, it’s all their fault.

On account of the fact that I have recently become the proud owner of four of them.

Doo dahs, that is.

Two amber ones:

amber depression glass curtain tiebacks

And two purple ones:

purple depression glass curtain tiebacks

I can’t decide which colour is my favourite.  The purple ones remind me of the beautiful glass we have found while beachcombing in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.  Apparently the process used to make glass back in the day meant the clearness (insert technical glass-making term here) wasn’t stable and over time, glass would turn a lovely purple hue.

I love beautiful mistakes, don’t you?

So yes, the purple ones are wonderful.  On the other hand, the amber doo da-s are like owning a piece of tree sap that has turned into something mystical and fairy-like and gorgeous.  As a result, both pairs have been given pride of place in our living and dining area.

amber curtain tieback holding beige curtains

Note to self: get curtains befitting amber gorgeousness

I looked these flowery beauties up online and they were frequently described as “antique, Victorian depression glass”.

I’m not quite sure how something can be of the Victorian and depression eras simultaneously.

Sounds a bit like time travel to me.

But, despite their muddled pedigree and annoying accompanying campfire races ditty, I really do love the doo da-s.  They used to sit on my friend, Mother Nature’s window sill, catching the light and sparkling it around on the beamed ceiling at her house.  Before that, they were at Mother Nature’s oldest sister’s house, having been rescued from a yard sale, auction or some other upcycling venue.

One lovely day, Mother Nature asked me if I wanted the doo da-s for my very own.

She said she wanted to give them to me because I would “do something with the doo da-s”.

Do something with the doo da-s.  Haha.

See how I almost wrote an annoying song there?

Anyhoo, we brought the doo da-s home and Practical Man got out the measuring tape so they would end up equal distances from the floor, once installed.

Boring measuring and blah blah blah but, with happy results.

purple curtain tiebacks holding back red, toile curtains

Yep, this is more like it. Love the purple and red combination.

They make me smile (and hum an annoying little tune).

Yes ma’am, I think to myself, those are some mighty fine doo da-s.

Doo da, doo da!

Sorry.

Shake it off.   Shake it off.

 

Copyright Christine Fader, 2014.  Did you enjoy this post from A Vintage Life?    Share on Facebook       Tweet         You might also like my book.