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Countertop Review

This time last year I was packing up our house to prepare for our down-to-the-studs renovation in our kitchen, family room, and master bath as well as the addition of a screened porch. The family room wasn't originally part of the plan, but that's a post for another time. The kitchen was where I really had to plan and scheme, and, yes even fret, to stay in our footprint and budget and to get the function and look I wanted. I love a challenge like this, though, so despite some occasional frustration with my client (aka me! ), I enjoyed the process. A key "want" of mine was honed marble countertops. There are dozens--maybe hundreds--of blog posts, articles, and showroom sites that compare various types of countertop materials and their pros and cons. I read most of them and took notes from a lot of them in the months leading up to our start date. One of the most helpful things was visiting a sweet friend's kitchen, where I was able to ask questions about cleaning, a

A Ghost Story

When I was a little girl, watching television was only a small part of my big day of playing and pretending.  In fact, the only show I remember seeing regularly was Captain Kangaroo.   Bob Keeshan and his team put together arguably the finest children’s programming ever.  Parked in a child-sized wooden rocker with a glass of milk and a graham cracker, I sat mesmerized for an hour while my mother enjoyed a bit of peace.  I am sure I laughed at the antics of Bunny Rabbit, Mr. Moose, Dancing Bear, and Mister Greenjeans, but my favorite part of the show was when Captain Kangaroo would read a story.  Mike Mulligan and His Steamshovel, Mary Ann; Caps for Sale; Make Way for Ducklings; and A Snowy Day were a few of my favorites, and they are books that I read to my own children years later.  One book that the Captain read that I absolutely loved was Georgie, a tale of a sweet and curious ghost. georgie I loved Georgie’s shyness.  georgie 1The line drawings of a quaint New England  house and its owners, the Whittakers captivated me, and I loved the simple prose  that author Robert Bright used to tell his ghostly tales.georgie 2IMG_2526When we were in New York this past fall, we spent a delightful rainy Sunday morning browsing through the Corner Bookstore, where I found another favorite ghost story, Ghosts in the House!  This charming picture book tells the story of a  little girl who buys a house only to discover it is full of ghosts.  She makes quick work of catching them, promptly tosses them in the washer, and then stitches them up as curtains and bed linens.  It is a delightful book, and I highly recommend you get it for your children or your grandchildren or nieces or nephews or just for yourself, as I did!  
So, these were the books I was thinking of when I devised this extremely inexpensive and easy and non-scary way to add some subtle Halloween charm to the T&C house.
Start with white tissue paper, the same kind with which you would line a gift box.  You’ll need at least one sheet for each of your front or street side windows.  Butcher paper would work well for this project, too.IMG_2512
  Next, simply draw out some ghostly shapes, with loose, gentle curves.  I tried to leave one corner of each tissue paper intact, to serve as my guide for placement and to prevent the ghosts from looking like blobs!  Cut out the shapes with scissors.IMG_2527 Here’s our dining room table, covered with a variety of ghost bodies.IMG_2530 Next, using a wide-tipped black Sharpie draw simple round eyes and smiles or O-shaped mouths.  I made some of each. Be sure to use some newspaper or scrap paper underneath your tissue paper because the Sharpie bleeds through!IMG_2537 Finally, place your ghosts in your windows using Magic Scotch tape.   IMG_2533It was hard to get a good picture because of the glare, but as you can see there’s a ghost in each window, a few are placed upside down in hopes of giving the appearance of fun-loving spooks whooshing through the house!   IMG_2536I found it easiest to put a tiny piece of tape at the top of the ghost’s head to get it into position, and then to tape the body into place.  Above is one of the ghosts during the day.IMG_2548
And, here’s the twilight shot.
Happy Haunting!


  1. I love love love those ghosts on your house!

  2. Those are SO cute!

    Love the inside of your childhood. I met Captain Kangaroo when I was just a small child. He was at MSU for a lecture and he stopped by our nursery school ~ my first and only star sighting :)


  3. What a delightful post! I remember reading Georgie as a child and then to my own. I also loved "Old Black Witch" - a quaint story in which a (newly?) single mom buys an old Victorian house and turns it into bustling tea shop with the (eventual) help of its resident witch and her son Nicky. Love the ghosts peeking out from your windows!

  4. OMW!!! Going to Hobby Lobby today (anyway) and getting supplies to make these ghosts today! They are soooooo cute.

    Oh, and I loved "Mike Mulligan..." growing up. Did you read her other book "The Little House"? That was my absolute favorite.

  5. Thanks for that charming idea. I know how part of this morning will be spent.

  6. very cute! thanks for all your great ideas!!

  7. we just read Georgie at my sons pre school!

    Thanks for the great comment you left me...thankfully, my oldest son does not have a cell phone or any other way to text!!! Let's see how long we can hold out...!!!!

    have a great day!

  8. Entertaining Mom, thanks for your compliment. I hope your family is feeling better!

    Jo, you are lucky to have met Captain Kangaroo. I have read that he was a fine man.

    Tessa, I will look for the Old Black Witch. It sounds perfect for this time of year!

    Bevy, yes, I loved The Little House, too. So many wonderful children's books!

    Gwennie and Shoes, Thanks so much!

    Laura, thanks for stopping by! We held out on the phones till our boys were freshman in high school and beginning to ride with older kids--aaaccckkkk!

  9. Simply spooktacular Paula! Something i might even be able to accomplish : )

  10. I remember watching Captain Kangaroo and talking Grandfather Clock. :)
    Love your window ghosts! They are adorable!!

  11. Thanks, Katie and Mona. From start to finish (subtracting interruptions), it took about an hour to do.

  12. Love your story and your ghosts! So creative! You are amazing Miss T&C Mom. :) xoxo

    p.s. the glassine bags are all over the internet. did you find what you wanted?

  13. p.s. OMGOsh. That house. I have a bad case of Federal style house envy. I don't think there is one around here in a 500 mile radius or more. Lucky, lucky lady. :) xoxo

  14. enchanting! and your house is so
    beautiful. i just love a red door!

  15. Oh, your book suggestions are wonderful. I just love the old illustrations. The stories themselves sound charming. I do hope I can find them somewhere for my little boy...Also, I adore your ghosties!



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