Tuesday, July 2, 2019


My previous house in Texas was huge and I kept it immaculate. I dusted, vacuumed, and scrubbed several times a week.

Here in the Tennessee wilderness, my house is nearly three times smaller and is a complete mess. Dust, dirt, and cobwebs are ubiquitous and seem to keep reappearing out of nowhere.

Last week I took some interior photos that I planned to use on this blog. When I looked at them closely, thick layers of dust were embarrassingly apparent everywhere. I put down the camera and spent the rest of the afternoon dusting and cleaning the house. 

Fortunately, I have less to dust here than I did in Texas. With far less space, there's not much to clean - - and (possibly??) less clutter. Half of my antiques are packed away. And most of my antique art collection is in storage because there's no room to hang it.

For no discernible reason (except perhaps to show off) I took more photos after cleaning.

 I love colored glass in the sunlight and have a lot of it. A few of these belonged to my mother.

 Some of the frames on my antique paintings are so heavy that I'm hesitant to hang them on the walls. The old gilded frames are hard to keep clean and crumble easily.
This Venice scene is an early work by the Italian artist Enrico Paulucci. 

My cat Scratch is saying "What the hell did Jon buy this for?"

 When I assess my antiques, I often ask
"What the hell did Jon buy this for?"
These charming German mutter und vater figurines were made circa 1850.

 This Japanese vase isn't an antique, but it's one of my favorites. It looks much nicer in real.

Speaking of large paintings (was I?),
this old Austrian plein-air is five feet long and one of my favorites. I have to stand on the sofa to dust it.

More antiques to dust. I love the porcelain shepherd with the dog (left), which is circa 1790 and in surprisingly good shape.

English cup, bowl, and dishes from the 1820's. The little guy on the left is a creamer (I think).

My antique Russian wolfhound, alongside a lithograph of Napoleon from the early 1800s and an original photo of Prince Albert Victor (Victoria's grandson).

Couldn't let this go without showing off my prized antique desk, which is a pain to dust.

 I love this Edison-Mazda poster by Maxfield Parrish. I purchased it in a shop in Hollywood when I was 20 years old. It's presently hanging above my bed - and for a good reason:

When I lived in Texas, I had a very heavy oil painting hanging above my bed. One night it fell down while I was sleeping and landed right on my head! I almost sustained a concussion.

Ever since then, I always hang LIGHT things above my bed. I figure that if I get clobbered with a Parrish poster, it won't kill me.
(that thing below the poster is part of the bed headboard)

Here's another item that's a pain in the ass to dust (it's not an antique).
I never particularly liked it, but somehow I'm reluctant to get rid of it.

When I moved from Texas to Tennessee, the movers "lost" (or stole) a lot of my things and also broke many other things.

Strangely enough, this fragile collection of birds arrived in perfect condition.
Go figure.

I have many more photos, but I'll spare you. Too much of a good thing can be excruciating.....



  1. I clean houses for a living and I loathe to dust!! When my daughter was young, I'd make her come along for that very reason!! When others see a large house they tend to think" oh that house is so beautiful!".. not me- I think "how in the h**l would I ever get such a house dusted?? Crazy, huh? By the way- loved all your pics, thank you for sharing. Stay cool my Tennessee friend.

    1. Dusting is an endless (and thankless) job and I always dread it. The older I get the less I like big houses. When I moved to Tennessee I had planned to downsize - - but I still have annoying clutter.

  2. That shot of the colored bottles is wonderful! I think I've mentioned it before, but I'm seriously besotted with your antique desk.
    Dusting is just a close second to my most-hated household chore (mopping). Thank goodness, there's not nearly as much dust here as what accumulates in Arizona.

    1. There's something very satisfying to see colored glass in the sunlight. I love it. And I am admittedly smitten by the antique desk. I bought it on a whim and have no regrets.

      West Texas was always dusty, but I was really surprised to see so much dust here in TN - where it's always rainy and muddy.

  3. 1- You had me at the first picture. I too loooooove colored glass in the sunlight.

    2- ADORE that desk!

    3- As your well aware, I love birds, so I find your collection of porcelain birds fun.

    4- I'll be away for some time...can you dust my house while away?

  4. Well I had to wait for a rare sunny day before I could take that colored glass photo. Colored glass always gives me a warm and peaceful feeling. I'd love to have some stained glass windows.

    As much as I hate dusting, I'd willingly dust your house while you're away.
    That is - if the house boys didn't distract me....

  5. Love it all, Jon. A tour round your house would be a delight. I have many pictures on walls in my bungalow, but only two by unknown artistes which I adore... the pictures not the artists! My walls, however, are littered with my works of art, a craft known as decoupage.

    Er... if ever you want rid of that desk... sigh!

    1. Well, you'll have to share your decoupage sometime - I'd like to see it. I always feel comfortable surrounded by my favorite works of art and antiques. Perhaps I should live in a museum instead of a house....

      You'll have to fight me to get that desk....(*smile*)

  6. When it comes to seeing some of your fabulous antique collection, there's no such thing as "too much of a good thing." You have exquisite taste, but you're a lot braver than I am. (Or your cats are a lot more well-behaved than mine.) I wouldn't dare leave such lovely pieces of porcelain where they could... and would... happily swat them to the floor.

    Have a bang-up 4th!

    1. Susan, I keep my best antiques on high shelves - as far away from the cats as possible. All of my cats have broken things in the past, but fortunately nothing valuable.

      On the positive side - my felines seem to behave more carefully now that they're older. They were all reckless as kittens.

    2. I laughed when you said "happily swat them to the floor."

  7. Love colored glass in the sunlight and absolutely love your desk.
    Lots to dust. I am not good about dusting anymore, either. ;)

    1. Rita, every time I see the photos that you take of your place, I'm envious of how clean and completely organized everything is.

      I'm so glad that you're able to comment and blog again. Take care and keep us updated on your condition.

  8. Dear Jon, these pieces are absolutely calming, lovely and encouraging, as history ought to be. I used to have an Edison-Mazda print of romanticized prehistoric figures around a campfire --from Maxfield Parrish-- but alas, lost it moving house 40 years ago. Thanks for sharing!

    1. My Gawd, Geo - - when you mentioned Maxfield Parrish, I realized my mistake! The Edison-Mazda poster above my bed is indeed by Parrish, not Mucha!
      My once-sharp mind is stagnating quickly.....

      I will correct the error on this post.

  9. colored glass in the sunlight is beautiful indeed. have a happy 4th of july.

    1. Colored glass always generates a soothing effect - I'd love to have some stained glass windows.
      I hope you have a pleasant (and rain-free) 4th of July (it's raining here, as usual).


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