124 Comments

  1. fern benson
    January 20, 2016 @ 10:55 am

    I had the same thoughts…………..cull the clothes, cull the stuff, cull the books…………..well I must admit that I was able to create one box to give away, but I had to promise my mom, sister and aunt that I would give them the opportunity to take some. Not surprisingly, this only made room for the books I got for Christmas AND the books I bought with the wonderful Amazon gift card my mom gave me! But, I still!elt good………………! I am searching for a cabinet to house the “cabinet of curiosities”….. stuff I gave to my husband for the holidays (a articulated bat skeleton, a antique microscope, etc…………would have loved to find a cabinet like you have! thanks for the inspiration!

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  2. Jennfleur
    January 20, 2016 @ 12:46 pm

    The bookcase is STUNNING! I must now re-think my vows to cultivate a simpler life, which also involves eschewing material goods. Clearly there is no fun to be found there.

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  3. Jill Flory
    January 20, 2016 @ 1:09 pm

    OMG that is my husband to a T! He slows down as soon as I am ready to get going!!!! He’d so go put dishes away as I was putting on my coat to head out !!!

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  4. Leslie Kendall Dye
    January 20, 2016 @ 5:31 pm

    “After a moment, the bookcase lady said to me quietly – your husband is very no-nonsense.

    Paul looked up from the floor and said – yes. Because my wife is ALL-NONSENSE. ”

    I LAUGHED SO HARD I CRIED. This is my husband and me.

    Then I saw that the bookcase in question has GLASS to protect the books. And I cried with envy.

    So basically this post has reduced me to tears. Repeatedly.

    Any chance you will sell the bookcase? My dad is a book collector and is up to 10,000 books. I live in 600 square feet in Manhattan but the genes are strong. I want book collectors’ glass-shielded bookcases so badly it HURTS.

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  5. Ruth Taylor
    January 20, 2016 @ 7:04 pm

    Hopefully the former owner doesn’t read this!
    I absolutely love it though.
    My local Craiglist doesn’t ever have good stuff like that!

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  6. Jaye
    January 20, 2016 @ 9:21 pm

    Nice going! It’s wonderful.

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  7. blackbird
    January 20, 2016 @ 9:31 pm

    I happen to be as obsessed with scarves as you are with giant fancy things.
    WHERE is that beauty from? Won’t you please tell???

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    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      January 21, 2016 @ 11:05 am

      Ah, I love it too! (As I do anything weirdly oversized.) It’s old, old, old… I got it at the Neiman Marcus outlet back before the internet made real-life shopping unnecessary.

      You probably know someone who knits… tell them you need a scarf as tall as you are. xoxo

      Reply

  8. Laurinda
    January 20, 2016 @ 11:11 pm

    Hahahaha- his comeback was PRICELESS!! Of course, yours was pretty snappy too
    ;-D

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  9. Krista
    January 21, 2016 @ 2:44 pm

    Hey!! Please give me first dibs if you ever sell a mirror. I have been on a search for my own kingdom mirror with no such luck so far ???

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  10. judy
    January 22, 2016 @ 12:15 am

    Oh Woe is me….you inspired me to tackle -once more into the breach…yada yada… the disorganization that plagues my “Golden Years” .

    My house that once hid away (in the unused bedrooms) multiple bags of mystery and boxes and boxes of books and unshredded and unburned “records” of a dazed and confused existence now display said chaos throughout the “Public Rooms”.

    Thank the Saints we are too old to actually know any public that would witness my lunacy but I have now joined the” Club of Uninhabitable Houses” which is a definite step up from uninhabitable rooms. So there ‘s something to be said for that ..right?

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  11. Julie~FurnishMyWay
    January 22, 2016 @ 12:09 pm

    What a steal! And a beautiful bookcase to boot! You truly are a negotiator at heart! Gotta love how Paul handled everything as well. Y’all clearly have a wonderful relationship, and you both deal with each other’s quirkiness beautifully. That bookcase was indeed cheaper than therapy, and I’m sure there will be more gorgeous pieces of furniture for you to love and buy! Can’t wait to see the finished restoration. Everything looks so beautiful so far!

    Julie~FurnishMyWay

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  12. Lora Hart
    January 22, 2016 @ 1:11 pm

    It would be a great pantry too. Just sayin…

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  13. judy
    January 22, 2016 @ 8:07 pm

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  14. judy
    January 22, 2016 @ 8:08 pm

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  15. Brian
    January 22, 2016 @ 8:37 pm

    One of your best stories since I have been following your exploits. You got a super deal on the bookcase and it was obviously overpriced to begin with or it would never have lasted a year on Craig’s List. You actually showed a lot of patience and control to wait a whole year to go see it.
    I think you are making progress and you have an angel for a husband but I am sure you already know that.
    Happy hunting!
    Brian

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  16. Emily
    January 23, 2016 @ 10:16 pm

    That was beautiful. As ever. I love you and I love your blog. Always look forward to seeing more!!

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  17. judy
    January 24, 2016 @ 4:51 pm

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  18. Kristl DeBord
    January 26, 2016 @ 4:14 pm

    You are a girl after my own heart! Although, my husband is much more resistant to my insanity than yours 😉 Does he have seminars? My husband would need to attend!

    I recently could not resist the charm of an old, old newel post. It was after I bought it that I thought “What the heck am I going to do with this?’ Suggestions are welcome.

    Sunday’s around here are what my hubby refers to as “haul **** home Sundays”. I tend to leave for a few hours, only to return with some ridiculous item ha!

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  19. Tia
    January 28, 2016 @ 2:39 pm

    Totally random but I was perusing craigslist for an armoire and your blog came to mind only I couldn’t remember the name of it because I haven’t read it in a while. So I googled “crazy mirror lady blog philadelphia” and you were the very first hit. I thought you might find that amusing 🙂

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  20. Beverly
    January 31, 2016 @ 4:43 am

    Victoria, you are as funny today as you were several years ago ~ when you posted your stories on Facebook ~ and then you departed for the Big Time Blog World and broke my heart. I will not lose you twice. Please name the music in the video. My molasses might run downhill given that orchestrated encouragement an hour or two daily. My cardiologist would thank you.

    Reply

  21. Jutta
    February 1, 2016 @ 11:38 pm

    If you now need a new resting place for either one of these mirrors, let me know…

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  22. Lauren
    February 3, 2016 @ 1:18 pm

    This made me laugh out loud! My husband came in the room and I read it to him and he laughed too! That bookcase was a steal and we are in awe of your negotiating skills!

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  23. Kate
    February 3, 2016 @ 8:56 pm

    SO Jealous! What a fabulous book case, and I love your old ones too. Never find furniture like that here, too new. I really need to move to the east coast and buy a huge old Victorian. Sigh.

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  24. Suzi
    February 7, 2016 @ 11:37 am

    I always love your posts….I am a GFT lover myself…I think we have husband twins. I get us into some crazy stuff and he complains but pulls out the debit card or cash!

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  25. Michele Obarow
    February 7, 2016 @ 10:34 pm

    You are amazing! Tim and I purchased our 1898 Victorian in 2001. My description to family and friends is “our old house is like Great Grandma on life support” The past 15 years of all out diy work has paid off; layers of paint revealed carved panels, East Lake door hardware and a copper door bell is working again! New kitchen, bathroom,windows and more! My husband has taught me the “art of pacing ones self” Happy to say great granny is now off life support, with a few precautionary procedures in the very near future!

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  26. Mimi Michalski
    February 8, 2016 @ 9:49 am

    Fabulous blog! A friend sent me this post saying she thought I’d like it, and that was a total understatement! I went back and read Parts 1-3 of explaining how you got to where you are and jumped around to about 5 other linked posts. The one about the bathroom was so us! We bought our 1912 sort-of Victorian in 1987 and have worked on it ever since. When we first moved in the first thing we said was “This bathroom has to go.” Talk about tiny and badly arranged! Worse than having the toilet and sink opposite each other, the tub was lengthwise in the room PLUS the toilet and sink were opposite each other. It was like walking into a coffin. Well, with one thing and another, we didn’t get around to doing the bath (because it was the only one in the house, along with a toilet in the basement that leaked when you flushed it) until two years ago – when we realized that if we waited much longer the tub would eventually fall into the kitchen as it had been leaking for about 25 years and the ceiling kept dropping ominous bits of plaster onto the stove. By this time we had had enough of doing anything ourselves and we went out and hired The Man. The Man said as long as we were doing the bathroom we should do the kitchen (which was only marginally less awful). I’ll spare you the details but the out come was wonderful! Your adventures of restoring your old house and getting all those antiques so reminded me of when we first bought our house – and our subsequent antiquing phase. We once bought a wardrobe in New York City and brought it back in the back of our 1985 Saab. That car could fit almost anything! But probably not a 12-foot Kingdom Mirror or an Eastlake bookcase! Our husbands are saints… these stories are so funny and so true!

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  27. Mimi Michalski
    February 8, 2016 @ 9:54 am

    Oh, and by the way – This is my hsuband to a T! I laughed out loud!
    “He cannot find his keys. Or his phone. Or his jacket. Or his hat. He needs to brush his teeth. Then he goes into the kitchen and begins emptying the dishrack… leaving me in a position of either duct-taping my own mouth shut, or screaming— WHY ARE YOU EMPTYING THE DISHRACK?

    WHY? WHY? WHY?”

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  28. Robyn
    February 8, 2016 @ 9:48 pm

    Ohmygoodness, I can totally relate to the need to duct tape my mouth shut, what is it with these men that they move SOOOOOOOOOO slow when we urgently need something? Garage sale finds, Craigslist finds, church sale finds, etc. My husband drives me CRAZY with this. Does he really need to use the restroom right when I’m ready to go? Or yes, even better, unload the dishwasher. (Is it just me, or does your husband never unload the aforesaid dishwasher at any other time other than when you are trying to get something?) Seriously. Nerve. Wracking.

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  29. laura the real laura
    February 9, 2016 @ 10:01 am

    and then…the GIANT SQUID SCARF ATTACKED!!!
    Holy moly! That’s a lot of wool.
    Anyways. We used to congratulate ourselves for buying and assembling IKEA shelves without divorcing, so kudos to you and Paul.

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  30. Sue J.
    February 15, 2016 @ 7:48 am

    fabulous, giant, fancy. a very good day.

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  31. Lexi
    March 2, 2016 @ 1:34 am

    A friend of mine sent me the link to your site (crazy blog reader that I am) and I have just had the time of my life reading all your about your finds and Giant FANCY Things! Such a good post and video! More soon please!

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  32. Susanne
    March 2, 2016 @ 10:26 am

    “Sure, Baby, if that’s what you want.” If only my husband would answer me that!

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  33. Shelley Creed
    March 7, 2016 @ 4:05 pm

    Paul is a treasure and you are absolutely hysterical! I love your posts!

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  34. antiquechase
    March 9, 2016 @ 5:28 pm

    The paragraph with the “nonsense”…. I just had to forward it to my husband… who I’m sure CAN RELATE… just too too too funny!!
    ~Marcy

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  35. Marian@CMShawStudios
    March 18, 2016 @ 9:08 am

    You have no idea how much I relate to this experience. Seriously. My man is just like Paul, a reasonable person who thinks I have lost my ever loving mind on Craigslist. And just for the record, immaculate East Lake bookcase for $500? Worth EVERY minute of the wait. Well done my friend.
    The Other Marian

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  36. Babette
    April 2, 2016 @ 5:28 pm

    I think Paul and my husband were secretly separated at birth. I’m always, “But darling, don’t you see how magnificent this will look in the corner of the room we never use?”
    Husband is always, “It’s dirty, it’s scratched, etc. Just one time, can you not buy something that needs more work? And, we’re running out of room. The corner you speak of, already has your last magnificent find, sitting it.”

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  37. Karen
    May 9, 2016 @ 7:34 pm

    When you finish this house PLEASE, PLEASE buy another! I have not laughed so hard in quite some time. I will also keep in mind your tips for getting all the things you love. I am married to a level headed guy who believes in only practicality!!

    Reply

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