Out With the Old, In With the New – Maybe Not

In 2009 we took a trip back to visit my brother and his wife in southern Minnesota. Our trip took us up into Idaho, across to southern Minnesota, then up through North Dakota into Saskatchewan, across Canada to Vancouver, to Vancouver Island, across the bay to Washington state, and down the coast returning to home. I don’t think I blogged that trip, but if I did those blogs are long gone now and most of you will not have seen them. Therefore, some of the old we found, and some words that have little to do with the photos.


Craigdarroch Castle – an example of very old. Built between 1887 and 1890 for Robert Dunsmuir, a Scottish immigrant who made his fortune from Vancouver Island coal. Robert, said to be the richest and most important man in western Canada, died in April 1889, just before construction was completed. The castle was occupied by his wife Joan, their two sons and eight daughters. It is now a museum, a showcase for one of North America’s finest collections of Victorian stained and leaded glass windows.

It is the old historical structures like this that make me appreciate that some of them have been saved and maintained. A trip back in history, when the living was a bit different than it is now for most of us. Although the wealthy still build their mansions, rarely do you see the kind of workmanship displayed in those structures built in the late 1800s or early 1900s.


Up the down staircase. The woodwork in this castle is absolutely amazing. One of the things that intrigues me is that all of this woodwork was maintained before Pledge existed. Granted, they had a full staff of maids to cook, clean and attend to personal needs, but the old products available then seemed to do a superb job. Thoughts like this are what spawned this post – are we really better off with the new?


Down the up staircase.

A friend recently shared with me that she uses hydrogen peroxide in her laundry. She swears by its stain/spot remover abilities. Her comment made me do some investigating (thank heavens for Google!). Husband is allergic to chlorine bleach, so I have always used the all-fabric, color-safe bleach. Did you know that it is primarily hydrogen peroxide? That’s what my Google search found for me. Peroxide sanitizes, helps lift stains/spots, not much is required for a standard load of wash, and best of all for me – it’s so much less expensive than the bleaches. It’s readily available. It’s easy!


Time for lunch – or dinner.

This morning I found a new spot on the family room carpet – apparently one of the dogs, or perhaps one of the cats, has been chowing down on something its stomach wasn’t happy with. I’m not sure why the animals feel a need to resolve the dispute with their stomachs inside the house. Of course, most of their time this time of year is in the house, and I guess that may have something to do with it. So I drug out the spray bottle of carpet cleaner – touted to be a handy dandy super cleaner, better than many of its competitors. That’s what the bottle label told me. I followed instructions – I sprayed, I let it sit for a few minutes, I scrubbed with a color-safe cloth (part of an old t-shirt that had passed from husband’s drawer to the rag drawer, washed far too many times to have any color left to fade out). Spot gone? Not really. Still pretty visible. Needed new plan of attack. Remembered an old bottle of club soda tucked in a kitchen corner. Poured some club soda on the spot, rubbed with the rag. Spot Gone! Obviously, the old reliable club soda for cleaning is actually superior to the new super marvelous cleaner.

You could say the same about people. Some of us are older and could be viewed as less valuable. Except: we have a lot more experience than those younger people who are supposedly more valuable. We have more wisdom (hopefully), we have learned about being calm and rational, so that our views and opinions are less skewed by passions and emotions. We have met most of our goals and are less concerned about or interested in proving ourselves, gaining power, controlling others.

At least that’s what we’d like you all to believe.

About Carol

I'm me - nothing unusual, just me. Widowed, 2 grown children who are my best friends, 1 dog, retired, loving being retired. I am woman, I am strong.
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13 Responses to Out With the Old, In With the New – Maybe Not

  1. Lisa says:

    I’d looovvvveeee to wander around in that castle all day long! And let’s toast wisdom! You said it perfectly.


  2. Great post–packed like a fruitcake with all kinds of goodies!


  3. Cindy says:

    Resolve is the best spot remover I’ve found for spots here and there. With two dogs I use it alot- the spray bottle kind.



  4. Joanne says:

    Whilst visiting Kathy at Lake Superior I saw your comment and thought I’d drop by to say hello. I’m glad I did!

    What a grand castle you have shown us through! Australia is such a new country and although we now have some aging buildings, I can’t think of a single one to compare to this. It’s beautiful!


  5. I’m with Lisa, I’d love to be left alone to wander throughout the castle at my leisure.


  6. Dawn says:

    That second photo seems perfect for abstract photo….just saying….


  7. Heather says:

    What a beauty, inside and out! For many cleaning potions, I find old simplicity to do the trick just as well if not better. Plus, I am not so afraid of accidentally eating off of vinegar and baking soda as I am a bottle of unpronounceable who-knows-whats! As far as wisdom goes…I guess I’ll buy it 😉


  8. suzicate says:

    The castle is gorgeous! I’ve always used hydrogen peroxide on blood as it takes it right out before you wash, and hairspray for ink. Salt and vinegar are supposed to be good in the wash but I’m not sure if it’s for whitening or not.


  9. The workmanship put into the old buildings outshines any new architecture. When we travelled in Europe my kids were very impressed by the old cathedrals and fortresses. Even they can appreciate the beauty of age. And as for the wisdom that comes with it, I think we always see our grandparents as smarter than our parents. Somehow it skips a generation, at least until the kids are grown and the parents have reached a more “wise” age.


  10. wolfsrosebud says:

    can vintage ever be out..


  11. Kathy says:

    Club soda! Peroxide! What old-time treasures that work better than the new chemicals. Thanks for reminding us, Carol. Your travel photos are lovely. Makes me want to visit.


  12. Judy Staines says:

    What a gorgeous old building! I’d love to see over it some time. You know, one reason that all that wood needed less maintenance is that our ancestors used properly seasoned timber. The grain was closed through long exposure to weather. Unlike the timber we use today, the wood had shrunk, consolidated and settled. Therefore, once cut, sanded, fitted and waxed, there it would stay, resistant to quite a lot of day to day battering, and continue to look beautiful.

    I like to think us older ladies and gentlemen are seasoned too. We don’t shrink and swell as the youngsters do, to every change in the air. We have been through a lot and it’s made us tougher.

    Your story about the carpet reminds me that yesterday, when someone spilt red wine on a good tablecloth, it wasn’t a modern ‘spot remover’ I reached for, but a simple bottle of carbonated water. A good splash lifted most of the stain out right away.

    Thank you so much, Carol, for your comment on my blog. If I have made your difficult journey even the slightest bit easier, it pleases me greatly. Hugs – and strength – to you, and I pray that you and your husband get through this stage of his life peacefully.


  13. joshi daniel says:

    the interior looks really cool!


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