You know what the garden needs? A casino.

Don’t you just say that all the time?

“You know what the yard needs, Madge?”

“What, Howard?”

“A casino.”

“Oooh, that’d be nice. The Bedfords got one last week.”

But if you find that the full-fledged, multi-story, kitchily-decorated, slot machine and roulette table extravaganza is a little much, you know what the next best thing is?

An ashtray.

The funny thing is, I only picked up the ashtray because it was the right shape. Then I saw the “Nugget Casino” on the bottom, and that made it essential. The Nugget Casino logo (which is about to be lost to obscurity due to its no-longer-being-visible-ness) is going to work its way into family lore, because it just begs for a provocative anecdote to explain how we got it. Picking it up in an antique glass store, despite the fact that we had just pushed a car out of a ditch, doesn’t do this little treasure justice.

Ok, let’s see…

While Himself and I were on a roadtrip home from Reno, no…Roswell New Mexico. While on our way home from Roswell, New Mexico, we detoured to Reno because Wayne Newton…no…Conway Twitty…NO, Jimmy Buffet AND  the ghost of Johnny Cash were headlining at The Nugget. As we pulled into town, we spotted a tour bus that had slipped into a ditch. Being the helpful people we are, we stopped to lend a hand because two Northern California tech/health care types are exactly who you need in a bus-ditch-slippage emergency. Imagine our surprise to find that the tour bus belonged to none other than Celine Dion…no, Cher…NO, Barbara Streisand and the Young Omar Sharif, and they were going – coincidentally enough – to the very same concert we were. So Himself and I dug around the trunk of the Volkswagon Jetta until we found a rope, a tub of Cool Whip, an abacus, a crow-bar and half a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. And anyone who’s ever watched MacGuyver knows that these are – as luck would have it – the exact tools you need to get a bus out of a ditch. Using precise measurements, the position of the sun, and capitalizing on the change in the bus’ tipping point caused by the temporary relocation of a kimodo dragon, we managed to get the bus back on the road. In appreciation, Omar and Babs offered to let us share their VIP table at the concert, and when the ghost of Johnny Cash tossed a lit match into the ashtray at our table, we took it as a sign and I stuffed it in my purse (the ashtray, not the lit match).  A bouncer who’d clearly been sampling some of the resident major league baseball team’s steroid-ade tried to wrestle my purse from me in an effort to retrieve the ashtray that I’d pilfered, but Himself had one of his handy, portable, utlra-short pulsed lasers at the ready, and distracted the bouncer by removing the tattoo of Britney Spears from his forearm.

And that, dear readers, is the REAL story of how I ended up with an ashtray from the Nugget Casino.

*Whew* After that, who really needs to know what I did with it?

Ok, ok…Here’s the before:

And here’s the after:

So, if you take two pieces of glassware – in this case a piece of golden carnival glass and a Nugget Casino ashtray – and epoxy them together, then mount them on a piece of copper pipe, you can make a little garden lantern to put citronella candles in.

Here’s what it looks like in better light:

This little crafty project turned out adorably, and we decided that we’re going to make a few more to put along the back fence.

Although, it’s unlikely that any of them will get a cool story about a broken down bus and the ghost of Johnny Cash. But then, all anecdotes can’t be at the top of the StoryTelling Food Chain.

So, what do I get for turning a discarded ashtray we found in a dusty box at an antique glass store into both a lovely garden lantern and a World Class Anecdote?

I get +5 Martha Points.

Bringing my new total to: +34 Martha Points.

And for the sake of letting myself bask in that score for just a wee little while, I will NOT be discussing the master bathroom. Nope. Not today.

This post happily linked to “Inspired By” at The Inspired Room, “Metamorphosis Monday” at Between Naps on the Porch,  “Tickled Pink” at 504 Main, and The Before and After Party at Thrifty Decor Chick!


  1. Well, I did not see that coming! I kept thinking what is she going to do with an ashtray? You surprised me. I like it. I enjoyed the story too. I can’t wait to see some of these lined up in your yard. Very cool mood lighting.

    1. Me too! That looks beautiful. I may just steal the idea and get crafty this weekend myself. Except I’d stick little citronella candles in there. Beats the tiki torches and my backyard is like a breeding ground for the ‘squits.

      1. Ok, full disclosure – I did not actually THINK of this idea myself. I spotted it in a magazine. (Although they did NOT have the creative mojo to use a Nugget Casino ashtray.)

        So you may steal all you like!

  2. There are a few hole in your story, but the fish that got away is always bigger, right? I am glad you chose not hang with Celine though because I don’t think she would be much fun.

    Very clever use of the ashtray and what a beautiful piece of glass, I love it. I really should come over for cocktails.

    1. I figured if we mentioned how Elvis had also been on the bus, then people just wouldn’t believe me.

      And you can come down for cocktails on my patio any time!

  3. Love, love, love the story. Damn, we went to Tunica last weekend – wish I was as clever as you and stole a ashtray to make a lantern out of! Came away with one nasty bruise from a drunken jacuzzi incident *obviously the vodka’s fault, not mine* though – got any clever ideas to crafty up my bruise?

    Your story is way better than mine… Love-It!

    1. Oh, I dunno…any story that involves the words “Drunk jacuzzi incident” is going to end well, as far as I’m concerned.

      And the bruise – OBVIOUSLY – was when you got into that wrestling match with J-Lo because she was all uppity about Christian paying more attention to YOU. Don’t you remember? How much vodka did you have, exactly?

  4. Beautiful ashtray (the finished product…and I don’t think I’ve ever used “beautiful” and “ashtray” together before) you are so creative!

    For that story alone, you should give yourself waaaayyy more than 5 points!

  5. Rock on! That’s some awesome glass, acquired in an awesome manner.

    Totally true: Carter came into my office while I was giggling at the story and saw the pictures and said this exactly: Oh, that’s so pretty! Beautiful! Whose is that? Tell them it’s the most beautiful thing EVER and Mom? Can we get one of those? It’s SO beautiful!

    Mercurial, my boy. I suggest that you deputize Carter as a person who is authorized to award Martha Points because after I explained about said points, he thought you should get not 5 points for this, but 8.

    Mercurial, and also very generous.

    1. Oh I SO hereby deputize Carter as authorized to issue Martha Points.

      (Perhaps don’t mention the negative points assignments…things might go way better for me that way.)

      And you too, can haul a bus out of a ditch, get serenaded by the ghost of Johnny Cash and make an ashtray lantern. Learn how at my amazing Internet Tutorial, “Stuff I Make Up and Stuff I Make!”

      Your son is adorable. Then again, so is the daughter with the beaver bank.

  6. Wow! You ARE Martha disguised as Lori… this citronella holder is so amazing…I’m afraid we will not be able to hang in the same backyard circles.

    Just curious, did the anecdote take longer to write than the backyard craft to make? I know of what I speak….er write.

    Love It.

    1. No no! We MUST hang in the same backyard circles. Otherwise what will I do? My circles will all be ellipses!

      And the writing actually comes fast and furious.

      Which probably is some sort of character defect.

  7. I think you needed the ashtray because you were smoking something when you wrote up that story. Love it!

  8. I’m thinking the next time I head down to Vegas, that we’re going to need to meet up there, ’cause I am positive that things will go much much more interesting that way.

  9. I just read ahead so please forgive me for commenting on more than one post at once – blogger’s multitasking (+2 points?)….

    I think that you get a FULL WEEK pass on ANY other activity for doing a craft that includes epoxy.

    Martha Points…or Martha Stewart?

    1. Oh yes, I definitely think that multi-tasking gets you at LEAST +2 points.

      And although I’d love the epoxy pass….technically that part was Himself, not me.

      I would have glued myself to the table.

  10. Was that top picture taken during your blue light quest?
    Do Celine and JC (that’s what we, his good buddies call him, instead of Johnny) keep in touch? After all, they owe you their lives…probably.

    1. TTtthhhhbbbbbtttt to me for totally missing this comment when you left it. Dork moi.

      And no, you know how those famous types are…it seems like you’re best buds but as soon as the next bus hauling groupie comes along you’re yesterday’s news.

  11. I thought I had commented on this amazing creation before…but cannot find it…I love this. Martha would never think to do such a thing…you get 10,000 points in my book.

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