Monday, November 30, 2009

Time to hang your wreaths~

My favorite Maine wreath.
What sort of wreaths do you fancy for the holidays? Perhaps something totally glammed-up like this peacock feather wreath?

I will be hanging very traditional full-tipped balsam wreaths on my windows and doors. Very plain, maybe a few fresh Winter Berries and a deep red bow.

{Watch the little slide-show here}

This is a pretty standard balsam wreath. The pinecones add a nice Maine touch, but I do like the look of the fuller balsam.

Found-objects adorn this pretty wreath.
So tell me~ what sort of wreath will you be hanging this year? Do you buy your wreaths, or do you make them?

Maine Wreath

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sweet Love Story~

~Rosebud & Red Flannel~

by~ Maine author Ethel Pochocki
I have mentioned my fondness for this book before. But it seems especially appropriate at this time of year.
It's a whimsical tale of a pair of long John's and a lacy nightgown. Red Flannel is in love with Rosebud.
He is rather ordinary and clumsy and Rosebud is far too elegant to give him the time of day.
This is a sweet tale for all ages.
Rosebud & Red Flannel available HERE.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving~

~Happy Thanksgiving~
google search

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

An Admitted SPY~

~A real beauty~
Click on photo for a close-up

Recently while I was visiting the South Shore I quickly snapped this photo. Someone was outside raking leaves and my car was still moving.
I love that curved window on the second story and those eyebrow windows on the third story are a dream. There is a gorgeous double staircase and believe me when I say- spying on this home at night will have you arranging you own furniture within it's stately walls.
There is more to this gorgeous dwelling than meets the eye. There is a large attached garage, what looks like the perfect studio and a couple of cozy out-buildings.
There are candle lights flickering in all of the windows, and one can only imagine what it might look like all decked-out for the Christmas holidays... hmmm~ maybe I should plan another trip for some festive photographs...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This Week I am...

~Giving Thanks~
To my family, my friends, my sweet pets and my very special blogging friends.
Not quite a year ago I started this little blog and had no idea what it would bring to my life.
The friendships, the support, the encouragement and the inspiration.
So, when I sit with my family and friends at our Thanksgiving table on Thursday I will raise my glass and silently toast each of you that have become a very important part of my day.
I was thinking about the holidays today {when I made two separate trips to the grocery store}.
I do love this time of year- I love the sounds, the scents, the planning, the music, the shopping-really just about every part of the season is so special.
I hopped over to one of my favorite blogs- Heart of Light. Rachel put the holidays into perspective for me. I feel as though her words could have spilled right out of my mouth {only she expressed her thoughts so much more eloquently than I would have}.
If you haven't visited Rachel's blog- go now! Really! It will surely become a regular for you-I just adore this girl.

Country Living

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pet~House Sitting

On Thursday I left for a weekend of cat-rabbit-dog-house-sitting.

Friends of ours are in Italy for two weeks and I offered to take a turn at caring for the household pets.

There will be plenty of time to catch up on a few crocheting projects, some reading and a movie or two by the fire. I will also start my mega-list of things to accomplish for the upcoming holidays.

The dog is an adorable little Scottie. She has been blind in one eye since she was just a few weeks old. I know she will be the perfect weekend companion, curled up with me the whole time.

The cat is very independent and I'll probably only see her at mealtime and when I shake the treat box.

The rabbit... well I have no idea what to expect. She has a really nice home, all padded and warm. She lives out in the heated garage. I'll probably take her out and let her run around the confined space.

This family has lived all over the world and has a pretty amazing art and wine collection. I will take a few photos of sections of some of my favorite pieces. It gets tricky when photographing private spaces and that urge to blog about something fabulous.

I am definitely respectful of other's privacy.


If anyone knows of any fun rabbit games, I'll check back later.


Cat and Rabbit-google search

Scottie-My file

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Holidays~

~You'd better not pout...

I am amazed at the number of holiday advertisements on t.v., the radio and in magazines. I guess it makes perfect sense. With the economy what it is- I think everyone is jump-starting the holidays. Last Friday evening just before I left for the south shore, we joined friends for dinner. As we were driving through town, I noticed a lit Christmas tree in the front room of a home just a few streets away! Yikes... that's early. Didn't we just have Halloween? Wasn't Thanksgiving almost two weeks away at that point?
Maybe they were celebrating early~ maybe a family member was being deployed, maybe just maybe this family decided to light their Christmas tree and just enjoy the season.

We have, for several years chosen a table-top Christmas tree. It's just easier with Grandblessings around for the holidays. Who wants to spend time saying..."don't touch" and "be careful". The tree will go up and the wreaths will be hung on all of the windows come the weekend after Thanksgiving. It's better to get it done before the snow arrives.
We are getting ready- it's a wonderfully festive time of year. Nightly the fire is lit, the scent of balsam is all around the house and the candles are lit. Let's just give into the holidays. They are coming quickly and they conjure up all sorts of warm feelings.
Soon enough it will be January and our sweet holiday season will be but a distant, lovely memory.

Country Living

Friday, November 13, 2009

Autumn Escape~

There seems to be a lot of flu, a few chest colds, some sneezing, coughing and generally feeling out-of-sorts going on around here. They closed the area schools for the last half of the week due to very high absenteeism.
For me... it spells... "get out of Dodge".
So, I'm taking off for the south shore of Massachusetts.
I hope to do a little early holiday shopping, some reading, a little sketching and indulge in afternoon naps.
See you back here next week.
I wish you all a great weekend.
google search

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Let them eat pie~

~Southern Pecan~
Yes! I am feeling very Thanksgiving-ish. It dawned on me that this special holiday arrives two weeks from today!
I am preparing a couple of family-favorite side dishes and these pies.

~Spicy Pumpkin~


And my all-time favorite~ Mincemeat pie!

~Mincemeat Pie~

What are some of your family's special and favorite dishes for Thanksgiving?
And will there be pie?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Giving Thanks~

I love Thanksgiving. I think it's such a special holiday. Certainly it is the prelude to the holiday season. But it's nice when the whole family can gather, join in on the preparation for the special feast, listen to good music and just enjoy a long, leisurely meal together.
This year I asked to be dismissed from preparing Thanksgiving dinner. I had no alternate plan-I just felt like taking a break. Lucky for us, my former Mother-in-law, who we all adore has invited us to her table...along with about 24 other guests.
The whole family and extended family will be together. No one will be left out and it will be a first.
I'm already planning the dishes I will bring to the table. We are looking forward to this more than I can say. What could be any better than one complete family sharing in this special day?
Are any of you looking at the calendar and feeling those first twinges of anxiousness?
I am looking ahead at creating our holiday card, shopping, a few painting commissions to complete
and plenty of cooking. I think the best way to handle it is starting with a list of all that you need to accomplish.
Set forth each day and start pecking away, one thing at a time.
I will put a halt to some projects three weeks prior to Christmas and plan to enjoy those days leading up to Christmas Eve.
But for now~ I want to look forward to Thanksgiving. The poor holiday that is somehow overlooked with the rush to Christmas.
I'd love to hear about your Thanksgiving Day plans.
Google Search
~Remember the men and women that have served our country.~
Veteran's Day 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner~

~Ina Garten~
Barefoot Contessa at Home
Ina Garten's cookbooks are my all time favorites. Her recipes have never disappointed. They are easy to follow and you don't need to travel to a large city for the ingredients.
~Barefoot Contessa Parties~
No, the Barefoot Contessa isn't coming to my home for dinner...eeegads, can you imagine?

~The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook~
Time and time again when I am looking for something special, when planning a dinner party or when putting together a holiday menu these are the books that I can depend on.

~Barefoot Contessa Family Style~
I anxiously await a new book by the Contessa. Is there one? I have no idea, but she can't stop her!. If I could have dinner with one of today's many fabulous cooks out there-I would have to pick Ina. Of course I would have to plan ahead and save my cream and butter rations.

~Barefoot in Paris~
Barefoot in Paris is like a guided tour of Ina's favorites. Wouldn't you love sharing a glass of red wine in her Paris apartment?

~Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics~
Simple recipes, simple ingredients, the dishes we all love and love to prepare.
Start with two sticks of unsweetened butter and a cup of heavy cream...
"Now, how bad can that be"?

The Barefoot Contessa

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Crazy Sexy Cancer~

~Crazy Sexy Cancer~

Strange, this movie/documentary just arrived from Netflix. I had seen part of it on t.v. a few weeks ago- but fell asleep and didn't see the end. I ordered it and the timing...Oh the timing.

Last night I received an email from the husband of a long-time friend. Her daughter was my flower girl many, many years ago when I married my first husband. She is now a physician with a young family of her own. She is also a very devoted daughter.

My dear friend was just diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. She underwent surgery last week and they have since discovered the the origin of the tumor was in her right lung- stage 4.

Yes... many, many years ago she smoked. She gave it up so many years ago that this seems incredibly unfair. I know that people are diagnosed with lung cancer every day and they may have never smoked a cigarette.

I know what this means.

I am devastated and sad.

I don't like bringing negativity or sadness to my blog- but at the same time, I feel such a closeness with some of you very dear and kind friends. I don't want to paint a happy, happy, joy, joy picture either. I feel helpless.


Friday, November 6, 2009

First Snow~

~First Maine Snow~
Today we had our first snowfall of the season. I immediately started cutting vegetables and making stock for a comforting soup.
Truth be told... I wanted to put in the Charlie Brown Christmas CD. I resisted.
This snow melted as soon as it hit the ground, but it did snow for nearly the whole day.
I like the above photo.
I found it via a google search of recent snowfalls. It was actually taken at a nearby pond. I love the pop of the bright yellow cottage against the white snow.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Aunt Lucy~

My sister and I took our elderly aunt out to dinner tonight. It was a truly wonderful night spent reminiscing of days gone by.
This dear woman drives herself to dialysis three days a week and did I mention that she is 86 years young. She has the skin of a six-year-old and still cooks wonderful meals and bakes daily. Just tonight she sent us both home with a dozen yeast roll......

We had a fabulous time catching up on family members, gossiping about the goings-on-about-town and remembering special occasions of days gone by.

Do you have someone special that you connect with~ a relative, old friend or someone from your past that makes you laugh and smile?
And... occasionally bring tears to your eyes?
Google search

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Felted Flowers

Snazzy Bag-

~Felted Baby Booties~

I have been trying my hand at felting. I love the softness of it. Remember when boiled wool jackets were all the rage? Felting reminds me of those, only a closer, softer effect.

Right now I am experimenting with different wools, temperatures and coming up with the look that is most pleasing to me.

Have you ever felted a piece of wool, something you've knitted or crocheted?

Any helpful hints?
Here is an easy tutorial on felting if you want to give it a try. I recently read - 'caution- once you try felting, you won't want to stop"!

Flickr {Booties and Flowers}
Snazzy Bag-

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Winter Berry~

~Festive Winter Berry~

On Saturday we went off to scour for Winter Berry. On our visit to the coast a couple of weeks ago I spied this glorious patch of the festive berries. Rather than hunt for it locally or taking the chance of trespassing, we headed back to this spot. State owned property with NO 'No Trespassing" signs. Yes! guilt-free cutting.

So the planters will be decked-out for the holidays in all of nature's finery.

Now... to find nice, full evergreen brush.



This one gets more difficult each year. Finding nice, thick, full evergreen brush is more of a challenge. Naturally we wouldn't think of cutting from someones private property, and I know from my years of being a gardener this does not harm the evergreens. It is actually good for the trees if done prudently.
So, that will be left for another weekend. I'll show you the end result when we're finished.

My own

Monday, November 2, 2009

Bella Luna~

" When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie~ that's amore".

~Bella Luna~
I've been dropping hints left and right that a Canon Rebel would make this moon and just about every other photo I want to take- ever so much better.

If anyone out there has any suggestions for improving the quality of my photos with this little Canon Power shot A1000... I would be very grateful.

My own

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Leftovers...

~Leftover Halloween Treats~

Is your household suffering from sugar over-load? What do you do once you've gone over all of the Halloween candy checking for quality and your children have clearly had enough?
Here are some great suggestions.

I certainly treated myself to a few Butterfingers last night. But with only a handful of ghosts ringing our bell, I am left with...well leftovers.
I like the idea of melting mini chocolate bars for sauces later...much later!

On one blog {I cannot remember which one, so if it was yours-please let me know so I can give credit where good credit is due}- Mom would buy the candy from her children and send it to the office with Dad- genius!


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