Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pink Saturday Birthday

Let's raise our glasses and toast Beverly from How Sweet the Sound. It's her first Pink Saturday birthday! One year of posting Pink. Congratulations Beverly!! You may ask what's in the glasses? Well, it's non-alcoholic and quite yummy.

Before I tell you about my favorite summer beverage, I want to share with you the cups I use most in the warm weather. I got a set of six of these plastic cups about two years ago on clearance at Starbucks. I just love the cheerful pink and green colors and they came with an adorable plastic tote for storing them. It was clear with pink roses and it was not photogenic at all. Actually sorry about the cup photo too. They really are cute in person.
Anyway, my friends and family are toasting Beverly with strawberry lemonade. It is the best strawberry lemonade ever!
Here's the recipe so please try it.
Strawberry Lemonade
6 cups cold water, divided
1 cup strawberry halves
1 (2.2 oz) tub Crystal Light Lemonade or Pink Lemonade Flavor Low Calorie Soft Drink Mix
Place two cups of the water, strawberries, and drink mix in blender container, cover.
Blend on high speed until smooth.
Pour into large plastic or glass pitcher and stir in remaining four cups of water.
To see other Pink Saturday posts, click on the icon on the sidebar.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Just a Quick Post

Just a quick post today. I wanted to share some photos from my recent trip to Concord, Massachusetts. I drive by this house every time I head into Concord Center and I always say to myself "Stop the car and snap some photos" but I never do. Well, last week I finally stopped.

Isn't this house the coolest? I love the heavy glass on the windows and the reflections are so interesting.

The greenery grows like crazy. It seems to be taking over the house! But in an artful way of course!

If I could have unhinged the gate, I would have taken it home with me. Just kidding, I'm not into stealing so a photo will have to suffice.

I swear that little chipmunk was not there when I first photographed the planter and he sat so still I thought he wasn't even real! He sat there for quite a while during the photo shoot.

This statue was in the back of a church which is next door to the house. I thought she had a serenity about her. Something we all could use I'm sure.
I hope you enjoyed le petit house tour.
One more thing, don't forget to leave a comment on my May 21st post to enter my blog giveaway.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Recent Finds

Today, I thought I would share with you some of my recent purchases. Last month, I co-chaired a tea at a Victorian Home in Melrose and the homeowner told me she had to clear out the house and sell all her belongings. She was moving to a much smaller home. I looked at all her beautiful china and wanted it all. I settled on this sugar and creamer. I don't have any blue and white china so I thought it would be nice to have a couple pieces. I got the little white coaster at a flea market in Malden.

I bought this vase at a yard sale in Reading for $3. I wanted something tall for the top of my CD rack.

The photo does not do this lamp justice. It really is quite beautiful. The base also lights up.
This also came from the Victorian home.

Another yard or rummage sale find. This time in Winchester. Yes, it is limoges. It's a chocolate pot and I got it for $10.

Aren't these sweet? They're ceramic and I got them at a store called Sweet Thoughts in Melrose.

I put white tulips in this turquoise Ball jar. I love this color. Last week when I was in Concord, I picked up three of these jars. I put one of them in the common area of the condo near the back door. Now there's something pretty back there. The other 3 unit owners are guys so usually there's snow shovels and rock salt back there. I feel it's my job to beautify the area and the guys don't seem to mind.
That's it for now. Don't forget to enter my blog giveaway. Leave a comment on the post if you haven't already.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pink Saturday- 100 Wishes

It's midnight Eastern Standard Time so it's time for another Pink Saturday. Click on the icon on the sidebar to see other participant's posts and as always thanks to Beverly of How Sweet the Sound for organizing Pink Saturday.

This week's post involves wishes. I celebrated my 1 year blog anniversary this week and I am having a giveaway. One of the items in the giveaway is this pink roll of 100 wishes. You can enter by leaving a comment on the giveaway post (the post just prior to this) and feel free to read the blog anniversary post about Oscar too.

So what are you wishing for today at the start of Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial beginning of Summer? My wish is that you have a happy, healthy, and safe holiday weekend. Until next week....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Blog Giveaway

I am having a blog giveaway to celebrate my 1st blog anniversary. I can't believe it's been a whole year since I started Cafe Chatelaine. Everyone has been so gracious with their compliments that I think you deserve a little reward or a treat. So....

here's the giveaway. Wait, first let me say that I wanted to do a ocean themed giveaway because I love the ocean and I am a New England girl and don't you think of lighthouses and the ocean when you think of New England?

So these items are things I would want to win. I love bath products so I am giving away these sweet little shell soaps. They smell so great! A little purse made from fish net and ...

some vintage scrapbook cards, a seashell, a poems of the sea book, and a roll of 100 hundred wishes. Oh, by the way, the scrabble tiles stay with me!

So celebrate my 1 year anniversary by leaving a comment on this post and I will enter your name for the drawing. I'll be drawing one winner on May 29th.

Please read my prior blog anniversary post too! Good luck to all of you.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

My One Year Blog Anniversary

Exactly one year ago today, I started my blog. Without a plan or any idea what I was doing, I got myself to that blogger template and started playing around. Pick a name, ok. Pick a layout, ok. It was really pretty easy.

The hard part was picking something to write about. I had writer's block and I hadn't even done one post. I decided to title the post Starting from Scratch which led me to write about the stray cat I had been feeding since Valentine's Day. (Read Starting from Scratch under blog archives
May 2008).

Those of you who follow my blog know of Oscar, my cat but you may not know the entire story. Here he is in a camera shy mood. And here he is in all his handsomeness. His journey over the past year has been a long one. After feeding him for 3 months, I rescued him, bringing him indoors. Again, here's the recurring theme, without a plan or any idea what I was doing, I decided Oscar needed me to save him from himself.

Oscar was living in my apartment parking lot and depending on a number of good people who lived in the building to feed him. Anyway, June 22nd I grabbed him, threw him in a cat carrier, and thought now what? I brought him to two animal hospitals before he could get an appointment. He was given an exam and shots. Amazingly, he did not have any diseases and they guessed he was maybe a year old.

I arranged to have him neutered and I paid for his exam, shots, and surgery and to board him for a week. I immediately started asking around if anyone could give him a home. My landlord was fed up with me for feeding this stray cat and he would not let me keep Oscar.

My sister did an email blast to everyone she knew. Her friend Debbie said she had a friend who might take Oscar for the short term. She had a big house and one of her cats had died recently. So we made contact by email and sure enough, this guardian angel of a woman, Diane said she would take Oscar for three months.

I checked Oscar out of the animal hospital ( two weeks and $650 later) and drove him to Diane's. Diane's house is fabulous and is surrounded by woods. She did not let Oscar out but he had plenty of windows to sit in and watch the local wildlife. He flourished with Diane and her partner Michael. Michael built Oscar a scratching post and Diane gave him daily loving. Diane let me visit Oscar every week!

I moved out of my apartment and away from the animal hating landlord ( I'm being kind here).
I bought a condo, some say because of Oscar. Oscar moved in with me on December 30th. Yes if you do the math this is way longer than three months. Diane was so sweet, letting Oscar stay much longer than I expected.
Diane and Michael still visit Oscar and they have become my friends. They are always welcome in my home and Oscar will always have a special bond with them.

Anyway, here's his silly pose when he thinks he's a circus performer. He loves this cushion and has claimed it as his own. Who would sit there anyway? Unless you want cat hair on your backside.

Anyway, here's the before photo of Oscar. Skinny, dirty and desperate for love. The look in his eyes told me he needed help and of course I needed to be his guardian angel. I don't like to look at this photo, it makes me too sad to think of his "street life". The main thing is he's happy and
healthy today and the dangerous life is behind him. The journey has been worth it.
And back to the blog anniversary. Another story of jumping in without a plan. Sometimes you just have to take the leap of faith and if you do, something wonderful can happen! I've enjoyed every minute of my blogging experience. I hope my readers have enjoyed the journey too!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kitty Smackdown

After my last maudlin, self pitying post, I thought it was time for a little levity. Leave it to the "kits", Molly and Oscar for some comic relief.

She might look sweet, but Molly can be quite the little bomb throwing instigator when she wants to be.
Oscar may look like a jovial sort of guy, but, he can mix it up with the best of them.

Here they are jockeying for position in the dining room window. This is usually Molly's perch so Oscar crossed the line by jumping in the window and flaunting it in front of Molly.

There goes the paw. She is not happy! Oscar will have to pay for his indiscretion.

A right hook from Molly. Well, a girl has to stand her ground!

And he was actually shocked! Watch out Oscar that paw is still moving!

Molly was the winner of Round One. She gets to stay in the window.

Of course, Oscar found a window just as nice in the living room. Lots more to look at from this vantage point.
So the battle continues, who will be the alpha cat in the residence? Stay tuned for Round Two!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Can I get a weekend do- over?

It's been a long time since I had a three day weekend. So this weekend I treated myself to one.

In my prior post, I mentioned that on Friday I spent a wonderful day with my friend Lori Lee. She lives in New Hampshire so we don't see each other that often. We spent the day shopping and eating, shopping and eating! It was sort of a mini vacation.

Saturday I slept late. I had no morning obligations. No charity teas to plan, no homebuyer fair booths to man, no participation in any city trivia bees, nothing work related at all. After getting about 9 hours of sleep, I woke up refreshed and planning to do a few errands, a little cleaning,
and a nursing home visit to see my mom.

Well, I did the errands and got the nursing home visit in. After that I decided to go shopping for my mom's day gift. I knew what I wanted and where to get it. I could have gone to the closest store which is in the next town to me but no. The store two towns away is bigger and better so I was headed there. I entered the interstate and passed a few exits when suddenly, disaster!

On a perfectly sunny day I cracked up my car. I was in the slow lane, thank God! Traffic was merging to go onto another route and I was trying to get out of their way by switching lanes. While I was looking in the mirror to see if I could enter the second lane, someone, three cars in front of me evidently jammed on their brakes. They drove off unaware of the chain reaction accident that they just created. The second car then stopped, forcing the car in front of me to swerve to avoid hitting her. I didn't know she had stopped but I saw her once the guy in front of me swerved off the road. Of course, I hit her.

I wasn't going that fast. But I hit that car with quite a force. I have an SUV. A crunching sound, then my airbag deployed, a popping sound, then the airbag hit me in the chest, and then a chemical smell and the bag deflated. I thought I had smoke inside and outside of the vehicle. But it was just powder from the airbag. The smoke outside, my radiator had been punctured.

The witness, the guy who swerved, asked me if I was ok and asked the woman I hit if she was ok. We both were shaken but able to walk. Her passenger was saying she was ok but she didn't want to move. She had neck pain.
Well the photos tell all. My car took the brunt of the damage. Her car had less damage. On mine, the bumper came off, the hood collapsed. I think there must be damage to the frame, and the air conditioner and obviously the radiator. We'll have to see what the insurance adjuster says.

Her damage: her back door wouldn't open, the muffler fell off, but her car stood up really well. I have to say mine did too because I walked away from the accident with just bruises and soreness. It could have been so much worse.

So like in the movie Groundhog Day, I would like to do over Saturday. I would go to the store closest to my home, I wouldn't get on the highway. I would have a present for my mother for Mother's Day, my sister would not have to be my taxi driver, my friend Don wouldn't have to disrupt his plans to pick me up at a towing station. I wouldn't have to worry about deductibles, insurance claims, car rentals, and a possible car payment again!

And I could get back to my mini vacation where I can stop and smell the wisteria!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Full Flower Moon and Pink Saturday

Welcome to all Pink Saturday participants. I am combining my Pink post with some photos I took in Concord today. My friend Lori Lee and I decided to do lunch and shopping but first we visited this cemetery. We both love to look at old gravestones.

The carvings are so beautiful on these old stones.

Many of them were very ornate and I loved all the angels.

The full moon name of May is the Full Flower Moon. Quite simply, May brings bright brushes to paint the earth canvas with infinite flowers. In the full moon light of this month, the flowers are said to grow at night, and even dance in honor of the moon. (info from What'
For my pink post I focused on the profusion of pink flowering trees I saw this week. Winchester had some beauties.

This was taken along the path of the Duck Pond. Don't ask me to identify the species.

Again, lots of pinks at the Duck Pond.

Some of the pink blooms were so delicate.

But one branch was so heavy it almost hit the sidewalk!

Peaceful scene by the Pond.

Another shot from Concord. It was a gorgeous Spring day. I introduced Lori Lee to Nesting on Main, my new favorite shop. Sunshine after a cloudy, rainy week, warm temperatures, a fabulous day to take off from work.
Thanks to Beverly of How Sweet the Sound for coordinating Pink Saturday. Click on the Pink Saturday button on the sidebar to see a list of participants.
Happy Mother's Day to all of you hard working moms. I hope you have a relaxing weekend.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Routine Keeps Us Sane

My sister once said, "Routine keeps us sane." I think the two of us might have been complaining about the lack of excitement in our lives.
One of my favorite routines is seeing my sweet Molly sitting in the dining room window waiting for my return home at night. She perches herself on the tea chest and befriends
the peacock lamp while she waits to see my car pull in the driveway.
By the time I reach the back door, she is there to greet me. I can hear her purring as little brother Oscar stands in the background.
I am home and happy to be with my furbabies! What a nice routine.

Friday, May 1, 2009

I Love Rockport

One of my favorite places to visit in the Summer months is Rockport, Massachusetts. This place has it all. It is a quick drive for me and I often go there with friends after work. I can be there in time to have dinner and watch the sunset.

Yep, this is the view from my favorite deck. I usually wrap up the evening here on the deck of Helmut's Strudel shop. There's nothing like a cool iced coffee and a warm from the oven apple strudel with powdered sugar on top, throw in a gorgeous sunset and you have the perfect ending to your Rockport visit. However, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

If you're careful, you can make it to the end of the rocks. There's a great view out there. Just make sure you wear your sneakers!

The harbor is so serene at this time of day. I could sit and watch it all night.

No trip is complete without a trip to the Country Store or as I call it the penny candy store. I always have to buy those caramel bullseyes! They have some funky gifts there too.

This is a lovely place to eat with an outdoor deck facing the ocean. It's called My Place by the Sea and it can be very romantic especially by candlelight. Personally, I like to go to Brackett's Oceanview. It looks like a little storefront but inside it's quite large with a picture window showcasing the ocean. The restaurant is fabulous and a good value on your food. I recommend the shrimp roll and clam chowder combo. Call ahead so you can sit right by the ocean.

A little shopping is in order. Clothing, jewelry, artwork, and crafts. It's all here.
Plus the shops are so darn cute!

All the shops look so colorful and inviting.

You will definitely get that New England seacoast feel here.

The pastel colors of the sky make me crazy. I can't stop snapping shots of the boats, the clouds, the water!

Someone told me this looks like Cabot Cove from the television show Murder She Wrote. I think she's right.
To all you armchair travelers in blogland, I hope you enjoyed your trip to Rockport. I can't wait to go in person. I think there's an apple strudel with my name on it!


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