Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Morning Rituals

We all have our morning routines and Molly and Oscar have theirs too. Actually none of us like mornings. But once we are awake...

and I mean when we are really awake and ready to set foot or paw out of bed, we head to the bathroom.

Molly immediately heads to the sink so she can have that first drink of water of the morning. That first sip is nirvana.

Oscar likes to get out of bed and then go right to his next place of rest. He usually likes the ledge by the shower where he can nap on the towel I want to use for my shower.

Molly demands chin scratches while she sits on the toilet.

The bathroom ritual is over and on to the next ritual, the morning confrontation.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Mum

Today is my Mother's birthday. For the last 5 years she's been in a nursing home due to a stroke, so we couldn't go out for a birthday dinner this evening. I could post a photo of her, but most of my photos of her are of a big hand. She despised having her photo taken so she always put her hand up in front of the camera. Yes, it's extremely difficult to find a photo of Mum.

I found this short video of a sunset in Humarock, Massachusetts. Humarock is where my mom spent many happy Summers in her childhood. I'm sure she would love to see this view again.

Well, she did have a nice birthday, special breakfast and lunch at the nursing home. Some snazzy clothes from the family, flowers, cards from her fellow residents and her favorite Starbucks decaf this evening. Happy Birthday Mum!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Weekend craft fairs

Today was forecast as a perfect Autumn day so I thought I would check out an outdoor craft fair in the morning. I headed out to Lexington, stopping at Peet's Coffee for cappucino and an oatmeal bar. One does need energy to walk around a craft fair, right?

The craft fair was wonderful. There were many quality vendors there. I bought a little acorn basket made of clay from the vendor at this booth. It's going to sit on my desk and hold candy, mostly chocolate. The candy is supposed to be for my customers but inevitably it will be eaten by my coworkers.

Lots of dogs out browsing with the families. This dog was huge and so cute! I'd never seen one like it. I was told it was a French Sheepdog.

This woman makes dolls of all natural organic materials. The dolls were stuffed with wool, alpaca hair or mohair. They were adorable.

No eyes or noses for little ones to choke on. These dolls are good for any age.

Even adults would enjoy one of Kathy Solomon's dolls.

These hand painted silk scarves caught my eye.

As did these garden globes made of clay. They will add color and a touch of whimsey to any garden. The artist works from her home in Cape Neddick, Maine to create these beauties.

Wind chimes made from silverware with dangling crystals. Especially pretty in the morning sunlight.

From Lexington, I went to one more craft fair, this one at Austin Preparatory School in Reading. It was good too and they had some great baked goods. I went with the coffee cake and I wasn't disappointed.

All the beauty and colors of a perfect Autumn day motivated me to do a little decorating at the condo.

Some mums and white pumpkins for the front steps. I don't think I'm quite finished with the look. I think it needs a few more mums or some corn stalks.

A wreath now graces my front door.

This week I'll be on the hunt for the finishing touches on the entrance, but, tomorrow it's supposed to rain so I guess it's a good day to stay in and watch football.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Yay, it's Fall!

Even though the temperatures are/were more Summer-like today, I feel that it is my obligation to pay homage to my favorite season, Autumn. Time to put a pumpkin on your front steps!

I took these photos last year while touring the streets surrounding my home. These are my favorite houses. I love the leaves on this lawn. My Italian Mother Clara lives here.

Mums and pumpkins, could there be anything better?

This porch is always decorated beautifully.

What can I say about this one? That tree is simply gorgeous and I love the fantastic colors of the home. Actually this home was converted to condos. I
looked at one to buy but it was too pricey for me.

I love this home with the mansard roof. The photo doesn't do it justice. The tree to the right of the home turns the most brilliant red each Autumn. Simply gorgeous.

It won't be long before the leaves are on the ground and not on the trees. I'll smell the wood stoves burning when I go outside in the evening. And the air will be cold. I'll need a jacket or sweater and maybe even gloves. Inside, good smells,
cinnamon, apples, I do more baking this season. It's time to take out my decorations. I am in the mood for Fall.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Tea at the Beebe Estate

As promised, a few photos from last weekend's Victorian Tea at the Beebe Estate in Melrose, Massachusetts. I was asked to run the event for the Chamber because I had been a co-chairperson for two afternoon tea events in the community in recent years.

The Beebe Estate in Melrose was the location for the tea. Due to torrential rains the day of the tea, I did not take outside photos of the building. Here's the official website of the Beebe Estate, . The Beebe Estate is an absolutely gorgeous property and the perfect setting for a tea event.

We had many volunteers and I recruited two friends, my sister, and two co-workers for help. My company's marketing department designed the flyers to promote the event. Each guest was given a menu at the entrance to the Beebe.

We served tea sandwiches, scones with lemon curd, strawberry jam and clotted cream, and for dessert, madeleines, chocolate cookies filled with chocolate ganache, miniature fruit tarts, and lemon squares.

In silver teapots, we served two kinds of teas, Harney's Earl Grey Supreme and Harney's Strawberry Kiwi.

The horrid weather outside did not dampen the spirits of those in attendance and I received many positive comments as our guests were leaving. In fact a few asked if it would be an annual event.

Luckily, the rainstorm cleared out of the area and the next day was picture perfect for the Victorian Fair (see previous post).

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Melrose Victorian Fair

Every September the City of Melrose, Massachusetts hosts the Victorian Fair. The fair is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the local Chamber of Commerce. I am a board member of the Chamber so I am involved in the preparation of the event. This year actors were hired to give the fair some Victorian flavor.

As you can see the weather cooperated on Sunday and the downtown area was bustling. Some events scheduled for Saturday had to be postponed or cancelled. The vintage baseball game, dog show and fireworks events could not be held due to heavy rain on Saturday. The Victorian Tea held at the Beebe Estate was held as scheduled. I've saved the photos for another post.

Balloons added color to the street scene. Look at the beautiful architecture of the building in the background. The downtown area is always well maintained and postcard

These musicians drew a crowd.

Anyone want clam chowder from Turner's Restaurant? I mean chowdah. We are only 10 miles or so north of Boston.

Need your spine cracked?

The Victorian couple meandered down Main Street chatting with the locals and enjoying the fabulous weather.

Lots of items for the kids!

These girls were promoting the Northeast Youth Ballet's upcoming Nutcracker performance.

168 booth spaces were sold by the Chamber. This was truly amazing in today's economy.

Tribute to Massachusetts US Senator Ted Kennedy.

Our animal friends were not forgotten. There were booths for animal clinics and the Humane Society.

Face painting for the little ones.

Melrose's finest making sure everyone was safe.

A new consignment and antiques store in town.

Hot dog, sausage? One could feast all day long.

Slides and rides a plenty for the kids.

A caricature for the ballerina.

What's a fair without fried dough?

This newsman in the making was taking it all in.

Another successful Victorian Fair! Hours and hours of preparation goes into an event like this so kudos to the Melrose Chamber and the City of Melrose for a job well done!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Reasons to Savor Autumn

Kitty is smiling because she knows it almost time for a change in season. Autumn is coming. A time for cooler temperatures, the brilliant colors of nature, and all the yummy smells and tastes of Fall cuisine.

I am participating in the Inspired Room's Fall Nesting week. I've decided to list some reasons I love Fall. Living in New England I am a little biased because I think we have the best foliage in the country. We do not have Fall colors yet so no foliage posting today.

Farm wagons filled with bittersweet.

Apple cider donuts rolled in cinnamon sugar. Might as well add hot spiced apple cider too. And Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Lattes, orange cranberry tea, hot chocolate.

Fall decorations made with some natural elements and a lot of imagination.

I love a little whimsy in my Fall decor.

Butternut squash apple soup with creme fraiche, piping hot. Puts me in the mood for Autumn.

Autumn wreaths do double duty as candle rings. And a pashmina in those Autumnal colors of plum, orange, and burgundy can serve as a table covering or a fashion accessory.

Speaking of fashion, Fall means chunky sweaters, cashmere scarves, ankle boots.

Mini pumpkins make sweet decorations for desktops, bookcases, windowsills, just about anywhere.

Back to the food. Apple pie, my all time favorite pie. Heated or not, a la mode or topped with whipped cream it doesn't matter. If it's loaded with apples and cinnamon and the crust is nicely browned I am in my happy place.

As Julie Andrews would sing, these are a few of my favorite things! Speaking of music, I have different tastes in the Fall. I love to listen to classical music (Vivaldi's Four Seasons is my favorite) and of course, Forever Autumn sung by Justin Hayward. It is an Autumn tradition. I must listen to it every day during the season.

If you hunger for more Fall posts, go to the sidebar and click on the Inspired Room.


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