Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Linens and things

Wow, it's been so long since I attended an estate sale but recently, I received an email from the staff of one of my favorite antique stores.  They were hosting an estate sale in Malden. I marked my calendar, I wasn't going to miss it.

I love attending their estate sales since they are organixed and always well staffed.  I have been to estate sales that have been pure mayhem but Essex Street Antiques does a great job with crowd control.

I bought only linens at this sale.  The photo above is of an oval tablecloth I purchased. The embroidery is so delicate and beautiful.

I am thinking it will look lovely on my table this Summer. It would also be beautiful as the table covering for an afternoon tea event.

I like that it is not overly ornate, The embroidery is simple and I love the ecru backdrop.

The napkins have the simple embroidery too. Perfect! Maybe I will use the set for Easter.

Here's the second tablecloth I purchased. I was told it's from the 50's. I was drawn to this one at first because of the color.

It is a lovely pink color. The blooms are so pretty. It is the perfect tablecloth for Spring.

I like the splash of blue against the pink and the white border. It gives it a fresh look.

My final purchase came in this vintage box.  It was in pristine condition.

It looks like it was never used.  The tag states it was fine linen made in Portugal.

This set contains 4 placemats and napkins.  I absolutely adore the edges of the napkins. I love the elegant look of this set.

As I paid for my purchases, one of the staffers said I had good taste. Or maybe just a good eye!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What the appraiser saw

An appraiser came out to do an evaluation of my condo today. I am trying to refinance my mortgage to a lower rate. It all depends on the value. If the value comes in high enough I'll save more than $150  a month. with the new loan.

He was almost clinical in his approach. "I'm going to walk around and do a sketch of the property and then take some notes" he said. He also took some photos and asked a few questions like when was the unit renovated and are there any major projects coming up?

What he thinks is valuable is not what I value the most. Like the souvenir from a trip with my sister in Kennebunkport that sits on that bookcase or the poster on the wall from my friend Pauline.

He looked at the dining room which was a living room for the previous owner. I look at the room and see my grandmother's china cabinet and all the teacups I've collected over the years.

He snapped a shot of the bathroom.

He looked at the hallway and I pointed out a closet.

He looked around the kitchen and the ceramic tile floor.  He didn't notice the bistro set my parents bought me as a birthday gift a few years before my mother's stroke.

He made note of the granite countertops, the maple cabinets and stainless steel appliances.
He did not notice the tea towel, a gift frrom my friend Karen or the antique label I had framed that hangs over the sink.

He noted that there was a pantry and in unit laundry. He did not know the calamity of the washer/dryer installation.

Snapping the photo of the bedroom, he definitely did not notice the Rachel Ashwell comforter from Target. Or the bed that I've had for 17 years which was originally assembled by my friend Joanne's husband Roy. Joanne died in 2006.

I doubt he took a photo of these military chests, I bought the top one at an Estate Sale and the bottom one I found at the side of the road.

I don't even think he noticed the cats.  Molly was hiding under the nesting tables in the living room.

Percy was hiding behind the birdcage.  Oh Percy, we can see you! Percy does not like strangers in the house.

Oscar was hiding on a chair under the dining room table.

Later, Molly decided a cat nap was in order after all the excitement. She settled in on a chair in the living room which used to be a bedroom.

Percy was tired too and he sprawled on the cool hardwood floor in the dining room.

I sure hope the appraiser gives my condo a proper value to make the loan work.

I've only lived here 3 1/2 years but to me this condo is more than granite countertops and hardwood floors.  I don't really think I can put a value on it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Not a lot to talk about

Since I had dinner at the lighthouse, I haven't done much of anything.  Certainly nothing of interest and especially nothing blogworthy.  I am making some plans and making some changes in my life. Nothing  I can divulge yet but I am excited about it.

I've been putting in long hours at work, it's been so busy. Not leaving much time for play.
Except for the occasional cappuccino with friends.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Seaside dining, in a lighthouse!

Almost a year ago, I bought a Living Social deal for lunch in a lighthouse in Newburyport. I love Newburyport, there are lots of wonderful shops and eateries and oh yeah, the ocean. There are beautiful historic homes and churches in the town. It's a great place for a day trip.

I bought two lunches actually, one for two people and one for four people. I procrastinated and didn't use the coupons right away. I finally called and tried to make a lunch reservation for four people. The only dates left were during the week. Of course, most of my friends work during the day including the two who were supposed to have a lighthouse lunch as their Christmas gift. My sister and I chipped in to buy the Christmas gift so my sister and I ended up dining at the lighthouse last night.

Jay at the lighthouse was very sweet.  He not only agreed to do one dinner instead of lunch but he said I could extend the other lunch coupon until the end of March.  It was supposed to expire in mid March. I am so pleased that I have more time to make arrangements with my friends.

Back to the lighthouse... we arrived in time to see a spectacular sunset. I was hoping we would make it in time to see it.

The dining area is five flights and one 6 foot step ladder up. The coupon mentioned that you must be physically capable of climbing the stairs and the ladder. Once you reach the top of the ladder you need to go through a hatch and then you are there.

The climb was not bad at all.  I expected far worse. And once we got to the hatch...

Jay was waiting for us.  He helped us through the hatch and greeted us with a smile.

Yay, I was so excited to see the sunset from the top of the lighthouse.

This photo was shot from the walkway of the lighthouse.  It is very narrow and last night the wind was really gusting. I don't want to know what the wind chill was but it was mighty cold.

If you want to go out to the walkway, you must crawl through a little doorway from the lighthouse. My sister demonstrates the technique.

There's the ocean! And to the right is the coast guard station. Despite the wind, it was a beautiful night.
It was clear and starry.


The space is 8 x 8 so it's really small. The ceiling is high. There is heat for the winter and a/c in the summer so the lighthouse is open for dining year round. I took this from the walkway outside the lighthouse.

Here's a closer look at the space. All set for dinner. Such a sweet little space to enjoy a meal.

Another shot of the sunset and the cool steeple. This photo does not do it justice. Actually none of the photos really depict the beauty of the experience.

Another shot from the walkway. I was getting mighty cold at this point. The wind was going right through me. See how I suffer for my art!

Back inside the lighthouse, we cranked the heat. Jay came up to take our order and then we listened to a lovely CD called American Lighthouses. Look at the table, the candle is flameless.  Understandably, no fire is allowed inside the lighthouse.

Jay proclaimed us official lighthouse keepers for the evening.  We had the place from 5-11PM. He also told us about the history of the lighthouse and pointed out some landmarks.

He gave us our menus so we could make our selections. The menu is from the restaurant next door. Jay would climb all those stairs and the ladder with each course.  Quite the workout! He says he sleeps well.

Both my sister and I ordered clam chowder and the fried shrimp with baked potato. She had strawberry shortcake and I had key lime pie. It was all delicious.

I really was fascinated with the chandelier.  It added a touch of elegance to the space.

Dinner arrived and we were not disappointed. We could not imagine carrying hot food up all those steps! Jay didn't spill a drop.

We decided to check out the keeper's log. I especially liked this entry with the sketch and the
comment. "We came, we ate, we loved".

I loved reading all the entries in the keeper's long.  Lots of marriage proposals, birthday celebrations and anniversaries. This entry by Rachel was written on her 10th anniversary.  Her husband surprised her with a carriage ride by the church where they were married, then dinner in the lighthouse, and fireworks by the ocean. So romantic!  Sweet memories for everyone who wrote in the book.

I would love a chandelier like this for my home. So much bling! Fantastic!

This is the small door leading to the outside walkway. You can see why I said you need to crawl out to the walkway.

More flameless candles on the wall.  They were scattered around the lighthouse.

My sister enjoyed her strawberry shortcake. And we both enjoyed the evening. A unique dining experience with time to relax between courses. I can cross this off the bucket list.

I highly recommend dinner at the Newburyport lighthouse on Water St. For reservations, check out the info on their website, www.lighthousepreservation.org.


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