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2014- The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I can't say I am sorry to see 2014 end. It was a most challenging year, testing me in so many ways.
No, I do not have much good to say about 2014 but I will try.

So, here are some of the good things for 2014:

a trip to the Christmas Revels at Harvard University
a sunset lighthouse cruise in New Hampshire
a visit to a sunflower field in Newbury
a few trips to the Vintage Bazaar in Salisbury
meeting Matthew Mead at Brissonte in North Reading
a couple of trips to Rockport
seeing the members of the Boston Ballet on the Swan Boats at the Public Garden
a few cat sitting jobs
some photography work- First Communion, family reunion, and 50th birthday party
discovered a new coffee shop in Concord

Some of the bad:

leaving my old job, wasted 26 months with a company that made promises they never kept.
my old car cost me quite a bit in repairs
I had to pay thousands of dollars to have the house painted - my share of the condo assessment

And the ugly:

the stress of my job and working on commis…

Christmas Eve Mini House Tour

Well honestly, no one was knocking on my blog's door to ask me to share my Holiday House Tour. After I got over my initial disappointment (I hope you know I am kidding), I decided to create my very own Chatelaine style house tour.

The bear is new. He came with a throw I purchased recently. I put the throw on the sofa and Oscar immediately made it his new home. Later I sat down on the throw to relax and my jeans got wet. Oscar had thrown up on it. And I wonder why I didn't get asked for a house tour?

The vintage ornaments came with the antique box the Teddy is sitting in. It came from an antique store Christmas open house, one of the few I attended this season.

 The kitties all have stockings with their names on them because of course my cats are so smart they can read. The prelit garland, after I had artfully arranged it, decided to only light on the left hand side. So I had to improvise with the little wire fairy lights for some illumination.


I love these little woodland an…

Here we go a caroling and the giveway winner revealed

Our friend Mary invited my sister and I to a caroling party at her home. She had invited her sister and nieces as well. We had not seen some of the girls in years so of course we said we would go.

We walked around Mary's neighborhood and the girls sang a few songs as did my sister. I took photos and Mary's husband led the way with the flashlight.

Heather is leading us in Silent Night.

While we were walking the neighborhood, a woman came out of her home with her baby. She said, "I have never in my life seen or heard Christmas carolers so I had to come out with my baby." Her baby named Lincoln will be one year old on Christmas Eve. She stayed with us for a bit.

It was quite cold so we did not stay out long. Just long enough to sing all of the 12 days of Christmas on the way back to the house.

It was so dark picture taking was not optimal. I snapped this one on the front steps.


And this one of Christina, Victoria, Heather and Amanda by the tree.


Mary made her lemon coo…

Highlight of my Christmas Season- Meeting Matthew Mead and a blog giveaway

When I read on Facebook that Matthew Mead was going to make an appearance at one of my very favorite shops in the area, I was beyond excited. Yes, it was true. Matthew Mead was at Brissonte in North Reading on Saturday. Thank you Colleen Perry, owner of Brissonte for making this happen!

I grabbed a few of my holiday blog cards and headed out. I picked up a sandwich at Swiss Bakers in Reading and ate it in the car. I could not wait to get to Brissonte.

I did meet Matthew and his lovely wife, Jenny. And they are the most fabulous people. They are warm and interesting and easy conversationalists. Sharing tips on photography and great antique stores to visit in Concord, MA. I showed them photos of my tablescapes and my sister's live event paintings. And they were interested! After speaking to me a bit Matthew knew exactly my taste!


Matthew had set up a display in the store of holiday items. Of course, he is a stylist so everything was picture perfect!


A simple branch with dangling …

Letting sleeping kitties lie

It's that time of year when I start to think about decorating for Christmas. I would love to have a full size tree but with 3 kitties to consider that is not a wise choice.  Percy has knocked over lamps, broken teacups, and is basically a one man wrecking crew.

Molly is fascinated with shiny objects and there is a lot of bling on a Christmas tree. No I probably shouldn't put up a big tree.


She did not knock the tree over but she wanted that doll and maybe an ornament or two.

Yes, it would be best if I let sleeping kitties lie.

Thanksgiving Wishes

Are you ready for Thanksgiving? I am not hosting so I just have to make the potatoes. Percy is ready. Percy is always ready for a big feed.

This Thanksgiving is bittersweet. My Mother is in the hospital so no Thanksgiving dinner for her. Usually my Dad has lunch/dinner with her at her nursing home and my sister and I go to a friend's for dinner. Later, we visit my Mother and eat leftovers with Dad.

Bittersweet because this will be the first time in 10 years my Dad will have Thanksgiving Dinner with my sister, me and our friends. It will be nice to be together again but we are sad that my Mother is ill and in the hospital. She is improving but not ready to be released. We will visit her after dinner.

I will be thankful to have my friends and family around me tomorrow. In fact, I thank God for them everyday.

We are having beastly weather right now, I can hear the freezing rain hitting my windows. I am so glad to be home from work. I only skidded once! I hope all those who travel to…

Anthropologie Event- Fall Workshop

This is a long overdue post. Back in October, I signed up to attend a Fall crafting workshop at my local Anthropologie in Burlington.  I expected to be the only older person there but since Anthropologie is one of my favorite stores and I am Fall obsessed I decided to go for it anyway. Does anyone say go for it anymore?

The workshop coordinator, Jessica, could not have been nicer and there were pumpkin scones and apple cider for refreshments. The company was cordial.  We learned to make acorns from chipboard and wire.


Britta was a natural at making the acorns as was Morgan whose hand was pictured above. Evidently making acorns was not my forte, I struggled a bit but all of the college girls pitched in to help me.  I decided taking photos was a better use of my time. I also peppered Jessica with questions about Anthro.


Once we became more comfortable with each other, silliness ensued. Britta was ready for Halloween.


We talked about our pets and shared photos of them. Two of the women …

Ina Garten at Symphony Hall

This past week I took a trip into Boston. My friend Wendy and I purchased tickets to see Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa, at Symphony Hall.

I had a frustrating time getting the tickets and was not able to order them online. I had to call the next day for tickets. As a result, most of the tickets were sold, there were few seats left, and we had to sit in the balcony and not even together.


Symphony Hall is a fantastic venue. The building is stunning with spectacular architectural details throughout. I must admit, I got to see the whole venue from my balcony seat.


Note where the table and chairs are located. See how far away we were?


Well, with my new Samsung Galaxy camera with 21x zoom lens I got this shot of Ina and Faith Middleton, the interviewer for the evening.  Faith is a popular radio talk show host in Connecticut.

The two ladies sitting next to me were big fans of both Faith and Ina. They had come up from New Haven for an overnight just to see the event. I enjoyed their compa…