Wednesday, December 11, 2019

One Box

First of all, thank you for your thoughtful comments on the last post. I learned some things! You know how much I enjoy the opportunity to cogitate a spell.

I was so pleased that my daughter Laurel put up a Charlie Brown Christmas tree. Some years, she thinks it is just too much. The difference between Laurel and me is that she is not a homebody and I am.  

Her cats were very impressed with the tree and I am sure that there will be a lot of batting of ornaments in the days to come. All ornaments are cat-proof.

Isn't it amazing that she can store all of her Christmas things in one box? One box! I shall not mention how many boxes of stuff I have and I won't  ask you either. ッ

↑A photo shared on Instagram. Though I try not to use duplicate photos, I wanted to share the interesting program I was watching: A Victorian Christmas. I watched it on Amazon Prime. The lengths those Victorians went 
to celebrate Christmas. Anytime the lady of the house, in her long skirts and dainty boots, is stomping about in horse manure proves her devotion.

Have you tried the Peppermint Tootsie Roll Pops? Very refreshing.

It is fun to style the only "mantel" I have. This is what it looks like this year.

Tweaking, tweaking, always tweaking. No, I did NOT eat all the Peppermint Tootsie Roll Pops. They've been moved to the kitchen table.

I am very thankful to my neighbors who are sharing lots of lights... It sure is pretty around here in the evenings, especially at the blue hour.

Okay, I am certain that even I have overdosed on this tree; however,  I would like to share my secrets what I do. 

1.This is the second year that I have used Brenda's suggestion for creating cohesiveness for the tree. She uses red, but one can use any color ornament that reflects 
light—silver, green, blue–I used gold. These are placed inside the tree and really don't show up all that much except that they reflect the light. If you check the link, you'll see that my rememberer is not remembering so clearly. For whatever reason they are used, I really like the method.

Moving right along...2.I read a suggestion from the White House Christmas decorators who suggested using a short hanger for ornaments instead of longer ones. It has the effect of putting the focus entirely on the ornament instead of introducing a distraction. 

3. Burlap is still my favorite garland for the light it allows through. It used to be more of a pain because strips of burlap would have to be cut. These days, I just pick up burlap ribbon with my Hobby Lobby coupons making it pretty economical. It also tames down a fussy tree like this to one that better suits the rustic environment. I like elegant rusticity. 

4. I love the old-fashioned tinsel, but have zero patience for it, especially the new flyaway variety. So all my adult life I have used crystal icicles. The first sets came from Silvestri and were quite pricey for me in those early years. I bought more just recently and they were more reasonably even. This selection has two lengths, which surprised me at first, but works out quite well in practice.


Is there anything that you are doing differently with your tree this year? Have you ever done a Charlie Brown tree? I am thinking that I could give it a whirl next time. That whole one box thing is appealing.

Monday, December 9, 2019

The Secret of Christmas

Do you remember this song from the good old days circa 1959 when it was written for Bing Crosby? (What? You weren't even born yet? Goodness I am growing old.) I still love Crosby's smooth, warm voice and so listen to a lot of his Christmas music. Yes, I am most particularly fond of some secular Christmas music and this song ranks high. It may be the discussion my mother had with me when I found her shedding tears while listening to it. My mother was a sensitive spirit married to a way less sensitive one, which explains a lot about the marriage and my childhood.

Anyway, in the end, the song says that the Secret of Christmas is not the things that you do at Christmastime, but the Christmas things you do all year through.

Now on the face of it, THAT is not the secret of 
Christmas — or is it? I might be able to make a case for it because The Child Who came to us is NOT a secret. No, the story is told from Genesis to Revelation and preachers have been telling the story for centuries, not to mention those pesky bloggers who just keep sharing their faith when what people really want is a pretty picture or a new recipe. ☺

Once again, this Christmas is not shaping up to be the most perfect one ever. All the same conditions that existed before are still with us. And that is why it is good to remember that the entire reason for Christmas is to acknowledge that He came to rescue us over and over again. It is His desire to live in our hearts and to be called upon first. (John 15) Sometimes I practice counting all the times (that I am aware of...there are probably too many to count of which I know nothing ) where He rescued me. So many. He's been rescuing me for years. I expect Him to continue all the way to Glory.

Now as it happens, I do have some pictures to share and so will be returning, The Lord willing and my resolve holds. I certainly have been enjoying visiting you and seeing what you are doing. I love all the variety of experience, place, decor...

 Before you wander off to enjoy this wonderful day: What do you think the "secret" of Christmas is? 

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Not Up to Much

Puttering away here at my wee haven. Christmas is coming! Packages arrive daily; sometimes it's a challenge to keep them wrangled. It is a lot easier than it was years ago now that we have tracking and all. There's something fun about watching an item make its way across the country. I did take advantage of some of those Cyber Monday prices. This year, I am unable to shop until I drop so I am grateful for online shopping. 

The Christmas tree went up the week before Thanksgiving, though no decorating until the day after. I am still fiddling with it. It is the same tree that I had last year, moved to a different location than last year. Some folks have a spot that lends itself year after year to the a bay window. I like changing it up a little and have four spots to use on some sort of rotational schedule.

Here I am yabbering on about Christmas when I have not yet documented Thanksgiving.

My daughter and I enjoyed Thanksgiving with my sister and her husband, my nieces, Joel, and Little E. We had the added excitement of a gender reveal because Little E will become a big brother in April. The reveal was in the form of a chocolate cream pie with pink inside. Yes, a girl! This will be the first girl in the family in 35 years so I think it is time.

One of the joys of the day was reading to the soon to be big brother. He has a book that he dearly loves titled How to Babysit a Grandpa. I had to chuckle when he kissed the Grandpa when it was suggested that giving Grandpa a kiss would be a good idea. I think that this means that my sister's husband has become a wonderful grandfather for her grand just as John did for my grands. It is a joy to see.

When nap time came, Little E settled down in a nest of coats on his grandparents' bed. He looked so cozy. 

It was lovely to sit here on the end of my sister's kitchen while she and her husband were busy getting dinner on the table. Everyone should have a sitting area and fireplace in the kitchen!

I took no photos of the beautiful Thanksgiving table, but I did get this one with the clearing of said table not quite complete. ☺I'm mean like that.

Now that I have learned that my sister has no china...she is getting back the set that belonged to our maternal grandmother. It has a lot of pieces, but not many plates. She'll have to supplement. Currently, it's all over my dining room table, but it will be packed up tomorrow and sent along.

My tree is not quite "there" yet. Nothing new or unusual with it. Its charm is that it represents my entire life. I have read so many bloggers describing this very phenomenon. Putting up the tree on a yearly basis is like a wander down Memory Lane.

A wreath on the door and I am done with outside decorating. Laurel referred to my little attic tree in the garage as "ghostlike." Well I never! Good thing that only my Instagram friends  have had to see it.

Hope that all is coming along beautifully in your corner. If anything interesting happens, I'll be back. Thank you for stopping by! 

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Thanksgiving Eve

Remember God’s bounty in the year. String the pearls of His favor. Hide the dark parts, except so far as they are breaking out in light! Give this one day to thanks, to joy, to gratitude!

~ Henry Ward Beecher

Are you in the thick of kitchen duties? I hope that the turkey is thawed!

Although I am not hosting this year, I am indulging in a wee bit of baking. That makes the house seem properly Thanksgiving-like. I am baking Pioneer Woman's Pecan Pie and Karen's Kitchen Pumpkin Bread. If I have any extra energy, I am considering baking some of Mary MacDonald's Molasses Cookies.

Though the tree is up, I haven't been able to decorate it yet. Apparently, I have great loyalty to Thanksgiving. Friday will be time enough for that. In the meantime...

I became so charmed by a vignette seen at Susan Branch's that I tried the impossible—to copy her. 

In the end, I did something quite different, which is just what Susan suggests in the first place. 

It's a charcuterie of objects instead of meats, fruit, and nuts.

It's nowhere near as darling as Susan's...  The best that can be said is that I made it my own. I borrowed the recipe box, the cookbooks, and the wooden spoon. I tossed in a wee Christmas tree and a squash.

Source: Pixaby free images

Wishing you a blessed and wonderful Thanksgiving... 

Monday, November 25, 2019

A Beautiful Day...

Laurel and I sniffled a bit off and on all the way back to my house after the movie. 

It hit a lot of our buttons. Great movie! My recommendation? Go see it. Just go. Trust me. That's A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood with Tom Hanks playing the role of Fred Rogers.

It is based on the article Can You Say...Hero? written by Tom Junod for Esquire magazine in November of 1998, which can still be found my searching online. Why the writer's name is changed to Lloyd Vogel in the movie is the director's prerogative. 

Anyway, I don't do movie reviews so I'll quit talking about the movie and start talking about why I loved Fred Rogers as so many others did as well.

When I first began teaching, I realized immediately that something was "off" with many children. Their attention spans were almost nothing and they seemed easily annoyed and upset. I blamed it on societal woes such as drugs and the lack of cohesiveness in the home. Even decades ago there were few children whose parents were married to each other. And so many people were involved with drugs. Sadly, all of this continues to be prevalent today only now we not only have parents who are involved, we have grandparents and great-grandparents. The poor children!

In the early 1990s, I attended a seminar on children's television programming. Seems that the popular PBS network program featuring a big, yellow bird may have been responsible in part for those short attention spans. Their segments were fast moving and short

The instructor shared two stories of taking his own children to shows, one featuring the big, yellow bird and company and one featuring Mr. Rogers. In the first, the children were literally bouncing in their seats and off the walls. When the characters came on stage, the place went wild. It was like a rock concert. He, and probably every other adult there, had a massive headache.

At the Mr. Rogers concert, the children were also bouncing off the walls. Then the beautiful Lady Aberlin came on stage and, with her finger to her lips, smiled at the audience and said that Mr. Rogers was a quiet man who needed quiet spaces. If the children would be quiet and sit in their seats, he would indeed come out and they'd have their show. The children settled down immediately and spent a rapt hour listening to Mr. Rogers tell his stories and sing his songs. 

My daughter did not begin childhood as a Mr. Rogers' fan, though she has become one. My son, on the other hand, was a Mr. Rogers' fan from the beginning. Perhaps he best loved Lady Aberlin and Daniel and the Land of Make Believe folk. I'll have to ask him. I know that I was smitten then as now with Mr. Rogers himself, a gentle man if ever there was one.

Thursday, November 14, 2019


Boy, is it ever Novembery! I am thrilled that the snow at least waited until November 11 and I am very happy that there will be a warm up next week that will take most of this icy mess to the nearest drainage ditch. I have been housebound, not even daring to go to the mailbox, for three days. I am beginning to feel antsy. 

I have been playing one game of Sudoku after the next. Yes, it's a little dull around here. One thing is certain, I am not listening to any Congressional hearings on impeachment. On second thought, 
some of the reviews were very interesting. 

Let's move on, shall we? 

Thanksgiving decor is hanging around until the day after Thanksgiving. Of course, a week from this weekend, I am asking the guys for help to drag in my Christmas tree. I like my tree too much to give up an entire week of it with Thanksgiving being so late. Once again, the Pilgrims will be hanging out with the Nativity scene and my vintage papier-mâché Santa. It'll be one big happy crew for a few days. 

My sister Kim has invited Laurel and me for Thanksgiving this year. Adam and family will be off to Bangor to enjoy Thanksgiving with his wife's sister, also a Kim. This confused the boys to no end when they were much younger. They thought it was odd that they had an Aunt Kim and their dad had an Aunt Kim. Do you have more than one named the same in your family?

These are the wee houses I purchased at Target last Monday. 

The houses were only a dollar each and I wish that I had purchased a few more. The tall house is an evergreen color, though it looks very dark here. (That quote is not one that floats my boat, but the cardinal is beautiful and the sentiments written inside are as well. It was sent by an old friend, a former classmate.)

The ubiquitous kitchen pic just so you know that you were here.

Are you thinking about Christmas decor? I am pondering putting up a Christmas tree in the upstairs window of the garage as a way to bless my neighbors. The house is so dark on these short days. I need to up my game. 

Perhaps I'll see you next week! Until then, have a great one. Oh, are you hosting Thanksgiving this year or what are you up to?

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Early November

Can I get away with saying hello and just tossing in a few pictures? I know, I might as well move to Instagram for good. What's the point of blogging without words

Shabby 2019
Freshly painted former year

I need to up my upkeep game, though for obvious reasons, I was not able to this year. My sister made the large bittersweet wreath for me. She even rounded up the bittersweet from her daughter's yard. My niece is not very happy with the way the bittersweet is taking over the world in her yard and I was duly warned about not putting it anywhere I didn't want to see it growing. I shall have to be careful. I never put it behind the house that's for certain.

around the outside lamp

tucked into the apothecary

the mustard and deep purple leaves were so pretty in combination...all gone now...

Trying to disguise a tired sofa with a ten dollar throw from Wal*Mart. It's working for now...

You wouldn't know that you had visited if there were no windowsill photo. The very last rose delighted me and is still blooming yet. I hope that all is well with you. I am happily in my good week and I am trusting that next week will be good, too. 

Thanks for popping by. Have a great day!

Sunday, November 3, 2019


Bittersweet Wreath Made by Kim

One can't go wrong to read Hebrews 4 today or any day. Faith makes the difference.

Comments are closed. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

This Year's Leaf Peeping Day

First things first: On my last post, I enjoyed meeting some new-to-me bloggers. It's good to know that you are out there! 

Why I decided to comment on each comment is anybody's guess because I rarely do that. Some bloggers respond to every single comment they receive. Wow! That's a commitment. Alas, some bloggers even get offended by comments made on comments. Let's just say that I am going back to rare comments on comments. You can't depend on me for anything! That's not quite true, I do try to visit your blog. So thank you for commenting. It's my currency on this here blog and I love and appreciate you for it. 


My daughter Laurel has been taking me on annual leaf-peeping days for some years now. This year, I thought we would miss out because Laurel had a cold during peak week and was trying to stay away from me to protect me. The weather was not cooperative. Stuff. So it was a surprise when she called Sunday to say that she would be picking me up and off we would go. Yay!

There will be fewer comments going forward on this picture dense post.

Lunch out at Dockside first! (The canoes were delicious. )

A Close-up of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire...snow capped...

Mrs. T will recognize this place

Wonderful rock wall in the forest...

Driving Range looking toward the White Mountains of New Hampshire

Over hill 

And dale

Colbath Road that I first read as "Cold Bath" Road, which didn't sound too appealing

Love a red barn

Somewhere in Casco

This property is one that Laurel seriously considered purchasing when she was looking for a place to build a home. I was slightly in shock because it is an incredibly beautiful property. She went on to explain that it is high on a ridge, on a dirt road, way out in the country and far from her workplace. She decided to let it go. Sigh. 

Fun story: As Laurel and I stood there taking photo after photo, a gentleman drove up in a big black van and said that photos were charged $5 each and that there was a little box in front of his home just next door where we could place our dollars. I asked him if he owned this piece of property and he said that he did not, but that he collected the monies for the owners. Ha! By then, he was grinning so big that I knew that he was kidding. He sure has an amazing view as well, but as his home was sitting in front of said view, it was concealed from ours. 

He and Laurel had a conversation  about how she had seriously considered this piece of property. He said that a young couple purchased it a year ago and were literally "sitting on it" waiting for enough money to build their dream home. That was what Laurel would have had to do so the choice she made to live down in the valley closer to her employment turned out to be a wise one. She is content.

Laurel's Panoramic Photo of the One that She let Go... Click to Enlarge

Another View of Mt. Washington from Otisfield

The Farm Across the Street

Lots of

 Ins and Outs

The day ended with a cup of mint cappuccino  from Aroma Joe's...ahhhh...

Hope that you enjoyed these photos of waning autumn in Southwestern Maine. 

Your turn!