Monday, March 31, 2008


Spring must have arrived. On Friday the goldfinches at my feeder looked kinda like this ... still dressed for winter

And today more like this. Not quite there yet, but the difference in a couple of days was rather startling. Before you know it Mr. Goldfinch will be decked out in full regalia..... don't you just love a goldfinch?


Edited to add:These are not my photos, but are from some public domain source, I believe. I don't have a zoom nearly this powerful :>)

Friday, March 28, 2008


picture from an unknown source

Driving home from work Monday on a well traveled back road all traffic was stopped. From the time I stopped I counted 42 turkeys crossing the street. If you have never seen wild turkeys, let me tell you that they didn't get the memo that they are NOT the National Bird. They cross very slowly, single file ( no talking) like a grade school fire drill. About halfway thru, Turkey #21 or thereabouts must have taken exception to a driver glaring at him. He stopped and very deliberately spread his feathers, did a complete turn, lowered his feathers and continued across the street. Very funny! This area of the street used to have a turkey farm on it many years ago, there are still some turkey lean-tos on the wooded property and I often see the birds crossing or eating on someone's lawn, but I have never witnessed a parade of this length! I wish I had had my camera, but I'm sure someone would have honked at me to get out of the street. Turkeys are acceptable, Realtors are not :>)


Wednesday, March 26, 2008


In just 14 days I will be in sunny Southern California for a week!! I am so excited. I am going to go visit my friend ( who posts as anonymous) and we are going to see "Wicked" among other things. Long walks, shopping, cooking and just hanging out and relaxing. Oh, I can hardly wait. The trip is being paid for by my "I no longer smoke account". What a healthy treat for me!! Why oh why did I wait so long to quit??


Monday, March 24, 2008


Or maybe NOT!! I am not a big "sweets" person, but when I do want a sweet something it had better be good. White cupcake ( from a Duncan Hines mix), cream cheese frosting a la Ina Garten and lots of coconut. There is just a dash of almond extract in the frosting which adds a new dimension to the usual cream cheese frosting. OMG, this is so good that I ate 3 yesterday and this is the last one. Can I wait until this evening for this treat?? Not sure, so I think I will go to Homegoods to look at markdowns :>)


Friday, March 21, 2008


If you look closely you can see the swath of sunlight cutting across the picture. Ah that it was warm, but alas it is in the 30s with very strong winds blowing from the North. Brrrrrrr!!


Monday, March 17, 2008


Bob started traveling abroad in 1998 ( for business), but I made my first trip in 2001 when I accompanied him to Vienna. Somewhere I have some pictures of that trip, but they are not digital and are probably not very good. Aside from the pastry, which was Heaven on Earth, I wasn't terribly impressed with Vienna. I am the kind of traveler who has very little interest in museums or the "landmarks". I like to walk around neighborhoods and observe architecture and gardens. Vienna is just too big and grandiose to do that, although the cardboard cutouts of Mozart all over the city are rather amusing!

So imagine how much I loved Ireland. Bob described Youghal as "a small fishing village" and since this was before I started researching on the web, I grabbed a couple of travel guides which mentioned Youghal in passing and off I went. Little did I know it was called the Irish Riviera ( without the topless beaches, thank you very much).
Here is an excerpt from the County Cork website:

Youghal - East Cork Ireland Travel Guide

Youghal situated in the South East of Cork has been a popular holiday destination for centuries. It is an ideal family destination with its 2 Blue Flag Beaches and numerous entertainments for the children. Bed & Breakfasts, Hotels Pubs & Restaurants are in abundance

Youghal has been designated as a Heritage Town by Bord F�ilte. Developments include an interpretative centre and other attractions such as Tynte's Castle an urban tower house located on the eastern side of North Main St.

Youghal used to be a busy textile centre and one of Cork's most popular seaside resorts, it is one of the most historic and interesting towns in Ireland being situated at the mouth of the Blackwater one of Ireland's best known salmon fishing rivers, there is a promenade leading to a magnificent 8 kilometre beach. It is well worth a visit.

Here we have an ancient walled seaport town: it was occupied in turn by the Danes and the Normans, and received a charter from King John. It was part of the great tract of lands granted to Sir Walter Raleigh. His home, Myrtle Grove still stands there (open to the public). Tradition has it that here he smoked the first cigarette and planted the first potatoes: but tradition and historians don't always agree.

The main street is spanned by an old clock tower. St. Mary's Parish Church has recently been restored to good effect, along with the adjacent town wall. Here you will find the tomb of Margaret, Countess of Desmond, who died at the age of 147 from a fall from a cherry tree. There are several other old abbeys, towers and buildings in the town - follow the signposted Town Trail. The film Moby Dick was shot on location here.

The name Youghal derives from the Irish "Yew Wood". Yew was once extensive throughout Ireland. In Youghal, yew wood was used to feed the ironworks of Richard Boyle during the 17th century.

See, it is more than a fishing village. I took a walking tour of historical sites that was really fun.

The second time I went the Ahernes was full, so we stayed at the Old Imperial Hotel. Decor-wise it couldn't have been more different, much more "moderne" with cheaper furniture and not much charm, but once again the proprietors, Jim and Mary Browne were delightful. And while we couldn't afford to eat at the Ahernes restaurant, we could eat at the Old Imperial because the restaurant is not as famous and certainly not as upscale. Without further ado here are the rest of the pictures from web sources an Bob's camera. Enjoy (with a green beer, if you must)!

Edited to add: Obviously this is a one way street in 2004 when this picture was taken, but I swear to you that this was a two way street in 2002 the first time I was there. At least that is the way I remember it:).

The source of the world's best butter!!

Bedroom at The Old Imperial Hotel, see the difference?

Sunday, March 16, 2008


This story started in the previous post, so you may want to go there and see the outside of the Ahernes Seafood Resaurant and Accommodations. Just a suggestion. Okay, quick before Blogger changes its mind. This is one of the bedrooms at the Ahernes. Each room is different and each has an antique armoire. I peeked in all the empty rooms to check them out. Are you surprised? I didn't think so! No that is not me looking lovely in my robe, these pix are from their website.
Here is the lounge. Have you ever seen a cozier room? It is a scrumptious yellow that you see a lot in Ireland. It is just made for having a cup of coffee and reading a good book and that is just what I did. Several times in fact. At night they had a peat fire going even though it was August. Got to get that Irish ambiance.This lighthouse is on the way to the beach. The beach is a "blue flag beach" which in Ireland means it is a clean, safe beach, but I am sure there is more to it than that :).
A random picture of a door taken from Dan
Blue door from same source. Does it get any more charming than this?
This is an ancient church with a wonderful old graveyard to wonder thru. The town is a medieval town from the 13th century and part of the wall which surrounded it is still in place.

Take a gander at the width of this street and it is a two way street. They have recently built a by pass road so that only local traffic goes thru town.
This is the center of town and the old tower where "punishments" were meted out. Now it is a lovely place to decorate with hanging planters.

This makes the 2 way street look absolutely wide. I think I walked up this street one day, just to see where I would end up. Remember Bob was at work, so I was on my own to explore. I love to explore on my own and then report back as to what I found.

This is all for now. Tomorrow I may show some pix of where I stayed the second time I went to Youghal when the Ahernes was all full up :).

Happy St Patrick's Day from a mostly French girl ( girl may be pushing it just a bit) and her 100% Portuguese husband .



"May your right hand always be stretched out in friendship and never in need."
Traditional Irish Blessing

The Ahernes Seafood Restaurant and Accommodations in Youghal ( Yawl)Ireland.

John Fitzgibbons, the owner an host extraordinaire of the Ahernes. Check out that plate of Irish Mussels! More importantly look at the brown bread ( I have their recipe) and the butter. Ireland has the best butter I have ever tasted. The Irish breakfast here was to die for...take me back, please :).

This was going to be a lovely ode to St. Patrick's Day and I have spent over an hour ( not that you are not worth it, but really) and I have lost my text several times and my pictures several times and so, I am going to call it quits for tonight. Maybe tomorrow Blogger will feel a little bit friendlier and a whole lot of contrite!!

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Today was the big day for my private tour of the B.S. Freeman Residence in North Attleborough MA. I was met by Melanie, the gracious owner and general contractor and I had a great tour. I didn't ask to take any pictures today because let's face it, it is still in an unfinished state, but it should be substantially done in 3 weeks when they open to the general public for a tour that will benefit the town historical museum. You know I have procrastinated about painting the baseboards and trim on three doors for over a month now and when I look at the scope of this project it just overwhelms me and makes me feel extremely lazy. There were workers scurrying about, the dining room ceiling was being painted the most luscious shade of yellow, the cabinetmaker was in the kitchen doing some finishing touches. was just a beehive of activity. I wasn't able to go in the tower room because the floors had been done and were still tacky. Believe me when I tell you there is nothing tacky about this house and the new buyer will not have to do one. single. thing. when they move in. Okay, I know I am rambling, but I love old houses and this is going to be a combination of all that is good about the original structure with all modern systems and no wallpaper to strip :). Okay, I am going to stop here, but just one more thing, Melanie's mother grew up three blocks from where I grew up. How is that for it's a small world after all? Now try getting that song/visual out of your head !

Tomorrow night I am going to post my memories of my two trips to Ireland just in time for St. Paddy's Day.


Whoops. In my excitement I forgot to tell you that if you live in New England you can see a feature about the house on NECN's Dream House tomorrow at 10:00 AM. Goonight

Thursday, March 13, 2008


Subject: UCLA Study
Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2008 21:09:13 +0000
> A study conducted by UCLA's Department of Psychiatry has revealed that the
kind of face a woman finds attractive on a man can differ depending on where she
is in her menstrual cycle. For example: If she is ovulating, she is attracted
to men with rugged and masculine features.

However, if she is menstruating, or pre-menopausal, she tends to be more
attracted to a man with duct tape over his mouth and a spear lodged in his chest while
he is on fire. No further studies are expected.

Bob is reported to be very happy that I am past that stage of my life ;)


Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I am a big fan of Nester and if you don't know her you should run over and check her out. She is so much fun and even though she is certainly young enough to be my daughter she is totally OK. She has posts on a couple of window "mistreatments" and I would like to add mine. I made this at least 10 years ago and yes the wallpaper is vintage 70s and I have yet to remove it, after all, it goes great with the harvest gold tile , toilet and floor. Back to the window.

I have always admired the cornice type/ pelmet treatments made on a shaped board , padded and upholstered often found in older or English homes. Being lazy, I set about to do this the easy way. 1) Measure the width of the window, plus the returns of the classic cheap, white rod. 2) Determine the length that would look best and add 2 inches for the casing. 3) I bought iron-on interfacing ( called Pellon back in my Home Ec days). 4) Cut the Pellon the same size as the fabric and follow directions to fuse together. 5) Fold in half to find center and mark with a pin or mark on the back with a pen, whatever is easiest or handiest. 6) Take a round plate or cake pan and starting in the middle, center the pan and draw the curve, move pan and draw the next curve. Continue on each side of center until you come to the end. See where I am going with this?? I fear I am not explaining well :( 7) Now for the casing. Fold 1/2 " and iron, fold 1 1/2 inches and iron. Hand stitch to make the casing. 8) Now just hot glue gimp or fringe around the curve. This really takes less time to do it than it does to explain it. My friend Martha will vouch for me because I made these for her cute French doors on either side of her adorable fireplace in her bungalow before we put it on the market. I think the "mistreatments" were the reason her house sold sooo very quickly, right Martha??

The only problem is that you can't really wash it. I have put it in the dryer to get the dust out, but then you have to reglue the fringe. I am sure there is another kind of glue to use and you crafty people could just use that. I just vacuum it when the mood strikes.

On another note, the owners of the ModVic ( see Monday's post) have offered to give me a private tour when the house is ready. You know how much I love old houses; remember the ones I sold that I showed you here?


PS. The "d" and "f" on my keyboard are malfunctioning, so if you see a spot where I missed one, just add it in, OK??

Monday, March 10, 2008


Here is a restoration project that is going on near me. Check it out at
Unfortunately I am not going to be around for either of their Open Houses and it is even more unfortunate that I do not have a buyer for the house :(


Saturday, March 8, 2008


How interesting that I can't seem to post a picture tonight, so you will just have to use your imagination.

1) This is where the pic was to be. We have been dragged, kicking, screaming and clutching Visa card into the 21st century. Our 15 year old TV has had a problem with the vertical hold for a while now. I "watched" the Academy awards with no picture for at least 10 minutes at a time. So we went out to "look" at TVs. Our old RCA was 20" and our boys always laughed that it was too small to watch. Easy for them to say, they have manly TVs. We "looked" at a couple of stores and then just caved. We now have a 19" LCD flatscreen. Yes, it's small, but it is so clear. Just amazing!

2) We have had over 4" of rain here today and now the wind is howling! Luckily it is rain or it would translate to 40"of snow, something I do not want.

3) Lastly, do not forget to set your clocks ahead tonight. This means it will be light enuf to cook dinner outside now, even though it is still in the 30's. Can't keep a girl away from her grill for too long.


Thursday, March 6, 2008


Have you ever roasted vegetables?? It is one of my favorite ways to cook many vegetables. Simply cut veggies into uniform sizes, toss in olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast in a hot oven (425-450 degrees) until nicely carmelized. Tonight's selection was russet and sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips( my personal favorite), broccoli( the tops get crispy) and asparagus. Served with boneless chicken breasts marinated in lemon zest, olive oil and thyme. How much healthier can you get??

Beets are especially delicious roasted, but be aware that they take longer than anything else because they are so dense, so roast them separately and start them first.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008


This is from an e-mail that my 80+ year old aunt sent me today. I do NOT believe that this is a "true" story, but a parable that is worth passing on. The last two weeks have seen my FIL in the hospital twice ( once in Boston for 8 days and two days later in the local hospital for 4 days. My MIL was in the local hospital for 2 days last week) so this struck a chord with me.

  This is something we should all remember.

A 92-year-old, well-poised and proud man, who is fully
dressed each morning by eight o'clock, with his hair fashionably combed and
shaved perfectly, even though he is legally blind, moved to a nursing home
today. His wife of 70 years recently passed away, making the move
necessary. After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the
nursing home, he smiled sweetly when told his room was ready.

As he maneuvered his walker to the elevator, I provided a visual
description of his tiny room, including the eyelet sheers that had been
hung on his window.

'I love it,' he stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old
having just been presented with a new puppy.

'Mr. Jones, you haven't seen the room; just wait.'
'That doesn't have anything to do with it,' he replied.

'Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Whether I
like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged . it's
how I arrange my mind. I already decided to love it. It's a decision I
make every morning when I wake up. I have a choice; I can spend the day in
bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no
longer work, or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do.'

Each day is a gift, and as long as my eyes open, I'll focus on
the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away just for this time
in my life.

Old age is like a bank account. You withdraw from what you've
put in.

So, my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in
the bank account of memories!
Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank.
Remember the five simple rules to be

1. Free your heart from hatred.
2. Free your mind from worries.
3. Live simply.
4. Give more.
5. Expect less.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


I have been tagged by Susie Q of Rabbit Run Cottage and Nan of On My Porch to participate in the six word memoir meme. Here are the meme rules: 1. Write your own six word memoir 2. Post it on your blog and include a visual illustration if you’d like 3. Link to the person that tagged you in your post and to this original post if possible, so we can track it as it travels across the blogosphere

4. Tag five more blogs with links 5. Remember to leave a comment on the tagged blogs with an invitation to play!

The definition of "memoir" per is : account of one's personal life and experiences; autobiography. do I fit 57 years of living and loving into six words?? I struggled with just posting my personal words to live by which I define as: Eat, Drink, Laugh and Be Kind, but that does not really tell the whole story. So here is my six word memoir which I will perhaps elucidate upon in another post . Joy, Hurt, Growth, Enlightenment, Love and Wisdom. Mysterious, huh?? Bet you never thought I was this deep :)

I am not going to tag anyone at this time because it just requires too much thought and I just ate pasta...too many carbs, but I will leave the option open.


Saturday, March 1, 2008


This is what I awoke to this morning. Pretty, if and only if, it were Christmas morning. I seem to be really over winter this year and I have been pondering why I seem so anxious for spring. I grew up in Northern New England where we never uncovered perennials until Memorial Day weekend, so certainly winter is not a new concept. Is is because I am just getting older and no longer have the patience for winter or perhaps because I am now in daily "contact" with women from all over the world, many of whom live in more temperate climes and are touting the signs of spring? *Sigh* I don't know, but I do know that I will continue my daily contact with my new friends because, well, because I like you. You bring so much joy into my life with your fun posts and your comments, I just don't know what I did before I knew you.