Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Here he is...my baby boy who turns 24 today. This picture was taken in the spring of 2007 by one of his college roommates. I bought the suit and all, and I mean all, the trimmings for his potential job interviews and thought I should at least get to see how he looked in it after the alterations. Pretty handsome, huh? Turns out he got a job in Seattle ( he went to school in Rochester, NY) without ever going on an interview. He scored his job as a Web Developer at Pop.us ( a large, interactive marketing firm) with a spur of the moment, unscripted phone interview, less than a week before graduation. Then, the child who I raised to be independent (perhaps too much so), negotiated his salary up $5K, found an apartment within walking distance to work, packed up his few important belongings, took a train to his girlfriend's (talented digital artist KarenPetrasko.com)place in Ohio and they embarked on their adventure. I am very proud of this fine young man who is a talented professional, a budding cook and a wonderful son. He makes me proud.

If you see him walking around Seattle today ( what are the chances??) wish him a Happy Birthday! Oh yeah, and tell him to call his Mother more often.


Monday, September 29, 2008


picture from BHG

Is this not the cutest thing you have ever seen? I have a love/ hate relationship with acorns. Hate them in my yard ( and I have a lot of oak trees), but I love them in any decor item kind of way.



Saturday, September 27, 2008


Yes, I have been remiss. I have been given several awards lately and I have failed to acknowledge them. I get very excited when I get them and then life interferes with my blogging...ever happen to you?

I have been given this award by Tara at Days Missed on a Hammock. Tara lives on Long Island and shares wonderful photos of her life on her blog.

I was also given this award from Susan at The Little Yellow House. Susan lives in Southern California and often blogs about places I have been. Makes me feel like I am on vacation in SoCal again.

Melissa at Sunbonnet Cottage also gave me this award. Melissa lives in Idaho and I don't think I have ever met anyone from Idaho. Isn't blogging great; we meet like minded women from all over our country and around the world. Don't get me started on "It's a Small World Afterall" a ala DisneyLand. It's in your head now...admit it!

These two awards are from Deserae at Peeking Thru the SunFlowers. Gotta love that diamond..I have never had a diamond. Think I could somehow cut this out and paste in it a ring?? Probably not convincingly, huh?

You know I am supposed to pass these on and it was pretty easy to pass awards on when I didn't know so many bloggers, but now I don't want to hurt anyones' feelings, so I will just use the cop out. Please feel free to take these and proudly display them on your blog. Anyone reading this post deserves these awards at least as much as I do. Go ahead...just take them.

The girls at The Summer Kitchen have asked me to play along with a 7 Quirks Meme. I am not sure why it has taken me so long to come up with this; I consider myself pretty quirky. I asked Bob to name some of my quirks and he looked at me like I had at least three heads. Was he scared or just so used to me after 17 years that nothing surprises him?

1) My bed has to be made just so before I can get into it. Pillowcase openings facing out, sheet folded over blanket nice and straight. No messy sleeping for me.

2)I never drink anything with my meals. My parents made us wait to have our milk at the end of our meals and as an adult I just never drink anything while eating.

3) I have a very strong sense of smell. I even smell things in my dreams. I have never heard of anyone else with olfactory dreams.

4)I have never seen Star Wars or 2001, A Space Oddyssey or Jaws.

5)I am very claustrophobic.

6) I don't like being under water. These two quirks make a career as a submarine captain extremely unlikely. I would die of fear just being in a submarine.

7)I once was caught smuggling beer ( which I don't even drink!!) into Fenway Park. The humiliation I suffered to save a boyfriend and his friend a few bucks, which they had to spend anyway.

If you find this fascinating, and want to know more, check here .


Thursday, September 25, 2008


Here it is and not a minute too soon. I am glad to say that I am getting used to the new look and miss the spinach vomit sink less each day, lol! Since it is a small bathroom there is not room to show you the tub, but it is white ( Glory Be!) with white tiles to the ceiling and the Madras type stripe shower curtain remains for now.

Grey's Anatomy starts tonight, are you a Grey's' Fan??


Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Thanks for all your responses to my "What do you think?" post. Several of you asked if it was a trick question. I suppose it was, in a way. I saw the house on Friday and was overwhelmed by the complete disconnect between the exterior and the interior. The owner certainly is a talented designer and faux painter, but anyone seeing the house from the street would make a certain assumption about the interior. We are bombarded with messages from HGTV about neutralizing your home when preparing to list it for sale and making it welcoming to buyers of all tastes. While you may be very proud of your home and your decor it is not in your best interest to let your house say anything about the personalities of the owners. OK, enough said. Now I need to work on my quirks. Me...quirks??


Friday, September 19, 2008

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Scent is such an evocative sense. Do you remember what After Shave your boyfriend wore in High School ( British Sterling or English Leather) or what shampoo you used as a teen (Breck or Prell)? And who could forget Jean Nate or Desert Rose? What about the smell we associate with Thanksgiving or Christmas? All you have to do is smell a faint whiff of a fragrance from your past and you are right back there, in the moment.

Beverly at How Sweet the Sound has a post about perfumes today and as I read the comments I remembered all the perfumes/colognes I had used in my life and I could actually smell them! And that perfumed stationary I used to write to my beau on, well that was another time and place for sure! Last night I made Scalloped Potatoes with Ham ( before I went to Fenway Park) and the aroma brought me back to the gathering room in our Church basement where we would go for the Dime a Dip suppers back in the 50s. Of course they used to be Nickel a Dip before the price doubled.

So tell me, what perfume do you wear and what is the most evocative scent from your life?



P.S. Nantucket Briar is my signature scent now, but I have had many in my not so lurid past, lol.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


This is where I spent my evening tonight. No game, but a very poorly executed program put on by National Grid ( our local Electric and Gas ..who knew?? ) provider. The program was put on for local Realtors to help them become knowledgeable about becoming strategic partners with National Grid. I have no idea how this is supposed to work and really seemed geared more toward large developers or possibly Commercial Realtors, but there was free food in one of the large Clubhouse suites and a tour of Fenway Park. I have been to games a few times and although I like Baseball on TV I have a tough time following it at the park...too many distractions. This tour was really fun. We got to see the press boxes, sit in the Green Monster Seats and wander around a bit. We didn't get to go out on the field, but it certainly looks good from the expensive seats, lol. Then we got to meet "Oil Can" Boyd who was signing autographs. I got one for my son's Wall of Fame in his condo. Now, I am off to read a couple of your blogs and then off to bed.

I have received a few awards lately and am still working on a post regarding those. More on that later.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Why parents drink!! Thought this was amusing, but thankfully my kids are grown now!

A father passing by his son's bedroom was astonished to see that his
bed was nicely made and everything was picked up. Then he saw an
envelope, propped up prominently on the pillow that was addressed to
'Dad'. With the worst premonition he opened the envelope with
trembling hands and read the letter.

Dear Dad:
It is with great regret and sorrow that I'm writing you. I had to
elope with my new girlfriend because I wanted to avoid a scene with
Mom and you. I have been finding real passion with Stacy and she is
so nice.
But I knew you would not approve of he r because of all her
piercing, tattoos, tight motorcycle clothes and the fact that she is
much older than I am.

But it's not only the passion...

Dad she's pregnant. Stacy said that we will be very happy.

She owns a trailer in the woods and has a stack of firewood for the
whole winter. We share a dream of having many more children. Stacy
has opened my eyes to the fact that marijuana doesn't really hurt
anyone. We'll be growing it for ourselves and
trading it with the other people that live nearby for cocaine and
ecstasy. In the meantime we will pray that science
will find a cure for AIDS so that Stacy can get better. She deserves
it. Don't worry Dad. I'm 15, and I know how to take care of myself.
Someday I'm sure that we will be back to visit so that you can get to
know your grandchildren.


Your Son, John

PS. Dad, none of the above is true. I'm over at Tommy's house. I just
wanted to remind you that there are worse things in life than a
report card. That's in my center desk drawer. I love you. Call me when
it's safe to come home.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I think I may have told you about my obsession with Bittersweet. It all started when my kids were toddlers and I wanted just a few sprigs for seasonal decor a la Country Living. But the berries are poisonous, so I had to wait, rather impatiently, until they were either old enough or smart enough not to eat them. Easier said than done and since my boys are 4 year apart it made for a long wait. Alas, they are 24 and 28 this month and since neither live at home I am free to scavenge it wherever and whenever I see fit. It is now against the law to sell the plant in Massachusetts because it has become so invasive, and many of the places it grows best are just a bit dangerous, ie: the sides of major highways or medians on divided highways. The leaves start to loose some color by the end of August so I can see where it is good pickin' is going to be. I usually start to cut the end of September, but last weekend I was at HomeGoods and in the back of the parking lot I spied some potential pickins. It was absolutely THE BEST, thickly vined around each other and heavily berried. I tried to convince myself to let it stay until it ripened a bit further, but like all addictions it was not to be denied. So, looking both ways in case I should be spotted cutting a parasitic plant from a guard rail, I snatched my trusty clippers and started cutting. Below is the result.
I came home and was so excited I didn't even bother to strip the leaves, which is a rather tedious chore. I just twisted it into a circle, added a couple of wires to keep it together and hung it from this peg. Now, here is the thing, the berries are still inside their little husks, but as soon as they get some direct sun or heat they will "pop". This usually happens in the back seat of my car!

By Sunday night they had almost all popped and I had stripped most of the leaves off. I like to leave a few for the organic feel of it. Note it isn't really round and that is just the way I like them, kinda free form. Now the problem is...where to hang it. It is not really big enough for my front door and I don't usually hang them inside as they are messy, what with more husks falling when you walk by. So, not very practical, but I have to make them. Anyone know of a 12 Step Program??

Today my friend Jane ( she of Southern California fame) mentioned on Blissfully Domestic that she was going to hang the grapevine wreath I made for her 25 years ago. Yes, she is practical and sentimental. When these wreaths first became popular, once again in Country Living ( *the* magazine of the early 80s), you couldn't just buy them, so my Ex-husband and I gathered grapevines on the side of the road, soaked them to make them more pliable and made a couple of wreaths for gifts. I must be smarter now because I make them with very little time or effort. It is very helpful to cut the vines while they are still alive.

Grapevine growing in the rear part of my yard known as "The Woods". I kept it on the ground this year. Much easier to harvest if it is not growing up a tree, lol.
Cut the vines as long as you can. Leave the tendrils and cut off the leaves. Makes me think I should use them to serve cheese or something. Leave them on the ground to rot!
Bring the stripped vines to the table to work on them
Find something round or another set of hands.
Grab all the vines at once and twist into a circle. Add wire to hold the circle in place. These vines were long enough to go around again. I wired it top and bottom. Now go back
and weave any shorter vines in. Use the tendrils to "lock" pieces together if possible, the tendrils are so cool.
This is what it looks like now. I will let it dry for a few days and then remove the wire at the bottom. After it is dry you can weave other vines into it. I have used Honeysuckle vines or even Morning Glory Vines. I bet squash vines would work too. I love how the different vines are different thicknesses, textures and dimensions. I love my wreaths to be very organic in feel with a lot of depth. Okay, I know you can go to Michael's and buy one for $2.99, but I get tremendous enjoyment out of doing this in the sunny fall weather.


Monday, September 8, 2008


The most photographed building in all of Alaska..or so they say

Here we are in Skagway, Alaska. As Bob says, "you be the skag, I'll be the cool guy"! What a card that guy is, huh? I just read somewhere that when Sarah Palin moved to Alaska as an infant the family settled in Skagway. Let me just say that I am very glad my parents made different choices! This was probably the poorest of the towns we visited. The town is very flat with huge mountains all around and as you can see in the photos the weather was...bleak. Are you surprised. It was colder here, only in the upper 40s and before we left the wind was gusting at a pretty good clip ( as we Vermonters say). We walked around as much of the town as we could and despite a small airport with a couple of nicer houses fronting it, the town was pretty much as bleak as the weather. So come along and take the tour.

close up of the building

Let me note that in the middle of this "Qaint little drinking town with a fishing problem ( as the T-shirts say), there is a very nice weaving shop and an imported Oriental rug store with rugs starting in the thousands. Who buys Oriental rugs in Alaska? Also several diamond stores. We bought neither!

A Museum with some lovely flowers. Bob loves taking pictures of flowers.
Who knew roses would grow in this climate?

The largest Peonies I have ever seen. Truly the size of dinner plates and blooming in the end of July.

Very striking Delphinium

The railway that takes you to the White Pass and the Yukon Territory. Not included in our budget this time around.

Ah, Canada. Please note the sun is shining and it is at least 60 degrees. I am a happy girl!

As we sail into town

This is a lovely little town that although it is far from everything seems like a livable place.

This is a sunken garden that is very pretty

Town Hall ( where they kindly keep the doors open after hours so the public restrooms are available). Very hospitable.

Large Totem pole on Town Hall grounds
Small Street Fair they have when the ships are in town. Nothing great, but don't I look chic in my brown vest? That got a lot of wear on this trip, glad I bought it.

Back on the ship we watched these huge vats of Dungeness Crabs being offfloaded from fishing boats. There were 4 of these vats that were about 12feet square and probably at least 6 feet high that they filled in a very short time while we ate Seafood Linguine and Molten Chocolate Cake ( with Ice Cream, of course).

A fishing vessel returns home...one of Bob's artsy shots.

That is it for Alaska. We cruised all day Friday and got back to Seattle bright ( it really was) and early Saturday morning. We spent the day playing in Seattle and then had dinner with my son. Bob left Sunday AM early and I stayed on at the Kitsap and Olypic Peninsulas. Not many pictures, but I will regale you with those tales another time. This successfully ends our travelogue of Alaska and British Columbia. Thanks for your attention!