Saturday, December 18, 2010


Happy Holidays from Hosta Cottage!  I am pretty well set for the big holiday dinner on Christmas Eve, most food has been purchased, the gifts are all done and some are wrapped and I am ready to start some Christmas baking.  Back in the days when all four boys were home, I would bake Christmas cookies every day and could be pretty much assured that they would be gone in time to make more the next day.  Now, not so much!  With just Bob and I to eat them I try to avoid baking until the last minute.  Tomorrow I will make a variety of cookies  for Bob to bring to people at work, then I will just veg for a couple of days before I really crank up the stove.  Of course, I have to make the donuts ( sounds like that old Dunkin' Donuts commercial) and then hide them (first in the freezer) so that they will be available when my baby gets home on Christmas Eve from California and his brothers also descend upon the house trying to out eat each other....aah, merry times indeed. Usually they make me laugh so hard at some point that I know my face is all distorted and looks ridiculous and I can hardly catch my breath.  Yep, that's my boys.

I will leave you with some pictures from the Providence Preservation House Tour on December 4th.  Unfortunately they don't allow inside pix and so the memories of the homes fade quickly, but at least we have a few outside decorations to contemplate.

                                  My favorite house inside and out!

This makes me laugh...perhaps they, like me, cannot stand to get rid of the bittersweet wreath:).  I just incorporate my bittersweet into my greens in an urn on the front steps.  No one says the berries in  with the greens have to be red!!

Happy Holidays.....


Thursday, December 2, 2010


I guess we all have them ( well all of us a certain age)......senior moments, but mine are becoming more and more frequent.  I changed my banner to this festive picture of the Church Street Marketplace (Burlington Vermont) and now I can't remember how to change the colors of my fonts.  Help, please!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

This, That and Thanksgiving Envy

Well, it has been a while since I have posted and I certainly think of you and want to post something, but nothing *that* significant has happened around here.

Yesterday were two important Birthdays:  Mr. Housepeepers  Official Photographer aka Bob

and Meg Ryan

This got me to thinking that I have loved Meg Ryan since her As the World Turns Day as Betsy Stewart Andropoulis and of course I love her as Annie in "Sleepless in Seattle" and Kathleen Kelly in "You've Got Mail".  But whatever she had done a few years ago did not seem to be an improvement, but rather made her look very artificial.  Bob, on the other hand, is aging wonderfully.  No surgery for him and doesn't he look great??  

We have a cruise planned for February to celebrate my 60th Birthday and the final payment is due.  When I called my personal Cruise Consultant ( doen't that sound oh so stuck up?) at Norwegian Cruise Lines she informed me that the price had gone down over $500.  Did that ever make my day.  Plus by joining AARP, something we have put off for almost 10 years now, we saved another $50 and got an onboard credit.  I am a happy, happy girl, well way past middle aged woman ;)

We will have 10 people for Thanksgiving, but the number has fluctuated a bit.  I wanted my parents to come from Vermont.  I was going to drive up and get them and then drive them back on Friday, but they decided it was too much and so will stay home. The fact that I don't want them driving 250 miles at their age just makes me realize just how old they are (93) and that I must face their mortality at some point.  The Thanksgiving envy in the title comes from reading so many blogs and watching and hearing about your plans.  I love Thanksgiving as much as the next person and I love how you all decorate and set such gorgeous tables and dress up and everyone looks like a Norman Rockwell portrait.  Sometimes I wish we could celebrate that way, but in reality it is not who we are.  We will be wearing casual clothes.  The wonderful food is set up buffet style in the kitchen and then as many people as possible sit at the table and the rest sit wherever they can.  This year I have a DIL who has to work at 4:00 and the timetable is further complicated by the Patriots playing at 12:30.  More people will be in the LR watching the game than at the table, no doubt. We have some pretty serious Pats fans in the family. I will try not to be too annoyed, and I will try to see as much of the game as I can while cooking and getting everything ready...maybe a glass of wine will ease the pressure :)

Note to anyone local...I found a wonderful new shop called Vintage on the Common in Hopkinton MA.  They just opened a couple of months ago and they have some really lovely things and great prices.  I saw several things I liked if I had room, but settled for a new black and gold tole tray and a cute amber glass rooster candy jar.  Total $25.  I had to buy them because remember I had just saved over $500 on the cruise.  That's the logic, right?

Enough rambling, but I did want you to know that I am still around and thinking of all of you.  When I count my blessings ( which I do often) I always think of the friendships I have made through blogging and am very grateful.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!


Thursday, November 4, 2010


Less than 2 weeks ago we took a little getaway to Southern Vermont.  Even though I was born in Vermont and have spent half my  life there I usually just "run" ( I use the term very, very loosely here) back and forth to Burlington to catch up with my parents.   Bob has never spent much time in Vermont, being a Native Bay Stater ( is that what you call people born and raised in Massachusetts??) so we are having fun exploring parts of the state that he has never seen.  It gives him a chance to find covered bridges, diners and train stations to photograph.  The weather was absolutely gorgeous and Mother Nature was kind enough to keep a lot of golden leaves on the maples.  The day in Bennington was a day to remember weatherwise, scenerywise and of course companywise.  Just a great day.   Most are Bob's photos and I am sure you can tell the difference between his stunning photos and my "click while passing" shots.  Enjoy some autumn in is the BEST!

$750K, seems a steal to me...and I love a Greek Revival style home...c.1830...bay window on left side...*sigh*...

All houses were in Old Bennington, a neighborhood surrounding the monument.  All have very large lots that overlook Bennington or surrounding farmland.

A day to remember...thank you Bob :)


Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Did you order your copy of Holiday with Matthew Mead?  I think I must have been the first to order it, no really, I ordered it the first day I heard about it...way back when (as we used to say...way back when) and now it is being mailed from the mailing place ( or whatever it is called).  The plan is not to look at it until at least Thanksgiving week...why rush the season??  Will I give in to temptation once it arrives...only time will tell.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Women as Fall Foliage???

Today I was pondering the foliage or lamenting the lack of color when the following thoughts popped into my otherwise vacant cranium.

The first fall colors that "pop" are the maples and birches, colorful, very colorful.  Each tree more flamboyant than the last.  They bombard your senses and loudly compete for your attention seemingly crying "pick me, pick me for I am the prettiest and the most vibrant".  Soon they fade and the oaks come into their own.  The russets, chestnut browns and maroons, each a beautiful color capable of stunning on it's own, but they don't try to dazzle you. Instead their  quiet reserve and confidence creates a tapestry of the most gorgeous hues imaginable.  This is as far as I got with my reverie, but it made me think of all my friends in their "middle" years and how beautiful we are individually and as a group...we are strong, we are invincible,..... we are Oak Trees???

Bet you never guessed I was this deep ;)


Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Fabulous Fifi O'Neill has just released the cover and title of her upcoming book to be released in April 2011.  It can be ordered at the above link.

It looks like it will be gorgeous like all her work!


Monday, October 11, 2010


I am doing some research for an impending trip through the Berkshires to Southern Vermont.  As I started thinking about the towns we would go through I thought of Stockbridge MA, home of Tanglewood, the very lovely Red Lion Inn, the Norman Rockwell Museum and of course the 60s counterculture Alice's Restaurant.  Now I have that song running thru my head on an endless loop.  "You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant, exceptin Alice" and "Walk right in, it's around the back, just a half a mile from th railroad track".  That's about all I remember, though I did know college friends who could sing the whole 18 minute naarative,  but even those two lines going nonstop will keep me awake half the night if I don'  Ever happen to you?


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

New Bed Linens/ Old Bed Linens

I have always been somewhat of a self-professed quilt wh0#e.  I am always finding new quilts that I love, but alas I don't often act on my urges.  Usually I just love them from afar and sometimes go and visit them in the store.  Do you ever do that?  Stalk things that you love until someone else buys them and you know they have found a loving home with someone as tasteful as yourself ;)

Sometime last year I fell out of love with my winter quilt ( of course I have a summer quilt too, I know you understand!).  I still liked it, but I wanted something moodier, more bohemian, maybe something with more browns and subdued colors.  Enter this fall's PB catalog.  I spotted the Gianna scalloped quilt and just had to seek her out and see if she was as lovely in person as she was in the catalog.  She didn't disappoint.  So, since I had a 10% coupon from PB. com, which basically covers the shipping I sent my order for quilt and one decorative sham off into cyberspace. Yesterday she arrived and I am still tweaking.  I got the off white chenille shams at Christmas Tree Shop for $2.49 each and like the textural contrast.  At PB they had the bed made up with off white pick stitched shams, mine look similar for a lot less.  I have a white duvet cover for the down comforter (that resides at the bottom of the bed in colder months) which I hope to dye a camel color or dark Khaki.  Maybe a brown throw for the off white slipcovered chair. I'm lovin' it!

Now, I would like to sell my old "Providence" pattern quilt which is currently available at PB.  I have the full/queen quilt and two Euro shams. They are used but in very good condition. I have listed them on Craigs List for $95 for the set, but thought one of my readers might be interested as well.  Here is the pic from PB.

I have decided to take the "blogging without obligation" pledge and when I have something to say that might be of interest to anyone, I will post.  How's that for a compromise?


Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Those of you going to the Country Living Fair in Atlanta are in for a big treat. The fair in Columbus was spectacular.  The weather was sunny and warm and  Sue from Rabbit Run Cottage was just so much fun.  There were almost 200 vendors of everything from high end folk art to food and fresh squeezed lemonade.   It was a bit overwhelming to a person with ADD, but I think I managed to see most of it.  Some booths were so crowded that there were lines to get in and some had lines to get in and then lines to pay for your purchases.  Sue took lots of photos so hopefully they will be posted on her blog for you to see.  I cannot compete with the gorgeous photos that she takes!  She and her family were so gracious, I am so glad I was nervy enough to invite myself.  I was never uncomfortable for even a minute from the time she met me at the baggage claim at the airport...we just started talking and never stopped until she dropped me back off at the airport 4 days later!

I know that I haven't been very good about posting lately.  I have been feeling very guilty about it and worry that I am letting my friends in Blogland down.  I think of all of you often, but just don't seem to feel in the mood to post about what is going on, or not going on, in my life.  I hope you understand.  I think I may take a break  (after 3 years) for a bit and try to get my mojo back.  I hope you all understand.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010


If Daisies are the "friendliest flowers" per Kathleen Kelly in "You've Got Mail", don't you think it is just possible that Sunflowers are the "cheeriest flowers" ?

Me too....

Monday, August 30, 2010


OK, so I watched a couple of episodes of Design Star this season, maybe the last 3 and was delighted when Emily won.  She is quirky and enthusiastic and a stylist by profession.  Last night I watched her special "Secrets from a Stylist" and I liked it.  I really, really liked it.  Did any of you watch...what did you think?  I honestly think it was the first thing on HGTV that has intrigued me in years, now it remains to be seen if it will ever emerge as a weekly show.

Stay tuned ( as they say in TVland).


Friday, August 27, 2010

Bloggers Beware

First off....where did the last week go?  We went to Vermont for the weekend, it started raining Saturday afternoon and it didn't stop until this morning.  Too bad about that area rug my son washed for me and hung on the deck.  It may be dry in time for Christmas.  Come to think of it, where did the entire summer go?  It was so hot and humid here for so long that all I did was whine about it and now it is over...insert more whining.

Here is where the Bloggers Beware part comes in.  I have been trying to meet Susie Q @ Rabbit Run Cottage since I started blogging almost 3 years ago.  Each time we come close to agreeing on time and place something comes up to stop us, so gutsy me invited myself to the Country Living Fair in Ohio in late September.  Sue is being a very good sport about having some weirdo show up at her house for the weekend.  She is actually being super welcoming and I so appreciate it.  I can't wait to meet her and her family.  So remember, be careful who you are nice to, they just might show up.

Off to bed with a new library book.


PS. How will  I fit all those gourds in my carry on??

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


The new cabinet got moved downstairs to the dining room where it looks much better.  Now filled with assorted dishes it looks right at home in the Bistro du Soleil.

 I sure wish I could design beautiful vignettes like so many of you can and I certainly wish I could take some artsy pictures to show off my rooms. Tweaking, it's all about tweaking, right?  Maybe a decorating/photography course should be in my future.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Newburyport Window Boxes

Just a couple of windowboxes I shot on State Street while in Newburyport a few days ago.  Love the combination of colors and textures.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

Yard sale bargain

I am not a big yard sale maven, believing that I have enough "stuff" already and really feeling that I need to pare down to prepare for my "Golden Years" which seem to be approaching rather quickly. Last Saturday we were on the way to a cookout at our son's house when we spotted a lovely scrubbed pine armoire at a yard sale in our neighborhood.  Hubbie wanted to stop and look at it and I explained I had absolutely no place for such a piece as much as I loved it ( and had no idea it was only $75.), but he insisted we stop.  While I was able to resist the armoire...I really DO NOT have any space for it, Hubbie wanted this piece for the upstairs hall for book overflow.  I know it is just the top to a hutch and the original idea was to put some short Edwardian style legs on it  to make it less awkward.  However, what you don't see in the picture is the bathroom light switch which is just above the top of the cabinet, so no legs.  It will remain an amputee.  Now, I am thinking maybe I should swap it out for the glass doored oak "bookcase" that is in my dining room. That one is the same height, but a bit shallower.  It is pretty heavy, so I think I have only one chance to move it, if you know what I mean.  Even that one chance involves getting a son over here to help. Maybe I need to go to Lowe's and see if they even have the legs I need and how tall they I ponder.  Ever do that?