Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Richard's Snowflakes

Many of you already know my dear friend Richard Cottrell and his beloved beagle dog, Sissy, from My Old Historic House Blog.  If you do not, I urge you to introduce yourself!

Richard is  gentleman and a scholar as well as an astute artist.  He also has the kindest heart I have been  blessed to know!  About a week ago, Gracie and I received a package from Richard and Sissy, filled with hand cut snowflakes!  I am not exaggerating when I say they are the most beautiul I have ever seen!
Gracie and I made a garland of Richard's snowflakes.  I hope he considers them worthy!  I could not get decent photos during the day so I waited until tonight.

We strung the snowflakes on gossamer ribbon and draped them in the window of the family room, where we can see them all the time!

Notice all the fine detail?  Stunning!

Thank you, Dearest Richard, you have given us an heirloom to treasure forever!

Richard and Sissy's gift reminded me why I adore my blogging friends so much!  We are all so different, yet our passions draw us together.
I found this poem and I thought you might appreciate it too...

Each of Us a Snowflake

We are each of us a snowflake
No two of us the same
Reflections of the endless loving Source from which we came
Unique in form and beauty, crystalized at birth
Little flecks of heaven born to melt into the earth.

We are each of us a snowflake
Of infinite design
Transitory dancers on the widow panes of time
Unique in form and beauty, no two of us the same
Reflections of the endless loving Source from which we came.

We are each of us a snowflake
A falling star in flight
A traveler through the universe, in search of our own light
Unique in form and beauty, of infinite design
Transitory dancers on the window panes of time.

~~ Emily Warburton

Happy Holidays!



Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas at Arlington

These wreaths, some 5,000, are donated by the Worcester Wreath Company, of Harrington, Maine. The owner, Merrill Worcester, not only provides the wreaths, but covers the trucking expense as well. He's done this since 1992. Also, most years, groups of Maine school kids combine an educational trip to DC with this event to help out. Making this even more remarkable is the fact that Harrington is in one of the poorest parts of the state.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I thought I would take you an a small tour of the front of the house. I still have a great deal of work ahead of me but it has come so far!
Still such a long way to go but the house is slowly becoming our own!  I need about 500 arborvitaes to block the views of the neighbor's houses!  We are getting a new concrete driveway in the Summer.  See how this one angles in on the right?  What is the purpose of that?  It drives me absolutely mad, I tell you!  The boxwood parterre is to the right, although I cannot seem to take a satisfactory photograph.

Here is the boxwood parterre from the right...please note my neighbor's LOVELY trash cans to the left of our garden gate.  *sigh*

This photo is from this past Summer.  The boxwood "bronzes" in the Winter but it regains its color in late Spring!

Another angle of the parterre.  We had curbs installed this past Summer.  Hm.  I wonder if I can mow my lawn in the Winter?  Looks shaggy!

I wanted twinkle lights out here but I needed them for the Christmas Tree because I could not find them anywhere this week! When the lights burned out on the tree, I had to rob them from here!  I decided to use battery operated candles in lieu!

I used faux oranges that I studded with cloves.  

I have a set of French doors in the garage, from Craigslist, that I will be replacing this door with.  The asymmetry (and the nickel hardware) will be the death of me!  LOL!  

We had stamped concrete sidewalks and patios put in this Summer.  I labored over the color combinations! Another story for another day... I love the slate look, however!

Craigslist bench on front patio.  See the dog heads on the armrests?

One of our lions with his new wreath.  I tried the wreath on Handsome Husband in the store to check for a good fit!  LOL!  Newly planted boxwood encircles the base.  I just planted 100 tulips around each lion last week! Better late than never, I suppose!

Left Lion...

Craigslist gates finally installed this Summer!  I am aching to plant 50 foot trees all around our house to hide the neighbor's houses...and trash cans.  :(

So easy to make with two metal hanging planters wired together, placed atop a fresh wreath from the grocery store and wrapped in battery operated twinkle lights!

Merry Christmas to all my Blogland friends!



Sunday, December 23, 2012

Welcome, St. Nicholas!

The garland is hung upon the mantel...
We want Santa to know that he is welcome!

Pine boughs, twinkle lights, fresh pears and pheasant feathers...Can you see McGillicuddy's ears? How about Mabel?  Stealth kitty...LOL!

Mantel detail...

The Madonna and Child print is hung over the mantel temporarily.

Our lions are bedecked in pine boughs, pheasant feathers and lights...

I wish I could leave it like this all year!

One day this mirror will hang over the mantel.  The messy Music Room lies beyond...time for that later.  ;)

The Christmas Tree waiting to be adorned with ornaments on Christmas Eve.

Crown and ostrich plumes alight on top of the tree...

Papier Mach'e shoe ornament, created by my friend, the beautiful and Talented Anita Rivera, Of Castles, Crowns and Cottages...

Another shoe ornament created by Anita!  They are so lovely they needed to be showcased!

I think we have a Christmas ghost!  This chair mysteriously turns toward the table every night, as if a ghostly presence is sitting outside the sunroom, looking in at the tree!

Gracie is counting the minutes to Christmas Eve!

Me too!



Friday, December 21, 2012


"I live and love in God's peculiar light. "

~Michelangelo Buonarrati

Today marks Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year, also marking the first day of Winter in the Northern Hemisphere.  Beginning tomorrow, the daylight will last a little longer!

We do not begin our Christmas decorating until this day, since I prefer to use fresh greenery...
This is what we have so far...

Pears and fresh evergreen boughs atop the Library mantel, a bust of Santa Clause sits upon an overturned capital.

Handsome Husband's Birthday gift to me!  My new Library bibliotheque!

This was a Craigslist find!  Can you believe it?  If I told you how much we paid you would hate me.  ;)  

Olive branch wreaths adorn the doors...I was inspired by Debra of Acquired Objects...she has a passion for laurel wreaths!

Magnolia wreath upon the newly painted pier mirror..

The bow is made of french script ribbon...

Wreath on sunroom door. The baby Jesus rests in its boughs.  The table is moved here because we place the Christmas tree in the center of the sunroom so we can view it from all sides.  Fresh boxwood and pomegranates rest on the table, entwined with hand printed, wired paper in French script.

I prefer apple green ribbon to the traditional red and green.  It cheers me! This little guy is encircled with gilded bay leaves...

This wreath is a special gift for my Mother in Law.  I already gave it to her, so I am not ruining her surprise!

We are busy, busy, busy, preparing for Christmas!  I have much more to share!

I am hoping that you all take a moment, away from all the bustle, to enjoy the Holidays!



    I am participating in The Dedicated House, Make It Pretty Monday
No Minimalist Here, Open House Party
French Country Cottage,  Feathered Nest Friday
Savvy Southern Style, Wow Us Wednesdays!
From My Front Porch to Yours, Treasure Hunt Thursday!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Prayers For Families In Connecticut

"A human life is a story told by God." ~Hans Christian Andersen

Sunday, December 9, 2012


I mentioned my darling Daniel several posts ago.  We met on a rescue transport this Summer.  (A rescue transport is a system wherein people volunteer to bring animals to safety by virtue of a series of relays.  For example, a shelter in New Orleans find rescues or adopters in Wisconsin. The volunteers take turns driving the animals 50 to 100 miles at a time until they arrive at their destination.)  The rescue did not have a home for him but they did have a wonderful individual named Nancy who was willing to pay for his veterinary care on the North Side of Chicago.  My job was to bring him to the veterinarian's office.
I peered into his crate. He looked like an old, dirty rag. He was  frightened and tried to make himself look very small. The poor, frail little guy was abandoned by his owner at the age of 14!
The vet's office was closed so I brought the kitty home with me.  He was covered in fleas and so very dirty!  I gave him two showers and, though he did not enjoy them, I could tell he was relieved.  The owner did not tell the shelter what the kitty's name was.  I just called him "Kitty".
Evidently, the fleas had been living under his matted fur for a very long time.  His neck was red and bloody.  He drank so much water that I could hardly keep up with the demand. He would attempt to dip his entire head in the bowl!  The trip was arduous for him, eight hours in the back of a horse trailer, his crate shaking violently the whole time, piled next to frightened, barking dogs of every kind and kitties, like himself. Can you imagine?
I brought him to the vet the next day. He stayed there for ten days total. They diagnosed many physical problems, including dehydration, ear infections, eye infections, hyperthyroidism, and sadly, FIV;  The feline equivalent of HIV in humans.
Nancy had many other pets but was willing to take him, bless her soul.

I decided I needed him.  I named him Daniel, after Daniel of the Lion's Den fame and after my dear brother, who is one of my biggest heroes.
Daniel spends much of his time in the upstairs bathroom.  He cannot come into contact with the other cats, for there is no vaccine for FIV and no cure.   I bring him outdoors when the weather allows, supervised, of course (every step of the way)!

Here is Daniel today!  How he brightens my world!  He eats four to five cans of food a day!  He has put on a great deal of weight and shows no signs of being sick!

To the person who left Daniel at the shelter,

I do not know the reasons you left him, nor do I understand why he was in such poor condition.  All I know is that I thank God every day for Daniel!  He is such a happy little man, content with nothing more than  a soft, clean bed, food and love.  He loves classical music, especially Mozart.  He lays sideways when you pick him up so he can look at your face, he can stay that way for hours.  I am so GRATEFUL he is here.  He is loved and he is safe.  Thank you for Daniel!  I could NOT imagine my life without him. 



I am linking to the Dedicated House, Make It Pretty Monday

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Music Room

Finally!  The day has arrived!  Gracie's Christmas present is here!  We started paying for it in the Spring.  I found it on the Wisconsin Craigslist and Ross, the gentleman who owned it, allowed us to make payments.   Moving it actually cost as much as the purchase price!
I need to decide what I am going to do with the furniture in this room and I need your help!

Now it really is a Music Room!  Unless you count Michael's bagpipe chanter and my rarely used violin.
If I paint this piano will I end up in Dante's Ninth Circle in a frozen lake of ice?  Is painting pianos really a sin?

Though this beautifully carved piece is burled, some of the finish is damaged.

The carving on the front is breathtaking.  Isn't it?

Please note the damage.  It could be repaired without much ado but should I?  What would you do?

This grotto stool is waiting to be painted.  Grey?  Gilt?

This armoire, heretofore referred to as the Archangel, but henceforth known as St. George (Thank you Thersites!) is in the Music Room.  I have been tempted to paint this but *shrug*, I just don't know what to do in this room!  This is the room that opens into the Family room, one door opening and two window type openings.  I have never liked them.  We were supposed to have them drywalled by now but veterinary bills took precedence!  The wall to the left has an odd opening to the front staircase. That will be walled over too.  Otherwise, we would only have one wall in the entire room!

This French chess table (Craigslist $200) with ormolu is also in the Music Room, as are the French cane chairs I found on Craigslist for $40 each!

This ex voto vignette is also in the Music Room.

This daybed sofa will also reside in the Music Room after I finish painting  it grey and reupholstering it!  This is the Craigslist photo.  It is currently in my garage.  I have chosen a lovely bird toile, in linen, to cover it.

Red bird toile fabric.

Should I paint the piano?
How about the armoire?
Why do I write a Blog if I can never make up my mind? Who do I think I am? All the cool bloggers show beautiful, finished photos of their homes.  Will my home ever be finished? Will I ever be a Cool Blogger?  Sigh.




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