Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween....

...from our cottage to yours!

Baby couldn't resist jumping into a pile of leaves, and it didn't matter to her that they were faux leaves on the dining room table. Good thing, because Baby is not allowed outside! But if she were, this is what she'd see in the yard right now...

More faux leaves, but this time in a whiskey barrel.

The maple tree in its gorgeous autumn attire...

... of orange and gold...

The hostas seem especially pretty this fall. The green has given way to a vibrant gold. And as you can see, it's hard to keep up with the falling leaves. They're everywhere...

Some stopped short of falling to the ground, deciding instead to rest on the garden gate wreath.

The side yard sports some shrubs and trees that have donned their orange and rusts, while others are holding onto their green coats as long as possible.

The ivy that climbs the chimney has started to turn...

And if you take a peek in between the leaves...

... you'll see little blue berries. I'm sure they are probably there every year, but to be honest I have never seen them before! One thing about blogging and taking (closeup) photos - you sometimes discover things that might otherwise have gone unnoticed!
I had hoped to post photos from some recent cemetery walks, including Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord, MA, but time has not allowed. Although it would have been nice to post those before Halloween, they will definitely make an after-Halloween appearance!!
Hope you and your loved ones, young and old alike, have a safe and Happy Halloween!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

...and because they said, "I Do"...

...I am here writing this blog post :)

(click any photos to enlarge)

Today would be my mom & dad's 59th wedding anniversary. This is my mom and dad when they were in their twenties. I think my dad is so handsome and my mom is so beautiful!

When I happened across this vintage bride & groom wedding cake topper last year, it reminded me so much of my mom and dad that I just had to get it. The bride is in a long sleeved white gown with black shoulder length hair (as was my mom) and the groom is in a black tux & bow tie with dark hair (as was my dad, right down to the same haircut!).

My mom and dad had no money when they got married. There was no professional photographer. Just a few photos that my aunt took. I'm afraid there isn't a one that is crisp and clear, but I can still see them smiling!

This is about the clearest of the few wedding photos that exist... my mom & dad cutting the cake. So it's only fitting that I have a wedding cake topper to remind me of this moment.

It's full of chippy charm, aged to perfection, just like my mom and dad's love. To this day, dad insists on being brought to mom's grave twice a day to visit her. An eternal love if there ever was one.

And this is my mom and dad, so young and happy, standing in front of the little Niagara Falls cabin that they honeymooned in back in October of 1951. I love you, Mom & Dad. Happy Anniversary.
Please stop by to visit Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show & Tell Friday. There are always so many inspiring bloggers who participate!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's that kind of day...

A rainy, balmy, autumn day. Perfect nap weather... A simple pleasure, indeed. I'm linking up to Dayle's Simple Pleasures Wednesday at her beautiful blog, A Collection of This and That. Stop by to add your own simple pleasure and/or to visit the other participating bloggers!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Silhouettes on the shade...

When I walked into the family room the other day, everything was silhouetted against the bright afternoon sun.

(click any photos to enlarge)

The robin's egg blue pumpkin in the white 50's parakeet cage...

... looked quite dramatic in shades of gray and black.

Yet another birdcage, sitting on the table lamp that we just put into the family room, houses Mr. Rat during the Halloween season.

"Say cheese!" Just look at that toothy grin sticking out between the cage bars!

And since we're also in the middle of moving more of Amanda's bedroom furniture to her new apartment, her tall dresser and mirror are temporarily sitting in the family room while we get things organized. It looked so pretty with the diamond-paned window and fall foliage reflected in the mirror.
Please stop by to visit Cindy at My Romantic Home where you'll find a list of bloggers participating in this week's Show & Tell Friday!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Brrrrrr = crock pot time

It is starting to get CHILLY here in New England! The proof is that I dug out my crock pot, which only seems to get used in the fall and winter months for some reason.

One large whole chicken plus a bag of baby yukon golds = YUMMY!!! We had steamed cauliflower and a tossed salad to finish things off.
Pour one entire bottle of BBQ sauce into the crockpot and toss in the washed bird (with the innards removed). I meant to cook it on low all day but because I got off to a late start I cooked it on high for about 4 hours (it was a good sized chicken) and then flipped it over, tossed in the potatoes and let it go for about another 2 hours on low. It was fall-off-the-bone perfect!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

In a cat's eyes...

... all things belong to cats (old English proverb).

And that includes the big screen TV.

It's just the latest in a succession of household items that Baby believes were put here just for her amusement.

She loves to lay on top of the TV and bat at the people or movements on the screen.

I can't even imagine what she would do if we put the Animal Planet on. She'd probably try to go right through the screen.

She eventually tires of playing...

... and settles down.

For about a minute.

In upcoming posts I'll share more of Baby's playthings. Items that used to be our playthings :)
Hope you all have a good week!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Frost is on the pumpkin...

Well, not quite, but it won't be long because the nights are getting mighty cold.

The windowboxes now sport gourds and (faux) fall leaves rather than summer blooms...

... and asters and pumpkins have joined the welcome bunnies on the front stoop.

Little Garden Gnome is clearly thrilled with the change in weather (Of course he is. He's holding a candy cane. He'll even be happy when it's 20 below).

The cherubs around the bird bath are giving thanks for this bountiful season...

...while more (faux) fall leaves have replaced summer's flowers...

Mr. Scarecrow and his trusty owl stand tall, ready to greet all the little trick-or-treaters come Halloween night.

Bring them on... I do believe this little cottage is ready!

Hope your holiday preparations are right on schedule!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Downtown Portsmouth, NH = Halloween Central

If you find yourself in New Hampshire between now and Halloween, you should make it a point to visit the quaint and colorful seaside city of Portsmouth! Amanda and I were there the other day to pick up some of her artwork from a downtown gallery, so we decided to make an afternoon of it.

Both the city and the shop owners go all out to welcome you. The New England /Autumn / Halloween decorations are everywhere and, while there, you might even run into some colorful characters!

You'll find the CUTE:

(I just had to get a closeup of the frog boots!!)

And you will find the SPOOKY:

You will also find the downright SCARY!

The shop owners have gone all out with their beautiful window and storefront displays:

(Okay, this one is not autumn related, but I had to include my beloved Beatles!!)

(I absolutely LOVED the bright blue storefront and the rainbow array of cookware on display in this Kitchenware store!!)

And if the gorgeous window displays aren't enough, you'll find yourself drooling over the many windowboxes, all so unique and beautiful!

Portsmouth is such a beautiful city!

Everywhere I looked, there was a picture-perfect photo opportunity... From this white spired church steeple...

To this bright blue wagon filled with flowers.

Even the fire hydrants are cheerful and colorful, totally in keeping with this city! (Speaking of fire hydrants, Portsmouth is a VERY dog-friendly city! Tons of people were walking their doggies and I noticed several kind shopowners had water bowls on the sidewalk outside their shops for the furry visitors to the city!)

There are signs to point you up picturesque alleyways...

... and signs that offer to teach you a new language :)

There are also signs that make you stop and think (click the photo to enlarge it so you can read the sign)...

After all your walking, shopping, oohing, and ahhhing, you'll surely want to grab a bite to eat, and Portsmouth does not disappoint in this area! You will find a HUGE selection of restaurants, cafes, and bakeries to choose from - there is something for everyone!

Amanda and I decided to brave it and eat at a sidewalk table (it was a tad chilly, but it was a GORGEOUS autumn day that we wanted to spend every minute outside! I'm sure in the warmer weather every outdoor seat is taken at this lovely restaurant!)

We ate at Popovers Bakery & Cafe and oh my gosh -the food was SOOO yummy! I had turkey pot pie in a popover and Amanda had tomato basil soup with a popover. Not a speck was left when we were done!

Amanda and I split a dessert. I wish I could remember the official name, but it was a lemon and caramel dessert and it was absolutely decadent!!! And look at the presentation - the perfect ending to our meal and to our afternoon in Portsmouth!

Before heading home, I picked up this beautiful New England postcard at one of the shops (Amanda picked out a cute one, too) to send to this lovely little girl, Reagyn (if you'd like, you can click on her name to read about her Postcard wish, and then the POSTCARDS tab on her website for her address). I heard about her through Tammy at Stitching & Shipping.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!