Saturday, December 29, 2012

A Rainy Day in Portsmouth, NH

The day after our 'snowstorm,' there were some heavy coastal rains.
Of course that's the day Amanda and I had plans to drive up to
Three Graces Gallery in Portsmouth, N.H. to pick up her remaining artwork.

(this particular photo was taken by me in 2009 during another rainy day in Portsmouth!)
Sadly, this beautiful gallery where Amanda has exhibited her artwork for the past several years will be closing at the end of December. Kim, the gallery owner, has decided to spend more time working on her own art. And since she was at the gallery just about every day, that didn't leave a lot of time for her to pursue her own passions. So although we're very happy for her, our trips to Portsmouth just won't be the same without stopping in at The Three Graces. (Good luck, Kim!!)
Normally we wander around Portsmouth (even on rainy days like this), but on this particular day we were in a bit of a hurry, so after loading up Amanda's art we left the van in front of the gallery and just ran across the street to Fat Belly's to grab a quick bite.
 Someone told us we didn't have to put money in the meter because it was still the holiday season.
I still wanted to keep my eyes on the van 'just-in-case' we were misinformed and a meter reader or tow truck happened along! So how lucky were we to get the one table right by the window, with a clear view of the van!
I love tables with a view, and even in the pouring rain, Portsmouth is a fun place to people-watch. We saw people with umbrellas, people with dogs, people hurrying along, and people taking their time and enjoying a lovely, rainy afternoon (probably saying prayers of thanks that it wasn't snow or sleet! I know I was!)
The meals were delicious! Amanda ordered a grilled cheese with lobster...
.. and I ordered a veggie burger with a side salad. Delicious!!
All in all, a fantastic way to spend time with one of my two favorite girls in the whole wide world!
I hope you're all enjoying this week between Christmas and New Year's.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Midnight snow...

Our first snow has arrived.
I took these photos around midnight as the snow was coming down,
our first snowfall of the season (other than a dusting the other day).
The snow is always so beautiful when it first arrives, pristine and white.
The floodlight had been tripped by some little critter out in the yard. I love the view of our little yard when that happens, no matter what the season.

Wishing you all a snugly winter's day.


Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Miracle of Christmas...

And an angel appeared to Mary and said,
(Court, Christmas Angel, Nursery School Play, circa 1994)
 "Rejoice, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!"
Then the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God."
(Amanda, Chirstmas Dove, Nursery School Play, circa 1990)
"And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus."
And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them...

(Circa 1950/1960 manger that beloned to my mom)
...and the glory of the Lord shone around them;
and they were terribly frightened.
And the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid;
for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy
which shall be for all the people; 
...for today in the city of David there has been born
for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. "
"And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths, and lying in a manger."
Wishing you all a blessed,
... peace-filled Christmas.

Monday, December 24, 2012

The Mid-Century Department Store Santa...

(My sister and I visiting Santa at Jordan Marsh, Boston, circa 1958.
She's the cute one looking up. I'm the one catching flies.)
Go to bed early tonight, boys and girls, because you-know-who will be making his rounds!
Ho Ho Ho!!!!!
Merry Christmas, everyone!!!!
who posted old photos of her family with Santa!


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Photo ornaments, the stars of the tree

Every year the tree gets a few new ornaments.

I've added a photo ornament of both girls to the tree every year since they were born. That box of ornaments does not get put downstairs with the Christmas decorations. It's kept in the top of the bedroom closet for safe keeping. It is that box of photo ornaments, of the girls and other loved ones, that is the most fun to open each year.

Here are this year's ornaments, both recent photos of the girls. Their baby days were long ago as they are now in their twenties.
(That makes for a LOT of ornaments!
Probably not the wisest decision to go to a SLIM tree this year!)
The ornaments from Wal Mart were originally black. I wanted to lighten them up a bit so I painted them blue, letting some of the black show through in the crevices. I like them much better now. Before I hang them next year I'll give them a coat of high gloss polyurethane and maybe some glitter, but I was anxious to get them on the tree this year.
It seems like yesterday that their newborn ornaments were put on the tree...
...followed by their First Christmas ornaments.
This locket ornament is one of my favorites. I got it back in the early 90's (I think from Lillian Vernon) when the girls were little.
Of course I keep the locket open when it's hanging on the tree.
There's a picture of hubby from the 60's when he was in the Marines.
And photos of loved ones no longer with us, but whose memories we always hold close to our hearts.
(Late 1940's era photos of my mom and dad).

 Our four legged family is also represented on the tree...
those who are with us and those who no longer are.
(These are photos of some of our loyal companions who have crossed the rainbow bridge.)

I have to share these adorable tinsel ornaments I purchased a few years ago. If you are an animal lover, you must check out one of my FAVORITE Etsy shops, OldWorldPrimitives. I purchased a set of 3 different CAT ornaments...
...and 3 different DOG ornaments! Are they not the cutest things ever?
(Yet another photo oranment in the background... My sister and I visiting Santa back in 1958 at the Boston Jordan Marsh Department Store.)
And what tree is complete without at least one celebrity photo ornament?
Years ago the girls met Fred Savage of The Wonder Years when he was appearing in a play.
The NICEST, most down-to-earth celebrity you will ever meet!!!!
(Taken at the Cape Cod Playhouse in Dennis, MA, summer of 1998.
Santa Caps, moon, other embellishments added by me, of course.
I hope he doesn't mind that he's part of our cherished Christmas tree decor!)
Wishing you all a peace filled, Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Possibly our last tree for many years to come

 This may be our last tree for many years to come. It's been this way since we got Baby a few years ago. (See my "The Cat Who Stole Christmas" blogpost from our first year with her.)
 It starts with her jumping onto the pie safe. (Look at the glare as she realizes she's been noticed.) Normally a ham for the camera, she knows what she is about to do is a no-no. But in less than a minute, she has forgotten all about me and has now focused her undivided attention on....
 The Christmas Tree.
Within moments...
...the batting begins...
...and that is usually followed by a trip across the bannister to the back of the tree...
... where she finds even more ornaments to bat at.
Note: Normally she is picked up and removed from the tree immediately when she starts these antics, but for the sake of this one blogpost, I allowed her to be her normal curious kitty self.
(Just so nobody is worrying about Baby, the drop from the bannister to our split entry foyer is only a few feet. Nonetheless, I do try to discourage her from climbing across it.)
Here she is in action, thanks to my little camera video.

 I'm joining Claudia at Mockingbird Hill Cottage for A Favorite Thing Saturday this week.
Stop over and share a favorite thing of yours!
Merry Christmas, everyone!

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My Vintage (ever growing) Night Before Christmas Book Collection

Every year, without fail, I come across copies of The Night Before Christmas while searching second-hand stores for vintage goodies for our Etsy shop.
And every year, without fail, I cannot resist purchasing several I don't already have for my own ever-growing collection, started when my girls were babies (they're now in their 20's). These three books are this year's additions. Let me share the illustrations in case a certain edition 'speaks to you' and you want to track one down for yourself!

This first one is illustrated by Ruth Sanderson, an amazing artist!
(It's the large center book in the top photo)

It's not a very old book, with a relatively new copyright date of 1997.
There's an incredible amount of detail in the illustrations...
... and the colors are so beautiful.
There is so much for your children to be looking at while you're reading the story.
I can't say enough about this edition and was so happy to come across it!
The next edition (the copy on the left in the top photo) is a little bit older, copyright 1986, with old fashioned illustrations by TIEN.

The illustrations are whimsical and will delight children!
(Love that comforther Mama and Papa are snuggled under!)
Again, I think any child would love looking at the pictures in this book as they follow along with the story!
The third book I purchased this year (on the right side of the top photo) is a (c) 1984 edition with lovely illustrations by Anita Lobel.
One of the things I love about this edition is that it takes place in the city, whereas most versions take place in the country.
Again, there is a lot of detail in the illustrations...
... and they are just beautiful!
So those are the three copies I added to my vast collection this year. But if you'd like to see sample illustrations of even more copies of this classic, to see if there's a copy that you're really drawn to, just click on the links below to my previous Night Before Christmas posts:

Many of the copies I own are available on Etsy right now!
Here's a link to the hundreds of vintage Night Before Christmas books you'll find there:

The Night Before Christmas Books on Etsy
I hope you find a copy that speaks to you!
This week I'm joining
Cindy at My Romantic Home for Show & Tell Friday
Claudia at Mockingbird Hill Cottage for Favorite Thing Saturday.
Be sure to visit and share something of your own!