Sunday, December 03, 2006

Little Things in New England

Following Within and Without and Ces' sharing of their favorite keepsakes, I'v walked around my house looking for things that matter. Some have just appeared for the holidays, and others, like Dolly and Esther and Mildred, collect permanent dust. I"m not sure what any of this says about me, but here it is for what it's worth:

I apologize for the poor quality of this photo. The original painting is breathtaking. I treasure it. The artist is my friend.


jb and I boughthis painting by Robert Cardinal in Provincetown on lay-away. We mailed him $ 100 a month until it was paid off. Robert told me the sky stayed this color at sunrise for less than 45 seconds. He only had time to mix his paints. In our house, the color changes all day depending on the level of light in the livingroom.


This angel was a gift from jb's sister Cindy and tops our Christmas tree every year. She is in honor of our springer spaniel, Rosie, who was such a special dog I won't even try to describe her.

These two stoned fired rabbits were a gift to me from jb for our 10th anniversary. They always make me happy. If you look closer, you will also see a photo of Jessica and Rosie. It's true that Rosie is wearing a fashionable straw hat.

3. Our tree was brought in today and tonight I put the lights on, as I've done for 25 years. And, as you can see, only half the lights are working as of this writing. This is also the way it's beenfor 25 years: never once have the Christmas tree lights all worked at the same time.

I bought this oak bureau on my birthday when I was quite alone in the world and visiting a client deep into back farm roads. The bureau was sitting in the front yard of a farmhouse with a for sale sign on it. I bought it for $ 60, somehow fit it into my car, and spent the rest of the day happy that I was giving myself a nice birthday.


I took this shot too soon. There are now an additional half dozen more santas, some vintage, some hokey, some strange. The shot to the left is of two of my favorite possessions: first, the handmade clock my then-husband and I paid $ 60 for--payable not in money but in sugar, cigarettes, and whiskey; and to its left, the painting my parents had in their diningroom my whole life, until I took it from them for my own selfish enjoyment.


This is Esther and her daughter Mildred. Esther gave out Halloween candy this year. She has been in the family for 15 years or more, always taking up room on the couch. Sometimes our friends and guests sit on her by mistake and we immediately have to ask them to move and then check to be sure Esther is alright. One day jb brought Mildred home without consulting Esther. It was not a happy scene.

Here are the Christmas trees on the livingroom mantle.

You won't find me baking many cakes, but I love to bake around the Holidays. This cake was whipped together with the help of Duncan Hines Extra dark chocolate cake and Betty Crocker creamy white frosting. My personal theory is that even cake mixes stir up the best of memories.
This is Dolly. She's around all year, but Christmas is her favorite holiday. Her ribbon can change depending on the occasion.

OK, so you might have wondered if I were strange. Now you know I am. And I haven't even introduced you to the rubber lizards in the back yard, or to Emily Rabbit, who gets in and out trouble all the time.

Happy holidays.

11 comments:

  1. No you are not strange. You are very special. Your collection reflects your classy taste, both you and JB. Your "things" have sentimental value and each has an incredibly rich and warm story. They are all displayed against the backdrop of a beautiful, delightful, colorful and bright home. With Rosie in it, I can only imagine happiness inside that place you call home. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. awwww, ces, thank you. the woman with the pearl necklace is a top highlight in my world!

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  3. That bureau is beautiful! What a find.

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  4. I really like the angel you put in that tree and that cake sure looks yummy! I wonder what it's like to have real Christmas tree instead of the store bought plastic ones we have over here. It must be nice.

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  5. menchie, i have to say there is nothing like a real christmas tree. the scent alone is enough to push you into a holiday spirit. i'm lucky to live where i can buy one for $ 35 and enjoy it for a few weeks.

    :)

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  6. You and Ces are really fast women ! Thanks for sharing your keepsakes. It's an interesting thing to make such a post too. I plan to do it also, but it will take me much longer. I'll give a sign when I'm ready. I added a link to your blog.

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  7. I am sick and tired of expensive real Christmas Trees. Every year I spend so much for a tree. We got a small one yesterday for the price of an arm and a leg. I am breaking down and buying a fake tree from Sam's Club. It will cost even 3 more times, a good elegant one but it will pay off in three years and I don't have to worry about fires. I can leave the tree on all night. My problem is convincing those three Americans who live with me in my house who want a real tree but leave the main set-up and cleaning up job to me.

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  8. hildegarde: can't wait to see your keepsakes. thanks for the link--i like that!

    ces: i think the cosmic rule is that the person who sets up and cleans up gets to decide. those 3 Americans best decide what kind of tree they want before you hightail it to Sam's.

    :)

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  9. All very lovely stuff, KJ. And the descriptions make them all come so alive.

    I too am especially taken by the bureau thingy you got for $60...

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  10. Your treasures look treasured. The paintings are wonderful, especially the one by Ces.

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  11. Far from strange you are unique, warm, loving, and creative! Which all make for a beautiful home that makes you feel comfortable as soon as you walk in. I love that bureau and the story behind it -- I got a bureau for Iris in the same way. It's maple from the '40's and the man who sold it to me (cheaper than any of the ones I was considering new and not as well made) had had it in his house for years and refinished it himself. I could comment on each photo, but then I could leave no room for others! :) xoxo

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