Instead of participating in the hustle, bustle, and craziness that is Black Friday, I love spending my day after Thanksgiving at home and in our own quiet little town.  Yesterday, I spent about an hour driving around and cutting winterberries from the swampy areas.  The winterberries are particularly bright, beautiful, and plentiful this year, so finding them is easy.  Cutting them is not.  They like wet soil, so they are frequently just out of reach in the marshes.   Armed with a pair of loppers and outfitted with rubber boots with good treads (the better to keep from slipping on the frost-coated leaves and grasses, AND the better to stay dry when  if a misstep lands me in the water), I set out on my quest.  My reward was a huge armful of them!

Last Glimpse of Autumn

The Old Farmer’s Almanac is predicting a “bitterly cold and snowy” winter for our neck of the woods, and it is certainly headed quickly in that direction.  Our temperatures lately have been more seasonable for January than November.  We’ve already had a dusting of snow, and we have another chance of snow coming Sunday and again on Tuesday.  Today, I took down all the autumn decorations.  And Max brought up all the boxes of Christmas decorations!  But before we bid a final farewell to autumn, here’s a last glimpse of our New England autumn.

Happy Thanksgiving

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!

Christmas Shopping in Boston

Today, Colette and I went Christmas shopping in Boston!  What a fun day!  We drove in, rode the subway, ate an amazing turkey, raspberry, and brie melt on croissant at Cafe Vanille in Boston’s Beacon Hill area, did some window shopping and real shopping, and finished the day with steaming hot cups of dark chocolate hot cocoa from L.A. Burdick Chocolates!

We explored all four floors of the Ralph Lauren store.  Goodness!  The most gorgeous shop I’ve EVER been in!

And we visited the Jack Wills store, purveyor of British goods.  She found that these two were not very good conversationalists.

By the end of the day, we’d bought: one gift, a festive dress for Colette, some wrapping paper, and a couple of ornaments.  Once in a while, it’s fun to be the country mouse in the big city!

Sabbath Rest

Good thing we got the raking done yesterday, because THIS greeted us this morning!

"Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;
His love endures forever."
--Psalm 118:29


Today was raking day.  Even though we raked in the afternoon, it was so, so cold!  The temperature was about 34 degrees, and even when all bundled up, we barely kept warm with all that activity.  But the job got done.  and we had fun…flying leaves, crazy dogs!

Winter Preparations Almost Complete

Preparations for winter are almost complete around here.  Today was window washing, track cleaning, screen removal and storage day.  Now the windows are sparkling clean, and we’ll have more light in the house for the winter and better views of the snowy landscape!

Other preparations for the winter that have already happened are:
- the freezer is stocked with goodness from the garden and local farmstands: pesto, spaghetti sauce, salsa, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, snipped chives, corn, green beans, and more.
- the pantry is also stocked from the garden with: homemade jams, dried basil, dried oregano, thyme leaves, crushed sage.
- the beds are cozied with flannel sheets and duvets.
- the garden has been ripped out and composted.
- raspberry vines have been planted.
- the air conditioner units have been securely covered.
- the snow markers are lining the driveway.
- the lawn tractor has switched places with the snow blower in the garage, and snow shovels and salt are at the ready.
- the rain gauge and bird bottle have been brought in from the elements.
Just a few things left to do:
- snow tires need to go on the truck
- the raking needs to happen
- the perennials need to be pruned
THEN the snow can fly!


Before I ever had grandchildren, and to practice my knitting skills, I made three little upside-down flower hats like this one.  Each one was tucked away for the firstborn daughters to each of my children.  And today Melissa received hers!  Sweetness indeed!

Tasty Afternoon

One of Colette’s requests for our vacation was a visit to the Original L.A. Farmers’ Market.

It’s really not quite a farmers’ market, although there were a couple of vendors selling fresh produce.  It’s really more like an assortment of food shacks serving all sorts of tasty delights.  We visited the hot sauce shop, where we purchased two canisters of “Slap Yo Mama”, a spicy seasoning we adore, but can’t get in New Hampshire, and a bag of habanero popcorn.

Decisions, decisions about what to eat...

One of the more unusual vendors sold artisan hot dogs made from duck, venison, etc.

In the end, we all decided to try the burgers at Charlie’s, reputed to be one the best burgers in L.A.  Quite tasty!

Afterwards, we went to Dylan’s for some treats of the sweet variety.

In case you’re wondering, it consisted of gummy sharks, palm trees, and cell phones.

And lastly, we had a trolley ride through The Grove (an outdoor mall), which was already sporting its Christmas decorations.

Western Hay Ride

While we were out west, we had a delightful Sunday afternoon hayride at our friends’ farm.  Our guides were our friends, really like daughters to us.  A jolly, beautiful time was had by all in the waning golden sunshine and the hay wagon.

These two, our friend in the blue scarf and Theo, are such kindred spirits!  They just have to look at each other and they both laugh!

50th Anniversary Party!

So we are back from our vacation in California.  I have so many pictures to share, but I thought I’d start with the main event!…my parents’ 50th anniversary party!
The adorable sign (made by my niece or nephew…not sure who) that greeted guests as they arrived.
Getting everything pretty with flowers and food.

My mom’s silk organza wedding gown, so lovingly preserved all these years.

Friends and family from far and near gathered to honor them on their special day!

The photo of them cutting the cake 50 years ago.

The cake was a re-creation of their wedding cake, and they reenacted the scene for everyone!  Technohubby and I used their cake topper on our own wedding cake 25 years ago.

It was a wonderful celebration of a very devoted couple!  Love you, Mom and Dad!

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