Sabbath Rest

"Almighty Ruler of the skies,
Thro’ the wide earth Thy Name is spread;
And Thine eternal glories rise
O’er all the heav’ns Thy hands have made."

--Isaac Watts (1719)

On the Move

I passed this little guy on the road. He was heading south. I was going north. But I stopped the car in the middle of the road to say "hi". But he had no time for conversation. He just glanced at me, and all I heard was the scritch-scratch of his sharp nails on the road.

Well, in case you were wondering like I was, porcupine do not hibernate. And there's the proof of it!

The End

I was a voracious reader as a child. But then adulthood happened, and I still read...but never as much as I feel I ought to. But when I do read, I stick almost entirely to classics. Last year I slogged my way though Tolstoy's Anna Karenina. Ugh. Really, that is one depressing book. Then I read something short and pleasurable, the title of which I can't recall. Then I moved on to Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, on the recommendation of a young friend, who avows it to be his favorite book. I think I started it about June of last year. It traveled with me twice to California (hence, the damaged spine...and leather too...just makes me ill), and I finally finished it in this, my quiet month of January. I must confess that it is far from my favorite book. It does end well (spoiler alert), but you do have to wait until the very, very end. I think it will be a long time before I try out another Russian author.

I'm thinking of working through the works of various British authors this year...mostly poets. Any recommendations?

What are you currently reading?

Baby Knits

Saturday, I went to a baby shower for soon-to-be-born twins! This is my second friend to be pregnant with twins in a year's time...and both with a boy and a girl! It was fun to give cozy, snuggly, baby knits on a day when the whole world was talking about snow.

Sabbath Rest

Butternut squash, coated with olive oil and sprinkled with cinnamon, waiting to roast for Sunday dinner.
Round this table, here to pray
First we thank you for the day
For our family and our friends
Gifts of grace that heaven lends
Living water, daily bread
Countless blessings our God sends.

- traditional child's mealtime prayer

Sleigh Ride

A couple weeks ago, we headed north to the White Mountains for a sleigh ride! A sleigh ride is one of winter's greatest delights, in my book! We went to this farm and B&B, which has been in the same family since before the Revolutionary War, when the King of England granted them the land. (I think the date on the sign must relate to the building of the barn or farmhouse, not the granting of the land.) That sort of family continuity is rare, even in New England, and made me so appreciative that the land is still in use and is cherished by the family.

Here comes the sleigh!...and it's whiskered driver! Don't you love it?

We shared the large sleigh with two other families, both of whom had small children. The first part of our half-hour ride had us descending down a hill. I loved hearing the heavy clop-clopping of the horses' hooves and the skidding sound of the sleigh runners on the frozen ground.

Then we leveled out and cut across farmland used for growing corn and hay, before entering those woods. A river ran along one side of the wood, and our party spotted a bald eagle flying quickly upriver!

On the way home, we stopped in at the Mount Washington Hotel to enjoy their views and for cups of coffee and hot cocoa by the fire.

Now imagine yourself standing on that lovely rounded part of the porch...

...and if you were standing there, this would be your view of Mount Washington, with the tip-top shrouded in clouds and the cog railway line highlighted in snow. So pretty!

I can never decide if enjoying the view from the porch is best...or warming oneself by the fire.

Got to love that moose!

Snowy Day, Baking Day

Another four inches of fresh snow fell on our little corner of the world last night. This is the scene that greeted my eyes this morning. The beauty of fresh snow just takes my breath away...every time.

And since I didn't have to go anywhere today, it was a great day to clean the pantry, give the kitchen sink a good scrubbing, and spend the day baking. Now we are freshly stocked up on clean AND granola AND almond biscotti.

Snowy Days, Winter Delights

Are you familiar with Nora Murphy Country House? Nora is a wonderful source of inspiration for all things New England...gardening, decorating, seasonal vignettes, and so much more! I highly recommend you spend a few delightful minutes (or maybe an hour or more!) enjoying her website, seasonal online magazines, Facebook, and Instagram account! It's my daily dose of New England pretty!

This week, Nora Murphy Country House tagged me in an Instagram photo to show my favorite winter decor. Oh goodness! It was difficult to choose. I love feathering our nest for winter. There are the perennial favorites: duvets, tartans, candles, anyplace by the fire. And then there are some of my favorites this year...combos of hotel silver and mercury glass, and pewter and stoneware. 

And in the end, I chose this image...a cozy cashmere throw, a chair near in a window for basking in the sunlight, a table for games, and a pewter platter with nuts for cracking. 

I stock up on bags of mixed nuts around the holidays (and especially 50% off afterwards!), so that we can have a platter out all winter. My guys, especially, love to feast on them.

Today, this is my view from one window of our home. Big, downy flakes are softly falling. It's a great day for working on a puzzle, nut cracking, and steaming cups of hot cocoa.

I hope your winter day is delightful! Stay cozy and snug!

Last Day in the Big Apple

Aside from our visit to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, our last day in New York City was our favorite time there! No grand plans this day...just small and quiet enjoyments throughout the day...mostly of the food variety.

We started the day by a quick venture into the fabric district, where I stocked up on velvet ribbons and rayon bias tape (perfect for tying up all sorts of things).

Then we reboarded the subway and journeyed down to SoHo to go to Laduree. We had long anticipated going to this Paris-based bakery's NYC location, so we were thrilled to be here!

The beauty of their pastries just took our breath away!

We ordered a late breakfast of fruit, pastries with orange marmalade, freshly-squeezed orange juice, a chocolate pastry, and hot chocolate. So delicious! The service was most genteel, and many of the patrons seated about us were speaking softly in French. We felt positively transported to Paris!

Then we moved back uptown to see the Flat Iron Building.

Selfie with the Empire State Building in the background.

Time for a little shopping now! Colette visited the Brooks Brothers Shop. And while she was there, I visited Beecher's Handmade Cheese just across the street and picked up some little items to take to our hostess and to the guys back home.

Then we went further uptown to Ralph Lauren's new coffee shop, Ralph's, where we enjoyed our second cups of hot cocoa of the day (no, neither of us are coffee drinkers).

Then we went from there to Ralph Lauren's gorgeous Madison Avenue store...four stories of exquisitely designed items! And the marble staircase is pretty fine too!

We had such a great time, and are so grateful to my dear friend for hosting us and making some great memories possible!

First Visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Visiting the Metropolitan Museum of Art had been a dream for quite some time! Even though we'd visited New York City on other occasions, there was really never enough time on those visits to devote to a day at The Met. But this was top of our list on this trip!

First of all, before we even entered, we could tell that it was enormous, and there was no way possible that we could see it all. 

The Met has an outstanding collection of historic costumes at the Costume Institute. Due to the fragile nature of textiles, it is not on permanent display, but special exhibits are held a couple times a year. We headed to the current exhibit, celebrating fashion icon Countess Jacqueline de Ribes, as our first stop of the day. 

Some of her beautiful gowns. This beaded one in the foreground was just exquisite.

But it was this sleek and elegant piece that captivated me. It is a masterpiece of construction, as I believe the entire dress is made from just two cuts of fabric. Simply amazing!

Then we moved on to the art of ancient Egypt.

I couldn't resist.

The architecture of The Met itself is a work of art! I emerged through this doorway, trailing in the distance behind Colette, and she turned around and said, "Wow! Don't move! I have to take your picture here. It's amazing!" And after the photograph, I joined her and turned around to see what was so spectacular. "Oh," I said, "It's Pemberley!" Actually, it's the facade of the American Bank building rebuilt onto one wall of the American art wing of The Met, but I felt like I was at Pemberley!

Won't you join me for dinner? Wouldn't it be fun to say that!

Another beautiful gallery. We didn't visit this one, but I was glad to get a peek at it from an upstairs window.

After giving our feet a little rest and consulting our maps as to where we wanted to go next, we moved on to the medieval weaponry galleries. We had California neighbors who came back from a trip to New York raving about the medieval weapons, so we were most excited to see them!

But first, I paused to admire this lovely bronze by Auguste Saint-Gaudens. He had a home and garden in New Hampshire, and now I'm quite sure I need to visit there someday. 

The suits of armor are not only astounding in their construction, but many are so beautifully intricate in their embellishments. Just look at all the little figures etched into this one.

I would love to hear the sounds these made as they clattered along a dirt road, wouldn't you?

This is an ornamental, rare, Renaissance-era helmet. It would have fitted over a standard metal helmet. Just fascinating!

And the rest of the pictures are of my favorite paintings from the day. Enjoy!

This one really resonated with me. Ahh...this is January. Resting. Restoring. Bliss.

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