Saturday, December 31, 2011

I Only Bought One!

Two photos/posts today! Please to enjoy the interior of the rare book room of The Strand bookstore (est. 1927) on Broadway. Sigh.


Me lying on my best friend's apartment floor with her dog/my doggie niece. One of the best parts about visiting NYC, in my opinion.

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Moveable Feast

At Cannibal NYC tonight. In heart-swooning love with the beer fridges in the entrance. <3

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Somebody finally started using up some of her Christmas gift cards (from this year & last).  Look at the haul from trips to T.J Maxx and Old Navy!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

'Tis the Season

Whew!  Busy last few days - spending time with family, giving and receiving gifts, and eating, eating, eating.  But I remembered to take a photo each day!  Please enjoy December 25th-28th.  And a belated Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Blessings & Light

I am so blessed to have my husband home with me this year.  In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it's sometimes easy to forget how much that means.  But tonight, when this candlelit photo was taken at my church and we all sang "Silent Night," he was right next to me.  And that means soooo much.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Second Verse . . .

. . . slightly different from the first.  Our dining room table, cleared of the wrapping materials of last night and ready for our dinner party tonight.  We're not hosting Christmas anything this year, so it's nice to think that at least our friends will get to enjoy our Christmas decorations.

Also - the plaid tablecloth and the silver candlesticks belonged to my mum's mother, who lived in this house for forty-three years.  I love that.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

No Rest for the Weary

Well, those weary of seeing my Christmas prep, that is.  I'm doing ok over here!  We had our weekly pizza night tonight - watched a bunch of TV and enjoyed takeout pizza, two things we really only do on Thursday nights.  Then, after the shows were over, I wrapped up the final half-dozen presents and off they went under the tree!

I'm pretty content this Thursday night.  I'm a bit tired from a busy week, but one more workday and I'm staring down the barrel of eleven blissful days off.  I'll take it.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sick of It Yet?

Getting tired of seeing my Christmas decorations yet?  Tonight, I wrapped a spare strand of lights around the banister and the pine garland that I put up weeks ago.  It's so lovely and bright that we don't even need to turn on the stairway light to go up & down.

I also added some newly arrived Christmas cards to the ribbon card hanger I made the other night for the back of the front door - will try to post a photo of that tomorrow.  And with the help of my handsome husband, finished off the last four cards & wrapped about 75% of the gifts.  Huzzah!


Tonight, the final Christmas decorations went up, including a new lit garland that Justin put up while I was at work.  It was heaven to pull into the driveway and see the front door (with its lovely wreath) all lit up!

After I got home, we baked 62 cookies for the staff & volunteers at one of my museums and 27 cupcakes, as well.  The cupcakes were meant for both the museum stuff tomorrow and for our dinner party on Friday.  However, half of them didn't get cooked long enough and collapsed after coming out of the oven.  So we decided to just salvage the good ones for our dinner party.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Home Sweet

I love my living room at all times of the year, but I really love how inviting it looks with Christmas lights on the tree and in the window.  Makes coming home even more more enjoyable!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Christmas Cookies!

A lovely day at the lake today, featuring pancakes, a soak in the hot tub, and Christmas cookies with the little monkeys!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Oh, Brother(s)!

 Two photos, and monkeys, for the price of one today!  Above are shots of Things 1 and 2 watching "A Charlie Brown Christmas."  Too sweet.  The shot of Thing 2 was actually taken from above/behind the chair he was in, because he hid his face when he saw me with the camera.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Big Present

A sweet puppy underneath her grandparents' tree. We're at the lake house this weekend and looking forward to some Christmasy family time.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Let Us Gather

Pictured here is the cool ceiling of Meadhall bar in Kendall Square.  I met a grad school friend and some other EMPs (emerging museum professionals) here tonight for happy hour.  Their beer selection is really impressive and definitely going to bring Justin back to try some.  Besides, with a name like that, how can an Beowulf-and-Old-English loving dude like himself not like the place?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Base Camp

Tonight's photo was inspired by this one over at Chez Larsson.  Hers is much better, but I kinda like mine, too.  After a long and kind of busy day (split between two museums), I had to endure a 90-minute commute home.  That's twice what it should be and the last 45 minutes was just sitting in traffic within 10 miles of home.  Boooooo.

However, I came home to a lovely glass of wine already poured and an equally lovely dinner.  That was followed by a few hours of lolling about on the sofa - drinking wine, admiring the lights on the tree, and reading stuff on the interwebs.  Plus a short dance party interruption.

I read a post on someone's blog today about their first year of marriage being equal parts "cocktail hour before dinner" and "sofa forts on the weekend" and I loved it.  If I can find it, I'll re-post.  Tonight reminded me how much fun my own marriage can be.  I'm glad I have it/him.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Don't buy into the Christmas industrial complex, man.  Tune in, drop out, and recycle your poinsettia year to year.

I hadn't expected much from this experiment - it really just stemmed from my desire not to throw the plant away after last Christmas.  There are some really complicated instructions out there for reflowering your poinsettia, but I just treated it like any other houseplant.  Kept it near the window in decent sunlight and watered it once a week.

And now here we are, less than two weeks to Christmas and as you can see above, at least four of the leaves have gone red.  Lovely!

Monday, December 12, 2011

A Little Late to the Game

Guess who took the photo for and ordered their Christmas cards tonight?

The poor pup, though.  She had been sound asleep, but we knew we had to get them ordered tonight, so we lured her downstairs with dog biscuits.  She looks like she figured out the trick and just wants to be back in bed.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Army Weekend

Two photos for the price of one today.  Saturday's is above, of a sergeant in Justin's battery giving the "artillery punch speech" at the holiday party.  The bucket to hold the punch and the various ingredients (9 different liquids, ranging from Hawaiian Punch to cognac) are behind him on that little table.  After the punch was polished off, a bunch of us went out on the town in Portsmouth.  Good times.

And someone was very happy to see daddy when he got home early from drill this afternoon!  Well, two someones, really.  :)

Friday, December 09, 2011

Prepare for Launch

Walking in the South End of Portsmouth today, I looked up and saw the above scene over at the Peirce Island boat launch.  It's the new gundalow, ready to hit the water tomorrow morning!

I had been hoping to go the launch, but I have to work at one of my museums (storytelling by the fire in our 1710 house, then crafting Christmas ornaments & doing a scavenger hunt back at the museum).  Then, we have Justin's army Christmas party at night.  Look forward to some . . . interesting photos from that one, probably very interesting once we get into the artillery punch!

Pay Attention

It's after midnight, but this is my photo for Thursday.  We were in town a few hours ago picking my brother-in-law from the airport.  Boston's Mayor "Mumbles" Menino declared a midnight deadline for the Occupy Boston camp to disband and leave Dewey Square.  It's now thirty minutes past the deadline and nothing has happened yet.

Obviously, time will tell and the story may be very different when I wake up in the morning.  However, for now, the eviction of one of the Occupy groups in a large city (MY city!) has remained peaceful.  I hope to write more about the Occupy movement in the future, but for now, here's what I think.  

There are major groups of people, protesting in major cities across the United States and despite the perceived lack of a clear message, there's something here.  People are unhappy with the way this country is going and they're not afraid to stand up and say so.  If you're not paying attention, you should be.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

The Good Husband

Hee hee.  The things I make him do . . . both for the blog and for Christmas.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011


Ta da!  I know the lights make a streaky line across the photo, but it's late and I'm tired.  And I love our tree.

Monday, December 05, 2011

O Tannenbaum

Front and center is our tree, in its not-natural-per-se-but-not-yet-settled-indoors state at the tree lot!  We got it in the door (not without stress), into its stand, and strung with lights tonight.  All while enjoying some Bailey's-laced hot cocoa.  Next up, ornaments!  Look for a decorated tree photo tomorrow night.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Party On

Today was a busy day for us!  Up at 8:30 to wrap some Yankee swap gifts and start some stuffed mushrooms for my work holiday parties this evening.  Then off across town for a birthday brunch for my sister, then back to her house for cake and gifts after brunch.  Then home to finish the mushrooms, "plate" the bagel chips & bruschetta, and walk the pup.  A little after 3, we were off to Work Holiday Party #1, then after a couple of hours, on to Work Holiday Party #2!

It is any wonder that we climbed right into bed when we got home around 9:30?

Saturday, December 03, 2011

A(nother) Walk in the Woods

Lovely afternoon today, hiking about Blue Hills with the husband, Sadie-pup,  five of my college friends, and Sadie's boyfriend Lou (the chocolate lab of my friends T and T).  Later Muppets movie plans were slayed by heavy traffic and our evening commitment to babysit the monkeys, but I was glad to at least have that hour or so in the woods with old friends and dogs.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Insert Sad Trombone Noise

Guess whose 46-year old kitchen door's lock finally went this morning?  Yup.  We realized as we were about to leave for Portsmouth (me to work, Justin to do some army stuff).  I called my mother (who is also our landlord) and she relayed the search for a locksmith to my sainted father.  Who then spent the rest of his day playing phone tag with locksmith companies and trying to get one who could meet us after 5 when we returned home.

He finally landed one (a Russian dude with a very thick accent) and he met us at the house.  Our lock was too broken to pick, so he had to whip out the drill and just tear it up.  Which, hilariously, didn't bring the dog running.  As Justin said on the porch over the noise of the drill, "Worst watchdog ever."

$200 and an offer from the Russian locksmith for a hit of weed* later . . . it was done and we're safely on the right side of the door.  And the old lock still works, as long as you lock it from the inside, so that's nice.  Potential robbers, take note.

*to relieve the stress of getting locked out, we think?

Thursday, December 01, 2011


Someone didn't know he was posing for the photo of the day . . .

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Focus on the Positives

Well, today's photo really should have been of my bumper as it lay on the ground, almost separated from my car, but I didn't have time to get that shot.  Sigh.

Here's the whole story.  One of my museums was being decorated for the holidays by a local garden club.  So when I pulled into the museum parking lot, there were cars everywhere.  Those old ladies must have each taken their own car, every single one of them.  I find a spot that I think I can squeeze into, but there's a downed tree branch to the left of it.  You can all see where this is going, right?

I should have thrown the car in park, hopped out, moved the tree branch, and parked the car properly.  Of course I should have.  But I was running late and was impatient and I didn't.  Instead, I pulled in, hooked the bigger-than-I-thought tree branch under my bumper, realized it, and as I backed up, the branch caught the underside and ripped the bumper off.  Double sigh.

Luckily, one of the volunteers at the museum knew a good body shop nearby, I was able to pop the bumper on enough to drive down there, and the shop ended up doing the work for free since it was under an hour and didn't require much new hardware (only a few bumper clips).  If you're ever in Ipswich and need body work, Bob's Auto Body is excellent!

Anyways, the above photo shows some of the lovely seasonal decorations that the garden club put up in the house, beneath a portrait of one of the gentlemen who lived in the house in the 19th century.  It helps that I have this kind of stuff to look at after a bad morning!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Boy and A Bike

Gah, I cannot stand the cuteness.  Today's photo is a bit of a cheat, as my mother actually snapped it this afternoon & sent it along to me.  This is Thing 2 astride the (slightly-too-small) tricycle that I gave his big brother for Christmas five years ago.  So freaking cute.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Fashion! (turn to the left)

So I consider myself squarely in the middle of the fashion scale (assuming there is a scale).  In my mind, one end of that scale is wearing sweatpants and baggy t-shirts everywhere (instead of just to the farmstand like I did on Sunday.  Kidding!  It was really stripey pajama pants, a college t-shirt, and a slim white fleece zip-up).  The other end is the haute couture level, which (again in my mind) involves really uncomfortable heels and lots of striding around in fancy cities like New York, Paris, and London.

I'm, well, somewhere in the middle.  If I can get away with assembling just a few cute outfits and alternating them all week, I will.  Since I work at three different jobs (on non-consecutive days of the week), I can actually pull this off most weeks.  Outfit #1 for Monday & Tuesday, outfit #2 for Wednesday through Friday, and outfit #3 for the weekend might contain elements of either weekday outfit.  Because it's usually only my husband who sees me every day of the week and he lets me be as scrubby as I want.

On the other hand, I like taking time to assemble those outfits and I usually luuurve the end product, which is the other reason I'll wear one outfit two to three days in a row.  Like my ensemble in the photo above (you knew I'd get there eventually, right?).  It was my Plan C on Thanksgiving (when Plan A and B's zippers wouldn't zip, the bastards), but I ended up loving it.  Green shirt dress (popped collar optional*), black belt, black leggings.  Simple, but able to dress up or down.

For example, I went barefoot with it on Thanksgiving (since I was at my own house all day).  Added a sparkly belt, silver bracelets, and knee-high boots to head out on Saturday night.  Played it more respectable today at work with the plain black leather belt and just a watch.  And if I wear it to Justin's Army holiday party next Saturday, planning to dress it up with said sparkly belt, dangly earrings, and pointy heels.  Love the versatility.

*I am not such a big fan of the super-prepster popped collar, usually seen on polo-shirted frat boys.  However, I think a popped collar on a woman, particularly on a button-down shirt, is much more Katherine Hepburn or Doris Day than douchey-prep.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Here We Go!

Now that our lovely Thanksgiving is over and we're (almost) done with our leftovers, we've moved on to Christmas!  We even watched Elf and enjoyed cinnamon-spiced hot cider on Thursday night.

I haven't broken out all of the Christmas boxes yet, but I did pull out our stockings, some garland, some fake poinsettia blooms, and a bow for our front door wreath.  On Saturday (after hosting Thanksgiving brunch for my high school friends & their significant others & offspring), we headed over to Wagon Wheel Farmstand to participate in Small Business Saturday.  All we had to do was spend $25 and charge it on my American Express card and AmEx would give me a $25 credit on my account.

We spent around $91.  ;)  But, it was all things we were going to get anyways, it was supporting one of our favorite local farmstands, and it was really only $66 after the credit.  We're going to go back for our Christmas tree later, but this time around, we got the small tree above for the porch, two little trees for either side of the fireplace, a 12" front door wreath, and a small wreath (really a candle ring) with some juniper berries and pinecones for the kitchen door.  Then, we went back today to get a 14" wreath for the garden shed door and a new pot for our Christmas cactus, which has outgrown its old pot.  Whew!

I popped a bow we already had on the front door wreath and we tucked the porch tree into a big basket, then adorned it with starfish from the existing porch  decor.  I love it.  Welcome, Christmas 2011!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Taste the History

A rare night out tonight at our old standard, People's Republik in Cambridge.  Loving this pint glass from Mayflower Brewing.  I first noticed it because I'm a historian, but it's also apt since I've been frequenting (does once every six months these days count as frequenting?) this bar for over a decade.  Kind of hope I always will.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Big/Little Boys

Uncle Justin playing Batman with Thing 1 and Thing 2. Who says little boys grow up?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

May I present the first turkey we've ever cooked in this house?  Obviously, there were many Thanksgivings hosted here in the forty-six years my grandparents lived here, but this was our first.

Justin did a great job with this lovely 20lb. bird and with a few exceptions (there always are), everything else went smoothly, too!  We squeezed a dozen people into our small dining room and enjoyed a nice feast.  The one (big) downer was that my sister had to stay home with a high temperature and nausea.  Her husband and sons came and we checked on her via phone throughout the day while she rested, but obviously we wish she could have been here with us.

I asked my father to say grace and he was good enough to do so.  He talked about being thankful for having both my family of origin and Justin's family of origin gathered together for the holiday.  He also asked us to remember my sister, who would have much preferred being with us instead of being home in bed.  And he gave thanks that we could celebrate this Thanksgiving with Justin, unlike last year when he was thousands of miles away.  I hope you all had a lovely holiday!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Grey Majesty

I had to work this morning, visiting a school to talk to some young students about the Native American history of the area.  It was a fun program, but a rainy, messy day, so I was happy to be done for the week around 11am.  I hurried out of the building to my car, but stopped for a quick shot of this lovely church.  Even grey stone on a grey day can sometimes seem to glow.  Love it.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Interesting Only to Me

I know, I know.  With all of the home improvement stuff, it's like Hodoeporicon is turning into a shelter blog.  Don't worry - that's not the case, but I do seem to spend many of my days doing things to spruce up the house.  When we moved in, my grandparents' 1934 Cape was in pretty good shape, but certain things needed repairing or replacing.  And of course, we had to assert our own style, which has done wonders for making the house feel like our home and not just the place I visited every week when I was growing up.

Because we both love to cook, I moved the kitchen table out of the kitchen months ago, and moved the fridge back in from the pantry to create a better work triangle.  We were using an older wooden kitchen island (that needs some sanding and refinishing work), but bought a new kitchen cart a few weeks ago.  It arrived, we finished assembling it on Sunday, and here it is!

(And yes, that awesomely crazy linoleum is next on the list.  We have four boxes of IKEA's Tundra laminate flooring (in "antique") chilling under our dresser to be installed in the calmer days after Thanksgiving.)

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Grammy Grams

Happy birthday to my very lovely mother, shown here unwrapping gifts with the assistance of her youngest grandchild.  Love you, Mum!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Classy Wheels

The amazing MG we saw at the gas station this morning. I've always loved that classic combination of British racing green and camel leather. Sigh.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


After a trip to IKEA today, we came home with these curtains, shown above in our dining room.  This is the room that will eventually have birch tree wallpaper on one wall and grey walls on the other three.  Right now, I think it seems a bit busy with the new curtains and the old stripey wallpaper, but that will change!

Friday, November 18, 2011

The House Smelled Amazing

The beginnings of a Guinness chocolate cake, to be graced with Baileys frosting for our dinner party tonight!  The goal was really these Irish carbomb cupcakes (which I made for St. Pat's last year), but we couldn't find the cupcake pan.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Scuttlebutt

So after a late night at the museum, I got up around 6:15 this morning and headed down to Hartford with the curator of one of my museums.  We were attending the second day of the 2011 New England Museum Association conference.  The workshops I attended were interesting (the view above is of people listening to a great period wallpaper reproducer), but the best part, as usual, was the gossip.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Always Exciting

A glimpse into the scintillating world of the museum professional tonight.  Above is a shot of my dinner, which I ate in the museum kitchen around 6pm.  I went in late (which gave me a lovely morning at home with the hubby and the puppy) and babysat one of our lectures until about 10pm.  I'm exhausted now, but home in bed.  Up tomorrow at 6am for a museum conference in Hartford!  I tell ya, the excitement never ends.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Monkeys in the House

We hosted these cute monkeys for dinner tonight.  Hectic, as it always is, but wonderful.  I made them pose for this photo with one foot out the door.  Auntie and Uncle love you, Things 1 and 2!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Mellow Yellow

Look - color! I'm exhausted after a 13+ hour workday, but I have just enough energy to post this shot of the pantry. That's two coats of "Moonlight" on there and no more tape, i.e. almost done! A few more touch-ups remain, but doesn't it look good?