Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Year in Review

Well, I thought that I had done an annual "year in review" post every year, but looking back, it appears I've only done them in 2008 and 2010.  So maybe it'll be a biennial thing, then.  Here's 2012 in review, using the first line of the first post of each month.
  • December:  "Found this article last night about the daily routines of famous writers.  I find it fascinating to think about the way people structure their days, especially when said days don't take the shape of a 9-to-5 corporate gig."
  • November:  "So it turns out that I take an awful lot of pictures, even when I'm not doing a 365 project.  And then I instagram them."
  • October:  "Thing 2, ensconced in the pillow/blanket fort his auntie built for him.   A week ago, this little guy was in the hospital with pneumonia, so I was awfully glad to be with him at his house tonight."
  • September:  "Have fiddle, will travel."
  • August:  "Photos for August 11th and 12th.  Montreal in clouds & sunshine."
  • July:  "I love the view from this screen porch (any screen porch, really).  There's a lovely lake view to the left, but this angle through the top windows and up into the pine trees is timeless and wonderful."
  • June:  "A bunch of pretty plants this afternoon at Prescott Park.  It was a beautiful day and I know this weekend will be rainy, so I tried to really appreciate it."
  • May:  "This was my view from bed this morning - faint, gray light on a rainy morning.  No wonder I didn't bound right up."
  • April:  "In the last few weeks, I've become oddly obsessed with gardening.  This is new for me."
  • March:  "Well, it's definitely not as bad as last winter, but we got enough snow to cancel a lot of school systems . . . and the museum where I work on Thursdays!  They close based on the local school closings, so I got a text from my boss this morning at 7:16. "
  • February:  "After a busy morning at one museum, I attended a workshop this afternoon at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem.  The panelists talked about how their museums use technology to further museum education, whether through blogging, Twitter, or interactive iPods in the gallery."
  • January:  "Another two-for-the-price-of-one post!  Here are my photos for the first two days of 2012."

Friday, December 28, 2012


A few images from our Christmas week!

A toast to Scotland, with our 21-month old Tokyo.

Xmas Eve Mai Tai! 

Daddy/Uncle has Christmas treats! 

Two of my loves. 

Schwagetty schwag. 

A quiet moment with new Pokemon cards. 

My mother-in-law has adorable Xmas lights. 

2nd family, plus dogs.


Dinner party aftermath. 

Not a bad way to spend an afternoon . . .

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas Prep

As of yesterday, I was off work for 11 straight days. Squee! Here are a few Instagram images from the past week and weekend - it's been a lovely run-up to Christmas so far.

Puppy walk in the snow.

So hard to leave these doggies behind when I head off to work in the morning. Happy I'll have time home with them next week!

Woodland creature sugar cookies in the making! (for the cookie social Wednesday at one of my museums)

Coworker schwag.

Made a hammock of light w/ a set of net lights! Right where we hang one of the real hammocks, too. ;)

All decked out for the holidays.

Wake 'n bake does NOT look the same in your early thirties.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Winter Wonderland

The view in the backyard this afternoon.  We had more snow fall after the picture was taken, but I really wanted to capture the cuteness of my little garden house in the snow, with its wreath and overhanging pines and snow-covered roof.

A lot of people liked the photo on Facebook and my best friend's mother left a really kind comment:  "Stacey, you make everything and everyone around you so warm and cozy! It's lovely."  Her comment made my heart glad.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Another PABSOI Moment

This sad little courtyard is at one of my museums. It's been cleaned up a little in the last year or so, but it needs a complete overhaul. I ended up talking with a visitor over the weekend about how her aunt used to be the caretaker at the museum in the 1970s. The aunt lived in the ell on the righthand side here. Her kitchen window was that first floor guy in the far right corner. It looked out on this courtyard, which the niece said was in much nicer shape back then. Can you picture it? A bit of grass, some paving stones for a patio, maybe a bench, and a nice little bistro set . . . I can almost see it now.

UPDATE:  Now I'm actually feeling inspired by this project.  This is the kind of thing I'd love to be able to do to update the look of our property and make the whole campus look more cared-for.  However, I'm leery of having the time and resources to work on it alone, so perhaps I can get a volunteer team together this spring or summer.  Here's another photo from inside the building (from those two joined windows straight back) so you can see more of the weedy mess.  But think of how nice it would look with some mowing, new plantings, and attention.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Classical Christmas

There's something about the holiday season that takes me back to childhood.  I know nostalgia is a big part of how we celebrate holidays, but I think it's nice to indulge in it a bit, as long as you're making new lovely memories as well.  Christmas for me always brings back memories of riding in parents' and grandparents' cars to holiday events - classical Christmas music on the radio, leather seats chilly at first then warming, the world dark & cold outside the car window.  And don't get me started on how young & happy lying on the floor and looking up at a lit Christmas tree makes me feel!

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Friday, December 07, 2012

PABSOI, part the fourth

Another little corner that could use a nice bistro set, right?  I mean - get rid of that orange cone, slap some paint on that wall, throw a bistro set & some plants in there and it's a lovely little space!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

If I Had a Million Dollars (Plus)

Given that the Power Ball payment was so high recently, I spent a little brain power on my morning commute thinking about what I would do if we won a large amount of money.  Obviously, it's dependent on how much, but imagining it's like $500 million or some ungodly sum, here's what I'd do:
  • Purchase our home.
  • Set up a fund for property taxes and utilities.
  • Pay off all student loans.
  • Set up an education fund for Thing 1, Thing 2, and our PFCs (potential future children).
  • Set up a fund for taxes and maintenance at the lake house and the PEI house.
  • Put a bunch of money into our retirement account.
  • Set up a Scotland fund for biennial visits.
  • Make a number of one-time charitable donations to organizations in the fields of historic preservation, LGBT rights, environmental defense, animal welfare, and veteran services.
  • If any money remains, use it to seed a philanthropic foundation to fund future giving in those fields.
A little bit of sensible stuff, a little bit of philanthropy, and a little bit of fun stuff.  I like it.

Monday, December 03, 2012

City of Blinding Lights, Redux

I've got Edinburgh on the brain again . . .  This is not an infrequent occurrence, but tonight's musings were lit by two incidences.  I found an 1868 print of the Grassmarket (above) at work today and I heard U2's "City of Blinding Light" on the radio tonight.  These two occurrences contrived to plunge me headlong into a "missing Edinburgh" reverie, the likes of which I'd not felt for years.  Here's why.

I'm thinking tonight of my infamous (in my own mind) "lost post" on Enigmatic Snippets, my first blog.  You might remember that I stupidly lost all of the posts on that first blog in the great social networking purge of 2008.  I was sad to lose some of those posts, but none so much as the "lost Edinburgh post."  I've probably built it up in my mind to be much better than it really was, but I remember it being pretty damn good.

You see, I had just heard "City of Blinding Light" on the highway as I drove east on route 2.  Boston area residents know that driving east on route 2 around the border between Arlington and Belmont (known as Arlmont) gives you a fantastic view of the city of Boston.  You crest a hill and there it is!  I remember hearing the song and seeing my native city and feeling a pang of longing for my adopted city in Scotland.  And then going home to write about it on that old blog.

I wrote about how Edinburgh is a city of surprise - you're walking down a fairly normal, almost suburban thoroughfare and then down an alleyway comes a view of an ancient castle or an extinct volcano, surprising you out of the everyday.  It's a city of contrast - a walk around  the city can be dour & dark, wrapped in  the ghosts of many centuries.  Then without warning, mirth! and light! spill out from the doorway of a pub.

I've seen Edinburgh in sunlight, moonlight, and firelight.  There's something about the way that city looks in certain lights - it fairly glows.  I know no other sight like it.
Photo credit Monica Sherman

Saturday, December 01, 2012

The Writing Life

Found this article last night about the daily routines of famous writers.  I find it fascinating to think about the way people structure their days, especially when said days don't take the shape of a 9-to-5 corporate gig.  After the first of the year, I'll switch to a winter schedule of working one day a week (occasionally two) from home and it's always a bit of a challenge to adjust at first.  I hit my stride somewhere in February and I'm hoping that it will be even easier this year, with an office space separate from the house.  Here's hoping!

Friday, November 30, 2012

It's a Pup's World

I know I tend to post a lot of photos of the dogs, but come on . . . we have three of them.  They take up a lot of my time & attention.  And they are so. damn. cute.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Par for the Course

Yeah, no big deal - just looking at the grave of an Indian princess on a Monday afternoon . . . I love my job(s).

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Holiday Week

Some images from our Thanksgiving week:

Practicing my Thanksgiving table . . .  

The puppies resting up for the holiday.

Homemade cranberry sauce bubbling away.  Last year was the first time I did this and it really is very simple and tastes so good.  I'll never eat canned sauce again!

It was "birthsgiving" at our house, as my mother's birthday was the day before Thanksgiving, so we celebrated both on Thursday.

Working in my garden house office on Friday morning - first time!

Our spatchcocked turkey.  Cooked fully in under two hours!

A Mayflower beer cap on top of my burlap runner, with a hint of golden pine needle.  Artsy!

Two of the puppies snoozing under the table during Saturday's Thanksgiving brunch.

A little Charlie Brown tree for the side door from this place.

Big ass wreath for the garden house door.

And our tree!  Here we go into the Christmas season!