Well, here we go my darling girlfriends ~ yesterday, due to timing, I posted this before it was quite finished, but now, It’s all here, the links all work, there are lots of little rabbit holes for you to go down! Have fun! … MUSICA!
The sun this morning! Right where I was standing! Streaming through the windows, beaming light across the rooms and onto the walls . . .
. . . 40º and all is well!
A little bit of spring to thwart the grey and cold, brighten things up, remind us of what’s soon to come! Looks like Punxsutawney Phil might have been right this time! No shadow=early spring!I know, it’s too early, but I don’t care, it’s not hurting anyone if I start the celebration a little early (it’s my house, I live here, I have all the power! Or at least half. The good half!). I like to pretend, so what if it’s freezing cold outside, flowers and sunshine make me happy!😀 Got my Valentines mailed off. This one’s for my mom, something soft for her to cuddle and love, remind her of her babies. She’ll get it with a box of See’s Candy, our favorite “family” candy. (My grandma used to send me a big chocolate egg with walnuts from See’s every Easter💞. They have old-fashioned, red heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolate too ~ if you click on that link, there’s still time to make someone’s day!❤️ ⬅️ this is why I had to hurry to put this up!)
And, in the spirit of “Groundhog Day” (the very excellent movie), I’m still making new art for the new 2021 calendars. Keeping myself busy. I’ll show you what else we’ve been up to, but first, let’s do what we came to do, see what we came to see . . . let’s find out who the winner is for our Great American Cup Giveaway. (stole that from the British baking people!) Just so you remember, ⬇️ there they are.
For the lefties AND the righties! I hope you win! They would make very nice Valentine’s presents if you already have them!
You ready? The barrel holding all slips of paper with your names is churning away, round and round it goes, mixing and folding in the bits of paper, some of them breaking loose and flying around the room ~ “Barbara” and “Debbie” and “Andrea” and “Liz” ~ and “Carol” just floated by . . . but none of that counts unless it jumps into the beautifully manicured hands of our darling Vanna!And here is the very lucky catch, or winner, not a man, not a fish, it’s:
❤️ LaDonn J. from Iowa! ❤️
C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S ❗️
I will email you soon LaDonn ~ write me back with your address and those Valentines will be winging their way to you with love from me and all our kindred spirits!💞 Now back to our regularly scheduled programming . . . Joe and I took a little trip off-Island! This is us on our way home:
Look at that moon! With clanging buoys right outside our window. We’re on the “freight boat” ~ cars are not stored inside, so we have a view of the water all the way home.
The Snow Moon followed us to the Island as we were heading back after celebrating the 33rd anniversary of our very first date (that lots of you read about in A Fine Romance,
the moment I was very brave and took a chance that Joe, who I barely knew, was NOT an ax murderer, just a possible friend, way too young for me, and went away with him! (So happy I did!) So last weekend we took a little trip to celebrate our Happily Ever After.
The reflection on the water made a path right to us…
While we were watching, this big black cloud bandaid scooted in front of the moon and covered it!
Our reaction? “HEEYYYYY, wait a minute!”
So we did, wait a minute, and here comes the beautiful moon again. It was a perfect ending for the perfect small getaway. Came home all happy and raring to go! Some highlights of our trip . . .
We love to get a little history wherever we go . . . around New England you don’t have to go far to find it! We booked a hotel in Lexington and spent a couple of days immersed in the past! Saw so many darling houses from the car window . . . I happen to know for a fact that this one has magic in it, it’s Orchard House in Concord, MA, the home of Louisa May Alcott.💞
Lovely old homes are just part of the territory in this neck of the woods, big ones and little ones . . . some old houses turned into offices or stores.
I know you like to see them as much as I do!
Isn’t this a pretty paint color?
This yellow too, warmed the cockles of our hearts . . . it never got over 28º the entire time we were there, our cockles needed some warming!
Sweet old barn . . .
Creamy colors and picket fences . . .
I loved the Robbins House ➡️ click on “History” to learn more about it.
Simple, plain, and clean behind rock walls . . .
Hard to take pics from a moving car, I either get there too late and only catch a corner of the building, or I get just a smear of color, miss the porch, am too close or too far . . . you should see the ones that got away! I never get tired of driving around New England!
Our room at the Inn at Hastings Park had the cutest little fridge!
And this cozy fireplace I could turn on in the morning by flipping a switch to warm up the room while I made
tea because of course we brought our cups and a tea kettle! America is not like England, we are not provided with tea kettles in our rooms, we get coffee makers! If you want tea, you have to bring your own kettle!
And just outside our window . . . I see the moon and the moon sees me.
There is so MUCH to see in the Lexington/Concord area … it’s a little like Williamsburg, without quite the organization, but definitely with the history. MAS MUSICA?
This is Battle Green ~ it’s in Lexington where the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired. The statue is called Lexington Minuteman. We heard and read the whole story, where Paul Revere rode and how he was captured, and then the standoff . . . the drama, how the people living here handled the deaths and woundings of their neighbors, the fear, shock, and insecurity now that war with the biggest power in the world had come to their quiet little town.
It’s hard to imagine it happened on this lovely, peaceful open space with the most beautiful church. My fingers were almost frozen out there! Had to RUN for the car to thaw them out!
There are monuments with stories like this all over the park and it’s surrounded with lovely old homes. They have re-enactments here on Patriot’s Day.
Honoring the brave men who stood their ground.
Need I say more? They call our democratic republic “The Great American Experiment.” We have to take very good care of it,
for the future of our children.❤️
The establishment of our new Government seemed to be the last great experiment for promoting human happiness.💖 George Washington
These mark the graves of the 1775 Patriots. Reminded again that freedom isn’t free. (Next life, I’m coming back as a history teacher, I love this.)💖
And then we drove over to see the place where the first battle of the Revolutionary War was fought on April 19 1775, the “Birthplace of American Liberty.”
Right here, on Old North Bridge ~ a wooden replica of the one that stood there on the day of the battle ~ it spans the Concord River.
From the Concord Museum, this diorama shows how it looked that day! Massachusetts has a holiday that no other state celebrates called Patriot’s Day. It’s on the second Monday in April and commemorates the start of the Revolutionary War.
Eeeek. Can you even imagine??? There is a confusion here … the first shots were actually fired on Battle Green in Lexington…the British then marched on to Concord where they were met by colonists on this bridge . . . The phrase “Shot Heard Round the World” comes from the opening stanza of Ralph Waldo Emerson’s “Concord Hymn” (1837) and refers specifically to the first shot at the Bridge, on April 19, 1775.
“By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.”
I tiptoed down this road to exactly here and much as I wanted to cross that bridge (shiny with ice), I didn’t dare, it was the MOST slippery walk just to get to this spot where I was rooted ~ and my wrist had things to say about me trying, like, “Don’t even think about it.”
You can see this memorial to the British soldiers lost that day in the photo above with Joe, but it’s in shadow.
This historical home was on my left as I was looking at the bridge . . . it’s called the Old Manse. It was built on the banks of the Concord River just up the hill from the bridge for Ralph Waldo Emerson’s GRANDFATHER in 1770 … he was living here when the first shots were fired. Just looked out his window on a sight to behold.
Joe expertly slipped and slid his way across to the patriot side of the bridge just to get this photo of “The Concord Minuteman.” We learned about this statue when we visited the studio of Daniel Chester French (last year with Rachel and Paul), who went on to design the Lincoln Memorial. This elegant statue of a farmer with a musket and a plow was his first full-sized sculpture.
Charming downtown Concord, filled with history, cute shops, antique stores, thrift shops, ice cream stores, a cheese shop, restaurants . . .
This town is a great place to do Christmas shopping (love to do it when we travel!).
All of it, just down the road from Orchard House, so you know Louisa May Alcott and her family saw this same scene, only with horses and buggies (apparently, from the quote below, she wasn’t as impressed as we were) ~ here’s some interesting information about the newest version of Little Women.
The beautiful old graveyard, right downtown Concord, not shunted off to the countryside, these citizens of the past are still part of the action! I imagine they are forever contributing and still have a lot to teach us. Reminds me of a quote by Anne Sexton, “Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.”
Dads and Moms, grandmas and grandpas, aunties and uncles, sisters, brothers, teenagers, twins, babies, and oldsters, the days of their lives.
Works of art, a story for each one, and all handmade.
We discovered the MOST wonderful bookstore!! You will love it here. They have a whole long WALL of award-winning books, books that have won the Nobel Prize, the Pulitzer Prize, the Booker Prize, the National Book Award. A whole wall of storytelling genius to choose from. I was mesmerized reading the titles. Realized how very very far I have to go if I wish to get them all read. Which I do. Which I won’t. But my favorite word in the English language is still “Try.” So, I chose ONE. Because that’s all I can do, one at a time!This week I’ve been reading a lot and doing little work. That’s the way things ought to be. That’s surely the road to success. ❤️ Anne Frank
Joe got a book too, and off we went to the Colonial Inn for a nice long late lunch with books. Our favorite thing!
The Colonial Inn is a luv-lee historical hotel, with a restaurant that meanders into several different rooms, some with fireplaces that feel like an English pub.
We loved the food . . .
Joe was good, started with a salad, held this up and said, “What’s this?” We thought, radish? No, wrong shape. Carrot? Also a shape problem. We finally decided it was a beet, but we have no proof. I tasted it, it tasted like a not-too-crisp raw vegetable!
And here we are, reading and eating, exactly what I was doing the day Joe sat down next to me and asked me to go away for the weekend. Been doing it now for 33 years, happy as clams.💞
This is the book I bought, it won the National Book Award. Isn’t the cover beautiful? The gold parts shine! I’m really enjoying it, but of course! It’s an award winner! It’s beautifully written! Joe got Warlight by Michael Ondaatje. We could have stayed there all day!I cannot remember the books I’ve read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me. 💞 Ralph Waldo Emerson
We would never even think of going off-island without stopping at either Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, preferably both! I’m fine with living in a place where there are no chain stores, but the minute we leave home, we make a bee-line for these places (plus Taco Bell!). There’s a cooler with ice in the car, and we fill up with all the deliciousness these places have to offer, including, as you have seen from the beginning of this post, this springtime floral extravaganza!!! They even gave us a bucket with water to take our flowers home with us.
And LOOK at this irresistible thing. Yes, it went home with us too.❤️
I found the perfect card for Joe, but I knew he’d see it at check out, I wanted to surprise him so I just gave it to him in the store. He loved it, and then we put it back! P.S. I found his Valentine in another store when he wasn’t with me. 💞(Shhhhh)
We bought this little bouquet, for our next stop . . .
Yes . . .
I wanted to visit Louisa May Alcott’s grave on this winter’s day, in a deep and dark February, and leave her a Valentine of flowers . . .
We’ve been here before. This area of the cemetery is called Author’s Ridge.
Called that for good reason. Emerson gave the dedication for this garden graveyard and was thinking of all of us when he said, “When these acorns that are falling at our feet are oaks overshadowing our children in a remote century . . .” Thoreau is buried here, and Hawthorne too. Emerson is the quiet foundation of this whole area. He’s everywhere. His words are carved in stone. Such an interesting person, a mentor to the celebrity star of Concord, Louisa May Alcott.The cemetery is an elegant place.
Overlooking everything is a small stone that says, so simply, Lousia M. Alcott. Both times I’ve been here, her grave has been framed by mementos left by other visitors.
I took this photo when we were here in 2015. Always decorated.
Her grave held the only color in the entire cemetery. It was a lovely way to end the day. We left soon after to go look for the Snow Moon. I hope you had fun in Lexington/Concord! But for more history . . . go here!⬇️
I’m so excited to see the new three-night series beginning this Sunday called Washington! It should be wonderful. The award winning historian Doris Kearns Goodwin (“I’ve spent my life with dead presidents”) is the executive producer (the movie Lincoln was based on her book, Team of Rivals). Look for it Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday . . . February 16, 17, 18 on the History Channel.
“My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw.” 💞George Washington
Yes, Jack was thrilled to see us back home. But not quite as thrilled as me! The little wriggling fur-ball. I will never get enough of that face! 😍Bye for now dear ones . . . Off I go, back to the paintbrush and Groundhog-Day Calendar making! See you soon!
PS Here’s a little rock and roll for us, MUSICA . . .