Friday, December 30, 2011

A New Year Beacon

From a little lighthouse somewhere on the Central Coast of California-
A Message of Light, Hope and Love. May you shine on in 2012!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Snowflakes Dancing

All over the world little dancers are performing in the annual Nutcracker ballet. I was no exception. Having earned my wings as a Christmas tree angel, I soon joined the corps de ballet of snowfakes, and finished my Nutcracker career as one of the Spanish (Chocolate) dancers in the Palace of theSweets. However, my turn as a snowflake was my favorite.

Still Swirling and Twirling, and Wishing you a Holiday Season filled with dreams of sugar plums and dancing snowflakes,

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Living with Grace

When she stepped off of the boat onto the Greek island she was surrounded by the Paparazzi, who thought Jackie Onassis had arrived. It was only my mother, Grace. I always thought she looked more like Elizabeth Taylor.

This December she celebrates her 88th birthday, and has begun a new chapter in her life. After living a busy and independent life, and a bad fall a month ago, she has moved into assisted living. It was something that we all feared, especially her. But my mother with her usual style and grace, has thankfully taken to her new surroundings. She is the "belle of the ball"!

Happy Birthday to this sweet lady, and all you other December babes,

Monday, November 21, 2011

Being Thankful

It's Thanksgiving - a time to share, and a time to reflect on all our blessings.

Gratefully yours,

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Yellow Bus Yellowstone

This antique luggage label was found among the belongings in my father-in-law's steamer trunk. It is a memento of his college summers working as a waiter at the Yellowstone Old Faithful Inn.

So when we spied this yellow tourist bus on the way to Yellowstone last month, we just had to follow it into the Park. Amazingly, two of those 1930's era tourist viewing buses still exist today.

Where the buffalos roam!

Yellowstone's Old Faithful Inn

Old Faithful - Ready, Set...


Faithfully yours,

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Cody Round-up

Tourist Stop No. 1 on our trip across the US was Cody, Wyoming. A cowgirl and her cowboy could be very happy here for days. Buffalo Bill Cody (the famous turn-of-the-century showman, known for his Wild West show), was one of the founders of this town. In 1902 he opened the "Irma" hotel named for his daughter.

The Irma's interior is filled with game trophies and family mementos from Buffalo Bill's time, including the famous long bar a gift from Queen Victoria.

You can "chow" down in the saloon/dining room with the other tourists, or dine "al fresco" on the porch with the locals, and listen to country western music.

Then mosey on over to the 'art deco' style theatre across the street to catch a live cowboy revue.

Yippee - the "Traditions West" shop, a source for vintage Western style in all its manifestations, is just a few doors away.

And if you come to Cody in the Summer...don't miss the nightly Rodeo!

Happy Trails Partners,

Thursday, September 22, 2011

What I Brought Back With Me

A wee bit weary from a long cross-country trek, but busy unpacking my souvenirs. I will be back shortly with some "happy snaps" from the trip.

(The above New Yorker cover by Mary Petty has particular signifiance to me. As a graduate student I worked at the Syracuse University Art Collection, organizing the archive of husband and wife New Yorker cartoonists Alan Dunn and Mary Petty). How sweetly Petty's illustration has captured the delight of collecting "treasures" while on holiday, and the joy of bringing them back home!


P.S. Le Garage Sale was a huge success. Thankfully, no rain. Many sales, but more went home as gifts to family, friends, and new pals Sophie and Bernadette. The antique French wine bottles went with young James who will display them in his new wine bar in downtown Geneva. Sweet Pea, our adorable stray cat, went back to his original owner, but after only one night away, he has found his way back to our family cottage. His next move is going to be to rural Vermont, with my three little nephews.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

I Can't Take It With Me Sale!

I may have brought it all back home with me, but I can't take it with me on the road trip. Here is a notice for my upcoming end-of-summer garage sale.

Still tagging,

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Summer Parasol

That's my grandmother, Florence Hubbard, (holding the second parasol on the right) at her Wellesley College Reunion.

I don't remember her, but the family cottage is full of her mementos.

Her school books, mostly on the subjects of Art and Natural History, have always resided on a shelf next to the fireplace. And in a dark corner in the hall, as if waiting for her return, is her parasol. It is there that I discovered it one summer, and it soon became a constant childhood companion. How did that fragile paper confection survive its career as a prop for my daily whirling, twirling and dancing on the lawn, fashion shows, theatre productions and dress-up parties? In quiet times, it shaded and guarded me from the noonday sun. This is one special family keepsake which will definitely not make this summer's garage sale. So its back to your corner, Dear Friend. Be patient, the next generation - little Emma, Mila or Lila Grace will soon discover your hiding place.

Still Whirling and Twirling,

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Just an Old Bag

It's not just any old bag mind you, but a special gift from a dear friend. This old handbag has my name on it. And when Bethany found it at a local estate sale, she knew I just had to have it. The previous owner, another Marjorie, adorned the front with our name in various colors and lettering styles. It seems she was a bit of a frustrated artist too. Over the years she lovingly mended the plastic trim with black electrical tape, in an effort to replicate the faux black plastic trim. This funky old bag is a reminder of just who I am, and never fails to bring a smile to my face.

With a bag full of love and gratitude,

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Le Garage Sale

Tis the season for garage sales. Every week the local newspaper arrives groaning with listings. And I ask myself: "Sale or No Sale?"

My adventures with garage sales began some years ago when I purchased the contents of an old house. That summer was spent cleaning the house out, and come fall I held a mega garage sale. I proudly sold antique white Victorian clothing for $1. a piece, and gave away box after box of old paper ephemera away. Since those days, I've become a bit more sale savy, and have hosted garage sales in just about every place I've ever lived.

I smile when I remember the garage sale in our apartment in Beijing (on the 18th floor of a highrise "foreigners" building). After hours, the doorbell rang, and in danced a bevy of the the building's maids who were looking for some great deals. Over the years, I've done my share of donating to local charities, and have left many goodies by the curb for fellow dumpster divers. Then there is the fond memory of our Aussie friends (who at my going away sale) chipped in to help, and to help themselves to our treasures. How nice it is to know that we left a little of ourselves downunder!

So it seems there is yet another garage sale in my future. Now that I am California based, I must empty out our East Coast storage unit, and ready the family cottage, (which is being passed to the next generation). Any tips from any other veterans of the garage sale wars out there would be greatly appreciated.

Wish me bonne chance,


Friday, July 1, 2011

Patriotic Concert - July 2, 1916

"And crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea!"

by Katharine Lee Bates

Happy July 4th, 2011.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Back in the Hammock Again!

Not quite a lady of leisure! But settling in nicely with mother and cat at the lake.

A Gift from the Finger Lakes

Savoring the Season,

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sweet Pea - The Return of the Native

Some of you may remember last summer when a scrawny little stray cat came calling at the cottage screen door. No one I asked knew its story, except that according to local legend, it had spent two winters alone in the old garage. We gladly offered our hearts and home to this little waif. Thinking it was a girl kitty, we named it "Sweet Pea". But this little cat was full of surprises. She was a he!

Come Fall, "Pea" went to board in town with my friend Sandy on Main Street. Right next door is The Historical Society, and both staff and visitors to the Museum were quite taken with the cat, (who never missed a chance for a pat or photo-op). But not so taken with him were my friend's other feline pet, or the neighborhood townie cats, who bloodied and bullied poor "Tux", (as he was now called).

A telephone call from Sandy suggested that it would be best for all if the cat returned to the safety of its summer lakeside retreat. So great - he's back! Not so great, the worry of finding him more permanent digs.

Yet, we were in for one other surprise. When I encountered a neighbor from way down the beach road, I asked her if she would like to have a cat. As I began my sweet cat sales pitch, she said "Why, that sounds like "Jacob", my neighbor's cat - but he disappeared last winter."

OMG! "Sweet Pea" alias "Tux", is really "Jacob"!

Looks like we're all home at last!


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Diving into Summer at the Lake!

We've packed our bathing costumes, and headed East to the Scenic Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York State, (where it ready feels like Summer!)

I am here for a few months, and will be reporting on some of the Region's shops, flea markets, antique shows, restaurants and wineries, as well as the return of a furry guest from last year's visit.

Everything is going swimmingly so far...except, that is, my antiquated computer dial-up connection. Got to love it!