Behind My Red Door

Behind My Red Door

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Changes Behind My Red Door

Good sunny October morning to you my friends! I hope this finds you well. October sure is speeding by isn’t it?  It is my favorite month and it just doesn’t last long enough. Just like the foliage, it is gone way too soon for my liking. Most years Mr. Red Door and I take a driving trip south in early November to see friends in NC and spend time with his folks in SC and we get to see the late foliage all the way down and it extends the season for us just a bit. I so enjoy that bonus but this year we aren’t able to do that so thankfully there are still leaves on some trees. Not as many since we had some torrential downpours yesterday, and the bright reds and oranges I like have mostly faded, but that is typical for this time of October. But they are replaced by bight yellows, muted golds and rusty browns. There are still enough to keep the landscape from being barren. And the light is really changing, isn’t? I do love the late afternoon light as it plays across the front of the house…

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Yes, October is indeed my favorite month of the year and I will keep the memories of the colorful images until I can enjoy it once again next year! I do try hard to live in the moment, but it is so nice to have something to look forward to, isn’t it?

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Now don’t fall off your seats when I say this… I really am not a shop until you drop kind of gal. When it comes to my prim shopping trips, it is truly more about the time spent with a friend or friends,  than the act of shopping. Jill can probably attest to the fact that I can wiz through a shop in no time flat. And when it comes to any other kind of shopping, I do it when I HAVE to. I don’t enjoy malls at all. I only go to them when I have to buy that brand name sweater for some young person on my gift list, but otherwise I avoid them. They seem so cold and artificial to me. Same for most retail stores in general. Shopping just to shop does nothing for me so I get what I need and get out. But when this little little sweetie pie needed some more warm clothes,  I was excited and happy to go  shopping with her and her mommy. We made a trip to the Carter’s outlet and while Ang picked some warm winter clothes for Lili, I kept her giggling away. She was a great shopping companion. She is chewing her fingers and anything else is sight and drooling up a storm, so a bib is her constant companion these days.

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Even this non-shopper had to get excited seeing all the cute things hanging on the racks – especially the Christmas dresses. They were positioned right near the front of the store so when soft hearted Grammy’s like me walk in, we make a beeline right for them. Ang picked out the sweetest dress and patent leather shoes and sweater. The shoes are soft and flexible like doll’s shoes. I had never seen them before and just had to get them.  Lili approved of the winter clothing as well as Christmas outfit I bought her. Well actually she would have liked to chew on them, but I took that as a sign that she approved – wouldn’t you? dress,shoes and sweater Now doing lunch is more my style so after shopping we went next door to the Longhorn and once again, she was the perfect date. She cooed and giggled and chewed her hands and was very content in Grammy or Mommy’s arms or her stroller. Then just when we were about done eating, she decided it was time – no she didn’t start fussing. She did something rather impolite and very stinky!! Fortunately there were no other patrons seated close by and her mommy whisked her off to the lady’s room to get freshened up.  012

Ahhhhh! That’s better! It was a delightful shopping and lunch date.

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We’ll have to do it again when she needs some spring clothing!

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I know you have heard me say it many times, but it bears repeating. I have met the nicest people through blogging and the forums and other online websites for primitive gals. And I don’t just mean ‘met’ as in we correspond, I mean we meet in person and become real friends. Now obviously it’s not possible or reasonable to expect we can do that with everyone we chat with online, but when the stars align and it does happen, well it has been one of the best things to come from my online experiences. And this week was no different.  I had a delightful lunch date with one of my long time blog follower’s Laurie. We have been chatting for some time now and we just hit it off.  We both love the prim/colonial look, we both live in split entry homes, we both have a new grandbaby (her second) AND what makes it possible is that we only live about 40 minutes from each. We finally made plans to meet and we had lunch at the Oxhead Tavern in Sturbridge. The Oxhead Tavern is really very quaint. It was built in 1820 and it was originally located in Brimfield, and was constructed as a meeting house for the town’s Congregational Church. The building was hauled to Fiskdale in 1834 where is served as an Irish Catholic church. In 1860, the building was converted into a shoe factory before becoming a tavern in 1940. It wasn’t until 1973 that The Oxhead Tavern opened its doors on the shore of Cedar Lake next to the Sturbridge Host Hotel. When there is an event in Sturbridge you cannot get in the doors, but it was a quiet day so we got seated right away. Besides having a delightful lunch, Laurie and I chatted for hours – it was like meeting an old friend! Laurie has invited me to her neck of the woods and I am excited to make the trip sometime and see her lovely home in person. In the meantime, she and some of her shopping pals are joining me, Jill, Bonnie and Audrey here the Sunday after Thanksgiving for a brunch, ornament swap and then we are all heading to Walker Homestead’s Holiday Open House. I can’t wait! Here are a few pictures of her wonderful home that she shared with me in the past – now I know you will be wanting to see more but she does not have a blog or a picture trail –sorry folks!  I’ll see if she can get some pictures taken when she is all decorated for the Holidays to share with you. Our homes have a very similar footprint but hers has much more of an open concept. I would love that for all the big gatherings I have. I really love the island between the kitchen and dining room and she he has so many wonderful antiques and prims.

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This view below is looking over the stairway into the den they created by opening up the walls. I think it is a great idea!

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Her hubby made the built-ins where there was once a closet. Pretty neat huh? And c an you see Pam’s Feather basket? Doesn’t Laurie have great taste?I can’t wait to see her home in person!den wall

Just as we were getting ready to say goodbye, we each had a little bag of goodies for the other.  Laurie gave me the sweetest fall towel. I love that the sunflower and pumpkins will allow me to use it from early fall until Thanksgiving time. Can you see the old mini tin strainer and the turkey cookie cutter? They already have a home in the kitchen and the Jack O ’Lantern ornament is on my Halloween tree. The little bag of bowl filler will come in handy next fall when I take everything out again. Thanks so much Laurie! I am looking forward to our next get together!016

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Some how in the midst of all that has been going on Behind My Red Door, I found time to paint my pouting chair. Right now the pouting chair it is next to my settle bench and my Halloween doll has made herself at home on it. I don’t think Lili will mind if I keep a doll or pillow on it until she is old enough to use it, do you?

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I just love children’s books. I did even before I became a preschool teacher. I loved taking my own kids to the library to borrow the classics and I started a large library of our own, buying them books for each holiday, season and birthday and just because. One of my favorite children’s author is Eric Carle. Someday, Liliana will own every one of his books and we will make a trip to his museum in western MA. Some of my favorite’s of his are The Hungry Caterpillar,  Brown Bear Brown Bear,  The Tiny Seed, I See a Song, and The Very Busy Spider. The past week however,The Grouchy Ladybug would have been a very appropriate read.

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Actually The Grouchy Grammy Linda would be more apt because we were inundated by thousands of lady bugs. We are told that the extreme wet summer caused an explosion of ladybugs in our area. And with the cold and snow last week, they started moving in from the fields and meadows to find warm homes for the winter. When it got to over 75 here one day, they apparently thought Behind My Red Door was just the right place to settle! UGH! I know they are beneficial because they eat aphids and are supposedly harmless – though our local expert says they can and do bite humans - but when thousands of them swarm the outside of your home and hundreds get inside Mr. Red Door’s office, well it is plain old GROSS!! I have a vacuum bag full of them.Thankfully that only lasted a few days.

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Now to the title of this post – changes Behind My Red Door. Nope, I didn’t move the furniture or knock a wall, or making a change like that. This is a change is how I will be spending  my time.  When I left my job in 2005, it wasn’t because I was ready to retire. I was only 50 after all. But that is what it has turned out to be – an early retirement. I have been so blessed to return to my role as the Keeper of the Home and not have to take a job outside the home thanks to Mr. Red Door. Oh I contemplated it for a time, but I knew that eventually there would come the day when  my folks would need me more and more. And I knew in time we would have grand babies and I would hopefully have a role in helping out with them. So in the meantime,  Mr. Red Door and I took several long road trips during the cooler months – something you can’t do as a teacher/Director. I did many  hours of volunteer work each week with cancer organizations. I made over a hundred cards a month for cancer patients and elderly shut ins. I kept busy with some big projects around here that had been waiting for me. I made time to catch up with old friends. I helped Jen move out and into her first apartment, cleaning and painting it. I helped with a wedding shower and planned a trip for our family with a wedding in the desert for Jay and Ang and then helped with the formal reception back home. In general I kept myself busy until I was needed in those two roles.

And now, the time has indeed come and I am excited to be say that I will be enjoying a few hours a few afternoons a week taking care of this sweet little Angel while Angela works part time. She is actually able to take Liliana with her –but while she is still so young, it will be my pleasure to help out a  few of those afternoons. I am so happy to have this time with Lili. She is growing so fast and I don’t want to miss a minute!

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At least one day a week, she will come here mid afternoon and when her mommy and daddy both get out of work, they will come here for dinner with Lili, Grampy and I.  Now I’ll need to really plan ahead to prepare dinner those days since I won’t be cooking while she is here. And some days I will go to their house for those few hours until her Daddy gets home – he’ll beat Mommy home those days. Come to think of it,  I will need to plan and prepare our dinner in advance those days as well, won’t I?  001

Below is a picture I snapped when Lili was chatting away to me the other day. She is so sweet – her nose flares, her eyes light up and she looks like she knows exactly what she is saying. LOL I sure wish I did! I can’t wait to have many more of these conversations with her!  006

 

And so this all means that I will have to be more organized with my time, using it more wisely to do the other things that I need to do and want to do. And being that it is fall leading into the Holidays, is it already a busy time of year. I have some projects around here that need to be done before Thanksgiving because then things really get busy. Sound familiar? I know it is like that for a lot of you as well. So I won’t be online as often or as much starting tomorrow, and I so that means my blogging will be less frequent. And it may take me longer to answer emails or comment on your blogs, but I’ll still be doing those things as best I can because I have come to enjoy our connections and sharing and friendships so very much.  But please do forgive me if it is not as often as in the past.

I am so very grateful that Angela and Jay are letting me share in this special time in Liliana’s life. I can’t imagine anything I would rather do with my time than be with her! 

If you want to joint the Gratitude Attitude Challenge, click here to go to Mercy’s blog. We are posting something we are grateful for in every post until December 19th.

Thank you as always for stopping by and making Behind My Red Door part of your day!

Until next time – hugs, Grammy Linda