Yes, can you believe it?? The very last post for 2009!! Wow – did this year go by fast!! And boy, December flew by for me! All those weeks of preparation and days of cooking and then Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were over in the blink of an eye. It was especially meaningful this year to have our little sweetie pea Lili at our celebrations. Of course she didn’t understand much more than the fun of being with so many people and the crinkly wrapping paper that she wanted to put in her mouth, and another new toy to chew on, but it sure made it more fun for the rest of us!
We really missed not having Mr. Red Door’s parents here for our Swedish Christmas Eve but his dad was too ill to make the long drive and he can’t fly. And my mom was under the weather on Christmas Day so we missed her as well. We still we managed to have two wonderful celebrations with too much food but just the right amount of love and joy.
Despite a lingering cold and cough, I spent the weekend un-decorating the inside and by Sunday afternoon, I had everything packed away, save for a few winter decorations, and I am enjoying the cleaner less cluttered look. As I have been saying for a few years now, sometimes Less is More! Here are my simple winter decorations along with a few new treasures from some very dear and special friends ~
While cleaning after Christmas I found an old kit and managed to find a few moments to make myself a new lamp. I already had the old jug and the lampshade so the total cost $0.00 – the best kind of project!
One day this week my friend Jill came down from Maine for what is becoming our monthly outing. As usual, she spoiled me with some hostess gifts including this wonderfully prim candle holder – isn’t that kewl? I love how it clips on the pages of the book!
Jill is still buying prims for the time when she has a larger home in SC (whenever her home in Maine sells) so I took her to a few places she hadn’t been too yet and one place that was new to both of us. With the winter sun shining, we headed west of My Red Door and our first stop was in Spencer at Spencer Furniture. This large store has a section dedicated entirely to primitive decor. We both wanted this primitive chair and since we couldn't decide who should bring it home, we decided neither of us could have it. <wink wink>.
I fell in love with this island – the other side looks the same and the drawers pull open from side to side. Of course I’d have to reconfigure some walls and rooms to bring it home and I didn’t think Mr. Red Door would go for that. So I left it there. For now.
Jill found 2 wonderful iron candle holders, and 2 prints of great primitive portraits. I found some Olde Century paint for the dining chairs – a winter thyme project - and a small quilt to hang on the railing that I would dearly love to replace with a half wall. When you come inside the literally behind My Red Door, on the right up the stairs is a railing that is half of the living room wall. It makes furniture placement more difficult because you can see the back and underside of those pieces from the foyer and when coming down the hall from the bedrooms and kitchen. I have found that quilt hanging does a lot to limit that view. This one is perfect with it’s black, mustard and dark red prints and plaids.
Our next stop for was lunch at the Historic Salem Cross Inn. From their website ~ “The Salem Cross Inn is named for the witch-mark found on the front door-latch of the Inn. In the town of Salem and throughout the Bay Colony this mark was used to protect their inhabitants against "ye evills of witchcraft and diverse other manifestations of devilltry."
Since the Inn has been restored by the Salem family, led by Richard Salem, the pun on the name decided the title of the Inn. Furnished throughout with American antiques, the Inn displays the nation's only known operating Roasting Jack, a c. 1700 device the innkeepers use to cook beef, game and fowl at the huge hearths.
The original King's Grant of the Salem Cross Inn was made to a grandson of Peregrine White, the Pilgrim child born on the Mayflower as it lay in Plymouth Harbor. For eight generations members of the White family lived here, through Queen Anne's War, the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War and numerous Indian raids. John White was killed by the Indians in Brookfield in 1710, prior to the building of the main house. The original ell with its "borning room" and walls lined with crude hand-made bricks to deflect Indian arrows awaits restoration.
The area, historic in Indian Wars, was crossed by the Bay Path, the Hadley Path and the old Boston Post Road, and it was a favorite camping grounds for the Wampanoags, whose chieftain, Philip of Pokanoket, is remembered for King Philip's War. Relics are still to be found in freshly turned fields. The choice of the house site itself was dictated by the ever present fear of Indian attacks, for in the cellar, not too far from the giant central chimney square, flows a steady stream of pure, cold spring-water. Legend has it that when the house was preparing for possible attack by Indians, pots of water were placed in every room against the use of fire arrows, and the smaller children were told to hide in the cellar in a recess within the chimney base.”
We both enjoyed a hearty portion of the Butternut Risotto and even had enough to take home for another meal~ “Maple roasted butternut squash and caramelized Spanish onions simmered with orzo pasta “risotto style” and finished with sweet cream, parmesan and pecan butter.” Can you say Yummo???! The restaurant hosts events such as a traditional Drover’s Roast and Fireside Feasts. It is a quaint and delightful place to share a meal. The antiques made us drool!
We then continued a short distance west to the center of the small town of Ware to a small shop on Main Street called Wendy’s Country Attic (no website). It is a cute little store in the midst of the quaint downtown area. We found the offerings to much more country than the prim/colonial items we traditionally look for. She was having a great sale on Christmas decor if you are in the area.
And then we headed back east to Angel House Design - 24 Fiskdale Road - Route 148 Brookfield, Massachusetts 01506. From their website ~
“ANGEL HOUSE DESIGNS is a firm known for its fine design work and quality reproductions executed with meticulous craftsmanship. Designs are developed by architect Valentin J. Dzelzitis. The sofas and chairs are based on authentic antiques and were originally designed for the restoration of our 1731 home, the John Watson House, which now is the shop for Angel House products. We invite you to visit our authentically restored saltbox in scenic Brookfield. “ It was fun poking around and seeing the old house and some of the wonderful old antiques. My red chair happens to be an Angel House design.
And then it was time to head back Behind My Red Door and before Jill left for home, we enjoyed some of my delicious home made beef barley vegetable soup. It has become my tradition to make a huge pot of it with leftovers from our Christmas Day prime rib. I enjoy that I cook once and we get several meals after the hard work of the Holidays. And it always seems just in time for the cold and snow weather we are now getting.
And so that brings us here ~ to the end of another year. Tonight we say goodbye to 2009 and hello to a 2010. Mr. Red Door and I are not venturing out in the snow and ice and instead will enjoy a quiet dinner in our warm home.
2009 brought many changes in my family ~ and I like to thin that the good outweighs the bad Behind My Red Door. Like most of the world, our finances took a hit in 2009 and we were forced to revaluate some of our plans and goals. But as I have said before, thankfully for my DH and his diligent savings and hard work, the impact is nothing like it could have been. He enables me to remain the Keeper of the Home ~ a real blessing. On a lighter note, our daughter Jen got her first shiny brand new car. Mr. Red Door enjoyed a few months of temporary retirement and join a golf course and played every single day – sometimes 36 holes or more. I had a dream fulfilled when I got to see our home in print in both Country Sampler and Mercantile Gatherings magazines. But it is the gift that Angela and Jay gave to our family that outshines anything else that happened this year. And of course I am talking about Lili’s birth. Being a Grammy to this sweet darling happy healthy baby is more than I could ever imagine! She has brought Grampy and I immeasurable joy and love. We are so blessed to be a part of her life.
Now as we say goodbye to 2009, I want to send out a special thanks to all 537 of my followers and anyone else that has ever taken the time to read or comment or email me since I started blogging in April 2008. I am so honored and humbled that you take the time to come and visit with me. I wish there was a way I could thank each of you in person. When I started this journey, I could never have imagined how many new friends I would make and how many kindred spirits I would meet in blogland. You are indeed one of the best parts of the past year for me. In that spirit, I leave you with this, a New Year blessing especially for you my friends ~
May the road you walk be a smooth one,
May your troubles be few — if any,
May the days and years that lie ahead
Be healthy, happy, and many,
May you have friends in abundance,
May the sun shine bright around you.
May serenity touch you gently every morning.
May peace be your companion through each day.
And in every restful hour, may dreams renew your soul.
May your world be a wonderful place to live,
And may God's love always surround you.
Thank you as always for stopping by and making Behind My Red Door part of your day!
Until next time – hugs, Grammy Linda
PS - I’ll be back next year with some of my Favorite Things and I think you’ll be pretty surprised ~ at least at a few of them!