Behind My Red Door

Behind My Red Door

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Spring Giveaway!!

In honor of the arrival of Spring,


and to thank all the followers of the new A Primitive Place Magazine blog,


APP is having a very special blog giveaway!

To find out how you can win one of these wonderful tobacco baskets made just for the winner by my friend Pam from BasketNPrims just click ~here~ to get to new APP blog!

012This versatile well made basket will be a welcome addition to any primitive home! The winner will receive one tobacco basket – other items are for display purposes only.


Thank you for all the kind and heartfelt comments on my last post. I know so many of you are also having some tough days with illness – yours or your loved one, loss of jobs or homes or many other stressful situations.

Sometimes we wonder, 'What did I do to deserve this?' or 'Why did God have to do this to me?' Here is a wonderful explanation I received in an email recently.

“A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going wrong ~,she's failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away.

Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like a snack, and the daughter says, 'Absolutely Mom, I love your cake.'

'Here, have some cooking oil,' her Mother offers. 'Yuck' says her daughter. 'How about a couple raw eggs?' 'Gross, Mom!' 'Would you like some flour then? Or maybe baking soda?' 'Mom, those are all yucky!'

To which the mother replies:'Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves.But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake! '

God works the same way. Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times. But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good! We just have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful!

God is crazy about you.He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning. Whenever you want to talk, He'll listen. He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart.”

So no matter what you are going through right now, I hope your day is a piece of cake.


Today I am thankful for:

The clear blue sky and brilliant sun outside my window.

Mr. Red Door’s first round of golf in this new season.

The hard working crew that picks up our trash and recycle each week.

The UPS, Fed EX an USPS workers who deliver my mail and packages in all kinds of weather.

All of you for coming by and making this part of your day!

Until next time ~ warm hugs, Linda

Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring greetings and belated thanks!

Happy Spring!!

After gorgeous sunny skies and warm temps last week and over the weekend, today here in New England we greeted spring with some wet snow. It’s a bit easier to take in late March knowing it will melt very quickly. On Friday when it was just over 60 degrees, Lili and I spent the afternoon outside. She loved scooping up the snow, filling her pail and dumping it in the driveway to melt.


Today all the grass is covered with 2 inches of the white stuff again. But even though it was dark and gray outside, it was sunny and bright Behind My Red Door. This year I continued a very long tradition of forcing forsythia branches to bloom early to welcome Spring.

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If you have never done this, it is very easy! In late February or early March just cut several branches, bring them inside, put them in warm (not hot) water and make sure to replenish the water as it gets low. In several days they will bloom and give you a brilliant show of bright yellow. My mom did this every year, often in time for my birthday on March 11th. I have done it every year since we bought out first home.


Besides ushering in spring, t’s been extra busy since I was last here. I celebrated my birthday with my family and they brought Chinese food so I didn’t have to cook. I was a bit distracted as a lot went on that day including the tsunami Japan, and my dad taking a trip to the ER. Thankfully my sister took him and it was nothing life threatening but a medical issue that still needed immediate attention and thankfully he got that. He is in rehab now and doing as well as can be and will be going very home soon.

Some very dear friends gifted me and I am way overdoing sharing these delights with you.

Jill sent me this really neat rocking horse all the way from SC – the metal looks and feels very old. He is living on my whaling shelf in hubbies office right now and quite happy there...


Loretta, from Under the Wild Cherry Trees blog sent me this great redware inkwell and quill that look great on my desk…

003…she knows I love me some redware!! And if that wasn’t enough, she also stitched up this delightful spring pin keep just for little ol me. Isn’t it sweet?? 024

It is sitting in the wonderful tobacco basket I ordered from my friend Pam from Basketsnprims blog. When hubby first went to work out of college (for the company he now works for again), he was assigned to a project  in North Carolina in a little town that had not much more than the power plant and tobacco fields. On a visit to see him with his parents, it was there that he proposed to me for the first time. So when I saw this tobacco basket on Pam’s blog, I knew I had to order one.018

If you have a copy of the spring issue of A Primitive Place magazine, you will know who MADE this awesome candle holder for me!! That’s right – the very talented Kris of Simply Prim blog. Can you believe she made that?? It’s perfect on my big red shelf in the living room. 011

And when Audrey was here the day after my birthday, she came bearing gifts too! This cute little bowl was a gift from Bonnie. It looks great on my new make-do buttery, don’t you think? 024 (2)

And Audrey put together this sweet spring basket for me. See those eggs? They are antique darning eggs! I remember my nany had one similar to those. They will be staying out year – not just spring! 030

Thank you to those sweet friends for my gifts and to everyone else who sent cards and wonderful birthday messages. You all made a difficult day much easier to get through.


And then there is this very special redware plate. You see, my folks gave me a card with some birthday money.  when I started to protest and tell them they didn’t need to do that, that they had already given me so much in my lifetime, my dad stopped me. He said that this may be the last time he can ever give me a birthday gift and he wanted me to buy something special with the money. Okay, that was enough for me! The tears just flowed!

And then I decided I would indeed find something special. As I said,  I love me some redware, so when we went to the Gingham Goose  I brought home this wonderful redware plate. It will always hold a very special place in my heart….019


I also got to do something I have waited almost 30 years to do!!  I had the honor of spending some time with my daughter Jen while she tried on wedding dresses. It was a very special moment watching her come out with what just may be THE dress ~ she looked liked a princess! The wedding is not until the fall of 2012 so it is too early to order a dress yet, but she fell in love with one special dress and so did I. Of course I took lots of pics and I know you all love sneak peeks, so here is a little one…


…you didn’t really think I was going to show you more than that did you??


Remember Mother Duck who nested here the last years in a row behind this fence between our garage and front doors??  She has been back and dug out a nice hole in the bark again. We are hopeful that she will lay her eggs here once again.

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I want to congratulate my dear friend Sherrie for having her gardens featured in Judy Condon’s Simply Gardens.

Sherrie puts her heart and soul into her gardens and they are simply gorgeous.  She has so generously shared many pictures of her gardens with me and the readers of A Primitive Place magazine as well. Congrats dear friend! You are so deserving of this recognition!


I also have been busy painting a few more things and I will share those with you another time. Right now I have date with some handsome dancing stars!!

Today I am thankful for:

The arrival of spring!

The web cam Lili gave me that allows us to Skype with loved ones.

My sister Chris for all she is doing to help our folks.

The dedicated staff at the JHCC for caring for my dad.

Mr. Red Door for going off to work each day, making it possible for me to spend time with Lili, my folks and other special people in our lives.


If you haven’t done so yet, won’t you consider clicking ~HERE~ to donate to the Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami fund?


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Kitchen, bathroom and life changes…


I know when some of you read this post title, you were probably thinking – ‘ I wonder if Mr Red Door FINALLY agreed to painted cabinets’ – well don’t hold your breath because he didn’t and I have all but given up hope that he will. A few friends have teased him about that in last several weeks, and they have seen his resolve! LOL As much as I want them painted, I also want him to be comfortable in his own home too.

So needing a project to get my mind off some stressful things happening with our folks, and a waiting game we were playing about a job situation, I decided I needed to come up with another alternative to give me a bit of a new look in the kitchen. I really like my both wall paint colors and my stenciling so I wasn’t going to change those. Instead  I changed a few other things and as with many of us, I was inspired by other primitive homes. 

After photographing Kathy’s buttery for the fall issue of A Primitive Place Magazine..buttery

And Audrey’s buttery for the spring issue…442


…I really wanted to make my own buttery. I tried to come up with  the perfect space for one, but lacking that, I had to get creative.  Using the new one of a kind shelf I bought from Country Mischief recently, I came up with a very modified version of a buttery.  So this…k8

became this!! 006

With things I already had on hand and just a few new additions from my recent shopping trips, I filled my new shelf  rather quickly…026

..and as  you can see, I moved the table against the wall and it gives us a lot more space to move around…007


..and I moved my spoon rack to this wall over the microwave… 014

I am now thinking about painting the antique dresser I use for the microwave. I held off for years thinking that when I painted the cabinets I would be glad I left the maple natural. Now that I know I am not painting cabinets there is too much wood in the room for me. So now I need to decide what color. I do have a large jar of Caromal Colours Pumpkin…015


Someone recently asked and yes, we use the large crocks for trash and recycling. Mr. Red Door cut the wood for the covers and I painted and distressed them and added knobs. The smaller crock holds the kitchen size clear trash bags for trash, and the larger ones holds 2 brown paper grocery bags. In our town, recycling is mandatory and paper goes together so that is one bag, and we mix glass, cans and plastic, so they are in the other bag. The 2 bags fit perfectly side by side in that big one. 009

I did some minor tweaking over on this side too.016


Now wouldn’t these look wonderful painted?? I mean no offense to anyone who joins my hubby in their love of oak, but these have just never done it for me…

…but I am still extremely thankful that I have them. They serve us well and they make Mr. Red Door happy. And that counts for a whole lot in my book. 050

Well after all that,  I was left with a wonderful tombstone cupboard made from reclaimed wood that no longer had a home….160

..but it didn’t take me long to come up with a new home for that!! After a redo of the inside color from red to this warm color, 059(which is a mix of a few different colors and then aged heavily)….

…it now has a new home in the bathroom!116


and after…048


I think it gives the room a whole new feel.  Of course I then had to do some minor tweaking in there as well..014




I’d love to make the top of this vanity into the dry sink look someday…042

using this for inspiration. Be still my heart…395

I can dream, right??


Speaking of dreams…

…back in December a few years ago, Mr. Red Door left the only company he had ever worked for since graduating from college. I am going to brag about him a bit now, because I think quiet hard working men like him don’t always get the same attention they deserve or as much as their more vocal (and blogging) wives.  I’m just sayin….

So right out of college he started working there – starting at the bottom, he worked hard and long hours, never using all of his vacation time, rarely ever taking a sick day and never getting overtime. Like many other breadwinners, (why do they say breadwinners – shouldn’t it be bread earners??) he just did what needed to be done. He  went back to school more than once  to sharpen his business and management skills. He kept a calm head and talked softly (mostly)  but when he talked, he said what mattered. As a result,  he was well respected in his field, moved up the ranks and had a wonderful job and was there for 32+ years. Quite an accomplishment. Over the years, he had passed up many outside job offers. 

But then in the fall of that year, a job offer with the opportunity of a life time came to him that gave us pause to reconsider. After months of research about the company and it’s founders, a lot of hard thinking and praying about what was right for us at that point in our lives, he accepted that position. It was a great and we had high hopes for the future. But then 2 years into the job, the unthinkable happened in the financial world with the banking crisis. That company, like so many others, struggled and had to lay off the staff. We decided we could not look back and say “if only”. We had saved well over the years and we knew we were going to be OK.

Since that time, he has worked at times and taken ‘temporary retirement’ at times, enjoying golf in the morning and spending time with me (and Lili) in the afternoons.  But we have decided that we are still too young to spend down our hard earned retirement savings and pay for health insurance on our own (especially with a wedding next year and a grand daughter to spoil).  And so, as of yesterday, he started back with the company where he spent most of his life working. Right now it is on a contract basis for a particular project that requires his project management skills but God willing, something more will come of it because it is our dream that he can finish out his career where he started it. We are so very thankful for this wonderful opportunity and I am thrilled for him that he was welcomed so warmly by so many old friends and co-workers. The amazing part it that it is literally right on the way to Lili’s house so I can stop there after picking her up and she and Bampee can spend some time together on his lunch hour. What a blessing!


F.Y.I.  I very often get questions asking about details from past posts so I have been taking some time to go through old posts and labeling them. I have now added the label gadget to my sidebar for your convenience. If you have a question about something in my post, please feel free to check the alphabetical list of labels to see if that subject is listed. If so, click on it and it will take you to all older posts about it. Thanks blogger – that is a great help!


Welcome to all the new folks that have stopped by for the first time!! I hope you enjoyed your visit. And to all the kind people who continue to leave uplifting words about my mom’s condition, thank you! Geriatrics and nursing homes is the only field of nursing I did before we started family and before I changed careers. It pains me that so little has changed with the treatment of Alzheimer's in over 30 years since then. The new meds certainly do not help everyone and they can’t reverse the disease. I pray that future generations see marked improvement in treatment and eventually a cure, and don’t have to suffer the same anguish in seeing their loved ones slip away like this.

Today I am thankful for:

New opportunities for Mr. Red Door…

My afternoons with Lili as we find a ‘new normal’ for just us two girls…

No serious injury – head or otherwise - when my son in law to be fell and hit his head really hard on ice in this week (SCARY!) …

My dad’s newest health concern not being serious…

And that my FIL is feeling a lot better than he was two weeks ago!

Thanks for making Behind My Red Door part of your day today. Please feel free to leave a comment if time allows. If not, that’s ok too – I totally understand!!  Thumbs up

Until next time – hugs, Linda