Behind My Red Door

Behind My Red Door

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Reflecting on the past and contemplating the future…

Happy September and Happy Fall!

It seems like just yesterday I was here saying I would be back sometime in September and here it is the last week of September already!  There is so much to catch up on so here we go….

017 As if just on cue, when the Fall officially arrived, I noticed the first signs of color on the trees out back. We always enjoy some early color right outside the kitchen window. Did I ever tell you how much I love fall???

One reason I took a break was to decide if I would continue blogging. I know I have done that in the past but I believe in re-evaluating things in my life as my life circumstances change. With my parents needing me more than ever since my mom’s diabetes diagnosis, it was time to again revaluate. Over my break, I got some very kind and uplifting emails and comments that caused me to additionally stop and reflect on what I plan to do with my blog moving forward.

At times writing a blog almost feels like ‘bragging’ ~ bragging about the good parts of my life and my new purchases or newly finished projects. It is pretty self indulgent at times and that is one of the things I contemplated a lot. But I keep coming back to one of the main reasons I continued to blog for over 3 years.  You see I found that by writing about the best parts of my life, it helped me focus on the good around me. Let’s face it, none of us have perfect lives or family situations. But I believe that life it what we make of it and also believe that focusing on the positive, speaking the positive and yes, even blogging the positive, is a better way to live than focusing on the less than positive aspects of life that we all deal with. I don’t pretend my life is perfect but I do know I am blessed in more ways than I can count!

For a long time I have kept a page of ‘great attitude’ quotes and some of my favorites are some of the most simple ones ~

"Positive attitudes create a chain reaction of positive thoughts."~ Unknown

"Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~ Art Linkletter

"We tend to live up to our expectations."~ Earl Nightingale

An attitude of gratitude creates blessings.
~Sir John Templeton

And so for now, I have decided that I am still a blogger. How often????  And will I get around to reading other blogs????  The most simple and best answer I can give you is “as time permits”. 

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So what has happened since I was last here? Well there were hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and earthquakes here in New England. Pretty exciting but very scary stuff. Thankfully Behind My Red Door and the immediate area were spared any serious damage.  My heart goes out to all those affected by the recent weather tragedies and the fires in Texas. 

The boring truth is that MOST of my time was spent on normal daily chores, projects, errands and family obligations. I spent time each week helping my parents and they each had several medical  appointments that kept me hopping and will keep me hopping in the future. The good news is things seem to be falling into a routine and my mom’s diabetes is well regulated right now. Her blood pressure remains a problem we need to work on though.

I continue to care for Lili several afternoons a week. She seems to have gone from a toddler into a little girl overnight and she is a typical 2 year old making her wants very known. Sadly, I am not longer allowed to “eat her up”! She just takes that too literally now and looks at me with alarm. I can still get a lot of hugs and kisses and snuggles though and she loves to Skype with Bampee and I on the computer or Facetime on our IPhones.  When we read, she loves Jack and the Beanstalk and jumps up to stomp around saying FEE FI FO FUM. Drawing and coloring in Meemee’s office is part of every afternoon she when is here, Lili 1

and then painting and playing with my homemade play-doh are some of her other very favorite things to do right now ~

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when she isn’t shopping! Just recently she asked me to take her to AC Moore for a scarecrow and paints! And of course she is still the smartest little girl I have ever known and I am not the least bit partial ~ I assure you. See ~ she even reads the phone book!!phonebook…I think she was planning her next shopping trip!

Her mop of curly hair is now long enough to go into a pony tail… making her look so grown up! sand She continues to be the light of our lives!

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I did read a few books and that was on the top of my list! I celebrated birthdays with a few of my closest friends and Mr. Red Door and I enjoyed having some dear long time friends as weekend guests.  Our SIL to be had a  birthday as well. It was the perfect opportunity to try a fresh blueberry pie recipe Audrey had shared.

Open Faced Fresh Blueberry Pie

9” pie-crust baked and cooled
4 c blueberries, rinsed
1/2  c and 2 tbsp. water, divided
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 c sugar
2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Pinch of salt
whipped cream (optional)
Measure out 1 c of the blueberries, choosing the softest ones. Place them in a medium saucepan together with the 1/2 c water. Cover and bring them to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and the remaining 2 tbsp. of water. Set it aside.
When the water and blueberries have come to a boil, lower the heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3 to 4 minutes or until the blueberries start to burst and the juices begin to thicken. Stirring constantly, add the cornstarch mixture, the sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Simmer for a few minutes or until the mixture becomes translucent. Immediately remove it from the heat and quickly fold in the remaining 3 cups of blueberries.
Spoon the mixture into the baked pie shell and allow to sit at room temperature for at least 2 hours before serving. When set, the berries will remain very juicy but will not flow out of the crust. Garnish w/ whipped cream if desired. Can you say YUMMO!!!!!!! We all declared it a new family favorite!!

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I did another stenciling job, this time in the master bedroom. 007

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We replaced the louvered shutters in my  office…014

…with simple plain pine ones. I still want Mr. Red Door to make some wooden latches for them but for now I am enjoying the simplicity.013 (3)

I snuck in a few different outings with different friends…fryes

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…and I came home with a few new treasures, like this Mary Beth Baxter original oil painting from Countryberries in Deerfield, NH…026

…and this amber onion bottle from Frye’s Measure Mill in Wilton, NH…023

…and 2 wonderful tavern signs…this one in Mr. Red Door’s office is painted on an old piece of a bread board…020

…and this colonial gentleman now hangs in our bedroom and was painted  on an old cupboard door (I’ll show you that in another post).gentleman

One of my most favorites finds is this runner made out of a piece of a thick old wool coverlet in mustard and pumpkin and cream. It is the very same fabric as one of the small pillows that I got in the late 80's or early 90's at the former shop at Maynard House in Westboro. I have always loved that fabric and the colors. It is a perfect fit on my coffee table …009

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The faux gourds, squash and pumpkins are for Lili. Whatever goes in my trencher everyday has to be safe for her. She loves to line them up and we count and sort them.006

I did a little online shopping… 016…when it was too stinking hot or humid to go outside (which was WAY too often!) I found these gorgeous wooden fruit on the Picture Trail of my forum friend Pam.  I don’t think she has any more of these for sale but you can find her ~here~ at Shade Tree Primitives.

And I found this pewter acorn bottle topper for my new amber bottle on one of my favorite online shops ~ Circa Home Living..107You can find their online catalog ~here~!

We had 3 magazine signings events and they are the last I will be able to attend for the foreseeable future. It has been a lot of fun and just wonderful visiting shops that carry the magazine and meeting so many of our fans, but right now I am pulled in too many directions. If I am going to be away from my home, my  family and friends, it will be for the photo shoots.

This fall season looks to be a very busy time for me and it already started. I had a small gathering here this weekend for several of my friends in the area for the wonderful Simple Treasures from the Past Show at the Walker Homestead so they could stop by after shopping.  It was the perfect inspiration to do some fall cleaning and get the fall décor out.

I was so excited to meet my dear blogging friend Janet Latch and her hubby Don. They drove all the way from VA to go to the show and come to a my gathering. It was so much fun to meet her and it felt like we had sat and chatted in person many times before! She brought me two sweet gifts. This adorable little redware plate with a pumpkin and berries.003She carries this plate and several other redware pieces as well other primitive and colonial treasures on her website Winter Willow Primitives. You can find it ~here~!

Janet also hand stitched this sweet pillow tuck for me and it looks great in my kitchen. 007

Janet  also blogs under the same name and you can see her gorgeous primitive home on her blog by clicking ~here~! Thanks Janet and Don – it was wonderful to meet you and I will treasure  both of my gifts and think of our visit every fall when I take them out.

My friends Laurie, Kathy, Paula and Jayne brought me a hostess gift as well ~ this wonderful okra garland! I think it looks wonderful against the red of my cupboard! Thanks ladies – I look forward to getting together again soon!015I love time with my friends. I feels it’s important to me to connect with my gal pals… it helps keep me sane!

Mr. Red Door and I will make our annual fall foliage rides and those are high on my priority list!  Soon I need to get my gardens ready for fall. Family dinners and family time, my folks needs and Lili will keep me busy the rest of the time.

On the work front, I just did a shoot last Saturday and I have several more photo shoots before the calendar turns to winter and at least three are out of state. In October, Audrey and I will travel to PA on our first ever overnight shoot and while we are in PA, we are meeting up with a few prim friends for a gathering at our hotel. I am so excited!!

  In November I will travel to SC with my hubby and I will to stay with my dear friend Jill while Mr. Red Door heads a few hours east to spend time with his parents. I will shoot two homes while on that trip ~ Jill’s and my friend Kathy’s. Both gals have been making changes for months now in anticipation of the shoots so I can’t wait to see their homes in person and meet Kathy for the first time! And in the last few hours I have left before Mr. Red Door picks me up to make the two day drive home, Jill and I will have a gathering at her house with a few other prim friends and I am so excited about that too. I am sure I will be blogging to tell you all about those trips!

As I said, in anticipation of my gathering, I did some fall decorating and got my bittersweet finally. This is before I removed most of the leaves and placed it around the house. BS

I gave away a good part of my fall decor and now I am only using things I can fit in with my every day décor. Gone are the days when I swap out everything for my fall and then Christmas décor. It took me well over 20 years accumulating some of my treasures and putting them away for weeks or even months is just not what I want to do. Sometimes just adding the bittersweet is all that is needed!

Here are some peeks from around the living room, dining room and kitchen. 117

I have had this pillow for YEARS!!!!! I don’t even remember where I got it, but I love it. 080

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I made this penny rug a few years ago. Back when I had time!122

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I got this pillow MANY years ago too! 036

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I hope to share the rest of my fall décor the next time I am back. Thank you so much for stopping by and visiting with me today. I appreciate your time and all the wonderful comments and messages.

Until next time… 

hugs and prim blessings, Linda