Behind My Red Door

Behind My Red Door

Monday, October 31, 2011

Snow> REALLY?? …and some primitive eye candy!

I won’t, I won’t, I won’t!! I won’t let the 12+ inches of snow we got mess with my fall!! I am not ready to be done with fall just yet!!!

It started even before Audrey and I got home from a shoot Saturday afternoon. It wasn’t supposed to turn from rain to snow for a few more hours. But it did anyway. The nerve! But I got us home here safe and sound and then Audrey made it home from here as well. Thank goodness.

And then it really began to come down and add up. It was surreal seeing it land on the foliage still on my maple trees out front and back. My pumpkins and mums were disappearing under a blanket of cold white stuff that does NOT belong in October. At least not in my world.

This is what it looked like at the beginning. Thankfully while I was at the shoot. Mr. Red Door quickly carried the deck furniture down to the patio under the deck. 544

We knew it was going to be bad. We knew that many would loose power. We could only wait and hope and pray.  It didn’t take long! First my son called Saturday night around 9 PM and said they lost power. They  couldn’t leave if they had wanted to in the middle of the storm so they put Lili between them and slept (if you can call it that with a 2 year old ) under 3 heavy comforters. Early in the morning, my sister called to say they had been without power since 3 AM but that she was going to cook breakfast for my parents on the grill and with the sun coming up, it wasn’t too too cold.  By the time the sun rose, the snow had stopped and the roads were melted in most places making it safe for family to head over.

But not before it left a multitude of damage behind. With trees still full of leaves, the heavy wet snow stuck and built up until the weight snapped many branches and limbs and even toppled huge trees. Power lines were down all over. Thankfully, once again we were spared the lose of power and once again our home would be the place for family to come for heat, food and warm showers!

While I waited for them to arrive, I surveyed the damage and was sick to see our maple out front 002

as well as our cherry tree lost at least 1/3 of their limbs.001

It looked like a late January snow storm – until you saw the foliage still on trees!005

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Thankfully these huge maples out back had lost most of the top third of their leaves, making them less susceptible to the snow.I think we would have lost more had they still been full of leaves. 007

I will say though that once the sun came out and the snow started to melt, the white along with the blue of the sky, made a pretty backdrop for the foliage!011

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Today quite a bit more melted and that is fine with me!! I am looking forward to green grass for several more weeks yet! My folks got power last night and this evening the kids were able to borrow a generator and go back home so now, except for a two small groups of “trick or treaters” earlier, it is quiet Behind My Red Door once more.  And while I thoroughly enjoyed rocking Lili to sleep last night, and seeing her sweet face first thing this morning was wonderful, and I didn’t mind sharing my banana with her at breakfast,

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this busy Meemee is thankful for some time to do grown-up things, like blog!

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This year many times I have had the pleasure of meeting online friends for the first time and meeting up with long distance prim friends once again. Last week was no exception. On Tuesday, my friend Laurie(who I initially met online and who’s home is in the premier edition of APP)  and I headed down to Newtown, CT to have lunch with Linda Manna, shopkeeper at Newtown Country Mill, and her daughter Michelle Manna Ferris, who helps in the store and also helps runs their online business ~ Country Mill Primitives. Click ~HERE~ for the website. If you have followed my blog for sometime, you will know that Linda and Michelle’s beautiful homes were featured in the first Holiday issue of A Primitive Place magazine. We had such a nice time during their photo shoots last summer! Yes – summer! Because the magazine was just beginning, they graciously agreed to decorate for Christmas in the summer! That’s what I call dedicated prim friends!!  And last fall when the Holiday issue came out, we did a magazine signing in the store and had a great time once again. A few weeks back Linda and Michelle invited us to come to lunch and it was just wonderful to see them both again. Laurie had never seen the shop or their homes so she was excited to get a tour of all three.  And of course we did a little shopping while we were at the store.

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The shop is a wonderful mixture of antiques and primitives! 011

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I spy some pewter!! 014

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They make a lot of the wooden pieces themselves and the displays are always changing! 017

I think it is just wonderful that mom and daughter enjoy the same decorating style and work so well together. It was just a wonderful day spent with great friends! Thanks again Linda for the yummy lunch and Michelle for inviting us!

Now here’ a little bonus -  some photo’s I took of Linda’s home last year:

My all time favorite vanity! The pumpkin color prompted me to paint a few things in my home in tones of pumpkin.  When Laurie saw this vanity, she agreed with me that is it stunning!395

They converted their garage into a huge family room with tavern bar…408

And more from around the house…283

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Wasn’t that just a treat to see?? I think so!! And the next time I come back, I will share some pics of Michelle’s home as well!! 

Now I just have to show you what I got at Newtown Country Mill, 160 Sugar St, Newtown, CT (203) 270-3441

I got this thermostat cover to hide the thermostat in the living room. I love it!

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I got the antique plate there as well!016

I also got this sweet little pewter plate. 009

You’ll never guess who likes to play with this little gem…036

Now you know I didn’t take all those kernels off the corn…. it’s the same little sweetie pie that lined up the bears and snoopy. And by the way, the Indian corn WAS under the antique fly screen until Lili got here the other day! LOL 034

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As I mentioned earlier in the post, we had another photo shoot Saturday and I did a blog post with plenty of sneak peeks over on the APP blog ~here~! I promise it is worth hoping over there to see them!  Here is one little tease…

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And speaking of worth a hop… How about this…. Give a gift – receive a gift!

Order a gift subscription of A Primitive Place and Country Journal magazine for a friend or family member and receive a FREE A Primitive Place & Country Journal notebook! Click ~here~  for more details!

Well that is all from this very tired Meemee! Until next time~  prim blessing, Linda

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Our memorable trip to PA and more sneak peeks….

Sometimes things just fall into place ~ like our first ever overnight photo shoot weekend!

Last year sometime we (the magazine) received an email with photos of a home that we knew would make a wonderful article for the magazine. But it was in PA!! 5.5 hours from my home.

Now normally, we had to pass on homes too far from where our photography teams are located because overnights were not possible. But this home is in the small town of Slatington, PA. When I saw that address, my heart skipped a beat – you see, long time dear dear friends of Mr. Red Door and I live in this little town of Slatington. Joe started working on the same day for the same company as Mr. Red Door way back in 1974 – the year before we go married. At that time, Mr. Red Door was fresh out of college and started out on the ground floor of the local company ~ the same one he works for now. Back then he worked ‘on the road’ as a service engineer. The company sent him right off to a sleepy tobacco growing town in north central NC called Roxboro. Joe was sent there too and his wife Pat, and then 3 year old daughter soon followed him. I would go to NC to visit my sweetie and we all got to know each other well. The next summer when we were sent to New Orleans for a job right after our honeymoon, Pat and Joe were already there. We spent that summer together. Mr. Red Door was soon promoted to an office position back home so we didn’t live on the road anymore but we stayed in touch with Pat and Joe and have been close all these years. The last time we had been to their home was in 2005 for their daughter’s backyard wedding but they come here and stay overnight with us almost every summer on their way north to their summer rental on the lakes in NH – their home state. So I just knew that we were long overdue for a trip to Slatington!  I wrote back to the homeowner Diane and explained that I didn’t know when I would get to Slatington but that I would and she graciously told me anytime was fine with her! She really is that sweet!

Fast forward several months and Pat and Joe came here but we still hadn’t been able to get to PA when Kristine told Audrey and I that  she and I could go on an overnight shoot!! WOOHOO!!!!! I knew this was the place to go!! So we started planning. Since I was driving all that way, I knew we didn’t have time for any side trips that took us out of the way and while we couldn’t make the trip any longer than we had too, at the same time, we wanted to make most of the time we had! I mentioned to some online friends that we would be at our hotel late afternoon on the 15th and two dear friends decided to join us for a gathering!  We left here Saturday morning for the 5.5 hour drive to the hotel in Lehighton, PA. It’s been years since I had driven that far without Mr. Red Door sharing the drive so we had to plan a stop along the way. Audrey jokingly asked if there was a Cracker Barrel in our future and wouldn’t you know, there was one half way right off the highway!  You see, she wanted me to taste the pumpkin custard they are offering this fall.  Who am I to refuse a friend so we had the perfect stop halfway! This is the pumpkin custard from their website. “Enjoy made-from-scratch pumpkin custard, tasty gingersnap crumble, and fluffy caramel mousse. And there’s a fresh-baked gingersnap cookie to top it all off.” Let me just say ~ it was worth the drive just for this!! OH YUMMO!

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With doggy bags and full bellies, we were back on the road and before long we were at the hotel partying with Karen Leonard, her BFF Terry and Kris Thomas! Karen and I ‘met’ Kristine, the magazine’s owner and Editor on Webshots back in 2007. Kris joined Webshots at some point and then we ALL moved over the APP Forum to chat when Kristine started that. And while Audrey and I met Kris last fall when she came out east for the Walker Homestead show, this was the first time we had all met Karen and her friend Terry! They drove over 6 hours just to party with us and Kris and her hubby and daughter stopped in PA after a whirlwind trip to NE.  We all brought some goodies to eat ~ here are just some of the goodies!!  See the fresh fruit and veggies?? They are all healthy right?? photo

We had such a good time ~  for almost 5 hours we all chatted and laughed and ate. We could have stayed up all night I think, but I already had a miserable cold and knew that I had a big job ahead of me on Sunday to shoot Diane’s home, so we reluctantly called it a night. Just before we disbanded, Terry kindly snapped this photo of 4 very tired road weary but happy gals!! 313834_2540558600383_1446235954_2914430_105410753_nIt was a night I will never forget and Audrey and I are determined to get to Ohio, where Karen, Terry and Kris all live!!

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Sunday dawned a bit too early and we headed over to Slatington to Diane’s home. It was a gorgeous cool sunny but very windy fall day. The drive through the rolling countryside was so pretty. It was a part of Slatington I had never seen before. When we drove up, we both knew this was going to be a good day. Look at the wonderful front door d├ęcor….

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And look at the view from their driveway….030

and inside was just as lovely. Here are some sneak peeks from inside….113

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Want more??  Well you can do two things.. first go see to the post I made on APP on Friday about this wonderful home by clicking ~HERE~ and you then can subscribe to the magazine to see the full layout in a future issue! You can do that by clicking ~HERE~!

After the shoot, Diane took us to her favorite antique store in nearby Tripoli, PA. As soon as we drove up we knew it was going to be a fun place to shop! And the prices were soooo good!! 663

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Diane and the shopkeeper Julann. 672Thank you Diane for welcoming us into your wonderful home and for taking us to Farmer’s Field. Audrey and I both found some goodies! You can find Farmer’s Field at 6806 Route 309 in New Tripoli, PA 18066 (where 309 and 143 meet). No website but the phone is (610) 298-8238. If  you stop in, please tell them the girls from APP & CJ sent you!!

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After we left the shop, we headed back to Slatington to see my friends Pat and Joe for a lovely evening. Pat is an incredible cook and hostess and she made us the most delicious stuffed shells we had ever eaten. A fresh garden salad, crusty bread with garlic and olive oil, chocolate dipped strawberries and cannoli all beautifully displayed on pretty dishes rounded out the amazing meal. It was just divine!! It was wonderful to introduce Audrey to my dear friends and to share some time together. And yup, I was so wiped out by then from the long drive, the busy shoot and my cough and cold, that I forgot to take any pics! You’ll just have to trust me that the food looked as good as it tasted!!

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Monday morning it was time to head home. But we had one more fun stop planned!  Remember this gorgeous kitchen from the cover of the fall issue?? IMG_2788

We were going to Loretta’s for lunch! WOOHOO! Luckily for us, she lives just a few minutes off the highway about halfway home and she graciously offered to feed us!! It was just so nice to see her in person and get a hug!!  She made us a delicious brunch - quiche, croissants and salad. And she sent us home with our own loaves of her yummy pumpkin bread!  What a dear friend!

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I was so excited to see the changes she had made since we were there last year. Forgive the blurriness, I think I was a bit road weary by now and didn’t take my photo lights out either, but I still wanted to snap a few quick pics to share with you!  Loretta had her fireplace wall and the wall under her chair rail in the family room totally done over with paneling and molding. 674

It looks soooooo colonial!! Just gorgeous!!!!!!675

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You can see under the chair rail better here…. with the gorgeous desk her hubby bought for her since we were there…677

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And just look at this new hutch… she was able to fill it with all her antique pewter!! SIGH!!! IMG_4145

It was a lovely but all too quick visit! Her sister Janet snapped this just as were ready to get back on the road for the last leg of our trip! IMG_4267

Thank you Loretta for the yummy food,  and for making it that much easier to make the trip home after the long weekend!

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It was certainly a fun and memorable weekend but my cold kept getting worse so I was indeed very relieved to finally be home.  There really is no place like home!!

I was thrilled to find two treasures at Farmer’s Field and they quickly found homes Behind My Red Door. I have wanted a round cutting board and this one fit the bill!  008

And I am always looking for antique baskets. I loved this one!  016

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Every time I look at these, I will smile and remember the busy whirlwind exhausting but wonderful weekend spent with dear friends ~ new and old!

Now please go back over to the APP blog ( Just click ~here~) and see some sneak peeks from the shoot I did yesterday and to enter the October giveaway! This shoot was local but we still enjoyed time with an old friend and a new friend! Lots more eye candy too!! 

I am so thankful for the friendships I have made online and through blogging. They truly have enriched my life in so many ways. I am blessed!

And one more quick note ~ I got an email from the dear couple who did my photo shoot for Country Sampler a few years ago. Esther and Franklin Schmidt have published a new book called A Passion for Primitives . That is Linda Babb’s pretty antique cupboard on the cover!  I don’t have a copy yet, but I have heard from friends that it is wonderful! You can see it on my sidebar on the top left. It is available on Amazon.com I am told! Please pass the word!

Thanks so much for stopping by! 

Until next time ~ warm hugs and prim blessings, Linda