Holiday House Tour-The Kitchen

I have a snowman collection that I started while in Switzerland. I had them in the double window as you walked in the kitchen,over the bench seat.img_4918dsc_9921

The dog tree in the kitchen didn’t always have Judy’s golden puppy Tucket in front of it for the tour, but I just had to put this picture in.  I have all goldens and westies on the tree for our dogs.fullsizerender-66

The deer seemed a little large when the huge boxes arrived from Frontgate but I loved them on the table.img_4969

Judy and I decided to keep the windows clean and simple and just tied burlap squares around white poinsettias and finished them with red organza ribbon.dsc_9923We had a baking station, as if someone in the house were making cookies that day.dsc_9918

Another one of Judy’s amazing arrangements!dsc_9916Just simple boxwood wreaths in the windows tied up with gold ribbon. The HO HO’s I got years ago but had never used.img_4924dsc_9915

Holiday House Tour-The Living Room

img_4933

These adorable angels were made by the Milton Garden Club. If you look closely- it is a pine cone, a pipe cleaner,a golf tee, an acorn and a milkweed pod then it is spray painted in gold-so clever!!img_4932

These reindeer were purchased in Finland by Bill. The glass cubes are “ice cubes” made by Simon Pearce and tied with very thin red ribbon.img_4934

 

img_4950

The family tree is very special to me. All of the ornaments have a story behind them. Interests the kids had-hiking boots for Kate’s days at Dartmouth,scrubs for Phil in Med School,Bud Light can for Peter’s favorite,computer screen for Chip,horses for Susan. We also have an ornament made by my Mom for when we got engaged-complete with the teddy bear with a ring around his neck as Bill did. I also have many handmade ornaments by me and by many members of our family.img_4951

The brass reindeer I  purchased this fall from Gerard’s in Lincoln MA-love them! Judy surrounded them with beautiful balls of moss and boxwood that she created, mixed greens,gold ribbon and magnolia leaves.img_4977img_4978

These are our pyramids-each of the kids has one and I also have my Mom’s.   I bought all of them either in the Black Forest in Germany or at The Christmas Haus,located in New Oxford,PA.  I used to go to the Christmas Haus when my two boys were at Gettysburg College.img_4952

Holiday House Tour- The Front Hall

As you entered the front hall, my friend Judy had made a beautiful arrangement out of rhododendron,magnolia leaves, white pine, flowering kale , and some other mixed greens  that she used for layering and texture.

dsc_9938dsc_9937

On the other side of the front hall, we had Bill’s grandmother’s creche.She had apparently made all of the pieces at a pottery class in Pennsylvania in 1963 and painted them herself as well!

img_4928

As you left the front hall,you went into the library to the left. In this room, we had a small tree with little Swiss cowbells. We lived in Zurich for 3 years and when I first got there, my new friend Joan told me to collect the bells at kiosks in every village as I travelled around with our family. “Then” she said, “you will have a second Christmas tree when you move back home- dedicated to your years in Switzerland”. I thought this was a great idea!

In addition,just as we were leaving to return to the US, my friend Sandy found a shop that sold real Swiss cowbells with a brass plaque on which they would inscribe your family name and the years you lived in Switzerland. This bell was at the base of the tree.

Bill’s trains from his childhood circled the tree but unfortunately we could not get them to go-he has ordered the missing part!

dsc_9984

 

Holiday House Tour-The Model A

dsc_9862dsc_9860dsc_0006dsc_9856

As you walked up the driveway from the barn to the house there was an antique car that I had borrowed from a friend.It was fantastic to have it there-many people took pictures next to it,some for their Christmas cards.

I asked about the car and this is the story my friend told me:

It must be 10-12 years ago, I was driving to a Middlebury board meeting on a Wednesday night in the pouring rain in October. I drove through Bethel, Vermont, as I have done almost every Friday and Sunday nights for the last 35 years, literally! I drove by this green and black model A on the side of the road, badly needing a paint job. I drove by, and then it started to work on my head. I was not in a hurry to get to Middlebury, I would just go to bed later. I was by myself, so no conflicting points of view. After a couple of minutes I turned around to go check it out, got out an umbrella, raincoat, flashlight and returned to the car, checked it out, and wrote down the phone number, and noticed the asking price of $6000. It seemed intact, but in bad need of a paint job.   The next morning,  meetings didn’t start until noon so I got up early and drove back to Bethel, probably a 40 min drive. I called the number and the guy told me to swing by.
I stopped in the tiny First National Bank of Bethel in the middle of town and asked the teller if I could get a $6000 advance on my MasterCard? She referred me to the president of the bank sitting in the corner. I approached the president, and he said as long as I had an ID, and credit available, that would be fine.  I don’t think I had ever gotten a cash advance on my credit card.
I asked the president if he was familiar with the model A for sale around the corner. He replied, “oh John Merrill’s car? Definitely! He tried to sell it to me”. Fully convinced the entire town would now gang up on the flat lander to exploit as much cash as possible, I asked with trepidation, “What do you think of the car?” He replied, “it runs well, but obviously needs a paint job.  Have him start it up for you.”
“Is it worth $6000?” I asked nervously. “Probably” the bank president said, “but let me tell you a little bit about John.  You should decide ahead of time if you want to buy the car for $6000.  I wouldn’t negotiate. He doesn’t believe in negotiation. Either buy the car for $6000 or don’t buy the car.  Let me tell you a story about John.  I knew his now deceased father well.  I was over there one day and John had 2 Indian head pennies that he was selling. John was about 9 years old at the time. These two men came over from New York to look at the pennies to buy them and John took them in the house to show them the pennies. I was outside with his father and asked, ‘Aren’t you concerned about John negotiating with this two adults from New York?’  John’s dad replied, ‘Yes, I am a little worried for the two guys from New York!’
“Any idea where I could find someone to transport the car to Massachusetts?” “Sure, Ed at the Sunoco has a flat bed.”
So I left with the $6000 in cash and went to the local gas station where I have filled up hundreds of times. They had a tow truck and flat bed, as do most gas stations in Vermont. I talked to Ed, who gave me the same story about negotiating with John. He asked “Do you have AAA prime?” I said I didn’t know.  He said “Let me see your AAA card.”  He said “you don’t have AAA Prime but I can call and get you upgraded.  With AAA prime, I can put that car on the flat bed and take it to Massachusetts for free!” I said “deal”
I went see John.  I said, ” I have talked to the president of the bank and the fight who owns the Sunoco station. They both said I shouldn’t negotiate with you, but I have to ask, is this the best price?” John said, you can buy the car now for $6000, you can buy the car in an hour for $7000 or you can buy the car tomorrow for $8000.”
I bought the car for cash, had it delivered to Massachusetts and here it is.  The paint job is chapter 2!

Holiday House Tour 2016 for the Concord Museum

We had people walk up our long,winding driveway to the house. First they came to the barn and there was a tree decorated with pine cones,dried hydrangea and some ornaments to depict barn tools. Also, of course, a small ornament that looked like Bill’s tractor!dsc_0004dsc_9953dsc_9962dsc_9957dsc_9959dsc_9956

Settling into Woodstone

IMG_3259 IMG_3279IMG_3282IMG_3287IMG_3285

We got moved in for Christmas and had such a great time with everyone home. It was incredible to me that we even got the Santa and Snowmen collections out and the little dog tree. Our new kitchen table worked great-wonderful for our large family.

IMG_3313

IMG_3358IMG_3347IMG_3299

It was great to get the art work unpacked-especially the 5 black and white photos of our kids that were taken 20 years ago. I also always feel like it is home after I get the needlepoints with our kids names up too-my sister did those as each child was born. We also hung the paintings that our daughters each did as gifts to us over the years.

IMG_3253

And it was great to see the ping pong table again-it had been in storage for 9 years as it never worked in our old house on Main Street.

IMG_3274IMG_3267IMG_3354IMG_3290IMG_3264IMG_3270

While we used all of of our existing furniture there were some “news” which was a lot of fun too!

The Final Inspection!

Yesterday happened to be Dave Jenkinson’s birthday (he is the main contractor on the house) so I ordered a cake from Concord Teacakes to celebrate. Right as we were cutting into the cake and all of the workmen were gathered in the kitchen, the inspector drove up the driveway to perform the final inspection and give us the occupancy permit so that we could actually stay in the house. It all passed, so last night was our first official night in the house!IMG_3273-2

We were able to get our Christmas tree up which seemed appropriate for our first night there.I feel like this house is a combination of all of our years as a family-we took a piece of each of the 12 houses we have lived in and enjoyed, and created this house. Christmas trees are the same-each ornament brings a memory-something one of the 5 kids was interested in,or a place that we visited,or a location where we have lived over the last 34 years. A true piece of your history as a family.

IMG_3279

Happy Holidays to all!