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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

On the Eleventh Day Of Christmas, A Look Back at 2010. In Part.

I was not sad to bid goodbye
to 2010 on New Year's Eve.

2010 brought days of great joy and beauty and fun, but it also delivered more than its fair share of challenges and heartaches.  I hope that 2011 realizes that I expect Great Good Things of it in the months to come.

On January 5th in 2010, a year ago tomorrow, we lost my Mother to Alzheimer's.  My Christmas trees and decorations remained up through it all, and did not get dismantled until a couple of weeks had passed.
My Mother loved Christmas, and would have loved knowing this.  She would have teased me.


Today I am all out of creativity.  So I'm just taking a little look back at the early months of 2010.

Among my January blog posts was one in which I questioned how you use round placemats.
I still have not figured out that thorny issue; do the plates get centered, or do they sink to the bottom of the circle?
I have not bought any more round placemats -- too confusing for this table-setting-challenged gal.

In January, I was given a very old stool that had belonged to an elderly member of our church.
I adore it's many-layered paint job and random spatters, for they show the use and mission of humble handmade things.
 In February, Staten Island Chuck turned out to be a flawed prognosticator of the weather;
we had snow.  Lots and lots of snow.  This is our side yard, early February.
 Indoors, a beautiful orchid.  My Valentine's gift from Howard.
This beautiful and hardy plant bloomed until October.
The secret?  Water it no more than every 3 weeks!
 A Craigslist ad lead us to an icy garage near Newark Airport.
Inside, a big vintage Henkel-Harris mahogany dining table, at a steal of a price.
It came home with us that day, replacing our much-loved but too-small Bombay Company table.

 More snow.  February was a doozy.
 The largest storm of the season, late in the month.
 And then came March!
As soon as the snow melted, daylily shoots popped up through the mulch.
Is anything more heart-lifting than signs of green spring after snow?

 I couldn't resist taunting the former New York and New Jersey bloggers with pictures of real Italian cookies!
 And as March became less lion-like, there was tea in the parlor with Aynsley china and
a tea pot I bought at the gift shop at Windsor Castle.  Can you imagine having a gift shop at your home?
And there's my trusty orchid, brightening up the table.

Late in March, Anne and I went spelunking for thrifty buys in Pennsylvania, and came home with --
among other things -- service for 12 in the Mikasa Shogun pattern.  For $25.00.
Anne loathed the pattern.  Luckily, I loved it.
The last days of March.
Howard lost his job, and began snapping pictures in and around That Old House.
This one, of a raindrop, shows a neighbor's house -- upside down!
And the foliage of the Oriental Poppies ... popped up!
A tablescape with my thrifted china, eBay linens and silver, and old wedding gift crystal.

April brought the forsythia, which looked a little anemic this year.
The grapevines were still slumbering; they are slow to wake in the spring, but then -- watch out!
Green, green, more green.  I love April.

No leaves on trees yet, but plenty of chlorophyll in that growing grass.

Oh, April.  I can't wait.
Behind the house, the ancient old rambler rose was greening up, getting ready for early summer blooms.

And that's my peek back at bits and pieces of 2010.  Or at least the first third of it.

Thank you for your good wishes for our dog Dion, who yesterday was having trouble standing.
He is recovered from whatever mystery ailment robbed him of his balance yesterday.  The vet didn't have a definitive answer, but as long as my dog is back to his old self, I'm good.
Now, some blog parties.  I am wicked late for these, but I'm afraid I could not
get my act together today.  I am just sort of . . . tired.  I think it's tomorrow's sad anniversary.
But here goes anyway -- and many thanks to the Ladies Who Host!

My friend Tam at The Gypsy's Corner hosts Three Or More Tuesday.  I did more than 3 months of last year!  Click here to visitTam is introducing her word for 2011, and I like it!

Dear Marty at A Stroll Through Life hosts Tabletop Tuesday.  She is paring down for 2011, but she's still -- thank goodness! -- no minimalist!  Visit Marty here!

It's Twice Owned Tuesday at House Of Grace; go visit -- click here!

Linda at Coastal Charm hosts Nifty Thrifty Tuesday, and she's got great after-Christmas scores to share.  Check it out here!

And finally, our dear Lady Katherine and her Tea Time Tuesday party!  Click here to visit this charming lady.  She's got a beautiful white, silver and crystal table to share, and a newborn lamb! 
Yes, a newborn lamb!

Happy New Year to all my blogging friends!
Here's to making 2011 a fabulous year -- Cass


  1. I love seeing your Old House so much but most of all I adore your voice that resonates so clearly through this blog. Wishing you a bright and blessed new year Cass.

  2. Hope your holidays were filled with everything and everyone you love!

    In reading you entry today, I realized that somehow I had missed seeing your Valetine's orchid. What glorious colors!! I've never seen such a beautiful orchid!

  3. Sorry about you loss.
    Thank you for walking us down Memory Lane through pictures.
    I have to remember what you said about watering an orchid now.
    A few times I have been gifted one and I want to keep it's beauty with me as long as possible.

  4. Hi Cass! I'm so sorry about little Dion. I was taking down Christmas decorations yesterday and missed it. Glad he's back to himself.
    Loved walking through the months with you!!
    Be a sweetie,
    Shelia ;)

  5. Absolutely lover the plates in the first picture, what are they?

  6. The anniversaries of our loved ones who no longer physically share the table with us are always hard. I hope tomorrow is not to difficult for you and yours. From experience I know it gets easier but never goes away. My mom passed in 2006 and knew me for about three weeks before Alzheimer's stole her away again. I treasure those 3 weeks. Your photos are lovely but my thoughts are with you. I hope your pet doesn't have anything serious.

  7. What a year you've had, Cass. Your photos and writing have given such pleasure. I hope that 2011 is a good memory-maker.

  8. That was a nice stroll down memory lane. Love the valentine orchids and the beautiful dining room. You have a gorgeous home.

  9. I love the floral plates. I'm gaga over textured china. What pattern is that? Oh please tell!!

  10. Thinking of you today on the anniversary of your mother's death.

  11. I wish you and your family a very happy New 2011...your pics are always beautiful.....and today I hug you stronger than ever....ciao Flavia

  12. I've enjoyed the look back. Thanks for the journey! Now, we can move forward with alacrity!!!

  13. So glad to hear Dion is ok. You have had a lot going on this past year.
    Have a great day.

  14. Such a year. Wow. I love your pretty dishes and your dining room is stunning. Thanks so much for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty

  15. April here--I sure feel the love in this blog :)
    Howard sure can take a photo--that rain drop was amazing!!

  16. There aren't too many people I know that weren't impressed with 2010. I know we were VERY glad to see it out the door.
    I hope this IS the year for all of us!

    So glad that Dion is doing better.

    Happy New Year.


    PS THOSE little men of yours are adorable!!!!!!

  17. Thanks for sharing your lovely photos, great idea for this time of year.

  18. What a beautiful yard, and oh! that snow. What a nice dining table you found, I love the size. Blessings this new year, Kim


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