Tuesday, September 28, 2010

SHINING SEA BIKE WAY, CAPE COD RAIL TRAIL, FALMOUTH


I have been spending the past 4 months at our home on Cape Cod, and have thoroughly enjoyed everything that the Cape and New England has to offer. I grew up in Massachusetts, but moved away about 25 years ago, but have continued to return to the Cape each year for a few weeks.  Having the opportunity to spend 4 months here has given me such a great appreciation for the Cape with all its charm, quaint villages, harbors, country roads, and the beautiful seashore...............

This summer, I discovered the Shining Sea Bikeway in Falmouth.  This is definitely on my top list of Things to Do on the Cape.   The bikeway was named after the line in the song America The Beautiful, written by Katherine Lee Bates, a Falmouth native.  Like many bike paths, this was part of an original railroad track beginning in Falmouth and ending in Woods Hole.   This beautiful bikeway weaves through natural marsh, cranberry bogs, ponds, woodlands, sandy shores and ends in the quaint historic seaside village of  Woods Hole. The Steamship Authority is located here as well as several research institutions.

The bike path is 10.6 miles each way and is easy riding as it is flat.  There is a bike rental shop at the beginning of the path as well as a wonderful little market for a drink, snack or sandwich.  I'm sure you will enjoy the ride and make many returns.

Have you ever driven by a cranberry bog and wondered what it looks like when ready for harvest?  I am now hoping to stop by and see them flood the bog and collect the berries.

Turn right off the bike path on Old Dock Road to see this charming little harbor.  You can follow this road  to see more beautiful harbor views and it will lead you back to the bike path.


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When you arrive Woods Hole, be sure to walk around the town and enjoy all the beautiful scenery.

When you arrive Woods Hole,be sure to stop by the very popular "Pie in the Sky" for great fresh baked goods, coffee, sandwiches, and smoothies. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

BEAUTIFUL ELEGANT TABLE SETTING

                                                                                                                                                                                                           






















When I came across these photos of a table setting for a wedding, I immediately filed them for a wedding for one of our 3 daughters for some time in the future.....  While I clip these photos, Randy,  my husband dreads the thought of a wedding or at least the budget.   Randy's response at each of our daughter's births was "Oh, no a wedding!"   One day a friend of mine told me that Steve Martin in "Father of the Bride" reminded her of my husband.  I couldn't imagine such a comparison as Steve Martin is crazy and silly and Randy is more on the conservative, serious side.  I immediately rented the movie.  From the very beginning to the end,  Steve Martin's words could have come out of my husband's mouth.

On the other hand, I am like Dianne Keaton focusing on how to make the day just beautiful. First of all, I would definitely NOT hire a wedding coordinator.  I will be able to look back at all of my magazine clippings, search the internet, shops, florists, etc. for inspiration.  This beautiful table setting would clearly be at the top of my pile.  I just love the fresh clean elegant look of this table.  Every details works together just beautifully - the wonderful neutral colors, the stachys leaves, the birch candle holder, the maidenhair fern, the sweat peas and roses.... I love it all.

Oh, did I forget to mention that a few of our daughters have threatened not to tell me about the wedding until the week before knowing I will be working to make every detail just perfect. 


Friday, September 17, 2010

ENGLAND & ITS BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY WALKS


We have moved alot - having lived in Kansas, Texas, Connecticut, England and Michigan.  While all places have their pros and cons, I have to admit having the opportunity to live in England was my dream come true.  I really appreciate old architecture, the quality of old construction, all the beautiful details, the fabulous countryside, London, the bed and breakfasts, the sheep, all the AMAZING ANTIQUE SHOPS, CENTERS AND SHOWS, and the warm and friendly people with such an accent we all envy.  Really -  the English can say anything and it sounds great.  I really do not like commercialism, billboards and neon signs are impossible to avoid in most areas of the U.S.

Living in England, was like going back in time 20 years.  Our mail was delivered by the post man riding a bike. The villages have a small market, a fish monger, a pharmacy, a post office and a pub.  One of my favorite things was the cab drivers and their nice clean cars - nothing like the horrible looking yellow cabs in New York with drivers who don't speak English and drive 20 miles over the speed limit.  Last spring, I spent a week in Manhattan and then flew to London for a week.  What a contrast!  The biggest of all was the noise.  In NYC, a horn honks once every few minutes.  While I was in London for a week, I heard one horn and that was on a bicycle.  The lifestyle is less hurried, and people take the time to enjoy life more.  When we moved there, most coffee shops did not offer coffee to go (or take away as they would say in the UK).  We are so accustomed to multitasking and being in a rush.  It is truly a wonderful opportunity to get to experience living in another country. 

This was our guest room at the Rectory Farmhouse in the previous photo. I love B&B's because they feel so much more like home - warm and inviting.  We stayed here on our visit to England after returning to the U.S.  This charming bed and breakfast, located in Lower Swell, was not only located near one of my favorite villages to antique shop, Tetbury, but was also a short distance to the town of Bibury with the most picturesque country walk.

This was our view of the Coln River as we arrive the village of Bibury located in the Cotsolds.  Of all of our walks and visits to small villages, Bibury was my favorite.  William Morrris, one of the leaders of the Arts and Crafts movement, described Bibury as "the most beautiful village in England".  This area is so tranquil and enchanting - I wish I were there today.

Look at this beautiful view as you follow the footpath - truly breathtaking..................

Thursday, September 16, 2010


All of these beautiful walks would include fields of sheep. 

I have always loved the charm and character of old stone walls.  This walk was just breathtaking!

Wouldn't you love to just walk down this drive and explore this beautiful old home?  I can just imagine all the beautiful furnishings, interiors, architectural details, fireplaces, etc.   If you ever have the opportunity to travel to England, try a country walk - you will not regret it.

Along our walk thru Bibury, we came across this pub to stop and get something to eat.

This is a photo of Arlington Row which was built in the 14th century.  This was originally a wool store and later became weavers'  cottages. 

The English do such fabulous shop signs.  These are three signs we discovered along our walk.




Wednesday, September 15, 2010


This is a photo of our daughter, Dawn holding our golden retriever, Riley, when she was just a puppy.   Riley is our third golden retriever.  Goldens are wonderful, fun loving, playful, loyal friends that make great family dogs.  She seems like the toddler in the house who is just so adorable and does so many cute things.  As a result, she is rather spoiled and manages to get most of what she wants.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Johanna Harmon Painting



I purchased this painting last year and  the colors work so beautifully in my family room.  The artist is Johanna Harmon and her web site is http://www.johannaharmon.com/.

Our Family Room

I decorated our home with neutrals because it is so easy to make simple changes for different times of the year or when you just feel like something different.  I really love the combination of cream, chocolate and pumpkin.



Monday, September 6, 2010

Sculpture at Cranbrook House


This is a photo of a sculpture behind Cranbrook House in Michigan. This little boy appears to be blocking the sun from his eyes. This house is part of the Cranbrook School campus which is filled with amazing gardens, sculptures, and architecture.

My Antique Pepper Mills


Here are a few antique pepper grinders from my collection.  I have been collecting pepper mills for about 13 years now.  The milk churn is English, the bear is German (pepper comes out of its mouth), and the two on the right are French.  The mill to the far right is made by Peugeot Freres ca. 1900.

My Antique Baskets























I am always amazed at the fine craftsmanship in these small baskets. These are all French and most of them were doll baskets.

A Bed & Breakfast in the Cotswolds

Last March, my husband and I travelled to the Cotswolds and stayed at this fabulous bed & breakfast. I wished I could have this fireplace and its beautiful wood surround in my family room.

Decorating My House for Fall


















While I know most people purchase wine based on its taste, age and quality, I also look at the label design.

I Enjoy Setting a Table
























Last September, our home was featured in a local home tour as part of a fundraiser. I set this table with Simon Pearce heartland glasses, Emma Bridgewater dishes and Steuben candlesticks.

A Fall Arrangement

Saturday morning I took a trip to our local market and picked up some Cinderella pumpkins, white pumpkins and some fabulous greens.
The weather was cool this week, so I started to take out some of my antiques and decorative items that reflect the season. I purchased this fabulous covered pot at a market in Ann Arbor several years ago. I am always drawn to neutrals and the shape was great.

Antique Basket with Shells

As you will notice over time, I love baskets in all shapes and sizes. I started collecting baskets about 13 years ago while we were living in England. Most of my baskets come from France, Germany and England. I purchased this basket from one of my favorite dealers who displays at a flea market on 25th Street in NYC on Saturday mornings, Andre's Tavern.  Andre's web site is
http://www.andreburgos.com/

Sunday, September 5, 2010


















Ok, I have been wanting to start a blog for some time, and I have finally managed to get my daughter to sit down and help me tonight. While I call it "helping me," she calls it "torture." I know she is probably thinking, "Mom will be calling me at college to help her with this blog and what did I get myself into?" Actually, I think all of our three girls, and of course, my husband, have been dreading this day. All summer long when I requested their help, they all but ran to do anything they could think of. Finally, my day has come.