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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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June 05, 2013

The news from Massachusetts....

...where I'm visiting my sister right  now.  We arranged the date of my trip to include Molly Cromwell's Sturbridge miniature show which we attended once before a few years ago.  We enjoyed it again this year  but were disappointed because we did not read the card we got in the mail carefully enough.  The last time we went, we left on Friday, went to the show Saturday, I think maybe stopped in for a brief spell Sunday and then back home.  So that's how we made our plans and reservations for this trip.  We left her house Friday morning, driving past Sturbridge to Wellesley where my sister took me for a birthday lunch (wow! still celebrating my birthday!) at one of Chef Ming's restaurants.  He's one of the chefs on Create TV which in Huntington, at least, is a second public TV station.   The heat was horrible, making the car an oven every time we parked and making walking around pretty unpleasant.  But the lunch was so delicious and so pleasant.   

Then we drove back to Sturbridge and on  Saturday we got ourselves all ready to "hit the tables", went downstairs to where we had seen a table with a dollhouse on it and a couple of women were sitting there but no cash boxes or anything.  We asked where we were supposed to go to pay to get into the show and they said "that's not til Sunday".  They explained that there was the preview show Saturday night which we could attend (it was on Friday night the year we went) but we didn't want to do that - it lasted only 3 hours and cost $18.  So we stood around with drooping spirits for a brief spell but soon rallied and went to an antique store we had seen and had a delightful 2 or maybe even 3 hours there and, of course, found bits and bobs to buy. :)

Finally Sunday was the show and we went in about 10 and probably left around 3:30 or 4:00.  It was, as usual, a nice show although I had it in my head that the Boorums would be there and wanted to talk to them about framing, but they weren't there.

 My treasure that I bought is a floor stand globe for January's library roombox.  I've looked for years and the only really nice one I ever found was handmade by a woman in Spain and way beyond my means.   And the only other ones I ever saw were pretty tacky looking so I was delighted to find this one.

And  I bought yet another set of books for the bookcases and a houseplant because January and Maggie have  lots of houseplants.  I had hoped to get more but all the plants were flowers.

My sister, meanwhile, had fallen in love with a hand-carved soapstone "vase" at RJT's (I think that's right) table and took me to see it and I fell in love with everything on their table and finally settled on a turned, palm wood, jar/vase type piece that I'll use when I put together my son's scene.  The artist and his wife were both manning the table and they were so enjoyable to talk to.  They live in Vancouver Canada and will be at Castine, Maine for the annual IGMA guild school also. (also got this glass bottle of vodka but can't remember where).

I wrote all this up before I took my pictures and forgot a couple of the goodies I bought at the show so here they are and they're for January's library also:

I just love this little mouse sneaking out at night for a look around.  I bought it at "Two's Company"'s table - don't know if they make them or someone else does, but they're sure cute.

And the open book has an almost readable title that is something to do with grammar and on the inside pages, you can read "cases of nouns" and "numbers of nouns".  It's very ink-splattered and has obviously been well used by some studious scholar.

This last picture is a plant called a mandrake which apparently is a plant that "crops" up in the Harry Potter books and if you uproot it, it screams!  Unfortunately, I can't remember where I bought it.

The show pretty much died around 3:00 or a little before which was sad for the dealers but it made more time for talk with them.  We stopped at Carol Spence's table on the way out because I had seen her pieces when I first went in and loved them but didn't have any real need for them and after buying the globe, I couldn't just buy one cause I loved them.  I asked her about a website and she doesn't have one.  So we started talking with her and her delightful daughter about Etsy and I really encouraged her to look into that.  Then it turned out they live in this same general area (the daughter is quite near to the town my sister lives in, Carol is in CT but that's close also) and so I asked if they were familiar with this gallery in Northampton that I love.  The daughter was and thought that was a wonderful idea for an outlet for her mom's work.  I don't know for sure, but I think maybe she hadn't had that great of a show and they seemed quite happy to have these possibilities, so hopefully one or the other or both will work for them.

On the way home I saw this beautiful church and had to have a picture of it.  I'm not happy with it cause no matter how much I straightened and unstraightened it, it always looks crooked.  But here it is cause it's the only "tourist" picture I have!  I love coming to Massachusetts because there are so many lovely old towns with these beautiful churches and old homes, huge trees and, at this time of year, tons of rhododendrons!

I really enjoy my visits with my sister and I'm pretty sure she does too.  I think "old age" has really mellowed both of us and it's just real nice spending time together.  Lots of remembering (although we both don't remember what the other one does a lot of the time), lots of discussion of clothes, cooking, my kids, her gardening...  We're basically each other's only family now - I have my kids but they know me as mom, my sister knows me from the time I was born.

Their home is so lovely I decided to take a couple of pictures.  The house originally was I suppose what you'd call a "tract" house, although it had a basement.  But my sister saw it as a chance to get the house she wanted and made very major changes to it, probably about doubling the size and certainly making it a far more attractive home.

She is also an avid gardener and the flowerbed in front of the house is coming along beautifully.  I took this next  picture of the purple flowers that are under the middle window because they are just so gorgeous and the colors in the picture of the house don't really show up well.

Now the weather has changed dramatically.  It was 44 this morning and is still quite cool, especially with the wind blowing as it is.  But the sun is shining gloriously with beautiful white clouds in the sky and we have a mockingbird who seems to feel that he is honor-bound to entertain us with beautiful music.  Can't ask for much more than that. :)

And, finally, I'm also delighted to be reading a novel written by my brother-in-law.  He's been writing as long as I've known him but I've never seen any of it.  My sister decided that she would try self-publishing one of his novels, so Larry chose which one and she's been working diligently on it.  She finally got it far enough along to order the first proof and it arrived while she and I were doing our weekend adventure.  I asked if I could read it and she said she'd love for me to because she's read it over and over but worries that she may have missed little mistakes here and there.  I've really been enjoying it - it's a very readable "yarn" and the central theme is quite topical to some of our current troubles today even though he wrote it 30 years ago! 


Christopher said...

Very nice update! I like the look of "my" turned vessel, too. And Chinchy's place is looking great in that front yard picture...
Let me know if you want me to take a stab at "straightening" your church photo; it is a handsome building!

January said...

Ooooooh! I LOVE the treasures you found for my roombox!! You're right that the globe is fantastic, and the mandrake is a fun treat :) Well chosen, Mama, all of them! I'm glad you're having a nice time - say hi to Chinchy and Larry for me!

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