Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Twas the Night before Christmas Poem
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,

And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.

So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,

With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head, and was turning around,

Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,

And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,

Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!
I used to be able to recite this poem, the entire poem, with no mistakes. I can pretty much do it now, but have to cue myself here and there. I remember sitting in grade school, watching this 'movie' done with puppets (you could see the strings if you watched closely) in the cafeteria in the week before Christmas. All the classes were called in and we watched like an assembly. Also, on the movie list was one of the Nativity. I was in public school...but those were the days when we sang 'My Country Tis of Thee' after the pledge and my 1st grade teacher even said a prayer every morning after that, so that we could pray for a good day of learning and for the troops in Vietnam. Her husband was overseas and her son was in our class. Strange, but nobody thought it was out of the ordinary for us to begin our day in that manner.
This year, my Mom asked that each one of us tie a yellow ribbon for the soldiers serving overseas and at home. We did and we do...think of you/them often. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice so that we can do this...write about whatever pops into our heads without fear. It is our right to speak of freedom, whether it's about writing of our beliefs, our religion or following our dreams. I thank you and my family thanks you, from the bottom of our hearts.
Merry Christmas...from my house to yours, may you be happy and safe this holidays season...**Tami

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Serenity Sunday...week 77

(From my favorite quote garden: Northern Exposure)
CHRIS STEVENS: Season's Greetings, everybody, from KBHR, the heart and soul of Cicely, Alaska. This is Chris In The Morning. From where I'm sitting, I've got a great view of all the yuletide decorations going up all over town. That's right, everywhere I turn my head I see ebony birds roosting for the holidays. You know, twinkling colored lights are nice, and so are plastic Santas and reindeers and manger scenes, but I'll tell you something, friends... nothing like the sight of beautiful black-as-pitch raven to get you in the Christmas spirit.
These past 2 weeks have been a winter wonderland around here. We have set and broken more snowfall records than I care to remember. Driving has been iffy at best, most mornings, but in our usual Central NY way, we find a way around the weather, get to work and make our way to the destination that we had planned. Not much holds us down here...the plow drivers work 'round the clock to make sure that we are safe and the roads are clear.
Rarely do we have a whole city shut-down. The schools may close for a day, cancel after school activites or delay the start of the day...but we get through it and are better for it. Yes, we get several feet of gets cold and we sometimes curse the winter, but rarely does it come with devastation or destruction. We don't have to rebuild or restructure our lives because of it. We can plow it, shovel it or wait for it to melt. It does not own us, we own's only a season, it lasts a couple of months and then it's gone for another year.
Enjoy your winter...whatever it may be... Tami

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Serenity Sunday...week 76

This is what it's like to live in Syracuse in the winter. There are tons of YouTube videos from this week, but of the ones I've seen, this depicts it best. We gripe about it, curse it, in some cases, detest it...but then the quiet serene beauty of the snowfall captures our imagination and it becomes a beautiful painting of white. We are way above average in our snow totals already and it's only been a week of snowfall. Here, without further the feature of the week...YouTube video of the snow capitol of the country (cities of over 100 thousand residents) after our first snowfall for Winter 2010...

**personal was miserable driving this past week and might be again this all the safe and stay warm! Oh, and keep your eyes open for the for photos of our Christmas Open house from a couple of weeks ago. The post should be up today or tomorrow!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Serenity Sunday...week 75

Another great quote from one of my favorite TV shows "Northern Exposure". This is from Chris, the radio DJ/Philosopher character regarding the first snowfall of the season.

Chris: Oh the snow the beautiful snow filling the sky and earth below. Over the house tops and over the streets, over the heads of people you meet. Dancing flirting skimming along. Oh the snow the beautiful snow how the flakes gather and laugh as they go. Whirling about in their maddening fun it plays in its glee with everyone. Chasing laughing hurrying by it lights on the face and sparkles the eye. And even the dogs with a bark and a bound snap at the crystals that eddy around. The town is alive and its heart in a glow to welcome the coming of beautiful snow. Bon Hiver Cicely.
***This weekend marks the first real measurable snowfall in the Syracuse area, especially in my town, Jamesville. This photo was taken last December and has been untouched. It looks like a black & white photo that has been enhanced to show the red, white and blue of the flag, but honestly folks, it is exactly as I took it. It looks like that a lot around here all winter. Just black and white or shades of it. You get used to's really kind of pretty.
Last night was the 'Light Up Jamesville' celebration here in town. It's the night that the town tree is lit and Santa comes to town. All the shops stay open until 8pm and the Christmas carolers wander through town and make sure they stop at every shop and gathering of people. It's really quite nice. I was at the shop, working. Lots of new faces and some that we know, stopped in for a little hot mulled cider and a peek at the Christmas decorations. It was fun, I never miss it. Other than our first night of the 'Open House' at the shop, it's my favorite time to work.
Enjoy your Serenity Sunday! and keep Christmas in your heart.....

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thanksgiving traditions...

The weekend after Thanksgiving always includes the grandchildren putting up Nana and Papa's Christmas tree. This year, my sister's kids were here and able to help. Here they are. It's a grainy phone pic...but it's clear to me! Awesome kids...each and every one!
(Left to right, Jordan 11, Zach almost 21, Alex 13, and Dan almost 18...
...just crazy to me how quickly they grow up!)

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Many thanks for my readers, friends and family.
Without you....there is no point...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Serenity Sunday...week 74

Clark: Since this is Aunt Bethany's 80th Christmas, I think she should lead us in the saying of Grace.
Aunt Bethany: [turns to Lewis] What, dear?
Nora Griswold: Grace!
Aunt Bethany: Grace? She passed away thirty years ago.
Uncle Lewis: They want you to say Grace. [Bethany shakes her head in confusion]
Uncle Lewis: The BLESSING!
Aunt Bethany: [they all pose for prayer] I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands/ One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Clark: Amen.
**I hope that your Thanksgiving turkey turns out better than the GRISWOLDS Christmas turkey! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving...keep charity in your prayers and kindness in your heart.
Oh....and PS...SHOP TIL YOU DROP in FRIDAY!!! :-)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Serenity Sunday...week 73

This holiday season...

...please make a point... put charity first...

...think of others as well as your own... what you can to help....

"No act of kindness,
no matter how small,
is ever wasted." - Aesop ...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Make Merry This Holiday Season

Make Merry This Holiday Season
The Colonial Housefitter

Christmas is Near Simple Pleasures are Many
Handmade Santas in Every Nook and Cranny
Plum Pudding Cakes & Twinkle Lites
Feather Trees and Garland

Come Celebrate

Christmas Open House

Friday, November 19th 4pm-8pm
Saturday, November 20th 11am-5pm
Sunday, November 21st 12pm-5pm

The shop will be closed November 18th
November 19th until 4pm to prepare

Holiday Hours
Wednesday – Saturday 11am-5pm
Sundays 12pm-5pm Nov. 21 – Dec. 19th

4538 Apulia Road, Jamesville, NY

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Cupboard Doors...check!

The back story:
I have a customer at the antique shop that owns a converted barn. He and his family converted it and then lived in it until a year or so ago. When they became 'empty nester's', Jay and his wife down-sized their household into a condo but kept the converted barn and turned it into a rental/vacation property. The property overlooks beautiful Cazenovia Lake and some very famous paintings have been done by some well known artists over the years. William Boardman in about 1848, painted the view from this vantage point and the folk art painting is very aptly named 'Cazenovia From The West'.

So, after the move to the condo, Jay decided that the 4-door shaker cupboard that they had custom made for the barn/house and had been moved into his new 'office' in the condo, was kind of boring. He asked me if I would do a folk art painting on the inside of the top 2 cupboard doors so that when he left the doors open to showcase his collectibles, there would be something interesting on the inside to look at. The only things he required were that the painting be folk art style, that the outside stiles of the door be painted black to resemble a frame and that there be a couple of animals and birds in the painting. I finished them last night and he'll pick them up tomorrow. The hinged edge of the doors are toward the middle of the picture as I've set them up for the picture.

Mission accomplished!

**By the way, if you're interested in the house, the link above is connected to the realty company that handles the rentals. There are pictures. Jay has travelled the country and searched far and wide to refurnish the barn/house using many antiques and collectibles suited to it's style.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Serenity Sunday...week 72


A dark Cave.
In the middle, a Caldron boiling.
Round about the caldron go;
In the poison'd entrails throw.—
Toad, that under cold stone,
Days and nights has thirty-one;
Swelter'd venom sleeping got,
Boil thou first i' the charmed pot!
Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Happy Halloween from
my house to yours!!!!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Serenity Sunday...week 71

(Photos Courtesy of my sister Wendy Rounds)

"Just before the death of flowers,
And before they are buried in snow,
There comes a festival season
When nature is all aglow."
- Author Unknown
**Apparently, and how this happened I don't know...I dropped the ball and missed last Sunday. All I can say's been pretty busy around here lately. A couple of small projects here at home...some paintings that I have to get done for a client and some that I did for the shop.
Oh, I went to see the John Edward show at the Civic Center in Syracuse. My friends and I got tickets months ago and if you ever get the chance to see him...go! Whether you believe or's a powerful show and you'll feel different when you leave the show. Somehow lighter and enlightened...more positive. Even if you don't get read (we didn't) just listening to other people's stories and how they coped...makes you somehow a better person for just being there and having listened. I know it sounds crazy, but there is a sense of calmness that follows you for days. If he comes next year, we're going again. I mean, who can pass up a chance to feel 'calm'?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Serenity Sunday...week 70

Portrait of my Life

As I watch the sun, setting crimson over the horizon,
I realize that another day has come to an end.
Like the colors of my life, the yellows, russets and blues
seem to float over the dark line of trees and hills,
the division between earth and air that is really no division at all…
just a temporary border between night and day.
The colors of sunset are the events of my day,
Woven together, bound without a trace of beginning or end,
They make a complete picture of my life.
It has no abrupt starts and stops….
just a colorful painting of living life to it’s fullest potential.
…..and again it is true…at first light.
Tamara J. Egan
June 2001
**My sister sent me these pictures yesterday.
She lives near Cleveland, Ohio and they were taken
at the "Rocky River Nature Center".
It is, obviously a beautiful place.
The autumn colors are all around us...
reminding us to look forward,
but not to forget the past.
Enjoy your Sunday! **Tami

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Serenity Sunday...week 69

Autumn Within

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

It is autumn; not without
But within me is the cold.
Youth and spring are all about;
It is I that have grown old.

Birds are darting through the air,
Singing, building without rest;
Life is stirring everywhere,
Save within my lonely breast.

There is silence: the dead leaves
Fall and rustle and are still;
Beats no flail upon the sheaves,
Comes no murmur from the mill.
**This is probably my favorite Autumnal photo. I have no idea where it came from. Somewhere in the world wide web about 10 years ago or so, I came upon it and all I could think of was the scrapbook my Mom has and how this looked like an old photo that might have been in it. The colors, I couldn't paint a picture and make it look so real. I have seen meadows like this, that look so sepia toned with just a punch of Fall color. Nobody would believe a painting like this. So...enjoy the colors of Fall, the oranges, ochres, russets and deep greens. The painting we call 'AUTUMN' only last a short while...and then comes the black, gray and white of winter on it's heels.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Serenity Sunday...week 68

Everyone must take time to sit
and watch the leaves turn.
~Elizabeth Lawrence
**It's certainly Fall in my part of the country. Chilly early morning and overnights and warmer days with an occasional 80*-90* day tossed in for good measure. Two days ago we set a record for high temperature (in the 90's) and as I write this early afternoon, it is sunny and 60*. This is typical for a Fall day here in central NY...and that's probably why we love it here.
Have a wonderful week! **Tami

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Day Trippin' Sharon Springs NY-Part Two

This is 'Part Two' of the pictures that I took on Saturday at the Sharon Springs Fall Harvest Festival. This is the post that will show you the pictures of the Fabulous Beekman Boys, Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Dr. Brent Ridge, formerly of Manhattan, NY and now (at least part of the time for Josh) residents of the Beekman Mansion in a beautiful rural community by the name of Sharon Springs, NY.

This photo was taken in front of the Cafe'
on the main street in town, NYS Route 10.
The banner flew high reminding the townspeople
that the 2nd annual Harvest Festival is upon them.

We got to the festival around 11 am and the streets were already filling up. We decided right then and there that our first stop would be the "Beekman 1802 Mercantile". Best move we could have made as the wait to get into the store wasn't too bad...we got to chat with the gentleman/artist who hand crafts the Britannia Fruit Spoons that are sold exclusively at the Beekman 1802. The spoons are beautifully made of "Britannia, a metal alloy that was common in the 18th century" (according to the authentication I got with mine). "The alloy becomes molten over hot coals and is then hand-poured into an original, authentic 18th century spoon mold." It is essentially, a type of pewter and it will make a very nice gift! Well, that's what I got it for...we'll's beautiful.

This poster was hanging in McGillycuddy's Natural Soap store.
Loved that store! Smelled wonderful and they have so many 'flavors' of soap!

This poster of the goats (my favorite) was just inside,
at the entrance of the Beekman 1802.
It's just such a cool photo!

This is the signage for the beautiful scarves that they carry.

Inside the store (which looked bigger on TV) we all snaked around the center display table and it worked like a charm! We all saw the merchandise, the clerks were so very nice and when we were there (a little after noon) they still had merchandise to sell! I bet that by the end of the day they sold out. The TV crews were milling about and filming while we were there. You can see them in this photo. They blended right into the background and it was really easy to forget they were even there!
You see the double tiered display in the center of this island table above? This is where the Blaack Cheese was displayed. All of the bigger rounds of cheese were gone by the time we came around the table and they brought out the last two (smaller one pound) rounds. Judy and I pretty much looked at them, decided that we'd get one and split it. We had tried it, they had samples, and it's really good my friends! So...bottom line...we got the next to the last cheese round. At least that was the buzz while we were snaking around the inside of the shop.

We chatted with this couple inside the shop. So...let's see...Judy and I each purchased a t-shirt, Josh's book 'The Bucolic Plague' and we got the cheese round to split! Not bad!

Outside the building that housed the shop,
Farmer John's goats were having a wonderful time!

As you exit the shop, Brent was there on the porch
to sign autographs and chat a little.
Nice, nice guy. Truly enjoyed talking to him.

As time went on, the lines to get into the shop and see the 'boys' snaked all the way down the street. Thank God we had the smarts to do that first!

The Roseboro is in the same building and between there and the shop there were more great t-shirts, mugs etc. for sale. I was planning to go back for another shirt, but kind of forgot.

Not sure when Josh joined Brent.
He wasn't there when we went to the shop...

This picture (above) is the picture from the TV show website. This is the front of the Beekman Mansion. The rear of the building faces the street. (Brent told us how to find the mansion...) Since nobody was permitted access to the property (they had security!) I had to borrow this picture to show you the perspective. We couldn't see this view of the house from the street.

I took this shot from the street. How grand is this place, huh? No wonder Josh and Brent fell in love with this place! and this is just the side of the house.

NYS officially says this is a historic place...

This is the view from the street, the 'back' of the mansion. Not too shabby the the rear entrance!
So...we had a great time, the weather was perfect and I would attend this festival again.. Look for the TV show on your Planet Green TV channel! According to the card I picked up in the American Hotel (love that building...took enough pics so I can paint it...see previous post) ...the 'Boys' will have a holiday special and the show will return again in the spring of 2010.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Day Trippin' - Sharon Springs, NY-Part One

On Saturday, my friend Judy and I took a short 2 hour trip to a beautiful town called Sharon Springs, NY. Some of you may know that this is the beautiful upstate home of Josh Kilmer-Purcell and Dr. Brent Ridge of the Planet Green TV show called 'The Fabulous Beekman Boys' that began it's first season this past summer.

Sharon Springs is about 50 miles west of Albany, NY and is only about a half hour from Cooperstown, the home of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Settled in the late 1700's, Sharon Springs grew into a highly fashionable spa during the 19th century and boasted several beautiful hotels that were used as summer resorts for the guests of the healing waters. For more of the fascinating history of this picturesque small town, please visit here.

Last year, the residents of Sharon Springs, with the help and prompting of Josh and Dr. Brent, held their first annual Fall Harvest Festival to showcase the local farmers and craftsman in the area. (Pictures of the Roseboro Hotel)

This years festival was held this past weekend. Since (for a change) we were close enough to actually attend an event that we've heard about on blogs or national television, we thought it would be a great day trip! I mean, come on...Upstate NY in early autumn? Can't get much better than that! Breath-taking views and quaint towns...old original architecture, country have to love Upstate!

Look at this awesome building! It held what used to be a grand hotel and several small businesses. This is the building that the Beekman 1802 Merchantile , owned and run by the Beekman Boys themselves, is now in. The shop takes up only a small space in the center bottom floor of this enormous building.

This and the next three pictures are of the 'American Hotel' which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is steeped in history. It is beautiful inside. We couldn't hang around too long because they were very busy and we didn't have reservations, but the lobby is beautifully decorated and the wonderful aromas seeping from the award winning restaurant was incredible! Wish I had pictures of the inside. My friend is planning to make a reservation for her anniversary as a surprise for her husband next spring. Shhhh....don't spill the beans!

This was the booth of a fiber artist.
She had gorgous handmade items for sale!

Looking north on State Route 10 through the village.

What a great antique desk!
A quartet played music in the park's gazebo during the afternoon.
Have you ever seen such a sweet face? This is one of the Alpaca's that were at the festival. There were plenty of working dogs with their owners and there was even a miniature horse wandering the streets and sidewalks of town.
Yards and yards of newly spun wool yarn!
Stay tuned for part two of our trip to Sharon Springs Fall Harvest Festival and hear about how we met Dr. Brent and pictures of their historical mansion!


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