Christmas Tree!

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We picked out our family tree the weekend after Thanksgiving. Though we have gone to cut your own lots, we decided to  take a short cut this year. We were all showered but no one was “picture ready.” Luckily they let me take a few pictures, sans makeup even.

We just rolled up the road a short ways to the  Knights of Columbus lot in Fairfax Station, to historic St Mary of Sorrows, and received plenty of cheerful help picking out the tree.

St. Mary of Sorrows in Fairfax Station, dedicated in 1860, has staged an annual picnic and festival since about 1876.

I did not take a picture of the church myself, but the image and full story of this church are credited to the Washington Post link below. Please follow the link to read the amazing history of this church.  In short, during the civil war the church was located smack in the middle of surrounding forces from both sides. Used as a field hospital more than once by union forces, and where Clara Barton (the founder of the Red Cross got her start), it amazingly survived the war. Not so with many of the soldiers buried in the Church cemetery.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/22/AR2010092202215.html

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Mixing In Decor from Christmas Past

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My grandparent’s Christmas tree stood proudly year after year in a big living room window. Somewhere along the way between the late 1940s to early 2000s the street in front of their house became a highway and the real tree gave way to a fat faux one. When Grandpa started to grumble in their much later years that the tree was too big and too much trouble, grandma insisted they had more people to see it now and had to put it up, “just imagine all those truck drivers far from their homes passing by and seeing it, how happy it must make them to see those lights.” Her argument was irrefutable and so until he was 91 years of age he was pulling that tree out and setting it up for her. Continue reading

Window Cleaners – One Holiday List Item Checked off

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So in my Thanksgiving list of lists last post I said I would be having my windows cleaned today. The guys came and have just finished.

I am excited for how sparkly and clean my house looks both within and without.

img_5218   This is the nice clear view taken through an upstairs window.

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Prepare for Thanksgiving – Checklists

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Are you hosting Thanksgiving this year? If so how many lists do you have already? Do you have lists for lists? I will unashamedly admit that I do. By this time I know about how many guests to expect and have several lists with sublists.

To some the thought of this many lists is stressful. To me having it laid out helps me to avoid last minute panic and reduces my stress.

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Here are the types of checklists necessary for me to host a less stressful Thanksgiving: Continue reading

Scaring the Neighbors

We moved into our home just over a year ago. We scoured reviews of schools and looked for a flat, cul-de sac lot with a little bit of a yard for the boys to run and play. Our home is in a well established neighborhood and many of our neighbor’s children are grown.

As Halloween was just around the corner we kept those boxes out of the attic as we moved in. Soon after we got to work decorating for Halloween. I like to add a little fun, some call it spook, to the festivities and have been adding to my collection bit by bit for years.

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I realized as we got closer and closer to All Hallows’ Eve that many of our new neighbors were a bit stand offish and that we were the only house decorated for the evenings festivities. I didn’t think much just that they must be more conservative in their decorating and just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

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The Project Escalation Theory…or If You Give a Mouse a Cookie effect

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Have you read the story called If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff? If so then you know that the child gives a mouse a cookie, but then the mouse asks for a glass of milk to go with it, and then a straw, and then a napkin…and on it goes until the mouse needs another cookie.

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Image from http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/book/if-you-give-mouse-cookie#cart/cleanup

This is pretty much how all my home improvement projects go.

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Sleepy Hollow, Tarrytown New York

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Tarrytown, NY.  Idyllic countryside, and home of the Van Tassell Family and Brom Bones. Also the temporary residence of Ichobod Crane…oh and night time territory of the HEADLESS HORSEMAN!   Continue reading

The Ghost Bride, by Yangsze Choo

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The Ghost Bride: A Novel (P.S.) by [Choo, Yangsze]

Image from amazon.com

“One evening, my Father asked me whether I would like to become a ghost bride. Asked is probably not the right word.” Thus begins this fairy tale venture into Chinese afterlife with paper money, jealous vengeful ghosts, and entire spirit cities.

A young woman, Li Lan, is about to be trapped into a loveless marriage. It is actually much worse than that, it is a marriage where the groom is already dead!  Her father has spent the family fortune on Opium, but has been offered a way out of the self-induced poverty – marry his daughter, Li Lan, to the deceased son of the wealthy Lim family. Continue reading

Fall Décor Part II – Hitchcock THE BIRDS

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A little more Fall décor. See Part I here

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If you read on you will see that areas of my house have also received an overlay for Halloween, with a Hitchcock THE BIRDS theme.

It was really fun to do something a little different from bats and cats and witches for Halloween!

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Manderley Themed Party

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I hosted book club the other night and our selection was Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier.  A great choice for an October book club! Continue reading