Monday, December 27, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Greens on the door.

Homemade cinnamon buns in the morning.
To Newbury to be with Sarah and Alan in the afternoon
where we feasted on a fabulous turkey dinner.
Driving home Saturday night to be on hand for the

major snowstorm that started Sunday morning!
Shoveling, shoveling, shoveling!

BUT, the very best part of Christmas by far for Toby and me was being able to watch, on skype, Max and Maddie and Gwen Wren unwrap tricycles and little play figures, and eat candy canes on Christmas morning!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Old Car

New car!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tree Trimming

On Sunday, Bill and Lenore hosted their annual tree trimming party in Hull, MA.

Linda drove in that morning from Port Henry, NY, to join the family and add her ideas to the trimming. Smyth/Speers family people have strong ideas about how a tree looks best: lights first, then big ornaments at the top, smaller as you go up. Tinsel laid on, not thrown. We all remember the wonderful elaborate Christmases growing up--celebrating on Christmas Eve, an old Austrian custom.

Lenore and Bill had a delicious lunch

and then there were family photos--some of Lenore's family and some of us (we never figured out who that guy was in the black vest).

A highlight was to see Hilary and Mike again and share stories with them about the joys of old country houses--they have one near the coast of Maine--mostly stories about what happens when the pipes threaten to freeze in the dead of winter.

Later, Lou came back to Barrington with us and we had a cozy dinner in front of the woodstove, lots of talk, no threat of frozen pipes.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


Here's Toby,

back at his desk, editing his book,
managing very uncomplainingly without the use of a lot his thumb,
very pleased the pathology reports came out clean.


During the summer, I started these painting chairs.
They were a perfect canvas for me: a nice wide seat for patterns, a big enough back for a contrasting design,
and segmented legs that could be painted multiple colors.

Today, two of them (the ones on the ends) went to Caroline Rubin
(here with her husband Noah) for her office at Tufts University.

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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Thanksgiving in Portland

Thursday morning, we drove (on a totally non-traffic-y Rte.95)
up to Tom and Clarice's house in Portland.

First thing Tom wanted to show us was his early Christmas present,
a powerful, sparkling snow blower.

He'd prepared a Thanksgiving feast, with Clarice's help, Christina's too.
We're about to dive into this wonderful food--first, the requisite photo. At the table with Christina and me are Tom's friend Andrea and her daughter Anya.

We had good evenings watching movies from Tom's wide-ranging collection of DVD's.
This is our "alert" pose, taken after the overly schlumpy, not really flattering "relaxed" pose--

the "ate too much, just watched a movie" pose.

Tom and Toby, showing off the woodsy Maine look:
identical red LLBean sweaters and worn blue jeans.
For comfort: fleecy slippers.