Thursday, December 29, 2011

Christmas Day

All was in readiness for the early morning risers.

After several attempts, even Theo's cinnamon rolls were rising.

Breakfast in front of the wood stove, snow softly falling outside.
Then stockings,

and presents--Simon puzzling over his new puzzle,

Theo addressing her glamorous grey speaker and powerful tiny IPod.

Relaxing, taking it all in, enjoying a lovely day,

and playing with Uncle Rob.

Saturday, December 24, 2011


And Gwen's first sledding.
Shrieks of delight and "now more!"

Friday, December 23, 2011

Getting the Christmas Tree

After everyone bundling up for the cold, scouting the property, and much deliberation

we finally found the right tree--small but full (for here) and kind of jaunty.

Toby and David were sent in to cut it down,

Pine necklace crafted by Gwen.

"Straight--Yes? No?"


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Panama Arrives

Happy, happy to see them!

At the airport, getting ready for venturing out into the cold night.

And the next morning, pancakes,

plus Cheerios, Simon's favorite.

Then on to play--with the train set, brought up from Barrington, with faithful Tulip always slightly underfoot.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

So cold that...

the wet mop froze.

Sunday, December 18, 2011


Thinking about things here and looking back at my recent Chocorua blogs, I realize how much energy we spend just keeping up with the elements: safety from hunters when we go walking with Tulip, outside animals wanting to be in (
mice in the kitchen, raccoon in the barn), powder post beetles in the firewood, and cold.

Look how cold it got last night! The 9.8 degrees is outside, inside is 62.

But thanks to a new furnace, radiators, wood stove, and some baseboard heat, we stayed warm. Barrington is comparatively so easy...but not half as exciting..

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mouse Pad

No, not this kind,

But this, the kind kids use to make inky images like whales or cars. Max used these in Barrington to print his foot.

We brought them to Chocorua and, in an effort to find out how very wily mice were getting into our kitchen cabinet and destroying, among other things, my lovely supply of chocolate (sigh), we put a dab of peanut butter on a piece of tinfoil in the middle of each pad, thinking we could see which way their little, now inky, paw prints were going and how they got in.

The next morning this is what we found. Peanut butter gone, paw prints of green, red and blue all around but not going into or out of the cabinet. They especially loved the blue pad, tore it to pieces.

So, on the advice of people in the area who said mice could open cabinet doors and drawers, we taped up all the openings we could find, waited two days, and--sadly--found mouse droppings inside again!! Tonight we put flashlights inside, turn off all the lights and look for small cracks of light escaping anywhere.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


I love the magical moments our four grand kids always come up with, this time Max and Maddie the week after Thanksgiving:

Holding feet during the drive from New Jersey to Barrington.

Breaking into spontaneous dance while wearing masks and listening to the "ABCD" song on a little toy.

Stopping to look out the front door. They did this last visit too with Gwen--I wonder what they're seeing: Squirrels? Rhode Island drivers? The wide, wide world.

Total dedication to their cups of hot chocolate.

And this shot: the family snuggled under a blanket watching a few minutes of a movie before bedtime.

Fun, fun week. We love you!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

M&M's Week Continues...

with a story hour about owls at the Bristol Audubon Society (see Max's great creation)

and a trip to the Barrington Book Store which now has a big children's section. Max stayed at this marble chute for the entire time (except for falling off his chair twice)

and Maddie cruised the book and activity shelves, finally settling on

a make-it-yourself-with-tons-of-tiny-tiles tiara, which she did to perfection.

Sam and Jess spiffed up for dinner with friends and a night out.

Toby and I gave the M's their own special treat: pancakes for breakfast while watching "Finding Nemo."

Friday, December 2, 2011

Movie Sets and Christmas Lights

Tuesday Toby, Sam and I drove up to Boston to see the amazing sets he's been making plans for in LA and sending to the construction crew in Mass. It's a huge set--the movie is called "RIPD" and Boston is very excited about it's being filmed there. It'll star Jeff Bridges and Kevin Spacey.

On Wednesday we boarded a version of the Polar Express in Edaville, MA (near the Cape),

a 40-minute ride pass zillions of lights, leaving Maddie and Max transfixed.

To top it off, Santa came to visit and gave each kid a silver bell. Rounds of "Jingle Bells" followed.

Max found a train set he could play with inside

and bouncy balls--red balls because Edaville is on the site of an old cranberry bog.