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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

please leave your calling card...




As you might recall from Christmas' past, this antique Victorian brass tray is a favorite of mine that I like to bring out this time of year.  It was originally silver-plated, but now only hints of silver remain.


  It is marked...  .
MA
from
Mary and Nannie
Christmas
1881


Over the years I have spent hours wondering who was MA?, who were Mary and Nannie?, what was their Christmas like the year this beautiful tray was given as a gift?, where did they live?, and on and on...
Just as I wonder about these three people whose names are engraved on an antique tray that has a presence in my home, I also wonder about you, who also have a presence here. 
Some of you I know, as you leave me dear comments or send emails....but others of you remain a mystery. On my site meter I get repeat visits from places that are near and dear to us, and places that are far away and magical. Dan and I often talk about and wonder who all of you are!

One year I mentioned that I would notice a regular visitor from a tiny town in Oregon and that we would love to know who that person was, as Dan's father (who died when he was two) is buried in a cemetery in this small town.
 Several days after Christmas that year I received an email from the woman.  I cried as I read it to Dan.  She wrote that she lived within walking distance of the cemetery where Dan's father is buried, that her son learned to ride his bike there, and that she and her husband often take walks in the cemetery.  To know that someone across the country just happened to find my blog, and now visits our home, and to know that that person lives so close to Dan's father's resting place, and that this all happened because we share a love of houses is a sweet and dear connection that makes the world seem that much smaller. 
You just never know the connections that we all have to one another... . 

It was the custom in the period of this Victorian tray, that guests would leave their printed "calling cards" in trays at the homes they visited. 
It has become a Christmas tradition on the blog to put out the tray and invite you to leave your "calling card" and tell us who you are, where you live, and/or anything else about yourself that you wish to share.
 We would love to hear from each and every one of you- those who visit regularly, and those of you who usually come and go quietly!!

Please leave your calling card in the tray!

From our home to yours.... 
Merry Christmas!
Joan and Dan, 
Ella and Amelia









Even though it's blurry I love this pic of Ella and Amelia trying to figure out what the other one is wearing!


Jingle-Ella and Reindeer Amelia wish you a very Merry Christmas!!


295 comments:

  1. A very Merry Christmas to you!
    Thank you for sharing so many beautiful thoughts, ideas, and pictures with the rest of us!

    Warm regards,

    Anneli in San Diego

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  2. Merry Christmas! It will be extra special with the addition of Amelia to your family.

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  3. A very Merry Christmas to you and yours from our family.

    We're temporarily in Arlington, MA while our "new" 1893 house in Cambridge is being renovated. Your kitchen has provided a lot of inspiration for me and your write-up on soapstone even convinced my husband it is the right material for our counters. Thank you!

    Wishing you all the best in 2015,
    Susan

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  4. Merry Christmas from Salt Lake City, Utah. I love your house and the charm of new. England

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  5. Merry Christmas dear friends. You have no idea the joy your blog brings to me with each post. I have had a wonderful year with my art being sold through a local interior designer, 3 adult children receiving advanced degrees( Masters and PHD ) , a new kitty named Ruby, and a very significant other in my new life. ( Of course it comes with challenges. LOL ) I hope your holiday is merry and the new year is full of blessings. xoxo Dianne

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  6. Merry Christmas to you, from central Texas where it is sunny, but quite cool!!
    Posie Cat says hello to Ella and Amelia, and hopes that Santa brings them a nice bone!
    Blessings and many thanks for your lovely blog,
    J

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  7. Merry Christmas to you Joan and Dan and of course the beautiful Ella and Amelia too!
    Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home with us all, I always read ( you're one of my favourites) but have never commented till now. Sending much love and festive cheer to you from Norfolk, England. Oh and our young collie/ setter boy would very much like to send Christmas kisses and a happy tail wag to your girls xx

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  8. Merry Christmas! I love, love, love your blog! I am from a small town outside of Chicago, Illinois, called Clarendon Hills. We are about 20 minutes from the city, we love it here. It is a suburb and nothing like the rolling hills and countryside that you have, but I get to see the countryside through your posts! :) Nancy

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  9. I have been following your blog ever since you posted about your kitchen remodel yrs. ago. You were the inspiration to finally "do" something with our kitchen so I have been a fan of your blog ever since. As fellow dog lovers (we have had 4 dogs, now down to 1), we were so thrilled to read about Amelia! Joan, I too ask for "signs" but your post was priceless! Thank you for being fans of pet adoptions. I am the vol. director for a large hospital group in So. Calif. & most of our pet therapy dogs are rescues. I wish all of you a Merry Christmas with all the best in the New Year! I hope all of the joy you send out in your posts will return to you a thousandfold!

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  10. Warm wishes to everyone from Geneva, Illinois.
    Angela

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  11. Merry christmas from Solihull in England (near to Stratford upon Avon). i have folll=owed your blog for a while.
    I love New England, have visited twice in the autumn (fall!) No snow expected here, its been very mild.
    All is now sorted ready for my daughter, partner & 2 grandsons to visit tomorrow.
    Kind regards
    Elaine

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  12. Merry Christmas from Omaha, NE. I have quietly been enjoying your blog posts for quite some time. What fun it is to see your home and surroundings and to be inspired by all that you have done. Thanks for all and a Happy New Year!

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  13. Merry Christmas from Homewood, Illinois!

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  14. Merry Christmas from Roanoke Rapids, NC! I have been following your lovely blog for a few years now and love to visit and draw inspiration. You are living my dream of moving to New England and restoring an old home. Maybe one day... We adopted a rescue 2 months ago, and it was an encouraging surprise to see you did as well. We got a black lab mix male, who is 8 months old now, very much in puppy stage but is so loving and thankful for his forever home. Hugs and kisses to the girls, thanks for sharing your life with us!!! xx Deni

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  15. Merry Christmas from the tiny, rural, village of Rushsylvania, Ohio. I don't even remember how I first came across your blog, but when I did, fell in love with it instantly. I love old houses, New England, dog stories, and the beauty of nature.....all of which you also share. Wishing you the best for the new year! ----Dawn

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  16. Merry Christmas!
    I live in Michigan-near Grand Rapids and also up north on a small lake when the weather allows.
    I enjoy your blog~love my home and my family. It's all about feathering our nests to be cozy and happy, no matter where we live!
    The best to you in the coming year! Lee Ann

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  17. Merry Christmas from your old stomping grounds - Big D! I have loved your blog from the start and always look forward to your updates. Have a happy new year!

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  18. Merry, merry Christmas from the far-northern California redwoods, perched on the edge of that other coast of the US. I love your home, your style, and your story. Thank you for sharing it all, and best wishes for marvelous blessings in the new year.

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  19. Merry Christmas from Raleigh, North Carolina. I love hearing from you. Best wishes for the new year!

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  20. Merry Christmas from Great Falls, Virginia! I have followed your blog for quite a few years now. I too live in an old house with all of the quirks and trials and joys that entails, and provide a home for an assortment of four legged family members. In addition to tending to them, I love to cook, travel, read and think ... all of which I write about on my own blog. It's wonderful to have what feels like good friends in so many places through the wonder of our virtual connection. Happy New Year to you and yours!

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  21. Wish you & Dan and of course your lovely dogs a very merry Christmas and all the best for 2015 !!!
    Hope you will post a lot again in the next year ;)
    Hugs from a tiny village in Holland / The Netherlands ( close to Amsterdam).
    Stella

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  22. I had missed your previous post about Amelia, just finished brushing tears from my eyes! So, I'm leaving my calling card on your tray. I've been a visitor for several years, and I'm from SW Missouri. I grew up in a farmhouse built in 1841, so I've watched your loving renovation with so much enjoyment. Sending blessings for a wonderful Christmas and a most Happy New Year! Debra

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  23. Greetings from New York City and Orient, New York to you, Dan, Ella and Amelia.
    Wishes for health, happiness, peace and plenty all the new year long. Enjoy the holidays.
    Warmest, Anne

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  24. Merry Christmas,
    I loved your blog from the moment I found it and appreciate your kind thoughtfulness with decorating help. I look forward to each post. All my best wishes, Wenda (go Oregon Ducks)

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  25. Merry Christmas from a transplanted Chicagoan living in Agoura Hills, CA! :-)

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  26. Merry Christmas from Issaquah, Washington. You have the best blog ever!

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  27. Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas! Yuko from upstate NY

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  28. Merry Christmas.

    Seattle, Washington.

    Linda

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  29. Merry Christmas from Villa Park, IL!! Just west of Chicago!

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  30. Yours is the only blog post that I will pause my Christmas Eve preparations to read, and again - you never disappoint! What a lovely tray and I also wonder about people who have owned my treasures before me. This year I have a "new" three tiered server for cookies and candy. Several family members will receive treasures that are only new to us and I'm certain they will be very much appreciated gifts. I'd rather shop at antique stores and the like than the mall!
    Merry Christmas from Newark - a rural town in central Ohio.

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  31. ...blessings...and love...laney

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  32. Greetings from Oveido, Florida! When I started visiting home decorating blogs, yours was one of the first I discovered, and I have enjoyed each post and visit to your home. My husband is from Maine, and I love the chances we have to visit that area. Thank you for a beautiful blog!
    Paula

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  33. Hi there, what a lovely sentiment to want to know who your visitors are. My name is Judi, and I live in a village near Winchester, in Hampshire, UK. I'm 55 years young, married to my darling Paul, and live just down the road from my daughter and her family (3 granddaughters). I found my love of house titivating about two years ago, having stumbled across some beautiful homes via Pinterest, and the rest as they say is history. I love decorating, sewing, paper crafts, and have over the last year taken up wood working - I even made my own new kitchen from scratch, which I'm very proud of. I don't have a blog anymore, as I find due to my disability that I might go for weeks without doing anything much, but I do LOVE reading your posts and those of your fellow bloggers.

    I hope that you and your family have a wonderful Christmas.

    Friendly Hugs

    Judi in the UK

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  34. Merry Christmas to you, Dan, Ella, and Amelia from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and may you have a blessed 2015.

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  35. Christmas Greetings from San Diego CA. Amelia must think she's died and gone to Doggy Heaven living with you! Please give your fur babies a big hug from me!

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  36. Merry Christmas and best wishes for a joyous New Year to you, Joan, Dan, and Ella; and welcome to Amelia, you lucky dog, you! Seriously!
    From Sunny in Yuba City, California

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  37. Wishing you, Dan, Ella and Amelia a very, Merry Christmas. The blog is a joy to read - always!
    Peace and Joy in the New Year. Wellesley, MA
    Betsy

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  38. Holiday greetings Joan, Dan, Ella and Amelia! Still find joy in finding a posting from you. Taking a break from cooking before festivities begin. Merry Christmas, Sara, Ohio

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  39. Have yourself a merry little Christmas
    From Bend,OR

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  40. I love this post and love to hear how small our world is. I check your blog often and love to see the lovely home you love. I use your barn room and kitchen photos when I am looking for ways to warm up and make my home cozy. They are my favorite rooms.
    I love your new puppy and what a journey she made to find you, I know she is one lucky dog....as well is Ella.
    Merry Christmas from Tanya in Lubbock Texas

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  41. Merry Christmas from Lott, TX. It's south of Waco...

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  42. Merry Christmas! Love to Ella and Amelia from Raleigh, NC. Please keep showing us your beautiful--even if you think we have already seen it! I love your taste and all your posts. Thank you for sharing!

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  43. Merriest of Christmas to Y'all! Blessing for a happy, healthy and laughter filled 2015! Love your home and try to replicate it all the time.

    Milton, GA

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  44. Joan and Dan, Merry Christmas from Leesburg, Florida. I am a long time follower and love your blog and your beautiful home.
    Hugs,
    Sherry

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  45. Merry Christmas to you, Dan, Ella and Amelia. Didn't Amelia receive the best Christmas present ever this year---your loving home! Your blog is my favorite. We have so much in common--love of old houses, history, antiques and especially dogs!Best wishes for a blessed new year.
    Cindy in Fayetteville, Arkansas

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  46. Greetings Joan and Dan from Madison, Wisconsin! And thank you for inviting us into your lovely home. Wishing you and your wonderful pets, a very Merry Christmas!! ;)

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  47. MERRY CHRISTMAS blessings to you! I'm a NC girl making a home with my husband in Cumming, GA (just outside of Atlanta). Love your blog, love your home and so appreciate your love of old things and reminding others to cherish them and see old things with new eyes. I am mom to a rescue Miniature Schnauzer who has brought nothing but pure joy to our home and lives. We have 7 actual children between the two of us. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas eve!

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  48. Merry Christmas, Joan --- to you, Dan, Ella and Amelia! I have loved your blog for quite a while. Your home is perfection!
    BethA in Houston

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  49. Merry Christmas Joan, Dan, Ella & Amelia - from the Leach Family (Brian, Christi, Ryan, Cade & Marley & Cate (our 2 pups) in Madison, GA. xo

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  50. Greetings from Utah. I was introduced to your blog by a kitchen designer when renovating my NH home in 'farmhouse style' with white cabinetry and soapstone counters. I am a native New Englander and instantly fell in love with the charm of your NH farmhouse. Though only a seasonal resident of NH now, I look forward to your posts to get my autumn and winter 'fix' of New England style. Your (interior and exterior) designs are an inspiration to me year round. Thanks for sharing your love of New England, antiques, and design! Best wishes for a Merry Christmas.
    Monique

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  51. joan, dan, ella and amelia
    wishing you the merriest of christmases and the happiest new year!
    from miami, florida

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  52. Merry Christmas from Indianapolis, IN. I am addicted to your blog. My husband and I share many of the same interests as you and Dan. I first discovered your blog when I developed a love for hotel silver. I was googling hotel silver and a link to your blog came up. I have followed you ever since and so enjoyed the progress of your beautiful home. We went through many of the same issues as we completed a redo and build on to a home here in Indy on 7 acres. I always show Dan's "tractor projects" to my husband, who has an orange Kubota /with bucket that he loves. We also enjoy the east coast areas of New Hampshire, Maine, etc. We both enjoy your good taste in decorating with antiques and things from nature. I would like to send you some pics of some of our collections. Except for feeling a bit like a "creepy voyeur" I love to read your posts. Keep up the great work. I'm sure we ALL miss you when you're resting.

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  53. Merry Christmas to all of you from Merry in Sackets Harbor (a little village right on Lake Ontario in upstate NY.

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  54. Wishing you joy and peace from Altadena, California where it is a sunny and clear, 61 degrees.

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  55. Remembering your post from last Christmas Eve, I checked my email this morning to see if you posted today. Alas, I checked too early, but now here you are! I've been reading your blog for a few years now and have never been disappointed. I love your home and your dear doggies. My doggies, hubs and I wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a joyous 2015.
    Betsy (wishing we had snow) in Peoria, Illinois (2.5 hours southwest of Chicago)

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    1. Betsy, it's on it's way, according to Tom Skilling!

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  56. We live in a coastal town in Northern California - Eureka- As a first grade teacher, I was an education blog follower plus Susan Branch. Well, upon my retirement I switched to "Decorating" Blogs. Susan is still my favorite but- you top the list of all others. Our home is light gray with black shutters. To give you a clue- the gray gets lighter each time we paint and as my daughter let me know I get closer to white each time. Thank you for sharing your beautiful home. It is inspiring.Lani

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  57. Christmas Greetings from Charlotte NC! I LOVE your blog and look forward to reading it. I have 3 (almost) grown children--a daughter out of college and 2 boys (Senior and Freshman) still in. Your pictures of your home and outdoors are gorgeous and inspiring! I share a love of houses (including mine!) My 2 pups Jack and Pepper send Holiday Wishes to Ella and Amelia. Merry Christmas!

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  58. Merry Christmas from Portland, Oregon - your old home town! (I love Eastmoreland) - we live near the zoo and it is very festive here now.
    Best wishes to you and yours this Holiday season!
    Lisa

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  59. Merry Christmas! Thank you for sharing your home and your life with us. I am also in love with your house!
    Erica from Huntsville, Alabama

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  60. Ella looks like she is thinking, "So glad I don't have to wear the reindeer ears this year!!" Amelia is thinking, "Really????" Merry Christmas! Love you, Patti

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  61. Merry Christmas from Montgomery, Alabama. I think I remember a post you did a while back featuring one of your treasures you found in an old home here in Montgomery....I always meant to contact you to ask you what home that was.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful home and lives with all of us!

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  62. Merry Christmas! In July we moved from our home of 26 years to our mountain cabin near Asheville, NC. We lost our wonderful rescue dog to cancer in September, so lots of changes. After visiting the grand kids for Christmas, we will pick up our new rescue pup, a border collie mix. Thanks for sharing your lovely home. Wishing you, Dan, Ella, and Amelia a joyous and peaceful holiday.

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  63. Merry Christmas from Portland, OR. My daughter introduced me to your blog. We live in Ladd's Addition. Love your doggies. :-)
    Donna

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  64. Merry Christmas from Fairfield CT. I also grew up across from a cemetery and also learned how to ride my bike there. Unfortunately I can no long go there alone because muggers hide behind the stones and prey on people visiting. That is in Bridgeport CT (one Town over from Fairfield). Merry Christmas and Healthy New Year. Enjoy those little babies (we have two pit bulls that are the joy of our lives).

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  65. Merry Christmas to you and yours...from Winchester, VA

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  66. Merry Christmas from Wilmington, DE!! Alice

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  67. Your home looks like the picture of Christmas, both inside and out. Just beautiful. Love reading your posts and especially loved the one when Amelia came to stay. So very touching and inspiring. Merry Christmas to all of you and thanks for sharing a glimpse of your New England life with us.
    Cindy

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  68. Merry Christmas Joan, Dan, Ella, and Amelia, wishing you much happiness this Christmas and New Year's, from a 60 degree day here in Pittsburgh!

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  69. Merry Christmas and best wishes for a wonderful new year from NE Alabama. I grew up in Michigan and lived in Portland for 30 years. Then I was led to this little piece of heaven in the Appalachian foothills to be close to family. I'm always thrilled to see a post from you. Thank you for your generosity in sharing your home and life.

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  70. I LOVE your tray! Merry Christmas !

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  71. Merry Christmas Joan, Dan, Ella and Amelia. I am writing you from my home in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. I check your beautiful blog everyday in hopes of reading and viewing another beautiful post.

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  72. A very Merry Christmas and a prosperous, healthy New Year to you and your family from Memphis, TN!

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  73. much older sister susanDecember 24, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    Merry Christmas to you, Dan, Ella and Amelia! I bought a Norfork Island Pine for a Christmas tree this year. Every time I look at it I remember when we went to Galveston to see Gigi one Christmas and she had one decorated in the living room for you. You were about three or four I think. On the way there we listened to the guy on the radio tracking Santa and we were all getting you excited about Santa the next morning. Sweet memories. Pray for Roxi. We love you all!

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  74. Merry Christmas Joan! Always happy to see your postings in my inbox :)

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  75. Merry Christmas! I live in one of the most beautiful towns in America. Madison, Ga.
    Sherman had a friend here who convinced him to leave the beautiful old homes. He did.
    He burned everything but the homes. Come visit sometime! I love your post!

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  76. Happy Holidays from Oak Ridge, North Carolina!

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  77. Merry Christmas from Canada! I'm been reading and enjoying your blog for the past couple of years, but am not one to leave a comment. My husband and I have visited New Hampshire a few times and love it! It is usually as we drive through to the east coast of Canada, through Maine and on to New Brunswick. We are from eastern Canada, Newfoundland to be exact but lived in Ontario for many years and this past summer took early retirement and moved back here. I share your love of antiques and the restoration of your beautiful home. Hope to see more of your posts in the new year!

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  78. Wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Newyear from milford, Ct. I absolutely adore visiting your blog and looking at the beautiful pictures of your home.

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  79. Merry Christmas Joan, Dan, Ella and Amelia. I know you are thrilled to have Amelia as the newest member of your family this holiday season, and I'm sure Amelia is equally -- if not more -- thrilled to be part of your loving family. What a Christmas gift! Love to all from North Carolina,
    Claudia

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  80. Merry Christmas from outside of Washington DC, Monrovia MD. We live in Frederick county in a rural area with the view of Sugarloaf Mountain, our local landmark. We have been in our home for 30 years and just adore it. We have two grown boys and one adopted by heart son as well and all three will be joining us for Christmas. Our best wishes to you and your family this holy Christmas season

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  81. Wishing you a lovely, lovely Christmas. Thank you for your beautiful posts, I am always delighted to see them pop up. My daughter and I did visit New Hampshire this year and loved the beauty and serenity we found - so very different from the bustling San Francisco bay area! Please write often - it is always a highlight that takes me to a magical place.

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  82. Such a clever idea! Originally from Long Island, we spent 30 years in the military and calling cards were a MUST at any and all receptions and visitations for officers. We have lived many places over the 47 years of marriage, and now reside in Tennessee, however my heart is still in New England...and so is our daughter (Keene N.H.) so your blog keeps me connected to her as well:-) Merry Christmas!

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  83. Joan and Dan, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Hattiesburg, MS. Your home is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen. Thanks so much for letting all of us share in the beautiful restoration of it. Your blog is one of my very favorites, and I am always excited when there is a new post from you. I and my two daughters love decorating our homes, browsing through antique shops, and restoring furniture. Wishing God's blessings for a most happy and healthy new year. Louise

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  84. Merry Christmas from Clarkston, MI! I just LOVE your home and decorating style. I love to study each detail in every room of your home! I have a small home staging and interior decorating business here in southeast MI. Thanks for all your decorating inspiration throughout the year. I don't have a blog but do have a website: www.robinsetsthestage.com Robin

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  85. A happy holiday season from Lexington, SC. Your blog is a rich source of ideas and I've learned so much from you about collecting and displaying a collection. I wish you the best possible 2015.
    Jane

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  86. Joy and blessings to you and yours ... and a sincere thank you for the many times you've brightened my day with your blog. Best wishes for a wonderful New Year.

    Mary in the beautiful Finger Lakes region of NY

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  87. Merry Christmas from Klamath Falls, Oregon.

    Marie W.

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  88. Hi and Merry Christmas! Your blog is the one that I always read. It is so well written and I always learn a new thing or two. Your home and grounds are so lovely and I always enjoy the photos. I live in Northern New Jersey, in Passaic County. Judy M.

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  89. Merry Christmas, thank you for sharing your lovely home. I am from Whigham GA.

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  90. Happy Christmas Joan, Dan, Ella and Amelia. I hope you have a wonderful day.

    Kind Regards
    Karen

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  91. Merry Christmas from Dover, NH! I began reading your blog while my husband & I were house shopping last year. This summer we moved into our own little ranch house and have been making it a home. We've also just adopted a dog from TN, so your recent adoption story really resonated with me! Best wishes to you & yours.

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  92. Greetings from Columbus, Ohio (May to December) and Lake Mary, Florida (December to May). As you can guess, my husband and I are now retired. However, when we were younger we remodeled five homes together. LOVE your blog. Keep showing us lots of pictures of your beautiful home and its serene surroundings! Merry Christmas!

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  93. Merry Christmas Joan, Dan, Ella and Amelia from Johannesburg, South Africa.
    I love reading about your life in New Hampshire and seeing your beautiful home. Many years ago I lived in MA for 2 years and remember the deep snow, the freezing winters, the glorious Fall foliage, the lovely people....
    I am just busy finishing preparations for our Christmas lunch that we will eat cold at a table set up in the garden near the swimming pool.
    Wishing you all the best for 2015

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  94. Merry Christmas to you and your family, I enjoy reading your blog because I love the beauty in older homes and love to see how others use design. I am originally from Brooklyn New York and moved to Maine in the 70s. I have been many things in my life but work as a critical care RN. I love gardening and art. Really enjoy your blog. jeanne

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  95. Merry Christmas from Encinitas, California! Love reading your blog, your home is beautiful and your dogs are adorable. Best wishes to you and Dan for this holiday season.
    Xo
    Karen

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  96. Merry Christmas Joan, Dan, Ella, and Amelia from West Chester, PA. I'm taking a break from baking to send this note. Who knows if my angel food cake will be a success? I love, love your blog and your home. My husband, Bill, is retired and we have a beautiful daughter and twin almost two-year-old granddaughters. Tomorrow will be a lot of fun. Please keep these posts coming!!

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  97. Christmas Greetings to you and yours from Southern California! I love your blog and your home of course. I often come by here to get inspiration and dream of the amazing life you and your husband have made in this house. Your pictures are always so welcoming and warm and I thank you for sharing bits of your lives with all of us. Merry Christmas!!! ~Shannon

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  98. Merry Christmas! Your home looks so magical. It is Christmas day here already in Melbourne Australia. I will be going with my two daughters (23 and 21) to my brothers to have a bbq. We have salads made and a pavlova with summer berries for dessert. Lots of bubbly (sparkling wine) shall be shared. Such a different feeling to our celebrations in the southern hemisphere. Ours is much more relaxed and casual. Today's weather will be perfect, sunny, gentle breeze and only a top of 22 (86f). Cheers!!

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  99. Merry Christmas from Ali in Bowral - a country town about 2 hours from Sydney Australia. Love your style and your blog!

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    1. Your blog "visits" are a delight and, I must say, very inspirational. A few years ago, after my husband's death, I moved to a new state and the lovely South Hill in Spokane, WA where I had found a sweet Cape Cod which required top to bottom remodeling - a labor of love (and much elbow grease on my part). Needless to say, I have identified, on a smaller scale, with your marvelous accomplishment. I am so happy with the pillows I have made from eBay purchases of vintage muffs, following your lead - thank you!

      I wish you and your dear Dan blessings of this season and peace, joy and good health in the coming year.

      Riva Grant

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  100. I always enjoy visiting you here during the holidays :)
    Wishing you, Ben and the girls a very Merry Christmas and Happy, Healthy 2015!!!

    xo
    Brooke

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  101. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Mickey in Northwestern Pennslyvania. Love your blog, your style is refreshing.

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  102. Merry Christmas!
    I will have to find a calling card tray. A bit over a year ago my Aunt Marge gave me the collection of calling cards that had belonged to her Mother, my Grandmother. I recognize many of the names, but to my unhappiness I do not have any belonging to her. How I would have loved to see the name Lucy Platt on one of them. Some of the cards are rather plain but a few are rather fancy. My dear Aunt passed away very suddenly in November. I now have two boxes of genealogy material. I suspect most of it contains material that she has already shared with me. Now I will have the originals. I have known for several years that she was bestowing this gift upon me. Also one piece of art work given to my Grandmother upon her birth.
    Today I leave you my calling card – not a real card but a fancy one of your imagination – Rebecca Schildroth.

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  103. MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM SOUTHERN ONTARIO, CANADA!

    Absolutely adore your blog writings about your outstanding decor and your sweetest girls!

    We live west of Toronto in Burlington and have a little dog who is our pride and joy.

    Warmest wishes to all of you!

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  104. Merry Christmas from Torrance, California! I get a little lump in my throat each time you post the 1881 Christmas tray...

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  105. Merry Christmas to you and yours, Joan, from Kirkland, Washington (near Seattle). I am also a lover of all things "home" and have greatly enjoyed your blog. Thank you for sharing. I have now down scaled to "mother-in-law" quarters, so it means even more to get to share your beautiful home and lifestyle. (I don't really wish to be "anonymous" but I don't know what all those other choices are! :(

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  106. Merry Christmas from Pachuta, MS.....Love your home and your blog.

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  107. My calling card comes from McKinney, Texas.

    Thank you so much for inviting us into your beautiful home and sharing your lives with all of us. It's Christmas Eve and we have just returned from church and are ready to light up our own fire
    and share a meal and evening festivities with our own son and daughter-in-law.

    I wish you warmest Christmas thoughts, and will be following you in the new year.



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  108. Merry Christmas from Newcastle, Australia! I have been reading your wonderful blog for a few months now but have not commented before. Our climate here is similar to Texas, so I am very much loving your beautiful photos of the New England - I can completely understand your move! I laughed to read of Dan's love of Darrell Lea licorice - it is my favorite too and brings back wonderful memories of my grandmother taking me to her local, small town Darrell Lea candy store at Christmas time to pick out whatever we liked - bliss! I can still remember the fantastic smell as you entered the store.

    All the very best to you, Dan and your adorable furry companions. xxx

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  109. Merry Christmas from New Orleans, LA.

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  110. Bonnie Jean from the Jersey Shore,

    I love your home and the area you live in. I have lived in New England and have many friends and relatives there. Would like to retire there or perhaps in Nova Scotia where my family is from after they came from Scotland.

    I love the beauty of every season up there. I thank you for sharing it with us all.

    Merry Christmas and a Peaceful and Prosperous New Year to you !

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  111. I am a retired real estate broker on Long Island, New York. I do not have a blog, and I guess you could say I'm a stalker, but I prefer to say I'm just a reader. I found you by accident about a year or so ago, and was entranced enough to go back and read all your posts from the beginning. I became fascinated with your (and Dan's) attention to detail in the renovation of your farmhouse. I loved reading the whole story. I would love to see you post more, but I'm sure there is plenty to do there on a daily basis. Your commitment to rescue dogs is beautiful, and a plight of which I was not terribly aware of. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and all good wishes for the New Year. And now I'll leave my calling card on your silver tray -- and look forward to future posts. Anne

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  112. Merry Christmas Joan, Dan & doggies! I've lived in the northeast (NY & CT) my whole life but in late 2013 we quit our part time jobs, sold our condo & moved to an over 55 resort community in central FL. It's been fun "nesting" in the sunny south - so different from New England. Love your blog!! Wishing u all a happy & healthy 2015.

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  113. Hello from Hooksett NH not too far from you. Love your home and love seeing how warm and inviting it is.

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  114. Merry Christmas Joan and Dan! Looks like you are having a white Christmas. How wonderful. I live in Elk Grove, CA, which is a suburb of our state's capitol, Sacramento. It rained here a little today and we are grateful as we are in the midst of a long drought. All the best to your family in 2015. Happy New Year! Jill

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  115. Happy Holidays from sunny Los Angeles
    Marcy

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  116. Merry Merry Christmas to y'all from Michigan. Hope ya have many merry memories with your new furry baby and oh miss Ella. I love love your blog. and oh my goodness gracious, the tray is beautifulllll.
    Thank you,
    Karen, John, Tank and Tanner
    Kissaroos and Bear Hugs to Ella and Amelia

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  117. Merry Christmas from Bath, Maine.
    Geniene

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  118. Merry Christmas from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania! Your blog is a daily favorite and I thoroughly enjoy all things garden, antiques, home restoration, and especially Miss Ella and Miss Amelia! Please keep your posts coming; they are so gracious and much appreciated! Blessings for a happy and healthy New Year!

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  119. Wishing you & your love ones a blessed Christmas and an amazing New Year from Indianapolis, Indiana! I love visiting your blog and being a "guest" in your home. Thank you for sharing your home with us, and for the inspiration.

    Paula

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  120. Ho-Ho- Ho!!! Merry Christmas from Carson City, Nevada! I always love your blog posts and the darling pictures of Ellie and Amelia this year have really brought a smile to my heart. Wishing you all a wonderful 2015!!

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  121. We wish you a very merry Christmas from South Bend, IN. I have followed your blog for several years now. One of my favorite things about your blog are the stories you share about your beloved treasures. I also am a dog lover and have two "babies" of my own and love hearing about your sweet dogs' adventures. Thank you for giving us a peek into your New Hampshire adventure.

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  122. Merry Christmas, from Niles Michigan. Wendy

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  123. Hello Joan and Dan, You have created the perfect setting for enjoying the Holidays (ar any time of the year, for that matter). Now you will be able to relax and enjoy the fruits of all your labors. Although Taipei City has much to enjoy, I envy you the tranquility and natural beauty that surrounds you there in New Hampshire.

    Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year!
    --Jim

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  124. Merry Christmas from Germantown, TN

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  125. Merry Christmas Joan and Dan, Ella and Amelia! I love seeing the snow in your pictures, but here in Warrenton, Virginia, we will be having a high in the 60's, will be a record for us. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year! donna :)

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  126. Merry Christmas from my family, to yours!

    Vickie
    Tallahassee, Fl

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  127. What a lovely tradition to set out your calling card tray! Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    I live right here in New Hampshire...in New Boston, to be specific. We moved here almost seven years ago when my husband changed jobs. We moved from bustling, face-paced Orange County, CA to rural life here and absolutely love it! We share a love of antiques, gardening, and dogs. I have three (almost) grown children. And we have two lazy and loveable golden retriever rescue dogs.

    Merry Christmas!
    -Kate

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  128. Merry Christmas from Whigham, GA!

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  129. Merry Christmas from The Woodlands, Tx. I have been following your blog for several years now and this is the first time I have commented. I love your blogs of your favorite things . I missed the one about "Amelia" but will go back and search. I too am a huge dog lover.
    Merry Christmas!
    Tish
    Merry

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  130. Merry Christmas from northeast Oklahoma! I have been enjoying your blog for several years. Thank you for sharing your home with us! All the best to you, Dan, Ella and Amelia!

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  131. Merry Christmas from Prattville, Al. Wishing you a happy holiday season. I am a retired antique dealer and love you blog. One of mine and my husband's greatest memories is spending two weeks in New England on an antique buying trip. We love Maine and found many wonderful treasures there. Your blog is always full of exciting and interesting rooms which gives us decorating people ideas.Thanks for the blog and keep it coming.

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  132. I first found your blog after seeing a picture of your kitchen on Pinterest. I based my kitchen on a lot of yours and have followed your blog ever since. I love your style! Merry Christmas to you from Highlands Ranch, CO

    Ashley

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  133. Merry Christmas to you, Dan, Ella and Amelia from Somerset West, South Africa.

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  134. Merry Christmas from Sheffield UK

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  135. Merry Christmas from Choctaw, Oklahoma! I feel like I belong in the east. Your home and town and surrounding area looks like home to me. I enjoy reading about your doggies and all your hard work on your home.

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  136. Merry Christmas to you, Dan and your two adorable dogs! From a longtime follower in Edmond, Oklahoma, just outside Oklahoma City. I love how your blog merges people from different places and time. With your modern day version of a "calling card" and the beautiful pics of your home, there is a definite connection to the past. And I like that. A little something about myself: Since childhood, I have had a love affair with houses. It's very strange. But sometimes I drive through old neighborhoods just to look at the houses and often fantasize about knocking on the door and saying, "Don't mind me, I'm harmless, I just want to come in and take a peek around." Looking forward to more posts from you and "peeking around" your home some more. :)

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  137. Merry Christmas and congrats on the new addition to your family!

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  138. Merry Christmas, Joan! I am writing to you from central Arkansas. Thank you for sharing your beautiful home and family with us. Jennifer Faith

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  139. Happy Christmas to you both. I been spell bound by your amazing adventure.
    Thank you for sharing. May the new year bring you. Dan. Ella and Amelia ever thing you could wish for.

    Best wishes Debbie UK

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  140. Merry Christmas Joan, Dan, Ella and Amelia. My greetings come all the way from Western Australia where the sun is shining and the weather is warm. Your blog is inspirational; I've followed every post and am always delighted to see another one arrive in my email in box. Julie

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  141. Merry Christmas from Georgia! We are all snuggled in the hubs and I with our son, two daughters, two sons in love, two lively grandsons, two lovely granddaughters, our two pups Lily (8), miles (15), and the 4 grand dogs: Molly, Buckly, Bridget and Mozzy. Wishing the most Blessed Christmas Christmas ever!

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  142. Thank you for so generously sharing your home with us----it's always a pleasure to find a new post waiting to be read and to see what's 'new'. Wishing you all the Merriest of Christmas' and a very happy New Year from CT.

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  143. Christmas greetings from Simpsonville, SC. Your post brought back memories from the years my husband was in the military, where calling cards and trays were very much in use. As a young bride, this custom was very new to me. I still have our engraving plates and a small box of my cards. I occasionally tuck one into a gift. Since our military years were long ago, I was wondering if that tradition was still in practice and found the following information on the Internet:

    "Should formal calls be desired, the following general guidelines are observed. An appointment should be made, and the officer and spouse should arrive promptly at the residence of the commanding officer. Usually a social call lasts 20 to 30 minutes, with light , pleasant conversational exchange. The appropriate number of cards is left on a silver dish or tray located on a table near the door. The officer paying the call leaves one of his cards for the husband and one for the wife, as well one for each lady in the house over 18, not more that three cards being left by any one person. The civilian woman (wife) leaves one card for each lady of the house over 18, but never for a man, not even the President. A man can never make a call for his wife nor leave her cards, although she may make calls and leave cards for him, except in the case of a call on his commanding officer." Evidently, the custom continues.

    I have certainly enjoyed my many hours of reading your blog! Thank you for sharing your lovely home with us. Theta

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  144. Merry Christmas from Marco Island, Florida (and Jamestown, PA in the summer).

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  145. Merry Christmas from New Prague, MN. I live on a 13 acre hobby farm in an almost 100 yr old house. I have a barn full of cats, two labs and a kitty in the house. February marks the 4th year my husband has been gone. He passed away 80 days after his diagnosis of stage 4 lung cancer. There was a time when I felt like nothing would ever be the same; I would never be the same. And, while a part of me never will be, time marches on and broken hearts begin to heal. I've traveled to Italy twice and Mexico ever winter. My kids and grandkids are all near and I have a great life.

    Merry Christmas to you and fellow readers. I love your blog, your house, your dogs... I love reading about you all. Happy New Year to us all.

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  146. Merry Christ,as, Joan and Dan, Ella and Amelia! I'm usually in Marietta Ga but this Christmas were with my parents in Amarillo TX for the first time in too many years. So greetings from the Panhandle! I've missed you in my inbox on a regular basis but your posts are always a breath of fresh air. Hope you all have a lovely Christmas and Happy New Year! Cheers! Xo Heidi

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  147. Merry Christmas to you! I have just discovered your blog. We, too, have just moved from Texas (Houston) to NH. We were due to move just south of Keene into an antique center chimney cape. After much soul searching, we decided against that house. We scrambled to find somewhere in NH to go, even as the moving trucks were pulling up. We found this beautiful farmhouse in Warner. We're renting it for 6 mos. as we regroup and decide what to do. We are here in an empty house but with fires blazing and a covered bridge out the window. Your blog has been inspirational to me when I start to doubt our silly adventurous yearnings. If you'd like, I write a blog called "Thyme" (rileymadel.blogspot.com) where you see more about us. Merry Christmas! We'd sure love to be at the finished stage you are in your beautiful spot in NH.

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  148. Merry Christmas from Potomac, MD., where we're having a Wet, not White Christmas. Your story of Amelia was so moving and I thank God there are people like you in this world. I recently took in a stray Budgie (parakeet) that surprisingly flew right into my open hands. I love the unexpected :) Wishing you both a wonder-filled New Year with a lot more good stories to share.

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  149. Merry Christmas from the Minneapolis area.....NO SNOW on the ground! But still beautiful! Have a wonderful Holiday and even better 2015! Rosie

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  150. Very Merry Christmas to you and Dan! Looking forward to seeing more about your adventures with the two pups in the new year. Happy Holidays! Kara, Des Moines, Iowa

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  151. Merry Christmas from Deep East Texas! I live down a red dirt road surrounded by Sabine National Forest. I love everything about your decorating style! I have been a long time reader (lurker) ;)

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  152. A Very Merry Christmas to all 4 of you from just outside Pittsburgh, PA! I am one of your quiet but constant readers and have enjoyed every step of your journey with your beautiful home! Thank you for sharing with all of us.and I look forward to each visit! Have a peaceful, joyous day!

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  153. I collect old well worn and well loved antiques too. I purchased 2 sets of vintage silverware from an etsy dealer and we use them every day. One of the sets is engraved...I love them-they're like useful works of art. I like to think of the owners and the special times they used them too. Merry Christmas from a tiny village in Kansas- your blog is my favorite and I think I've read almost all of it. I love hearing the stories about the different things in your beautiful home. Jamie

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  154. Merry Christmas! I was so happy to read about your addition to your family. Amelia is lucky to find parents like you for her forever home!
    Heather in Eugene, Oregon

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  155. Merry Christmas from Virginia. Thanks for sharing so much throughout the year!

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  156. Joan, Dan, Ella and Amelia,
    Enjoy the merriest of Christmases and may 2015 bring peace and joy.
    The puppies seem to be getting along very well. Such a cute picture.
    I'm a devoted fan from Irvine here in sunny Southern California.
    xo,
    Karen

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  157. Merry Christmas from Lufkin Tx! We are from the piney woods of East Texas. Thank you for a beautiful blog read!

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  158. Merry Christmas to you and Dan and your furry children! I'm back once again to tell you how much I love your blog and hope to someday hold the story of your home in my hands in book form! I find such inspiration in your decorating. I love how each thing in your home has some significance. It's made me want to be more intentional in my decorating as well. Although I live in a suburban home in the suburbs of Kansas City, I dream of a home like yours. Who knows, maybe someday! I'm enjoying Christmas with my three kids and 4 adorable grandkids! Even with a year full of trying and scary events, I know my life has been blessed! Oh,btw as I read through the other comments on this blog I recognized other bloggers I read. It's amazing what a small world blogging has created!

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  159. Merry Christmas from Ancaster ON! I can't remember how I stumbled across your blog in the Spring but I have been coming back because I enjoy everything about your home. We always have a project on the go as our home was built in 1816. :) Best wishes for a wonderful New Year and please give a little pat to your two girls. Jane

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  160. Merry Christmas - I love love love your blog. Best wishes for the New Year.

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  161. Have the most joyful Christmas and the happiest of New Years - with love from Guilford, CT. Your furbabies are so very sweet.

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  162. Wet puppy kisses from Lucy in South Carolina with a few meows thrown in for good measure!

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  163. Merry Christmas from Colorado. It began snowing around noon today and the snow continues to fall blanketing the world in soft white. The perfect Christmas postcard kind of day.

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  164. I haven't seen much of you this year and have missed you. I'm pleased to be able to drop by today and leave my calling card in your beautiful tray. I hope you and Dan, Ella and Amelia have had a wonderful Christmas, and I wish you a happy and healthy 2015.
    Love from Lee (back in Maine where I belong)

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  165. We are sitting around the fire pit sipping the last of the Cabernet and enjoying the balmy Dallas night. Our paper crowns from the Christmas crackers still adorn our heads and Charlie the black lab rests on my feet. It's been a wonderful day. Happy Christmas to all!

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  166. Your girls look wonderful in their holiday finery! Was hoping for some pictures of your beautiful home dressed up for Christmas! We all get such wonderful inspiration and ideas from you! Wishing you and Dan,Ella and Amelia a very Merry Christmas and a Wonderful and healthy New Year! Barbara P from Ma

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  167. I love your blog... Merry Christmas!!!
    From-Missy San Antonio TX

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  168. My goodness, you really are getting alot of wonderful responses! I hope you, Dan, Ella and Amelia had a WONDERFUL Christmas. We live in Avondale, Pa. and as you know, built this new house in 2012, so this is our 3rd Christmas here. This was the BEST Christmas because of our new granddaughter!!!!!!!!!!!!! Our daugter and SIL adopted here and the adoption was final on Dec. 1st!!!!!!!!! The BEST Christmas present ever!!!!! And you might say Colleen is a "rescue" too as she was adopted from the foster care system. She is a very lucky litlle girl too to have a LOVING home now! She has our hearts. We are all over the moon in love. Thank you for continuing to share the beauty that surrounds you with all of us. XO, Pinky

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  169. Dan and Joan, wow, you've been bombarded with responses! Not sure if you're still reading these but I'm from Green Bay, Wisconsin and I adore your blog. Your home is one of my favorites but I have a confession.... I've never left a comment until now. My husband and I have been slowly renovating our one hundred year-old farmhouse and I've learned a lot from you! Merry Christmas!!!!!

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  170. Joan and Dan, I enjoy your blog so much that I've gone back to the beginning and read all your blog posts. I love seeing photos of your beautiful house, however, I love reading about Ella ( and now Amelia!) even more. We have rescued four mixed breed dogs and find it so heartwarming to read about yours. Thanks for a great blog! Donna

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  171. Merry Christmas to all from Indianapolis, IN.

    Helen

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  172. Merry Christmas to you and yours! We are dog lovers and have two rescued dogs ourselves. Enjoy your blog. I have left the love of writing on our blog for a full time job. Someday I hope to return to blogging but in the meantime I truly love reading a variety of blogs including yours.

    We live on a small "gentlemen's" farm in Florence, Alabama.

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  173. Joan, I'm Barianne from a small town in East Tennessee and I'm the one who commented a year or so ago on a picture on my Instagram that my kitchen has your "fingerprints" all over it. I find your style and your blog inspiring and your writing warm and cozy. (that's the best compliment I can give) I wish you and Dan and your sweet pups a Happy New Year!

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  174. Merry Christmas from Marion, Iowa. It's such a treat to visit your blog. Thanks so much for sharing your life with us.

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  175. Merry Christmas from Charleston, Illinois. Your blog and your home are exquisite. I get a lot of inspiration from your impeccable taste and have loved watching your home be transformed. Thank you for sharing it with all of us.

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  176. P.S. I forgot to mention that I live in Burleson, Texas, a small town just outside Dallas/Ft. Worth.
    Donna

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  177. Happy New Year and may God bless you and Dan in 2015. I look forward to each of your posts and enjoy reading about and especially seeing pictures of your place. You and Dan have put so much into transforming your farm house into a lovely home. Your Ella and Amelia are adorable and look very happy. I live in Chesapeake, VA and we are having a warm Christmas this year ~ I'm not complaining! Vikki in Va

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  178. Merry Christmas to all of you, all the way from the Blue Mountains in Australia! I love seeing your home through the seasons and reading your stories. All the very best for the New Year :)

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  179. Hope you've had a wonderful Christmas! Thank you for sharing your home & stories, I get so much inspiration from your beautiful home. Best wishes for 2015 from Sydney, Australia

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  180. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Lawrenceville, Georgia. I always look forward to your posts.

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  181. Merry Christmas from Boxford, MA (just a little south east of you)! Warm wishes for a sparkling New Year!

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  182. Merry Christmas from Wellesley Massachusetts. My young adult son lives in Lebanon New Hampshire, and we have a time share in Bartlett, so I am interested in all things NH! Your photos and writing are beautiful and are always inspiring. Thank you!

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  183. I have enjoyed your blog and refer to past posts frequently. My favorite post is the story of finding Amelia. Merry Christmas to the four of you from Greers Ferry, Arkansas. Gay C.

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  184. Merry Christmas from Appleton, Wisconsin--I love your blog and love the inspiration it provides. We have a 100+ year old home with all its challenges. Our kids are now out on their own, and I'm searching for ideas to give my home a fresh look, and address some of my organization problems.

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  185. Wishing you happy holidays and a wonderful 2015 from the heart of the Big Apple (although I am writing this from Boca Raton, Florida where I am dog-sitting for 2 weeks...lucky me!) love the blog and your style.

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  186. Greeting from Stillwater, MN...the birthplace of MN (1848). I enjoy your posts and look back on many for inspiration when decorating/remodeling my 1902 home. Thank you for sharing your home. Happy New Year!

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  187. Warmest Wished from Idaho. I love that you share your home and garden and ambitious projects with us. They are inspiring. I have always loved houses and especially ones like yours that love has turned into a home.

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  188. Happy New Year from Columbia, Maryland. I love the blog and Ella reminds of several dogs I've known and loved. The new sister is very lucky to have been adopted by you.

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  189. Merry Christmas from Indianapolis, Indiana!

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  190. Merry Christmas from Brookfield, CT. Your home is exquisite and I get a lot of inspiration from it and your blog. Thank you for sharing it.

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  191. I enjoying following your blog. I am also from a town in Oregon...Hillsboro! Merry Christmas!

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  192. Merry Christmas from Midlothian VA!

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  193. Seasons Greetings from France. Like you, former Texans, but migrants before that and now permanently settled in the Loire valley countryside spending all our energy on an old barn of a farm house.

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  194. Happy Christmas from Cambridge, England. I love stopping by and getting a dose of New England living. Thanks and all the best for the New Year.
    Susanna

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Welcome! Thank you for leaving a comment; you have no idea how much your comments inspire me to keep writing- I appreciate each and every one.

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