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Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Everything & please leave your calling card!


I hope this holiday greeting finds each of you healthy, happy and surrounded by those you love.  Dan and I, and the girls, are all of the above plus grateful beyond measure (I will explain why in a second.) The girls are amazing, sweet, wonderful, precious, adorable, funny, joyous, happy, excited, calm, silly, and soooo full of love.  The joke around the house is that you can't get anything done because there is always some little precious face (or three) looking at you waiting to get some love!  They are the best sisters to each other and love one another so much.  Please consider the below image our Christmas card to you...
Ella. Magnolia. Louise.




Please take note of the wreath on the barn.... the $15,0000 wreath.
Let me say first off....  that Dan is alright.  You see, after Dan hung the wreath I noticed some blank spots in the wreath and lights that needed re-positioning and he brought the ladder back and went up to fix them.  I was standing back to direct and just as he reached the top of the ladder all of a sudden the footing of the ladder started sliding out and the top of the ladder slid down the face of the barn.  Dan rode the ladder down a few feet then fell 8 feet to the ground landing on his hip on a slightly exposed rock under the bushes.  His head landed on a pile of extension cord which probably saved him.  To say it was a horrible thing to witness is the understatement of the year.  But, in true Dan fashion as he is lying there on his back trying to assess the damage and catch his breath he looks up at the wreath and says "The lights look fine!"  A trip to the Emergency Room and x-rays and cat scans later proved that he had fractured his pelvis.  Lucky, blessed, grateful are but a few words that we use around the house these days.  He is on crutches and in some pain, but he is here, and getting better every day.  I tell you this story in hopes that it will remind you (and you will remind your loved ones) to BE CAREFUL.  Did you know that 30,000 people die each year from accidental falls around the home?  And, that it accounts for more than 3 million ER visits a year.  I was shocked, but since Dan's accident many people have related stories of falls that didn't end as favorable as Dan's.  So, so grateful.   Dan is usually extremely careful with safety, but he was in a hurry since he was supposed to leave for a trip the next day and he was trying to beat the setting sun to get the wreath hung.
 So many really bad accidents happen from a simple two-step ladder, believe it or not, so always be diligent about safety regardless of what you perceive the risk factor. 
(yes, the ladder is still as it fell; several kind neighbors have offered to move it for me)




On a cheerier note lets go inside and see a bit of Christmas around the farmhouse!
The living room mantel done in simple greenery, clear lights and little white pearl lights, white Christmas balls, a white orchid, three vintage silver doves, and dusty miller from the garden.




We don't put up a tree, but did light the large hydrangea branch in the reading room with the tiniest of LED lights on wire.




The reading room from the outside in.








   Closeup of the mantel





Such crazy weather this winter!  Like so many of you we have had an extremely unusual warm winter so far.  We have not had even one inch of snow!  I just heard last night on the news that places in California that usually have sunny, warm weather this time of year are bracing for frost.  Crazy.
This is the entrance from the road.





The farmhouse at dusk.





It seems a bit un-Christmasy without the snow, but its been a relief since Dan is our plow-guy and he isn't approved for tractor work;)




Antique urn at the front door




Some daylight photos from around the house





no snow...




I've loved how soft and white the mantel looks even during the day when the lights aren't on.





Real boxwood Christmas "tree" from dear friends/design clients.




The hooligans: Magnolia, Louise and Ella!  A mere six months ago Louise and Magnolia didn't have red mufflers or antique 17th and 18th century tapestry cushions to sit on, poor babies :)  They have taken to the good life quite easily and well!




We had dear friends over for dinner a couple of weeks ago.  We sat in the kitchen as the seats were much softer for Dan than the dining room chairs;)  For six it was a tight fit, but it was also fun being so close together!




Forks were hiding under the napkins due to the tight fit. Antique French absinthe glasses for water glasses and Waterford for wine. Antique ironstone bowls and mother-of-pearl knives with sterling mounts.  On the menu was Roasted Eggplant Crostinis, Boeuf Bourguignon and Buttermilk Pie and Butternut Brownie Pie (aka Luby's Pie from Luby's Cafeteria in the south) - pies neither of which my New Englander guests had ever had!  I made a sample plate and gave everyone two forks so they could taste the pies and let me know which one they wanted.  Everyone wanted slices of both!!  




The girls donning their holiday mufflers waiting for our guests to arrive!





It was a fun and casual evening in the kitchen, with after dinner wine and coffee in the barn room with a big fire.




One more random pic of the living room which I snapped one night from the front porch.  I love what looks like little magic fairy lights on the wall under the window and the floor, and I love seeing little Louise's head on the bottom right!  This sofa is one of Louise's favorite spots.





     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 on the solid brass tray.


  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---- Merry Everything!!
Joan and Dan
Ella, Louise and Magnolia



243 comments:

  1. I think I've commented before (when there is dog-related news) but I'm Alix, also in NH... I'm the archaeologist at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth so I see a different side of old houses -- I've read your blog top to bottom and love what you've done with your house! Thanks for sharing with us!

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  2. Oh I'm so sorry to read this about Dan! I had a close call once a few years ago with a ladder and limestone steps. My inner Spider Man took over and I grasped the stone wall so I scraped my way down! It wasn't pretty but wasn't really that bad either. Love that he cracked a joke within moments. Merry Christmas!
    Stephen/Fat Spider Man from Columbus, Ohio.
    Your house looks absolutely beautiful as always.

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  3. Hi Joan, Oh my stars I am so sorry to hear about the wreath incident. Your poor husband. The things we do for Christmas Lights. My husband could tell you stories. Anyway, I love your blog and your home. May God bless and a Merry Christmas to you. Please follow my blog. I've sent you the link in the past. Just posted a few days ago about my first holiday open house. Hope you have a sec to see. Thank you. (I'm Catherine's friend)
    Lisa
    www.leeshideaway.blogspot.com

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  4. I love your Christmas tradition for your readers to leave our calling card! First, I must say I am happy to hear Dan wasn't terribly injured in his fall. How frightening! I pray he will recuperate quickly with no problems. Your home is always lovely. The greenery on the mantel looks so festive. And your girls...they make my heart happy and leave a smile a mile wide on my face. Just to know dogs are so loved and cared for (spoiled ;) ) is a wonderful thing!! :) We haven't had any snow here in the south western tip of Virginia either and I am personally enjoying this warm weather!! May you have a very Blessed Christmas and Happy New Year!! ~Gina from Virginia

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  5. Poor Dan, I have a feeling he might be sorry when it is time to be able to get up a ladder again lol ... he must enjoy being able to lounge around more .. I hope he is out of pain and just busy healing now.
    That must have been awful for you to see too .. I can imagine :(
    Tell him the wreath looks even better this year ! LOL
    Perhaps hiring a handy man or even better, change wreath locations should be considered .. oh wait ! how about some sort of pulley deal where Dan stays on the ground and just hoists the wreath up ?
    I look forward to being in a new location for Next Christmas :)

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    1. ps
      Dan was right .. The lights look fine :)

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  6. So glad Dan is ok! I've enjoyed your blog (and especially your top 10 lists!) so much! Your house is wonderful! Happy Holidays from Hampton, VA!
    Angela

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  7. I'm so thankful Dan is okay! My mother fell from a ladder when I was in high school & broke her pelvis, left hip, arm & several ribs. Scary stuff!

    Merry Christmas from the Leach Family (Brian, Christi, Ryan & Cade - Marley, Kay & Lexie) in Madison, Georgia!

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  8. Seasons Greetings to you and Dan! I am Nadie from Evergreen, CO.
    I discovered your blog via Pinterest. I love your style and I love New England. Your home is just beautiful and I thank you for sharing it online. It is a source of inspiration. So very sorry to hear about the ladder accident and hoping that Dan will be fully recovered very soon.

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  9. Everything is so beautiful, but my gosh, that is a scary story about the wreath hanging. I'm glad he's OK! Merry Christmas!

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  10. Oh gosh, so sorry to hear about Dan but glad to hear he's on the mend. Please tell him I'm thinking of him. And, you're right, thank God for no snow right now for him. Vermont is lonely without snow. Joan, I wish you and Dan and your girls a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Bev

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  11. Thank God your hubby is recovering. Be thankful that it wasn't worse. It sounds like he has a great sense of humor. My name is Pat. I live in Chicago. After working in the finance industry for 25 years and losing my job during the financial crisis 8 years ago, I took a job at a Lutheran church 2.5 miles from my home. I LOVE IT! I can go home for lunch and be with my 4 legged child. I am married to a guy a grew up with, no two legged kids. Love, love your home, dogs and your blog. Nice meeting you and merry everything to you too!

    Pat in Chicago

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  12. I'm so thankful that your husband is okay!!
    I'm Kathy and wife and mom to 6 kids. I have a happy life in Iowa where there is no snow this Christmas!
    Have a very Merry Christmas!

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  13. I'm so thankful Dan is ok! Speedy recovery to him as I'm sure he has 4 great helpers to assist him. Merry Christmas to you! Your home is beautiful as always. From warm and not so sunny Pittsburgh. Nathan

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  15. I'm so thankful Dan is okay! You certainly have a lot to be thankful for this year. I'm Donna from Madison, Wisconsin...and we don't have any snow either! I'm married and we have 3 sons...all grown up, and one kitty (part Maine Coon) named Bowser. He keeps us on our toes! Merry Christmas to you both...I so enjoy reading your blog! You have a lovely home! ;)

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  16. Merry Christmas from Windmill Farm, a small produce and flower farm in Northern California. I love reading all about your beautiful house. So sorry to hear about hubby. Mine, 2 years ago, went up a high ladder on his shop (with a metal roof I might add) to fix a vent hood that had blown off in the wind. I was in the house and happened to be taking trash out, when I heard a faint "Paula" "Paula". I ran around looking for him, found the ladder but no hubby. I looked up and he was hanging off the the drain pipe on edge of shop. He had slid all the way down hanging on, off roof. I put back the ladder and he got down safe, luckily I was home. You are so right about admonishments of safety. You have a Very Merry Christmas and will look forward to many more lovely stories, photos and dog fun in 2016. Paula Carli

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  17. I am SO happy that your husband is doing well - count your blessings indeed! LOVE the pups:) Your family will have an extra special Christmas this year . . .

    Greetings from the Pacific Northwest (Arlington, WA) . . .they predict a little snow tonight and tomorrow! I am a HUGE snow person - and when I was a kid out in the country in Monroe, WA - we always had lots of snow in the winter - not so much these days:(

    Warmest Regards from our family of 10 (7 dogs, 3 cats:)

    Karen

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  18. Merry Christmas from my family, to yours! I wish only the best for you and yours in 2016.

    Vickie White
    Tallahassee, Fl

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  19. Hello from Boston! So happy that your hubby is ok! I've been following your blog for a while now and love to read about your fur babies. They are precious. And your home is gorgeous. I hope you know how many people you touch with your blog. Many wishes for a happy, healthy New Year to you and your precious family.

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    1. oops! somehow deleted my own comment!

      I visit your blog regularly. Your home is beautiful.

      Merry Christmas from Raleigh, North Carolina!

      odompartyof5.blogspot.com

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    2. So sorry to hear about your husband. Tell him that the lights look beautiful though. Your whole house is just beautiful and I always look for your blog. Hope your family and the children (dogs) have a great and safe Christmas and a Happy New Year. Look forward to your next blog.
      Betty Whatley
      "Down Memory Lane Estate Sales"

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  21. Wishing you and Dan a happy holiday season and a speedy recovery. I hail from Victoria, British Columbia Canada. I love seeing your house evolve and your decorating inspiration.

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  22. I am so thankful that Dan is fine and not in a lot of pain! Your home is beautiful as always. Merry Christmas from Tennessee, although I'm spending the holidays in Florida this year!

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  23. Merry Christmas! So glad Dan is alright. The girls look adorable.
    I have left you many calling cards in the past but this year I have great news. I have a new baby grandson, his name is Mills. He is coming to spend Christmas with me. I am so excited. This is my first grandchild.
    Also wanted to make sure you knew I was bakersartist on Instagram.
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful home with all of us.
    xo

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  24. I love your blog! Wishing you and your family a very Merry Christmas.
    Lisa, Charlottesville, VA

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  25. Merry Christmas from Laguna Woods, CA. Love your girls in their Christmas finery. To think that 2 of them would not have a warm and loving home had it not been for your love of black dogs is heart breaking. Happy New Year, Madeline

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  26. Merry Christmas to all five of you. How wonderful that you can enjoy the holiday season in your beautiful home rather than the hospital! I'm Barb from Geneva, IL. We live in a beautiful little town filled with lovely older homes that I'd love to get my hands on. I'd copy every single thing you have done inside and out of yours!

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  27. First, I am a bit new to your blog, but have been following this past year and do so enjoy my time spent with you. I am thankful to hear Dan's injuries are ones that will mend and he will recover from. I can only imagine the accident was dreadful to witness.

    Have enjoyed reading the comments from your readers and seeing many of them from the south. My husband and I also lived on the coast of Virginia (Va. Beach) for many years and returned a few years ago to our native West Virginia.

    I have just started to write a blog, Maison de Jardin, by Sandra and I hope you will visit me. Even though I am very new to the blog world, I understand how important comments are and I so enjoyed your story about the lady in Oregon. I truly do believe blogs mingle souls.

    Merry Christmas to you Dan and the girls! Love, love the girls.

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  28. It's all so pretty! Merry, Merry CHRISTmas!

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  29. What a Christmas blessing to all (girls as well) be home together and on one piece! It is a lovely Christmas 'card' to get your holiday post. Enjoy this thankful time. Debra, CT

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  30. Greetings from Gallant, Alabama - in the beautiful NE corner of the state and the tail end of the Appalachians. I'm so glad your husband is recovering - what a frightening experience for both of you. I hope his recovery is speedy and as pain free as possible.

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  31. Glad to learn that Dan, while injured, is doing well. My husband had a similar fall several years ago riding a 10 foot ladder down to a concussion and fractured wrist. I am always so happy to see an update from you in my newsfeed. Have a lovely holiday and a safe and happy new year.

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  32. Tell Dan...I agree the lights look fine now! So very lucky, When my husband climbs a ladder I always say " do you want me to foot the ladder?", he says" no I was a firefighter I know how to climb a ladder". To which I respond hope you insurance is paid up then! He gets cranky but you never know, well you do know now. Hope Dan is 100% soon, the girls are adorable. Have Happy Holiday and Wonderful 2016.

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  33. As usual your home is always beautiful and warm and inviting!! Happy Holidays to you and your family!!
    From Gilda (Montreal)

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  34. Merry Christmas from Slagelse, Denmark. I live with my Husband, 9-year old son, a 14 year old terrier and 4 chickens in a 138 year old farmhouse in a small village? We are almost done with the renovations, and I have many, many times turned to your blog for ideas and inspiration. Thank you!

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  35. Hi Ya'll from Big D, this is Karen & John
    Tank and Tanner, we moved back in March
    so hubby can finish out his career, we were
    in Michigan. I am born bred native Texan
    Hubby, is actually from St Louis.

    Oh a little note, might of already said this
    Oops/ Tank, was adopted eleven years
    ago this month from North Park Mall/ my fav
    He is lab/newfie and Tanner yellow lab/
    golden.

    Ohhhh the pics of ya'lls home are out of
    this world Gorgeous!!!!!

    Goodness Gracious, we wish Dan, a speedy
    recovery. Aww Bless his Heart!!

    How do ya get those Precious Sisters
    to pose so PawPuuurrffeecctt.
    These pics are Pawdorable!!!!!!

    We had a scare with Tank, had not been
    feeling well took him to his vet, back
    when he was a pup, doc, referred us to
    a specialist/surgeon, Dallas Vet Surgical
    Center, thought it was hus salivary glands
    which would require surgery, take two
    ir three glands out/thank goodness
    that wasn't the case, so with super
    powerful antibiotics, he is sooooo
    much better.
    I can't believe all the times at luby's
    never tried these pies, must do!!!!


    Merry Merry Christmas and Happy
    New Year to ya'll
    Kissaroos n Bear Hugs to the Sisters.

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  36. Your home is beautiful, I love all of it, but the reading room had me in love at first glance. Well, then I looked around at the rest of the rooms, and all the second glances had me even more in love. Your 3 dogs are frosting on the cake, so to speak.
    Merry Christmas to you and Dan (wishing him a speedy recovery) from Marshfield, WI, where we have no snow..YET..anyway.

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  37. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed and peaceful New Year. And a speedy recovery for Dan!
    Merry from Melrose, MA

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  38. Hi, I'm Tricia. I live in Auckland, New Zealand though when I started reading your blog I was living in the UK. The whole family came home, 2 daughters, 2 golden retrievers, 1 yellow lab and 2 cats. Only way to travel these days, as a pack, or not at all.
    It is summer here, the roses have been spectacular and like many families round the world I am knee deep in wrapping paper. Christmas always seems so upside down here!
    Merry Christmas to you all.

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  39. Hi, I'm Tricia. I live in Auckland, New Zealand though when I started reading your blog I was living in the UK. The whole family came home, 2 daughters, 2 golden retrievers, 1 yellow lab and 2 cats. Only way to travel these days, as a pack, or not at all.
    It is summer here, the roses have been spectacular and like many families round the world I am knee deep in wrapping paper. Christmas always seems so upside down here!
    Merry Christmas to you all.

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  40. So happy things weren't any worse for Dan and he'll be good as new soon. Merry Christmas Joan to you, Dan and your precious girls from Judy in Montgomery, Alabama. You need to make another trip south again and get another treasure from our beautiful city.

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  41. I always enjoy reading your blog and seeing your beautiful home. Hope your husband gets well soon. Merry Christmas from Dawn - Hydrangea Home, Long Island, NY.

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  42. Wishing your lovely family a wonderful holiday and I hope Dan is recovering well(what a scare) as an orthopaedic nurse these accidents are unfortunately a bit too common. Your house looks stunning as always the decorations are simple and sublime. Your girls look beautiful and they look the best of friends such joy they must bring.
    Lynette from Tasmania Australia

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  43. So happy to hear Dan is OK, my husband has also had some home related accidents that terrified me when I witnessed them. Your house is my dream house, but since I live in the West, Paso Robles, CA to be precise, we don't have "historic" homes that I care for so we built a spanish colonial/touch of french home that I am having fun decorating with antiques. Both my husband and I started collecting them before we knew each other, kindred spirits in that regard, there is so much energy in antiquity, I can't get enough of "old" things....Merry Christmas to all of you, I just adore your doggies.

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  44. First let me wish you, Dan and the pups a very merry Christmas! Second, let me say how relieved I was to read that Dan is okay. How scary. I bet the image of him falling is burned in your brain (like the image of my mom falling backwards and hitting her head on hard pavement will always be in my memory). Please send Dan my wishes for a speedy recovery.

    The dogs are absolutely adorable, and so fortunate to be spending Christmas in your warm, comfortable, loving home instead of at the shelters where they had been. They are grateful, I know it.

    Again, the merriest of Christmases and a happy, healthy New Year to you all.
    Claudia

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  45. Merry Christmas! I too had been in an accident and broke my pelvis, so tell Dan recovery is slow but he just has to take it easy. thank you for sharing your home and family with us. We live in south west Pennsylvania near the West Virginia border. Keep posting, love to hear from you.
    Jeanne Bell

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  46. Joan, it is always a joy to see a post from you. Your home is always so lovely, and it is beautifully decorated for Christmas; just love the little lights with Christmas greens. Sorry about Dan's accident, but glad to hear that he is improving. We wish you a very joyous and blessed Christmas and happy new year from Hattiesburg, MS. Louise

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  47. ...blessings...and love...laney

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  48. Love your home and blog. Our home is ruled by 2 Sheltie brothers! Merry Christmas! Beth from Concord, N.C.

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  49. Hello from Raleigh, NC! Your blog is one of my very favorites and I read a lot of them. I love your style of decorating, your obvious love for Dan (and his for you) and especially your huge heart for dogs. I too am a dog person and your girls warm my heart. Kind of silly, maybe, but some of my favorite posts were of your kitchen drawers! Merry Christmas!

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  50. much older sister susanDecember 23, 2015 at 5:37 PM

    MERRY CHRISTMAS to you, Dan and the sisters! Roxi, Ruby Nell and Zekey wish y'all a Merry Christmas too! The girls look adorable in their mufflers!

    So glad that Dan is doing better. Y'all really gave Doug and me a scare! Get well Dan and take it easy for a while.

    Your home looks gorgeous as usual! Sending Love to you five from your family in Austin Texas!

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  51. The Christmas spirit is in full swing here in Seattle. No snow but perhaps some by Friday. The kids have moved closer. We are enjoying the new
    grandbaby. This year I'll be working, nursing home never close. Kitchen staff will feed all employees too. Next year I hope to retire.
    Don'the Rembert how I found you, but each visit is a pleasure.
    I pray Dan makes a speedy recovery.
    Merry Christmas.
    Linda and Cinnamon

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  52. Joan, this is such a beautiful, thoughtful post. I'm happy to hear that Dan is recovering and is upright. What a frightful accident! As much as I'm missing a cold December for Christmas, I have to agree that it is indeed fortunate that Dan isn't having to move about on ice or snow, nor the need to plow your drive. Small things for which to be grateful.
    Your home is always exquisite, but dressed with Christmas greens and twinkle lights creates a magical glow.
    All the best to both of you as you celebrate this holiday season. Merry Christmas!
    ~ Sarah from Austin, TX

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  53. The Christmas spirit is in full swing here in Seattle. No snow but perhaps some by Friday. The kids have moved closer. We are enjoying the new
    grandbaby. This year I'll be working, nursing home never close. Kitchen staff will feed all employees too. Next year I hope to retire.
    Don'the Rembert how I found you, but each visit is a pleasure.
    I pray Dan makes a speedy recovery.
    Merry Christmas.
    Linda and Cinnamon

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    1. Um not sure why my comment posted twice.

      Delete
  54. We hit 81 in Houston today and are still running our air conditioner! Have been following your blog for several years and love looking at photos of your beautiful farmhouse.

    The post about adopting Magnolia and Louise was one of my favorites this year. Our family adopted/ rescued a boxer 5 years ago and we are so in love with Stella! She too went from the streets of Houston to the good life with us. She is our first dog and we feel so blessed to have her in our family.

    Ladders always make me nervous, so glad Dan is recovering from his fall. My husband always insists on taking the lights down (we have them put up) and I don't think I will let him this year!

    Merry Christmas!
    Lisa in Houston

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  55. I am so very happy that your Dan is on the road to recovery. My husband and I love your home. It is so comforting to me to visit your page.
    Merry Christmas from the Hartel home in Omaha, Nebraska!

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  56. Merry Christmas to you and Dan (so glad to hear he is on the road to recovery) and of course your beautiful fur babies, from Perth, Western Australia. I love reading your blog and getting to see your wonderful house and family, especially at Christmas. Being in Australia our Christmas is a lot different from your own. My husband and I have two much loved and treasured Great Danes, Lily and Scarlett, who share our home. I love your girls and the fact that they now have such a wonderful Mum and Dad. Thanks to you our next family member will most likely be a rescue one. xx

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  57. Merry Christmas! So glad that Dan will be okay. That must have been terrifying. As always, I love when you post and any chance to see another photo of your beautiful home. The girls look very nice in their red scarfs and look as though you posed them. I wish you a lovely Christmas. Best Regards, Wenda

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  58. Merry Christmas to you, Dan, and the girls from Essex Vermont. It's always a joy to read a post from you and see another glimpse of your lovely home. If you ever venture further west for antiquing and want some suggestions for the Burlington I would be happy to oblige (and do some hunting with you!)

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  59. I am so happy that Dan will be okay. I am always afraid when my hubby goes up on a ladder. I LOVE seeing pictures of your babies, what would we do without them. I just made my pit bulls chicken with sweet potatoes and treats with pumpkin, peanut butter, oatmeal etc. I wish you lived closer I would give your babies some. I did make extra for our grand dog! Enjoy your holidays!

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  60. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! Love your blog!!

    Renee from Northern California (40 miles N/E of San Francisco)

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  61. So sorry to hear about Dan, that must have been so scary for both of you! I love reading your blog and seeing the pictures of the girls and your house...everything is so beautiful! Thank you for sharing your family and home with us! I'm also in NH. Merry Christmas!

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  62. Merry Christmas from Atlanta! So sorry about Dan's accident. Your home is lovely and thank you for sharing. I adore antiques and have a mix in mine. I too, wonder who people are on engraved items! I have two dogs, a pom, named Cassie and a Sheltie, named Mia. They wear Christmas scarfs on Christmas Day!

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  63. Merry Christmas from North Carolina! So glad to hear that Dan is recovering well. I have followed your blog for many years now and share your love of old houses and black dogs. We adopted a rescue around the same time that you adopted sweet Amelia. I'm so glad to see that you are blessed with two more to be sisters to one of the sweetest dogs in the world, Miss Ella :) Our sweet Scout is a true blessing to our family, and we are so grateful everyday to have him. Thanks for sharing your home and life with us. I hope to see more posts in 2016. Blessings and warm wishes! Deni

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  64. Merry Christmas from Griffin, GA!!
    I loved the story of the tray- I wonder the same about the stories my antique pieces could tell.

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  65. Merry Christmas from one Joan to another who both love the home and hearth and all it stand for.

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  66. So sorry to hear about Dan,love your blog it's one of my favorites.I come from tofino Vancouver island, Canada, its beautiful here and very wild we have a very old bear that lives under are neighbours garage,the deer are always eating our garden. And a family of beavers live in the pond out back . merry christmas

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  67. So sorry to hear about Dan,love your blog it's one of my favorites.I come from tofino Vancouver island, Canada, its beautiful here and very wild we have a very old bear that lives under are neighbours garage,the deer are always eating our garden. And a family of beavers live in the pond out back . merry christmas

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  68. Glad that your hubby is on his way to recovery...I know that a fractured pelvis is quite serious, but happy that it was not much worse and the electrical cords softened the blow to his head....and yes, the wreath looks great!...My hubby fell off a ladder about 8 feet too putting away Christmas decorations on a shelf in the garage that had 16 foot ceilings. Landed flat on his back on the metal Christmas tree stand and actually bent it!...but he was fine....truly a miracle!....Merry Christmas to you and your family. May you have a most joyous day making wonderful memories!

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  69. Sorry to hear about Dan. I hope he is recovering well. Merry Christmas to you and yours. I just adore your home. It is even more beautiful at the holidays.

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  70. This is a lovely tradition, and I can only imagine your curiosity about the visitors that open your emails on a regular basis. There aren't many blogs that I still follow these days, but yours is one of them.

    The wreath looks grand as does the rest of your home, and the "girls" are just the sweetest things ever! I can't imagine the fear that swept over you when your husband fell. Love his comment after falling. Wishing him a very speedy recovery, and a glorious Christmas to you both!!!

    Yours truly,

    Maura Endres
    Princeton, NJ

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  71. So sorry to hear about your wreath story. I live in Chicago in the downtown area and we are enjoying moderate weather for Christmas. No snow this year. Hope your husband recovers soon and you all enjoy the holidays.

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  72. Much love from Birmingham, Alabama!!! I have asked Santa to bring me many Japanese Fishing Floats, Tree Fungus, Happiness Vases, and antique tortoise shell boxes!!! Love, Henry, Stacy, & Audrey Lovoy

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  73. Greetings from San Clemente, California
    Dan.......get well !

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  74. Cynthia in San Clemente, CADecember 23, 2015 at 8:28 PM

    I am so happy Dan is not worse off than he is! My orthopoedic surgeon told me December is his busiest month of the year - mostly men falling off ladders while hanging lights! The girls are adorable and I am absolutely over the moon that you gave a loving, warm home to rescue pups. What a joyous Christmas they will have! I wish you the best of health, happiness, and home in 2016.

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  75. Dear Joan, Dan and the red muffler ladies' clan! Merry Christmas one and all! How sweet your girls look all decked out in their holiday finest... LOVE IT! I'm Stephanie from Massachusetts, about 20 minutes south of Keene, N.H. and 51 miles west of Boston. I'm a Mother of 3 (my baby is 18!) and small transportation business owner. I've lived in MA. my whole life, but only the last 15 years at the current address. I'm a New England girl through and through, can't imagine living anywhere else, really. I'm a RABID Boston Bruins fan (GO B's!) Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics to a lesser degree, but when you're "born into it" it cannot be denied lol! We have a shelter dog too, his name is Fenway. We got him right after the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004. He looks a lot like your girls in size and stature and the coloring is spot on. We were actually looking for a Golden Retriever at the time, but this little guy chose us and well... you know how that story plays out :) I've followed your blog for a few years now, but this may be the first time I say hello? I'm happy to hear that Dan is okay, scary stuff guys! Here's to a speedy and complete recovery. Much peace and all good things in the coming new year. So weird without snow, isn't it!!?

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  76. My wishes for a Merry Christmas for your family and a quick recovery for Dan from Northwest Pennsylvania!

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  77. Merry Christmas from Georgia!
    Enjoy reading your blog! I imagine where you live must be heaven on earth. I have always wanted to visited the New England area. So until next year, wishing you the best.

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  78. Merry merry from Diane in Naperville, Illinois. I have enjoyed your blog and Instagram for some time now. 3 fabulous dogs and no snow perhaps a blessing -- 12 paws is a lot to clean but then again a house is to live in. Happy to learn Dan isn't as broken as he could have been. How do you clean your gutters of leaves in the fall?

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  79. Merry Christmas from Sydney, Australia!

    Love reading your wonderful blog, however am sorry to hear of Dans fall.

    Hope you, Dan and puppies have a wonderful Christmas, Marita x

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  80. Merry Christmas Dan and Joan from Kingwood, Texas! I've also replied to your calling card post and love reading the comments, as well! Just saw this on Facebook and I'm stealing it to post here....Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house; the AC was running because we live in the South! HA! So true for this year. In the high 70s and low 80s here in Houston right now! Hope Dan recovers soon, and always can't wait to open the latest posting from you. Your home is lovely, but doesn't hold a candle to the three pups. I adore them! We still have our 2 year old Bailey, an English Springer Spaniel who also enjoys most of the furniture in our home, whether it be an antique tapestry pillow, as yours do, or a horizontal positioning in our bed at night. Have a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year! Judy

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  81. So glad to hear your husband is on the mend! I live in Magnolia, Texas and so enjoyed your story of how your beautiful girl Magnolia came to live with you in her new home. I love reading your blog and enjoy your beautiful photos. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas - even though the snow is absent this year. We are unseasonably warm here too. 83 warm degrees today.

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  82. So glad to hear that Dan's recovering from his fall. I can't imagine your terror in watching him fall without being able to do anything to stop it...shudder. I fell a few years ago off a painting platform which is just about 2 feet from the ground and it was the most painful experience of my life.
    I visit your blog often but I do think this is the first time I've left my calling card. Hubby and I just moved 2 months ago to North Carolina from TN but in the last 15 years we've lived in AR, KY, IN,GA, Germany, TN and now finally NC...whew makes tired just thinking about all that unpacking. We are here to stay or at least that's what I keep reminding him. Our furry baby, Clarice (kitty named for Rudolph the red nose reindeer's girlfriend) has taken most of the moves in stride because she knows any house can become home as long as love is there.
    Merry Christmas to you, Dan and the girls!
    Donna

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  83. Merry Christmas Joan and Dan. Those darn ladders, have had a few scares myself. Hoping your up and about soon Dan.

    My husband and I live in a beautiful historic town in Wisconsin, Cedarburg. We are busy preparing to host our children and their families. So excited to spend time together celebrating the birth of our Savior.

    We also are having one of the mildest winters ever. Not really missing the snow. We are enjoying our daily walks with our dog, Pippa without fear of falling!

    Love your home at Christmas. Check daily to see if there is a new post from you. It's always a highlight of my day when a new one is posted. Wishing you, Dan and those three special girls a happy and healthy new year!

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  84. Joan, Dan, and girls: Merry Christmas from Mike and I. Cindy

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  85. Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family! Your sweet pups are so cute in their holiday muffs!

    I am glad that your husband Dan is doing better. I am always nervous when my husband gets on the roof or up on the ladder. He seems to be fearless and knock on wood, he has been just fine.

    We live in Sandy, Utah, a suburb of Salt Lake City. My husband and I both grew up in Los Angeles, California and knew each other in school. If you were to tell me in High School that we would end up married in our 40's, I would have laughed at you, but here we are. We moved to Utah almost four years ago from sunny San Diego, CA and have seen a lot of snow this year! Maybe we got yours!

    I enjoy your blog very much! And I love your home! It is so warm and inviting. My mother was from Vermont and told tales of visiting New Hampshire quite often to visit "The Aunts",something I always found kind of magical as a child. Your blog gives me the same feeling at times. Especially this Christmas.

    Joy to your and Dan~

    Arell

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  86. Merry Christmas once again from The Great Smoky Mountains in east Tennessee. So sorry for Dan's accident, but so happy he is OK and so happy to see your home so full of love with Ella's new sisters :) Blessings to all!! Much love and affection., Shine


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  87. Hey Joan and Dan - it's Katherine from Oakville, Ontario.
    Glad Dan is on the mend and it wasn't even more serious (is the $15,000 for medical associated with the fall? wow ..... says the Canadian girl who is on a very comprehensive medical plan). The house looks so cozy, glowing and welcoming. I love the way you layer it with things that have meaning and depth rather than just filling it with 'stuff'.
    The girls look very fashionable in their mufflers and give the impression that they might break out in song together a'la girl rock band. You have to think of a girl group name for them.

    This year will be a BIG year for Richard and I, after eight years together we are marrying in June. I'm hoping to do my best at documenting the preparations on the blog and then the wedding. Our four children and granddaughter will be our wedding attendants. And then my sweet man and I are going to Ireland for our honeymoon.
    Our house design and revamp is complete sans the fireplace on the lanai. I am taking my time to layer the decor and building on the beautiful pieces we have. The main thing is that we are thrilled with the house, proud of the work we did on it and it definitely is home.

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a safe and healthy 2016.

    Katherine

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  88. Dear Joan and Dan,
    Have a wonderful Christmas and a very Happy New Year from Charlotte, NC. Dan- my prayer for you is that you will recover quickly and be good as new!
    My most favorite blog is yours Joan and I always love when it appears in my in box! So beautifully written and always an education!
    Warmly,
    Patti

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  89. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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  90. LOVE your home and beautiful Christmas decorating! I'm Jane from Gig Harbor, WA. I'm an empty nester wife/mom of four, pet Mama of a cat and dog, part-time blogger at See Jane Learn and I work at a darling baby boutique called Charlie Barnes. I'm very sorry about your husband's accident. About 18 years ago my hubby fell off our roof while hanging Christmas lights onto our driveway. He didn't hit his head, but spent a lot of time in the hospital, in a wheelchair, and still has pain in his ankle and foot... Like you we were thankful knowing it could have been worse! I hope Dan heals quickly and you two along with your puppies have a blessed Christmas!

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  91. Merry Christmas from Bowling Green, KY! Love the girls and their matching mufflers. Wishing a speedy recovery to Dan. The house looks beautiful as always.

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  92. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Healthy & Happy New Year from Catherine in Calgary, Alberta

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  93. Merry Christmas Joan!!! I've missed you. Glad Dan is on the mend. I once missed a step and broke my ankle in three places. I was out of my classroom for 10 weeks. I'm very careful now because it can happen so fast. Glad your three girls are thriving. Love their cute pictures. We just lost our sweet 13 year old yellow lab last week. I'm trying to get into the Christmas spirit this year, but it's tough.
    Wishing you all the best from California.
    Warmly,
    Rebecca

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  94. Merry Christmas from Alice and Candice in Phoenix, Arizona! That was a scary fall Dan took, bu t it sounds like he is recovering nicely. Your doggies are so sweet and lucky to have found such a wonderful home. We are twin sisters who are Phoenix natives and we have never seen a white Christmas!

    Take care of Dan and have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

    Alice and Candice

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  95. Merry Christmas & Best Wishes in the New Year from Duane & Terry in Lantana, TX.

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  96. I was so happy to see your calling card post. I've replied to them in past years and always thought it was a lovely idea. This was a big year for my husband and I. After 30 years in the OKC area, we moved to Rogers, AR, and bought an older home which we are fixing up. I've always admired your reading room, and when I first saw the small formal living room of our "new" old home, the first thing that came to mind was your reading room. So I am borrowing many of your ideas in the decor of this room. And, I even set out a silver tray that was part of my late mother-in-law's tea set and copied your calling card tray. So, thank you, for all the beautiful pics and inspiration. Also, poor Dan. That was quite a scare. And would you believe my former neighbor was getting decorations out of her attic just a few weeks ago (it's the type of ladder that pulls down from the ceiling in her garage) and she fell onto the concrete floor and suffered multiple fractures, including a compound fracture of her leg. Her injuries were so severe that she's had to leave her job. So I am glad Dan was so lucky! Lastly, how did you get those precious girls to pose like that? Simply adorable!! Merry Christmas!! I loved seeing your decorations. I'm thinking of skipping the tree next year myself.

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  97. Merry Christmas from Sheila in Oak Park, IL!

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  98. So glad Dan is ok! We have had multiple ladder falls in our family, & it is truly frightening!
    I really love the calling card tray, & the history of it. We bought our first real antique (as in, not a family piece, & over 200 yrs old), an 1800s French farm table, this summer. We often sit at dinner & wonder about all the table has "seen".
    Love your home & your posts. I don't get a chance to read as often as I used to (mommy of 2 little girls), but I've been a longtime follower, & love when I get the chance to "binge-read" through the blog posts. Merry Christmas from just north of Atlanta!

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  99. Merry Christmas from central Maine. Glad to hear Dan is on the mend. He was right, the lights look fine. Wonderful to see your girls dressed up and looking happy. Your home is lovely and thank you for sharing it with your readers. I am one of those silent readers who come to enjoy your posts about your lovely home, but don't leave a message. So warm this winter in Maine that yesterday on the front lawns I saw a dandelion in bloom. Have a wonderful New Year!

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  100. Hi Joan. Glad to know Dan is ok now! We exchanged a couple of emails when I was redesigning my blog & came across your mailbox picture. :) Thank u for that again. (I mentioned you & your blog in the "About..." page.) It inspired me to sketch again. I am from Quezon City, Philippines. I just posted a new blog post about our Misa de Aguinaldo ("Gift mass" held at dawn for 9 days, usually bet. 4-5 am), our simple way of preparing for Christmas. You might want to visit. :) Link at http://meilbox.net Wishing us all happy, healthy, and abundant years ahead! Merry Christmas! P.s. Let me know if you will ever visit this part of the world! I will help you fix an itinerary & maybe we can meet up. :)

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  101. Merry Christmas from Portland, Oregon! I think your house is gorgeous! I especially like the posts about your favorite things. I have found some great things from your list! Sorry to hear about Dan's accident. He was indeed lucky! Enjoy the season!

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  102. Dear Joan, Dan, Ella, Louise and Magnolia, Merry Christmas from sunny Queensland, Australia. So glad the story ended well. Here's to a speedy recovery. Best Wishes......B:) x

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  103. Merry Christmas from Leslie in Independence, TX (just outside Brenham)! Love your girls (we have 3 rescues also). Ours are not quite as well mannered as yours ;) Your home is lovely and I so enjoy your posts. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Dan.

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  104. Still looooooove to see your house and of course the lovely dogs :)
    I am happy to read that Dan is not hurt that much and recovering every day !!!
    Wish you two a very Merry Christmas and also all the best for 2016 !!
    Greetings (and hugs for Ella, Magnolia and Louise) from The Netherlands,
    Stella

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  105. Merry Christmas from Bob and Donna in Virginia. We also are enjoying the warmer weather, though Bob says he wants it to snow for Christmas, not happening honey. I currently have the back door open with screen...I can't say I am not enjoying this! I wish Dan a very speedy recovery. As we get older, that gravity pull gets stronger, keep that in mind. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a bright, healthy New Year! Donna :)

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  106. Oh dear! Poor Dan! Isn't it horrendous how we can do ourselves such a great deal of damage while trying to do what seems at the time a 'small' job, and even when badly hurt how we think of the silliest things, i.e. the lights looking fine. I had a fall in a shop recently while on my way to pay for some china goods, I really hurt myself and ended up in hospital, but my first question ....... is my shopping broken? Amazingly it wasn't!

    My calling card would say that I'm from Fair Oak, a village between Southampton & Winchester in Hampshire, UK, where I have lived for the last 23 years, but will soon be leaving for a new adventure and complete change of lifestyle, in Wales, UK.

    Sending you all my very Best Wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy & Healthy New Year.

    Judi

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  107. I am very glad Dan is alright and on the mend. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Your home is a huge inspiration for me here in a tiny town in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. We don't have snow yet either which is very strange, usually we have a foot by now!

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  108. Merry Christmas to each of you! And of course, speedy recovery to Dan- such a blessing that his injuries were limited to a fractured pelvis.

    We are ready for Christmas but lamenting the mid-70's and rainy weather forecast. Good thing our tiny home will be filled with love and laughter!

    Much love from Virginia-
    Carolyn (Jon, Cooper & Gypsy)

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  109. Merry Christmas from very warm DFW. (We live very near the airport) Sending thoughts and prayers for Dan's continued recovery.

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  110. So glad Dan is ok! Love seeing that your rescue dogs are so happy and are all bonding with you and each other! Your home is lovely and I always enjoy your photos. We would be happy to send you some of our snow from here in Spokane WA - it has been snowing for days! Happy Holidays- Robbie in Spokane.

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  111. Merry Christmas to you, Dan and the girls! So glad Dan is on the mend. Brought up memories of my own husband's 2009 motorcycle accident where he suffered an open book pelvis fracture (broken both front and back). It was touch and go the first 48 hours, and very scary. At least I didn't witness it. Just got the horrifying call from the fire chief telling me he was being medi-vac'd to the trauma center. Ah the memories!

    Now, six years later we are retired (well, he is) and relocated to Florida and enjoying every moment. To this day we still have a heightened appreciation for each other and count our blessings. Best, Beth C.

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  112. Merry Christmas from Charlotte NC! Love love love your blog! Would love to "visit" with you more....

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  113. Joan,
    So happy to hear Dan is ok!! Hope he has a quick recovery! Your blog was the first blog I found years ago & introduced me to blogging!! I love your home & you have been an inspiration for many of my projects. But what I love most is your kindness & love that is abundant throughout your blog. "Fortheloveofahouse" is way more then just a blog!! Thank you for sharing all your beautiful pictures!! I wish you, Dan , & the girls a very Merry Christmas!! Xoxo to those sweet girls❤️

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  114. Merry Christmas from Michigan with NO snow either! Happy to hear Dan is recovering. Our son fractured his pelvis in 3 places...very painful! We haven't had a dog in many years, but love to see yours!

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  115. Happy Holidays! Hope Dan recovers soon. Very scary indeed! Love seeing the girls - it's so crazy how much they look alike. Our little pack keeps us busy as well. Have a wonderful holiday!

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  116. Merry Christmas to you, Dan and the girls! Your house looks beautiful and festive and perfect for the holidays! Wishing you all the best, Susan from Cambridge, MA

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  117. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I'm glad Dan is ok and your puppies are too sweet!

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  118. Merry Christmas to you and yours! Lovely post as always - well except the part about Dan's fall. Bless his heart. His comment while on the ground about the lights being fine made me smile. Probably the only smile-worthy part of the ordeal! Him being fine is your Christmas Miracle.

    Wishing you all a blessed New Year from Tumwater, WA.

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  119. Merry Christmas from Lyn in hot and muggy Houston. I am more of a lurker than a commenter, but I love your blog and style and your life in New Hampshire! I am so happy to hear Dan is doing well. A friend's mom fell from a ladder while home alone (a big no-no) and was badly injured. The family learned of a problem when she was unable to communicate normally by phone. A neighbor found a trail of blood and turns out she had fractured her skull and could have died! She is fine now, thankfully! Hugs to your three sweet dogs! I have a dog with a wonky ear! They are the cutest!

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  120. Merry Christmas from rural Ontario. We do not have any snow either. Such strange weather. My husband also experienced a fall from a ladder. His resulted in some cracked ribs and heavy duty pain killers. I love your home and your wonderful pups! -Jenn

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  121. Merry Christmas from Lubbock Texas where we are waiting on a blizzard to move in with a 19 in snow fall. We are in the high plains with a semi desert climate so this is a shock to our system. I love your home and have often used your photos as inspiration when I am looking for decor. I love your pups and so happy you have given them the best of lives. Tanya

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  122. Merry Christmas from Central Illinois. I enjoy your blog so much and love seeing "the girls" so happy. This is the first year that my husband hasn't put Christmas lights on the roof of our house and I'm OK with that-guess we're getting old. We don't have any snow here either-there were tornadoes in the area yesterday. So strange.
    Hope 2016 will be a healthy, happy and healing one for you and Dan.

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  123. So thrilled to see another lovely post, but sad to hear of Dan's accident. I'm so happy it ended as well as possible. I can relate as I took a tumble on the tennis court the Monday before Thanksgiving. I'm back together thanks to a titanium plate and 10 screws. Second (and LAST) surgery yesterday. But, thankfully for us both, this too shall pass. I'm Barbara by the way from Kennesaw, a northern suburb of Atlanta. I'm so inspired by all you've done to your magnificent home. Hope 2016 bring many more projects to follow - once sweet Dan recovers, of course!

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  124. Joan, Merry Christmas from NO SNOW Minnesota! I still pop in and check for new pics! Sooooo glad Dan is fine, and yes, if you talk to enuf people, you will hear a ladder story! My hubby fell off a ladder 2 days before we went to England! In a hurry too, just bruises though. Anyway....your girls look so happy, and the house, gorgeous as usual!!! Any plans to write a decor book about the house? I would LOVE to have an honest to goodness, hold in my hands, PICTURE BOOK! Have a safe and wonderful New Year too.

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  125. Dear Joan,

    Greetings from the Alamo City!!! LUBY'S!!! I hate to admit that I haven't been in Luby's in a long time... so many new restaurants have opened in the last few years since the CIA opened a branch here and the newly graduated chefs just remain in the county... and hotels - I lunched with family at the newly renovated (four years) St. Anthony on Tuesday + boutique hotels are popping up everywhere. Lucky us! Come visit!

    When I was reading your account of Dan's fall, I thought of Peter and all of our holidays that he has been in an operating room because of someone's chore/project involving a ladder... he's working on someone's hand as I type but promised as he left before 7AM that he was ours all day tomorrow (until his cell phone rings)... DAN WAS LUCKY!!!

    Thank you for keeping us up to date on "the girls" and your home. My curiosity peeked when you mentioned you were helping clients. Protecting their privacy, can you share your experiences? I so enjoyed waiting for updates from you when your house was being renovated and decorated. Would love to read more about your activities in the coming year.

    Wishing you, Dan and the girls a Merry Christmas and healthy New Year... Keep in touch!

    Carol from Terrell Hills

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  126. Merry Christmas Joan (& Dad) !!

    It's been a couple of years since I've left a 'calling card' in your tray. It's nice to still see you stick with your tradition :)

    I am so glad that Dan is doing better.

    Your house is still one of my favorites!!

    I hope to be in your area of the country this next fall!!!


    ~*Jessica from Sumner, WA

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  127. So sorry to hear about the accident. Glad that things are mending. I found your blog from a link to the picture of your kitchen/family room which has a flavor that I quite like for my own house. I followed your link for your chandelier candles and couldn't be more pleased with my purchase! I'm in Connecticut. :) Rainy and quiet here today. Merry Christmas!

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  128. I am so happy to hear that Dan is okay. Many prayers for a speedy healing! Merry Christmas from San Antonio, Texas! Nora

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  129. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Moreno Valley, CA. Dan, please get well soon. We need you around to help keep everything beautiful. The girls look so cute and very fashionable with their mufflers. Your dinner party sounds like it was really fun. I think having it in the kitchen was a good idea. Nice and cozy.
    Be blessed,
    Pamela

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  130. Merry Christmas from Indianapolis! Thank you for all of your inspiring posts. I found your kitchen a few years back on Pinterest. It remains my favorite inspiration kitchen as it looks cozy, not overly fussy and functional....like a place where someone actually cooks. I'm considering how I can incorporate your tips in a remodel for a 1924 Tudor kitchen. Healing thoughts to Dan. Special belly rubs to those glorious dogs! I look forward to each and every post and Instagram photo. Nancy

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  131. Your home is beautiful with just the right amount of decorating. I always admire how restrained your decorating is yet so natural. I'm trying to learn from you! What a lucky "break" for Dan in that he could still talk, and will be walking soon without those crutches; he should be good to go by Spring! Love "the Girls" with their Christmas finery and admire you for having three. I've only been able to manage two dogs at a time and the dynamic of three must be even more different. Merry Christmas to you all and a Happy and Healthy New Year. My wish for us readers: More posts from you! Blessings from Fairfield, IL (way South of Chicago).

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  132. Merry Christmas to you and Dan and the girls, they're absolutely darling. So sorry to hear about Dans accident, my farmer-hubby-helper had a fall from a tractor trailer and is recovering from rotator cuff surgery...we sure do miss our helpers, don't we? The house looks so beautiful for the holidays, as always.

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  133. Hello from a fellow NH dweller from over in Hooksett. Love your home and I love that area of our beautiful state. Have a wonderful Holiday and I hope Dan feels better soon. As for snow, I truly hope we get none this year!

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  134. Your your home is as lovely as ever. I do love the expressions on the pups' faces. It's almost as if they are being patient with their mama while she gets the required Christmas photo. -- so cute! I'm so sorry about Dan's accident and hope he mends quickly. The wreath is pretty!!
    Merry Christmas to y'all from Betty in Grenada, Mississippi

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  135. I showed my husband your blog a few years ago because we have a home in the country too, along a lake in California, and my husband does all of the same kinds of work on the ranch as Dan. He is especially green with envy over Dan's tractor - his tractor is not nearly as new and powerful and I do hear about it ;) I also shared your recent post as a caution about Dan's ladder accident which could easily happen around our place. We love your house and farm! If you want to take a peek at our place, it's at kathyanddavebayly.blogspot.com Merry Christmas to you both, and the girls!

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  136. Your home is just so dang beautiful. And the puppy faces are too sweet. We brought a new fur baby home this summer, after losing our beloved old girl in February. She is in her cone of shame as I type, after being spayed yesterday. Merry Christmas from Portland, Oregon

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  137. Merry Christmas from Carolla, NC. We are sitting on the deck in shorts and t-shirts, overlooking the beautiful Atlantic Ocean.

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  138. Always so happy to read your blog and see your beautiful home.I'm sure Dan has been told this a million times,but he is one lucky guy! The girls look adorable and I am sending you all hugs from Northern Ca where it is RAINING! Merry everything to you and a peaceful New Year.

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  139. Merry Christmas from Chandler, AZ. We are originally from Illinois. Your house and your property are reminiscent of my youth and a visit to your blog is somewhat like a visit home.

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  140. Merry Christmas from a warm, humid Birmingham, AL! Glad to hear Dan is on the mend! Many wishes for a very Merry Christmas and many blessings in 2016! Your pups are the very best, they make my heart happy! And Miss Magnolia's standing ear owns me! So glad you share such love with those sweet girls!

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  141. Lord.....that accident could have ended a million different ways .......so glad it was not too bad! Love your pups! They all look related in some special way. Merry Christmas from soggy, rainy Georgia!

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  142. Merry Christmas to you from Brandon, MS! It is very warm today, but I will not wear shorts!! We hope it cools off soon! We've been having hot chocolate each evening, but it feels so strange when the weather is so warm!
    I truly love your blog - your home is gorgeous, but, most of all I love your heart for people and your precious puppies!!! They are adorable! I am so thankful Dan is on the mend - what a scary event!!!
    Again, Merry Christmas from Buttercup Bliss!! Lisa

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  143. Dan,Joan and girls hoping Santa brings to you a Little Giant ladder! It was after my hubby slid off our roof that we discovered a well made ladder. 2015 has been an eventful year let's welcome 2016 with total recovery for Dan! Many thanks for sharing your wonderful home!

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  144. Love the Christmas card! The girls look adorable in their bright red mufflers...which really stand out against their shiny, healthy black coats. It looks like Louise had her nails done (photo of her in the middle on the sofa) A PETicure! Best wishes to Dan for a full recovery. The extension cord surely extended his life. Wishing all of you the best, today and always. Donna in Potomac, MD...where I'm currently enjoying the faux-tropical 70 degree weather.

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  145. So sorry about Dan's fall. Wishing him a quick recovery, and hope he can enjoy his 'down' time. Your home is so lovely and inspiring. Love your sweet girls. I'm in Fairview, North Carolina, just outside Asheville. Hope our daughter-in-law will be able to get out of the hospital tonight for Christmas with our two grandchildren. And Maisie, our shelter dog we adopted about this time last year broke her toe and had to have a splint put on today. Still counting our blessings. (You can see pictures of Maisie and the mountains on my Instagram feed @hillonthehouse.) Very warm, wet, and foggy up here on the mountain, but the Christmas lights are cheery. Wishing you a Merry Christmas.

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  146. Merry Christmas and very Happy Newyear to all of you from Connecticut. So sorry to hear about Dan , hope he recovers well and soon. Your home looks so beautiful

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  147. Merry Everything to all of you from the Washka's! I hope you have a most wonderful Christmas and New Year!

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  148. Merry Christmas from a long time follower. I found your blog while living in northern Utah. I'm now in Salt Lake City. My husband and I spent 25 years in the Pacifiv NW, most of that time in Portland. Best wishes in the new year and a speedy and full recovery for Dan!

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  149. Merry Christmas! How wonderful the girls are all settled in together and happy with each others company. And Dan!!! Thank goodness he didn't land on his head.

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  150. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!!!! I have followed your blog for some time now and truly enjoy your photos. My husband and I moved back to North Dakota (Bismarck) a couple years ago when he wanted to come 'home'. I grew up in western South Dakota. I am always delighted to see new post from you!!! Your stories about your dogs touch my heart. How anyone can not love animals I will never know. I hope Dan is feeling better and yes, you have much to be thankful for. As a medical professional, I have seen falls turn out much differently.

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  151. Merry Christmas from the Åland Islands, Finland. C.L.

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  152. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from a little country farmhouse in New Prague, MN

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  153. Hello Joan and Dan,
    Marry Christmas from Umbria! We hope Dan has a swift recovery. The girls look so sweet and we are curious how you get them to sit so still?
    Best wishes for the New Year, to both of you and to Ella, Magnolia, and Louise, Robin and Markus

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  154. So happy to see your lovely post, and so happy your husband's OK! I'm always on a ladder and have had a couple close calls (painted my entire house exterior, which is 3 stories high in the back), so I take these warnings very seriously. My brother-in-law fell 2 1/2 stories off his roof a few years ago, right before Thanksgiving. He's tough - nothing but bruised kidneys and a bump on his head (he landed on his back).

    I just painted my mom's dining room Sea Haze, thanks to your blog. I never would have picked that color (I'm horrible, as is she, at picking colors), but I love it in your barn room. It looks incredibly beautiful, especially with pinky-red accents. Such an improvement over her mistake, a mauvy-muted fuschia!

    Just curious - why no Christmas tree?

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  155. Merry Christmas, Joan and Dan. So glad to hear Dan is okay, but a cracked pelvis sounds painful! I am writing from a small town in NE where we do have a white Christmas. We had 10" last week and are supposed to get another 4-8" tonight! Snow is beautiful, unless you have a thousand head of pregnant cows to worry about. My husband, son, and son-in-law are out feeding and moving them as I write, as our other son, the rancher, took his family to visit the in-laws for Christmas. I'm sure they will be all be fine as they have good protection from the wind. I am a teacher and my husband makes wine and balsamic vinegars from NE grapes. (georgepaulvinegar.com) I love your simple, yet elegant holiday decorations. Hope you have a peaceful and fun day with the girls!

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  156. Dear Joan and Dan, I'm writing from Ft. Wayne, Indiana. I love your blog and your home! So thankful that Dan is healing and that all will be well. I love your girls. We adopted our third rescue Golden Retriever the week before Thanksgiving, having lost our previous two. Angus brings us much joy as I know your girls bring you. May you and Dan have a restful holiday and may the new year bring you health, happiness, peace, joy, and time with each other.

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  157. Get well wishes for Dan from all of us! I have been reading your blog for years. My husband Matt and I realized our dream of finding a old house somewhere on the east coast this summer and moved from WA to Warrenton, NC into a historic 1812 plantation house called Shady Oaks. I have read through your blog start to finish many times for inspiration and emotional support in establishing ones self in a very old home and through renovation projects. You have inspired me to document our adventures as well. Our house is our life as you can relate. A very Merry Christmas to you, Dan and the girls!

    With love, Megan, Matt & Roger (boxer dog) Shepardson.

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  158. Here's hoping that Dan is continuing to improve. How amazing that he maintained a sense of humor after such a nasty fall!

    I started following you late into the barn room addition...and became so infatuated that I did a marathon binge reading of all your previous posts!

    Best Christmas greetings to you, Dan and your precious dogs,

    Ann in Southern California

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  159. Wishing you and Dan a very Merry Christmas! I hope Dan is feeling much better.
    Arli
    From the middle of Manhattan

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  160. Thank you for your lovely blog - for sharing your home, your thoughts & experiences with all of us. You probably cannot imagine how much you influence us & how much we learn from you. As a small example - we just got our first gas logs & I tried to copy your's! A Duzy. I figured, who better to copy?!

    I am SO happy for those three beautiful dogs, living the good life with you. Wonderful that they each had the opportunity to become who they were meant to be. And, glad your husband is OK. That was a terrible scare. Blessings!

    My name is Robin & I live in a very rural area in the NC Piedmont. We garden & have bees & a sweet little rescue dog named Ruby. I look forward to your 2016 posts. Thanks again for taking the time & making the effort to so earnestly share with us, your readers. I greatly appreciate it.

    My very best to you & your family for the New Year to come!

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  161. Merry Christmas to you, Dan, and the beautiful ladies! I don't know how you get all 3 of them to sit, stay, and look at the camera! I have trouble getting one to pose!!! So glad that Dan is on the mend as that was a very close call!
    ~Jane from South Carolina

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  162. Joan and Dan,
    First, your girls all look like they could be from the same liter. I know their stories so I realize they aren't, but they are so sweet.
    Second, I've been a faithful follower for the past 2 Christmases---I cannot believe another year has flown by. I, like most of your readers I'm sure, feel like we're friends. I'm so relieved that Dan is on the mend. The house and barn look beautiful. Merry Christmas and may 2016 bring us peace and joy.
    I live in Irvine, California.
    xo,
    Karen

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  163. If you're still accepting cards, Merry Christmas from Geneva, Illinois. Wishing Dan a speedy recovery and a blessed 2016 to you all.
    Angela

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  164. Merry Christmas from Wisconsin. So glad to hear Dan will be okay. Your house is beautiful.

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  165. I love "visiting" your beautiful home. Thank you for inviting us in. My home is in Knoxville, TN.

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  166. Hi Joan, Dan & the girls,

    I'm so relieved that Dan is ok after the ladder incident!! We now hire local firefighter to clean our gutters in fear that something like that could happen!!

    I hope your day was magical despite the lack of snow! I was with Ruth last night for our annual Christmas Eve gathering. It's been so warm here, I'm thinking of doing a Polar Plunge on New Year's day...if I'm ever going to do it, this is the year!! Let's see if Ruth is brave enough to join me!

    Merry Christmas and a Happy 2016 from Connecticut!

    Ruth's much younger sister,

    Mary
    Fairfield, CT.

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  167. My name is Lisa and I live in Sydney Australia. I live in a little single story cottage with my husband, 2 daughters, gorgeous Beagle and adorable cat. I love following your blog and Instagram posts. The love of your beautiful dogs inspires me as does your home which you can tell in full of love. Have a lovely Christmas, a fast recovery to Dan and please be encouraged to post on your blog more often - so good to hear your stories from a place so different to Sydney.

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  168. Hope that your Christmas was splendid !! No snow here in Southwestern Vermont either. Perhaps we had our quota last winter ?? We live on a small farm at the end of a dirt road with two horses and 2 big black poodles. Our kids are grown and long launched! Life is good!!

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  169. Merry Christmas a day late from Bristol, RI! My husband and I are very grateful for the lack of snow right now. After our first NE winter being so brutal last year, we are hoping to make up for it with a mild one this year. Our 5 huge rescue dogs disagree with us though; they LOVED the snow last year. Your house looks beautiful, as always--snow or no snow. :) I hope Dan recovers quickly. I can't imagine how scary that must have been! --Shannon

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  170. Prayers for Dan.
    Merry Christmas from Germantown, TN

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  171. Best wishes for 2016 from Milano, Italy.
    Thank you for sharing all these beautiful pictures of your lovely home and your sweet dogs!
    I hope Dan will feel better soon!
    Auguri per un felice Anno Nuovo!
    Ciao,
    Helena

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  172. Thank you for sharing your beautiful home.....Happy Holidays from Athens, Greece.

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  173. Knew something wasn't right when you went so long between posts. Love seeing your home and hearing about the girls. Praying Dan will recover soon. We had a similar experience Christmas before last. We're back to a new normal and you will too. Kim Tackett, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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  174. Merry Christmas from Hong Kong! I've enjoyed reading about your New England life and the importance you place on your home over the years. Thank you for sharing. TAKE CARE!

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  175. Wishing Dan a speedy recovery! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas. The picture of the girls all decked out for the holidays is terrific!
    Take care

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  176. Merry Christmas from Rothesay, New Brunswick ,Canada.I gasped as I read that Dan had a frightening accident and I am very relieved he is recovering ...terrifying.Your home always takes my breath away and inspires me.It is beautiful for the holidays.Wishing you and Dan the very best in the New Year. Jane

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  177. Greetings from warm and balmy Connecticut. Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year. I'm sure those three sweet faces are part of the plan for Dan's speedy recovery. :)

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  178. Merry Christmas from Bothell, WA!

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  179. From one dog lover to another--Merry Christmas from Mississippi!

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  180. I am a subscriber to your blog via BLOGLOVIN'. I read everything you post. Love what you have done with the house and I'm so sorry to hear about Dan's accident. Thank goodness the outcome was not worse. I'm in Chesapeake, VA next door to Norfolk & Virginia Beach. I'm an avid gardener and love to be in my garden. We had 80+ degrees on Christmas day this year and it is still warm here. I've had my A/C running since the 24th. Crazy weather. May God bless you, Dan and the girls with health and happiness in the new year. Vikki in VA

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  181. Hi,

    I found your blog a number of years ago (I think through Joni at Cote de Texas) and have always loved your posts. Your house is beautiful; I especially love your kitchen and your master bedroom. I now blog myself (I'm a newbie, only been doing it 6 months) and I am on IG (follow you there too!) I thank you for such thorough and interesting posts; part of the reason I (finally!) decided to blog was because of inspiring blogs like yours and Joni's.

    Your dogs are adorable and I am so glad you post about them too! Hoping you had a very merry Christmas!

    Best,
    Sheila Irwin
    www.maisondecinq.blogspot.com

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  182. A tad late but it was a very busy Christmas around here in Texas, warm, warm Texas! So blessed is Dan that his fall was no worse and blessed are you. I so enjoy your blog & glimpses of your beautiful home (ever snowless at Christmas). Please accept my late but heartfelt....Merry Christmas & Merry Everything! Hugs.

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  183. So sorry to hear of Dan's accident, especially at Christmas! I've never written just marveled. Your home is beautiful. I love looking at homes, everywhere, on my walks, blogs, magazines even movies. I think in part because I've never owned my own home, been able to decorate exactly as I'd like etc. I'm thankful for a place to live but being able to buy something, design and do everything just as you'd like would be fabulous!! I enjoy very much what you share here at this place. Thank you

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  184. Checking in from Columbia Maryland. So sorry to hear about the accident. Hope he heals quickly.

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  185. Joan, I hope you and Dan had a Merry Christmas! Rachel from Greenville, SC here :) Several years ago you were kind enough to send ideas to me for my daughter's nursery! (We were in Birmingham then.) Now she is three and we have a 15 month old son who is in the nursery now. I am so sorry to hear that Dan fell, but glad to hear that he is on the road to recovery and it was not more serious! Your girls are just precious in their red mufflers!! What sweet pictures of them! Thank you for opening your home to all of us and for all of the beautiful inspiration you share in this space. Wishing you and your family all the best in 2016!

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  186. Happy holidays from Central Pennsylvania. We live in the country and currently have 7 indoor cats that adopted us, and 2 labrador retrievers. I love your classic, cozy decorating style and have tried to bring some elements of this into my home. It's a little difficult with all the 4 legged critters. I have to put my plants under cloches and purchase sturdy decor items that can take a tumble and remain intact. Oh, what we do for our furkids!

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  187. Hi Joan, I grew up in NH, but have lived in CT for the past 23 years. Your blog gives me a little piece of home, and I adore your warm, collected style. Your kitchen is a dream! Happy holidays to you and Dan, thank heavens he is ok!

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  188. I was thrilled to find your Christmas post this morning after the holiday rush, but so sorry to read of Dan's accident. I hope he mends well and you have recovered from witnessing such a frightening event. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful home and your girls with us, your posts always bring me such pleasure and inspiration. The happiest of holiday wishes for you, Dan and your sweet girls!

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    1. Just wanted to add in calling card style, I live in Northwestern North Carolina in a 1894 farmhouse we restored.

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  189. OH NO!! Poor Dan! My best wishes for a speedy recovery for Dan, and a happy and healthy New Year! The house looks great, as always!

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  190. Hello, I am Mickey from Northwestern Pa. I have been reading your blog for quite sometime and so enjoy it. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year, sending positive thoughts for speedy healing for your hubby. Can you imagine no snow here in snowbelt country!!! Mickey

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  191. Your dogs are adorable, and I love how you decorated your home for Christmas! The outside of your house is gorgeous! Curb appeal is so important even during the Christmas season!

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  192. I enjoy seeing your home and the dogs. Also a transplanted Texan, we now live in Crystal Lake, IL. I first saw the town mentioned in a college newsletter and thought it sounded so nice. Never dreamed I would live here for a lot of years! Marken

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  193. Hello, Joan! I have read your blog for years now and I love your life story. Yours is my FAVORITE home of any I have ever seen on the internet. It is my go-to source for anything I do to my house! I am from Georgia, live in Athens ( Go Dawgs! ) and am blessed to also have a summer cottage built in 1890 in Harbor Springs, MI. We lived in Michigan, upstate New York and Dallas, TX through my husband's career with Ford Motor. I know you probably think you've covered everything having to do with your home, but I am always starved for more!! Thanks for posting on your holiday decorations and sweet, sweet babies. Sending the best of 2016 to you and Dan.

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