TO STAY CONNECTED BETWEEN POSTS FOLLOW ME ON
Instagram @ fortheloveofahouse

Monday, December 31, 2018

a holiday tradition, please leave your calling card 2018!

   
Happy New Year's Eve! 

Here are a few shots around the farmhouse from this past month!
The $15k Christmas wreath;) finally made a return on the barn- after its three year absence 😲 (despite my bitching disapproval, Dan put it up himself, but this time with the help of Big Blue, the tractor, securing the ladder's base.)
You can read the story HERE




It's been a lovely December, but no snow😥😥  We get amazing night skies living on the hill- both to the west and the east; sometimes you can't decide which way to look!  Candles on stakes lit in the garden bed in front of the dining room.



Christmas lights on the front porch.
Nothing says "Christmas" like a Patriots flag;)!



View from the back meadow.   A wreath is on the folly gate at the cutting garden.  The entire upstairs in this photo is the master suite!  On the left is the bedroom, in the center is the bath and on the right is the closet.



Below is the barn room fireplace with a very simple mantel of fresh garland and an antique iron bakers rack tray (I kept one of the trays from the rack that I sold years ago.) 
Someone on Instagram asked to see our Christmas tree;  I replied that I hadn't put one up in probably 15 years (actually more like 17.)  Another person asked if there was a reason for that which got me thinking about what made me stop.  It was the year that we realized that the stress and anxiety, and the "illusion" of the perfect Christmas made us sad and not enjoy the season.  Dan feeling like he had to go to the "mall" (we have never been mall shoppers) and find a Christmas gift only added to that stress and angst.  We decided to do what we could to change the way we felt about the holidays.  ("If you change the way you look at things the things you look at change."  Dr. Wayne Dyer) That was the first year we decided to stop exchanging gifts on Christmas, since we certainly didn't need anything and I didn't want Dan to have the added stress of finding an unnecessary gift.  The Christmas tree seemed lonely and sad without any presents under it, so I simply stopped putting one up.  (I will say though, that the last couple of year's trees were gorgeous- no ornaments, only white lights and the 197 crystals that I removed from the chandelier in the dining room, the same one that hangs in the farmhouse.)  Making the decision to cut out anything that dimmed the spirit of the season for us has made us enjoy Christmas again!  We simply focus on what is important to us and take away all the societal stresses and expectations, and that has worked for us!



Fresh wreaths on the antique iron gates in the barn room.




Our Christmas card on Instagram this year!  Ella is in our neighbor's truck, but Louise (on left) and Magnolia were having NO part of getting in the back of the truck.  After this photo we went into the barn to visit with the horses, hinny and chickens!



The girlies in the living room.




     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.  I would also love to hear what kind of things you would like to see on the blog!
 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!


216 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you are back. You have made your house a beautiful home and I do enjoy the visit. The ladies are certainly a big bonus. Happy New year!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Happy New Year from our family in Tacoma WA! Thank you sharing your lovely home and your pups. One 12 year old rescue pup and two rescued cats. Loving on our 1925 house. I hope you continue sharing things that catch your eye and any new projects you take on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kristin, The PNW has some great architecture and a 1925 house sounds perfect! We have many antiques from Tacoma shops (we would drive up often when we lived in Portland and fly up when we lived in Dallas)

      Delete
  3. I'm from the small town of Lott, TX. I like to see what other people do with their house!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi Leah! Lott is a tiny little town- we would drive through on our way from Dallas to Roundtop! I had a college friend who grew up in Rosebud.

      Delete
  4. Just love everything about your posts.. IG and your blog. You could post every day for my liking and drooling. I’m Yvonne from Lafayette, LA. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Rebecca Ann Schidroth is leaving her calling card.

    We are in a remodeling muddle. Next year I hope to have a picture to share with you of my Grandmother Lucy's calling cards. It includes a lot of relatives. Unfortunately I do not have one of her cards. Some are very plain and others rather fancy.

    Happy 2019

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for leaving your card Rebecca Ann Schidroth!! Lovely to see you here!

      Delete
  6. Hi- I visit regularly via bloglovin and instagram. Love, love, love just seeing photos of your house, inside and out. I live in just 6 miles NW of Boston with two teenage/college boys, a dog, and a cat. Have been reading form years, don't know how many...since before you redid the back yard! Always happy when I see a new post from Fortheloveofahouse!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am a faithful reader of your blog! My husband has also just retired after 43 years of a CPA career. We live in Wichita Kansas. Love your dogs and your beautiful home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy graduation to you and your husband!! Thank you for your card!

      Delete
  8. Joan, thank you for your “invitation”, this is a beautiful tradition. I love your blog. Warm wishes to you and Dan for a wonderful year ahead.
    AT
    from Greece 🇬🇷

    ReplyDelete
  9. Happy New Year! from Bellingham WA
    You should have heard from me a few days ago. If not please let me know.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I have a 2-sided calling card: one side is for https://rusticartistry.com, my online shop for custom furniture and decor made by American craftsmen, and the other side is for my other business, https://emujoy.com, my line of all natural products made with emu oil, for skin, muscles and joints. I always enjoy your photos from around the farm. All the work you put into it certainly has paid off with. You've created a cozy home and gorgeous grounds. All best to you in 2019.
    Carole

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your card Carole! Love that everything is made by American craftsmen. Love all the firepits (especially the Longhorn;) and the Third Rock is amazing!!

      Delete
  11. Happy New Year
    I am a grandma living in the tiny town of Chaplin Ct. Love your home and especially your girls!!
    We too have a couple canine kids and also 3 grandkids we are raising. I love your peaceful , gentle blog. Classic New England !! Like talking with a neighbor......

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your calling card! Happy New Year to you and yours!

      Delete
  12. ...blessings...laney

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi and Happy New Year! My name is Starr and I live in New Iberia,Louisiana! My children graduated from LSU and now live in Zachary and Lafayette. I think I recall you have family in Baton Rouge. We are pet lovers, too. We have a beautiful rescued Maltese that makes everyday a joy. Love reading your blog and visiting your home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HI Starr! I'm guessing it's Starr McD??? It's Stephanie Stokes from New Iberia! Small world to see this pop up on one of my favorite blogs! We've reaised our kids in Seattle, but dream of retiring to New England when our youngest graduates next year!

      Delete
    2. Ohmygosh!! This is too cute! I hoe Starr sees this Stephanie! This makes me so happy! It is indeed a small world!!!

      Delete
    3. Starr, I do have peeps in Baton Rouge, and Louise is from Denham Springs Animal Shelter! Hope you see Stephanie's note!

      Delete
  14. I'm Linda, retired coming to you from North of Dallas, TX, where I live with my husband and little dog! I know you already know this area! I have enjoyed your blog so much and really missed you while you were away. I don't know how I found you, but I studied your kitchen for months before a remodel. And I went back and read every blog post! Thank you for sharing your home and your lives with us. I love hearing your tips and favorite things posts.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi Linda! Love that you studied the kitchen for your remodel, high compliment! Can't believe you read the WHOLE thing!!! I have lots of "favorite things" posts coming up. I have been making lists for the past year;)

      Delete
  15. A fan from rainy and cold north Phoenix this New Year’s Eve day. So glad you’re back. Love your home, your girlies and your blog.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rainy and cold Phoenix is not something you hear every day:) lol.
      Thank you for your card!!

      Delete
  16. Hello! It’s your admirer in Kansas! I can’t tell you how happy I am to see new posts from you! I hope you, Dan and the girls have a healthy, happy magical 2019!!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hi Joan

    I adore your calling card tradition. I am so happy you are blogging again. Your home looks lovely in the candlelight and always. Congrats to Dan on his retirement. Happy New Year !! Cindy from Rough Luxe Lifestyle!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I visit your blog.....we live in a very modest home in Wellborn, Fl....north Florida......we too have a love of rescued dogs.....we actually had one cross the rainbow bridge today. We had shared almost 14 years with her........but love to see your girls. Since we are alot older than you two, we are thinking we may help senior dogs.......we still have 2 other dogs.....also old........but we understand that letting them go when we see it may be time.....please show us and tell us about your girls........we will miss our Ebbie Sue....but will share a run one day.......we have had all our babies cremated as we will be one day.....and blow in the breeze together......thanks for your blog and for always sharing.....gloria g. Walls

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gloria, My deepest sympathy for the loss of your sweet Ebbie Sue. I think it is absolutely wonderful that you and your husband are thinking of helping senior dogs. There is such a need there, as you know. One of my favorite Instagram accounts that I follow is Steve- he adopts seniors and has a houseful- even a pig and some chickens. As crazy as that sounds it all is so perfectly ordinary with him! He is wolfgang2242 on Instagram, and if you aren't on IG you can still see his page on the computer with this link... https://www.instagram.com/wolfgang2242/?hl=en
      He is a saint and so so funny! Happy New Year to you and your husband. Please let me know about any future additions to your family at fortheloveofahouse@comcast.net ! (btw, my maiden name is Wall - no s, but close enough!)

      Delete
  19. Happy New Year from central Florida! I was so happy to see your return to posting.I discovered your blog just as we were building a vacation home, and got lots of inspiration from your beautiful home. We have two pups, one which was adopted from our local animal control. Whenever he's having a particularly wonderful moment we like to say "it was a good day at the pound." Obviously, that holds true for your three! Hope to see more posts in the new year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohhh, I love your saying when he's having a wonderful moment! Thank you for your card!

      Delete
  20. Happy New Year from Middletown, Connecticut! I enjoy seeing your canine trio and lovely home. I am hoping this is the year we adopt a dog; we lost our dear Violet, a Boston Terrier stray from Mississippi, in 2014.

    Best wishes, Tisha

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Middletown looks lovely! I hope you adopt again this year too! So many need homes. Violet would want her place in your lap to be warm again. It is her legacy. xxo

      Delete
  21. Happy New Year, Joan and Dan! So happy that you are blogging again. You will forever be my favorite spot to stop for a visit! I love how you have simplified Christmas to meet your needs. I am with Dan, refuse to visit a mall! Sending hugs from (snowless) Wisconsin.

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you for sharing your lovely home. Like you, we too have not put up a christmas tree in several years. Much of our home is decorated that not having a tree is not missed. Also, like you my husband and I have little expectations on receiving christmas gifts as there is little we need or desire and rather put our efforts towards gifting others. Our calling card comes to you from metro Atlanta, Georgia. From our home to yours, we wish you both a blessed and peaceful 2019.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Vel (love your name)! We miss our trips to the Scott Show. Do you go?! Thank you for your card!

      Delete
  23. Happy New Year, I commented on your post when you came back to blogging but I'm not sure it was posted. Hope to see more from you in 2019.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Happy new year from a sunny and warm Tasmania. Hope your fur babies are all snuggled up and warm. All the best for 2019. Di x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, Tasmania!! That is so cool to get a card from your beautiful country. I had no idea it was so beautiful! xxo

      Delete
  25. What a lovely post (as always!) explaining your Christmas traditions. I have completed a half circle of the country - growing up in Michigan, college in NE Iowa, Minneapolis for 7 years, Portland Oregon for 30 years and now NE Alabama, much to my amazement. I am on 3 acres in the country (lovely country, too) and am happiest working in the yard or putzing around the house, happily retired. Thank you for being you and for sharing your life. I'm a cat person, though dogs are wonderful, too, and appreciate the care you share for animals. Best wishes for a wonderful new year for all of you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that you have lived in so many parts of our beautiful country Barbara! We were probably in Portland at the same time (early 90's; we lived in Eastmoreland.) Wouldn't it be fun to know if our paths ever crossed!

      Delete
  26. Dear Joan, Dan and girls, I still revisit your blog and scroll through past posts. They are always inspiring and enjoyable. The Mister and I moved (downsized) from our home of 35 years 18 months ago. We are still living in Irvine, CA and have enjoyed the rental we are living in. It felt good to pare down and use the much loved things we have amassed over our 46 year marriage. I'm retiring later this month and will begin a new adventure "Bunch Garden Design". I've very excited to return to creating pretty gardens for people after a 15 year absence.
    92612 California. Enjoy your retirement Dan!
    xo,
    Karen

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi Karen! I'm excited for you to start creating gardens again! You need to start blogging again too ;) Happy you are loving the pare down- so important to be happy in life! xxo

      Delete
  27. Hello,
    I live in Calgary, Alberta, Canada (one hr. drive to Banff).

    Your Christmas message is so after my own heart. It's New Year's Eve, some snow on the ground, sunny and 18 degrees F at the moment, and I love the cold (in fact, all the seasons).

    I absolutely love, love, love visiting your home, and hearing the stories. You fill up my senses.

    Thank you for being so gracious.

    Alara

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alara (I love your name btw) that is such a lovely thing to hear, thank you! I have been to Banff, it is gorgeous country!

      Delete
  28. Happy New Year from Bob and Donna and Maggie (11 yr old golden) in Warrenton, Va, very wet, very balmy Virginia! Hope you get your snow for the New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I enjoyed reading your post today. My husband and I decided this year to do away with the idea of gifts and it made the holiday so much nicer. Getting or receiving gifts has never been our favorite party of Christmas anyway. We even bought our first artificial tree and we're so glad we did. It's so much less stressful than dealing with a real tree. I'm Tammie from Virginia and wish you a Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  30. Have a wonderful New Year! I'm signing in from Orange County, Virginia, but have followed you from faraway places during many travels. I am desperately trying to move to Vermont/New Hampshire, and I envy you your wonderful home. I had a $15K situation as well, so I deeply sympathize with Dan!
    Wishing you love and laughter and good health in the New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just looked up Orange County, Virginia and it is stunning! Hope you're okay too after your $15k situation. xxo

      Delete
  31. Joan: I’ve loved your home, your girls, and life in New England for several years now. I have recently moved to Bloomington, IN. I’m finding it hard downsizing but am trying to hold on to only what is most important. You once wrote that you had a formula/trick/recipe for finding the right sofa. I will be in the market for a new one soon and I don’t want to make a mistake. I want comfortable but it will also be in the “living room” so it needs to have a slight formal feel. I noticed that your sofas in the barn room don’t have slipcovers anymore. What kind of fabric is a good choice? We have a Golden Retriever that is allowed on the sofa so I need pet-friendly fabric. And where did you get your leather recliners that are in the barn room? And you mentioned once doing an article on taking care of orchids. I seem to kill mine.
    Thank you for all your posts. You are one of my top two favorite bloggers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi Julie, hummmm I don't recall saying I had a formula or trick for finding the right sofa?? I might be wrong, but that's not ringing any bells. Maybe someone who reads this will chime in. Yes, I took the slips off the sofas for the winter. I will do a post showing how the room looks now compared to when I last did a winter post. I love that you let your Golden on the sofa too! Velvet is always good and I especially like a fabric that has a weave to it. Like my living room sofa which is amazingly dog proof! Look at Pottery Barn (or Restoration Hardware??) for similar leather recliners. I will work on an orchid post also! Thank you for your card and the compliment!

      Delete
  32. I I have followed you for years,and am always glad to see your email. So far I’ve resisted Instagram as I know I would get “hooked”! I well remember your very expensive wreath and am glad it was placed this year with no “excitement”! I am a born and reared Mississippi girl who really loves your style,so keep the emails coming! Happy,happy new year to you Dan and the girls. And I hope you can post snow pictures soon!
    ������ Betty B.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being visual I absolutely love Instagram... you will too!!! :)
      Thank you for your card Betty!

      Delete
  33. A Patriots flag! Now you are true New Englanders! Happy Hogmanay from a Scot living in Newport, RI. Lovely to see you blogging again.xxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I had to look up Hogmanay!! We were just in RI last week! I once worked in advertising in Austin with a woman named Iona. I always thought it was such a pretty name! Thank you for leaving your card!

      Delete
  34. Greetings and Happy New Year from Dover NH! I love reading your post and seeing the pictures of the farmhouse and the girls!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello NH neighbor! Thank you for your card! Where's our snow?!!

      Delete
  35. Our two beloved adoptees, Bruno the long-haired Dachshund, and Callie the cat, join us in wishing the five of you a wonderful New Year, from Princeton, NJ and Orient, NY.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Georgia and kisses to Bruno and Callie! xxo

      Delete
  36. Been following you for years, and I'm glad to see The Girls looking so well.

    Happy New Year from San Diego CA.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes you have Auntipatch!! And thank you for it! Happy new year!!

      Delete
  37. Greetings and salutations from South Carolina! I love your idea of a simplified Christmas and wish you, Dan, and the girls many blessings in the new year!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Karen Zimmerman Chaudoin leaving her calling card visiting from Grimesland North Carolina. We all, including, CoCo Berry from down the road wondering a farm kind of dog, Guizmo the squished face baby replacement cat no longer needed by a childless woman who found a child to adopt, Rosie Belle brown treat eating machine cat gotta love being on the other side of the bars, and all the corn eating staying alive staying alive ducks on the lake wish only the healthiest and merriest and warmest of New Years to you and yours!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a LOT of lovely well wishes Karen Zimmerman Chaudoin!! Thank you for the lovely card!

      Delete
  39. Happy New Year's from Baton Rouge. Love seeing your house and hearing your stories of you, Dan, and the girls.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Love your blog. Keep doing “you”! Happy New Year from northwest Kentucky!

    ReplyDelete
  41. Happy New Year from Castaic, California! I enjoy this tradition of leaving my calling card...May 2019 bring you much joy, health, and happiness!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Happy New Year from Ankeny, Iowa! Many blessings on your upcoming year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Kathy! Ankeny looks like a very nice place!

      Delete
  43. I am very happy to see you back posting. I enjoy seeing pictures of your home and garden, hearing about projects you are working on, and your "favorites list". I would also be interested in hearing about your plans in retirement - how things are working out, trials and tribulations, advice, you name it (I have yet to retire, but it's coming in a few short years). Happy New Year to you and yours - Jeannine from Wisconsin.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your card Jeannine! I have several "favorites" to share! And the retirement suggestions is a good idea. Dan would say 'you can never have too much money going into retirement!' lol!

      Delete
    2. And I say you can never have too many puppy dogs!! :)

      Delete
  44. Wishing you much love and happiness in the New Year and that you find your new normal with the retirement routine! It has been so fun to watch your home be transformed over the years,
    all of it is beautiful! I love that you and Dan found a way to do what works for you during the holidays. I think too many people go through the motions and they don't make them any happier. Finding what makes you happy is truly key! So glad you are back !

    ReplyDelete
  45. Seasons greetings! I came across your blog for the first time a couple of years ago. I fell in love with your beautiful home in the country. Although we live in a suburb north of Chicago, I would love to live in a more rural setting. We have the natural beauty of a ravine in our backyard, and Lake Michigan a block away, but the country calls to me. Maybe partially because my daughter has a horse boarded a half hour away! We have spent the last 20 years restoring our Dutch Colonial home (built in 1920) and are on our 3rd and 4th rescue dogs, who are loved and spoiled every bit as much as your three seem to be! Please keep posting. I so enjoy seeing the beauty of your home inside and out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tracy, thank you for your card. A ravine in your backyard sounds wonderful, not to mention Lake Michigan a block away! And the 1920s-30s were such great year for houses! I'm sure your home is amazing. Kisses to the rescue pups!

      Delete
  46. HAPPY NEW YEAR from Middlesex, North Carolina....a small town with friendly people! Living the country life with hubby and three cats but close to city life.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Happy New Year! I enjoy reading about especially seeing all the pictures of your lovely home, you are a wiz at interior design.

    ReplyDelete
  48. Happy New Year from just down the road in Tyngsborough MA. Love reading your blog and your beautiful style.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Hi Joan & Dan and sweet pups! I missed your blog posts this year, but I am glad you took a break to enjoy life and retirement. My husband and I feel the exact same about Christmas as you do. We focus more on adding the greenery and lights outside, and keep the interior minimal - we no longer do gifts to each other, and it has helped us enjoy the season so much more. I have to always thank you for getting me on board the all clad train. I enjoy all my pieces and they have made cooking a lot more enjoyable as a result. P.S. - I think the barn wreath should be a permanent fixture - for dan's sake...I promise we won't judge you if you keep it up year round :) I wish you both a beautiful & happy new year! - Laura in Sumter, SC.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi Laura! Dan plans on doing some kind of pully for the wreath. It's still up and he turned it back on since we got a little bit of snow today! Love that you love your All-Clad too. I'm like you and I still really enjoy using all my pieces. Happy new year!

      Delete
  50. I'm Dee from central and coastal NC. I follow here and on Instagram; your home is lovely. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  51. So glad you are back! We live in Davis, California but my dad's family was from New Hampshire (Lebanon). Love seeing all your decorating ideas and your pups!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How fun that you have family connections to New Hampshire Stephanie! Thank you for your card!

      Delete
  52. Happy New Year, I live in southwest Pennsylvania. I am a wife, mother, grandmother, and retired from 40 year career in health care. I so enjoy your blog and followed for several years. Please continue with your life and countryside in New England.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your calling card and happy "graduation" to you also!

      Delete
  53. Happy New Year! I don’t remember where I saw you before but this is the first time I have seen you in awhile. I live just outside of Houston, Texas. Please continue to check in from New England. I loved my visit to New Hampshire and Maine. I hope to get back there some day. Best wishes for 2019!

    ReplyDelete
  54. Dear Joan and Dan, I found you about 2 years ago on Instagram. Being from Massachusetts, and learning that you fell in love with my beloved New England, drew me in. Learning your story, viewing your beautiful home, and meeting your girlies (virtually), made my heart explode! You have no idea how very much I enjoy the glimpses of your lifestyle! To me, it’s simply magical! Wishing you health, love and peace in the New Year! Peg

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you sweet Peg! I always loving seeing you on IG and now here! xxoj.

      Delete
  55. Happy New Year from Fort Worth. Love your blog and look forward to posts in 2019!

    ReplyDelete
  56. Happy New Year from Washington, DC! Love your blog and envy you your life in the country. Some day maybe!

    ReplyDelete
  57. Happy New Year to you, Dan and the pups! My husband of 44 years is from New England area, which I love visiting in the summer. We met when he and his family moved here in 1970 and he was attending University of South Florida. I'm a native Floridian, my family has lived in Florida for five generations. I love your home and look forward to hearing from you.

    ReplyDelete
  58. So glad you have returned to more frequent blogging. My husband, Steve & I, live in north Dallas with our four dear senior rescue pups, two of which are nearing 17 yrs old. While for almost 15 years we actively rescued, rehabilitated & rehomed dogs & a few cats, now we just donate money to the groups near & dear to our hearts. We love your 3 adorable girls & enjoy every picture & comment about them. You all clearly bless each other every moment of every day! So from Texas, we & Lizzie & Willie & Carson & Mimi want to wish all of you a very Happy New Year & a safe & prosperous 2019! May God bless & keep you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Four seniors, two nearing 17 years old?! That is so wonderful Vickie! They are obviously very loved and happy puppies to be living so long. Thank you and your husband for all that you have done for so many dogs over the years. Think of all the love you have shared and given to others. Kisses to Lizzie, Willie, Carson and Mimi!!! xxo

      Delete
  59. Happy New Year from Natchitoches, LA. I read your blog when you were remodeling your beautiful house. Happy you are back

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Beautiful Natchitoches! Thank you for your card Glenda!

      Delete
  60. Wishing you and your wonderful family a superb 2019! How wonderful to be able to visit your home once again, it has got to be one of my absolute favourite houses I have visited online. And the girls are beautiful as ever. I'm stopping by from Ottawa Ontario in Canada because of my love of houses, too. I'm glad you shared your reasons for not using a Christmas tree or exchanging gifts with your husband. Presents are just not necessary when sincere love and appreciation exists between people. All the best to you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for your lovely calling card! I am honored that our house is one of your favorites! I love that we all share a love of houses!

      Delete
  61. I've followed your blog for quite a few years now and always loved the calling card tradition. I used to live in Oklahoma but (due to my husbands job) we moved to NW Arkansas a few years ago. I love all your posts and am always happy to see a new one! So please, keep blogging. It's always fun to see the girls! And I always love seeing your beautiful kitchen. Do you have any special recipes or favorite foods that you cook for you and Dan, or for entertaining? Just curious. Looking forward to more of your beautiful pics and stories, too! And I love your story about why you no longer put up a tree and how you took the stress out of Christmas. My sentiments exactly. I do put up a very simple tree, but have been thinking about doing away with it. ...So glad to know there are others out there like myself.😊 Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi Michelle, I hope you are liking living in Arkansas. I have posted several recipes in the past, but do get requests and have several of my go-to's that I want to share-all simple, quick and delish! Thank you for the suggestion!

      Delete
  62. Happy New Year, I am from Fairfield Ct and love your home, your blog, and your stories. Although the home I live in with my husband and children is not as old as yours... we try to make it look that way~! We also can't have dogs d/t asthma but love yours. Thank you for the gift of this blog!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "the gift of this blog"... what a beautiful thing to hear, thank you Colleen. Happy new year to you and your family!

      Delete
  63. Happy New Year! I love watching my home from garden, too when it gets dark and all the lights are on, everyone I love are safe inside, the night falls.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Happy New Year to you, Dan and the gorgeous girls from Somerset West in the Western Cape, South Africa

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Lisa! I love getting your card from South Africa. A couple of weeks ago I somehow got to looking at real estate in Somerset West, and oh my gosh... such beautiful architecture for newer homes. I was so impressed, and such lovely views too.

      Delete
  65. Merry Christmas & a very Happy New Year to you and Dan from Miramichi, New Brunswick, Canada :) I am so very glad that you are back! - Jennifer

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jennifer! Miramichi reminds me (from photos on google!) of Portsmouth, NH which is fabulous!

      Delete
  66. Placing the card of Joan K from Beautiful Luray, Virginia.
    Happy 2019 tp all.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Another Joan, how fun! We are few and far between!! Luray looks indeed beautiful and charming. Thank you for your card Joan K.!

      Delete
  67. New Years greetings from a NH neighbor in Hooksett. Love your posts and glad you’re back.

    ReplyDelete
  68. A very happy & healthy new year, to you and Dan and the lovely dogs !!!
    Hope to see lots of pictures again from your house....it's totally not my style, but still love it to pieces ;) !!
    Big hugs from The Netherlands

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that the house isn't your style yet you still like seeing pictures of it! That is wonderful compliment. Thank you for your card Stella!

      Delete
  69. Have quit blogging myself, but still follow you. You always have something beautiful and interesting to look at. I am a suburban gal in Shawnee, Kansas, near the University of Kansas, who has the world's best men's basketball team! Love your nighttime photos of the outside of your house.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, so many blogs have gone away. A lot of work as you know;) So much easier and quicker to do Instagram, but I am going to try and be a better blogger! Thank you for your card Pat!

      Delete
  70. Hello Joan and Dan. Happy New Year. I'm Bev from Vermont. I've commented several times but am always looking for new posts and enjoy your lovely home and blog. Congratulations to Dan on his retirement from a wonderful career. We are also going to be retiring in a few years, maybe 2020, and we are always looking at where to go, and somehow we always keep coming back to New England, perhaps New Hampshire or Maine, still not sure. Would love to see posts of your home, gardens, trips, and how and what you're doing in retirement. Oh, also your lovely fur babies. I would love to know if you still enjoy the weather in New England. Does that ever get to you after so many years in Texas. Enjoy all of it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi Bev! I recognize you from your past comments, thank you! We are still loving the NE weather- all of it! At the moment; however, we are missing our snow. Even the storm moving through tonight is going by south of us. We still absolutely love living here!

      Delete
  71. Leaving a calling card is a lovely idea. I read your blog from Newbury in England where I have a mixed 17th to 19th century house and I enjoy seeing the changes you make to your rooms. However today I am reading it in Lisbon, Portugal where we are spending a week over New Year along with a group of friends. We are staying in a lovely old apartment and when I look out of the window I see all the other houses in the street which are covered with wonderful tiles - some blue and white only ( my favourites), some in different colours. They are so beautiful. The sun is shining brightly, the air is clear and sharp. It’s a gorgeous day and a perfect start to 2019. Happy New Year.

    ReplyDelete
  72. Greetings from our 120 year old farmhouse in Sewickley Pa. Wishing you a very happy blessed New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  73. Happy New Year from Seattle.
    Love your home and the baby girls.


    Linda, Astro and Mitzie

    ReplyDelete
  74. This comes to you on a frigid morning in northern Minnesota. I'm so glad you have started posting again. I have read your blog for years and love to see what you and your family and gorgeous home are up to. While planning our kitchen remodel I referenced pictures of yours countless times. I love your eye for detail. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Please continue to do so. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  75. Happy New Year from Georgia!

    I have LONG admired your blog and have often turned to it when looking for inspiration and motivation. Although I've read and re-read the entire blog many times, I'll be reading it again this year because my resolution is to shop from my own home or only buy second-hand and minimize what I'm bringing into our home, including toxic chemicals.

    Here's to the BEST new year to come! Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  76. I, too, live in an old farmhouse outside of Baltimore, MD. I love to decorate and I love your home. My biggest question is how do you keep your furniture so clean when your girls are allowed up there? We have only one dog, a yellow lab named Teddy, and without ever-changing bedspreads on our cream-colored sofa, it would be brown!

    ReplyDelete
  77. Greetings from two retired teachers in NW Pennsylvania. We fly Steelers flags and wave Terrible Towels here! Wishing you happiness and good health in 2019.

    ReplyDelete
  78. Hello Joan and Dan, Happy New Year! You two have built such an appealing haven for yourselves, a retreat from that dark and cold of a New Hampshire winter. That sense of peace and quiet certainly does not exist in busy Taipei! I would like to hear more stories about your collecting, decorating and restoration experiences.
    --Jim
    p.s. If Dan has a lot of pent-up energy these days, I still vote for putting the shutters back up!

    ReplyDelete
  79. I've lived in Birmingham AL for seven years because of a good job, but have never warmed to the South. I spent most of my adult life in the Boston/Providence area. I would like to return to New England to retire, but that might not work financially. Your old farmhouse is my dream house. I enjoy reading posts about your lifestyle, the dogs, New England. I hope Dan is enjoying retirement. I worked for an airline in 2010, and I still look up every time I hear a plane in the sky. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  80. Lovely tradition - leaving a calling card. I live and blog in the Atlanta area where snow is a beautiful rarity. I love seeing your snowy scenes but am happy to have plenty of warm spells all winter long. I'm a Southern girl through and through (Charleston born!) We lost two Goldens (age almost 14 years) in about 6 months time. One was a rescue! I wanted a puppy as I think I'll be too old to do big breed puppy again in 12 years or so. We just got Cooper - you can see his precious self on my blog or insta- but we will definitely rescue a second Golden somewhere along the way!I love seeing your sweet dogs in your posts!Happy 2019!

    ReplyDelete
  81. Happy New Year from Clarksburg, West Virginia. I am a passionate gardener, blogger and lover of old homes. We live in a great old home (1939). I love your blog and so wish you would post more often. Love seeing your photos and reading about your precious girls. Sadly we lost our beloved Merry. She was a black, Labrador retriever. Life isn't the same without her.

    ReplyDelete
  82. Happy New Year from Durham, NC. Our house is a 1930s colonial revival - considered "historic" by North Carolina standards. I'm from the northeast originally and recently sold my mother's 18th century house in Portsmouth, NH. My husband and I plan to move our primary residence to Maine or New Hampshire when we retire and I have a seasonal camp in Phippsburg, Maine, where we enjoy sailing and hope to spend more time in the coming years. We lost a dog right before Thanksgiving and added a once-in-a-lifetime golden retriever puppy over the holidays (we normally rescue) to our existing brood of two cats and a mixed-breed dog. I am glad to see you posting again!

    ReplyDelete
  83. Happy New Year from out west in Gig Harbor, Washington! I get such joy seeing the photos of your beautiful property and home. Your blog is inspirational and has a calming effect too. We've been living in our current home up on a hill overlooking our cute town's harbor for four years with our rescue dog and cat. I'm a sometimes blogger and brand-new Grandma. Cheers to 2019!

    ReplyDelete
  84. It’s good to see you posting again, you’ve been missed. We did the opposite of you four years ago by moving from rural New England to Texas. Your enjoyment of all the seasonal pleasures has filled me with nostalgia (the good kind) and your decorating ideas are inspirational. Please keep posting!

    ReplyDelete
  85. Dear Joan, Dan, Ella, Louise and Magnolia,
    I have followed your blog, since October 2008- the month we bought our abandoned farmhouse {for 50 Years!}, and I believe you bought your house. You have always been an inspiration for me.
    I have read and reread every post you have written. Suprisingly, Dan and I worked for the same company, started the same month and year, both of us at the same base. Amazing.
    Joan, I want to thank you for all the time and effort you have poured into your blog. Everything you write is fascinating.
    Look forward to this new chapter in all of your lives.
    Hugs from Umbria, Robin and M

    ReplyDelete
  86. Such a thrill to see this invitation in my inbox. :) You have been missed... Happy New Year from Woodstock, GA! We're in an in-between home right now and your photos have me missing a yard, a fireplace, and some treasured belongings. Thanks for sharing your coziness with me! Blessings, Heidi

    ReplyDelete
  87. Hello and happy new year from Miranda!

    ReplyDelete
  88. Happy New Year from Dothan, Alabama! I too missed you and I’m so glad you are back. I enjoy reading your blog, seeing photos of your beautiful home and property and of course seeing photos of your three beautiful fur babies. I have 3 dogs and a cat. Hope 2019 brings you and your family much happiness!

    ReplyDelete
  89. Happy New Years from Orlando Florida. I have been reading your blog for years! I love the timeless look that your house has! I want to copy your idea of not exchanging gifts with your spouse. We certainly don’t need anything and both do not like mall shopping! We are animal lovers also!

    ReplyDelete
  90. Yours was the first blog I followed.I loved following the progress on your wonderful home. Your kitchen was my inspiration when I installed a kitchen on the lower level of my children's home to create a granny flat for myself. I'm glad you are blogging again. I am a nester and love to see everything home related. Donna, Kirkland, WA

    ReplyDelete
  91. Ah Joan, so lovely to "hear " your voice on insta and the blog again. This has been a cold (for us) holiday season in Orange County, California, with wild winds blowing and bright blue skies. I hope this New Year is peaceful and filled with joy, congratulation to Dan on his graduation!

    ReplyDelete
  92. Greetings from Birmingham AL. I spent most of my adult life in the Boston/Providence area. I would to retire in New England, preferably in an old farmhouse like yours. I like to read your posts about your lifestyle, the dogs, and New England. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  93. Happy New Year! Looking forward to more photos and stories of your lovely home and your corner of the country. Have followed for years from Seattle, WA.

    ReplyDelete
  94. Happy New Year 2019. Very happy you are posting again- love reading from Ooltewah, Tennessee!

    ReplyDelete
  95. Happy New Year from the countryside outside Mansfield, TX, fifteen minutes south of
    Arlington, TX, home of the Texas Ranger's baseball team and the Cowboys' football team. I live in a post and beam house we built 31 years ago using handcut timbers from a sawmill in western Massachusetts. I have enjoyed reading about your New England home for several years.

    Judith

    ReplyDelete
  96. Happy New Year from Connecticut! I live in an 1835 farmhouse we took down (need MUCH work) and put back up about 10 years ago now... and added an 1930's federal to the back of it! Our farm is home to four horses, a coop full of chickens, and four dogs, two of whom are rescued. I love old houses too, your decor is absolutely stunning and peaceful. I understand your feelings about the commercializing and stress that is overwhelming for some at the holidays - A christmas tree in the home for me brings the beauty of nature indoors, brings a feeling of peace at night as we gaze at it's beauty - with no lights on in the room except the tree - Your greens are the perfect accent.

    ReplyDelete
  97. Happy New Year from Mississauga, Canada. Would love to see more of the surrounding are that you live in, and the horses next door! Love your home decor details, especially the paint colour info.

    A little suggestion for your consideration...find a good quality, realistic looking table top Christmas tree and place it on a skirted table. Decorate the tree with simple white mini lights and perhaps some of your crystals during Christmas. When the holidays are over, cover it with a giant plastic bag or an old sheet, and store it in the basement or garage. We keep ours under the stairs. We don't bring it out every year, but it is there in no time if decide that we are in the mood for a "tree" Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
  98. Happy New Year from New York City! Love following your blog and seeing your house and dogs! My husband and I have a cute 1930s cottage in Southampton, NY which is how we satisfy my New England/country life desires despite living in NYC.
    ~Elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
  99. Happy New Year, Joan! I often wondered why you don't put up a Christmas tree. It all makes perfect sense to me. Steven and I always go overboard at Christmas, and this year it became so stressful. We were putting up decorations all the way through the week before Christmas this year, and I spent Christmas Eve Christmas shopping this year for the very first time since I just ran out of time this year. Definitely time to scale everything waaaay back. Glad to find you here at your blog again! I would send you some of our snow if I could. It's mainly just ice now. It's been a strange winter thus far this year. I hope all of you are doing well!

    Larkin
    Moretown, VT

    ReplyDelete
  100. Happy New Year from Mississippi!
    I thoroughly enjoy your blog, especially the posts about the "girls."

    ReplyDelete
  101. Happy New Year from San Antonio! I love your home so much.

    ReplyDelete
  102. Happy New Year from Australia! I live in Texas but I’m visiting my grandson! Your blog is so delightfully beautiful! Not sure if that is “proper” English but it is! I love your calling card tray. I have a wonderful collection of trophies. They start in 1800 to 1960’s. On of my favorite is a first place bathing beauty c.1920’s. I’m like you I wonder who, what and where!
    Smiles, alice

    ReplyDelete
  103. I am so glad you are back to blogging! I hope you have had a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!I love your appreciation of your family, your home, your treasures, and your animals!! What a blessing they all are.

    Nickie from Mississippi

    ReplyDelete
  104. Holiday greetings from western Oregon! Ada (GWP) and Sofie (GSP) send their doggie well wishes as well!

    ReplyDelete
  105. Happy New Year from a snowy Madison, Wisconsin. Through your posting about the Kura Project, I learned of the need for sponsors for young Kenyan women to attend four years of boarding high school. My husband and I are delighted to be sponsors for two girls - so thank you. I do enjoy your blog about your home and your life. Helen

    ReplyDelete
  106. Hello! My name is Christine and I live in San Diego, CA. I have lived in many places and in many homes. Some old, some new. I just enjoy reading about your lovely home and your sweet doggies! Happy New Year! Glad you're back on the blog!

    ReplyDelete
  107. As a long-time follower of your blog from upstate New York (near Albany), what a treat to see your recent posts here once again! I've followed a bit on Instagram, so I always have made a point to check in on you, Dan and the "girlies", and am very glad to learn that you are all well and relaxing into Dan's transition to retirement. It was great to read about that and to see the photo and videos of that time, as I'm embarking on my own final year of working for others later this year and plan to call it day in just 10 more months - just in time to relax and celebrate the next holiday season unencumbered by anyone else's schedule. Hopefully, there will be a few "virtual" water cannons when that day arrives for me - loved seeing the real ones for Dan's final flight - a special tribute to a long and successful career! (I always thank my pilots!) I'm looking forward to reading what the year ahead holds for you as it unfolds and hope it will allow you to share with your dedicated readers a bit more often once again. In the meantime, a very happy and healthy new year to you both! Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  108. I'm glad you're back. I really enjoy reading your posts. I live in Gainesville, TX.

    ReplyDelete
  109. Happy New Year from Pleasanton, Ca! I adore your home and pups, and wish you and your husband lots of adventures, good health and endless happiness!

    ReplyDelete
  110. Happy New Year from Denise in Rocky Mount,NC. Your blog was one of the first that I ever read. I think I found you off of the blog roll from Cote de Texas! So much time gone by, and so many life changes too! Stay well and hide the ladders from Dan. The girls are beautiful! Denise

    ReplyDelete
  111. Reading your blog and love the cosy atmosphere. Wishing you a happy new year and lots of love from Oslo in Norway.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Happy New Year from Ottawa, Ontario (Canada)! Thanks for your lovely blog. I love your beautiful home and the calm, peaceful, rural location where you live. Also, love your sweet pups.

    ReplyDelete
  113. Happy New Year from Beaverdam, Va! I originally found your blog almost 5 years ago searching for ideas for kitchens with brick fireplaces, and continue to come back for inspiration for my own rural antique Virginia farmhouse (c. 1867). Recently, I even used your kitchen pictures as design examples for our “unplanned” kitchen renovation. (Water damage...ugh!)

    Your house is just beautiful, but what strikes me most is the love and care that emanates from each room. The personal history and stories attached are what make it a home. (And, of course the puppies!) Thank you for sharing! Elizabeth

    ReplyDelete
  114. This is Debe from The Woodlands, just north of Houston! I love your blog & missed you so when you took your sabbatical! Glad you and Dan (and the girls!!) are back and I am happy to celebrate Dan's retirement too! Anything you post is wonderful, just wish you lived next door and could offer advice on my house! Happy New Year and God bless from one Texan to two former ones!!

    ReplyDelete
  115. Happy New Year from Prosser, Washington (It's actually Alderdale, WA but we live in the middle of nowhere and we don't have a post office so our Zip code is from a town 40 miles away from us.) We are surrounded by vineyards and farm land and are just 4 miles from the Columbia River.
    My husband is a retired farmer. I worked at a winery for years and am retired now as well.
    I love your blog, (my favorite) your home is so beautiful, you have amazing taste, your home looks warm and inviting, I just love it!!
    JoAnn

    ReplyDelete
  116. So glad you're back, Joan! I love seeing your gorgeous house and hearing the stories about your finds. I am especially glad that you chose to rescue your three beautiful girls. Rescues rock - thank you! Happy New Year to you and yours; please keep your blog posts coming.

    I live in New York City. xo Beth

    ReplyDelete
  117. Happy New Year from Andrea Bay City MI

    ReplyDelete
  118. Happy New Year from Hope Valley, RI.

    ReplyDelete
  119. Happy New Year and a joyous Christmastide! I usually come and go quietly but love to read your stories and see your beautiful home and surrounding country. I'm originally from the great state of Virginia and miss it dearly. Living in Florida surely does feel like a vacation all year long but I miss the change of seasons. God bless you all, especially your sweet pups!

    ReplyDelete
  120. Happy new year from Maryland! I moved here a year ago from Rhode Island. I’ve missed you! We would love to see anything you would like to post—dogs, signs of spring, cabinet organization, stories of some secret treasures you haven’t posted about, travels, more dogs....
    Shannon, of Rhode Island and now Maryland

    ReplyDelete
  121. I always love a blog post from you and getting a glimpse of your beautiful home inside and out!! And of course your sweet girls!! :D Happy New Year from Southwest Virginia! :)

    ReplyDelete
  122. Happy New Year from Natick, MA!

    ReplyDelete
  123. Happy New Year from Savannah GA, by way of the Hudson Valley and New Canaan CT. Love old New England houses and always lived in old houses from the time we were married when we had the first floor and garden of an Upper East side town house. AHHH, those were the days. The French provincial in the Hudson Valley and old farm house type in CT. Now we are in simple, one floor in coastal Georgia. A love of homes never leaves you, even when you leave them.

    ReplyDelete
  124. Happy New Year from Louisiana. Simplifying Christmas has become a theme for my family as well. We have simplified gifts (only children), simplified the meal (we grill steaks), I still put up my Christmas tree as the ornaments bring back so many memories and I find the process of trimming the tree is a joyful experience.
    I love to see the photos of your girls. I have the sweetest little cocker I adopted when he was 2years old and he is my constant companion making every step I do.
    Your home and the meaningful way you have decorated it makes your blog a favorite of mine.

    ReplyDelete
  125. What a beautiful blog. I, too, have learned to keep only the best parts of Christmas for myself and discard those things that bring stress and anxiety. I adore Christmas, twinkle lights, and cookies. Shopping and presents....not so much! So I relegate that to a 'small part' in the Christmas play and focus on the things that bring me joy. I'm an author from Springfield MO. Thank you so much for your warm welcome and generously sharing your home. Here's to a lovely 2019.

    ReplyDelete

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. Comments are moderated by me prior to publishing on the blog, so if you don't see your comment post immediately it will be posted as soon as I receive and read it. joan