Dino Captured by David Ellis
Well…here we are well into 2013! December flew by! I slept off much of the time between December 24 & January 9th. Oh! There were well intended plans. You know the kind…learn another language, ride a bike to the Cape and back, get my eyes lifted…or was I thinking boobs lifted, have endless dinner parties with twelve courses and fifteen dear friends, see all the movies I have yet to see and, lastly, read that stack of books I promised myself to slog through during the summer. Can I tell you this…the bike tires are flat as are the boobs , the dinner parties never happened (don’t fret, you were not left out!), and as for the stack of books, it grew even taller with some irrational trips to Brookline Booksmith. I simply can’t be trusted with free time though I did love each and every minute.
I don’t believe I have fessed up to all of you that my little Dino packed up his knapsack with trail munch bars, an extra Patagonia jacket, his flash light, and off he went to live with Gracie and our neighbors Harvey and Nancy. The above photo was Dino at his best…fixed on the purple sofa waiting for Gracie, Harvey and Nancy to scoop him up for one of those four-mile hikes that pugs are not known to adore. Miss Rita Rose has me all to herself, though I did find her on pug rescue looking for a weekend date. The girl is shameless!
My House in Canandaigua...Still For Sale!
A piece of this past week’s time off took me on a road trip to my favorite part of upstate New York for a poke around in the antique stores. Found many delicious treasures. Pop by the store for a peek. Of course, I lusted after my little house I saw last September. Still on the market! Betcha anything the price is reduced! I saw the town with a foot of snow and the town folks hunkered down for winter. I saw it without leaves or green gardens and with ice on the edge of the lake and guess what…I still loved it! Imagine the dinner parties one could throw in that dining room. I would invite all of you…we would take over the town…each of you would move there with me and together we would read that stack of books and drink single malt scotch and we would tuck in for the grey winter and not surface until the days grew longer and the lilacs scented the air. Until then…come see me and Miss (single) Rita Rose at the store.
I know all of you have been searching for the perfect gift for Miss Rita Rose who is five today! It was her big day and did she ever lord it over all of us. Just look at that face, such attitude! I did not give the girl a party though I was tempted. I promised her a trip to Paris…it is, after all, her favorite city!
No Long-stem Red Roses For This Dame!
Well, Darlings, while most of you were being feted on Valentine’s Day, the rest of us singletons did what single folks do…we get through it! I, who love to cook, steamed up a bunch of organic carrots, tossed in a brussel sprout or two, and baked a sweet potato, which I served with a pound and a half of butter. I downed the whole ugly meal with the better part of a bottle of Malbec. I will say that some dear Cupid scattered small glittery hearts on my door mat and left at my front door a sweet little nest of chocolate truffles. They were beyond delicious! Thank you, Cupid!
Dino borrowed the red Aston Martin I keep for special jaunts. That willful pug took our little Miss Rita Rose out to the local Dine And Dance. Guess they had quite a time. Rita Rose dropped layers of her frock (a fine red satin ball gown with little cap sleeves and a red tulle shawl edged in gold charms of dog biscuit shape), as she headed upstairs to bed. Dino wore the tux that I know you have all seen him in. Miss Rita will need a new pair of dancing slippers, judging from what I gathered off the floor.
It is just lovely that two out of three of us had a proper Valentine’s Day, and I do hope you did too!
Some Trees Just Know How to Dress Up!
Was it Thanksgiving that a woman wandered into one of those big box stores for that insane just-after-midnight-opening, packing her pepper spray? One does wonder what in the world she was thinking and why she or anyone else would camp out on the asphalt parking lot for such madness. While all that nonsense was going on, the date trees at China Ranch in Tecopa, California were wearing their best cotton shirts to keep the sun from scorching the tender dates. This will be my next wander west to suss out this date farm. My daughter, Andrea, sent me a one-pound bundle of dates from there, and I assure you those dates were the most delicious “date” I have had in years…and that includes both male and female!
Desert Spirits From Death Valley, California
It was my intention to go all Christmas with you and to feature all the gift items we are currently selling at 6 Birch Street. I had intended to show you the interior of the store all tarted up with bobbles and what-nots. What I can tell you is the store is stuffed with delicious goodies (even more delicious than those dates I spoke of moments ago). I can tell you also that the first Holiday Wander of this season was a terrific success. I can tell you that Rita Rose took over the cash register and ran the charges through with nary a mishap. That little pug vixen is all set for the rush of holiday shoppers! Dino has taken to the road again…he has a group of unsavory types, among them, a pit bull called Winky and a French poodle named Sassy. They like to spend the first week of December in Las Vegas, and when they head west, it is Winky who does most of the driving. I worry a whole lot less knowing Dino is in the back seat handing out the roast beef sandwiches packed just for the adventure.
Diane Hanna's Our Guest!
It must have been a lifetime ago when Diane Hanna showed up at the store with her basket of picture poems. Now, mind you, I had no intention of buying them, but she sounded so nice on the phone when booking her appointment that I felt more than a slight obligation to see her. Perhaps, I thought, I could direct her to a more suitable store. Dream on! She arrived wearing a couple hundred layers of tulle and a pair of heavy, black Maytag shoes with laces of sheer ribbon (and that was only a small bit of the day’s outfit). It took about twenty-two seconds to adore her…and her work…and as they say in the real world, the rest is history. Come see her latest work, meet her if you haven’t already, and if you’re new to Diane Hanna and the wonder she brings into all our lives…get ready for a swoon! See you on Saturday 10-5PM.
Dino! The Other Pug in My life
Now this is a damn shame featuring Dino on the same bill as Diane! So many of you have met the adorable Miss Rita Rose and think I lie when I speak of Dino who NEVER comes to the store. Well, take a look at that dog…does he look like a shopkeeper? Like our new state senator, he drives a pickup truck…the very truck he drove to Beebee, Arkansas to fetch Miss Rita a year ago. When he isn’t hanging out in a pack of four- legged friends, he can be found at home, smoking a cigar, drinking my single malt scotch, and humping the sofa pillows. What a guy!
This amazing photo of a rather difficult pug was taken by Robin M Flynn-Roberts. Robin’s tag line is “Good Pictures with a Cheap Camera” which is almost as delicious a line as the photo is an image. Thank you Robin!
Moss Holding Court in Nantucket
Yesterday our dear Moss died. He was my daughter’s pug and her husband and the two grandkids, but it felt like he was owned by all who met him. Moss loved Nantucket and its beaches, and he romped the mountains of New Hampshire in all sorts of weather…he also adored a good sofa with a few pillows and a child or two. No one of us could have asked for more in a companion over these thirteen years. Nor could I have asked for a better first-born “grandson” of the pug variety! He joins Wally and Lulu, or where ever it is that fine dogs go once they leave this troubled earth.
This Says It All!
April Fools Day brought snow…heavy wet stuff that I didn’t have the desire to remove given that two weeks ago I tucked away anything that smacked of winter and/or snow removal. These nasty snow accessories had become commonplace items resting the full winter on my front porch. There was no way I was going to the basement to seek out their company once again!
The end of March and into the first week of April brought house guests (hence the photo). Folks from Denmark that I have known for a hundred years…old friends who are now old acquaintances, which is such a quaint word but fits the week nicely!
My friend John loaned me his delicious house in Provincetown. It was early in the week and the weather was divine. Mid-week, we took in the most recent exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem…if you haven’t been to see the private collection of Flemish art do so immediately! The Museum supplies a hand-held magnifing glass for closer inspection of each painting. What a treat!
Bauhaus Pink Balcony of the Gropius House
The last day of the Danish invasion, we went to the Walter Gropius house in Lincoln, MA. This is one of the Historic New England’s properties, and one I was quite certain I would not entirely enjoy. Wrong again! It was terrific and the Danes loved it also. We then wandered along the small roads of Lincoln, which remind me of why I love New England. When I dropped off the guests at their Icelandic Air Terminal and we said our final good-byes, I noticed the week’s accumulation of pug hairs on their chic black clothes…there might have been just enough of those stray little hairs to create a whole new pug suitable for Denmark!
Now I must set about with the beading for Rita Rose’s frock for the royal wedding! She has decided on Italian silk taffeta with a little nipped-in waist and an off-the-shoulder bodice with plenty of pug cleavage. Her chiffon shawl will have tiny silk rose petals and small seed pearls around the edge. That dog insists on a pair of Manolos for her hind feet, which are, to my mind, a bit too strappy and way too tarty for such an elegant event.
Cheers Darlings all and happy spring!
Rita Rose between Gigs!
By now, those of you who shop at 6 Birch have met the one and only Miss Rita Rose. I was so lucky she didn’t stay too long at the shows in Paris because we lacked her incredible sense of style at the store. That Miss Rita…with all her ability to strut while wearing the best of French designs and six-inch Christian Louboutin heels took the Paris shows by storm. Normally I don’t mind when she does fashion week. I figure, hey, she’s young and svelt and the Europeans know quality when they see it. But we sure did miss her at the store!
Well, the real kicker is she was no sooner home and wearing her shopkeeper apron and little flat shoes than she received THE INVITATION…the one I know we have all been waiting for…the Royal Wedding! It arrived with the Royal stamp…all gold and some red…hand-pressed on the finest of ivory bond paper. Well, she is beside herself! The conflict of working at 6 Birch or attending the nuptuals where you just know she is going to require a number of frocks. I may have to insist Dino replace her while she once again jets off with her passport and her little carry-on, while her Louis Vuitton trunk of wedding and dinner party attire has been sent on ahead. I will certainly keep all of you posted!
Life More Abundant
Well Darlings…the pugs took me back to Forest Hills this past Wednesday. The place still has that damn snow on the ground, but those two pugs Dino and Rita Rose have a passion about the walkways. Can’t say I blame them! I came upon this Victorian marker and thought it said it all…”Life More Abundant.”
The morning’s New York Times had page upon page of reported struggles complete with photos. It is hard to ignore and also to read of the pain that exists both in the Middle East and in our own part of the world. The owner of my little local gas station keeps a ladder under his sign now so he can scamper up as the price jumps a notch or two. It is difficult to chatter on about the unnecessary and irresistible goods at 6 Birch Street when the dreary cold month of March has arrived…add to that the world with all its over-throws and you got yourself a fine case of depression!
Which brings me to Life More Abundant…may I suggest:
#1 Hot bath by candlelight with something deliciously scented in the water (not your mate); #2 Cups of hot cocoa with heaps of whipped cream on top (screw the diet); #3 An afternoon movie or better still a morning movie matinee (leaving the dishes in the sink, the bed unmade, and the ring around the tub); #4 Pot luck suppers with folks you keep wanting to have over (don’t forget to add candlelight); #5 Curling up with your dog/cat/partner for an afternoon nap (draw the drapes and turn the clock around). I could go on but you get the drift…LIFE MORE ABUNDANT!
Woman in White at Forest Hills Cemetery
Today it was thirty-eight degrees! I saw a man in cut-offs and a short-sleeve shirt and down the block from my summer man, I saw a woman in flip-flops with bright red polish on her toe nails. She stepped wide over a mound of frozen snow that sat between her car and the curb. We become other creatures once the warmth begins…we forget our good sense…we do live in New England and when we survive this sort of winter, cut-offs and flip-flops become symbols of celebration on a thirty-eight degree day. Nasty weather is due in less than twenty-four hours so God bless the woman with her “Cherries In The Snow” nail polish and the man in cut-offs with the palest of legs!
Those two pugs Dino and Rita Rose took me to Forest Hills Cemetery today. Of course, there was much debate about the proper outfits for both of them…because Dino drove, he insisted on his little brown Tods. Rita Rose, wearing pink pearls and a leopard hat, sat in the passenger seat on a stack of old phone books. I sat in the back. That cemetery is a wonder even covered in snow. I did promise the pugs a return trip when we can take a picnic and sit under one of those ancient tulip trees…maybe in the late spring when the blossoms are in their full glory. Those tulip tree blossoms always remind me of something Georgia O’Keefe might have painted had she not gone off to the desert. Once we got home, the pugs shoveled a bit of icy snow from in front of the house. What would I ever do without them!