Monday, December 31, 2012

Photo of the Day: Fresh Air Fund

Mountains of Northern Idaho
New Year's Eve, 2012

Pretty as a postcard and Mountain Fresh

Good to clear the head from 2012 
and get a fresh breath before 2013.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Auntie Nettie Reads A LOT 2012 - 4th Quarter

Well, I usually read a lot MORE  (see the earlier lists from this year and back), but this year has been "read"iculous in that I've been too busy to read, but mostly, because I have an iTouch now and I use the commutes on the train to peruse the online newspapers and catch up on personal e-mail/twitter feeds versus starting/finishing books. (And, NO! I do not want a Kindle or its equivalent, or to download books to my iTouch. I like to hold BOOKS when I read, and I stare at enough screens as it is, thank you very much. )

HOWEVER, I still did manage to work my way through my back-log of ARCS, which I have passed on to other readers, and to work my way through some tomes. In some cases, I just forgot to write things down because I have been trying to do too much.

The usual caveat applies: If you are just finding the blog, please note that this list was maintained mainly so that I could remember what I've read this year. The record does not fully represent me or all of my interests, so don't judge my reading habits. My interests change quite frequently. Also, as a general rule, I don't do book recommendations or link to major retailers or publishers. Except for the ARCs listed below [thanks major publishers!], most of these books came from MY library or a public library. 

Go forth, use your library card and READ!

October through December 2012
Overseas: A Novel by Beatriz Williams (ARC)
The Secret Keeper: A Novel by Kate Morton (ARC)
Home from the Sea (An Elemental Masters Novel) by Mercedes Lackey
Trilogy from my own Library
2 books I forgot to write down
Inheritance (Book 4) by Christopher Paolini
Redoubt (Book Four of The Collegium Chronicles) by Mercedes Lackey
Greetings from Somewhere Else: A Novel by Monica McInerney
The Goodbye Cousins: A Novel by Maggie Leffler
Forgot to write down (ARC) (didn't finish)
The Perfect Hope (The Inn at Boonsboro Book 3) by Nora Roberts
Imperfect Bliss: A Novel by Susan Fales-Hill
Five Miles South of Peculiar: A Novel by Angela Hunt
Before Versailles: Before the History You Know ... A Novel of Louis XIV by Karleen Koen (ARC) (didn't finish)
Struck by Jennifer Bosworth (didn't finish)
Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society: A Novel by Amy Hill Hearth
Dragonsong (A Harper Hall Novel) by Anne McCaffrey, from my own library
Dragonsinger (A Harper Hall Novel) by Anne McCaffrey, from my own library
A Discovery of Witches (An All Souls Novel No. 1) by Deborah E. Harkness
Shadow of Night (An All Souls Novel No. 2) by Deborah E. Harkness

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Have a very Crafty Christmas!

Wood blocks, paint, and twine scraps: Kelli's Kollection
 Have a very Crafty Christmas 
and please,
remember the reason for the season.

Stained Glass and Metal*: Mary's Multitude


Friday, December 21, 2012

Vacation/ End of the World or Year Wishes

As the sun sets on another day of vacation, the winter soltice comes in, and the seasons change, I would wish you all to remember to savor every second, and to cherish each other.

Nothing is greater than:

Cape Cod beaches and messages

Friday, December 14, 2012

It's the Most (Fill in the Blank) Time of the Year!

Welcome once again, to
 Auntie Nettie's Attic!

Come on in!
Close the door behind you, lock it, read the sign, and take a deep breath.

Turn around.

Try not to scream. 

It's a bit  ... um ... busy in here at this time of year. Make your way into command central and check out the checklist which helps to keep me on track. (This is from the beginning of the season. Pay no attention to the summer list, which isn't finished. Priorities.)
 I'm a little busy right now, dealing with sweet present packaging for the other office drones.
Fortunately packages are coming into the Attic to keep me fueled and centered during this busy, busy, stressful time of year.
Then there are the occasional shopping excursions to Holiday Shops in New York with friends, where they keep me amused, re-energized, and amused by their interest in Pete the Fried Pickle Guy.
Who's the pickle man? THIS GUY!
 Isn't the City so beautiful by twinkle-light? This is the fountain in Bryant Park by the skating rink.
Even in miniature, the City is so much fun at this time of year - even with the impending dinosaur invasion. (Look carefully ... you'll see them.)

As for me, I'm trying to get everything done, so I can head to the White House for Christmas.... Not that White House ... Mom and Dad's White House. You know? This one?
It's been too long. I'll be traveling to see these little faces. Sadly Christmas 2010 -- which is when this was taken -- was the last time I saw the three monkeys on the right. I get to visit them in Idaho this year.
But then I also get to meet these two little sleeping imps - IF I can wrestle them away from Grandmary. Here she is on Thanksgiving warning everyone off with her patented over-the-bifocals-eyebrows-up-in-warning glare.

So that's why the Attic looks like a tornado came through and baking supplies, tape, ribbon, wrapping paper, suitcases, books, clothes, yarn, boxes, and bags are everywhere. Don't walk anywhere without looking first, and don't expect to find a flat surface that doesn't have SOMETHING on it. What was that? Oh, that was a timer. Yet another batch of cookies needs to come out of the oven. I think I'm up to 15 batches or so, 2 things of brownies, 3 cakes, 3 or 6 batches of peanut brittle, and ... who am I kidding? I lost count, and now the cookies are burning.

Go sit over there, and surf other blogs while I try to stay on schedule and sane before the car service arrives at 4 a.m. in a few days. (Oh, no ... the service said the car was coming at 3:15 AM when I confirmed. ... Now I have to get up EARLIER!)

Merry  Ho...





Thursday, December 13, 2012

Photo of the Day: My Little Corner of the World

Ye Old Homestead, Connecticut House
Once upon a time, when this was my bedroom, this view was the one from my bed. This corner was out of sight of the rest of the room, inches from a light source, a window  - one of four that looked out over my corner of the world. It was during "nap-time" or "lights out," that this particular corner was best used. Books were stashed within arms reach under the mattress or bed frame, so I could stretch my body, arms, and the ability of my eyes to reach by light filtered in by using the drapes, which I used also to prop open the shade. It's amazing I can see as well as I can "write" now, without aid of lenses or prescriptions, because the hours I spent straining to read by streetlight or moonlight, or even in the dark are going to catch up with me eventually.

I don't know who I thought I was kidding, but for years I thought stashing stuff in this corner, be it contraband novels, a diary, my notBarbies, kept them secret and secure. I perfected the "book drop, shove under the bed, fix the blinds, roll over, and even out breathing so you sound like you are sound asleep" technique in perfect time to which ever parent was tromping up our stairs. (The various creaks and snap, crackle, pop, of the wood treads and my parents' knees and ankles provided auditory warning and coverage for our actions and identified which parent it was.)

I still stash things in odd corners - you have to in a New York studio - but nothing has ever come close to replicating the sense of peaceful security and vista to imagination that this corner of mine did.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Photo of the Day: Portrait of a Porch

Ye Olde Homestead, Connecticut House
Why is that we don't take the time to sit on our front porches anymore -- to read, to get to know our neighbors, to yell at the pesky children cutting across our yard? So they sag a little around the edges ... so do we when we get to be their age.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Photo of the day: Bat(ten) Down The Hatches

Ye Old Homestead, Connecticut House
In case anyone manages to break into the basement via the bulkhead door -- if they don't knock them selves out on the low beams, manage to pop open the door warped tightly closed, or not trip down the stairs hidden by leaves and recycling bins -- my brother's handy old slugger is at the stand-by to keep the place safe.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Photo of the Day: Layers of History

Ye Old Homestead, Connecticut House
What you can't see due to the insulation, the telephone jack and wires, the electric wiring, and other layers that build up due of modern life, is the builders' inscription:

Built in 1923

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Photos of the Day: Let the Art Speak for You

Ever had one of those weeks?
 When it just feels like?
 Despite the

So, do a little

Thank you, thank you very much! I slay me too.

You can make art out of anything.
 It's all how you look at, and frame it.

Photos courtesy of the Graphic Design-Now in Production exhibition put on by the Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum that was housed on Governor's Island, summer 2012.

Oh, and Amelia. Cause, well ... Look at her.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Photo of the Day: Scene of Songs, Now Silent

Ye Olde Homestead, Connecticut House
If these walls could talk, they may actually hum - hum with the music that was made in it's space. The timbers might echo with the tunes that were picked out painstakingly by family members, or the plaster might complain of the plight of listening to the hours of scales, Hanon or Pischna piano exercises. The floor boards might share the flourishes that came of listening to the endless choir or theater music, particularly a good Broadway tune. I like to think the whole house was infused with the inspiration of the many hours and hours of all the classical repertoire that I played upon the little upright Baldwin that was tucked in here, against the staircase in the front room. When the front door was open, the whole neighborhood either suffered along with me, or was surprisingly roused by the fury of my flying fingers.

The Hallelujah Chorus always seemed to get everyone's attention.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Photo of the Day: Going out on a Line

Ye Olde Homestead, Connecticut House
There's nothing quite like the smell of line-dried clothing/sheets, plus, in a close neighborhood, hanging your dirty laundry out to air takes on an entirely different meaning. You want to start a conversation about religion? Hang out some religious "funny underwear" and see how diverse your community really is. I was so lucky to grow up in a neighborhood where we had Jehovah's Witnesses, Latvian Christians, Buddhists, Catholics, and Protestants as next-door/across the street neighbors. It was a wonderful way to grow up, and learn about customs, cultures, and community. We are more alike than we are different. How do I know? I saw their underwear - as much as they saw ours. We're all basically the same when it comes down to it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Photo of the Day: Peering from the Past back at the Past

Ye Olde Homestead, Connecticut House
Draw back the curtain, and peer out the window of your past -- into the windows from a more distant house of your past.

The view from our last Connecticut home looking back at our first - just over the hedge.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Photo of the Day: Hoop Dreams

Ye Old Homestead, Connecticut House
Endless games of HORSE, 1 on 1, Free Throws, thwarted dunks and rim-shots, and hours and hours of patient and impatient tutorials ... Occasionally me, but mostly the boys  ... Legends only in their own minds, but awarded for perseverance nonetheless.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Photo of the Day: Who left the basement light on?

Ye Olde Homestead, Connecticut House
I think every member of my family uttered this, or can remember hearing it yelled at them, at least once a day for all the years that we lived in the house. For many years the bulb was red. It was tied into the line for the lights for the basement stairs and the majority of the basement. Sometimes it was on for a reason, say you were actually IN the basement, or conducting business via a private conversation on the house land-line in your "office" on the stairs, and someone would remember the constant yelling and turn the light out on you. Good times.