Vocabulary #17: Wicker

wicker a flexible plant branch or twig, as of a willow, used in weaving baskets or furniture.

Have a great Labor Day Weekend, everybody!

(Picture from- House and Garden)


The Blueberry Boy

One of the chief reasons we bought our present house was the gardens that were created by the previous owner, Mr. C.- a sweet, elderly man in his 90’s and a true master gardener. He had taken the property and carefully designed “rooms” using all kinds of native trees, shrubs, flowers and to our delight twenty six high bush blueberries. The first summer after buying the house we found that toward the end of August, blueberries filled these bushes. We would come to work on the old house and often take a short break by picking off some ripe berries. Curtis, who was three at the time, would keep asking for more! In a letter to Mr. C I told him how much we loved the yard and especially the blueberries. I slipped in a picture of Curtis standing next to the bushes.

Within a year we received word through a neighbor that Mr. C. had died and it was his request to be buried not in North Carolina where he was living near his children, but by his already deceased wife in New Jersey (where we live). For some reason I felt it important to go to this man’s funeral even though we never had met him. We also decided to take Curtis with us. When we walked into the funeral home I felt awkward and wondered if I had made the right decision. From out of the quiet of the room someone’s voice called, ” Hey- it’s the blueberry boy!” Faces turned and several people walked over to greet us from Mr. C.’s family. What we found out was that Mr. C. had saved and displayed on his desk the photo of Curtis by the blueberry bushes and nicknamed him ‘the blueberry boy.’ The whole family knew my son through that one picture. We talked with them about Mr. C. and about the house. As we drove home I realized that our families were not only connected just by buying Mr. C’s house but also by partaking and sharing the fruits of his labor through the photo of ‘the blueberry boy.’

Henry Poor’s Crow House

One of the homes on my list to visit this summer was Crow House- the home and studio of artist  Henry Varnum Poor. During the first part of the twentieth century he was considered one of this country’s most important painters. Crow House became a place not only for him to work but for other artists, writers and assorted Hollywood actors to join him. When my husband and I tried to make reservations to view the house (an activity we both thoroughly enjoy), we were told that  “…it was owned by the town and not open to the public.” For now I guess I’ll have to satisfy my curiosity with just pictures instead.

On a table in Poor’s studio are some of his pottery. The wall holds early sketches of Crow House design.

Much of the house Poor built from materials found on his own land- wood used for walls,

ceiling beams, and stone used for the living room fireplace. The house still has his furnishings so that it gives a feeling that he is still actively at his art.

I hope the town’s caretakers preserve it and someday open it to the public so that I can see it!

(Photos- American Craft Magazine, World of Interiors)

Then&Now: Lauren Hutton

I was just a girl when I first saw Lauren Hutton on the pages of magazines in the mid-seventies. She was an attractive blond with a noticeable gap between her front teeth. I think it was this obvious imperfection that made me like her so much.

Then: Lauren Hutton had started modeling in the late 1960’s. In five years she had established her name in the modeling world. She would grace the cover of Vogue magazine 28 times!

Then: Lauren in a 1975 photograph. She later began to dabble in films with the likes of Robert Redford and Richard Gere.

Now: In their October, 2007 issue Harper’s Bazaar showed Lauren with Mary Kate Olsen. This past spring the Olsen twins hired her to be in the ad campaign for their “Row” clothing line.

Now: With that famous gapped tooth smile, Lauren shows her fun side in this ad for Lord and Taylor.

Now: Lauren in a current photograph for Lord and Taylor’s fall 2008 promotion.

(Photos- Harper’s Bazaar, Lord and Taylor)

Vocabulary #16: Wallaby Or Wallabee?

We have let Curtis have a number of pets through the years- five fish, three hermit crabs, one duck, two dogs (fostered one and now Jasper) and heard pleas for many others including a pot-bellied pig. The latest pet Curt is interested in is a wallaby. Yes…you heard me. One of those kangaroo-like creatures. He informs me that they make wonderful pets but the only problem with them is that they like to box! I couldn’t help but laugh. I told him, “I draw the line at a boxing wallaby named Rocky! The only kind of wallaby I want are the Wallabee that I can wear on my feet!”

A pair of Clarks Wallabee boots.

(Picture from: Vogue)