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Fun News to Begin the New Year

You all have been such a lovely part of our Hawthorne story, from the very beginning. Yesterday a new chapter begins. Our 1920 farmhouse was originally part of a farm way back when. The neighbor next door actually grew up in our house, then living in the house next door to us. We got to know her and her husband and were quite fond of them. In the last few years, they both passed. Hawthorne was on a small parcel of land right in the middle of what was the original farm. Our fun news is we bought the rest of the land (10 acres, along with our 1, making it a magic 11, a number you know near & dear to my heart) along with their house. We are pretty over the moon and dreaming of all the possibilities. I am daydreaming flower farm, while Mister Sive an orchard. The above photo, which I shot for Pottery Barn a few years back, you can see the outline of the fence, next to the pond. Oh yes, we now have a glorious pond! We are dubbing the new house, Little Hawthorne. Built in the 50’s, it is as solid as a rock and we are psyched about fixing it up. It will be a charming guest house, as well as be part of the Airbnb family when we are not there. Cheers to the next chapter of Hawthorne! Thanks for following along. X, T2+B



 

 

Blooming Hyacinth Bulbs

Flower Friday brings us a forced hyacinth bulb that sent us off with a flourish the other day from Hawthorne as we headed to Seattle. Access to flowers in the country is not the easiest, so I get creative as all get out at the grocery store. At this stage in the game, I really relish the challenge of keeping the house in blooms while we are there. Flowers are like food to me. They feed my soul, being constant inspiration while bringing tons of joy. I was over the moon when I spotted these clear bulb vases already filled with a bulb. To me seeing the roots can be equally beautiful to the blooms. So in this case, the clear container could not have been more perfect. First we had them on the dining table, then I dotted the blooms around the house. Bits of the Spring ahead on those chilly, chilly Hudson Valley days. Have a lovely January weekend everyone!



 

 

An Anniversary and A Painting

The portraits by our friend, photographer Richard Beaven for a show in honor of the bicentennial of Ghent, New York. 275 residents were chosen to be part of the exhibit called All of Us, shot in their home environs. Thought it fitting to post these as Tuesday was our 31st anniversary. Just typing that makes me think, “Who are those people?!” Time really does whiz by. All kidding aside, we feel incredibly fortunate and always celebrate the day looking back on the years. As well as give each other a piece of art. I have written much about this over the years but for those new readers, this has been our tradition since anniversary number one. It is a collection among our many collections that brings us the most happiness. The art surrounds our lives each day and we are able to enjoy the works at random moments. To me, that is the thing about collected treasured objects, they tell your story. They are a reminder of your past. The below my gift to TPS, a painting by Connecticut artist Karen Kellogg. We sell her work at Watson Kennedy. Last year I was able to go to her studio and spotted this piece the moment I walked in. It had Hawthorne written all over it!



 

 

Floating Candles

Funny how you forget about things and then they pop back into your thought process after many years. Such is the case with floating candles. Ages ago we used to float candles in our bathtub when we had a party to add a bit of fun glow in the bathroom. Fast forward to now. The guest bathroom at Hawthorne was in need of a little sparkle when we hosted gatherings, so floating candles came to the rescue. They let off the prettiest light floating about the water. Just an unexpected little visual treat for visitors.



 

 

The Simple Things

Simple tasks and simple pleasures are what I am clinging to as the fog that seems to have entered my being has begun to lift a bit each day. I almost feel I am in a dreamlike state, like “What just happened?” Things such as washing dishes by hand or roasting a chicken become an aspect of the therapy. Death is part of life which I think is healthy to talk about and share. So often it feels like a taboo topic, when in reality it is something we all face, be it friends or family. We are so fortunate to have a large circle of friends over the years, as well as large extended families. Along the way we have had to deal with members of these cherished groups dying. Some young, some old. You learn to process it, talk about it, absorb it. It is never easy, but each day the journey becomes a tad easier. I can’t thank you all enough for the kinds words sent, the lovely thoughts & prayers given. X, T



 

 

Paperwhites, Hyacinth Bulbs, Hydrangea and Carnations

Flower Friday is our flower laden supper table last night. We made our way back to Hawthorne and are determined to find joy in all the little things. While still in a haze, you all know how happy it makes me to set a fun table. While thoughts and stories about my mom are ever present, we are determined to savor the last of our Twelve Days of Christmas celebrations. So the house was filled with the scent of garlic and saffron last night. Geranium leaf placemats from the shop have been a fun addition. Then it was about layering all sorts of grocery store flower finds along with pots of paperwhites caretaker Bill picked up for us before we arrived on Christmas Day. The blooms starting to open, releasing their heavenly scent. Then lighting some taper candles and the table was set.



 

 

Ted’s Tip No. 182

Add a platter to your front entry hall table or living room side table. Then mix in things from the season. It will be a visual delight for guests as well as for you.



 

 

Carnation Love

Flower Friday brings us a big bundled bunch of gloriously green carnations. We did a big grocery shop yesterday and there they were in all their ruffly glory at the Price Chopper in Chatham. So good I just could not pass them up. I have mentioned before finding flowers in the country can be a challenge, so grocery flower departments often come to the rescue. Options can be slim, but I always look for one type of bloom that looks healthy and pick out a profusion of them. Have a lovely last week-end of the year everyone!



 

 

A Boxing Day Table For 14

Our new tradition of flying to Hawthorne on Christmas Day also includes hosting a Boxing Day supper the next day. This year it was a family affair with folks coming from Montclair, Albany and Troy. Simple potted paperwhites would be the centerpiece of the table. When we bought the metal topped dining table when we first got the house, we actually bought 2. The legs fold so we keep the spare in the basement. It is quite nifty because it saddles up ever so nicely as a pair, giving us lots of extra seating to accommodate more guests. We used 2 fern laden matching tablecloths so the tables became a cohesive whole. Then it was a smattering of glassybaby vessels along with the pair of jaunty green Dunes & Duchess candelabras and we were off and running. Citrus with thyme salmon, cauliflower and broccoli purée, along with Parmesan smashed Yukon gold potatoes was the meal. Tons of chatting, lots of laughs, deep discussions and a good deal of wine. A pretty swell evening to kick-off our stay.



 

 

A Hudson Valley Arrival

We traveled through Christmas Day, arriving to Hawthorne a bit after 8 last night. The temperature dropping as we meandered North up to Columbia County, hitting 32 as we drove up the long driveway. Caretaker Bill had once again beautifully prepared the house for us, getting the perfect tree and having it lit so we could see it the moment we drove in. Then our Twelve Days of Christmas began! We are hosting a Boxing Day supper for family today, a new tradition. So it is up and at em’ early getting things ready. Then tons of R&R is on the menu for this stay. The retail marathon a big success (huge THANKS to all who shopped WK this season) but each passing year my 55 year old body takes a tad longer to re-coup. I hope your Holidays have been and continue to be divine and all you wished they would be.

From the Hawthorne Valley, sending much love, Ted2+Bailey