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Sunday, December 9, 2018

Nantucket Stroll - Take 2 & A Winner

Hello, dear friends.  First of all, I want to thank everyone who participated in the drawing for their sweet comments.  In 2019, you will see more posts on the upcoming wedding, more at-home posts, more travel and adventure posts, lots of book reviews, and maybe even some recipes from the Mister.  He promised.

A reader, "K" suggested an Advice Column.  I never thought of it, but love the idea of a monthly post.  Start thinking of some questions.  If there is one thing I love to do is to give advice - solicited or otherwise.  Ask my family.  Then ask them how many times they actually take my advice.

Unfortunately, PricewaterhouseCoopers was busy getting ready for the Oscars and couldn't tally the votes and pick a winner.

Not to worry, I made do.  I took everyone's name who entered, wrote it on a piece of paper, and put them all in this pitcher.
Very scientific.  

Chowdah picked the lucky name.

And the winner is...


Congrats Phyllis.  Email me your address and The Red Coat and the A Day At Fenway Park ornament will be on its way to you just in time for Christmas.

Back to the Stroll...

If you missed Part 1 of the Nantucket Stroll, you could find it here.

I asked the shopkeeper if I was eligible for a discount since I am 97% Irish according to 

Sadly, she told me that I just missed the 97% off sale.
I think that she might have been full of blarney.

While I was waiting for my two partners-in-crime to finish up in one of the shops, I struck up a conversation with this delightful duo.  I asked about the matching shirts, and they told me that the group was made up of old friends.  I offered to take a pic of them, and they thought it was a great idea. The man reached for what I thought would be his phone.  Instead, he handed me a 20 lb. Nikon with all the bells and whistles.  For a split second, I thought of taking off and running with it, but I thought of all my packages that I needed to haul, so I decided to be a good girl and take the pic and give him back his camera.

Cyndy's thinking... not another #@%$ picture!!

Nantucket hijinx at its best!

I fell in love with this jacket.  The only reservation I had was that I didn't think those crisp pleats would nearly be as pleated when covering my derriere.

Throughout the town, trees were decorated by various organizations.  If Chowdah caught wind of this tree decked out in tennis balls, this tree would be toast.

Speaking of toast, here is the Grinch, his tree, his dog, and his Range Rover.

See this tree.
This is what my tree will look like next year.
Forget the ornaments and the all the fuss.
An old sweater, some sneaks, and we're done.
I'll have a lot more time for online shopping.

I can hear the oohs and aahs from here.
Believe it or not, this window box was even prettier in real life. 

The town was crawling with preppy ladies carrying hatboxes.

I felt like Dorothy when she first caught a glimpse of Oz.
I did not have to twist any arms to make a stop.

This darling lady opened Petrichor in June.
If you are on Nantucket, I highly recommend it.

Great assortment of wine. Generous pours.
Our kind of place.

The nibbles are great too!

This is what happens when people have too much liquid energy.

We walked around for a while doing some last-minute shopping.  
If you think Nantucket is pretty during the day, you must see it at night.  It is positively enchanting!

Photo credit:  Jill.
I don't need any lawsuits coming my way.

You'll never guess who we ran into at our very last stop!

Yay! We made the ferry!

Now it's time to sleep off some of that wine!

Need some gift inspiration?
My gift guides can be found herehereherehere and here.

Until next time...

Daffodil Festival in Nantucket
On my bucket list for 2019

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Thursday, December 6, 2018

Books, Gifts, and a Giveaway

Hello, dear friends.   Find a comfy chair and grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine.  This post is a long one but chock full of good books and gift items for the book lover in your life.  If you stick with me, you will be rewarded with a giveaway at the conclusion of the post. 

Over the weekend, I had a chance to go to a book signing for one of my favorite authors, Dolley Carlson.  I had the pleasure of meeting delightful Dolley two years in a row at the Beacon Hill Garden Walk.  You can read about it here and here.

Dolley is the author of The Red Coat, one of my favorite historical fiction novels.  The story opens with an Irish domestic worker asking her Beacon Hill employer for a red coat which was in a donation pile.  That red coat weaves many tales throughout the coming years.  The Red Coat is a beautifully written multi-generational novel that follows two families and one red coat.  I was so sad as I read the last pages.  I wanted it to last forever.

Here's the good news.  Dolley was kind enough to give me an autographed copy of The Red Coat for a giveaway.  There will be more details at the end of this post.

Here's some more good news.  I've asked a dear reader to review some nonfiction books that she has enjoyed.  Her name is Ellen, and she is a native of the great state of Michigan.  Reading is her passion and Ellen is discriminating - only nonfiction.  I am so happy to welcome Ellen and I look forward to working with her in posts to come.

What can I say?
I've been a sucker for a love story involving a Catholic priest since The Thornbirds.
This one doesn't disappoint.

This page-turner centers around an Irish girl coming to America in the early 1900s.  While at sea, Bridey loses the love of her life.  The Latecomers has got everything - love, heartache, strong family ties, 
plenty of secrets and inspiring friendships.


There are lots of twists and turns in this spine-tingling thriller about a prominent doctor and the pharmaceutical business.  This one kept me guessing until the bitter end.


I adored The Story of Arthur Truluv.  Naturally, I was excited for the sequel to be released. Night of Miracles is a sweet story but lacks the magic of the first book.
Don't listen to me though, it got great reviews on Amazon. 

I just started this one, and it grabbed me from the first page.  This is the first book that I have read by Nicholas Sparks since The Notebook.  I'm only a few chapters in, and I'm already pining for the protagonist, Tru.  Of course, his name is Tru.  I think that I will be looking into some of Sparks' older books.
Any recommendations? 

I just started listening to this one.  It is so good that it got me to take my walk for the past two days in 40-degree weather.  I hope that the story will keep the momentum.  I need to lose some serious lbs.


Bill Bryson is a fountain of knowledge and an amazing writer. If you aren’t yet familiar, he will stun you with the minutiae he can summon about things like the history of toilets. Funny and yet exceedingly factual. 


A reference manual to one of the very best cooking shows on TV. Not only great recipes, but you’ll love the reviews of the products they tested and resulting recommendations. A must-read before you impulse-buy yet another trendy appliance soon relegated to the donate pile. 


If you’re a fan of interior design you may already own one of Ms. Howard’s lovely books showcasing her amazing skill at placing tchotchkes and fluffing pillows (and I mean that in only the most admirable way). She’s an incredible designer. Her latest effort capturing the coastal atheistic will have you dreaming of a watery blue color scheme with the “Theme From A Summer Place” wafting on the breeze. 

Great job, Ellen!
You're hired!

This one sounds intriguing. It is about a writer that is hired by the husband of another writer to finish his wife's books because she is dealing with an injury.

It seems like yesterday that Lisa Jewel released her last book, which I enjoyed.  This one looks like another nail-biter.


Great reviews on this one.  It is not my usual kind of story, but I may make an exception for this one.  Besides, I really like the cover.


I'm really not sure what the story is about from reading the synopsis.  It has evoked some emotional reviews.  Rumor has it that the audible version is better than the book.

The wife is blissfully happily married.
The husband, not so much.

Two married lawyers take the law into their own hands when their son gets in trouble.

Sounds like a good story but I'm pretty sure I would never be friends with the parents in real life.


I usually buy this type of book the first of the year with all good intentions.  
I never follow through.  
You might have better luck.

I had the privilege of meeting Ann Hood at a Breakfast With The Authors.  She was lovely and a fascinating speaker.  This book looks good.


A possible stocking stuffer for the college student in your life?


The Mister bought me an Oasis this year, and I love it.  
It's light and waterproof.

Remember when I spilled my Smoothie on my keyboard?
It wasn't pretty.

The Mister is now buying me only waterproof gifts.
It's lucky that I'm not sensitive.

If you or someone you know loves to read and has a long, nasty commute on a daily basis a subscription to Audible is the perfect gift.

The difference in the Mister's mood when he is listening to a good book in the car and when he's not is like night and day.

As I mentioned earlier, a great book gives me the incentive to get outside and walk. 


I mentioned this cute ornament on another post.

This is for the person who loves the smell of books.
Btw... the Mister loves the smell of fresh mulch.
Hopefully, there is not a candle carrying that scent.

Now that bibliophile in your life can smell like a book!


True dat.


An idea for the future book lover - a book with a matching onesie!


A digital timer/bookmark is another idea for the organized book lover!

A warm bath, a great book, and a glass of vino.  Why not give your favorite book lover the ultimate moments of relaxation after a long, hard day of blogging working.

For the book lover in your life who appreciates a delicious hot breakfast and a good book while lounging in bed on a Sunday morning.  

A book seat is perfect for the reader who needs to be hands-free so that he/she can dip their chips and hold a glass of wine.  
Not that I would know anything about that...


How cute is this?
A wireless folding book lamp.

For the ultimate Moby Dick fan.

or the sailor...

...Or the traveler


.. or the Super Hero in your life.


Each tea bag comes with a literary quote.
Why didn't I think of that?


... and one more glass of wine. 


Why not give the tea, mug, this cute spoon, and a book together as a sweet gift for your favorite reader?


Cute stocking stuffer!


A book light AND a bookmark!

And one more glass of wine...
Have I said that already?



For the book lover who also enjoys a signature cocktail.


My #1 gave me one of these journals years ago.  It was great because I had been known to not only buy but also read a book twice and not on purpose.  Now I consult my blog. 


How about some notecards with a sweet note attached saying... for my thank you note.  Then again, skip the note.

For the reader that can never find their glasses.
Warning:  this is not for the person who always loses their keys.


I've been a proud member of a few of these book clubs.


My mantra for 2019!

You made it!
It's time for the giveaway.

I love the cover as much as the story.

The Giveaway not only includes an autographed copy of Dolley's wonderful book, The Red Coat but also a Christmas Ornament entitled A Day At Fenway Park.

To enter, please leave a comment telling me what you would like to see more of on my blog in 2019.  You can tell me what you would like to see less of too - like ridiculously long posts like this one.

I have heard from several of you that you have been having difficulty leaving comments.  

Have I mentioned to you lately how much I hate technology?  

Anyway, not to worry if you can't leave a comment.  Just shoot me an email at, and I'll count you in. 

Just as a heads up... I am vulnerable to bribery as well as flattery.

Are you stumped trying to think of the perfect gift for someone?
My gift guides can be found hereherehere and here.

Until next time...


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