Sunday, January 4, 2015

Nutcrackers and a New Year!

Happy New Year! Best wishes for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2015.
Sorry for being so late, hope everyone had an enjoyable time ringing in the new year.

Burt always enjoys celebrating and doesn't miss an opportunity to indulge in some good cheer. He was invited to a costume party this New Year's Eve and decided to dress up as a Chimney Sweep. He said in some countries they symbolize good luck for the coming year. In all honesty, we thought he looked like a wild west gambler or Herr Drosselmeyer (sans eye patch) but who are we to judge?

It probably started with the Nutcracker by E.T.A. Hoffmann. Burt is a big fan of the book, especially the one with Maurice Sendak's illustrations. Who could resist a Rat King with seven heads?

Early in December, Burt unpacked our Nutcrackers. They used to sit on the steps of the stairway but with two cats, a dog and several clumsy humans around the domino effect became a constant occurrence. So we gave up and relocated them to the top of the wardrobe in the dining room. 

Naturally Burt had to join in the fun and give it a try.
Careful now, you don't want to hurt yourself!

Oh, no!

Tape, such a joker.

At last, all safely lined up.

Recently Burt volunteered to stay with the pets while we went to see some other Nutcrackers.

Every year The Paine Art Center (an historic home turned into a museum in our town) decorates its rooms for the holidays taking inspiration from the Nutcracker. This was the first year they allowed photography! I couldn't believe they were encouraging it, even suggesting that we post our photos on social media. Here's Nick, our son Andy and his girlfriend Kristin at the entrance to the art gallery.

This is normally where art work is displayed though out the year, but during the holiday season it is transformed into a setting for live music. I wonder how long it takes to trim that tree?

Each of the rooms have an illustrated reference to the Nutcracker story. 

Those of us who do not normally have a mustache were able to borrow one,
which left the one who is already in possession of one to take the photo.

The dining room, obviously the realm of the Sugar Plum Fairy.  

It's hard not to like a room full of sweets.

Next door the Breakfast Room is filled with beautiful white trees. 

These people really knew how to start the day out right.

I have no idea how these trees relate to the Nutcracker story but I think they should consider selling them in the gift shop. Seriously, I could use a red and gold forest on my mantel. 

A closer look, because you can never get too much of a good thing. Great table, too.

The great hall where excerpts from the ballet are performed, unfortunately we missed the dancing.

The Minstrel Gallery that once overlooked the great hall, lined with golden trees.
There are many more beautifully decorated rooms and more photos (by someone not using her phone because she did not know about the new policy) that can be found at

Once again, best wishes for the New Year! Sorry for being absent for so long! We have been experiencing a bit more than our usual amount of celebrating this year. Between the road trips, the holidays and birthdays I've really fallen behind, but I hope to catch up soon. Thanks for visiting!    

As for Burt, he's catching up on his beauty sleep.


  1. What an amazing place to visit!!! ...and the table !! with a running hare!!! Awesome!!
    Really enjoy seeing Burt's cheeky smile :D XXX

    1. Isn't that table fantastic? We are lucky to have such a place in our relatively small town. I still can't get over the fact that they are finally allowing visitors to take photographs!
      By the way I loved your Krampus tale and King Elvis, too!

  2. Oh wow, such delicious scenery! I guess they realized they too have to get with the times :)

    Thanks again for your generous gift, and your kind email!

    Btw, next year I'm going as Burt :)

    1. I'm so glad they finally lifted their ban on photography, just wish I had known about it and brought a decent camera. Maybe next year I'll get better pictures.
      You are very welcome, thanks for all the inspiration!
      Ha! I can't wait to see the photos of your done up as Burt!

  3. Some day you simply have to make a book of your adventures with your family and Burt! I love them and I think others will too!

  4. Wow, thanks for the kind thoughts. We're a pretty dull lot so in all honesty I can't imagine having enough adventures to fill an entire book! It might be fun to try though. My family has varying opinions on Burt, mostly they just roll their eyes but my Mom is absolutely horrified (much to my delight)!