Home Sweet Home



Lucky to Be Coming Home Again

You don’t need to be an economist to know that most of us can say:  we don’t have a lot. Just live everyday life. Balance a check book. Manage a home budget. There’s not a whole lot left over for puttin’ on the Ritz.

But a very famous and beloved band once told us, money can’t buy us love!

To the rescue: a page out of the financial books of previous generations, who had their share of ain’t-got-a-barrel-of-money moments.



Where our music is playing, at our little country home in Northern Massachusetts.


Our House 

Invite your loved ones over to your home and shower them with love (and music)!

Growing up, family and friends gathered at our home or their homes through so many of the sweet seasons on my mind.

As a child, I loved gathering with my cousins at my grandparents’ homes, our own home or at the homes of aunts and uncles.

No television or electronic devices — just tree houses, cookouts, laughter, and tag, you’re it.

Add in Red Rover, Green Light, Mother May I, Dodge Ball, Donkey Ball, jump rope, Hop Scotch and sing-alongs.

There was no take-out.  Everyone brought their specialty dishes and no one’s budget was busted.

My parents would also host parties for their family and friends in our finished basement.

Featuring Twister, Jackie Kennedy hair-dos and 60s music, I’d wake at 3am and hear them singing!

One New Year’s Eve (as I heard through the grapevine because we were fast asleep upstairs), they did the Bunny Hop up the stairs, out the door, down the street, and back again.  We live in Massachusetts, and this was New Year’s Eve!

No matter that baby, it was cold outside….they were Sweet Home Massachusetts with their favorite people in the days of Auld Lang Syne.




Circle of Angel girlfriends, Brenda (left) and Jean, “social networking” at our annual  Christmas Gathering at our home



Love Can

Build a Bridge

The times, they’re not only changin’, they’ve changed — and drastically. Families are scattered geographically and there are demands on our time for just about everything.

But I remain convinced that love can build a bridge…. so where it’s possible to connect face-to-face with family and friends, especially at home sweet home, go right ahead and do it.  How lucky are you?!

Just put on those ruby slippers and click, click.  You had the power all along.


My three sisters-in-law and I relax at home while toasting to the holidays. From left, Paula, Sandi, me and Monica.


The love of family and the

admiration of friends

are much more important

than wealth and


–Charles Kuralt







Calling All Angels

When the CIRCLE OF ANGELS gather, it’s mostly in our home or on occasion someone else’s. Everyone brings their specialty dish, which makes for a fill-up-your-senses buffet at a low cost to everyone.

If the gathering involves a gift, we all chip in $10 toward a group gift. The evening doesn’t break anyone’s budget in these tough economic times, so everyone, no matter their financial situation, feels welcome to soak up the sun.

I’d rather a simple gathering at home than something unaffordable that leaves even one person out!


Circle of Angel girlfriends Linda (left) and Sharon at our home at Christmas


A cheerful friend is like a

sunny day, which sheds

its brightness all around.

–Sir John Lubbock




Who Says You

Can’t Go Home?

Worried that your home isn’t perfect enough to invite others over?   Trust me, if you’re welcoming enough to open your door to others, your house is a very fine house!

The U.S. Adoption Agency has a great slogan:  you don’t have to be a perfect parent to be a perfect parent.  I can say the same for being a host:  you don’t have to be a perfect host with the perfect house to be a perfect host.

My grandmother had a modest home in Chelsea, just outside Boston; yet her kitchen table was full of people, day and night.  She’d greet everyone with a warm hello and a big hug.  Everyone was “darling” (omit the “r”).

She opened her small apartment upstairs to any loved one who needed a place to stay — a place many called home.  She loved the “light” of others around her, and she brought them the light.




(I Throw My Hands Up in the Air Sometimes)

So…KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA.in my wonderful grandmother’s spirit, I know that even with our early 1980s Gambrel Cape — and no elaborate McMansion for entertaining — I have been blessed with so much just to be able to be home with the ones whom I love and who love me — that’s my reward.

I am, indeed, a rich girl, just not the kind that Hall & Oates sing about.

When I stress over the ever-growing home improvement list, I throw my hands up in the air and remind myself….as the song goes….ayo, gotta let go!


Be grateful for the home you have, knowing that

at this moment, all you have is all you need.

Sarah Ban Breathnach



Dim All The Lights

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAIt also helps to just dim all the lights, Sweet Party Planner.  Light some candles, real or flameless. Mood lighting is as important as music and food anyway!

As a bonus, dim lighting makes us all look good — and your house, too (who sees dust in dim lighting?!)

The important thing is that you make others feel welcome and leave them feeling groovy. Then they will see your home as nothing but a house of love, completely void of fingerprints.

Just like my grandmother, blind them with your light instead!


A New England House Warming:  Jill’s friend, Sam (left), invited her 

hometown friends, Jess, Jill and Rachel, to her new home in Connecticut.

 Jill, Sam's House

I think that when you invite people to your home,

you invite them to yourself.

Oprah Winfrey

Next: Mom’s Party!

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