Archive for the 'Everything Else' Category

Decorated Wreaths in New England – A Wreath Slideshow

Wreath on a New England door

Wreath on a New England door

Wondering how to decorate your wreath? Looking for some ideas for holiday wreaths? 

Here’s a slideshow of photos I snapped of decorated wreaths in Salem and Newburyport, Massachusetts.  We went on holiday house tours in those two towns this month.  While we couldn’t take photos of the extraordinarily beautiful holiday decorations inside the houses the wreath on the door outside was fair game.

We vowed to go back to Salem and Newburyport as soon as we could – or at least when the temperatures warm up a bit. Both towns are filled with architectural treasures – outdoor museums of sorts – and worth a full day to wander.

Enjoy the slideshow – it’s filled with decorated wreaths from New England houses – and a swag or two as well.

wreath slideshow

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Little Wanderers Gift Drive Drop Off

You’ve still got a week left if you want to drop off presents for the Little Wanderers Gift Drive.  My office – Coldwell Banker at 171 Huron Ave in Cambridge – is  a drop off site.  Unwrapped gifts will be accepted through Tuesday, December 14, 2010.

The Home for Little Wanderers is a child and family service agency – the largest in New England. It is the oldest agency of its kind in the U.S. with Massachusetts roots that date back to 1799.  Thousands of children are helped through its services and programs each year.

little wanderers gift drive

Here are some ideas for gifts.

If you don’t have time to drop off a gift you can buy a gift online from the list of items requested by Home for Little Wanderers programs. The gift will be purchased and shipped for you.

Or – consider a gift card.  Gift cards are popular with teens and with families who can use them to purchase basics like clothing, groceries and housewares.  Here’s the scoop on the Gift Card Challenge.

Coldwell Banker and Bernie & Phyl’s Furniture are matching up to $5,000 in gift card donations.  Gift cards from these stores are eligible for the Gift Card Challenge:  TJ Maxx, Wal-Mart, Marshalls, Stop & Shop, Target, Old Navy and CVS.

 

Presents can be dropped off at Coldwell Banker, 171 Huron Ave, Cambridge, MA through Tuesday, December 14, 2010.  Our office phone number is 617-864-8566.

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Our Place In Cambridge – Wish List

drawing of a house by a childOur Place is a day care center for homeless children at the Salvation Army in Cambridge.  Our Place serves about 38 children daily and there is a waiting list.  The program is for kids age three months to 5 1/2 years.  Having day care available means that the children’s parents can look for a home, work, or go to school.

The Cambridge Council of Realtors holds a holiday party and fundraiser every year for Our Place. The CCR has been the major donor to Our Place for many years but more support is always needed. The party invitation this year included a list of needed items at Our Place.  It’s a worthy cause so I wanted to share the list in case you care to donate.
 

Here’s what’s on Our Place’s permanent wishlist – items that are always needed:

Our Place Wish List

  • Hats & Mittens or Gloves (3 months – 4 years)
  • Clothing (all sizes 6 months – 7/8, NEW only)
  • Sneakers (for 1 – 5 year olds)
  • Construction Paper (all colors)
  • Underwear (preschool – ages 3 – 5)
  • Baby Wipes (non-scented)
  • Diapers (size 18 – 40 lbs)
  • Baby Fruit #1, #2, #3
  • Baby Cereal
  • Baby Crackers
  • Gold Fish crackers
  • Saltine and/or Ritz Crackers
  • Animal Crackers
  • Play-Doh
  • Water Color Paints
  • Glue Sticks
  • Glue (jugs)
  • Paint (washable – all colors)
  • Finger Paint (washable – all colors)
  • Washable Markers (all colors & sizes)
  • Stickers
  • Bubbles (jugs)
  • Why not add some of these items to your cart the next time you’re at the store?

    Our Place Daycare Center is located at 402 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge MA 02139.

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    Wordle Word Clouds – Website Wednesday

    I’m finally sending out postcards announcing (belatedly!) the debut of this blog.  The image on the front was created with one of my favorite websites – wordle.net.

    You use Wordle to create “word clouds” – enter text and it transforms it into a word collage. The size of the various words is determined by the frequency of those words in the text. “Randomize” your entry and you’ll get a seemingly endless variety of Wordles with different colors and fonts.

    It’s enormous fun and once you start to play with it you keep thinking of ways to use it – fun texts to play with – perhaps a political speech – and fun things to do with your Wordles – birthday cards for example.

    The front of my Centers and Squares postcard – watch for it in the mail! – was created using my first blog post.  The Wordle below is the dinner menu from one of my favorite restaurants – the S & S in Inman Square.

    wordle s and s menu

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    Happy Thanksgiving

     

    May you have the best of holidays.

    Happy Thanksgiving

                                                                  from my house to yours.

     

    Thanksgiving Table 2010

    Let the fun begin!

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    Union Square Upgrades

    New street lights in Union Square

    New street lights in Union Square

    Union Square Upgrades  I guess I’ve been so happy to drive on and admire the newly (finally!) paved road on Somerville Ave that I hadn’t noticed some other Union Square improvements.

    These handsome street lights are a new upgrade as are the park benches that line the sidewalks in Union Square. Looks great! They remind me of the ones that used to be all over Cambridge when I was little. The brackets for hanging plants are a nice addition.

    Check back for a post about some of my favorite things I learned on last weekend’s tour of Union Square led by Edward Gordon, President of the New England chapter of the  Victorian Society of America.  It was a marvelous tour and a real eye opener – Union Square is filled with interesting commercial architecture.

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    Downtown Crossing Business Improvement District Holdouts

    Downtown Crossing Business Improvement District Holdouts  The Boston Globe has a front page article today about Boston’s Downtown Crossing revitalization efforts and some big companies that are not willing to pay their share of the bill.

    It seems that in Massachusetts, unlike in other states, property owners within the district can opt out of paying the extra taxes targeted for revitalization efforts.  Several major property owners – including Equity Office Properties, Tishman Speyer, Steve Belkin, and the three McDonald’s restaurants in the area – are refusing to join the 80% of district business owners who have signed on according to the Globe.

    What a shame!  My dad’s office was in the Financial District for many years and I remember when Downtown Crossing was a bustling and popular center in the city filled with shoppers and business people.  It looks rundown, dirty and depressing by comparison now. 

    All property owners and employers in the area will benefit from an improved Downtown Crossing. It is sad that some property owners are sitting on their wallets while others foot the bill.

    Here’s hoping the local property owners do the right thing and get on board with the improvement efforts for Downtown Crossing.  And let’s hope the business improvement district law in Massachusetts gets reworked so this problem doesn’t come up again. 

     

    Read the Boston Globe article about Downtown Crossing Business Improvement District Holdouts here.

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    Time Change Tonight

    Time change tonight at 2 amTime Change Tonight   It’s that time of year – “Fall back”  – time to change the clocks by falling back one hour.

    Gaining that valuable extra hour of sleep is some consolation for the shorter days.  It’s always a  bummer to lose those long evenings – it’s so much easier to show houses after work when it’s light out.  But I can use that extra hour!

    Daylight Savings time changes are a good opportunity to change your smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries. Better to stock up on nine volt batteries and change all the detectors than to hunt down those beeping alarms one at a time.

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