Readers, Welcome to my blog (formerly Birds, Blooms, Books, etc). I'm entering a new decade taking on the challenge of moving from Maryland after living there 46 years and learning about my new home here in New England in the Live Free or Die state - New Hampshire. Join me as a write this new chapter of my life.

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Reflecting Back on 2017

Incredibly another year has passed us by, 2018 awaits!

Here's a look back.

We took two extended vacations: 
January we went west to Memphis and then drove south along the Mississippi to New Orleans then east to Florida.  Here's an overview of that trip
with posts following about our stops along the way.

In September we went east across the Atlantic to Scotland for two weeks. Here's the start of posts on that trip.  I still have much more to share on that.

We also took some day and overnight excursions:
New Hampshire here and here
Three Otters Eco Retreat, WV for a family reunion

Living at Vantage House has meant quite a few excursions to museums including:
Baltimore Museum of Art twice

Living close to two metropolitan areas: Baltimore and Washington, DC has its advantages.

There's more I could share from the year, but the list is longer than what I expected when I started this post.  Needless to say I will continue to have photos to share in 2018 so I hope you'll stop by and say hi once in awhile.

Happy New Year to you!

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Happy Holidays!

Family coming in to town.

Granddaughters to play with.

Cookies and other goodies to be made.

A time to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Here's my wish for you and yours to enjoy this holiday season, whatever holiday you celebrate.

I will return in the New Year with more photos to post about Scotland - never did finish those.

Happy New Year 2018!

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting

Friends went with Dan and I to see this exhibit at the National Gallery of Art in Washington on Thursday.  It's a must see exhibition if you are anywhere near DC.  Ends on January 21st.

Apparently in the Dutch Golden Age of genre painting (scenes from daily life) there was quite a bit of overlap among the artists of the time: Johannes Vermeer, Gerard ted Borch, Gerrit Dou, Frans van Mieris, and Gabriel Metsu.  They often featured the same pose and daily activity.

Look at these paintings. Three different artists, very similar poses and activity.

And again with these three.

Were they trying to out do each other?  Were they inspired by each other? Were they learning from each other?

There are almost seventy paintings in the exhibit from 1655 to 1680.  All of them are lovely glimpses into Dutch life.

The detail in these paintings is incredible.  Enjoy!

Did you notice all the dogs in the paintings?

Want to learn more?  Here's the link to National Gallery of Art.

Linking to Tuesdays Treasures

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Scotland - More Standing Stones

I first wrote about standing stones here.  I mentioned in that post how interested I was in seeing them.

Let me share some of the others we found.

This cross though not as ancient as other standing stones is a unique 18 ft high Runic Cross that stands in the apse in a Ruthwell Church about 10 miles from Dumfries, Scotland.  To enter the church the sign on the door said to go to the church manse.  There was a little box with a large skeleton key that opened the church.


The Lonely Planet guide said this writing in a Saxon runic alphabet is one of the earliest examples of English language literature.

The inscription was written by Caedmon in the seventh century AD.
That same afternoon we found the Torhouse Stone Circle outside of Wigtown.

This well preserved ruin dates from the 2nd millennium BC.

It's fenced off from farm fields.

Across the road were these 3 stones - totally out of place in the field but probably moved there in ancient times.


When we visited JM Barrie's home town of Kirriemuir and experiencing the camera obscura he donated to the town we were directed to this standing stone.

I had Dan stand next to it so you can see the height of it.

We learned about cup stones when we visited the Crannog Centre and were shown how these holes could have been made.

Why stones have them is not known.

If you were walking and came upon this stone you'd probably think like I did that its made by erosion.  These cups were made by humans 3000 to 5000 years ago.

I still have so much more to share.  I hope I can do that before we're off on another trip to Europe in 2018.