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.

Thursday, December 31, 2020

Welcome New Year 2021

 Don't know about you but I'm having trouble reading any article that looks back to reminisce about 2020. Let's just close that chapter and look forward to better times in 2021.

But for the sake of a laugh, here's what a friend forwarded to me.

Here are 12 things to consider as we get closer to closing the door on one of the most horrible years of our lifetime. 

1. The dumbest thing I ever bought was a 2020 planner. 

2. I was so bored I called Jake from State Farm just to talk to someone.  He asked me what I was wearing. 

3. 2019:  Stay away from negative people.  2020:  Stay away from positive people. 

4. The world has turned upside down.  Old folks are sneaking out of the house & their kids are yelling at them to stay indoors! 

5. This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her dog.  It was obvious she thought her dog understood her.  I came into my house & told my cat.  We laughed a lot. 

6. Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit.  Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom. 

7. Does anyone know if we can take showers yet or should we just keep washing our hands? 

8. This virus has done what no woman has been able to do.  Cancel sports, shut down all bars & keep men at home! 

9. I never thought the comment, “I wouldn’t touch him/her with a 6-foot pole” would become a national policy, but here we are! 

10. I need to practice social-distancing from the refrigerator. 

11. I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip to the Backyard.  I’m getting tired of the Living Room. 

12. Never in a million years could I have imagined I would go up to a bank teller wearing a mask & ask for money. 

Happy New Year!  It's got to be.

Monday, December 21, 2020

It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas

 Christmas greetings to you and yours.

The tree has been up and decorated since we first moved in!  Priorities!

A festive bouquet that arrived for my birthday last week is still look lovely with its Christmas colors.

And cookies have been baked and decorated.  Now to package them up to give to people who helped us make the move: the family that gave us the guest bed frame, the family that lent us the hand truck, and the neighbors who have welcomed us with wine and fresh baked bread.

I'm taking an extended vacation for the next two weeks to enjoy the holidays here in our new home.  See you in the New Year.

Friday, December 18, 2020

The Day After

 What a welcome to our new house: 3 feet of snow!  "An unexpected wallop" as the local paper said in its headlines this morning.  In other words the forecast missed it!

Compare this view from my desk to the one on the header.  It's beautiful blue sky day, 4ยบ and mountains of snow.

A knock on the door just a few minutes ago was a member of the welcoming committee!  She handed me this welcome basket.  I don't think I've ever had a welcome basket!  What a surprise.  I have yet to unpack it to see what all is there but there is a loaf of sour dough bread on the top.

Today is cookie baking day on top of minding the granddaughters so daughter and son in law can work.

I need to get out to take photos of the mountains of snow, too.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

New Decade

 Today marks my 70th birthday!

My youngest sister sent this beautiful bouquet that arrived at our door before dinner. It's sitting on a table that once graced the living room in our house in Columbia. (We moved from there in 2003.) Our daughter had the table in her kitchen until they renovated.  She gave it back to us to use as a work table in the kitchen.  It had been taking up space in her attic.

Our great room extends beyond the kitchen.  The shade covering the slider doors on the left is down.  It requires two people to put it up and down.

We still have some boxes to unpack, stored presently in the guest room.  We need to be here awhile before we decide where the pictures go on the walls.

Wonderful to be here in a new home in New Hampshire. 

The new chapter continues to be written.

New header photo taken this morning from my desk window looking out on the side of the great room toward the barn.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Nearing Final Move-In Step


The furniture arrives today!  Our next to final step to moving in.  Dan returned to the apartment this morning to meet the movers by 8 am.  I think they'll be here before lunch.  We'll be wearing our masks and have some windows open even though it's cold outside.  We've gone this long without catching Covid and don't want to catch it now.  Movers are to be masked too.

We will have to return to apartment later this week to take down the pictures from the walls and clean up.  But the good news is that everything will be done by Christmas.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Some Laughs

 Just a quick stop in to post these laughs I got from my friend Marilyn.  Packing and moving going well. We have moved 99% of what we planned to move and the furniture the movers will take on Monday.  Back very soon.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Packing Begins

So we must start our packing to move to our new home.  It becomes ours on December 4th.  We are mostly moving ourselves which means lots of trips back and forth.  We will be packing, then moving the boxes and stuff to the car then unpacking the car, then unpacking the boxes and putting away as much as we can so we can fill the box a second time or third or fourth.  Fortunately we saved a lot of the nice sized boxes from our move here in July.  We retrieved them from daughter's attic so we could start the process.

The heavy furniture will be moved on December 14th.   Then we will come back to take the pictures off the walls, clean and vacuum, and relinquish our keys and garage opener. 

With that said I'm taking a hiatus.  I'll be back before Christmas.

I'll leave you with these funny church signs shared with me by my friend, Marilyn.

Thursday, November 26, 2020


We had good news this week: the transition has begun for the Biden Presidency.  The idiocy of the tRump Presidency will no longer dominate our news. Already seeing the strength of Biden-Harris and their team.

If you didn't have a chance listen to Biden's Thanksgiving Speech.  HERE

His is the leadership we have sorely missed these last long four years.

Definitely something to be thankful for this year.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Two Thanksgivings


Last year we had two Thanksgiving dinners: one the weekend before in Buffalo and the other on Thanksgiving Day in New Hampshire.

Here's the roasted turkey in Buffalo.

Here's the smoked half a turkey in New Hampshire with some of the side dishes.

In 2020 we will have one Thanksgiving dinner with participants connected through FaceTime. Oh, how life has changed.

How will you be celebrating? 

Monday, November 23, 2020

Pre Sunset Walk

 We were due at daughter's for a pizza dinner on Saturday evening.  We said we'd arrive sometime between 4:30 and 5:00.  Just enough time then to take a walk/hike on a trail we pass every time we head south from Lebanon. Sunset is 4:15 here!

There were no other cars in the lot though in summer time there's typically no room in the small parking lot.  The map showed the path but there was a text balloon that said bridge out over the creek. We ventured on anyway.  And yes no bridge but lots of rocks.  

We had to look for just the right spot to cross and Dan found it.

Picture above is looking back after crossing.  I had to sit down on that log and place my feet on the small rock below.  Then made a very big step to next rock where Dan stood holding his hand out for me.  I had my hiking stick to help with balancing.  From there it was a step to rock on bottom right and then I was across.

I realized after crossing that the return trip was not manageable for me so we headed up stream to find a  spot to cross back when we needed to.  Luckily it was shallower.  And though there were a few rocks, I just stepped right in to the water to cross.

This creek is a popular swimming hole in the summer.

We got back to the car as the sun set.

At daughter's house she had a new pair of socks to give me - an early Christmas gift.  My shoes and socks went to the hearth to dry.

Pizza was delicious as always.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Sharing Some Laughs

The 2.99 Special 

We went to breakfast at a restaurant where the 'seniors' special' was 
two eggs, bacon, hash browns and toast for $2.99. 
'Sounds good,' my wife said. 'But I don't want the eggs.'

'Then, I'll have to charge you $3.49 because you're ordering a la carte,' 
the waitress warned her. 

'You mean I'd have to pay for not taking the eggs?' 
my wife asked incredulously. 

'YES!' stated the waitress.. 
'I'll take the special then,' my wife said..

'How do you want your eggs?' the waitress asked. 

'Raw and in the shell,' my wife replied.
She took the two eggs home and baked a cake.

WE'VE been around the block more than once!


A truck driver was driving along on the freeway and noticed a sign that read: Low Bridge Ahead. Before he knows it, the bridge is right in front of him and his truck gets wedged under it. Cars are backed up for miles. 
Finally a police car comes up. The cop gets out of his car and walks to the truck driver, puts his hands on his hips and says, 'Got stuck, huh?' 

The truck driver says, 'No, I was delivering this bridge and I ran out of gas.' 

The police officer got out of his car as the kid who was stopped for speeding rolled down his window. 'I've been waiting for you all day,' the officer said. 
The kid replied, 'Yeah, well I got here as fast as I could.' 

When the cop finally stopped laughing, he sent the kid on his way without a ticket. 

It was mealtime during an airline flight. 

'Would you like dinner?' , the flight attendant asked John, seated in front. 

'What are my choices?' John asked. 

'Yes or no,' she replied .  

Thanks to my friend, Marilyn for sharing these with me.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Look What I Made


One Monday Emily gave me a lesson in wreath making.  It was totally different than how I'd made wreaths before.  You make little bundles of layered greens about the size of your hand or larger and then wire them to the frame, laying one bundle overlapping the previous one.  The ribbon bow I knew how to make.  

Didn't I do well for the first time? The wreath frame was 24 inches but it was the only one left at Joanns.  But as it turns out it will be perfect size.

Here's the big news!  This wreath will hang outside our new house come December 4th!

Yes, we found a house that meets our needs.  We now will be stewards of history caring for a house built in 1839.  I don't know the backstory of who built this house but intend to find out someday.

Saturday, November 14, 2020

Newfound Lake


Tuesday we drove to Newfound Lake and had intended to take a walk through the Audubon Sanctuary but the lack of a spot a pot changed our plans.  We drove to the nearest town and a country store where the sign on the door said "No Public Restrooms".  Drove farther to another town where there was no restroom in the store but a spot a pot outside.  

We didn't return to the Sanctuary but stopped at Wellington State Park instead and had our picnic lunch.  Since I was still not feeling all that well we headed home from there, but because of the vagaries of our GPS, Miss Direction, we traveled lots of miles on unpaved roads some of which came to dead ends  despite Miss Direction telling us that was the way to go.  

Here are the scenes from the shore of Newfound Lake at Wellington State Park.  Let your eyes forget that there are reflections in the water. It becomes an optical illusion.

In the foreground is the sandy beach.  Judging by the size of the parking lot this is a popular swimming location in the summer.  

The lake is ringed with vacation homes.  Don't those look like alligators with their mouths opened?
Actually the docks are lifted from the water for the winter.

"Newfound Lake is a glacial lake that is noted for its depth, clarity, and purity.  A deep river valley before the glaciers, the ice sheet scoured it deeper and then filled the valley with glacial debris.  The debris damned the water to form a very deep lake -- even deeper that it is now -- and presently it reaches a depth of 180 feet."  Source: pamphlet on the Newfound Lake Audubon Sanctuary.


We made one other driving trip to Newfound Lake earlier this fall.  We were in search of an inn that we had stayed at in 1983 when daughter Emily was just a toddler.  It was in the fall, too.  Going back in the photo albums I found the old name of the inn and a search of that name produced its current name, The Inn on Newfound Lake.  Sure enough when we saw the Inn we remembered it.  We didn't remember the lake though but then we spent our time at Mt. Washington and then climbing Mt. Cardigan.  It's family lore now that Emily came to Dartmouth for college and stayed in this area because of this trip. After all she took a drink from one of the streams on our hike and got "the granite of New Hampshire" in her brain (so the Dartmouth song goes).

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Veterans Day 2020

 Honoring my father, Omar R. Buchwalter, who despite having a family, volunteered to serve in WWII as a chaplain and was assigned to the Pacific Theater.

Here he is 3rd from left in the Fiji Islands.

Below is the Veterans Memorial in Anthem, AZ.

My brother Steve who lives there donated a brick to honor Dad.

I don't remember how we found it among all the named bricks there.

To all veterans reading this - thank you for your service to our country!

Monday, November 9, 2020

Signs of the Times

With tRump refusing to concede these signs are still applicable.  How many days until he has to move out?


Saturday, November 7, 2020

He did it!

 President Elect Joe Biden and

Vice President Elect Kamala Harris

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Protect the Results

 This Wednesday and Saturday, if Donald Trump tries to interfere with vote counting, America will mobilize. We'll speak out in the streets and online for democracy, dignity, and justice; show that it's not lawyers vs. lawyers but the people vs. Trump; and ultimately ensure that every vote is counted.

More Information HERE

Sunday, November 1, 2020

A Must Listen to Sermon

If you are an undecided voter in Tuesday's election, watch this sermon video. Link is the photo below.

If you've voted already for Biden, it will affirm your decision.

Friends form Maryland shared this church's Sunday streaming service with us.  This is the second Sunday we have attended church at Asbury First Methodist in Rochester, NY remotely. We have listened to services from churches here in New Hampshire, but have not heard the type of sermon we were craving since we left our church in Maryland.

Saturday, October 31, 2020

Halloween Greetings and Hope

 The extent of my Halloween decorations are these three Jack 'o Lanterns created by daughters when they were very young.  They probably were done in Art class in early elementary school.  They will be put away on Sunday.

Though this is a scary time and not because it's Halloween, I have hope. 

Hope because so many Republicans have come out for Biden.  How many Democrats have embraced tRump?
Hope because of news of people registering to vote for the first time and voting for the first time to vote against tRump.
Hope because democracy as we know it is at stake and people are afraid of another 4 years of tRump and what it will mean for our country and our Earth.
Hope because in 2018 so many seats were turned from Republican to Democrat in the House and more will be turned in 2020.

Joe Biden will win the election in a landslide and even if tRump challenges the result in court he will have second thoughts on whether he wants the job because both houses of Congress will have Democrat majorities.  This will mean tRump will face impeachment in the House and conviction in the Senate.  Would he want to be the only President removed from office that way?  No.  He may be a bully but he's also full of bluster and changes his mind when it suits him.

I have hope!