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.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020


 I signed up for the MOMS Rising Truth Squad.  I'll get emails to share about the election.

Here's the first one.

Dear Marcia,

Thank you for signing up to be part of our 2020 Election Truth Squad! Can you believe it’s already the end of September? We’re just over 30 days from Election Day and now is the time to do a check-in with your community of friends and family to see if they’re ready for the upcoming deadlines. 

Drum roll please… The below is your first list of options for sample social media content that we’d love if you considered sharing on your own social media accounts to help inspire voter participation in the election! You can share all of the items over a few days, one of the items, or none. We’ll give you a new list of options for sample content each week. 

And this week, the most important action items are to make sure your friends and family have checked their voter registration, know their voting options, and have requested a mail in ballot if they want one. 

I selected this one to share with you:

Click here or on the picture above to watch.

Monday, September 28, 2020

Need a Laugh?

 Hope this helps.

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

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Venturing to Vermont

 Last weekend we had lunch out in Vermont.  Being on the western edge of New Hampshire we are right next door to Vermont.  Recently we learned that the two states are referred to as the Twin States but as a realtor told us the feel of the states is very different.  As far as we're concerned the look of the states is very similar: rural and full of mountains and valleys and white churches.

The reason for lunch was at the suggestion of daughter Emily.  She sent us a link to her local newsletter that said a BBQ favorite of the Cornish Fair, that didn't happen this year, is parked on the Tunbridge, VT fairgrounds through the end of October.  Open weekends!  We really like BBQ so we went to investigate the English BBQ.

English because the proprietors are English.  Their BBQ is pure American.

They are the only thing happening at the fairground!

I had a BBQ sundae.  Baked beans, potatoes, BBQ pork and BBQ sauce.  It was delicious. The pink background is the picnic table.

After lunch we moseyed home stopping at some historical markers.  This first one was buried in the trees..

Across the street was the war memorial.

Here's the meadow referred to in the historical marker.

This marker was on the main road so we took a left to drive back to the birthplace.

Definitely some money was spent to mark this spot.

Tree colors are changing each day. The green of the trees above are now likely yellows, oranges and reds a week later.  Here are some trees yesterday.

I'd love to share the view from my window but photos through the screen can't capture the array of color.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

How Do You Make Friends?

Disclaimer: the photos accompanying this post have nothing to do with the post's subject. Find a description at the end.

Until we moved from Maryland to New Hampshire I had never given any thought to how I made friends.  Throughout my life it has just happened.  People from attending school and college.  Neighbors I played with.  People I worked with or met through church, volunteer activities, and from living in proximity to.

I've never been especially good at maintaining long friendships since I moved a lot when I was young. I know no one from childhood or high school.  I do stay in contact a couple times of year with my freshman college roommate (she reads this blog, she tells me, to keep up with what I'm up to.)

When I quit working for the government in 1985 I kept in contact with one woman who lived in Columbia too but since that friendship was based upon work experiences it didn't last.  I have several teacher friends though we all live away from MD now.  Getting together and staying in touch is difficult.

In moving away I left one important friendship, one which goes back to when our children were very young, which I will keep through the distance.  Other new friendships were made at Vantage House where we lived which we hope we can maintain.

But how to make new friends now?

Living in Covid times, we aren't meeting the neighbors. In the two plus months we've lived here we have not even seen who lives on either side of us or across the hall.  Learned today that the people under us sleep during the day because they complained to Management about the noise - that would have been granddaughter "pouncing" and jumping on the floor on Tuesday afternoon.  

There look to be people of our generation in this community but people don't speak from behind masks except to nod or mutter hello.

Neither of us work or volunteer yet so there's no chance of friendships from those experiences.  We are church goers but churches aren't meeting in person or if they are, there are limits to the number.

We'd tried two different churches online, one on the Lebanon green and one in Hanover at Dartmouth. Neither did it for us entirely.  Then I saw another church was having a BBQ chicken drive-through dinner sale.  We went.  Then looked up the church online.  We listened to recordings of church services.

I sent an email asking to be put on the email list of notices which is what I did with the other two churches.  Sunday I called the church to find out how to listen to their service for Sunday and spoke to the pastor.  She followed up Monday with a response to my email and then we chatted on Tuesday.

I got invited to a parking lot gathering of the Women's group for Thursday morning at 9 am.  

I went this morning! I think this will work to meet and make friends.  It will take time but I have that.

Ever thought about how you make friends?


Explanation of the photos: There must be a scarecrow contest going on in Enfield, NH.  There are many more on the street throughout the town.  I captured the ones we saw when we walked on the Northern Rail Trail portion that's in Enfield.  The rail trail starts here near us and goes all the way to Concord. The photo above is a post leftover from when it was a railroad.  It's saying there are 11 miles to White River Junction, VT.  The lake you see is Mascoma Lake which feeds the Mascoma River which runs outside our windows here to the Connecticut River.


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

More from Flume Gorge Hike

 Here and there were spots of fall color on our hike to and from the Flume Gorge at Franconia Notch State Park.  [If you missed the first post on this hike, use the link below this one to go back to older posts.]

Just a bit of color in the far mountains.

Here and there leaves have changed color.

Coming back from the Flume is a lovely wide trail.

Boulders strewn everywhere.

Dan's doing his part to keep this one from tipping over.

I saw an elephant in the woods, too.  See it?

The trail takes us across this covered walkway above the river.

The river looks delightfully cool below.

We ended up in the Visitors' Center.  This stage coach dominates the space.  Look there are seats on top like in the days of Dickens.

On the door is the painting of the Man in the Mountain, New Hampshire's symbol that is no more.

Time to head on to our next adventure? No off to lunch!

Postscript: In answer to John's question on last post about how the 93 year old woman found the Gorge, the description said she was fishing. 

Monday, September 21, 2020

2020 vs. 1920

 The year is 1920 "One hundred years ago."

What a difference a century makes!
Here are some statistics for the Year 1920:
The average life expectancy for men was 47 years.
Fuel for cars was sold in drug stores only.
Only 14 percent of the homes had a bathtub.
Only 8 percent of the homes had a telephone.
The maximum speed limit in most cities was 10 mph.
The tallest structure in the world was the Eiffel Tower .
The average US wage in 1920 was 22 cents per hour.
The average US worker made between $200 and $400 per year.
A competent accountant could expect to earn $2,000 per year.
A dentist earned $2,500 per year.
A veterinarian between $1,500 and $4,000 per year.
And, a mechanical engineer about $5,000 per year.
More than 95 percent of all births took place at home
Ninety percent of all Doctors had NO COLLEGE EDUCATION!
Instead, they attended so-called medical schools, many of which were
condemned in the press AND the government as "substandard."
Sugar cost four cents a pound.
Eggs were fourteen cents a dozen.
Coffee was fifteen cents a pound.
Most women only washed their hair once a month, And, used Borax or eggyolks for shampoo.
Canada passed a law that prohibited poor people from entering into
their country for any reason.
The Five leading causes of death were:
1. Pneumonia and influenza ( still have it )
2. Tuberculosis
3. Diarrhea
4 Heart disease
5. Stroke

The American flag had 45 stars ...
The population of Las Vegas , Nevada was only 30.
Crossword puzzles, canned beer, and iced tea hadn't been invented yet.
There was neither a Mother's Day nor a Father's Day.
Two out of every 10 adults couldn't read or write
And, only 6 percent of all Americans had graduated from high school.
Marijuana, heroin, and morphine were all available over the counter at
local corner drugstores.
Back then pharmacists said, "Heroin clears the complexion, gives
buoyancy to the mind, regulates the stomach, bowels, and is, in fact,
a perfect guardian of health!" (Shocking?)

Eighteen percent of households had at least one full-time servant or
domestic help...
There were about 230 reported murders in the ENTIRE U.S.A. ( not Chicago )
I am now going to forward this to someone else without typing it myself.
From there, it will be sent to others all over the WORLD all in a
matter of seconds!
It is impossible to imagine what it may be like in another 100 years.

Sent to me by a friend.  I can't vouch for its historical accuracy, but it seems plausible.  What do you think? 

Friday, September 18, 2020

Flume Gorge

New Hampshire is known for lots of things and the Flume Gorge at Franconia Notch State Park is one of those.  

This is one very popular spot to visit especially in the summer and fall.  With Covid concerns access is limited to online reservations only to enter and limited numbers of people at each time slot.

On Friday the 11th we had a reservation for 10 am.  There was a very short line to check in but as we hiked the 2 mile roundtrip route we made certain to keep our distance and pull up our masks.

The Gorge is not as accessible as it was pre-Covid when there was a bus to take sightseers to the Boulder Cabin where they then only had to walk .7 of a mile.  No bus now and some of the other trails are also closed off.

We had a beautiful cool day for our walk.  Come with us.

At first the trail is divided. We stay right to the Gorge.  The other side is the return trip.

There are lots of erratic boulders left from glacier days.

We have to go down before we can go up.

Here's the Boulder Cabin built in the 1930s.  Well maintained but closed for now.

The mountain sides are just filled with boulders and trees that one wonders how do they stay growing up straight?

We arrived at Table Rock where over time the waters exposed this large expanse of rock. Signs said "Slippery - stay on trail" but that didn't stop some folks from venturing out on them.

Water levels are low because of drought so much of the rock sruface was dry.

Access to the Gorge is by steps and boardwalks that hug the side.

Moss is plentiful on the layers of rocks.

Up we climb.

Looking back down from where we started.

Looking over the edge to the water.

During Spring runoff I imagine you can get wet from the spray.

Looking up.

Avalanche Falls is near the top.  This falls is recently formed - 1883 during a storm that washed away an overhanging boulder.

At the top.

The guidebook says the Flume Gorge was discovered by 93 year old Aunt Jess Guernsey in 1808 by accident. Her family didn't believe her until she showed it to them.

I have more photos from this hike but I'm fed up with Blogger.  When I upload the photos, it keeps mixing up their order.  I also used to be able to size the photos by hitting the + but now I have to pull out the corners.  What a pain!