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.

Friday, March 26, 2021

Shutter Project Completed

We have all these old shutters in our barn. This photo taken before I did a culling.  Some were in too lousy shape to hope to do anything with them.


I did select one to scrape with a wire brush, and then wash thoroughly.  Amazing how much dirt accumulated in the maybe 100 years since these were on the house.  These were in the part of the barn where the 1906 newspaper was found.

I had to give it three coats of white spray paint.

Then I laid the letters for Spring on and spray painted green.

That took only one coat.  Lifting off the letters I didn't think the letter edges were clear enough.

So I used a black sharpie to outline the letters.

I got out the glue gun and added some silk flowers. 

I like how it turned out.  Now it's on my front porch for all to see.

The porch needs some pots of pansies but I'm finding that those are not for sale yet.  They would be if I was still living in Maryland.

Now to make one for daughter Emily.  I have other plans for shutters including an angel.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Shot Side Effects

 No dead battery this time!

As for other side effects yesterday:


sore arm,

loopy feeling, and

achy all over.

Today we are both fine.  We slept well though got up lots of times to pee because we guzzled water yesterday.  We heard that water was a good antidote for less reaction.

Neither of us experienced fever or chills.

Back to normal and now two weeks from full immunity!

Photo from the files - Botanic Garden in Washington, DC.

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

2nd Shot

 Our second shot for Covid immunity was scheduled for today at 9:40.  Rather than waiting in our car this time we walked in to the closed JC Penny store.  

Even the photos on the wall were masked.

We arrived early and were actually given our shots then at 9:40 on the dot. Below is Dan getting his.  I went first this time.

Made a couple of stops before heading home. Now for some lunch and a relaxing afternoon I hope.  We got the Pfizer and from what we hear there is a likely reaction awaiting us tonight.  We'll see.

Saturday, March 20, 2021

Welcome Spring

Purchased these wooden letters for an old shutter redo. 

 On Pinterest saw lots of possibilities though mostly winter themed but figure I can do something similar for spring.

 It's going to be warming up soon so I can take a wire brush to the old wooden shutter, use some spray paint and the letters and make a spring sign for the front porch.

Inside I've got some spring decor out.

Pysanky eggs are on display. Most of these decorated over the years.


Signs of spring:  birds singing, sun warming the earth and melting the snow, mud season, and sap running into the sap buckets.  Daughter and family have been diligently collecting it, boiling it down outside and making maple syrup. It is really sweet.

Since this photo was taken the snow has mostly melted in their backyard.

Friday, March 19, 2021

And there's more

 AC was right when he called the picture I posted yesterday a paint by number.  We took it down and it sure enough is a painting.

There are these two finds also - flags.  Not particularly old.  The US flag has 50 stars. The other flag is a New England flag adopted in 1988.  It's sold on Amazon here.

Here they are dirty hanging over a shelf in the barn.  We found them last month when Dan turned the sign around.  They had fallen or been stuffed behind the cream separator sign.  

I washed them both.

Like the sign we will find a place to hang these in the loft recreation room in the barn.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

Other finds

Sharing some other finds from the barn but first - pussy willows.

Daughter Emily gave me a sprig from her tree with the instructions to put it in water.  The first photo is from Tuesday when she gave it to me and the second from this morning.  

As to the finds - there is this tiny medal attached to the door jamb of the barn entrance.


Reading counter clockwise from 9 to 3 o'clock it says "The Olympic Courier from".  The bottom reads "Telemark Norway".   My search on the web found nothing.  I think the date in the bottom right corner says 1986 but the last digit is questionable.  The medal is no more that 2"x1".  I don't know how it's fastened on there.

The former owner's ex husband had a ski shop of sorts in part of the barn.  This door inside the barn is plastered with stickers. The marriage lasted all of 4 years so the business was not long lasting either.

And last there's this in a corner above a shelf with watering cans.  Haven't been able to reach it to see if it's a picture or a painting.  Need to check it out more closely.

We had someone here yesterday that knew the former owner and we hope can work to renovate the barn for us.  Initially he thought we were going to ask him to take it down and he would have done that because there's a market for old barns.  We want to renovate part to use as a garage.

More finds yet to come!

Tuesday, March 16, 2021


I spoke to daughter Emily about New Hampshire etiquette for putting things out on the roadside free for the taking.

She said that we didn't do anything wrong.  If someone had really wanted something but couldn't haul it then they should have asked us to set it aside off the street. 

It's there for whoever is there to take it at the time.  I guess that's why the woman didn't get mad with me on the phone.


Monday, March 15, 2021

News from here

Friday was an incredibly balmy day here.  Temps into the 50ºs.   

The snow was retreating from the backyard and deck.

It was warm enough in the sun to take our lunch outside to eat.

Dan spent a good part of the morning and early afternoon removing a wire fencing in the backyard.  I worked in the afternoon to remove snow from the deck and cleared quite a bit. 

Today though we woke to snow - a dusting - and bitter cold temperatures.  As I write this Dan says it's 10º outside.  Don't know what the wind chill is.

As to that wire fencing and the metal stakes, Dan rolled it up and placed it on the side of the road in front of the house.  As he was doing this two women walked by and one stopped to ask if we were giving that away.  The answer was yes. In NH that's what you do with free items - put them out on the side of the road.  It's probably a little early in the season to do this but as it happened the woman wanted it.  When she returned from her walk she got her car and Dan helped her load what she could into the car.  She took our phone number to let us know if she would be back for the rest.  She did call then to say she'd have a truck on Sunday and would take it then.

Sunday Dan worked on setting up his workspace in the cellar where the new concrete floor makes a great space.  There was a long cabinet once in the kitchen that he set up as his work bench and an existing peg board over it provided a wonderful spot to organize his tools that had been in small boxes in the utility closet upstairs.  Older cabinets that he'd had to move in order for the concrete to be poured, he moved to the edge of the road - free for the taking.

By 3:00 Sunday the woman had not returned nor called again and a young couple stopped by and asked if we were giving away the fencing.  Answer was yes and that though someone had spoken for it she hadn't shown up yet so they were welcome to it.  

Well, an hour later the woman called to say they were coming and I had the heartless task to tell her that someone else had taken what was left.  Did I do the wrong thing?  Is there some etiquette to roadside free  stuff?  

As the afternoon and evening progressed we wondered if anyone would want the wooden cabinets made of knotty pine.  We figured we'd be hauling it to the recycle center on Saturday.  

This morning Dan left early for blood work and when I glanced out to see where the newspaper had landed, I realized the pile of giveaway cabinets was gone!  No tire marks or footprints.  Had someone come by in the night?  We were both amazed.  

One person's junk is another person's treasure.

Friday, March 12, 2021

Connecticut River

We took a drive into Vermont one day this past week to go to a local hardware store to look at paint colors.  We've got a contract with a painter to paint the outside of our clapboard house.  We plan to change the color from all white.  Coming home I had Dan stop so I could take a picture of the frozen Connecticut River. 

Here's a bit of history!

We've settled on a color too after another drive to look at houses in Norwich and Woodstock, VT - likely to be a medium to light gray with even lighter gray for the trim, with black for the doors.

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Found, too.

Last month when Dan was cleaning out one of the loft areas in the barn he came upon this newspaper remnant.  It helped him date when the items in the barn were placed there and not touched since: 1906

The paper is in very bad shape.  We're not sure what was spattered all over it.  I've saved what I could and bagged it up as house history.

The paper comes from New York City.


You can see above how much the paper cost - 3 cents and Sundays 5 cents - and it looks like it was available all over the place.  Below shows the date August 26, 1906, a Sunday.

I tried to photograph some of the articles.

The major event covered was a bomb in Russia.  

Teddy Roosevelt was President in 1906 and it was the year he won the Nobel Peace Prize.  The canal mentioned above must be the Panama Canal.

What a picture into the past.  For me the funniest article was about the woman attempting to wallpaper a room with canceled stamps.