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, June 30, 2021

The Barn Guy is ...

... a barn whisperer if there is such a thing.

He showed up today early and in the heat has been working all day.

Progress being made.

I can see him from my desk and his shirt is drenched.  He is not a young guy, thankfully because that means he's done this before.  That's not to say someone younger couldn't do this but experience is an important qualification for restoring a 100 + year old barn.

Barn Update

 The guy working on our barn has actually been at work though as I write this on Tuesday afternoon we haven't seen him yet this week.  But he has been here three times now with the last time being last Friday from early morning to dusk.

Saturday morning I took these photos.  His first goal is to level the barn.  The right side had sunk 6 inches so. he has it almost there, just 2 inches shy.  It's like a Lincoln log set being used to lift this end of the barn.  I don't understand it really but it's working.

Above - see the vertical section separating the two open bays.

Below can you see that section off the ground?

Now can you see it off the ground? Notice what I call Lincoln logs?

Here's the right side of the barn also with Lincoln logs lifting.

Notice the varying sized shims used on the back side to hold it up.  Also there's no real foundation of rocks right now.  Once he gets it to level he will be digging a 4 foot footer and building the foundation.

The supports could be a sculpture.

Don't know when he'll return.

We are having a heat event here though not as hot as the Pacific Northwest. The carpenter working on the deck and such is a no show.  That's another story for another post.

Monday, June 28, 2021

A Visit from Family

My youngest sister Marie and her husband Scott came last Wednesday for a three day visit.  How wonderful was that?  Extremely wonderful!  She was the first of either of our extended families to visit us in our new state.

The first night we took a hike before sunset to the Top of the World to watch the sunset.

On Thursday Dan accompanied them on a bike ride, renting bikes in Lebanon and riding the Northern rail trail, with lunch on their return leg.

Dan and Scott on the trail along Mascoma Lake.

Friday we drove to Mt. Ascutney to hike to the top after driving most of the way on a narrow bumpy road.

That's me hiking at my slow and steady pace.

Of course the granddaughters spent lots of time at our house because they couldn't get enough of Marie and Scott.

Saying good bye early Saturday morning was tough but they promised to return.  They rated our bed and breakfast (lunch and dinner) accommodations as superb.

Dan and I on the porch of our home. We had the lemon meringue pie I made on Thursday in the front yard because the deck is all torn up.

And yes the contractors came.  Wednesday the carpenters working on the clapboard and deck were there till dinner time. Thursday the barn guy came and again on Friday and worked until dusk. Friday also the tree guys came and limbed up the hemlock and spruces that line out driveway.  Everyone took it all in stride.

More posts to come on what's been happening around here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Some Laughs

Sadly so many of these are so true!

Thanks to my friend Marilyn for sharing these with me.

I will be back next week.  My sister and her husband from Virginia are visiting Wednesday to Saturday.  First one of my five siblings to come to see us in our new home here in New Hampshire.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

Along the Roadside

 Saturday morning I head up my road to the farmstand that's only open on Saturday.  Lauren sells eggs,   meat and this Saturday - goat cheese spread with herbs.

The wildflowers along the roadside are lovely so had to stop and take some photos.

In other news the barn contractor came today. We knew he was finally going to show up because Dan sent another email this week just asking where on his calendar we fit in.  It took several days but he said he'd be here Saturday morning after some errands.  I really didn't believe it because we have heard similar statements though not day specific, only week specific.  He is actually working in there as I type this blog.

Now the carpenter working on renovating our deck?  He was to come Thursday afternoon. No show. He was to be here all day Friday. No show but he did call after Dan tried to reach him.  He'll be here all next week.  Do I believe that?  I'll reserve judgement.

Maybe with my sister and brother in law coming on Wednesday for four days, all these contractors: barn, carpenter, tree/landscape company and flooring contractor (a repair needed on floor installed in February) will all converge on us at once.  Won't that be fun?

Thursday, June 17, 2021


 The amount of spring days left are fast disappearing. It was time for a new shutter sign for the front porch.

This one is a bit smaller in height.  I had to scrape it, wash it, spray paint a primer coat then hand paint the rest.  Emily has a tub of acrylic paints that she inherited from my Mom.  She brings it on vacation as my Mom used to do for us to paint rocks.  

No words on this sign - just stars and stripes.  The stars are painted on a plate that I first painted blue.  I used one of my punches to punch out 13 stars which I arranged on the plate then outlined with a white pen then painted.

I used a plate hanger to hang the plate from the shutter.

Let summer begin!

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Local Garden Tour

 Daughter Emily called shortly after 8 o'clock Saturday morning to suggest I accompany her to view a local garden open to the public at 9.  Of course I said yes.  It was a short walk from my house and the home of a local garden expert and weekly garden columnist.  His home is a former Creamery associated with the sign we found in our barn.  One day we'll have him here to see the sign.

But on to the gardens. No first look at this snapping turtle we walked past on the side of the road.

Now the gardens. A lot of work has gone on to get them like this.

As I said the house was once the creamery and built very solidly but with no insulation when he purchased it in 1970.  It was being used as a summer house then.

Notice the blue flower below.

I fell in love with this blue bird bath.  He had two.  One purchased in Cape Cod and one at local feed store.  I'll be on the lookout.

I was inspired.


P.S. I've updated my Books Read 2021. I've read 6 more books since last update.  Currently have 4 books started - too many. One is for book discussion later this month "Caste"-well written and very thought provoking.  Another I started yesterday is an earlier one in series from William Kent Krueger.  The other two I may not continue, haven't decided.