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.

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Covid Test

 When we visited Buffalo for the Thanksgiving week, we stayed in masks until we could take a Covid test.  There was the very minimal chance we may have been exposed by a NH granddaughter who may have been exposed at school.  Both granddaughters took Covid tests in NH on Monday 11/22 and we did the at home test that morning in Buffalo

The directions are very explicit to the point of warning you to not move the test case.  We swabbed our noses for 15 seconds and inserted them into the test case, turned the swabs three times, closed the case and waited for 15 minutes.

Our tests were negative which we expected so off came our masks.

NH is offering 4 free test kits to each household that signs up.  I did that yesterday.  The tests we took cost $25 for two.

Here's the link to the free kits so you can check if your area is offering them for free.

Monday, November 29, 2021

Now for Something Totally Different

 A must watch video with exceptional photography of carnivorous plants and insects in slow motion.


What did you think? 

I did have a Venus fly trap once but couldn't keep it alive.  I bought it to eat the small flies that were prolific in our apartment at that time. I think I over or under watered it.

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Coming Home to Winter

 We arrived home Saturday afternoon after spending a week in Buffalo, NY with daughter Sarah, son in law William and granddaughter #3.  It was a lovely time. Daughter Emily and her family who live nearby here in NH joined us in Buffalo on Wednesday so that the entire family was together for Thanksgiving. 

We realized that it was the first Thanksgiving that we all spent together since both girls were married and had children. When we lived in MD Emily and family rarely made the trip from NH to us because of the distance, age of their children and the short time to visit.  They opted to travel at Christmas instead.

After college Sarah went off to China for several years before returning to DC area for graduate school and work.  She married in 2014 so she and William were closer by for Thanksgivings.

The distance to Buffalo is not that much different than to MD but with NH granddaughters older it was easier to do this year.  Covid prevented it last year. So this may have been the beginning of a tradition for a time - trekking to Buffalo for Thanksgiving.

But look what we came home to!

The calendar may still say it's Fall but outside here it's Winter!

Saturday, November 27, 2021



an ancient sugar maple

the red stands out

the flat from northern end

an old barn repurposed

rock wall remnants

old barn in use still

Hope you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving.  We are traveling home from ours in Buffalo today.

Thursday, November 25, 2021




Lots has been written about the history of Thanksgiving but here is a great article to give you the background.

Monday, November 22, 2021

Even More Old Photos

The historical society has some old photos of some of the houses along my road.  Thought you'd like to see the comparison. Unfortunately these photos are undated.

The first one is very much the same from past to present.

The second one has a barn removed in present photo and has been added on to.

The third has been altered quite a bit.

On another street is a former store that is now three apartments.

 Trees were in the way so I couldn't take the photo at the same angle.

And here's the hotel again with our house to the right.  I took the same photo for a present day comparison. The store there now which is closed is at a different angle than what the hotel was.

The road has also been altered because the hotel was on our road but the present store is on the intersecting road, 

We are having fun learning about the history of our new home.  More research to come in the next month.

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Mashed Potato Question

 As Thanksgiving approaches one of the mainstays of that celebration meal is mashed potatoes at least on our table.  How about yours?

photo courtesy of Valley News.

But here's the real question: do you peel or leave unpeeled?

Mental Floss has an article today about how to peel potatoes after cooking them.  Read here.  It's interesting and very much like what you have to do with beets but it means the potatoes are then cooled down.

photo courtesy of Mental Floss

In my mind the skins are just as tasty as the flesh of the potato.  I never peel them anymore and mash them skins and all.  I usually use Yukon Gold or other yellow potatoes for mashed potatoes.  

Another article I read today, here. goes into lots of detail about starch content and such that insures the fluffiest or smoothest mashed potato.  I will stick to my Yukon Golds, leave a bit of the water in the bottom of the pan, add some milk, butter and salt and mash with my potato masher.  Never fails to make great mashed potatoes for my dining table.

So what do you use: peeled or unpeeled? Kind of potato? How do you mash?  What do you add?

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

More Old Photos

 Last week, here, I shared some old photos of our house though we were not the intended subject of the photos.  Saturday I joined the local historical society and purchased two books that tell the history of this town.  Three more photos from one of those books show our house, too. 

We've been learning more about our house after the tip to search the deeds online at the Sullivan County website.  I'll share what we've learned in a future post.

The first photo is the Inn and store that used to be next to our property. Notice our house tucked in the right side.  This is a more recent photo than than one posted last week because the trees are grown.  We think that the year must be in the 1910s because of the car.  See it in front of the brick building?

The second photo is dated 1927 after the fire.  Again our house on the right.  But notice the hill behind - devoid of trees.  That's the hill we see out back and it's covered with trees as you know.

From the history book here's a description of the fire:
"April 7, 1927 - At 3 am, fire was discovered in the brick cottage ell of the C****** Inn by a son of A.F. Davis, the proprietor.  Connected to the 28 room hotel was a large, heavily timbered open shed with a hall on the second floor which was used for dances and public gatherings.  Beyond this. was a three story brick store owned by Evarts P. Brown.  The burning of these buildings and the barn, stables and smaller sheds resulted in a spectacular fire.  Fanned  by a strong wind, sparks and embers were scattered for nearly a mile.  The Inn and store were nearly 125 years old and in good condition, the loss was estimated between ten and twenty thousand dollars, only partially insured.  The library, furniture, jewels and equipment of the Cheshire Lodge, F. and A.M., which used the third floor of the store, were a total loss.  Several residences nearby (likely ours!) caught fire but were extinguished quickly; a heavy snow squall came at the height of the blaze, preventing any further chance of the fire spreading. The *** Fire Department arrived within a half hour. No one was injured."

The final photo has got to be in the 1950s judging from the car. A new store has been built.  That is still there but expanded and one day may be a new library/community center.  Again our house on the right and with a magnifying glass we can see the shadow of the barn.  The shutters are off compared to the picture above but the renovation to the long back part hasn't been done yet because the windows are different from what we have.  Finally the hill behind is overgrown with trees now.

I've been reading about New Hampshire history and learned this tidbit.  The part of NH where we are bordering Vermont on the Connecticut River petitioned to become part of Vermont as it was going through the process of becoming a state.  It nearly went through until the Continental Congress stepped in and said no.  After all the rest of NH didn't want to lose this part.

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Friday, November 12, 2021

More on The Meeting House

 My post of Wednesday generated some questions about the Meeting House.

What was the Meeting House? 

It was originally a Baptist Church and was built in another part of the township close to another church. Historical sign says this church moved. Other sources say the two churches didn't get along. Don't know how the move happened except maybe by taking it apart (it's wooden) and rebuilding it.  The church disbanded at some time and as with churches around here became the property of the town. 

My son in law winds the clock though for the last year it has been out of service while a broken part has had to be fashioned.  Not something that can just be ordered.  He has had a time of it getting it made.

He let us in one day when friends visited to see the inside.

Is it still in use?

The Meeting House has been renovated recently and is advertised as a spot for weddings but haven't seen any activities at all there. My daughter says it doesn't have heat so that would impact its use.  Not sure about restrooms either though it does have a kitchen.

It's quite a beautiful structure to look at from our north facing windows in any season.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

Today is Veterans Day

 and I am reminded daily of those that served our country in all the wars when I look across the street at the memorials there.

The standing Civil War soldier is everywhere in New England. A good reminder of some unfinished business - racial bigotry that still needs to excised from our country.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Old Photos

The local historical society has shared some old photos from our township.  I picked out these two.

Above is a hotel which would be our neighbor if it hadn't burned many years ago.  Notice the little house to the right of the hotel?  That's our home.

Here's the view out my window of The Meeting House.


Here's how it looked in an undated photo.  Those cattle would have been in a pasture next door to us.

How times change.

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Roads Less Traveled

 We took a drive one afternoon last week on some of the roads that veer off the main roads just to see where they end up.

Many peter out into Class VI roads that are basically snow mobile trails come winter and then closed March 1 to June 1 because of mud season.

We spotted this fence and gate and realized we'd found the Corbin Park boundary- an animal hunting preserve dating back to 1889. Here's a link in Wikipedia.  It has a strange history.

The fence we could spot through the trees as we drove didn't look too sturdy.

The colors remaining in the woods are from the oaks and the understory beech trees.

I think we passed one truck during our exploration but there were houses and farms along these quiet roads.