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.

Monday, December 20, 2021

Season's Greetings

Wishing all of you

a very Merry Christmas

filled with good health,

delicious food,

and time with family and loved ones to make memories for the years ahead.

I'm taking a break from posting

for at least these next two weeks.

I'll be using that time to enjoy the family we are living near

and communicating with family who are a distance away.

These photos are some of the treasures that surround me

as I celebrate this joyous season.

Happy New Year!


Friday, December 17, 2021

Thursday, December 16, 2021

Barn Second Phase

When I last reported on our barn we had successfully completed the conversion of the right side to one large bay with two openings so that we could use the far right opening as a garage.  See the car in there?

Our barn whisperer said he would return in the fall to take on the second phase which included replacing the rotted sill on the left side and building doors for the garage part. Checking in with him several times by email he said he'd be here.  When the house painting was completed at the end of October we did get another email from the barn whisperer saying he was behind schedule but still planned to come. Then silence - no response to future emails.

Last Thursday Dan was helping put lights up on the Christmas tree erected on the town green and mentioned to the neighbor he was helping our barn project. Tony came over to see the barn, gave us a proposal and started work on Saturday afternoon. Before we okay'd the proposal Dan once more contacted the barn whisperer. His response: if Tony wants to do it, that's fine. Tony has been here every day since.

This means that Dan has been working every day since, too. Tony is our age and needs Dan to do some of the heavy lifting, etc. First thing they did was remove the clapboard and walls to reveal the sill.

You can see below it's rotted.

They had to remove it entirely and jack up that side of barn to support it.

Below you can see the original sill was created by hand using an adze.

Yesterday, Wednesday, the sill was entirely replaced. Now on to closing up that side and building the doors.

One discovery Dan made was that the barn was painted green at some point in its life. We may return it to that color.

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Monday, December 13, 2021

Gingerbread Houses

 Our local library offered  "gingerbread" kits - just sign up.  The gingerbread is really graham cracker but with the directions it works fine.  I ordered three kits: for me, and two granddaughters.


The mortar is royal icing: eggwhites, lemon and confectionary sugar. Fortunately keeping it in a sealed container meant I only had to make one batch for the three of us. It hardens in the air.

I did mine first to get a hang of what was required then invited granddaughters to come over one at a time.  #2 came first on Wednesday afternoon and #1 on Thursday afternoon.

Here are our creations.


Granddaughter #2 at work.

Granddaughter #1,

Notice the icing on her fingers?  She couldn't help herself and said it was delicious.

All three houses reside at my house for now - part of the Christmas decorations.

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Come for a Drive

 Last Thursday, the 2nd, I told Dan I'd like to take a drive to the White Mountains if the weather was going to be clear.  (Last winter we attempted this but it was snowing and we had to turn back. [Post here on that attempt.]) As so often happens my idea was not original and he'd been thinking the same thing.  Happens often in our house that I read his mind.

Friday's forecast was good so we set the GPS for the Kancamagus  Highway which is reported to be the best route in NH to see fall foliage.  Not being fall anymore around here we knew we'd have the road to ourselves.  To get there from here it's northeast as the crow flies, but by auto requires going north, east, south, and even west sometimes.

We set out and passed two barns I've always admired in Enfield.

 Then in Canaan got a view of Mount Cardigan. 

We had to weave our way through valleys.

We entered the Kangamagus Highway at the western end in Lincoln I think it was, and headed east entering the White Mountain National Forest. The road started to climb.

We knew it was cold outside by the snow and ice.  The wind was fierce so we didn't linger at many of the overlooks.

Once we passed this marker the road headed down to Conway where we had lunch.

After lunch we put in a destination of the Mount Washington Hotel and Resort one of only two remaining from the hey day of hotels in the area.

The hotel was not on the east side of Mount Washington as we thought and to get to the west side we drove through Crawford Notch.

Aw, here it is,

and what a view of Mount Wshington.

The weather observatory is just visible.

The last time we were on Mount Washington was the summer of 2001.  We drove up. We had been up twice before that. In 1983 by the cog railroad and in the 70s we drove up after backpacking in the mountains.  I'd like to return to the hotel and take the cog railroad up again. Someday.

Hope you enjoyed the drive.