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, April 27, 2022

New Garden Art

 We have a lot of rocks in our soil as we have discovered with the grading work we had done last year. It's the nature of this land and why stone walls are so prevalent.

I've always wanted to make a First Man  or Inukshuk [Wikipedia] after we saw them in Glacier National Park and in Banff in 1999.

Here's a magnet from Canada as a small example.

On our 1999 trip we hiked the Highline Trail in Glacier National Park and there were these statues all over the place. I made this one while I sat and enjoyed the scenery.

Sunday I finally made one for the garden. Sorry there's no sense of scale but it's over two feet tall.

I wanted to build it before I planted a wide variety of Hosta in this bed. I didn't have cement and hope it stays up.  It fell multiple times as I attempted to get it all balanced. The largest stones were very weighty.

Monday, April 25, 2022

My Garden Room


This clump of daffodils is tucked in a corner near the deck planted by former residents. There were irises in this space too that I transplanted.

Two different peonies that were in a very shaded garden 

and also in the midst of weeds at the edge of the field behind us have made their appearance this spring in a new flower bed where I moved them to last summer. Daughter Emily doesn't think they'll bloom for me this year because of how poorly they were doing in their former locations. 

The barn will be painted this summer but that doesn't prevent us from using it now.  The door on the left opens to what I've named the Garden Room. The doors leaning there outside are giveaways.  When we had a fence I thought I'd mount one on the fence after painting it. The other was going to be made into a headboard by son in law Matt. They have a headboard coming to them from his grandmother instead.

This was once an animal stall, likely for horses.

Dan built a potting bench for me and mounted a shelf.

My order from FedCo Seeds of perennials came on Friday last week and since we are not past our frost date, as instructed, I've temporarily planted the hosta, day lily and bleeding heart plants in potting soil.

Here's the door to an interior room with the steps that lead up to our rec room where the ping pong table is. See my blue bird bath on the floor on the right.  It's too soon to put that out too.

Love these daffodils - first color besides green and brown in the yard.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Windows and Birds

 One day last week we heard a loud thump and saw a bird on the steps to the deck.  It had flown into the sliding glass door and broken its neck.  This was a first for us here.

I noted it's demise in the front of my Peterson Field Guide to Birds:

2022 - A Hairy Woodpecker.

The entry was preceded by these birds who met their deaths flying into windows at The Lodge (the house we built and lived in from 2005-2016 in Baltimore County, Maryland)

2005 - Cedar Waxwing

2006 - Falcon, Cardinal, Blue Grosbeak, and an unknown gray bird

2007, 2008, 2009 - a Thrush each year. (Funny thing is I never saw these birds alive but would hear their beautiful call in the evening)

2010 - White Throated Sparrow.

[There was a hummingbird that died but not from hitting the window.  It was hanging from a plant support. I did rescue lots of hummingbirds from the screen porch.  They would fly into the screen and get their beaks stuck.]

I shoveled up this woodpecker and placed it behind the barn.  The next day the carcass was gone.

I hope there won't be more bird deaths by window in our future.


Shutterfly sent me a photos from 6 years ago on this date - we were madly in the midst of downsizing and all the family was visiting to decide what they wanted of the stuff we were parting with. The Lodge had sold the first weekend in April and we'd signed the papers to move to the continuing care retirement community (Vantage House) in Columbia, MD. Boy has our life changed since then!

Two photos from 2016

Reflecting back we are so glad we said good bye to Vantage House and hello to New Hampshire.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

The Last of Newport

 Look at this : Newport, RI collects garbage to compost.

One final walk through Newport to share some of the sights.

I thought this tree magnificent.

And it's grown around the fence

George Washington was standing on the side of the library.

Down on the wharf we spied a tall ship.

Look closely at this pot.  There are spears of forsythia coming out of the center,

That's it for Newport.

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Deck Ready for Warm Weather Entertaining


We ordered this picnic table from Tree Top Products which markets to parks and businesses. It was delivered on a very large truck that had to have a lift gate because we didn't have a fork lift to take it off the truck. (Extra cost too!)  It is quite heavy and well made. Assembly was required.
 We bought the 9 ft umbrella from Home Depot along with the chairs you see in the background.  Once we get a grill we'll be ready to entertain on the deck. 

I think a gathering of our neighbors for a BBQ will be in our future.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Saturday, April 16, 2022

A Walk through The Breakers


The Breakers - come in for a visit.

Enter the Great Hall first.

Look up and up!

The Grand Staircase - a favorite of children in the family who slid down on silver trays probably on the steps not the bannisters.

I had Dan pose so you could get a sense of the height of the place.

Enter the Breakfast Room

or the Billiard Room

A little conversation place I suppose.

Pass on to other rooms to sit and enjoy yourself.

Wait, here's someone working to keep the dust away.

The Library with Cornelius on the wall

and his desk?

Travel upstairs not by the grand staircase but a second one (there's also a third one for servants).

Immense bathrooms.  That large looking urinal is a sitz bath for long carriage or horseback rides.

Mirrors on every wall.

A peek out the window to see who's arriving.

One of the more than 40 plus bedrooms.

Here's the ocean from the Loggia.

Down the servant stairs to the kitchen set in a separate wing of the house to avoid the spread of fires.  The kitchen is several rooms.

This second room contains all the dishes (2 floors of them) and a silverware safe.

Here's where the food was plated and served.

Disclaimer: these photos don't do justice to the grandeur of this place.  You'll just have to see it to believe it.