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, November 29, 2023

Old Photograph


The old photograph came to us from the daughter of a former owner of this house. She had it in a closet but she knew the photograph belonged with us as the present owners of the house because it had been found in our attic years ago.

It was wrapped up loosely.

Here are some close ups.
Look at all those buttons and cinched waist.

Why is this one not looking at the camera? Is that a cameo at her neck? A wristwatch?

Dan thought the one on the left and the one standing were twins.  I said sisters which I think applied to four of them

This one is the mother.  She has on a wedding band and also a wrist watch.

A protective hand is on this daughter who is gripping the chair.  Her eyes don't look quite like the others and I wondered if she was sight impaired?

The photo was not taken in this house. More than likely in a studio but there is no writing anywhere on the front or back to identify these 5 women.  Dan scanned the photo and did a web search.  There are lots of similar photos but no one has ever put this one on the web identifying them.  Did they live in this house at some time? It would have been very crowded for them with only one bedroom then.

Then there is this cat at the bottom of the photo.  Ceramic or real?

The frame is interesting too.  At first I thought it was inlaid but it's carved with paint.  I don't know if it dates to the same time or not.  

As for dating the photo by the dress it's late 1800's to early 1900s but not past 1910 when dresses got looser and tight corsets were going out of style.  Is there a fashion history expert out there who can date these better?

Addendum: John of Stargoose in his comment below suggested that the studio name would be written on the back of the photo. Unfortunately the photo is glued to that mat board and to remove it would likely damage the photo.  His other comments are very helpful in dating and understanding this photo.

Monday, November 27, 2023

The Week That Was

 Rather than writing several posts I'm gathering my thoughts and writing one on what transpired in the week that just finished.

You've already read about our Thanksgiving meal.  If not see Older Posts below.


A Gift

Tuesday Dan and I attended the local Aging in Place group for a discussion of downsizing.  We shared our experience with an online auction in 2016 when we sold The Lodge and moved to an apartment in a retirement community.  Others shared their experiences hiring people to help sort or just going on their own to sort and give away with the goal of avoiding the landfill.

One of the participants has slowly tackled closets in her home. In one she came across a framed photograph someone gave to her thinking it had been left behind when her mother moved out of our house.  Yes, the house we presently own.  Her mother bought the house in 1970 and lived here for 11 years. After the meeting the woman went to her car for the photograph to give to us.  We learned a lot about the house from her: it had a coal stove in the front room, one bedroom, stairs to the attic space where the photo was found, and tin ceilings. The renovations to the house happened in the 1990s by the owner we purchased from.

Here's the photograph.  More on this later this week.


The Tree and Decorating

As you saw earlier in November I had the tree up but not decorated. I got a chance to do it this week. I went with colored lights instead of white ones and a 58 foot strand did the trick. When the girls were young they would help with this but now it's my responsibility.  If I go first I doubt that Dan would even bother with a tree.

And in answer to John of The AC is On, in winter time the slider door is not used. Snow piles on the deck making it impassable.

More on the decorations another time.

But the rest of the decorating is not happening until the kitchen redo project is complete. The cabinet and door fronts and new oak veneer are to be installed the week of December 4th.  This means that everything has to come out.  I started the task this week.

I consolidated these shelves to make space to move items there.  But every level surface will eventually be used so no further Christmas decorations until the project is done.

Christmas Shopping

Packages have been arriving as I finished most of the Christmas shopping this week.

I even put items in Christmas stockings so I know who gets what.  I still have a few of those items to find but it's one last thing to tackle as the last month of the year comes on Friday.


I'll leave you with a photo of my desk which is a mess!

Batteries to fill candles for the windows, a magnet from Spain that needs gluing, a book to pass on to Emily or the free library, notes, receipts.  I didn't show the stack of Christmas cards to address and sign.

A busy time of year.

Friday, November 24, 2023

Good Eats


Stuffing with chestnuts.

Mashed potatoes and gravy not shone.  Half of a turkey.

Homemade rolls.

Homemade cranberry sauce.

Brussels sprouts and green beans.

Pumpkin pie.

My daughter put on a nice spread.

Wednesday, November 22, 2023


Thanks to Mary of Frugally Challenged blog for this card.  She sent it several years ago. 

We are staying local for Thanksgiving this year and no additional company.  Daughter, Emily is doing most of the cooking.  We will supply the appetizers and wine.

Hope your Thanksgiving Day tomorrow is blessed with good food, good conversation and lots of laughter.


And here's the view out my window here at my desk.

We had snow last night which has changed to rain. Snow on the roof is heavy and sliding off with loud plops.


Monday, November 20, 2023

That Time of Year

 Getting ready for the big holiday coming in December.

Saturday I assembled our skinny tree. No lights.  Last year I took all the prestrung lights off because too many strands were out and I couldn't find the offending bulb causing it.  When I put it up Saturday I'd forgotten that I hadn't found new lights at the end of last season.  On the way home from church I got a set of LED mini lights 58 feet long and put those on Sunday.  Picture will have to wait until fully decorated.

I gave granddaughter #1 the task of arranging the lights on this ceramic tree. Notice Mary and a llama?  I brought those home from a craft fair at church.  Apparently Mary and the Babe had lost Joseph so they couldn't sell the set.  

Saturday my Advent calendar arrived from Larkin Tea Company, my source for lea leaves. Each day will be a different tea to try!  Can't wait.

I'm almost done with the Christmas gift shopping too.  Now to tackle Christmas cards then get on with the rest of the decorating.

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Another Addendum


An old photo with the foreground being my neighbor's yard.  This photo predates the building of her mother's house which she came to own.  The barn on the back of her property (not pictured) was there first which probably explains the fencing and these steer.

Could the leaves at the top of the photo be from the tree that was felled?

Our neighbor's house is not in this bird's eye shot of the flat where we now live.

Here's a cropping focusing on the church (Meeting House) on the left, our neighbor's barn, then you can see the peak of our roof with our barn in front of it.

All this to say that I guess the tree was not as old as it looked.

By the way there were no visible hollow spots until the trimming began.  It looked pretty sturdy.

Addendum to Death of a Tree

 Dan learned Wednesday night at the volunteer fire department training that the tree was 75 years old. The growth rings were very widely spaced - a fast grower.  It was there, though before the house was built.

Our neighbor's brother wanted her to have it cut down last year after a large limb came down in the driveway but she demurred.  He persuaded her to have it cut this year again because of the fear of the damage to the house should another limb come off.  Cutting it down after most of the leaves had fallen was easier than earlier in the leaf cycle.

Still a very sad demise for such a nice tree.

Death of a Tree

In my header above there is a very large silver maple tree.

Below I have cropped the header photo to focus on the tree in my neighbor's yard. 

It's a tree with a very big trunk but some time ago it must have lost its center.  No one ever limbed it up with the result that through the years the branches grew to be the size of trunks and very spread out.

Tuesday morning we heard trucks arrive and saw a tree service setting up.

At first we thought they were going to limb it up after all some of the limbs were over the house.

As the day progressed we realized that was not happening.

The tree was coming down.

Our neighbor lives alone and has battled with the piles of leaves this tree produced every year.

I guess this year she decided she'd had enough with the leaves and the threat of damage to her roof.

Most of the wood went into the chipper.  That was very loud all day.

The biggest sections were set aside and on Wednesday we say the claw machine take them to the back of her property.

It was a sad sight to see such a magnificent tree meet its death.

You can see where the major trunk was divided years ago.

No more branches.

The stump cut into two pieces and

Wednesday the stump below soil line was ground up by this remote controlled machinery.

The neighborhood will miss that tree.

Tuesday, November 14, 2023

Laughter - the Best Medicine

 An assortment from my friend Marilyn.

The above would sadly be my mother in her 90s trying to work a computer.