Thursday Doors

Last week when we headed north, we needed an overnight stop in Littleton, NH. We usually stay at the Hampton, but it is ‘in season‘ and the rates are $200+. When we pull off the interstate for one night and only want a clean bed and shower, that seemed a little over priced.

So, I did some shopping, and found the Littleton Motel, which is heralded as ‘the oldest motel in NH’ – built in 1948. At first I chuckled, and then in looking at the reviews we decided it might be fun to take a trip down memory lane.

When we pulled up and saw this cute little porch with two doors, my husband and I had to smile and think of years ago when this was the definition of a motel.

When we walked inside, we again smiled at the knotty pine paneling, checkout time notice, and the door key, all of which we haven’t seen in many years. But, what was most important was the fact that it was immaculate. I don’t know when I’ve stayed in a room that was cleaner.

There were two additional doors – the closet on the left and the bathroom on the right.

Clean room, nostalgic decorating, Dunkin Donuts next door, Littleton Diner across the street, and we could walk to Schilling Beer Company for a beer, salad and some pretzel bread. Nice.

After getting home, I took the time to do two reviews.

This is one cute motel, centrally located, and with tax was a little under $100 a night.

Clean, good deal, craft beer, Riverwalk Covered Bridge, and a trip down memory lane – can’t beat that combination. 🍺


Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, June 21, 2018

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If you’re looking to see the Lupines in NH, then when the second week in June rolls around, head north to Sugar Hill, exit 38 for Franconia off I 93.

Sugar Hill is on Route 117 between Franconia and Lisbon.

Because it was originally part of the town of Lisbon, it now has the distinction of being the most recently incorporated town in the state – 1962. The name Sugar Hill comes from the many sugar maples that are within the town boundaries.

The full-time 574 residents have breathtaking views of the White Mountain National Forest. Sugar Hill covers 15 square miles, has a couple of well-known inns and gift stores, a golf course, and one famous pancake house, Polly’s.

But, in June the focus of everyone’s camera is on the Fields of Lupine Festival which celebrated its 25th year in 2018. Telling you that there are fields of lupines fails miserably in describing the beauty of it all. Even these photos can’t describe seeing lupines that look like they go right up to the mountains.

The largest field, Sampler Field, is on Sunset Hill Road and allows for parking at the Sugar Hill Sampler. The field has numerous paths for walking that wind through the Lupines. As you walk, you are treated to snippets by NH poet, Robert Frost.

Over the years, we have visited three times. By far, there were more Lupines this year than we had seen before.

Are you wondering if I have Lupines in my gardens? I tried twice to grow them and was unsuccessful both times. Next time though I’ll remember not to move them once they have established themselves. Even people who garden a lot learn the hard way sometimes. πŸ™‚


What you want to know about Lupines:

  • Plants come as annuals or perennials or can be started from seed
  • There are over 200 different species
  • Prefer full sun
  • Need well-drained soil
  • Do not spread except through reseeding
  • Have a taproot which means they don’t like to be moved
  • Grow from 1′-4′ in height
  • Are part of the legume family so they can actually improve soil fertility
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Thursday Doors

Welcome to the north country and the tiny town of Landaff, New Hampshire. Landaff was where my grandparents called home. It covers a mere 28 miles, and the 2010 census recorded 415 residents.

Mount Hope Grange 272

I went to many dinners, plays, and my grandparents’ 50th anniversary at this Grange Hall. It was the center of the community.

“In Essentials, Unity; In Non-Essentials, Liberty; In All Things, Charity.”

Right next to the Grange/Town Hall is the Church which includes a WWII memorial roll that lists my three uncles that served in WWII.

It is always bittersweet go come back home for a visit.

Historical Trivia:

  • Landaff was first chartered by the King of England in 1764 after the French and Indian War but then was granted to Dartmouth College in 1770 with the goal of creating a settlement and the promotion of “learning and religion”. In 1791, Dartmouth College begrudgingly relinquished all claims to Landaff and focused on constructing a college further south along the Connecticut River.
  • Landaff was part of Vermont – twice!
  • From the 1820s to the Civil War, small industry flourished with 6 bobbin mills along Mill Brook, starch mills, sawmills and at one time 4 post offices.
  • The Order of Patrons of Husbandry, commonly known as the Grange, was founded in 1867 by seven men, one of whom was the Superintendent of Propagating Gardens in the Department of Agriculture.
  • There are 23 Granges within 25 miles of my home.
  • The 152nd Annual Convention of the National Grange is being hosted by the Northeast Region in Stowe, Vermont November 13 – 17, 2018

Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors for June 14, 2018.

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Monday coffee

If we could share a cup of coffee, I’d want to know how you’re doing this Monday. Are you heading off to work or are you planning to spend some time in your garden? How are your tomatoes doing? DIY projects? Are you doing any quilting or other handwork?

I’ve been gardening, and it is bright and beautiful outside. Here are a few of the plants that are blooming right now – Iris, Poppy, Clematis, Peony and Knockout Roses.

I also want to give you an update on the blower vacuum I bought. After a lot of research, I picked the Sun Joe Cordless 3-in-1 Blower Vacuum – no power cords or heavy gas backpack. Β Over the weekend, we gave it a try.

Today, it goes back. It wouldn’t even move the leaves out from a lavender plant. I think it would work fine on a patio or a walkway if you were just trying to sweep them off. But, if that is all I needed it for, I think I’d keep my $175 and just grab a rake.

I could have dried my hair with it, but I wasn’t going to be blowing 62 bags of leaves out of plants and beds with it. One of the sellers was Walmart, and based upon previous experiences, I bought from them for one reason – I can always return it.

I never made a decision on an outdoor shed because of site and snow. Where would it fit without a major landscaping project, and would winter snow bring it down. When you live where an average of 6-8′ of snow falls each winter, a major consideration has to be where the snow gets pushed and where it falls from the barn. So, I’m still thinking.

But, while I have been thinking, my husband put up some more pegboard for me in the garage corner where I currently keep my supplies, and now I can organize my extra tools. That helps a lot.

If you live in or are visiting New Hampshire this week, remember that it is the 95th Annual Bike Week in Laconia/Weirs Beach, and that pulls in about 230,000 bikers. They’re having good weather, I wish them safety and fun, but I’m still going to try to avoid them as we head north on Wednesday.

We are going up to the White Mountains to check out a brewery or two, see the lupines blooming on Sugar Hill, and attend a historical society event. We’ll also visit the family plot at the cemetery, grab a few door photos, and enjoy a lunch with friends on our way back.

So, what’s up the rest of the week for you? Hope you have a good one whatever is on your schedule. 😎

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Sense of humor

If there is one thing each of us needs in order to survive what life has in store, it is a sense of humor.

Good health, support of family and friends – all necessary. But, humor allows us to deal with the rest.

Last Friday, we decided to grill some meat, but when my husband hit the igniter it sent a spark to the tank, and it caught on fire. Thankfully, he was not hurt, grabbed the hose, put the fire out, and kept it on the tank while he turned the gas off.

The fire was out, but the gas continued to leak even after we tried to turn it tighter.

I called the local fire department, and told the lady who answered that we had just experienced a gas fire, it was out, but I needed advice on how to handle the gas still leaking from the tank. She said she had no idea but would send me to one of the Captains to tell me how to handle it.

She sent me to voice mail.

I laughed until it hurt and then realized help wasn’t coming. πŸ™‚

After googling, we hauled it out to an open area, released the valve a little more and let the gas escape. We kept a hose handy in case of an issue, but after a few minutes the tank was empty. I felt guilty about releasing that gas into the air, but the idea of an explosion or a house or barn fire was not an option I wanted to consider either.

About two hours later, a Fire Captain called, expressed his apology for the voice mail issue, and wanted to send one of his guys out to make sure it was okay. I go outside to wait, and what comes down the road but a large, red, fire engine, lights blinking. Thank heavens there were no sirens. Three firemen came to inspect the now empty tank and ask us to go over the story again. When my husband explained how he kept the running water on the tank valve while he turned it, they told him they’d hire him except for the age restriction.

The gentleman in charge said I should have called 911 and not the Fire Department. There wasn’t a fire so I thought calling the department was right, but next time it’s 911. I was already feeling guilty looking at them responding to an empty propane tank and thinking about how they run towards an emergency, and most of us run away.

Moral of the story – if you need help from the fire department you really don’t want someone to send you to voice mail. As it turned out, it sure did make for a few good chuckles as we had a glass of wine that night and shopped for a new grill.

Happy Monday, and here’s hoping you have several chuckles this week but no need for the Fire department. πŸš’

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Beautiful weather

Looking for me? I’ve been outdoors most of the time.

When you’re outdoors do you have to deal with ticks? NH is listed as the state with the highest record of Lyme disease due to the high tick population and that most people live near wooded areas. The county where we live has the highest tick population in the state. I do fine until I wander off the mowed areas to dump soil or weeds and then I run the risk of picking them up. I’ve found two so far this gardening season and consider myself lucky.

Spring is in the air, and the Iris are blooming. I know they are old fashioned, but, hey, I’m vintage myself. πŸ™‚

We got a load of loam and compost mix to fill two of our stock tank planters. They were happy to see me when I walked in with my invasive jumping worm brochure and wanted them to explain to me how and where they got their compost. πŸ™‚

Then we picked up the organic vegetable plants we had preordered and added them to the heirloom plants my daughter had started, and we got the beds planted.

Left: Schwartzenberries, two grow bags with carrots for the mounted patrol horses, and lettuce. Right:Three of our seven tomato plants.

Last week, I offered to help with container plantings at the UNH greenhouse. Twenty four containers, five students, two MGs, and one instructor – doesn’t sound too challenging except for the fact that the containers were almost as big as my kitchen table and required a dolly to move them.

We used eight plants per container, and one of those was a full-sized hanging basket if that gives you a visual. I kept chuckling at the mere size, and the way we filled them to the brim. I told our instructor that I couldn’t stay and needed to go home so I could redo all mine.

When we got done, as a gesture of thanks, he offered us any perennials that he had there because they were closing the greenhouse down for the summer. Free perennials to a MG – now there’s another good reason to have a truck.

Yesterday morning, I was out early setting a mailbox post. Remember the mailbox was taken out by the snowplow. I wish that driver had come to set that post. Digging two feet plus next to the road is a challenge. I went through sand, soil, rock, and then sand again. But, I hit the desired depth, we added the Quickrete and were in business. We bought a Gibraltar Mailbox post which will not require painting. It was pretty easy to assemble and so far are happy with the choice.

Today, I need to put the plants back in the bed that surrounds the mailbox, which is good sized, and then mulch it. We are expecting rain tomorrow so that will work in my favor.

I wish I had a door to share today, but the only doors I’ve seen lately are the ones leading to the truck or the potting shed in the barn.

So, what’s been keeping you busy this last week in May?

Norm will still have plenty of doors to ooh and ahh over, so check out his
Thursday Doors, May 31, 2018.

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Memorial Day

Here in the United States, today is Memorial Day. To many it is a three-day weekend providing opportunities for trips to the beach, picnics, barbecues, camping, or an extra day off from work – all good things.

However, the real reason for today is to remember…

Photo credit: Wikipedia



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