Thursday Doors

Is this my perfect door or what – a barn, two sliding doors, and two barn quilts.

Life is good this Thursday because my friend, Sue, was vacationing in northern New York and grabbed this shot as she went down the road.

I have no information about the barn or where it is, but that makes it intriguing because my imagination can wonder about the family that owned it, the year it was built, what kind of animals called it home, is it still being used, and who painted those barn quilts.

This Thursday we’re in the midst of a storm which is bringing some much needed moisture, but the wind gusts are bringing down the leaves and the power lines. The winds are 112 mph on the top of Mt Washington, and there are 53,000 in the state right now without power.

Stay safe and have a great weekend. 🍁

Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, October 17, 2019. Check it out!

Posted in Photography, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

Transition

The fall colors are lovely no matter where you look. I’m guessing the 300,000 leaf peepers in the state are pretty happy with their three-day weekend.

The fall chore list is done, tools cleaned, dahlia bulbs stored, and I’ve even planted a couple of containers of tulip bulbs to see if they will overwinter in the barn.

Now, I need to mentally move to inside projects.Β Trying to rev my sewing engine up, I made a couple of fabric related stops last week.

I went to the Tailored to Teach, Irma Bowen Textile Collection, exhibit at the University of New Hampshire displaying interesting pieces of clothing from the early 1900’s worn by NH residents.

Then we checked out Over the Clothesline, fashion inspired by Historic New England Photographs, at the Sarah One Jewett House Museum in South Berwick, Maine. Contemporary designs were created by artists from Maine and New Hampshire based upon photos from the early 1900’s. The creativity and artistic design was truly inspiring.

The Cocheco Quilt Guild Annual Show was yesterday, but have no fear, I’m only showing one photo because it really was the star of the show.

This is Seaside Serenade, 94″x90″, made by Jonas Zoller pictured above. Yes, an experienced male quilter with a very unique skill. This quilt is not pieced or appliquΓ©d like you would normally see, but is one large piece of fabric that he dyed in teal and greens with a technique called ice-dying.

He learned how to ice dye fabric by taking a class with Cindy Lohbeck at a MQX (Machine Quilters Exposition) Quilt Festival. It was then machine quilted and bound. I listened to him talk with others about how he folded the fabric, used zip ties strategically on the folds, and then didn’t have a clue what he would have until he unfolded it. He said it was like opening a Christmas present.

Before I hit my fabric stash for some inspiration, I have one Winterberry Holly shrub to share that is absolutely gorgeous. I purchased it about eight years ago at Monticello. Thank you, Mr. Jefferson. The full picture on the left doesn’t do it justice, but it is about 12′ tall and covered in the bright red berries all along the stems.

Hope you have a great week, and happy fall y’all. πŸŽƒπŸπŸŽ

Posted in New England | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

That season after summer

Fall is here. Even I have to acknowledge it after a couple of frosts.

Last Tuesday, we did the update at the nursing home garden by clearing the beds and planting 70 perennials that came from my garden and another Master Gardener’s. Yesterday, I cleaned the entry tank planters, trimmed perennials and mulched at the Mounted Patrol, and the last MG project I work on hopefully will finish up this week.

In between, I’ve been working on closing down my own beds. I’m always looking for opportunities to downsize so last week I decided to take out a Hosta bed. That doesn’t sound like much except those plants had been in the ground about ten years, and they weren’t coming out easily. I broke a metal shovel. I didn’t even know that was possible, but the truck load of plants is gone, some donated and some composted. This morning I’m putting the grass seed and the seeding mulch down, and now I have about three dozen less Hosta to maintain.

We also were able to get down about 50′ of flexible edging on Saturday. Come spring, we’ll have another 75′ to put down which will help with the task of edging annually.

In between, I read a couple of good books including Craig Johnson’s “Land of Wolves” which is #15 for his Walt Longmire character. Good read, and it had several highly enjoyable chuckles. I also read Robert B. Parker’s “The Bitterest Pill” by Reed Farrel Coleman. This is #18 for the Jesse Stone character. It was also a very good read, but it wasn’t light. It truly could pass for a primer on how the opioid business works.

I also went to a local adult education computer course on Canva. I’ve been using Canva for a year or two to design various social media notices for the Master Gardeners but thought I’d be able to pick up some pointers, and I did. If you’re looking for a free, basic, easy to use design program, you might want to check it out.

We also got in a visit to a local farm to check out their field of sunflowers and visiting pollinators while picking up some apples and tomatoes along with a few maple bourbon donuts and a pumpkin whoopie pie.

When you garden hardy, you definitely need some sweets to celebrate your accomplishments, or so I tell myself. πŸ™‚

Posted in Gardening | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 70 Comments

Getting there

It’s been a couple of years since we traveled by air so it was interesting to see how things have changed when we flew to Seattle last week.

The first leg of any air travel for us starts with getting to Logan Airport, which is 64 miles away, and parking there runs between $29-38 a day.

We are lucky. We have a bus, C&J, that we can pick up here in town and be dropped off right at the door to the terminal. We use it every time for $48 round trip per person, but parking in their lot is almost nonexistent. If you want a car for when you return, you have to shop around for a space the day before. Two vehicles to the lot, one parked, one returned, a ride to the bus the next day, and we were all set to return at midnight. Easy, peasy.

We flew Jet Blue from Boston to Seattle because it was non-stop, and the seats have a little more leg room. For the first time, we paid for checking one bag each – $120 round trip to have clothes.

Boarding the plane was done from the front to the back, which even with a seat assignment, made it like a herding cattle through a chute. The outbound trip was only a few minutes late, but the return flight was almost 40 minutes late because of boarding.

Every seat back has a screen with a multitude of viewing choices. The bluish light flashes all around, and since you can see a multitude of screens from your seat, I can report that Keanu Reeves in “John Wick” is quite popular.

A side effect of all these screens is that 100% of the window shades are pulled down so the light doesn’t interfere with viewing. It made me feel like I was encapsulated in a large tube. Gone are the days of gazing at the clouds or the skylines.

Flight attendants, male or female, use to look like they could have found work as models. Wow – that has changed dramatically. Although every person we encountered was professional and helpful, there were people close to my age with bodies that bumped both sides of the aisle when they tried to move about the cabin.

Cost of food at the airports still borders on larceny, and the quality is still mediocre.

Moving through security is challenging, but we can’t complain because we have Global Entry, and it moves quite smoothly. It’s worth every penny of its $100 cost.

There is just the luck of the draw as to whether you have two screaming babies and one extremely unhappy toddler all within two aisles of your seat, and I won’t even mention, the coughing, sneezing, and sinus clearing.

We even rode a train in Seattle to get from the terminal to the gate.

Travel time is around 6 hours by plane and 46 hours by car – pretty simple choice. But, that was a lot of humanity even for a retired HR professional.

Have a great first week in October. If you’re flying somewhere, I hope it leaves on time, there’s space in the overhead bin, an empty seat next to you (almost never), and you have a great time.

Me? After planes, trains, buses, and automobiles – I’ll be outside all by myself with my shovel and pruning shears for company. πŸ™‚

Posted in Traveling | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 62 Comments

Thursday Doors

Barn doors in Washington that led to Dahlias were like entering a candy store for me.

My sister-in-law is a big Dahlia flower grower so one of our adventures was to visit her dahlia source, The Dahlia Barn. To say we had fun that morning doesn’t quite cover it.

Who could resist these beauties? Not me. Β Come spring, a package will arrive, and I will get busy planting my tubers. In the meantime, I need to set up an area in full sun and get it prepped for them.

Ah, the work of a gardener is never done. πŸ™‚

Hope you are all doing well this last week of September, and if you need a Dahlia fix, remember they ship.

Like doors? Check out our Canadian leader, Norm Frampton, at his
Thursday Doors – September 26, 2019.

Posted in New England | Tagged , , , , , , | 65 Comments

Fall gardening

Gardening in September is considerably different than summer or spring. It’s house cleaning time – divide, move, rearrange, and clean. I can’t say it’s near as much fun, but I keep thinking about what I do this month I won’t have to do in April.

We’ve seen a lot more Monarchs than the past three or four years. It has been fun watching them, but I usually only have my phone with me, and the photos are nothing to shout about. I have a MG friend who has been watching and using a good camera, so here are two nice shots from her garden.

I pulled out our veggie garden since we’re headed out of town. When I grabbed one batch of carrots, I saw this fluffy yellow thing on the greens.

I wouldn’t have had any idea what it could possibly be, but I’d just read a post from the Laidback Gardener soΒ I’m thinking it is a kind of gall.

Or, Eliza Waters commented that it may be a spiders’ nest. When I looked it up, I’m thinking she is probably right.

Some people wonder why we read blogs. This is why – we learn from each other. πŸ™‚

What did I learn at the Great Bay and Pruning workshops? The number one issue with the Great Bay is the number of people using fertilizer close to the water, and the fact that the water swishes back and for and takes 18 days to actually refresh.

The pruning take away was that you get to choose whether to prune according to the natural shape of the plant/shrub/tree or the shape you prefer for the space it occupies in your garden. When you do prune, always pick the right time of year or you’ll get a flush of new growth right as you go into winter.

I’m working on a new MG project, and we need plants. We can, of course, buy them, but I thought why not ask one of the MGs who has an acre garden with a vast assortment. Yes, I could dig, so with shovel and buckets, I dug. I soaked them overnight in water and fish emulsion, divided them the next morning, and potted them up. We now have an assortment of 47 plants for installation on October 1. Sharing is a good thing.

We’re headed to the northwest this week so I’ll try and check in with everyone, but I’ll be using a new iPad which I’m finding challenging. If you have any suggestions on how to adjust to an iPad, feel free to let me know. I’ve used tablets for years, but never used anything as a substitute for my laptop. After installing five email accounts and finding two had merged, I really needed a cold one. πŸ™‚

Have a great week. 🍁

Posted in Gardening | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 69 Comments

Thursday Doors

I’m a barn fan. What can I say except that my grandparents had a barn, we built a barn in the midwest, and we have a barn in NH. I love barns.

So, when I visited my friend, Sue, at their newly enhanced and enlarged family home, I was amazed at her daughter’s find and the hard work involved to create these beautiful sliding doors. Are they gorgeous or what?

The doors were found at an architectural salvage company in New England covered in years of crud which was painstakingly removed by Sue’s daughter, Michelle, refinished, hung on steel hardware forged in the USA, and outfitted with original glass door knob, plate, and antique keys.

Many days of hard work were involved in cleaning, staining, and waxing these two doors, but they are beautiful, and the finish is as soft as a baby’s bottom.

This is one of those projects that due to some serious hard work will provide personal satisfaction for this family for many years to come.

Happy Thursday and may your weekend be a good one. πŸŽƒπŸπŸŽ

As always, this edition of Thursday Doors is linked to Norm Frampton’s
Thursday Doors – September 12, 2019.

Posted in Photography, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 54 Comments