Beer and Menopause

Who knew we’d ever see those two words together. As most of you know, I love a good craft beer. Locally, I’m partial to the Portsmouth Brewery because we know the head brewer, Matt Gallagher. He is the nephew of our good friends from up north.

Last week, the Portsmouth Brewery introduced a new gruit beer, Libeeration. If you need a definition of a gruit beer, you are not alone. It is basically a beer that uses an herbal mixture as a flavoring in lieu of hops.

Liberation is the first craft beer brewed for menopausal women. Cue the chuckle here. 🙂

Portsmouth Brewery is c0-owned by Joanne Francis, and she has been involved in brewing beer for 26 years. She thought it was time there was a beer for women in this age group. So, together with Matt, they consulted with female health practitioners and herbalists to come up with a recipe for relieving some of the symptoms associated with menopause.

Liberation is golden in color with earthy flavors. It contains Lemon Balm, Stinging Nettle, Mugwort, Rose, Motherwort, Chamomile, Chickweed, Damiana, and a small amount of Sphir hops which provides a nice tangerine finish.

It was introduced on Thursday at 6 p.m. I was at the store the next morning to pick up a couple of bottles where the clerk told me they would probably be sold out by Saturday.

If you’ve stopped chuckling by now, I have to tell you it is quite good and has received a lot of press here in New England. I even ran across a great article from the Kansas City Star.

What’s next? I don’t know, but last summer he created Selkie, which was a Scottish Red Ale brewed with 60 pounds of locally harvested sugar kelp. I’m thinking Matt probably has some more ideas up his brewing sleeve. Stay tuned.

I hope everyone is safe and dry this week from the new storms coming up the coast. We have a rainy week forecasted, but that is okay because we really need the moisture.

We currently have a forest fire burning in the White Mountains that they think was started by a meteorite. ☄️ I think I need another beer.

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Posted in New England | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 54 Comments

Thursday Doors

My road trip last week to Lowell, Massachusetts, included the afternoon spent at the National Historical Park Lowell.

Photo credit: Lowell Historical Society and Wikipedia

In numerous towns across New England there are mill buildings. We have three here – Cocheco, Sawyer, and Washington. They have been  updated and converted into beautiful lofts, offices, and a variety of businesses.

I saw numerous doors on that afternoon, but this green sliding door in the Wannalancit Mills caught my eye and made me smile. It’s like an old metal barn door. 🙂

As part of the tour, we were able to see the machines in action. Before entering, we were given ear plugs, but the workers weren’t that lucky, and many suffered permanent hearing damage. The work rooms were kept warm and humid so the thread would not break, and with only a sampling of the machines running on one floor, the floors vibrated and the sound was very loud. When the mills were running there would have been three or four floors of machinery running at one time.

I have a fairly good-sized collection of thread spools and always thought they were used on sewing machines. I was amazed to see how they were actually used. I don’t need any more, but I had to buy two tiny ones, 3″ high, called Christmas tree spools.

After exploring the mill, we took a trolley ride to check out the canals and how the water entered the Wannalancit Mill resulting in electricity being created and passed through the pipe running along the ceiling to power the various machines.

Whether you are walking the cobble stone streets or riding in your car around Lowell, you will notice several clocks up high on towers, churches, or buildings. As workers became more savvy about their rights, they requested those clocks to tell when to start and stop work because they didn’t have watches and they didn’t trust the mill owner.

The story of the wealthy New Englanders building the mills, the young women coming in from the farms to work 14 hour days, the success of the mills, the Industrial Revolution, WWII, and the downfall, closure and moving of the work down south is a very important part of our American history.

Several of my family members worked in the mills of New Hampshire and New York. My grandfather built furniture, my aunt made shoes, and my mother, father, and uncle worked in factories that produced men and women’s clothing. I thought of all of them as we toured the mills.

If you are in the area, I’d highly recommend a tour because you will never look at a piece of fabric the same way again.

“Old places, like old people, cannot be relegated to the junk heap simply because of age. Most of them, places as well as people, still have a great deal to say and to contribute if only as a living witness to the past.”
Sara K. Cantor, Lowell Resident, 1966.

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Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, October 5, 2017.
I always suggest you visit Norm’s place, but today he has a special post of some amazing doors. Don’t miss them.

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Posted in New England | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Quilts and Prayers

I went on a road trip last week with a couple of friends. We headed about an hour south to Lowell, MA, to check out the New England Quilt Museum. What a humbling and creative experience to see the works of these talented fabric artists.

They have a wide range of quilts on exhibit from across the Country including traditional quilts, amazing embroidery work and fabric art.

I am always amazed by the quilters and their marvelous works, but I have never seen this type of machine embroidery work.

If you are ever in the Lowell area, it is well worth the stop. They change the exhibits out so even if you have been before you probably won’t see the same quilts.

Lowell is a very eclectic town and from the quilt museum we walked the cobble stone streets to the Boott Cotton Mills which I’ll tell you about on Thursday.

I always wish you a good week, but after watching the news from Las Vegas, I also wish you a safe week.

I’m not sure safety is something we can take for granted anymore because I don’t think we understand this sea of violence. Prayers to all those families affected by this tragedy here in the US, and prayers to those who are trying to figure out why and if future tragedies like this can be prevented.

There are so many suffering from natural and man-made disasters across our global community that this Monday it feels like a heavy weight on my chest. Be safe, be happy, and enjoy each and every day.

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Posted in New England, Quilting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 36 Comments

Thursday Doors

I spent my youth watching westerns at the Proctor movie theatre on Sunday afternoons. So, when I heard about a NH stagecoach stop circa 1820 that had been saved, I had to check it out.

The Webster Stagecoach Stop and Store is located in Danville, a tiny town in the adjacent county of Rockingham with a current population of around 4,000.

Nathanial Webster, a distant cousin of Daniel’s, was the store owner. He was also the postmaster for the town of 300 from 1825 to 1836.

History tells us there was an adjacent stable where the coach horses were fed and watered. Passengers could buy items from the store that occupied one half of the small building while the other half was a workshop.

Nathaniel Webster died in 1897, but his family maintained the store for several years after.

The Portsmouth to Concord run went through Exeter, Kingston, Hampstead, and Chester. Because of its small size, Danville was not a regular stop but just as needed to pick up and drop off mail. The return trip stopped in Deerfield, Nottingham, and Newmarket.

Boarding stops were mostly at taverns, and tickets were purchased by those fairly well off. Most regular folks did not have the money and rode a horse or walked.

The building is now part of the New Hampshire Register of Historic Places. In September 2008, the building was actually moved across the road to its current location in an effort to maintain the integrity of the building and the history.

I do love a good western. 🤠

If you like doors,  ride on over to visit our foreman, Norm Frampton at Thursday Doors, September 28, 2017, and check out a corral of doors from all over.

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Posted in Photography, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , , , , | 35 Comments

Autumn

Yes, they keep talking about autumn, but when the temperatures are in the mid 80’s and the humidity is 80%+ I’m not so sure.

We live in what they loosely refer to as the seacoast although I guarantee you there is no water view from where I sit. The fall color starts up north and heads toward us. So on Saturday, we headed out hoping to also find some beautiful color I could include in this post. Nada. We saw maybe a couple of red leaves in an entire tree. Nothing is really turning yet. But some years it does that, the leaves just fall and there isn’t much color.

We did share a delicious burger with two sides of grease at Wild Willy’s. If you’re wondering, these are all small sizes, and it is plenty to share.

No real gardening to report because after my interaction with the Yellow Jackets, I stayed inside most of the week starting a new quilting project, working on a Master Gardener post, and reading.

If you are wondering, the Yellow Jackets have been evicted from their home, and the garden bed has been returned to me so I can continue my fall chores as soon as the humidity drops. I believe in organic gardening, but it was them or me.

My grandson picked out some colors he likes, and I’m working on a manly quilt for him. I don’t fit the mold of a real quilter because I choose to work on one project at a time instead of balancing multiple projects. I like a beginning, a middle, and an end.

The Master Gardener post I mentioned is about some invasive worms that are doing some real damage to a couple of friends’ gardens. If you want to learn more about the Invasive Crazy Snake Worm coming to a garden near you, here’s the link.

I finished Shoreline, 4*, by Carolyn Baugh  and Skies of Ash, 5*, by Rachel Howzell Hall and started Plum Island by Nelson DeMille. Good reading.

Well, it’s Monday and some of you are off to the office while others are off to pursue retirement interests. I read a line in “Plum Island” yesterday that made me laugh out loud. “It occurred to me that the problem with doing nothing is not knowing when you’re finished.”

Have a great week. 🙂

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Posted in New England | Tagged , , , , , , , | 52 Comments

Wordless Wednesday

Reflection of a brown eyed susan in a blue bottle on my bottle tree.

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Posted in Photography, Wordless Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , | 15 Comments

Yellow jackets

We’re expecting some rain this week so I thought I’d head out early yesterday morning and get a bucket of coneflowers back in the ground.

Photo credit: Orkin

But, I had a little more excitement than I wanted when I sunk the shovel into a ground nest of yellow jackets. They were angry, very angry. They chased me as I tried to get away, but I couldn’t get in the garage because I had several on me.

I had shorts on, and a few were trapped. If my neighbor knew how close I came to dropping those shorts right there in the yard, she’d be keeping her shades down just in case. Finally, I got the last one off me and got inside only to have the physical discomfort start.

I was able to count 24 stings. I’ve been taking Benadryl and put some cream on the sites. The swelling is down, but the feelings range from pins, needles, burning, and the worst is like creepy crawlies are all over you.

I also discovered that I must be the exception to Benadryl putting everyone to sleep. It was a really long night switching out ice packs to alleviate discomfort and wondering why in the heck I couldn’t fall asleep.

I’m usually worrying about hitchhiking ticks, but this was a whole other experience. I have to admit a fellow blogger’s post came to mind. Depending upon your own language choices, Joey’s post could be rated ‘R’ for language and being ridiculously funny in the telling of her tale.

Who knew gardening could be so dangerous? Those plants in the bucket still sitting where I dropped them are on their own.

Here’s hoping each and every one of you has a non stinging week ahead. Me? I’m getting out a couple more ice packs, and, no, you won’t find me in the garden today.

I’ll be finishing my new Longmire book, The Western Star, and thinking about a sewing project because there is no chance of me bumping into any Yellow jackets inside. 🙂

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