To Rule A Garden…Or More

Your Saturday may be a little sunnier if you take a moment to read this. 🌺

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Gardens For Goldens

“Anybody who wants to rule the world should try to rule a garden first.” ~ Author Unknown

I found this unattributed quote and it struck me as true. Nothing humbles like a garden – a tiny microcosm of the world where distinct forces work best in harmony, but are sometimes pushed into doing battle for survival and the chance to ensure future generations.

I’m not really sure that anyone ever rules the garden; to assume so would tempt Mother Nature’s scorn. But to tame and transform a garden calls upon many of the same qualities required of great leaders.

1. Collaboration
A successful garden requires a close union with nature. To be truly connected to the earth demands a genuine interest and care for the welfare of all who live there: the flowers and trees, the birds, bees, butterflies, and tiny toads. Each has a role in the lasting success…

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Posted in Gardening | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Wordless Wednesday

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Posted in Photography, Wordless Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , , , | 22 Comments

Thursday Doors

Over the past week, I collected this set of doors which led us to culinary delights. 🙂

My husband and I celebrated an anniversary this week, and I took an idea from my Maine blogging friend, Laurie, Hinterlands. We celebrated all week instead of one day, and I’d highly recommend it. 🙂

  • Saturday – really good pulled pork BBQ sandwiches at the Smokeshack chuckwagon in Lee.
  • Sunday – nice Irish Eggs Benedict brunch at 7th Settlement Brewery, Dover. We didn’t, however, like their choices of beer on tap – first time for everything.
  • Monday – great beer, Selkie and Portsmouth Pale Ale, and delicious Mussels and Fried Fish Sandwich at Portsmouth Brewery plus a stop at La Maison Navarre, a French pastry shop in Portsmouth.
  • Tuesday – wonderful  Shepherd’s Pie and New England Pasty with Smithwick’s Red Ale and Fat Tire Belgium style white, at British Beer Company in Portsmouth.
  • Wednesday – lunch at Smuttynose Brewery’s restaurant, Hayseed, in Hampton where we had Fish and Frites and Schnitzel along with Pinniped Special and Vienna Lager.

I’d tell you how many years we’ve been married, but then I’d have to lie and tell you I got married right out of 8th grade. 🙂

Instead I’ll tell you that we’ve lived in three states and 13 different houses, and like every other couple, we’ve had our share of ups and downs.

One of the early memories we still chuckle about is when we first got married, and we saved for months to accumulate enough money to pay cash for a washer and dryer. That was the best shopping trip ever.

For every up there is a down, and one of the worst memories is the day we closed on the sale of a large home and property to go home and have a sale of furniture only to find out hours later that the buyers didn’t show up to close, and we had to put the property back on the market minus quite a bit of furniture.

Today, we try to enjoy each day for the gift it is while being thankful for yesterday and looking forward to tomorrow.

Life is short, take Laurie’s advice and really celebrate whatever is on your calendar.  🙂

Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, August 10, 2017. Like doors from all over the world? Check it out.

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Posted in Family | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 59 Comments

Ancestry DNA

When I was growing up and able to watch TV, I saw families depicted as the characters on Father Knows Best, Ozzie and Harriet, or Leave it to Beaver. Dad went off to work every day in his suit and tie, and Mom kept house in her pearls and heels, while the kids were deliriously happy in their suburban home and neighborhood.

When I was five, my father left home one day and never returned. My Mom became the person going to work at a factory every day trying hard to keep a roof over our heads, food on the table, and clothes on our back. I spent all my school vacation time with my mother’s parents and was very close to them.

As a child I experienced the myriad of emotions connected to feeling rejected by a parent. I spent my grade school years wondering why and what if. Some time during my teenage years, I accepted the cards I’d been dealt and moved on worrying more about my own decisions.

I recently opted to submit my DNA to Ancestry.com for analysis. I paid $99 online, filled out the form, and they sent me a kit. The kit had a number which I entered online and that activated it. I deposited saliva into the tube, mixed it with the preservative provided, sealed it up, and sent it on its way.

Here’s what I received in about four weeks.

Europe West:  Primarily located in Belgium, France, Germany, Netherlands, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein

If I’d know I was 32% Irish, I probably would have bought more souvenirs when visiting Ireland. 🙂

The genetic communities piece is interesting. I like the idea that the French side might have come down from the St. Lawrence because maybe I’m related to some of the Canadian bloggers I follow. 🙂 I also have a document from a maternal cousin that shows our ancestors were in Rhode Island as early as 1664.

What am I going to do with this information now? I’m still trying to decide if I want to invest further in a subscription and try to establish a family tree. I am very interested in my maternal relatives but not so much with my paternal side. That emotional ship sailed too long ago.

If only I had been wise enough to spend more time asking questions of my grandparents. But, when I was young, I thought I knew everything and what could they possibly know that I didn’t – a lot. If only I’d asked.

Here I am at a similar age, and I don’t have any family members asking me about  memories either. I guess we don’t learn from generation to generation. Of course, I’m also looking for a good old-fashioned conversation with the sharing of photos in a time when I should be uploading, posting,  sharing or tweeting.

I have active social media accounts, but I’m not immersed in the online lifestyle, and that’s the way I prefer it even though I know it declares me a dinosaur. 🙂

So, have you used any online options for creating a family tree? Was it worth the cost and effort? Suggestions, comments, or feedback – all are welcome.

Best wishes for a great second week in August. 🌸

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Posted in Family | Tagged , , , , | 62 Comments

Thursday Doors

Even with one shutter missing, isn’t this one beauty of a historic New England home with its bright red door and attached breezeway and barn?

I love this barn with the small windows and planters on the doors.

We visited this home on a garden tour last weekend. The interesting part was that there really were no gardens unless you count routine foundation plantings. 🙂

The beauty of this historic New England home and stone wall certainly made up for the lack of gardens.

It is located in Center Harbor, NH, which is situated between Lake Winnipesaukee, Lake Waukewan, and Squam Lake. The town, settled in 1797, was originally a small farming community, covers 16 square miles, and has a year-round population of around 1,000 which swells several times that number during tourist season.

These doors are linked to Norm Frampton’s, Thursday Doors, August 3, 2017. If you enjoy doors of all shapes and sizes from all over the world, check it out.

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Posted in Photography, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , , , , | 39 Comments

Sentence enhancers

or swear words? I think it all depends upon your week. 🙂

This past week, I used several colorful words to emphasize how life was going. I won’t bore you with all the details, but I definitely said a couple of incident specific words the day I heard, shingles, and I wasn’t in the roofing department at Home Depot.

On the positive side, we picked our first pint of sun gold cherry tomatoes. We also harvested almost five pints of raspberries in one day, which was definitely a record haul. The raspberry plants are done for the year, have been pruned, the ground raked clean of any debris, and they are on vacation until next year.

The flowers are big and boisterous right now. The butterfly bushes and the oak leaf hydrangeas smell wonderful and are like pollinator magnets. The day lilies are still producing, and the echinacea, brown eyed susans, and phlox are ramping up.

If you want a real chuckle, picture me trying to take these photos or visiting my very favorite quilt store trying to pick out fabric for a future project – glasses on, glasses off. 🙂

When about all you are doing is reading and you live close to the water, picking a nice spot for a picnic is high on the list. Hilton Park at Dover Point, which technically is the oldest continually occupied spot in the state, is only a few minutes from home. It has views of the old General Sullivan Bridge, picnic tables in the shade, and there are plenty of birds and a nearby marina with lots of boat traffic. What’s not to like.

Have I read any mysteries I’d recommend? Sure: Lee Child’s, Jack Reacher, No Middle Name, Michael Connelly’s, The Late Show, Alex Kava’s, Damaged, Archer Mayor’s, The Company She Kept, and James Patterson’s, Murder Games.

Here’s sincerely hoping you all have a medical free week and are out there doing whatever it is that floats your boat or puts money in the bank. Enjoy. 🙂

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Posted in Gardening | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 41 Comments

Life

I’ve been off my game this week because life got in my way. I hate it when that happens.

It has been a week of medical visits and complications from an eye surgery that didn’t go wrong but didn’t go as smoothly as anticipated. It will work itself out, but it’s taking longer and causing a few challenges.

I’m guessing life doesn’t care that it is prime gardening time for me or that I can’t really sew, quilt or read all the blog posts I want with only one good eye. Good thing I finished my red/white/blue herringbone lap quilt last weekend. Thanks, Dawn, for the suggestion to use primitive stars.

I just keep telling myself ‘suck it up buttercup’ and keep on doing what I can. So, my husband drove me to a nursery, and I bought a new beautiful red bee balm. I feel better already. I can’t bend over to plant it, but that’s where a helpful husband comes in handy. 🙂

We’ve been going out between 6-7 a.m. to pick raspberries. We’re still averaging three pints a day. We’ve got almost 15 pounds in the freezer so far.

I ate my first ripe cherry tomato yesterday – no photo, it was gone too quickly. The daylilies are still putting on a show, but the hydrangea are starting to give them some competition. We have a lot of hydrangea including Annabelle Mopheads, which I love.

Normally, I read a lot which is somewhat challenging as well, but I tried an audio book which has been pretty enjoyable but slower – new experience so that is always good.

Hope your weekend is a good one. I’m missing a boat ride and a tour of Celia Thaxter’s garden on the Isle of Shoals tomorrow with fellow master gardeners. Now, that is a bummer.

However, there is also something I’m very thankful for this week, and that is we escaped the wicked storm that came through on Thursday afternoon. Numerous homes in our immediate area were severely damaged by high winds and downed trees. We only had a large dead branch come down, which was really a good thing, and our power stayed on while we enjoy 90 degree days.

So, if you’re looking for me this weekend, you may find me right here in the shade of the side yard listening to an audio book and trying not to notice the weeds that aren’t getting pulled. 🙂

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