Storm

I won’t moan and groan here about the storm. Philippe, that came through on Sunday and Monday after what so many others have gone through this year. I’ll just share the facts.

Over 1M in the Northeast and 300,000 in NH lost their power. Five hundred crews from as far away as Canada are working on the outage. Thank you to each one of them.

Ours was out for about 11 hours while 100,000+ in NH are still out this morning.

It is amazing how the loss of power can basically bring life as you know it to its knees.

We have downed branches but others found them crashing into their roofs. Road are buckled and impassable. We lost siding on the house while some have waterfalls in their basement.

A family in Warren, about two hours north of here, had their house washed away by the river, and it crashed down stream into a bridge which reduced it to pick up sticks.

A 70 mph gust actually blew an unoccupied construction truck off the Sarah Long Bridge in Portsmouth and into the Piscataqua River.

The force of nature whether it be water, wind, or fire certainly points out to us who really is in charge, and it’s not us.

If you were in the path, I hope you are safe, and it didn’t leave you too much damage or cleanup. After all, it’s Halloween and trick or treaters and candy should be the focus today. 🎃

Posted in New England | Tagged , , , | 61 Comments

Thursday Doors

Welcome to my door this Thursday. I’ll put the coffee on. 🙂

We live in a large two-family farmhouse built in the early 1800’s with a handsome barn on almost four acres of land.

Our daughter and her family live in the original part of the house. In the 1980’s, a major addition was completed that included more living area for the farmhouse as well as an upstairs apartment.

We bought the farm in 2004 and many DIY update projects were completed which kept the feel and history of the original farmhouse but also provided some updated conveniences.

The original door to our part of the house was on the second floor. When we took that part down to the studs, doubled the living area and added a garage, the architect moved the door to the first floor.

Then we had a large entry area that could house a sitting area for putting shoes and coats on and off, an elevator, and the stairs to the upper living area. Yes, there is an elevator. We knew that we weren’t getting any younger and might need it ourselves or for moving heavy items like furniture, groceries, and bags of wood pellets. For the past 12 years, it has been a really well appointed dumb waiter.

Upstairs, we have a large master bedroom suite, family room, eat-in kitchen with island, sewing area, and four-season porch. It is the perfect size for two retirees who don’t have a need to house visiting family.

Picture upstairs downstairs with an additional cast of characters – a dozen hens, six ducks, two goats, and two dogs. 🙂

Linked to Norm Frampton’s Thursday Doors, October 26, 2017.

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Posted in Photography, Thursday Doors | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 63 Comments

Fall Wordless Wednesday

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Posted in Photography, Wordless Wednesday | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

Busy October

I’ve been digging, deadheading, mowing, and raking. I’m moving my to-do list along.

Are you raking leaves yet? If you live in New England and have maple trees, Ship Foliage in Massachusetts is willing to pay $1 for each perfect red, yellow, and orange maple leaf. Why? Well, they need them for their business, and there is a shortage because of weather. So, if you have perfect maple leaves, head outdoors, and you could earn up to $100. 🙂

When I got done with several beds of Hosta, I came to the conclusion that I needed to reduce and recycle. I potted up 10 huge ones in shrub sized pots for next year’s plant sale, and gave another dozen to a fellow gardener. I kept reminding myself that they aren’t my children.

A gardener is always looking ahead to the next growing season. It’s who we are. 🌺 So, here is my best gardening find in a while – double galvanized antique wash tubs. Next summer, they will be potted up with plants.

A couple of weeks ago, I went to the local quilt guild’s annual quilt show. Besides the beautiful quilts that were on display, it made me smile to see my favorite longarm quilter had helped win two blue ribbons.

My grandson’s king sized quilt top is finished, and she is working on it right now. I’ll put together the binding and create a label this week, and then I’ll be ready when she calls.

It was also time to renew my driver’s license. I’ve enjoyed driving since my teens and appreciate the privilege. I gladly pay that $50 fee every five years. This year was different. They upgraded their computer system which resulted in a 2-3 hour wait. I could put you to sleep or enrage you giving you the details of the two-day escapade, but I’ll save you and just say that it was the MVD at their worst.

Saturday, I went to the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester to tour the museum and attend a Master Gardener workshop with Margaret Roach. She gardens in the Hudson Valley of New York, and her website is AWayToGarden. She has written a couple of gardening books, blogs, produces an email newsletter and podcasts.

This week includes a welcome visit with friends, a couple of appointments, spreading wood chips where I took those Hosta out, and probably a few more hours of deadheading.

The fall chores go on but they are slowing down. Are you working on a fall to-do list?

Garden as though you will live forever.  William Kent

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Posted in Gardening, New England | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 48 Comments

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 , , , , , , , , | 59 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 , , , , , , , , , | 42 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