31 October 2011


although it makes me feel like an out-of-season grinch, i admit that hallowe'en is not my favorite holiday. so i keep things very low-key around here. plain pumpkins. striped hallowe'en socks hidden away under my pant leg. a few candles that would be lit any on other october night, too. there were no trick-or-treaters again this year, save for a little pirate girl whose arrival was greatly anticipated. i am always happy when all the hallowe'en fuss is over and done with and we can get on with the business of november. that said, if hallowe'en is important to you and yours, i hope your celebration was spooktacular.

30 October 2011

late night snowstorm

tonight i am up late, writing for online assignments, answering emails, checking the news and weather, watching a few shows. as i sit here, the snow falls thick outside the windows. the lights flicker off and on. it looks like january with snow piled high on the rock walls and the wood pile. but first snow is so early this year that its also laying heavy on branches which have not yet released their leaves. never have i seen this much snow before thanksgiving.

today was a frenzy of cleaning up outside and packing away for winter. i finished up the flower beds, emptied the window boxes, and planted the mints to overwinter in the corner of the compost pile. i packed up gardening tools and exchanged them for scrapers and shovels. sitting one last time in the adirondack chair with tea in hand, i tipped my face skyward and smelled snow. as the clouds grew thicker, i collected a little of this and some of that from my garden cuttings and made a hasty arrangement for the door basket, just as the first flakes began to fall.

29 October 2011


here in new england, we are in the throes of our first-of-the-season winter storm warning - and it's not even time for the season to begin. if you've been reading these ramblings for any length of time, you know i have a love/hate relationship with snow. normally i anticipate the first flakes with glee and, when it arrives, i am wonderstruck all over again. but this year feels different already. i think it's because i haven't had november yet. i need time to linger in the garden, bedding plants down for the cold, to collect the spent seeds and package them up for spring. time to tidy up the yard and pile away the adirondack chairs and push the little girl one more time before the swing comes down. time to take a last walk in the woods in the quiet, leafless sunshine to collect greens and twigs and vines for the winter window box. i need time to pause, quietly, and wait for winter to begin. i need my november and, if the forecasts are indeed correct, this may be the year november doesn't happen.  

27 October 2011

first snow

i haven't cut back the gardens. 
i haven't brought in the herbs. 
i still have screens in the windows. 
not ready for this - yet. 

25 October 2011

in the pockets

thank goodness for pockets! today's contents include, from the top, counterclockwise -
a hastily scribbled note to myself. this year's beach rock from summer vacation. a wad of bills held together by a gold paper clip. two calcium pills i forgot to take yesterday and will no doubt forget to take again today. three, count 'em, three flash drives. the end of a roll of antacids. a house key in case i lock myself out again. microfiber cloth because someone keeps getting smudges all over my glasses. hand sanitizer - you can never be too careful. lip balm for preventative reasons. my cellphone - yes, the one i still haven't upgraded. a set of tweezers i was moving from suitcase to bathroom but they haven't gotten there yet. not shown: the spare sugarless gum chiclet i always carry in case i run out. 

23 October 2011


this is what you get when you ask for a band-aid at the front desk of a hotel on your way to church. it lasted for all of ten minutes before i just couldn't take the color any more and i took it off!

20 October 2011


yesterday after work i spent much too much time going from one store to the next in search of a new coffee pot. i thought i knew what i wanted but i couldn't find it. i ended up tired and cold and caught in the rain. by the time i got home, i was miserable - and had no coffee pot. as i drifted off to sleep very early last night, it dawned on me to look online. so this morning, between hair and makeup, i bought the perfect coffee pot for less than i would have paid in the store, even with the discount. free shipping, and it's being delivered to my door on monday. i don't understand why i didn't think of shopping online in the first place. i could have saved myself a whole lot of time.

15 October 2011

saturday morning sunshine

i love the angle of the light this time of year and how 
sunlight slides in the window this early saturday morning. 

12 October 2011

october 12 of 12: autumn in new england

admitting up front that i have taken great liberties with this month's 12 of 12 photos. i have long known that this month would feature autumn in all its splendor. it was the natural (no pun intended!) choice. but the forecast for midweek was for more rain and i was concerned the 12th would be soggy, wet, and dull. so i went out earlier this week, on a perfect indian summer afternoon when it was too glorious to be inside, and i took these twelve photos to depict this month. forgive me this indiscretion. i promise i'll follow the rules in november.

a field of cornstalks yet to be cut down. 

i see this large maple most days, surrounded by evergreens, which makes the color even more brilliant.

maple leaves in the afternoon sun.

a maple standing solitary in a bog, shot with a telephoto lens. 

lots of folks decorate with pumpkins from their gardens. i love these gracing an old stone wall. 

golden-yellow oak leaves.

a marshy area nearby. this is one of my favorite shots. i like how muted the yellows, golds, and browns are and how the red and even the green contrasts. 

looking up the river, wishing i could see farther around the bend.

horses basking in the autumn sunshine. man and beast enjoy this last hurrah of summer, knowing that very soon the air will change.  

a meadow nearby. i often see deer up the slope, but i think it's too early today.

looking to the north

not a great shot - i was trying to capture the leaves in the breeze as they cascaded to the ground. 
this is fall!

09 October 2011

old meets new

at one time, this was a window in this old house. now the window frame holds hanging pots in my kitchen. i removed it today to wash the wall behind it. when i rehung it, it looked a tad crooked so i went in search of a level to check. i had to laugh at this meeting of old and new. there's an app for everything!

08 October 2011

8am saturday

stumbling to the clothesline before i even had coffee, this is the sight that jarred me awake. still in pjs, i marveled at the beauty of this saturday morning.

of all the long weekends in the year, this one's my favorite. summer's tasks are done but it's not yet time to begin the winter ones. today i'll shop for apples at the farm stand and woolen socks at the craft fair. tomorrow i'll bake and paint. i may begin to clean up the flower garden this weekend in anticipation of putting it to bed next month. but at some point, i'll be sure to go barefoot to the adirondack chair to read or doze or just daydream. it's that kind of weekend. it's that time of year.

04 October 2011

what's in a name?

the last time i served beef stew to the little girl, she turned up her nose, pushed it away, and told me she didn't like it. and she wouldn't eat it. after a few month's time, i tried again tonight, only this time i called it beef wonderful. and, no kidding, she ate the whole bowl. maybe her tastes have changed. or maybe beef wonderful was just too wonderful not to love.

02 October 2011

freaky fungi

this weekend, we've had some very damp and chilly weather, the kind where you finally pull on socks and get out the windbreaker. more of the same is predicted for the next several days. imagine my horror (and fascination!) when i looked out the window this morning to check the conditions and i saw this: the lawn has become a mushroom field. the place is covered with all these little drab flat-topped mushrooms. i have no idea what kind they are or when they grew or why they are so prolific. it's almost scary. i imagine this aberration speaks not only to the state of the weather but also to the condition of the topsoil and the grass itself. will these things spread even more? will they ever go away? if they do, will they reoccur? and what do i do about them now?