30 August 2014


despite my best efforts at attracting them, again this summer i have had no evidence of monarch caterpillars or butterflies, nor have i seen any in my travels. so imagine my joy at spotting this one this afternoon, flitting among the zinnias in the cutting garden at a neighborhood farm stand. and she even had a few siblings with her!

29 August 2014

clearing away the past

for several mornings this week, the little girl and i spent some time organizing her bedroom, a rather large space with lots of nooks and crannies. after breakfast we'd turn on the radio and start where we had left off the day before. as we worked we'd reminisce about toys and books she'd outgrown. we chose stuffed animals to donate to the thrift store. we made piles of action figures, legos, and plastic dinosaurs and found and labeled containers for each. sometimes we'd get sidetracked and have to snuggle on the bed to read parts of a book or get up and dance to a favorite tune. but we'd soon be back to sorting out broken crayons from the whole ones and tossing piles of old greeting cards and first grade artwork. we organized a desk space for homework with sharpened pencils, a ruler, post-it notes, and a few erasers - the best part of the room, she says! we set up a science center with her rock collection and a reading corner with some comfy pillows. it was a lot of work, but we both agreed it was fun and productive and she loves the grown-up space. when will we have to do this again, she asked. never? i replied.

after we'd finished, i brought home the bag of toys to donate and two bags of trash to take to the dump. tonight i was going through them both, just to be sure i wasn't throwing away some important part to a game or a landmark piece of first grade work. and deep inside a box of puzzle pieces, i found this. it's the lyrics to a silly song we made up and recorded one night after dinner years ago. i'm guessing she wrote this note two years ago. i have no idea why she chose to write down these lyrics. all i know is, finding it touched my heart so. and it came this close to going to the dump.

here's the song, as we recorded it that winter night long ago as we had ice cream for dessert.

24 August 2014


earlier this month, there was a hawk hanging around the fringes of the woods. at first, i was excited and thought he was just passing through. but he stayed. sometimes i could see him but always, always, i could hear him. all day long. i thought he would drive me crazy with his constant shrill sounds. and then one day, it was too quiet, too still, and he was gone. and i actually missed him, worried about him a little bit. he probably just moved on to someone who appreciated him as much as i should have.

23 August 2014


playing catch-up tonight with blog posts from this month. photos uploaded here, notes made there, but nothing cohesive until i took the time to pull it all together tonight. i have one more post in process, one that's important to me and from june, actually. i've worked hard on half of it - i hope i can get the rest done as well. perhaps this is a new way to blog for me...catch (up) as catch can...

21 August 2014


i'm a pocket person but i'm picky about what i keep in them. a beach rock, lip balm, a token from a friend, a flash drive. bills, neatly tucked up in a colorful paperclip. but seldom do i carry coins. it's just too much jingle. so, like many others, i toss them in a container and there they sit until they fill the thing up. for a while now, i've transferred the contents to a bigger container as i fill the smaller one. finally this week, the little girl and i decided to take them to the change machine at the bank.

what a wonderful opportunity for a lesson in estimation, thought the teacher in me. so we brainstormed ways to go about doing that. we decided to start by counting the change in one fistful of money. then she counted the number of additional fistfuls from the container. pencil and paper multiplying that was a bit beyond her abilities came last. we estimated that there was roughly $125 in change.

on the way to the bank, the little girl reminded me that the counting machine wouldn't take foreign coins. we decided there had to be some in our stash since we live so close to Canada, but we weren't worried.

at the bank, we dumped all the coins into the machine. we watched in awe as the coins dropped in and the displayed total grew larger. as the noise started to slow and the display finally stopped, we looked at each other in disbelief. $124.69. and in the coin return, a single shiny Canadian quarter. i was so dumbstruck, i didn't even think to take a picture of it!

we were so close!!

20 August 2014


this has been a good summer. there have been warm days and comfortable nights, enough rain (i think), good beach days and lots of time to enjoy being outside. a few hot spells but not much humidity. it's been wonderful, but just not right. no monarch caterpillars or butterflies. crickets chirping since early summer when they usually chorus in august. early summer flowers blooming late and late summer ones blooming early. and now, shocking signs of autumn, earlier than i have ever noticed. and it's not even september yet.

14 August 2014


after a fitful night's sleep, the day dawns clear and brilliant. the wind still howls and the weather vanes on cottages can't seem to make up their minds. down the street, the wind fights with a sheer curtain through the open window. the surf is pounding on the rocks. wild weather still!
storms like last night's have such an effect on the beaches and the shore. at the sandy beach, lifeguards will not allow children to go into the water past their knees. the high tide is super high, it tries to take my shoes and it forces us and our blankets into the sand dune! but at the small rocky beach, it's a seaglass bonanza! never have we collected so much; never have i seen such a beautiful blue as this piece!

13 August 2014


Wild weather this afternoon with driving, windswept rain. even soaked to the bone, i stood at the rocks in awe of the color of the ocean, the power of the surf. tonight the wind howls so loudly through closed up windows, i must open them enough to quiet the noise so i can sleep.

12 August 2014

at the beach

Some time away at the ocean, my happy place. salt air, crashing waves, herons on the marsh. visiting with family, reading on the deck, and falling asleep to the sound of the ocean. I love it here.

02 August 2014

on the road

recently, i took a day trip to maine with a friend. a lovely day - and i'm so glad i brought my camera...
we visited an apple orchard to buy native blueberries. the apples there are already turning red!

a beautiful wall display of the old brass stencils they used to mark the apple crates for shipping. 

all manner of interesting things hanging from the beams in the barn. 

cutest little outhouse i've ever seen. 

i have been obsessed this summer with top story windows, especially those that are in the peaks of roofs. they're always a little different than all the other windows in the building. and they're often beautiful, like this one.

the sweetest little secret garden, with a twig fence and thyme-laced stepping stones up to the old grinding wheel. that gorgeous latch is on the outhouse.

we passed this old, neglected church on our way out of town. green corrugated metal covers up the steeple windows. i thought the building was sad and just wanted a shot of it.