22 July 2016


in the midst of the summer gardening and room painting and kitchen redo (no, it's still not done), i am trying to clean out useless things. stuff i've held onto for most of my life that means very little or nothing to other people. things i don't want the girl to have to deal with when it comes time to clean this place out for the last time. here is a perfect example of what i mean. it's the end of a roll of vinyl wallpaper i bought in 1981. 
we were moving out of state, leaving family and friends, and starting new jobs. the girl was turning five, and beginning school in a few months. with all the details of the packing and moving, uppermost in my mind was making the transition as easy and fun as i could for her. we rented a house sight unseen because it was in a small rural neighborhood and had a big yard and four bedrooms. we chose for her the room with the most light and the most nooks and secret spots for playing. and i made it a priority to have it completely redone and beautiful before we moved in.

and this is the bedroom wallpaper that she and i chose, sitting one evening on the porch swing of the house we would soon be leaving, the only home she'd known. we both gasped when we turned this page, and knew we had found the perfect wall covering. in an effort to capture the experience, i saved this piece when we left the rental for our new home in our new state. and i've had it ever since, tucked in the back of the bottom drawer of her bedroom dresser. 

of course, my tastes have changed significantly since then, and i am now admittedly horrified to think that i imposed such graphic chaos on so young a psyche. but at that pivotal, transitional time of our lives, it was just what we both needed. 

29 June 2016

june ketchup

again, i am woefully negligent in my postings and offer a few errant accounts as proof that i was in awe of my surrounding this beautiful month.

first, these lady slippers, discovered on the usual walking route of the leading edge of the property's boundary line. i have seen many such plants deep in our woods, and for years have hoped that they would propagate down the hill. and i swear these were never here before. but this year, thirteen plants, all in one quite visible spot. i wish i had been more aware earlier in their blooming, and have made several notes to self to look for them next spring. 

next, this flash of brilliant blue in my peripheral vision one morning while making coffee. i abandoned the coffee to watch it, and debated leaving the window to get my camera. more and more, i am having those moments when i must choose between watching in quiet awe or grappling with the camera to document. in the end, i went for the camera, shooting rapid boosts of not-very-great photos before he flew. i have never seen a bird this blue, and wonder if it might be an indigo bunting. i expect i won't see one again for a long while.

and finally, these irises, blooming profusely on their own, and covering the unkempt hill up to the woods. they do not last long but they are beautiful while they're there. i'm always happy to see them and silently thank whoever came before me and had the presence of mind to plant them. 

20 June 2016

one last ride

in this, the month of her birth, the not-so-little girl bemoans the fact that she will soon be too old to ride the mechanical rides at the local outlet mall. for many years, she's been too big to ride them, but every time we're there, she squeezes herself into one and begs for three quarters. being the good grandmother that i am, i, of course, oblige - and off she goes, blissfully a little girl again, laughing and whooping for the two minute ride. but now it's different, because the age limits are clearly posted on each ride, she can read them, and she knows she will very soon be out of the age range.
to mark this mournful passage, i gift wrap a roll of quarters, and off we go, the two of us, on the eve of her birthday, to ride one more time the merry-go-rounds and vehicles and animals that have given her such gleeful joy for so many years. and although it takes more time that we have and more money than we should probably spend, she rides every single one. and that's okay with me.

30 May 2016

out of place

found, in the woods, on the dirt driveway of friends, this maple leaf only recently unfurled on its branch. staring up at me, a circlet with colors that mesmerize. how does this happen, these odd colors, when the rest of the world is newly vibrant green? after some research, the driveway friend tells me the center is the tiny egg of a gall wasp. so now i know what it is - but i still don't understand. 

21 May 2016

shoes x 4

it's no secret that i hate to shop, and especially for clothes. so time-consuming, and such a waste of energy when i wear the same things day after day after day. i recently spotted these shoes online, and bought the orange pair so i didn't have to drive to the mall to shop. they were inexpensive, they looked comfortable - and it turns out, they were! so i bought another pair - and then another - and yet another. i think i'm finished now, although they do have a nice white pair that would look good for summer...

20 May 2016

tiny volunteer

the tiniest of lupine plants, nestled among the wild violets under the garden bench, so very far away from any host plant. wondrous...how does this happen?

18 March 2016


it's her 3/4 birthday, she tells me. in three months, she'll advance a whole whole number. where has the time gone, i continually wonder. but then - look! thankfully, you're never too old for an egg tree...

12 March 2016

a spring visit

standing at the open window, washing morning coffee cups and cereal bowls, i am thinking of my mother and how she loved spring. new growth in her garden, geese returning to the river, sitting outside - she was always glad to see winter over. perhaps i get that from her. 

from the corner of my eye, i see something drop like a stone from a high branch of the lilac tree outside. too fast and straight to be a leaf, i think, as i step to the door to investigate. and there she is, right outside my back door.

i have heard cardinals this spring and saw a male from a distance a few weeks back, but never the elusive female. there's no seed out there because i haven't fed winter birds - or winter mice - in years. and there was no male in sight, watching his mate from a high maple or hemlock branch. 
she visits for a long while, then flies back up into the lilac, and finally, off into the deep woods. i took about twenty shots with my telephoto lens, all through a winter-dirty window pane, so as not to disturb and to keep her around as long as i possibly could. 

06 February 2016

tea time - or coffee?

seems more and more, i turn to tea over coffee in the wintertime. it warms these bones, soothes a dry, scratchy throat, and smells fragrant and light. earl grey, ginger, english breakfast, lemon zinger, chai, all served steaming hot and laced with local honey from a young friend's bees. for breakfast, i need hot coffee, at least one cup, all year round. in summer, i'll drink iced coffee, and likely too much of it! but on sharply crisp, bright winter afternoons like this one, i'll take a mug of hot tea. how about you?

31 January 2016

light times two

in the foreground, one of my window candles, this year battery-operated ones on a timer set in early december to coordinate with dusk. in the background, a large hill, probably a mile or so away, brightly lit by the rays of the sinking sun. i should have reset the timers weeks ago, but every evening this sight is a joyous reminder that the days really are getting longer and longer.

30 January 2016


at work, i have deemed myself the designated recycler and, two saturdays a month, i'll take the excess paper - the old magazines, the outdated newspapers, the packaging materials - to the transfer station. after i'd done this for several years, i found out from area children that the nice elderly man at the recycle house passes out tootsie pops to kids when they recycle. hey - i recycle! i like tootsie pops! so i mentioned it to him and last fall, he began to include me! he knows i only like the chocolate tootsie pops, so he always saves one for me. but today, a windfall - one that made me smile all the way home.

27 January 2016


around noontime, i realized it was not only sunny and above freezing, it was actually a bit warm outside. so i went out into the yard in my indoor birkenstocks. i sat for a bit, i took some photos, i enjoyed the sun. when i had to come back inside, i opened the kitchen window and smelled the clean air while i worked and cooked and puttered.
but within an hour, the sky darkened, the wind began to howl, and a snow squall blew in, lasting about thirty minutes. new england really has some crazy weather, but it's one of the things that makes this an interesting place to be!

18 January 2016

more like it

so here finally is the winter we've all been waiting for, some for longer than others. it's cold, a monday, and nothing of any consequence is happening. but while washing dishes at the sink, i was pleased to spot, amidst all the new white, the vibrant rose of the not-so-little-girl's birdhouse, its top permanently removed by a persistent squirrel. and i was delighted when a random glob of suds leapt up onto the backsplash and formed itself into this tiny, soapy heart.

january. not much to write home about. 

11 January 2016


kitchen redo begins today. it's been a long time coming. i have no idea what i'm doing. wish me luck.

10 January 2016

rainy day in january

sitting inside at the window, looking out at the bleak and rainy landscape, having bread and the last of the girls' strawberry jam. it tastes like summer.

08 January 2016

a pumpkin feast

see that fat, furry little guy? in november, he decimated every october pumpkin i tossed into the compost pile. this was a tiny sugar pumpkin that i thought i might cook and freeze, but it sat too close to the woodstove and began to get mushy. so yesterday, on my way to put it in the winter compost barrel, i thought better of it and pitched it out into the side yard. and there he is - back again for one last pumpkin lunch!