Saturday, August 20, 2016

Fresh Eggs!



Hello! I'm still here! I'm still around!

After several years of craziness and tough 'life', this year has been spent LIVING!

Our family has been doing beautifully well.

I've been cleaning house - both literally in this big old farmhouse and figuratively on the inside in my heart and mind. It's been a beautiful thing! It's been taking a lot of courage! There have been lots of ups and lots of failing and falling down. It has meant, though, that I've been living right on the edge of my energy reserves and, by the time I usually get to the computer, I'm "a bear of very little brain." (~Winnie the Pooh.) Not very conducive to blogging, alas, but I have been active on instagram where the thoughts come in shorter sound bites. ;)

One of the happy projects that I've been working on, this year, is cleaning out the last frontiers of messes and boxes from our move. (Yes, the one that happened eight years ago.) There was this one catchall room that I've been avoiding. Every time there's a project or a holiday, things would get stuffed in there until there was this impenetrable wall of boxes and mess. Well, we've been working on it since March and, yesterday, we finished cleaning it all the way out!!! We'll start patching nail holes and painting next week and here comes the breathless news.... it's going to be a photography studio for me!!! What a lucky girly I am!!!!

In other news, David has taken over the entire egg business which used to be shared between all three boys. He's been up in his room doing all sorts of calculations and has been excited to see that, since he took over four days ago, egg production has gone up to two dozen a day!! 

It called for a photo op on these gorgeous old wood floors in my new 'studio'!! You can just see the old square nails, there. Now, the dilemma.... I had planned to paint the floors... and we do have more wood floors in other parts of the house like this... but these are just so gorgeous.... how can I even think of covering them up? Then, again, it's always been a dream to have those Swedish style, grey painted floors....



 
xo







Monday, July 4, 2016


  
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me:
I lift my lamp beside the golden door."

~Emma Lazarus





A week and a half ago, I went to New York City with my mom, dad, sister and two of my guys (a.k.a. sons - Toby and David.) It was a short but very sweet and fun visit and for the first time - finally - I had a chance to see this beautiful lady with my own eyes. We took a clipper ship sail at sunset and that's how I got these pics but, actually, we took the subway down to Battery Park, got off the station, rounded the coast guard building and a fresh ocean breeze blew in my face and I saw her and...


I was moved to tears!!







Happy Independence Day!!

=)

xo




Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Aspet



I had lived here, in Vermont, for almost 20 years and had often seen the sign for the turnoff to St. Gaudens National Historic Site. However, most often, I was on my way to take one of my epic, bi-monthly, grocery shopping trips and had no time for exploring or lollygagging around. Besides, though I LOVE living in Vermont - in the country - many, many museums and house tours aren't really to my taste. I think that I have more of a European aesthetic and the heavy, small time, country Victorian vibe just doesn't thrill me.

Eventually, however, two summers ago - in late August - I realized that, because of biopsies and operations, I hadn't been out of the house (except to go to the hospital or store) but once in seven months. In pure desperation and with a serious case of wanderlust, I went for a long explore and wound up, finally, at the home of Augustus St. Gaudens. The road was charming, the winding, small drive through the pine forest up to the house was secretive, the parking lot...? Well, I've seen larger vegetable gardens! I got out of my car and was presented with a very tall hedge and the glimpse of a house just beyond.

As I followed the path around the walkway and went through the hedge, I was not prepared for what I found. Something small but mighty!

As it turns out, if you have ever been to New York City, you know who Augustus St. Gaudens is. On the lower, East corner of The Park is a tremendous and glorious statue (now, newly regilded and shining gold) of a man - an officer - mounted on a noble steed - upright - being led by a glorious angel - a woman with hand outstretched - named 'Peace'. That is the work of this gifted sculptor of no little fame, influence and standing. One does not often find such an artist of international renown in the rural hills of Vermont/New Hampshire but, St. Gaudens loved his summer home - making it his permanent residence towards the end of his life. Born in Dublin, raised in NYC, studied in Paris and Rome - his home - especially, his gardens - have a resounding European sensibility. What's more, the soul of this man who was so encouraging and inspiring to other artists, still seems to reside here. Being the smallest National Park, it doesn't feel like it belongs to the state hardly at all. I don't quite know how to explain it but.... it feels 'real'. Like the voices of the artist and his family, friends and community are still echoing here.

What's more, it appears that this is the best kept secret ever! You will see that there are no people in my pictures. That's because, more often than not, when I go at the end of the day, I AM the only one there. Actually, I bought a season pass that allows me to stay on the grounds from dawn till dusk and, as any last wandering stragglers leave, the garden is mine! All mine!! My own secret place!!!

This place is a maze of hedge rooms and small gardens - patios and porches - courtyards - a beech allĂ©e - and a tremendous sweeping meadow carved out from the woods with glorious views - all wrapped in silence - all curving and winding and opening out into each other. 

I've come to explore many times and am always discovering some other nook or corner. This time, I brought my oldest and youngest son with me. They brought their sketch books. We took a hike down to the watering hole where St. Gaudens and his workers would go on hot summer afternoons. The most astounding discovery, this time, however, was in a hedge, fronted with a row of fruit trees whose change I had often admired in the different seasons. After staring and appreciating so many times, how had I missed the archway leading to the cutting garden? It must be a secret garden - only opening up to those who wait for it long enough!























Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Smitten

I have to confess to a great overwhelm as I've contemplated approaching this post. I have over a thousand pictures.... that's why I've put it off for so long but, finally, the story must be told!

It was last February.... One evening, when Lliam went out to the barn to feed the chickens, he found a surprise. In a box that we had made insulated and warm for the stray cats....

video


As it turned out, gray mama kitty did not appreciate us handling her kittens and, the next morning, when we came out, we discovered that she had moved them.

Then, one month later, the day before I was due to have another operation (silly, dang things, those operations!), Tom saw mama gray kitty moving her babies into the milk house. Tom opened the door and there they were. He scooped them up and brought them in and, instead of cooking dinners ahead and preparing for the next couple of days recuperating, I stared at and tried to tame wild, ferocious kittens.


Hisss!



Hiss!



Hisss!!



Hi...s....



Zzzzzzzz.... 

(it's hard work being fierce and ferocious, apparently!)



We very soon convinced them to bottle feed and to try a little bit of canned food...
(poor little hungry dears!)






...and, slowly, they learned to trust us.
















Still, it was exhausting work, being cute...






and, finally, they began to call me 'Mommy'!





To be continued....








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