away for the weekend: 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

west arlington, vermont

A couple of summers ago, Greg and I rode our bike through this little village,
and I vowed to come back someday with my big girl camera.
Yeah, it took me a while - but better late than never.

The sun was low in the sky - and I loved the way it created this red reflection in the water.

Walking back through the bridge, you can see the former home of Norman Rockwell.
Now it's a bed and breakfast.

So it would seem that the holiday season is upon us -
and I'm still binging on excessive amounts of Halloween candy
- yeah - bought way too much of that stuff -
Not to worry, though, I've just about polished off the last of it.
(Whew - just in time for turkey and pie...)

Anyway, you may have noticed that I'm having a tough time keeping up,
so I think I will be taking a bloggy break.

I'm wishing you all a very happy holiday season
and look forward to seeing you again in the new year!
(if not before)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

door county, wisconsin

So - I mentioned last week that Chicago-daughter and I took a little road trip
- a girls weekend -
to Door County, Wisconsin.
I don't get out to Chicago to visit nearly as often as I would like to
 (love visiting that city!)
but this time, we opted for a little get-away.

The town of Fish Creek is situated on the Green  Bay side of the peninsula -
we did a little shopping and meandering -
mostly meandering...
and enjoying the whimsy.

Driving along the coast,

we found charming lighthouses,

still a little Fall foliage,
(which I made Chicago-daughter pose in front of)

and a beautiful coastline that I suspect many of my East Coast friends would find
a bit surprising.

And that's not to mention the apple orchards, wineries and fantastic cheese
(Yes, Vermont, you have a rival there...)

I'm always a little sad flying out of Chicago, 
and this time - a little more so.
I'm happy to say that Chicago-daughter plans to head back East at the end of December,
but the Midwesterner in me loved my occasional Heartland fix.
And I am so glad we decided to take this little trip.

Monday, November 11, 2013

thankful for veterans

A quiet Sunday afternoon in Townshend, Vermont

And as I enjoy a day off today, puttering around my house,
I know that the children of Townshend Elementarty School express it best

To all who serve or have served
- and their families -
in war time and in peace

a heartfelt thank you!!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

rurality - vermont schoolhouse

Last weekend during a visit to Chicago, Chicago-daughter and I took a road trip up the coast of Wisconsin to beautiful Door County. 
Wineries, apples, lighthouses... what a beautiful place!
 I am kicking myself for neglecting to take a shot of a quilt barn, though...

Anyway, I hope to have some photos ready soon, but in the meantime -
I spied this little schoolhouse during our "Sunday drive" in Vermont -
 a couple of weekends ago.

As I was contemplating stepping over the fence to get a shot from the other side of the tire swing,
I noticed the curtains in the windows.
I'm guessing the owner wouldn't have appreciated me trampling all over their lawn...

But, what a cute little cottage this must be!

I am joining Rurality at The View from Right Here

Have a great day!

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

rurality - the quiet season

Out for a Sunday drive
(although it was really Saturday - but you know what I mean)

I loved the way this little village looks nestled in the hills -
ready for winter.
It's that quiet time of year in Vermont.
Leaf peepers have gone home, and skiers are waiting for snow to arrive -

and all is very quiet in the countryside.

I apologize for my absenteeism lately.
All is well, I think I'm just adjusting to my new commute. It makes for a long day.
I am wishing you all a happy Halloween - stay safe!

Rurality Blog Hop #38

Friday, October 18, 2013

random five - misty mountain and sunshine

I do believe - the colors have been spectacular this year

even shrouded in mist.

A couple of weeks ago, I was nominated for a Sunshine Award by a phenomenal blogger - 
I love visiting Sarah's blog, where she and her paisley rain boots
(well, when weather calls for them)
explore the hidden and not-so-hidden back roads of Michigan.
She has an artistic flair for seeing places and objects from a different angle and capturing them with her camera. If you've never visited before - click on over!

So - for this week's random five, I've chosen five of Sarah's questions to answer.

1) Favorite Movie? - When Harry Met Sally (corny, I know...)

2) Coffee or Tea? - Both! Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon

3) Favorite Weekend Activity? - going AWAY, of course :-)

4) What decade would you have most liked to have lived in? - the next five or ten (life is much too short!)

5) Thing that you are most proud of accomplishing this year? - oh boy, I'm coming up blank and it's October already. May I have an extension, please?

That's it for me this week. I'd love to hear from you - feel free to play along.
And as always - have a great weekend!

I'm joining Nancy for Random Five Friday

Friday, October 11, 2013

random five - feeling crafty

I'm not sure what it is - but lately I've been feeling crafty - 
in a diy-make-cute-things sort of way that is, nothing evil lurking here...

But first,
this was my favorite find at the fair a couple of weekends ago.
Greg and I like just about anything black lab - and this one was impossible to pass up.

On a whole different plane of craftiness,
I found these felted wool dryer balls on Pinterest and for whatever reason
just needed to make them. They're great - everything you could hope for and more.
 (from dryer balls, anyway)
I add a few drops of lavender essential oil and my laundry has never smelled more fresh.

Also from Pinterest, I made one of these diy reed diffusers.
I used a blend of lavender and cedar, which is a soft restful scent.
Truthfully - I haven't noticed any scent diffusing from this thing,
but I did get a good night's sleep - so who knows?

For even more crafty fun, I whipped up a batch of lip balm.
There are lots of recipes out there, but I made up my own.
Yeah, this stuff should be called
"Lip conditioning-moisturizing-kick-ass-best-ever-turn-back-the-clock balm"
I'll probably tweek the recipe anyway, just for fun.

And finally - I made my third batch of soap this week.
I have the little bars curing on the kitchen table - all lined up like tiny little soldiers.
Greg gazes upon them in a perplexed sort of way -
"You know, I think we have enough soap for a year, here"
Yes, he's probably right...
and yet - I really don't think I can stop.
Soooo - family members you should probably beware,
Christmas - it is a-comin'
But hey, maybe I'll also throw in some of my
lip conditioning-moisturizing-kick-ass-best-ever-turn-back-the-clock balm.

How about you - up to anything crafty lately?

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

abandoned sugar shack - jamaica, vermont

After what seemed like an endless streak of good weather,
last weekend was cold and rainy.
I didn't mind too much, as I was in the mood for a lazy
lie-around-the-house-and read-with-a-nice-warm-cup-of-tea
sort of weekend.

We did manage to get out a little bit and enjoy the foliage,
which I must say, is spectacular this year.

I took these a couple of weeks ago when the leaves were just starting to turn.
I think this is an abandoned sugar shack - although I'm not sure.

It sits in an area of Jamaica, Vermont that was flooded by Hurricane Irene.

This week the village is celebrating the reopening of the bridge on the main street through town,
an exciting step forward in recovering from the devastation of Irene.

Rurality Blog Hop #34

Friday, October 4, 2013

random five - one of those days...

Happy Friday!

So - I stayed up too late last night reading Help for the Haunted.
You know how it is when you get to a point in a book where you know there's too much left to finish at a reasonable time, but you can't put it down?
Yeah - I knew I was setting myself up for one of those bleary-eyed days...

Anyway - rushing out my door at the last possible moment and feeling dazed,
as I'm walking to my bus, I'm pondering whether I have anything on my Kindle to read on the subway.
Probably, I'm thinking, as I realize I'm not wearing my glasses.
Yep, it's going to be one of those days...

Still rushing to make my bus, I look down at my black pants, black shoes, black sweater and -
wait, am I wearing navy socks? Bleary-eyed and all, yep, they're navy.
Ugh - it's going to be one of those days...

Soooo, sitting on the subway - feeling bored - and contemplating my navy socks, as well as the footwear of everyone else on the subway - I'm thinking that I'm kind of glad that winter is coming. I am tired of looking at flip flops.
(I know, I really should have something to read while I'm on the subway...)

Bored with the whole footwear thing - I jumped off the subway a couple of stops early, picked up an iced coffee and enjoyed walking the rest of the way to work through the park.
I've decided it's going to be one of those days.

For more random fun, hop on over to A Rural Journal for 

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

ball mountain dam release 2013

We have had an amazing stretch of beautiful weather.
I can't image that white water enthusiasts could have asked for a nicer day for the

Beginning at the Ball Mountain Dam, the West River enjoys a day of Class II and Class III white water.
All is calm on this side of the dam (you can also see the ski slopes at Stratton right behind the tower)

It's this side of the dam that draws rafters from all over the region.

trudging up and over the dam -
yeah, that was the only part that didn't look like too much fun.

I got a kick out of this enthusiastic rafter who shouted a big
"woo hoo" to me while I stood on a bridge taking photos.
We were having a great day hiking through Jamaica State Park and watching all the activity,
but I'm thinking these rafters were having a blast!

How about you - would you rather join the fun in the water?

Our World Tuesday

Friday, September 27, 2013

complete randomness

It's Friday -
and that means it's time for a little randomness with Nancy at A Rural Journal

My little suburb is just a few miles outside Boston and until a couple of weeks ago this electrical box was sporting gang symbols. I'm liking this look much better.
Pretty cute - yes?

This week Greg and I celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary

I just finished The Paris Wife and enjoyed it much more than I expected to.

Last weekend we bought freshly picked apples from the orchard. If I enjoyed baking, I'd make some apple pie, apple crisp, apple cake...
But - I don't - so I just pin the recipes instead.

I'm really looking forward to this weekend in Vermont. Saturday is the dam release for whitewater rafters (I'll be watching - not participating) -
and the annual Peru Fair where I'm hoping to pick up some beeswax candles.

That's it for me - have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

you can get anywhere from here

Many of you are probably familiar with the old Maine-ism
"You can't get there from here"
Which pronounced with the proper drawl is more like
Ay-yup, you can't get they-a from hee-a

Anyway - that is apparently not the case from this little village crossroads
in rural Vermont.

I love that this sign is right outside this little schoolhouse.

These lucky students have the whole world right at their doorstep.

I am joining Madge from The View From Right Here for Rurality Wednesday. Click on over for more rural scenes from around the world.

Monday, September 23, 2013

hawk watch - take 2

Saturday was one of those bea-u-ti-ful New England Fall days,
and after hearing about the hundreds of hawks sighted over the last week, 
we decided to head back up to Putney Mountain for the hawk watch.
So - hawk watch take 2 - bust...

As soon as we arrived at the top of the mountain, we were treated to the sight of a hawk gliding the thermals.
I didn't grab my camera because -
 1) I was enjoying just watching and
2) I had no way of knowing that would be the only hawk we'd see all day.

So - what to do when there are no hawks to be seen?
Well - there's always watching the other hawk watchers....

and of course, enjoying the scenery, 

... and reading the count of all the birds I didn't see over the past week...

- and then there's the little maple stand in Putney where we consoled ourselves with a
maple creemee - (Vermont's very delicious version of soft serve)
If you've never had one, I'd suggest you get into your car
- right now -
and drive to Vermont. Yep, they're that good!

So if you happened to be keeping score -
Putney Mountain Hawk Watcher: 4,011
Me: 1 (plus a maple creemee)
Yeah, I'll call it a draw (smile)

Friday, September 13, 2013

random thoughts

After the last few days of disgustingly sticky weather, last weekend's apple picking at Green Mountain Orchards seems like a distant memory.

I made my first batch of soap, and it's looking pretty fantastic
- except -
in my attempt to save the environment for the orangutans, I accidentally ordered sustainable palm fruit oil which is bright red-orange. Yep, my soap is looking a bit like pumpkin pie.

On the upside, according to Dr. Oz, red palm oil is a "miracle solution" - "an amazing fat that helps stop the signs of aging inside and out". Well - yippee for miracles because I have enough of this stuff to halt the aging of an entire village.

This morning my bus failed to show up, leaving me standing in the rain for 30 minutes to wait for the next one. All the while I'm thinking to myself - really? I gave up driving to work in the comfort of my own car for this?

Why is it that the auto-correct on my iPhone makes all sorts of random "corrections" that I don't want, yet completely misses the obvious mistakes? I sure do spend a lot of time correcting auto-correct.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

rurality - bellows falls, vermont

Saturday afternoon, after a little apple picking and not quite ready to
call it a day, we headed over to nearby Bellows Falls, Vermont.
It's been years since I last visited this little town.
As we wandered through town, Simon and Garfunkel  ran through my mind.

 "I'm sittin' in the railway station
Got a ticket for my destination

...And each town looks the same to me,
the movies and the factories

And every stranger's face I see,
reminds me that I long to be

Homeward bound..."

When Greg and I were in college, we used to drive up here to have breakfast at the
Miss Bellows Falls diner (although it was probably more like brunch
or rather - breakfast-for-lunch).
We had a great time last weekend meandering through town - poking in and out of shops.
And many thanks to nearby-apartment-daughter for unwittingly posing for the shot 
that had me humming for the rest of the afternoon.

Monday, September 9, 2013

barn charm - getting back into the groove

With those lazy hazy crazy days of summer essentially behind us,
I'm beginning to think it's time to get back into the groove of things.
I sure have been feeling lazy and hazy -
as in - major slacking...

Fall has always felt like the real start of a new year to me.
So - anyway
We had the pleasure of spending Labor Day with family in
Central Pennsylvania.

Rural and hilly and beautiful like Vermont
yet, oh, so different.

We enjoyed meandering over the winding back roads,
among the peaceful farmland.

I'm not sure why summertime seems to throw me off my normal rhythm,
but I'm looking forward to Fall
and getting my groove back.
How about you - does summer seem to throw you off your normal patterns?