Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Turkeys everywhere!

We did buy corn for the turkeys and they are here at least twice a day to eat. Now in the mornings we hear the males gobbling. They are displaying and strutting for the females.

Here is a closeup. I can't find out anything about that cone on the front of the head. I've been doing some research online. Check out this site for more information and to hear a turkey gobble.

This guy decided to go across the street to eat at the neighbors so I only have the back view!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

His Lucky Day!

This little fella was so happy to discover the peanut butter suet.
And he didn't even have to climb anything to get it!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Sunny Skies Overhead - Ice Underfoot

It's a hard winter for everyone. Many roofs have collapsed, mostly businesses and large buildings. Today some local schools were closed while the National Guard shoveled the roofs. They were asking for people to loan shovels. We're getting more snow and rain tomorrow.

This morning my daughter woke us up calling, "Come look out the front window!" There was a turkey eating sunflower seeds that had spilled from the bird feeder only a few feet from our front porch. We went to the farm store to get whole corn but they were out so we'll try again tomorrow. We plan to throw the corn off the back porch and it should slide on the ice down to the back of the yard. The turkey was walking on top of the snow and the ice crust was supporting him so the flock should be able to walk in the back yard. Hopefully the flock we saw this summer has survived.

This is the second day the ice has stayed on the trees even though the sun was shinning. Walking anywhere is treacherous. Mr. B and I went downtown to Main Street for lunch but had to give it up when we couldn't cross the big slushy puddles and get up the steep ice bank on the other side. A nice young man offered to help us, assuring us that since he is a volunteer fireman he is very capable. We believed him but decided it was safer to give up and go elsewhere. Now I understand why people go to the mall just to walk.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Winter Continues

Wow! I feel like I am under house arrest! Yesterday was snow and freezing rain. Today was freezing rain and fog. No point in trying to get out. Walking is a risky business but I did get out to take a few pictures. You can see the ice on the limbs and dripping from the leaves.

I thought I was doing so well this winter. After all, this is no worse than last winter in Virginia. But suddenly those ads on TV for Caribbean vacations with gorgeous blue/green water and white sand beaches are looking pretty good!

And while we haven't had a tree fall on the house like last year in Virginia, we have had furnace trouble. We are planing to replace it in the spring and hope the repairs will last until then.

That translates to no vacation in the sun!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Big Snow!

My seeds! They must be here somewhere!

Lots and lots of snow here. How nice not to have to go anywhere. I did a little shoveling and took some pictures in the yard.

I need snowshoes to get into the woods! Has anyone tried these new types of snowshoes? How about these from LL Bean.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

I kept my promise!

I never meant to take such a long break from blogging. Getting the house in order has consumed me and I am not finished yet. I did keep sorting my lifetime accumulation of goods (good stuff!). I had promised to have the garage ready to park cars in by winter. Today we drove a car into the garage!

This picture is of one side of the garage soon after we moved in. The whole garage looked like this!

We thought we could get two cars in but - not yet. If you follow my blog you remember that I first tired to get rid of my excess by having a yard sale. When there was a lot left over Mr. B and I took the small things to a flea market where we only earned enough to pay for our entry and table. Then I checked out an auction as a means of selling the furniture but prices were incredibly low. Then I checked out consignment shops and decided to list things on Craig's List. Most of my responses were scams and nothing sold. I ended up selling things to a consignment shop for half the used value even though the furniture was new! That loss really hurt! But it helped me clear out the garage. Now I still have many boxes of antique collectible items to sell.

Some of my children are home and we have baked tons of cookies. A neighbor sent a wonderful box of fruit. More children still to come and friends will be spending Christmas day with us.

Have a glass of wine and sit by the fire. Merry Christmas!

Friday, November 19, 2010

White Flower Farm

To start our garden at the new house, we took a trip to White Flower Farm in Litchfield, CT. It was a cold windy day so I didn't tour the 5 acres of gardens open to the public. I focused on the sale items and bulbs.

Here is the house at the farm.

There were lots of wagons waiting for shoppers. It would have been easy to fill several wagons with good stuff!

This bench looks like a nice place to sit and contemplate things.

There were several areas with shrubs, bulbs and pots for sale. It was hard to set limits, but I knew I couldn't buy more than I could plant before winter.

Here is a hydrangea that was still in bloom.

I bought two hydrangeas, two peonies, two astilbes, three hostas, and lots of bulbs. It has been a real push to get it all planted. I finished a few days ago. Many days I had to forego planting to rake leaves.

After shopping we drove slowly through Litchfield. It was full of lovely houses, nice fences and an interesting downtown.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Reflections and Gardening

While working in the yard I looked at the house and was amazed at the reflections in every window. Here is a picture of one of the windows.

Most of those beautiful leaves have fallen now and I think we have several tons of leaves! As much as I hate leaf blowers, when our neighbor offered the loan of his, we accepted. (I had already spent two days raking.) Even with the blower, the mower and the rake, my SIL and I only managed to clear the front yard in a day. There are several piles still to be picked up.

We made a huge pile of chopped leaves in the middle of the yard. This will be our lasagna garden next spring. We started the garden with the moving boxes that were too worn out to use again. They were collapsed and put on top of the grass and some dirt scattered on top to hold them in place. The leaves were next, then the kitchen waste gets dumped into the leaves. It is amazing how much we generate - coffee grounds with the filter, tea bags, egg shells, peelings, etc. By spring it should all be nice rich compost and we can plant in that bed on top of the ground.

I have planted bulbs - daffodils, crocus, autumn crocus, tulips, iris and grape hyacinths. Also planted peonies, hydrangeas and astilbes. There is a garden club in town and I have been invited to attend. I'm looking forward to meeting other gardeners. Now that it is winter, I'll tend my house plants and write up my order for some David Austin roses!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Yellows in Fall

The rain storm and big wind did not take down all the leaves. There is lots of color still. The light has been golden, especially as it shines through the yellow leaves. Our house has many windows which provide views of the large trees.

These photos were taken today as I walked around the yard when I took a break from digging flower beds.

I'm joining Mary at Little Red House for Mosaic Monday. Check out some of the mosaics.
Thanks for stopping by Porch days.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Great Photo Opp!

We were enjoying a perfect day of exploring and savoring the fall weather and colors. The road was following the Connecticut River. We saw a pond that drained into the river and we crossed the bridge with the pond on one side and the river on the other. And there they were - five swans. Three were the gray youngsters and these parents. Mr. B stopped on the bridge and I quickly took a few shots as the traffic pulled around us. Perfect!!!

I'm joining Claudia at Finding Beauty Fridays. I'm sorry she is discontinuing this. Unpacking and settling in has consumed me and I'm sorry for not participating more often.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

I Need to see the Ocean!

Today I just felt the need to see the ocean. Do any of you have days like that? It really isn't far from us so we drove Route 1 along the coast starting at Guilford Center. We found a lovely beach where I picked up gorgeous shells and made some photos. Then we drove through Madison (picturesque) and on to Old Saybrook. The weather was perfect, the sky and water a bright blue. The foliage was colorful and I loved seeing all the picket fences and the beautiful churches. Since it was my birthday, we did everything I wanted, even stopping at Blue Moon Artisans Shop where I could drool over the crafts. Snack was French fries and senior cokes at McDonalds. What a great day we had!

This photo I made a Hammonassett Beach. I loved the dunes and the shadow of the fence.

I'm joining A Southern Daydreamer for Out Door Wednesday. Drop by and check out all the photos.
I put Southern Daydreamer's logo here as a picture.
Is there a way to make it a link?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Fall Orchard Visit

I took a day off from "the house" and Mr. B and I went on an orchard tour. My middle son (see the side bar) is in NY and is coming for a short visit. He wants to visit a farm stand so we took a day to check out what is in this area. And we found three winners! Flowers, pumpkins, apples blue skies and perfect weather - what wonderful parents we are to sacrifice a whole day to find the best farm stand for the son. We even had to drink cinder and eat some cider donuts (delicious!) in the name of research!

On my stop at the visitors center soon after we moved, I picked up a Connecticut Farms map. It really was a help as it listed all the farms, what they sell and it gives directions and places them on the map. We had no trouble at all. Mr. B drives and I navigate.

We thought Woodstock was one of the prettiest towns we have seen yet. There is a museum on the main street I want to go back to see.

Or course we bought a squash, a HUGE mum and two kinds of apples. We have discovered Honey Crisp apples and they are a wonderful sweet eating apple as well as good for cooking. I bought Galas and made applesauce.

I love Fall, and not just because it is my birthday and anniversary month. Since I love orange, red, gold and brown, is is only natural that I love Fall.

I'm joining Little Red House for Mosaic Monday. Click on the link and check out the other participants.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Basket Collection

I'm sitting on the loveseat looking into the treetops. The tree trunks are dark from the rain and there is color in the leaves. We have been promised clearing skies today so I am hopeful after many gray days. I'm thinking I should ask for one of those special lights for SADD for my birthday. In Virginia there were many sunny days in the winter but that might not be the case here in Connecticut. I know I get depressed when deprived of sunshine whether the cause is rain or short days. I learned that when I lived in Maine for eighteen years. Plus I was always cold! Grumpy is what I was! Don't want to repeat that or the inhabitants here might expel me from the house! No, on second thought, they wouldn't kick out the cook, would they?

Those of you who have been following Porch Days know I have been trying to thin out my possessions. The word here being "trying." Finally I got to the boxes marked "Baskets." Here below are most of them. Nice collection don't you think? The large ones you can see further down. I was a good girl and culled between a third and a fourth of this bunch.

But I use my baskets, I really do! This basket full of books is waiting to head to the studio.

The next two large baskets are old ones bought at auction in Maine. The top one I placed temporarily and threw a pillow in it. Soon it was the cats' favorite place. The bottom one is an old laundry basket with a mouse hole in one corner. It has character. Now it is full of books but sometimes it holds yarn or cloth.

Today Sylvie chose the cloth bed instead of the basket. I do love to see a cat curled up in that basket!

We're switching from DSL to cable internet tonight. I'll have to change my Porch Days email address yet again. Hopefully there will be no interruption.

Have a sunny day, friends!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Rainy Days

It has rained for Days! We had tropical storm Nichole, one day of sunshine and back to more rain. But the sky was pretty bright today and when I went out with my umbrella to the compost heap, I noticed things I just had to photograph. Here are photos shot under an umbrella.

Isn't this leaf a standout just lying there amongst the pine needles?

You can see that we have puddles, but look how bright the leaves are in the right of the picture.

I love the pattern the water made in the pine needles as it ran down the slope of the driveway.

Unpacking boxes and sorting things has occupied me for weeks. I did take a break to create a flower bed and do some planting. I love the color of these mums and they blend with the brick of the house. I'm hoping they survive the winter and come back and bloom like this next fall.

Great strides have been made with the sorting and decision making. We gave to Goodwill what was left after our Tag Sale and the day at the flea market. But we kept the furniture. Now we have to sell that furniture plus a few other pieces. After talking with some consignment shops, we have decided to try Craig's List. I do hear stories about bad things that happen. We will deal only in cash and people can come and look only when everyone is home. Are there any other precautions I should take?