Monday, March 14, 2011

Snow is almost gone

The woods are almost clear and I have been out exploring. I learned that the ticks are alive and well two days after the snow melted! Who would have thought? I made the mistake of lying down to take the photo of the tree.

As you can see by the photo on the right, things are starting to grow. The tulips I planted last fall are poking their tips out.

Mr. B and I went to BJ's for groceries and were snagged by a display of flowers in boxes. They were bulbs or bare root plants. I chose Asian lilies and echinacea. It was hard to pass up the roses, the hydrangeas and the dinner-plate-sized dahlias. I'm ready to garden!

Echinacea is in the daisy family.

After our furnace needed an emergency repair and we had to replace the burner, we realized we need a newer, more efficient furnace. But none of us like burning oil and the cost keeps going up, so I called a geothermal heating contractor to come and give us an estimate. He did come and measure so now I am waiting to hear how much it will cost. It means changing from a hot water baseboard system to a hot air system. But we need to replace four very old wall unit air conditioners. This way we put it all into one system. Will the cost be prohibitive? I thought our oil bill for this winter was prohibitive!

Friday they come to give us an estimate for a new oil furnace. We have been looking at wood pellet stoves for the living room fireplace as another source of heat. I'm not sold on a pellet stove because of the noise of the fan and the auger. I admit handling the pellets should be easier than stacking the wood and carrying for a wood stove. I'll keep you posted.

I'm joining Mosaic Monday.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Working Woman

I've been back to work at the furniture consignment shop. My friend had a long bout with the flu. Still cold there but I wore my long johns and knee socks and boots. Big difference! In between customers I took some photos.

Visit Mary at The Little Red House for Mosaic Monday.

Even if you don't need anything, it is such fun to browse in antique and consignment shops. You never know what treasure awaits! And it is a good chance to shop for friends and relatives who collect things.

I have joined a photography club to learn more, but mostly I'm learning that everyone's photos are better than mine! But on the upbeat, I did have one photo chosen to be in a juried show at Eastern Connecticut University. A real boost to my ego!

My son-in-law recently gave me the gift of Adobe's Lightroom. I'm struggling with it. I downloaded a guide but I'm thinking I need one of those Dummy books. The instructions say click on a certain button and then I can't find it!

What I'm really doing is fighting off Alzheimer's. Mr. B tells me that speaking two languages can delay the onset of Alzheimer's. He speaks Spanish. Since I will never learn a second language, I'm keeping my brain active by studying photography books and software!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Keeping Warm

Sheila of Starshine Through My Windows asked about what I call my Polar Coat. So here is a picture. Mr. B gave it to me for Christmas. I'll give you a hint and tell you the sizes run small. But isn't that the excuse we always give? So, slim as I am(Ha!), I had to exchange my large for an extra large.

It has metallic cloth to reflect my body heat back to me. It is made by Columbia Sportswear. The tag says "Thermal Comfort, OMNI - HEAT." There are lots of pockets and zippers under the sleeve and a detachable hood. It keeps me warmer than any coat I ever had, even my fur coats. Shelia lives in Alberta, Canada and deals with temps way below zero. Maybe she can recommend a type of glove that would actually keep my fingers warm.

How about these?
This online site called "Heated Gloves" has gloves at reasonable prices. The ones pictured above are sale priced at $19.95. On some sites they are $100 and above. And why shouldn't I keep my feet warm at the same time? These insoles don't even need batteries and can be used time and again. Just put in boiling water to reactivate. Price is $39.95.

I helped out a sick friend this week and minded a furniture consignment shop for a day. It is in a charming old building but the heat came out near the ceiling and never got near the floor. My legs were numb from the knees down!! I was wearing regular shoes and socks as I had not been warned. These heated insoles would have made my day a lot more comfortable! They should be great for snowshoeing, too. Something I would love to try. I'm getting lots of ideas for next year's Christmas list!

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?