midsummer magic

6.25.16.2935
6.25.16 ~ we celebrated the summer solstice on Saturday ~ good friends, good food and good fun…
6.25.16.2702
6.25.16 ~ bald eagle
6.25.16.2790
6.25.16 ~ catbird
6.25.16.2881
6.25.16 ~ woodpecker
6.25.16.2883
6.25.16 ~ woodpecker taking off
6.25.16.2924
6.25.16 ~ I’m drawing a blank on identifying flowers…
6.25.16.2930
6.25.16 ~ a lily?
6.25.16.2934
6.25.16 ~ ???
6.25.16.2966
6.25.16 ~ another lily?
6.25.16.2974
6.25.16 ~ fairy light
6.25.16.2979
6.25.16 ~ as close as I could get to this doe before she stomped her forefeet at me ~ I backed off so she could graze in peace…
6.25.16.3002
6.25.16 ~ chipmunk
6.25.16.2936
6.25.16 ~ so many orbs on a magical night
6.25.16.3019
6.25.16 ~ after a long day of fun in the sun, a fire to enjoy under a clear sky full of shimmering stars, with fireflies glowing in the surrounding trees, and fairy lights sparkling near the grass…

 

old radio soap opera

hanley_stafford
Hanley Stafford, voice of John Perry on “John’s Other Wife.”

This morning I’ve been pleasantly occupied catching up with reading my favorite blogs. My blogging friend Jane, over at nichepoetryandprose, has been writing about one room schoolhouses. Reading her posts brought back a memory my father used to share frequently in his later years, when he was suffering from dementia.

He said he would walk home from school at noon to eat lunch with his mother. He always had to wait a few minutes for her to feed him while she was listening to the end of an episode of her favorite radio soap opera, “John’s Other Wife.”

Papa attended a one room schoolhouse in Montville, Connecticut. He also walked to high school at Norwich Free Academy in Norwich. One day Tim & I drove along the route to see if that was feasible, and it was 3 miles, no problem for a teenager.

I decided to search online for “John’s Other Wife,” and found this interesting blog post: September 14, 1936: Debut of John’s Other Wife. My father was 14 years old when this program debuted and he must have been in high school by then. Perhaps his mother was listening to it when he got home from school in the afternoon? I’m not sure he would have walked 3 miles home for lunch and then back to school again for a few hours. The memory of returning home for lunch from the one room schoolhouse must have mingled with the memory of returning home to find his mother completely absorbed in her soap opera, no doubt after a long day of hard work on the farm.

Then I found an episode online – “John’s Relapse” – it was only ten minutes long! Anyway, it was fun listening to the very program my grandmother listened to all those years ago.

from daffodils to snow

3.21.16.2448
3.21.16 ~ second day of spring in Groton, Connecticut. The small dumpster is for construction debris from our bathroom renovation.

It’s been snowing! I’ve come back from my twelve days in North Carolina, where spring has already sprung, big time!

3.13.16.2082
3.13.16 ~ daffodils blooming in Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Poor Katherine… it’s no fun when it’s so nice outside but you are miserable with a fever and a very runny nose. And you don’t want to get out of your pajamas or comb your hair or let go of your bunny or blanket… And your visiting Grammy still insists on getting some pictures of you!

3.13.16.2090
3.13.16 ~ Katherine and Hopkins the bunny.
3.13.16.2096
3.13.16 ~ Maybe I will try taking a little walk.
3.13.16.2112
3.13.16 ~ Getting warm, time to take off this jacket. Yes, I do know that one pajama leg is scrunched up and I don’t care!
3.13.16.2116
3.13.16 ~ Maybe Daddy can get the blanket draped over my shoulders just the way I want it.
3.13.16.2119
3.13.16 ~ Then again, maybe not. Oh well. Feeling warm enough so I’ll just sit here with Hopkins and Daddy again.

Several hours later – it must have been at least 80°F in the afternoon!

3.13.16.2437
3.13.16 ~ Mommy persuaded me to get dressed and follow her out to the garden, but I still don’t feel well…
3.13.16.2441
3.13.16 ~ Mommy and I fixed the position of a slate stepping stone that had shifted over the winter.

I had a lovely time visiting the little one and her parents. Their new house is beautiful. Larisa and I planted some seeds in her vegetable garden, re-potted a couple of plants, discussed colors for painting the walls, took walks, ate out several times, and went shopping for all sorts of things for the house and for clothes for Katherine. I also got to spend time with my friend from high school, Susan, who lives only two miles away. We got caught in a scary thunder and hail storm one night on our way home from having dinner out. Yikes! And I had plenty of time to work on my ancestor table (see sidebar) while the family was at work and daycare.

Now that I am home work on the bathroom has stalled as we wait for the floor tile to come in. But a lot got done while I was gone. The new closet is framed out, the electrical and plumbing are all done, and the walls are up. And I’m looking out my window at about 5 inches of snow – quite a contrast to the daffodils down south!

content with silence

12.10.15.1682
looks a little wintery ~ 12.10.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.
~ Ansel Adams
(Meditation on Both Sides of the Camera: A Spiritual Journey in Photography)

12.10.15.1689
autumn hangs on ~ 12.10.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut

Life has felt pretty blurry, quiet and strange lately, what with the shingles odyssey for Tim and the unusually warm weather for this time of year. It was a welcome change to get outside and take a walk with Janet, camera in hand, to enjoy a pleasant, spring-like day in December. We found plenty of natural beauty exploring the woods behind my condo complex. Even so, I’m yearning for the first snowfall…

12.10.15.1692
12.10.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut
12.10.15.1699
12.10.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut
12.10.15.1704
contrast ~ 12.10.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut
12.10.15.1705
12.10.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut
12.10.15.1715
12.10.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut
12.10.15.1721
12.10.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut
12.10.15.1728
late autumn sun ~ 12.10.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut

At home I have two woodpeckers who frequent my suet feeder. I’ve learned their call now because they always squeak before they start eating. So while on this walk I recognized a woodpecker call in the wild for the first time and started looking around to locate it. Found him in the reeds!

12.10.15.1764
woodpecker ~ 12.10.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut
12.10.15.1765
woodpecker – symbol of determination and heightened levels of awareness ~ 12.10.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut
12.10.15.1775
12.10.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut
12.10.15.1778
forsythia in December? ~ 12.10.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut
12.10.15.1779
spent milkweed ~ 12.10.15 ~ Groton, Connecticut

And now the weekend begins. Content with silence for the time being, I hope it will be a relatively quiet one, with time for continued healing. Wishing you a great weekend, too!

Whimsical Kingdoms

10.16.15.1226
Lieutenant River ~ 10.16.15 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut

The theme of this year’s Wee Faerie Village at the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme is Whimsical Kingdoms. Last week Janet, Kathy and I visited and had a lovely morning and afternoon walking through the outdoor exhibit, enjoying the cool, crisp autumn air and fanciful creations.

I love this time of year! We stopped for lunch at the museum’s Café Flo, where the addition of a cup of warm apple cider was a most welcome pleasure.

This year I was particularly drawn to all the earth tones and textures in many of the fairy castles. But we were also lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a colorful fairy! Following are a few of my favorites…

10.16.15.1236
“Brave” by Kristin & Tom Vernon ~ 10.16.15 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.16.15.1277
“Whimsical Sugar Maple Castle” by Jared Welcome ~ 10.16.15 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut

Many years ago a sugar maple seedling twirled to the ground. Inside, a mighty tree hiding a faerie castle, hid inside. For seven and seventy years the tree grew tall, until the winds of Hurricane Sandy took its toll. It was time for the faerie tower to emerge. Coaxed out of hiding by chain saw and sander, this whimsical, yet sturdy castle “welcomes” all faeries fluttering down in search of shelter.
~ Wee Faerie Village: Whimsical Kingdoms

10.16.15.1300
“Sand Castle Extraordifaerie” by Greg J. Grady ~ 10.16.15 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.16.15.1311
“The Wizard King” by William Vollers ~ 10.16.15 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.16.15.1373
“Tiger Lily’s Village” by Madeline Kwasniewski & T. Arthur Donnally ~ 10.16.15 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.16.15.1400
“Thumbelina” by Nancy MacBride ~ 10.16.15 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.16.15.1421
autumn sky at Florence Griswold Museum ~ 10.16.15 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.16.15.1431
“The Woodland Faerie Kingdom of A Midsummer’s Night Dream” by Tammi Flynn, Cheryl Poirier & Lisa Reneson ~ 10.16.15 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.16.15.1462
“Jack & The Beanstalk” by Carol Hall-Jordan & Kathryn Stocking-Koza ~ 10.16.15 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.16.15.1467
“Jack & The Beanstalk” by Carol Hall-Jordan & Kathryn Stocking-Koza ~ 10.16.15 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.16.15.1473
“One Thousand & One Arabian Nights” by Pam Erickson & Sharon Didato ~ 10.16.15 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.16.15.1491
“Tower of Baubles” by Billie Tannen & Robert Nielsen ~ 10.16.15 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.16.15.1504
a Valkyrie hanging out in “Valhalla” by Amy Hannum & Laurie McGuinness ~ 10.16.15 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut

To view my pictures from past Wee Faerie Villages click on “Florence Griswold” in the categories below.

five years by the sea

"Incoming Tide, Scarboro Maine" by Winslow Homer
“Incoming Tide, Scarboro Maine” by Winslow Homer

Sssh says the ocean
Sssh says the small wave at the shore ~ sssh
not so violent, not
so proud, not
so remarkable.
Sssh
says the surf
crowding around the outcrops,
washing the shore. Sssh,
they say to people,
this is our Earth,
our eternity.
~ Rolf Jacobsen
(Night Open: Selected Poems of Rolf Jacobsen)

...Daddy concentrates, Katie hams it up for the camera...
…while her dad concentrates, Katie hams it up for the camera…

It’s hard to believe this little blog is five years old today! And it’s still a great pleasure, finding images and words to combine and share – I wonder if I will ever tire of it. More and more I am enjoying taking my own pictures, and am hoping to take some great ones when we go to Germany, Italy and Norway this spring. And of course, there will always be more pictures of precious Katie.

Since we are pretty cooped up in the condo because of frequent snowstorms with no melting in between, I’ve been making the best of it, watching Seasons 1 & 2 of Vikings on DVD in preparation for the start of Season 3, on Thor’s Day (Thursday) the 19th.

Thank you all my readers who have left such thoughtful comments over the years! Making friends with you in the blogosphere has enriched my life beyond measure!

delightful dots

1.17.15.2626
Katie and Barbara ~ 1.17.15 ~ Billerica, Massachusetts

Grandchildren are the dots that connect the lines from generation to generation.
~ Lois Wyse
(Funny, You Don’t Look Like a Grandmother)

a quiet moment with Grandpa
a quiet moment with Grandpa Tim ~ 1.17.15 ~ Billerica, Massachusetts

Saturday we spent the day north of Boston, visiting Katie, who was visiting some friends there with her mother. Katie the observer, she is definitely an observer, bright-eyed and curious. She had grown a lot in the month since we saw her last.

Things have been relatively quiet around here. We’ve postponed some plans because a few relatives and friends have caught that severe flu going around. I haven’t had the flu since 1988 and I hope to keep it that way! We get flu shots every year, but this strain mutated and this year’s vaccine is only about 33% effective.

And the nursing home where my aunt lives is under quarantine, because of the flu outbreak, which may interfere with our plans to celebrate her 100th birthday on the 30th. So far she hasn’t caught it.

happy child
happy Katie ~ 1.17.15 ~ Billerica, Massachusetts

Zoë, who normally has excellent litter box habits, got the trots. Poor thing was doing her best to get to the box on time but we had a day of cleaning up after her. She wouldn’t eat and she didn’t want to be around us, but she is now back to her hungry, sweet, affectionate self.

And so I am enjoying my winter rest, puttering around the house, watching the birds, wishing for a little more snow, pruning my family tree (still), and making travel plans. My eyes get very bleary reading these travel guides……

We find delight in the beauty and happiness of children that makes the heart too big for the body.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
(The Conduct of Life)

Steampunk’d Wonderland

10.28.14 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.28.14 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut

Some of my readers may remember back a couple of years ago when Janet, her mother and I went to the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme to see a fanciful outdoor exhibit, Wee Faerie Village: Land of Picture Making. And in 2011 the theme was fairy tale birdhouses, if I remember correctly. Last October I missed it but this year Janet and I had a chance to go again, this time bringing her friend Kathy, too. And this year the exhibit theme was Wee Faerie Village in a Steampunk’d Wonderland. As in Alice’s wonderland.

For those who don’t know what steampunk is – I didn’t and I had to look it up – it’s a genre of science fiction that typically features steam-powered machinery of the Victorian 19th century rather than advanced technology. Think Jules Verne.

Local artists are invited to create fairy-scaled installations on the museum grounds for the public to view during the month of October. On the left is one identified as Cheshire Cat Reappears by Robert Nielsen & Billie Tannen.

For some reason I wasn’t much in the mood for taking pictures, so I left my camera in the car, and used my cell phone to capture some of the more appealing creations. (I seem to have lost my Muchness!)

10.28.14 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
part of “Alice’s Celebration” by Dylan & Ted Gaffney ~ 10.28.14 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.28.14 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.28.14 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut

As we were wandering around Kathy happened to see something we hadn’t noticed before, a real live fairy! Her mother gave us permission to take her picture, after which the fairy scolded us and asserted that she wasn’t a real fairy. But we know better!

We enjoyed a leisurely stroll through the gardens, appreciating the lovely autumn weather and scenery. Lunch was very tasty at the Café Flo, where we dined outside and savored lingering in conversation on the terrace overlooking the Lieutenant River.

After we finished with the fairy village Kathy had to leave, so Janet and I checked out the indoor art exhibit, Life Stories in Art. We saw collections of the Tonalist and Impressionist paintings of Mary Rogers Williams (1857-1907), the intricate glass sculptures of Kari Russell-Pool (b. 1967), and the modern sculptures of Mary Lightfoot Tarleton Knollenberg (1904-1992).

10.28.14 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
“Anticipator” by Matthew Geller ~ 10.28.14 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
10.28.14 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut
part of “Alice’s Celebration” by Dylan & Ted Gaffney ~ 10.28.14 ~ Old Lyme, Connecticut