Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day...



Like most cemeteries, ours dates back to the Civil War.  Here we find our quiet heroes.  I've noticed that most veterans do not talk about their time in our country's service.  They are forthcoming only if prodded.  Today I walked up and down the rows of our local cemetery saying each veteran's name out loud knowing nobody has said most of their names for many years.

                 Charles H. Cooper - Died January 16, 1865 - Member Company H 2nd Regiment
                                                               United States Sharpshooters      

Sunday, May 30, 2010

A future vest...

This is what my beautiful roving becomes after a morning of spinning on the porch. 

First it was Tommy on the porch staining the new beadboard ceiling, then I joined him with my spinning wheel.  Before long our neighbors wandered over, sat on the floor and enjoyed some homemade cheese with fruit and crackers.  Life is good. 

Roving into yarn...





This is the beautiful roving I chose at the fiber festival yesterday.



Saturday, May 29, 2010

Three Bags Full...



Today was the Massachusetts Fiber Festival.  I was up early and hit the floor running, joining my friend, Lee and her daughter Andria for a play date.  We touched it all.  Every fiber known to man was beautifully displayed.  There were spinning wheels from around the world, looms, drop spindles of every size and color.  To say we were in a frenzy would be entirely correct.  The day was perfect, a slight breeze blowing, clouds to keep us cool.  Andria generously provided lunch and we found a nice, quiet spot to share it.  We topped off the trip home with ice cream on our chins.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Posting Miracles...

The miracle of flowers that God gives us everyday.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Spring Flowers...

There are so many flowers blooming on our old farmstead this time of year.  These azaleas have grown into trees and I wonder how many years they have been here.  There are three colors in this hedgerow.  We call them River Pinks but I have no idea why.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Meanwhile, back at the farm...

Its beautiful here in the Spring of the year.  That being said, its hard not to notice the survival tactics of all living things.  It just doesn't come easy on top of this mountain where the terrain and temperatures are harsh.  I have been trying to grow tomatoes for 15 years and yes I can grow green ones.  Most things need longer than our scant two months.  I accept this but never stop trying.  I guess these pansies are my shining example today.  

Sunday, May 23, 2010

S'mores....

These little goodies are aptly named.  The grandchildren joined us for dinner and a campfire last night.  It wasn't long before they were looking for the marshmallows and, "Grandma, can we make S'mores?"  You need two graham cracker squares, a perfectly toasted marshmallow, and a square of Hershey chocolate to make the perfect S'more.  The marshmallow squashes around the chocolate, melting it and the graham cracker has the perfect crunch.  And of course their comment always is, "Can we have S'more?"

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Fresh Air and Sunshine...

Is there anything more relaxing than sitting by a lake and watching the geese swim by?  We are fortunate and unfortunate to have four children in four states, and none in the state we live in.  This means, like Willy says, "On the road again..."  We spend our vacation time visiting our children and grandchildren and this allows us lots of lake side scenery in New York, Maine, Tennessee, and the Cape.  This campsite is our home away from home in New York.  It works out well, doesn't it?
Click on picture to see the geese.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Say Cheese...



This is my first attempt at making a mild cheddar.  I say mild because there is no way my Tommy is going to let this age for longer than a week.
On the left is a picture of the curds and whey, yes just like the children's story.  On the right is the finished, pressed cheese.  My plan is to make this everyday, then maybe some of it will get a chance to age.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Check it out...

Look who visited me this morning.  Its an Indigo Bunting.

Cool Facts:
                                                

•The Indigo Bunting migrates at night, using the stars for guidance. It learns its orientation to the night sky from its experience as a young bird observing the stars.


•Experienced adult Indigo Buntings can return to their previous breeding sites when held captive during the winter and released far from their normal wintering area.

•The sequences of notes in Indigo Bunting songs are unique to local neighborhoods. Males a few hundred meters apart generally have different songs. Males on neighboring territories often have the same or nearly identical songs.

I have only seen one other on our property and that was about ten years ago in an old apple tree.  I'm not sure where there territory is but they are not common in Vermont to my knowledge.



 

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday and Church...

All the earth shall worship you and sing of your glories.
Psalm 66:4

Sunday has always meant church to me.  As a small child I attended a Baptist church, as a teen I went to a Methodist church (being that was where all of my friends attended), and as a young adult I took my family to a Nazarene church.  Early in my life I didn't give any thought to which church I attended.  It was more about putting your feet on the floor and moving in the direction of church because it was Sunday.  I see nothing wrong with this thinking pattern.  It requires discipline of character to recognize God's law as such, the seventh day is set aside for worship and rest.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Fiberfest...




What mother wouldn't love that face?


Today was the annual fiber festival in Jamaica, VT.  It was another sunny, cold day in Vermont, exactly perfect for a fiber festival.  I am always in the mood for any kind of street fair.  I regretted not inviting my family to join me this weekend.  There was the usual sheep shearing exhibition, always fun for children to watch.  My g,g,daughter would have loved it.  And my neice, Christie, would have been in her usual overstimulated state with all of these beautiful colors of wool to play with.  The last time she visited me, we made drop spindles and spent an evening learning to spin while watching a movie.  There was lots of laughter as our spindles dropped on the floor.  Life is made up of moments, special moments we remember when we need a smile.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spring cookies...


Spring is rhubarb season on the farm.  After a long, snowy winter farmers are always excited for the first fruit of the season.  I found this cookie recipe in an old cookbook and thought I would share it with all of you rhubarb lovers out there:

Rhubarb-Filled Cookies:

1 Cup Butter, softened
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup packed brown sugar
4 Eggs
4-1/2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 Teaspoon Pure Vanilla

Filling:

3-1/2 Cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb, thawed
1-1/2 Cups Sugar
6 Tablespoons water, divided
1/4 Cup cornstarch
1 Teaspoon Vanilla

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; graduually add to creamed mixture and mix well (dough will be sticky).
   For filling, combine the rhubarb, sugar and 2 tablespoons water in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring requently.  Combine cornstarch and remaining water until smooth.  Stir into rhubarb mixture.  Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat; stir in vanilla.
   Drop dough by tablespoons 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets.  Using the end of a wooden spoon handle, make an indentation in the center of each cookie; fill with a rounded teaspoon of filling.  Top with 1/2 teaspoon of dough, allowing some filling to show.  Bake at 375 degrees for 8 - 10 minutes.  Yield: about 4 1/2 dozen delicious cookies.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Turkey Dinner?


My visitor this morning was a wild turkey.  Well, I don't know how wild they are.  They stroll around my backyard most days.  My bird feeders are low enough that they could eat directly from them.  Do they do that?  No.  Even as the bird feeder smacks them in the head, they don't figure it out.  Pecking on the ground only is their modus operandi.  They keep me watching, though, hoping one day to see a smarter turkey.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Yay May...

As I was walking through the grass this morning, low and behold the beauty of spring in Vermont.  This is an annual treat for me.  God plants them, waters them, and sews more seeds for next year. 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Moms...


We all have one.  So many moms.  Some raise their children alone.  Some give their children away.  Some tragicly lose a child along the way.  Some give all the monetary things they never had growing up.  There is no right or wrong way to be a mom, the are lots of books on the subject but no real training beforehand. 

I was a teenage mom.  One day there she was, my daughter, tiny, looking up at me.  Expecting what?  I knew exactly nothing.  Whose bright idea was this?  We bumbled through.  Two years later there was a son looking up at me.  Then two more.  Still, what did I know? 

Now that I am old and wise, I know they were my greatest gifts, my inspiration, my heroes.  They come to me...for advice...just to listen...for encouragement, for praise.  And everyday they give me back...their magic.     

Friday, May 7, 2010

Wanders North...


Home...and my bed.  At last.  Summer should be fun.  I am looking forward to lots of camping trips with my kids, gardening, and right now, jumping under that quilt.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

One last day...


She is my reason to smile today.  There are times when I think I am the luckiest person in the world and there are times when I know it.  So one last day on Cape Cod meant one more walk on the beach.  And a beautiful, sunny, day it was.  She found two pieces of beach glass and I found one.  We had Skylar, Julie, and Sadie with us.  And tomorrow I wander north.   

The Wonders of Spring


My camera has been pointing every which way this spring.  There is no accounting for it.  I found these flowers on an old farm homestead belonging to my brother-in-law.  His farm is a feast for the eyes (and the camera) this time of year.  I wonder what these flowers are.  Does anybody know?

As as child I was lucky to grow up in the country and I remember everything wild growing everywhere, some things climbing up the side of the garage.  Hollyhocks were my favorite.  I have planted them on my farm in Vermont every year and they always meet with disaster.  Are some things just meant for childhood?  Is it a sin to covet the past?  And aren't I full of questions today?  Enough.

Today is my last day on the Cape until August.  My big plan for the day is to watch my great granddaughter, Skylar, run amuck on the beach at Linnell.  I always say, "Skylar, don't get your feet wet, its too cold!"  Yeah, right.

Monday, May 3, 2010

And so on...


And so on...and so on...I cannot resist the beach this time of year.  I have two more days here before I return to Vermont for the summer.  As much as I love the Cape, I don't love it in the summer.  Do you see any people in this picture?   This land is as it was a hundred years ago.  It is not unusual to walk the beach and not see a sole.  Sometimes my husband comes looking for me as I never know enough to go home and he truly wonders where I am.  Mostly I am just sitting on a rock looking at everything and nothing.  In the dead of winter, no kidding, I will sit there forever. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

17th Wedding Anniversary...





This year we decided to celebrate our anniversary one day late so I could attend a memorial service for a friend.

We started today on a beach run to check out erosion damage from last winter.  This is Saint's Landing beach. It is named after a very close friend's family.  She grew up here and played on this beach daily.  There was not one single person on the beach today.  No damage here.

We went to Paine's Creek next and did find some beach wash-away there, chunks of the parking lot were upturned and sand barriers had been built as a protection from the winter's high tides.  Next we headed down 6A to the Brewster Store to take a look at a slide show we heard about. It was pretty neat with pictures of the store's history from its beginning.  It was built in 1862 as a church but was sold one year later and since then it has been a general store.  Then along came the parade and we skipped up 124 and out of Brewster vowing to continue our beach erosion hunt another day.


Then home to shower and change for dinner.  We celebrated at the Bramble Inn.  It was fun to share an appetizer of grilled scallops with watercress salad.  For our entres I chose,
Lobster & Chicken
Parchment roasted boneless breast of “Free Bird” organic chicken,
lazy N.E. cold water lobster, champagne & lobster sauce, buttermilk whipped potatoe
and for Tom, Rack of Lamb…
Three chops from the rack, cabernet rosemary sauce,
baked potato cauliflower gratinee and as if this is not enough, we shared a slice of flourless chocolate cake with mocha cream sauce. 
If you are ever on the Cape, I highly recommend their wonderful, romantic, and relaxing atmosphere.

http://www.brambleinn.com/








 

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Brewster In Bloom...

"Daffodil Days" in Brewster began in 1986, the year I moved to the Cape with my two sons.  This idea began with Faith Dibble, a long time Brewster resident, and at its inception was aimed at drawing tourists to Brewster.  She and her husband Bob owned the Brewster Store at that time.  Faith gained the support of other residents and together they planted thousands of daffodils along historic Route 6A.  Two years later Daffodil Days became Brewster In Bloom, a two day festival complete with antique show, craft fair, and ending with a parade through town.  It is always held the first weekend in May.  Faith Dibble's memorial service was this evening, May 1, 2010.

On May 1, 1993, Tommy and I were married during the Daffodil Festival in Brewster on Tubman Road at the Old Glory Homestead.  That day was the beginning of 17 (so far) happy years.  Today began dark and cloudy just as it did 17 years ago; then the sun broke through just as it did on my wedding day in time for our ceremony to be held outside.  It is a day of celebration for us and today especially for Faith.