Welcome, Autumn!

The first few weeks of autumn in our little state actually felt like long-lost summer days, hot and steamy like Florida. Summer hung on as Mother Nature  didn’t get the memo to transition into cooling autumn. Muggy days with temperatures in the 80’s hung thick over us, making our clothes stick to our skin. Many days when I hit the pavement, sweat poured from every pore and even though I welcome summer weather, I truly set my hopes for fall.

 

 

 

Finally weeks later it feels that fall has rushed in with a swoop of cool air accompanied with sunny and pleasant days. Most nights we have to close our windows , as the air cools right down in the 40’s and 50’s. My favorite part of the evening is when Tom lights our trusty stove. The mesmerizing scent of smoke wafts in the livingroom and the crisp smell of burned wood reminds me of my childhood years of fireplace and stove fires. Orange licks of flames shine through the stove window and I thank God that we have heat and can be cozy and warm because of it. Our cats appreciate the comfort of the hearth and soak in the heat, as their tails flick back and forth.

 

Our neighborhood during autumn.

 

 

 

 

 

Like many New Hampshire residents, I welcome autumn days. There’s something  exceptional about mustard golds, pinks, reds, and peach leaves hanging on the trees and falling with gentle breezes. The mountainous landscape becomes a natural canvas for all to gawk at and feel the immediate tranquility. Warm yet mild days give way to apple picking, pumpkin searching, football games and gathering up leaves for the jump in contest. Plummets of fall smoke fills the air, brush fires, bon fires, wood stoves crank up the heat while little critters prepare for the coming days of winter. The cool night air feels like luxury to your skin, kissing you with pleasant tingles.

 

 

 

It seems that the colors emerged earlier this year, sometime in early September. I enjoyed them but visioned immense foliage displays this month. I believe the hot days have lessened the pop and without those cold temperatures, I noticed the colors were muted and less this year. As we are immersed in late October, foliage has passed on. Despite this truth, the piles of beautiful leaves, pumpkins and scarecrows perched on porches remind me that autumn is here, my favorite time of the year!

 

 

 

Wherever you may be, notice the significant changes of season. Maybe you didn’t have foliage where you are…perhaps it’s a subtle change of temperature or lessening of the tourist deluge. A new season is a perfect time to indulge in your local foods and products. Here in the north country, apple cider is available as well as glowing orange pumpkins in farmer’s fields. Crafters set up at local fall sales as visions of upcoming holidays dance in our thoughts.

 

 

 

Embrace a new chapter in this change of season. This shift in time truly is a gift to cherish, a subtle reminder that there’s a time and place for everything. This can be your time to explore. Why not visit a new local venue or hike a trail you always have meant to? Whatever you decide to do, live in the moment and use your senses to indulge. What do you see with beckoning eyes and not a cell phone picture? What pleasant scents  appeal to you? Do you hear noises that become peaceful memories? How about touch…do you feel the rough bark of a nearby tree or the bumpy pumpkin skins on display? If you focus on the experience with your senses, it will be a warm memory to hold on to.

 

 

Happy Autumn days to all! What are your favorite fall moments?

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤️

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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” A Blast from the Past”

This post is dedicated to all classic car enthusiasts who long for the thrill of restoring a gem to what it once was. 

 

 

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A look at Gary’s gem, a 1965 Chevy Impala SS with a 4 speed.

 

 

 

Spontaneity is the spice of life, don’t you agree? With that said, much of my adult life has been just the opposite. I plan, plan, plan and Tom goes along with it and in the end, we always have fun on our little excursions. About a month ago my son’s girlfriend  Alexis asked us  if we wished to go to a car cruise with them on Saturday afternoon. It was a work of spontaneity and fun! We were excited to jump on board, but didn’t know what to expect, only that there would be classic cars involved.

 

 

 

Gary Schoolcraft, a long time resident of beautiful Peacham, Vermont is the event’s organizer. Lexie knows him and his wife, Claudette and introduced us to him. Gary is generous enough to share his classic car , with Dylan and Lexie, letting them take it for weekends and such. This time he let Dylan drive the 1965 Chevy Impala while Alexis sat in the front seat and Tom and I lounged in the back. The weekend event was another fun excuse to dive back in time. Tom and I wish to thank Alexis and Dylan for asking us to tag along. We also want to thank Gary for his hospitality and making us feel welcome during the ride.

 

 

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This was the poster generated for the event.

 

 

 

The gorgeous 1965 Chevy Impala SS has a 396 engine with a four speed. This red as an apple beauty is completely original including the paint. The interior is a shiny red and sparkling. It rides comfortably and purrs like a kitten.

 

 

I thought of what a beautiful outing this was , as we perched on the vinyl seats with windows wide open to fresh Vermont air. The rushing air through the open window was exhilarating while it caressed my thick locks of hair. What’s the sense in taking a thrill ride  without letting everything flutter in the breeze?

 

 

While we waited for other  cars and their owners, we surveyed the vehicles before us in the blazing heat. The sweltering sun cooked up a hot steamy September day. After about 15 cars arrived at the first stop, we were all on our cruise down route 5 to the next stop, Wells River, Vermont. There many other classic cars  roared in, jumping in line for the parade of sorts.

 

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This is the car that Gary drove, a 1974 Corvette with a 454, a 4 speed. Pretty sharp!

 

 

Passing by little towns like Bradford and Fairlee, we saw people waving and smiling widely. I guess you don’t see classic cars like these everyday and it’s always a joy to be launched back in time! Our last stop before the drive-in movie was at Wings Market in Fairlee where we all parked askew all over the parking lot and raided the ice cream stand. As the line snaked out and people laughed while waiting , a familiar voice came from the crowd. Our nephew, Luke was there! What a coincidence…Luke was driving his friend’s classic car and spotted us in line. You never really know who you will bump into on a given adventure!

 

 

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Another beauty with on lookers including Alexis, Tom and Dylan.

 

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Dylan drove the Chevy Impala for the day. He was an outstanding chauffeur!

 

Arriving at the Fairlee drive-in I experienced a bit of nostalgia from my childhood. My parents and one time my brothers brought my sister and I to the drive-in to see movies. Back then they sold the mosquito coil that you would burn on your dash but they would end up scorching holes in it. The smoke would fill up the car and  yet the mosquitoes still were attracted to us. We would take the old metal speaker and latch it on the windows to hear the show. Now they give you the radio station to tune in to, to hear the audio.

 

 

All the classic cars paraded into the drive-in of all colors and makes. I would guess that maybe 40 or 50 cars were there. You could hear people visiting and laughing and engines roaring in, to celebrate days of old. After a quick dinner of hamburgers and soft drinks, it was time to settle in for the movie. While Dylan and Alexis sat in the front, Tom and I sat like two teenagers in the back in luxury.

 

It was so much fun seeing the movie with the kids and experiencing this day with them. It felt like we were immersed in a time capsule and thrust back to the 60’s for one special day. Riding in such a beauty was a magical experience but what really topped it off was to be surrounded by the nicest people! All the crowd had one thing in common….a desire to gawk at all the amazing automobiles and honor all the work and sweat poured into each frame.

 

 

 

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It was getting dark and we were ready for the movie, American Graffiti. 

 

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul

Mary

 

 

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The Early Days of August

A front view of our home this summer

 

 

It’s hard to believe that here we are, emerged in August! June and July have hurried by and left behind much rain. Summer days  of indulging in iced tea and watching flowers grow have commenced. August brings  steamy yet comfortable temperatures in the 80’s and relaxing breezes in our humble town. Flowers have bloomed and brought vivid colors to yards. The rich green grass is soft to my barefeet and cool to the touch.

 

 

It’s been awhile since I updated you all on our renovation and building projects. Some of you may remember my post last summer of my husband building his beautiful garage/barn. It’s pretty much finished besides pouring a cement floor and we need to purchase two industrial sized doors. We feel very proud of this structure and by chance it’s foundation is built where the old barn stood many years ago. This was done by  accident, for we didn’t know, but what a wonderful coincidence, don’t you think?

 

A look at the garage last summer. Isn’t it spectacular?

 

 

This summer Tom has started siding our house with cedar shingles. This is where we tore down an attached shed, leaving original clapboard ( not in the best shape) and unfinished work and insulation from many years ago before we were owners. I feel like I should help but I’m not too confident of using the nailgun. I hand him the shingles, alternating between fat sturdy pieces and the thinner shingles and of course I gab the whole time to keep him company. Tom was smart enough to keep the awning up to keep him out of the sun and rain. Eventually we can enjoy that side of the house with light brown shingles and a new window installed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer is the one of the best times to create new gardens. Tom helped me dig out a space in the corner of our house facing the diningroom and the kitchen. I planted little purple coneflowers which hopefully will rise towards the sun in magnificent height. To compliment that color, I included coreopsis with a warm yellow glow. While it’s pretty much done, I have a few finishing touches like the gorgeous bird bath my niece made and wait until you see what it’s made from! But that post will come later so be looking for it in a week or two.

 

 

 

August not only brings warm pleasant temperatures, but family! Tom’s mother, Theo, has visited all the long way from Lake Wales, Florida. She arrived last week with Tom’s sister Pam and her husband Jim. After a long tedious day of traveling, I served my chili for dinner. It was a little different than what I usually concoct because at the last minute I added garden zucchini and I think that was a great decision!

 

We’ve spent the week talking, eating wonderful meals and  enjoying the outside with walks(one walk through our town took 4 hours and about 6 miles). We also visited Tom’s sister Bev and her husband Chris last weekend in Easthampton, Massachusetts. It was a great drive down on 91 and the trip was a little under three hours. Bev and Chris are immersed in a challenging renovation project, a huge three story home on a quaint small town street. They are restoring it to its original state, which takes time and patience. They reside upstairs and eventually they will rent the bottom half to responsible renters. I look forward to seeing their progress the next time we visit.

 

During our weekend we explored the bike path on that area, walking in shady and sunny parts and met the nicest people. Bev pointed out how many dads walk their children there and we saw families taking advantage of the trail. Bev served us scrumptious scallops and a lovely hearty breakfast of blueberry oat pancakes. It was special spending time with Bev, Chris ( I love how he laughs at my jokes, one of the few), my niece Michele and of course Theo. It was a magical weekend and I didn’t want to say goodbye but I was itching to hit the road and make the trip up 91 to home.

 

As August has started, the summer clock is ticking away and I glance now and then at the calendar. I believe that I have to be back at school in three weeks. But as the clock continues to tick outrageously fast, I intend to savor the rest of the summer and welcome what happens in those days.

Theo, my mother in law and my husband Tom, after a long day of work for him.

Theo and I are camping in a cabin at a campground north of us for about five days. In that time I won’t be posting or responding to comments but I will rejoin you all when I get back home. I’ll be sure to jot down notes and take pictures of my adventures. Blessings to you all and your families.

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

Happy Fourth of July!

 

Good Morning to you all from the far north of the United States, just a day before our Fourth of July celebration. As a younger girl this holiday meant family cook-outs, festive fireworks displays, watermelon, outside games and swimming and the start of the fun summer season. As I age with a grown family and I’ve seen a little bit of the world, I recognize the true significance of this day in this country. It’s a day of remembrance of when our forefathers came together as one and created this special nation independent of Great Britain and the King. It’s time for Americans to salute the old glory of stars and stripes and pay homage to this great nation!

 

 

 

 

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The Stars and Stripes

 

 

 

I have to dive into politics and recent criticisms of our President momentarily because  I’ve been really discouraged and truthfully, pretty embarrassed while watching all the news of him.  Despite this, four years passes by quickly (let’s hope) and hopefully our people will pick a stronger and honorable leader, someone capable of leading our great nation. Whatever circus is churning and scandals that arise, our country is still beautiful and we experience precious freedom that many around the world just don’t have. Many countries are jealous of what we have and terrorists praise the divisions that exist right now, especially between Democrats and Republicans. This is when we should push our differences aside and get the work done for all of us.

 

 

Tomorrow our family will have a quiet cook out in our yard with hummingbirds racing from flower to flower and hopefully some well needed sunshine to warm our souls. Later we may hit the fireworks not far away and see all the blazing color light up the night. It’s a restful and low key day without the hoopla of big parties or parades, but that’s what we desire and enjoy.

 

 

As we indulge in these little celebrations, I’ll be thankful for my freedoms and put politics aside for a day or two.  This land continues to be my forever home and as an American, I salute all the active and past troops that have defended our great country!

 

To my fellow bloggers, happy writing and have a joyous week! To fellow Americans, I hope you all have a festive and safe Fourth of July!

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

 

 

 

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Tom grilling last year and this year we’re doing a beer can chicken on the grill! Talk about a redneck picnic!

Tall Pine

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A side glance at tall pine to the right during the fall season. 
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Tall pine thriving during a snow storm. What a beauty!

 

 

Tall pine majestically towers over our yard

magically scattering pine needles upon the grass and in the garden.

It’s the last of the neighborhood kind…

except one other

several hundred feet up the road.

Perhaps it’s guarded for a hundred years

and seen families come and go!

If it could murmur our stories

what would it share of us all?

It’s weathered the storms and treacherous winds,

constantly shedding limbs but still remains mighty!

In spring and summer it scatters needles here and there.

Bold frosty winter coaxes pine to  rest

as it holds heaps of snow

upon its branches.

 

Our home was once called ” the Pines” ,

where these giant trees encompassed the acres,

four bold beauties just in our front view.

 

Will Tall Pine remain while we live and love here?

Will it be struck down in front

of our bewildered eyes?

We just don’t know it’s fate!

In the meantime we look up at it

and revel in it’s enormous beauty and stature.

It deserves this place,

a sacred spot on our land

and in our hearts.

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

 

 

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The Jubilant Days of June

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A little Goose family trekking along the town cemetery

 

 

In the jubilant days of June…

I awake to spreading goosebumps

and a chill from cool

and refreshing morning air.

Little enchanting birds

sing their triumphant

melody in tandem.

Their familiar sing song stirs

my rising soul.

A pleasant wake up call

simply soothes.

No shocking alarm clock

this morning!

Thank goodness

for nature’s peace!

 

 

 

A family of geese waddle

along the cemetery green,

parading proudly and always

together.

Suddenly the  mesmerizing sun

glows amid the clouds

and I whisper,

“Welcome back dear old

Sunshine!”

“Please stay awhile!”

 

Long lost winter dreams

melt away with the sun,

as picnics and bare feet

take over.

The jubilant days of June….

must linger and stay.

That’s my wish!

 I  cherish all of its gifts 

with a contented sigh.

 

 

All My Best,

Heart and Soul ❤

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Woodsy Neighbors in Spring

 

 

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An early morning presents nature at it’s best,

with my cup of coffee and quiet moments.

Frosty air and clear skies welcome wild

encounters.

Proud and skittish deer skirt the woods edge.

I notice that something lures them closer to the road.

It’s salt that the plow trucks scattered and

they lick it cautiously and look up now and then.

A gray squirrel performs a trapeze act in the nearest tree.

Mysterious tracks were left in the

depths of night.

A fox, perhaps?

 

 

Hilarious turkey theatrics

amuse as the Tom fans his goods

and courts all the surrounding hens.

Chickadee birds flutter and tweet, a song dear to my heart.

All the woodsy neighbors politely co- existing,

share the space with respect

and love for our home.

Upon watching these creatures’ presence

I am simply amazed!

With this week’s sporadic rain showers

and a dampness in the air,

snow piles are shrinking and brown grass

becomes uncovered.

Waiting for heavenly rich green grasses,  

this morn I spied my first robin

on the lawn!

A sure sign of spring!

 

What spring signs are you seeing now?

 

All My Best,

 

Heart and Soul

 

 

 

 

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