Visit to the Museum of Fine Arts

Today we took our guest to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Here are some of the highlights from our visit:

The new cafe area, a great place for just hanging out, was dominated by this enormous, green glass sculpture. We estimate it was about 30-ft. tall.

Colette and her friend spent much time in the European Art galleries, where Colette snapped this picture.

We were thrilled to visit the newly expanded American art wing to the MFA. It’s so much bigger and houses so many more exhibits than it used to. The girls pose beneath a doorway from an old New England home.

She was tickled to see this portrait of one of her heroes (and mine), John Adams.

Colette dwarfed by the painting of Washington crossing the Delaware.

Silver made by Paul Revere!

A beautiful antique gown (and equally beautiful necklace) from the early 1800′s.

These portraits were of a married couple, and captivated me with their kind faces.

A close-up vignette from a larger portrait.

Another of my favorite paintings of the day.

Felicity, Colette, and Theo take a break (near the green, pointy glass thing).

By far, my favorite work of art of the day was this little, cheerful guy! It was his first visit to an art museum. He liked it!

Sabbath Rest

Saturday night's sunset.
"The Mighty One, God, the Lord,
speaks and summons the earth
from the rising of the sun to where it sets."

- Ps. 50:1

Fun with a Guest

I’ve been an absent blogger for a few days (and likely for the next week or so) as Colette has a friend visiting, and we are having just too much fun!

Today, we drove over to Vermont, and the kids all hiked the Quechee Gorge (pronounced Kwee-chee). Getting ready to start out on their hike.

The gorge is known as “the Grand Canyon of New England”.

While it’s beautifully impressive, I can’t help but think that whoever gave it that name never saw the real Grand Canyon. But, beautiful it is!

As we were looking out at the gorge from the vantage point of the bridge, I pointed and said, “Oh look! There are people out there on that point!” And then I zoomed in with my big lens and said, “OH! Those are OUR people!” Their red, blue, and green shirts made them easy to identify. They spent their time down their skipping stones across the calm river.

Then we went to the Cabot Creamery shop for a little cheese tasting, and had a picnic dinner sitting here, on their front porch.

Then we moved on to Hanover, NH for a visit to Morano Gelato, said to be “the best gelato in America”. The girls heartily agree!

I chose that dark chocolate gelato. Yum! So custard-y and smooth, and not as heavy and filling as ice cream.

Our guest enjoyed her cone with a scoop of a coffee-flavored gelato and a scoop of hazelnut. That’s an Italian wafer cone…less sweet than a waffle cone, slightly thick, and very wafer-like.

Fun day!


It's (almost) summertime, and the living is easy.

Max has discovered reading in the hammock makes reading more fun! I’m happy because he’s actually reading! Win, win!

Sabbath Rest

One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.

- Psalm 27:4

Saturday Accompliished

I love Saturdays when we’re all busy getting things done! They are immensely satisfying.

Collectively, this is what we accomplished today:

- First day of the farmers’ market season and Colette sold out! Sold out with more than an hour to spare!
- Many plants that I’ve been searching for were all located at one stop today and purchased.
- A very nice birthday present for a friend was found and purchased.
- The lawn was mowed.
-Trash was taken to the dump.
- New plantings went into the front flower bed: two yellow yarrow, three black-eyed Susans, and three blue salvia.
- The deck railing was power washed, all its mossy crevases were scrubbed with a solution of bleach and water, and it was rinsed. Looks brand new now!
- The hammock was hung. Hello summer!
- The pansies in the urns on the front porch were replaced with a palate of red, white, and blue: coneflowers (blue), lobelia (white and blue), climbing vinca (pale green tinged with white), and volcano coleus (red).
- The perimemeter of the house was sprayed for bugs…keeps the spiders at bay.
- The house was swept. Vaccuming was done.
- A pot was prepared for the deck with: pink cosmos (probably not ideal for a pot, but oh well), white lobelia, sage, and thyme.
- The dead basil on the kitchen windowsill was replaced with a rosemary. (My skill with houseplants leaves much to be desired.)
- And last, but certainly not least, Technohubby installed a flag pole holder on the outside of the house! We’ve been wanting to do this for so long, and I’m just thrilled that it’s up in time for summer!

We ended the day with hot dogs from the grill, fruit salad, and potato chips. And we’re topping that off with a movie, and the tired satisfaction that comes from hard work.

Spring Cleaning the Pantry

After we moved to New Hampshire, we looked at a lot of different houses before we found “the one”. When our realtor showed us this one, we walked in the front door, and the girls pointed to the distinctive mouldings around the doorways and windows, and looked at me with thrilled looks on their faces. We all noted with delight the black hardware on all the doors. Nice paneling in the formal dining room. We wandered into the family room…good size. We glanced at the kitchen…just a shell then. The girls moved beyond to the next door, took one look, and Colette turned around and said to me, “Mom, don’t scream.” I knew what it had to be…a walk-in pantry! A walk-in pantry like my grandparents’ pantry that I had fallen in love with so many years ago! I think the house was sold at the first glance at that pantry!

“Slow but sure wins the race.” That’s been my motto with spring cleaning this year. It’s nearly done. I’m not quite sure if I feel exhausted or exultant. Last week I decided to tackle the pantry. Technohubby said, “That will take two days.” I thought he was being sarcastic. Turns out he was decidedly accurate. Even though I’ve done lots of tidying of the pantry in the past, this time it needed a comlete reorganization.

I started small. Just inside the door, hung vertically, is an old wooden crate. I started there. I love this crate and the things it houses, because tasty, homemade goodness comes from them. There is ground sage, dried basil, and dried oregano from our garden. There are bay leaves lovingly sent to me from a friend whenever I’m in need. (Her bay tree thrives! I killed mine.) There’s citric acid and cheese salt for cheesemaking. And there’s star anise and large cinnamon sticks that I purchase whenever I can find a bargain on them. The star anise were a purchase of a cheaper Mexican spice company on my last trip to southern California. And the cinnamon sticks were a steal at a Mennonite grocery store in Amish country (just barely over $2.00 for enough sticks to fill a quart canning jar!

All the jars were dusted and the crate was re-filled. Those are our hand-dipped beeswax candles hanging there too!

Then it was time to think big and turn my attention to the rest of the room. Almost everything moved out. I have plans for this room someday. I’d like 18th century-style adjustable, open shelves on one wall. (I even took a photograph of exactly what I want while on a visit to Mystic Seaport once.) And I’d like a free-standing colonial cupboard on another. And I’d like a couple of small work tables, and a wooden bar hanging from the ceiling with hooks for hanging baskets. But those are plans for another time. Cleaning was the task at hand.

The pantry measures 5′ x 9′. What a load of goods a small room can hold! I had NO idea! Everything moved out and into the kitchen. Needless to say, we were unable to eat dinner at the kitchen table that night…or breakfast there the next morning.

Everything was dusted, thrown out, consolidated, and reorganized. I tried to purge my pantry of plastic many years ago (the blue-lidded plastic pieces seen above belong to Colette’s business). I love how it all looks when everything is stored in glass, wood, ceramic, and baskets! Baskets are great for holding: all our stainless steel water bottles, canning supplies, mixes, flavorings and food coloring, cookie cutters, onions, garlic, potatoes, and more. Voila! The newly reorganized pantry!

I created one area I thought would delight Colette and Max…a hot cocoa station….everything you need: cocoa mixes, cocoa in a shaker for sprinkling, flavored syrups! Yum!

Sorting through everything really made me realize how depleted I’ve allowed our basic pantry staples to become. Time to start stocking up! For Pete’s sake, even the chocolate chip cannister is empty!

Pantry Memories

I have a lot of memories associated with my grandparents’ house. I remember sitting, in my church clothes on Sundays, on their copper penny-colored couch and tracing the pattern on the couch upholstery with my fingertips. (I think that may be where my life-long love of damask began.) I remember the giant keyholes in their doors, and just like in the movies, you could spy on people by peering through them. I remember watching endlessly for the cookoo bird to come out of the clock and cookoo…the thrill of any Sunday! I remember the glycerin soap in the bathroom. I remember fingering the pretty silver mirror on my great-grandmother’s dressing table. (The mirror, dressing table, and cookoo clock are all treasures in our home now.) I remember great fun with my dad and Gramps and a pellet gun, shooting tin cans. I remember the heavenly scent of orange blossoms, as their home was surrounded by orange groves. I rememeber the scary black fan that sat on the living room floor (with only two thin blade guards) and whirred and whirred to keep us cool on hot Sundays. I remember being afraid, when my Grandma hugged me, that I would get stuck by the straight pins that pinned her apron bodice to her dress. (I never got stuck, but I worried about it each time.) I remember the brown ceramic cookie jar filled (hopefully!) with my Grandma’s chocolate cookies. I remember big Sunday dinners. I remember Waldorf salad. I remember the scary oil furnace that sat directly behind my chair at the dining table, and whose flames could be seen flickering brightly through the glass of its port hole-like opening. I remember the sound of avocados hitting the roof from the huge avocado tree next to the house. I remember the pink camelias that grew on either side of the front porch. I remember helping wash silverware…people were dishwashers then! And I remember the delightful smell of leather that hung in the air, wafting from my Gramps’ leather shop.

But one of my favorite memories is of the pantry! My Grandma had a walk-in pantry. I’m sure I can’t recall with any clarity the size of it, but it seems that it might’ve been about 5-feet square. It had a small window up high on the back wall, and the walls were surrounded with shelves. I remember crocks sitting about on the floor. And I distinctly remember always peering to see the mouse traps that were nestled behind the crocks…always dreading the possibility of finding a dead mouse in one. Never did. One of the benefits to me of helping dry the silverware or helping with dinner was the opportunity it afforded to go stand in the pantry for a few moments when I wasn’t needed. I loved to just stand there. Just stand there and look at all the food on the shelves. It all looked so tidy and clean and thoughtful.

My life-long love of pantries began there, on Sundays.

Spring Blooms

The flowers in the garden seem to have bloomed in particularly beautiful fashion this springtime. Here’s a glimpse at them in all their flowery splendor!

Sabbath Rest

"Crown Him the Lord of years, the Potentate of time,
Creator of the rolling spheres, ineffably sublime.
All hail, Redeemer, hail! For Thou has died for me;
Thy praise and glory shall not fail throughout eternity."

-Matthew Bridges

Delicate Find

For some time now, I’ve been keeping my eye open for a pretty piece of black lace to wear as a scarf. And recently I found this one in an antique store.

The pattern tells me that it’s not really old. But the feel of the lace tells me it might be. It’s so delicate! I think I could gather the whole five feet of scarf up and hold it in the palm of my hand. It’s going to feel like wearing a scarf of gossamer!

Deliciousness Twice

Colette made a delicious dinner last Sunday! Mmmm! It was the Barefoot Contessa’s Lemon Thyme Chicken, and it made a fabulous Sunday dinner! Click here for the recipe.

I purposely saved about one-fourth of my chicken breast for lunch the next day. Field greens, chicken, strawberries, blueberries, pecans and a raspberry-balsamic dressing made a beautiful, tasty, and healthy lunch! Deliciousness twice!

A Joyous Wedding

Last Friday, we attended the wedding of a young couple from our church. What a joyful celebration! The couple is very fond of the outdoors, so the wedding had a fresh, mountain-sort of theme and look. Very lovely! Here are a few photos of their beautiful day!

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