After the Storm

Well, Hurricane Sandy packed quite a punch! We are, just tonight, getting our first look (on television) at the damage in New Jersey and New York. Oh my! What devastation! Our hearts and prayers go out to those whose lives have been impacted so severely.

I was certainly thankful we were no closer than we were to the center of the storm! While we only received 3 1/2″ of rain from Sandy, we had winds just as fierce as any we’ve heard roar around the corners of our home before this. We lost four very small birch trees. And we lost power, telephone, internet, and television from about 3:00 Monday until 7:00 p.m. tonight (Wednesday).

The morning after the storm, this is the sky I awakened to.

About twenty minutes later, it was raining steadily again. We ate breakfast by the light of the oil lamp.

Later that day, curious to see what the world around us looked like, I ventured forth to town to run an errand and snap some pictures. Near our home there had been a tumble-down shack. Now it is simply a shack that’s tumbled down!

And just down the road, I found this old, rotted tree that had split apart in the storm.

En route to town, I saw this. The big pines are so quick to fall over in high winds as they are very shallow rooted and dense, so the wind does not go through them very easily.

Coming home via a different route, I found the road up towards our home closed. Ahh…that might explain our power outage. That large pine tree is only held up by the power lines on which it is snagged.

We are very thankful for so little damage and the minor inconvenience of no power.

Preparing for the Storm

We are preparing for the BIG STORM here! Actually, in New England, we’re not expecting it to be too much…a little rain and some wind. But preparations are prudent just the same!

The deck looks kind of sad and lonely. All the chairs, the table, and the umbrella were put away today. That needed to happen for winter anyway, but the BIG STORM just forced us to do it a bit earlier than planned.

The oil lamps, my antique store purchase from a month or so ago, have new wicking and are filled with lamp oil now.

A trip to town was made to get gas for the generator. Got chocolate too! All set!

Costume Exhibit

A few weeks ago, I attended the costume exhibit at Strawbery Banke in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Here’s a glimpse at the beautiful, historic clothing I saw.

Two of my favorites of the day were from the 1880′s, one of my favorite time periods for fashion.

This is a busk. For women of the 1700′s, a busk was part of their corset. It slipped down the middle-front of their stays and was made of wood, bone, etc.. This one was made of ivory and was intricately carved.

This is a lady’s pocket. In the 1700′s, women’s clothing had no built-in pockets. But they did have slits in the sides to insert one’s hand through and reach the pocket (as seen below), which was tied around the waist.

A beautiful dress from the 1830′s:

I loved this detail-intensive Spencer jacket from the early 1800′s. Ah ha! There’s proof I was there…in the mirror!

Big and little dresses from the early 1800′s:

And here’s the description and pictures of my favorite dress of the day…a wedding gown!

All soooo lovely!

Preparing for Winter

I’ve been taking advantage of these sunny, autumn days to prepare for winter. Everyone’s shoes treated to make them water repellent? Done!

A Night Away

For just the second time in 4 1/2 years, Technohubby and I got away for an overnight stay…a little escape…just the two of us. We headed north to the White Mountains. Most of the foliage in New Hampshire looks like this now…late autumn foliage…sort of a monochromatic butternut brown color. I tend to think of it as “November’s color”, but this year it seems to have arrived a bit early (which I’m assuming was caused by much rain this autumn).

We were thrilled to be staying here! It’s the Mt. Washington Hotel! It was built between 1900-1902, the grand era of hotels…full of old century charm and elegance!

The front entrance was beautifully decorated with banks of mums, cornstalks, and straw bales.

The most attentive bell hop opened the door and ushered us into the gorgeous lobby!

Although the lobby is very elegant, it’s a New England-sort of elegant. It’s not over-the-top. It’s not slick and stylized. It’s a comfortable elegance, where crystal chandeliers and a stuffed moose head live harmoniously in the same room.

In the lobby, there is this old grandfather’s clock. A little plaque next to the clock said that this clock was purchased for the opening of the hotel. It was a tradition, from that first year and every year for the next 95 years, that the first guest who checked in for the season would be allowed to start the clock. And the last guest checking out at the close of the season stopped the clock. The tradition ended when the hotel became a year-round resort.

Behind the lobby is an “enclosed porch”, for lack of a better term, with large, comfortable, brown wicker furniture (I love brown wicker!) and a sweeping view of the mountains behind the hotel.

The hallmark of the hotel is its expansive, wrap around porch, where you can sit in the comfy chairs and enjoy the views of the White Mountains, including Mt. Washington.

We sat on the part of the porch on the back of the hotel, enjoyed the view and glasses of Merlot. Ahh…relaxation!

Our room was lovely and comfortable! It had doors to the adjoining rooms on each side. There was a little sign posted on those doors that explained that when the hotel was built, families would come and stay for weeks and weeks. They would bring their children, servants, caretakers, etc., and they would want to visit with one another. So the adjoining rooms made that easy. It said that if you opened all the adjoining room doors, you could walk from one end of the hotel to the other without ever going out into the hallway.

The pretty doorknobs in our room.

The next morning, I walked down the stairs to find the bakery and purchase breakfast to take back up to our room. I could feel this whoosh of cool air rushing up at me as I came down. And when I reached the main floor, I realized that the fresh, morning air was wafting in through these open double doors. The view just took my breath away! What a beautiful way to start the morning!

Part of the morning was spent reading by the fire, beneath the watchful eyes of the moose.

Our time there came to an end entirely too soon. As we drove away, I spotted one more delight…a lawn chess set! What fun!

Pilgrim Costume

I worked really hard this week to turn out this 5-piece Pilgrim girl’s costume for the shop. It’s there now! Made with wool and linen. And the best thing…it’s the real thing, not some stereotype of what the Pilgrim’s wore.

Seasonal Delights

Most Wednesdays, Felicity and the kids come to spend the day with us. Today, after lunch, we headed down to our favoirte farmstand to show Theo the pumpkins! It was a day filled with the fun delights of the season!

Theo loves pumpkins, and kept pointing to one pumpkin after another, saying “bum-puh” (translation: pumpkin).

That one, with the enormously long stem, came home with us. (As you might recall, with me…it’s ALL about the stem!) The clerk at the counter told me that it had been picked within the hour, and how he just “knew someone would buy it, because it has such a great stem!” It weighted in at a healthy 27 lbs.!

Some picture posing!

There's one happy face!

Then it was home and a little bit of impromptu leaf stomping with Auntie Colette!

I think he likes autumn!

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