The first spring after we moved into this house, I planted a lilac bush. My grandmother had actually managed to grow a lilac in southern California, but she's the only person I ever knew there that had successfully done so. Due to her green thumb, I have fond childhood memories of lilacs as being beautifully fragrant and about as valuable as gold, since they were nearly impossible to grow. Years later, I even requested white lilacs in my bridal bouquet!

But here in New Hampshire, lilacs will grow even if you neglect them completely. That's astounding to me! But I see lilacs thriving on long-abandoned properties. Once you plant a lilac here, you pretty much couldn't kill it if you tried. My kind of plant! And each year, our one lilac bush produces more and more and more blooms, thrilling my lilac-loving heart! 

They do have a short season though. We might have a few blooms by Mother's Day, and they are pretty much done by the beginning of June. Just a few weeks to revel in their lovely fragrance. So, I gathered up an armful the other day, and we've been enjoying them ever since. 


Yesterday, I planted three raspberry bushes! Now all that's left to be done is:

- keep them alive
- encourage them to bear fruit
- prevent the woodland creatures from eating any fruit before I can

Something tells me the easiest part is behind me.

Honoring Their Memory

The best way to honor the dead of our nation is to keep their memory alive by remembering that for which they died and teaching it to our children and grandchildren. So take time to read monument inscriptions, to visit historical sites, to attend living history battles, and visit our nation's capitol. Teach your children, that they may grow up to think like FREE men, because others died to keep that liberty alive for them. God bless America and its fallen heroes!

A Working Weekend

Some holiday weekends are full of fun...cookouts, barbecues, getaway trips. Not this one for us. This is a working weekend around our house. It's probably a sure sign that Max's wedding date is six weeks away and guests are coming. You know how it is. It's always the biggest motivator for getting household projects done.

Yesterday, we bought a kitchen table and chairs (replacing another one), and got that all installed in its new space today.

Today, Hubby spent about 10 hours power washing the front of the house, the decks, its stairs and railings. So thrilled with how that turned looks like new!

And I made a sundress for one of my granddaughters AND I painted the downstair's bathroom!

What are you doing this weekend?

Tiniest Stitches

This week, I've been working on a new project requiring the tiniest of tiny stitches...grabbing just a single thread of the linen at a time. It's amazing how strong something so tiny can be.

Wedding Sneak Peek

Max and his fiance are getting married this July. Last weekend we got our first look at the wedding and reception site beyond just photographs of it buried in snow. It's going to be gorgeous!...quintessential Maine in the summertime...all woods and lakes and pines and ferns and lushness! Here's a sneak peek!

Container Gardening This Year

Sometime over the winter, I decided that our garden soil possibly needed a year's rest. The tomato crop was poor last year, for the first time ever. And a mole had discovered my squash and burrowed into one and devoured its entire insides. In taking a year off, perhaps it will discourage him that the feast will be spread for him on an annual basis, and he'll go find someone else's garden to ravage. Hope springs eternal.

In addition, when we were in England last year, I was so struck by what pretty container gardens they have...and what pretty pots! And then I found several British-made clay pots, from Yorkshire Flowerpots, at Home Goods and snatched them up! I like the form of them so well. You can't really tell from the pictures, but each one is stamped with the manufacturer's name around the rim. And they are frost-hardy, being made in the same way they manufacture clay pipes for irrigation purposes.

Unwilling to go completely without homegrown produce this summer, I planted one pot with new favorite being the lemon-thyme!

And a shorter, round pot is full of lettuces. I love my ability to just pop out onto the deck and gather a few spinach leaves for Sunday morning omelettes.

Another pot contains an English lavender. And another has a medley of: cornflower, blue salvia, English daisies, lamb's ear, and some white flowering plant whose name I can't recall. I'm completely smitten with these dainty English daisies!

My biggest plant risk for the season is an endless-blooming, blue hydrangea which I plan to keep in the pot for the summer and then transfer to a flowerbed in the front yard in September.

So Proud

We just returned from spending the day in Maine attending Max's fiance's college graduation! SO proud of this girl, who responsibly handles every challenge that comes her way and does so with grace and kindness. She's going to be a physical therapy assistant, and we've no doubt she'll be a blessing to all her patients.

A Find

A spur of the moment decision to stop in at a local antique store today scored 6 yards of untouched Schumacher's "Museum Collection" screenprint fabric! Score! I'm going to hopefully pair this with a solid, deep sage green and turn it into a colonial girl's gown for the shop! Wouldn't that be perfect for some little girl's visit to Colonial Williamsburg this autumn?

Spring Sandwich Recipes

Spring always brings with it the promise of picnics. And picnics mean sandwiches! It had been on my mind lately to invent some tasty new sandwich recipes...just for spring...and also to test some that we might serve to houseguests around the time of Max's wedding this summer. With that in mind, I set to work concocting three sandwiches that encapsulate the flavors of spring and will pack well in a picnic cooler. Recipes are below. Each makes enough for four sandwiches. Happy picnicking!

The Garlic & Herb Roast Beef Sandwich - with all the goodness of spring garlic and the fresh pop of herbs.

4 ciabatta rolls, cut in half horizontally
4.8 oz. container of Garlic & Fine Herbs Boursin cheese
1 1/4 lb. thinly sliced roast beef
1 large, ripe tomato
thin slices of red onion
baby spinach leaves

Spread Boursin cheese to the very edges of each sliced ciabatta roll. Top with all the fixings. Sandwich together and secure with a tall skewer.

Black Forest Strawberry Croissant Sandwich - a taste of springtime in sandwich form! I love the flavor meld of this sandwich...the creaminess of the cheese, the salty ham, the sweetness of the strawberries, the buttery goodness of the croissant!

4 croissants, sliced in half horizontally
small container of spreadable Brie cheese
1 1/4 lbs. of Black Forest ham
16 medium-sized strawberries, sliced
fresh lettuce leaves

Allow the Brie to come close to room temperature. Spread Brie on each croissant half. Layer generously with ham. Top with sliced strawberries and fresh lettuce. Sandwich together. Enjoy!

Citrus Marinated Chicken Sandwich - sooo fresh and a taste of springtime in every bite!

1 baguette, sliced into 6" pieces and then in half horizontally
4 slices Muenster cheese
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 T. olive oil
1/4 c. orange juice
2 T. raw honey
1/2 t. dried orange peel
juice from 1/2 a lemon
1 t. fresh lemon thyme leaves
kosher salt
romaine leaves
Lemon Aioli Recipe (found here), OR use Stonewall Kitchen's Lemon Herb Aioli

To marinate chicken, combine: olive oil, orange juice, honey, dried orange peel, lemon juice, lemon thyme leaves, salt and pepper, and add to a large Ziploc bag with chicken breasts. Allow to marinate, refrigerated, for several hours or overnight. 

Meanwhile, prepare aioli according to recipe and refrigerate. 

Prepare a moderately hot grill and grill chicken until no pink remains. Allow to rest for 5 minutes. Slice thinly.

Spread lemon aioli evenly over baguette slices. Layer sliced chicken, Muenster cheese, and romaine leaves atop baguette. Sandwich together and secure with a tall skewer.

Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all of you! We celebrated yesterday with a delicious brunch,
and I got lots of little hugs and "Happy Mother's Day, Marmee" greetings! The best!
We missed Max, who is away at school, but today he called.
And I got a sweet message from my future daughter-in-law.
Feeling very blessed today!


With all those last school programs, it's been hard to keep the shop stocked in historical costumes. But this week, I listed one Revolutionary War Soldier Costume AND one George Washington/Alexander Hamilton Costume, each in a size medium (8-10). These will be the last new ones listed for about a month, as I'm going to turn my attention to some colonial girl's costumes.

Click here to visit this one.

And click here to view this one:

Freshening Up

Spring is here and we are freshening up about the house. The spring-summer bedding is back on the bed. After all those months of velvet bedding and duvet, it's a welcome change!

Springtime Visit to Old Sturbridge Village

Saturday, Hubby and I took the grandkids to Old Sturbridge Village for the afternoon. 

It was a perfect spring day...warm sun, cool breeze, and everything in the village was showing signs of spring! We couldn't have asked for more!

We chatted with the friendly lambs...

...picked dandelions from the lawn...

...visited the village blacksmith...

...admired the poetic beauty of these women planting in a freshly plowed field...

...introduced ourselves to a chicken...

...walked beneath the blossoming apple trees and the vast, blue sky...

...and had a perfectly splendid day!...together!

Sabbath Rest

Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.

- Psalm 119:33-35

First Sewing Tutorial

The grandkids are here for a few days. And the girls had eagerly asked for me to teach them to sew. I was dubious, as they are just 4 and 5 years old. But then I remembered how I was doing some needlework (even unsupervised) by age 7, and so figured it would be just fine to try.

Today was their first tutorial, and they did great! Thrilled my heart to see them tackle it with such enthusiasm and diligence!

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