Friday, August 28, 2020

Friday five for August 28

Friday again, and time to count five blessings from the week just past.  Here goes:

1.  Visits with two more of my cousins, on Friday and Wednesday.  So much fun to catch up with them a little bit.  Passing on finds from the homestead has brought us into contact lately!  I got together with Wayne (next to me in the photo below) on Friday and Shirley (far left in the photo below) on Wednesday.  I met with Dale (between Shirley and Wayne) last Thursday.

2.  Some days at home this week.  It was such a blessing to be able to get a few household tasks done.  Seeing my desk piled high with papers and other stuff has been really demoralizing.  I've also listed some items on Etsy and made a few sales this week.
A recently listed note card
3.  A fun get-together at the cottage we're fixing up.  Even though there is still a lot of work to do, and several amenities are missing,  things were good enough to have a suppertime hot dog roast and potluck on Sunday night.
 A corner of the living room
 New fire pit built by my hubby and two grandsons
Doesn't it look welcoming all lighted up?

4.  A campfire in our own back yard on Monday night.  Such a blessing to have a nice stone fire ring back there.  The past couple years we have not even gotten a campfire permit to use the metal ring that we had.  Now we're kicking ourselves for not having done that.  But my hubby was so busy working, it was a whole different season of life.  He had no time for things like this in the evening on weekdays.

5.  Eating outdoors as often as we can to soak up the summer.  We got a nice patio table and chairs a couple years ago for our back deck.  So thankful.  Eating outdoors -- and in fact, spending as much time outdoors as possible -- has been so helpful in this difficult time of Covid.  Below you see a typical supper -- wrap sandwiches, a salad, and iced tea!

And that's this week's Friday five!  Happy weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Dog days of summer Hodgepodge

Yes, it's Wednesday again, and time for the Wednesday Hodgepodge, in which Joyce asks the questions and bloggers provide the answers.  It's always a lot of fun (and sometimes challenging).   If you'd like to join in,  just head over to From This Side of the Pond and get the questions from Joyce, then answer them on your own blog.  Here are this week's questions:

1. The Hodgepodge lands on National Dog Day this year (August 26th). Do you own a dog? Did you have a dog when you were growing up, or maybe some other kind of pet? Would you say you're more of a dog person or a cat person? Neither is okay too : )

We don't own a dog, although we once did, and also had a granddog living with us for a time.  I don't miss either one.  Our family did have a dog as I was growing up.  She was a German Shepherd/Husky cross with a dash of wolf.  Queenie was technically my brother's dog but we all loved her.  She had quite a personality.  I've hunted for pictures of her, as I know I have one of us together somewhere.

I'm definitely not a cat person at all.  I much prefer dogs,  but not small yappy ones. 

Since I can't locate a picture of Queenie, I will substitute one of my hubby with one of his boyhood canine pals.

2. Last time you felt 'dog tired'?

Probably after a weekend a month or so ago when we had guests for supper (Saturday night), lunch (Sunday) and breakfast Sunday and Monday.  And went for a hike on Sunday too.  It was a wonderful time, and we loved their company, but I tend to feel my age after a marathon like that one.  That said, I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

3. It's said you can't teach an old dog new tricks. When did you last prove this idiom true or prove it wrong?

I proved it true trying out the new Blogger.  I much prefer the Legacy interface.  I don't even like the way the page looks when one is trying to write a new post in the new version.  I tried it for a week or two and decided to go back to the old for as long as I can.

4. A favorite book, television show, or movie featuring a dog. Why did you love it?

You know, I loved dog and horse stories as a kid, but reading them (as well as watching TV shows like Lassie or movies like Old Yeller) invariably moved me to tears.  I can't even tell you why I loved such stories.  I seldom read them anymore.  That said, however, the book below, found at the homestead, is in my to-be-read pile.  It's about a dog and two mules.

5. Last time you had reason to (literally or figuratively) exclaim 'hot diggity dog'?

We roasted hot dogs over a campfire at our cottage on Sunday night.  So much fun!

6.  Insert your own random thought here.  

We had such a fun time at our little cottage/camp on Sunday evening.  Although there is a ton of work still to do,  and we still have no plumbing, water, or a kitchen stove, our daughter, son-in-law and family joined us for a hot dog roast and potluck meal.   I'll try and write a post about it this week, for I want to share info about the food we had and how we made it all work.

And that's it for this week's Hodgepodge!  Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

About our recently acquired cottage ...

This is the back of the cottage.  Left to right you see the living area, the bedroom/sitting area, and the kitchen.
Readers have been asking, so I wanted to take just a minute and quickly explain about the cottage we're working on.  It's my parents' camp from back in the day.  We often spent my dad's vacation times there.  It's very rustic -- no water or plumbing, and, until recently, no electricity either.

To look back at its beginnings, this cottage is a piece of New England history -- the two small rooms (a kitchen and a sitting area/bedroom) were portable camps that would have been hauled to logging/lumbering jobs.  Upon arrival at the job site, the two rooms were bolted together!  The wheel wells may still be seen in one of the rooms, and the wheels are still in place under it.  Little platforms were neatly built over the wheel wells.  One held a Franklin woodstove and the other a dresser.   

Back in 1949, my parents used this tiny place as a home after they first married and lived in it while their permanent house was being built.  In the photo below, it is the little white building.  The one to the left is the kitchen, and the the part to the right is the bedroom/sitting area.    The window you can see in that part is the bedroom window.  I think they may have had a chemical toilet in the little brown building, which many years later became our playhouse.  In the driveway you see my Dad's lumber truck. 

After the house was finished, the camps were moved to property owned by the family in the woods of a nearby town.  So the tiny home became a little two-room camp out in the woods, to which my dad eventually added a large room to serve as living room, dining area, and bunkroom.  As mentioned, the other two rooms were a kitchen and a bedroom with a separate, tiny curtained-off sitting area containing the aforementioned dresser and a little Franklin stove, along with a rocking chair.  

My dad had a gravity-feed arrangement for cold running water only, and we had an outhouse.  In the living room was a couch, a couple of chairs, a television, a shelf with a telephone, a number of rollaway cots, an old pump organ someone had given us (none of  us knew how to play it!) and a picnic table with benches.  There were also some boxes full of books (bought at auction) and old magazines.  It sounds disorganized, but it really didn't feel it.  The dining area was in one corner, beside the large screened windows that were covered with wooden shutters when we weren't in residence.  The living room area was in the adjacent corner, and the bunks filled up the remaining side.  The organ was tucked in next to the door to this room.  There was electricity back then, but my parents disconnected it when they stopped using the camp.

My dad also added a screened porch off the kitchen (you can see the deck of the porch in the photo below, which must have been taken before he completed the porch and screened it in.   My brothers and I are in the picture with him.  Eventually, a regular peaked roof was also added to the cottage.

As a family, we often went over to the camp in summer, often for days at a time.  I guess, now that I think about it, there must have been times when we just went over to the camp for supper and the evening.  I know that we didn't always stay overnight, though we would often go there for a week at a time when my dad had some time off from work.  
My brother Tim and I outdoors at the camp
 On the way to the camp, there was a wonderful farm stand where my parents would often stop to pick up some fresh produce.  And my mother would then cook much of what they bought.  Often there would be peas to shell, green beans to trim and cut,  or corn to husk.   Sliced tomatoes were a must.  I don't actually remember what was served for meat with these fresh meals; my guess is that we just made a meal of those good vegetables.  Salt and pepper, and some margarine for the corn,  would have been the only seasonings.

So I have some great memories of the camp, but it really wasn't my favorite place because I didn't like the outhouse and the lack of a tub or shower.  As children, my siblings and I loved roaming around outside.  The woodsy surroundings were quite different from the farm fields we were used to at home.  We would often discover tiny orange salamanders, wild raspberries, unusual wildflowers, and other finds.  A tiny fern-edged woodland pool replaced the brook we played in at home.

We were able to buy the property from the trust in 2019 and are fixing the cottage up as a little retreat and a place to spend time with grandkids.  An Incinolet toilet will be a must, along with a sleeping loft for the kids.  I've mentioned before how our daughter and son-in-law (who live next door, a five-minute trek along a woodsy path) did a great deal of painting of walls and cabinets and replacing of flooring as a lovely Father's Day surprise for my hubby.  Hopefully, I can put together an entire post about our renovations as time goes on.
The revamped kitchen, courtesy of Jim and Carrie
One of my readers, Pamela, knowing that a place on the water has been a long-held dream of ours, had asked about a lake and no, sadly, it's not on a lake. 🌲🌲 There's a lake in the distance though, and it can be glimpsed in winter and spring. 😁  This spring photo from a few years ago shows the lake in the center of the picture, just to the right of the porch.

In fact, just the other day I noticed that, while sitting in a certain spot in the living room, the lake can be seen through the trees.  That is fun!  As I mentioned to Mr. T, this is the closest we're likely to get to waterfront property!

Friday, August 21, 2020

Friday five for August 21

Time for the Friday five!  There have been many blessings this week, but here are just a few:

1.  Cooler weather for walking this week!  It's been such a blessing not to be dripping sweat as I walk.

2.  A great day with our friend Terry last Friday.  We went out for breakfast, then for a lovely walk in the New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery where her husband is buried.  Later, we went out for ice cream.  Just a wonderful day with a dear, dear friend and sister in the Lord.

3.  This is a huge blessing!  Yesterday, the power got hooked up at the little cottage we are renovating.  We started the process in June and it's been a long time coming.  So very thankful to have lights and electricity!

4.  Getting to see several of my cousins this week.  We visited one at our extended family's cottage on a quiet pond; the other two stopped by the homestead to pick up some things I'd set aside for them.  

5.  As of today, we have FINISHED cleaning out the homestead!  Hallelujah!!!!!  We still have outbuildings to finish, but the huge task of the house is done! (And incidentally, all of the photos here  -- except for the Veterans Cemetery one -- were taken around the homestead.)

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

High fiving the Wednesday Hodgepodge

Wednesday again, and time for the Wednesday Hodgepodge, in which Joyce asks the questions and bloggers provide the answers.  It's always a lot of fun (and sometimes challenging).   If you'd like to join in,  just head over to From This Side of the Pond and get the questions from Joyce, then answer them on your own blog.  Here are this week's questions, many of which have to do with the number 5:

1. Five years ago this month hubs and I relocated from New Jersey to the Palmetto State. What were you doing five years ago this month?

One August day five years ago, we had an unexpected beach day with some of our grandkids when Mr. T ended up with an unplanned (and very unusual) day off.  Read about it here: A gift of a day.  
Sprinkled throughout the post are some pictures from that day:

It was so much fun to look back on a special, unexpected blessing God had given us.  I'd forgotten all about how it happened.

2. What was the last 9-5 job you worked? Tell us about it.

Well, it wasn't 9-5 but more like 8-3.  My last regular job was working as a teachers' aide in a small Christian school.  I also taught art and creative writing.

3. Plead the fifth, high five, take five, it's five o'clock somewhere, or the big 5-0...which number five phrase relates to your life in some way currently? Tell us how.

Mr. T and I are high-fiving one another these days as the homestead clean-out is nearly complete.  We're also planning to "take five" when it's all done and have planned a couple of autumn getaways.

4. During this season of spending so much time at home, what distractions get in the way of being your most productive? Or have you been extra productive since this whole thing started?

I felt somewhat of out of sorts with the new routine during lockdown and am thankful that's over.  When we returned from our Western vacation, I found myself with new energy and increased productivity.  Even though a number of things about travel were not "normal", I still feel that getting a huge change of scene energized me.  Trying to get the homestead cleaned out, though, has definitely distracted me from being productive here at home. 
Ari was just a baby five years ago.  She will be 6 in November!
5. Give us a list here of your top five anything.

Oh, how about beverages?  1) Water; 2) Coffee; 3) Iced tea; 4) Hot tea; 5) Iced coffee.

That day at the lake, we also took a hike with three of the grandkids.  These boys are 16 and 12  now!
A water view from the hiking trail
6. Insert your own random thought here. 

Today we visited my cousin at the extended family's cottage on a quiet pond.  As always, this sign reminded us we need to visit this lovely place more often and even book some time here for ourselves.
And that's the Hodgepodge for this week!  Happy Wednesday, all!

Friday, August 14, 2020

Friday five ~ August 14

I'm not sure how it happened, but the month of August is nearly half over!  I have never been one for wishing time away, and current events notwithstanding I still don't want to wish away the rest of the month.  But it's been a hot, humid, uncomfortable August so far, and I will be thankful when the weather is cooler and less sticky on a regular basis.  Here are a few more things I'm thankful for this week:

1.  Vintage finds like the postcard at top.  When life is as crazy as it is right now, I appreciate being reminded that the world has survived craziness before.   This view of the Cannon Mountain tram is from a long, long time ago. 

The tram cars have been red and yellow for as long as I can remember.  Sadly, this year the tram is not running at all thanks to COVID-19.

2.  Supper picnics at the lake.  We have a beautiful lake about 20 minutes away.  The park is never very busy by the time we get there, so we enjoy the water and a lakeside picnic.  It's been especially necessary in this hot sticky weather ... we have had 3 beachfront picnics in the past week!  We keep the menu very simple -- usually wraps, chips, and some sort of fruit.  This view never gets old.

3.  A wonderful time at our friends' wedding on Saturday!  It was a beautiful outdoor ceremony and, although it rained earlier in the morning, by the time of the wedding all was well.  I failed to get any photos to speak of, which is a shame.  The lovely decorations, whimsical table centerpieces (little "fairy houses" on wood slices), the fun of a square dance -- all would have made great pictures.  I only had my tablet though, which wouldn't have done justice to any of these.  Hopefully someone got good photos which I can maybe share at a later time.

4.  A wonderful Sunday of fellowship, both in and out of church.  We enjoyed a good church service with a great message on being vessels God can use.  In the late afternoon our dear friends Sam and Jennifer and their boys came for supper and a bit of Bible study.  I made a salad I'd not thought of in years, Taco Pasta Salad, and it was a huge hit with our guests.  I will definitely be making this again soon.  I used ground turkey instead of beef, and I doubled all of the quantities except the meat.  I also used regular tortilla chips instead of nacho flavored ones.  I think this salad would be really good with black beans added also.
Photo from Taste of Home
5.  Seeing God work in different situations this week.  It's so encouraging to be reminded that He knows our every need and we can cast all of our care upon Him, knowing without a doubt that He cares for us and will perfect that which concerns us.
From Baptist Bible Hour
And that's the Friday five for this week!  Happy weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

A fair-to-middling chance of a Hodgepodge

 Wednesday again! Not sure how it came around so quickly, but it's time for the Wednesday Hodgepodge, in which Joyce asks the questions and bloggers provide the answers.  It's always a lot of fun (and sometimes challenging).   If you'd like to join in,  just head over to From This Side of the Pond and get the questions from Joyce, then answer them on your own blog.  Here are this week's questions:

 1. August 12th is National Middle Child Day...are you a middle child? If not, where in your family do you fall in terms of birth order? Do you hold true to the typical characteristics of oldest-middle-youngest-only child? (a quick list can be found here) Elaborate.

I am not a middle child.  I was the oldest of four and am the only one still living.  As far as the characteristics of an oldest child, I do tend to be conscientious and cautious.  I do best when my daily life has some structure to it, but in these busy days there's not always a lot of that.  My days at the moment tend to be more free-form.  

 I was interested to read that first-born children "often have an intense fear of failure, so nothing they accomplish feels good enough," I definitely had that growing up, and with my mother and grandmother both tending toward perfectionist, controlling types, I always thought that was the reason.  It's interesting that part of that may have to do with birth order.

2. Tell us about a time you felt like (or you actually were) in the middle of nowhere.

Let's see.  Maybe last fall when my hubby and I took a week in the far north of New Hampshire.  We literally were in the middle of nowhere (somewhere between New Hampshire, Maine and maybe Quebec!) as we took a few trips on the networks of dirt roads owned by logging companies.

3. What's something you're smack in the middle of currently?

Trying to list thousands of vintage items in my Etsy shop, A New Hampshire Attic.  Below are some examples.  Most of my listings are greeting cards, both used and unused, as well as sewing patterns, but there are other fun things too, as you see below.



4. What's a food you love to eat that has something delicious in the middle?

Ice cream sandwiches, oreos ... and I used to love cameo cookies, which my grandmother always stocked in one of the cookie jars at her summer cottage.  Then there's hamburgers, cheeseburgers, lobster rolls ... I could probably go on and on with this one.

5. Share a memory from your middle school days, or junior high if that's what your school dubbed kids somewhere between grades 6-8.

It was junior high back in my day, and included grades 7-8.  A couple memories stand out: Hearing about President Kennedy's assassination in 7th grade during a science class.  I almost think they might have brought in a television to the classroom,  but can't remember for sure.  Another memory is talking with friends about how old we would be in the year 2000 and where we might be in life by then.  We couldn't imagine ever being that old.

 In junior high, I remember having a jumper and blouse made in the lefthand view of the pattern below. I can't recall for sure the fabric of the blouse, but the jumper was a moss green suede cloth.  All through my school years, skirts, dresses, and jumpers were what girls wore to school.

6. Insert your own random thought here.  

 Hmmm ... we have had such a long stretch of hot, humid weather lately.  I try not to complain, but I don't enjoy heat and humidity.  The extreme heat brings back memories of this campsite:

Not a trace of shade in sight, as you see.  A very unique campsite and one that would be quite beautiful in cooler weather.

And that's it for this week's Hodgepodge!  Happy Wednesday, everyone!