Wednesday, October 31, 2012

trick, no treat

Tonight there are no little ghosts and goblins knocking at our door. Halloween in York was postponed until Saturday. The streets are quiet and dark for now. It is a bit surreal. And here in Maine we sustained only minor damage from the hurricane. We are the lucky ones, eagerly waiting for text messages from friends and family to our south to say that they are okay. . . that huge trees only narrowly missed their house. . . that there's no power, but they can manage to boil water for coffee.

A scary time indeed.

For all of you affected, my thoughts and prayers are with you. And for my niece in Connecticut, who isn't sure there will be a Halloween at all, I'm sending candy kisses. xo

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I have been reading Diana Henry's book Plenty, reveling in the wholesome goodness of her recipes. The sort of dishes that remind me how great it is to just "keep it simple." Classic roasts and rice dishes, flavorful vegetables, and rustic fruit tarts. All (generally) made with easily attainable ingredients. Around here, the selection at the local grocery store tends to become somewhat limited once the hoards of "summ-ah people" leave. The closest Whole Foods is an hour away. And yet, there is plenty.

I have rediscovered my love of beans and root vegetables. Like fresh carrots, julianned, and tossed with Maine butter and chives. Wax beans, just naked and slightly steamed, perhaps sprinkled with a pinch of sea salt. The evenings have become cold and it is getting dark earlier. The gentleman and I light the candles in the dining room and pour glasses of wine. The dog is curled up at our feet, and there is always a hot meal on our plates. We exchange stories of our days, and we are content. We have plenty.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

feeling fall

My mother remarked this morning that the seasons in Maine change quickly, and arrive promptly. Indeed, fall is here. The leaves are just past peak here in York, and we have a couple of frosts behind us already. I can see my breath in the air when I leave for work in the morning, and I've had to pull out my wool coat and scarves.

I have found several bird's nests in the driveway, blown from the huge old balsam tree by autumn winds. Their occupants have flown the coop, their babies are grown. The animals are busy gathering this year's bumper crop of acorns. Arborists call it a "mast year" (a scientific phenomenon that occurs every 2 to 7 years) . . . but a neighbor told me recently that a lot of acorns means it will be a hard winter. Who knows, perhaps it's just an old wives' tale, but I've told the gentleman he had better get that pile of wood split for the fireplace.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

settling in

It seems strange to be posting these images from the summer, as we have just had our first frost up here in Maine. Since I last wrote in April, much has changed in our lives. The gentleman and I packed up our things and headed north, leaving behind the hustle and bustle of Washington. And though it was hard for me to say goodbye to friends of almost 20 years, it has been a good change. We are in awe of the beauty surrounding us, and the kindness of people who just four months ago were strangers to us.

We have begun a love affair with an old blue house. Its weather-beaten clapboards are in desperate need of paint, and there is a horrible lack of closets and bookshelves ~ but we couldn't imagine anything more perfect. Inside there is delightful mix of Georgian and Federal woodwork, rough plaster, wavy old glass, brick fireplaces, and uneven pine floors. Outside, there are masses of hydrangea bushes, blue thistles, lilacs, and an ancient apple tree. Our neighbor's apples and pears spill over the fence, and the huge old fir trees drop pine needles all over the driveway.

There have been challenges for both of us ~ starting new jobs, making new friends, and navigating a new grocery store. We have accomplished the daunting task of unpacking and settling in, and have finally have time to explore new roads. I don't know where this blog will go from here, but I know it will be both the same and different. How can it not be? Regardless, it will be an adventure.

Monday, April 30, 2012

up north

Over the weekend we took a quick trip up north to see about a house. And I was able to explore our new town for the first time. It may seem strange to say (given that I have spent a lot of time in Maine), but before Saturday I had never actually visited York. The sea shimmered under bright, sunny skies, and the lilacs were laden with purple blossoms. Maine at its best. No doubt we will spend many hours exploring this strip of coastline over the years, and the subtlety of the place will reveal itself slowly. But these first images are pure light and color.

This is how York greeted us.

Friday, April 27, 2012

time for a change

The gentleman has a theory that if doors keep opening, one should probably take that as a hint. Last week, one such door opened for us, bringing big changes to our little world. I am pleased to announce that the gentleman has been named the new Executive Director of the Museums of Old York, in York, Maine (I'm so terribly proud of him).

So, I think you can guess what that means ~ our time in Washington is quickly coming to close.

We are impossibly excited to be headed north, knowing that there will be bittersweet moments in the transition. There is so much to think about in the next month and I hope you'll excuse my necessary absence from this space. But, oh the adventures we'll have in Maine!

Here's to new beginnings. . .

Friday, April 20, 2012


We went walking in Georgetown two sunday evenings ago. The sun was low on the horizon, and the sidewalks were littered with piles of pink cherry blossom petals. As we turned toward home I caught the sweet scent of wisteria and out of the corner of my eye, a glimpse of purple down a narrow alley. Upon closer inspection, we discovered a magnificent cascade of blossoms draped over a 20-foot section of wooden fence, growing wild and unchecked.

Spring things I am loving / coveting:

* this bangle
* this scarf
* some meadows
* and this delicious book (just arrived in my mail box)

Bon weekend!

P.S. I some BIG news to reveal soon.

Friday, April 13, 2012

pink and grey

There is something so poignant about those first brave signs of a northern spring, when the cold winter greys blush with the colors of a new season.

Here in Washington, the cherry blossoms have come and gone, the redbud too ~ and the lilacs have made an appearance. Yet, I am still sorting through my photographs from Scotland, fascinated by the subtle blue and grey hues. Spring is calling however, and I should forge ahead. So, next week: wisteria (and lots of it).


Friday, April 6, 2012

chasing the blues

Blae, the Scottish word for blue-grey. The coolest of all colors.

A very happy Easter to those celebrating this weekend. And happy spring to all!

Friday, March 30, 2012

isle of skye, part 2

The colors of Skye: mossy green, salty blue, silvery grey, peaty brown, with a touch of mustard yellow and purple heather. In other words, Harris Tweed.

Some of our favorite goodies from Scotland:

* wool
* tartan
* single malt whisky
* and a few curious characters

Cheers all!

Monday, March 26, 2012

isle of skye, part 1

Several months ago, while in the planning stages for our Highland adventures, my father called me up. "Why Skye?" he asked. I admit that I was somewhat perplexed about how to answer at the time; it was just one of those places I knew we had to go. But when we crossed over the Skye Bridge and took in the magnificent vista ahead of us, I said: "Dad, this is why."

P.S. That third photo is for Blue.

Friday, March 23, 2012

the highlands, part 2

Driving through the Highlands, feeling the vastness of the land and watching the clouds descend over the mountains, is a truly humbling experience. From Glencoe to the famous castle of Eilean Donan, we watched out the car windows in silence as the magic of the landscape revealed itself. More than once we remarked that photographs can't do it justice. And yet we tried anyway, hopping out of the car at every opportunity.

This time I spent with my husband and my parents was truly a gift. We are good travel companions, the four us. Each giving the others the space to wander and explore on their own, always coming back to the fold for a hot cup of tea, a wee dram, or a good meal together. We talked of nothing and everything. We tramped through mud and moss, felt the grey mountain mists on our faces, and lingered over warm wood fires. Two gentlemen explored that nectar of the Highlands known as single malt whisky, and two ladies sipped French wine while they did it. It was all just right.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

the highlands, part 1

Honestly, there are no words. Have you ever been so moved by a place that it makes you want to cry? The Highlands of Scotland are like that.

More on flickr, with even more to come.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

historic house tour: owens-thomas house

On the corner of Oglethorpe Square, framed by old oak trees, stands the Owens-Thomas House, a rare surviving example of Federal architecture in Savannah. While little of the original furnishings remain (one piece to be precise), the house is filled with wonderful period pieces. It is the house's sophisticated architectural details, however, that really fascinate ~ from an innovative early cistern and plumbing system to an imposing cast-iron side veranda (from which the Marquis de Lafayette addressed the citizens of Savannah in 1825). Unusual interior details such as a brass-inlaid wooden staircase, an amber glass window in the dining room, and a bridge spanning the stairwell are remarkable. The original carriage house also survives, which includes a stable and one of the earliest intact urban slave quarters in the region.

The garden is purely colonial revival, and thoroughly charming (though a far cry from the dusty, bustling space it must have been in the early 19th century). I loved this house! It is probably one of the most interesting structures I have seen in a long time.

I'm off today off on another adventure. Be well friends.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

a month ago

I went to Savannah. Three days, two nights. An escape to some green, southern perfection, in the midst of a grey mid-Atlantic winter. Sunlight and camellias (yes, a few were still in bloom), live oaks and Spanish moss. A real treat. I have more to show you over the next few days. Promise!

Lately I have been consumed with work, which leaves me with little energy for blogging. But, I'm dying to pick up my camera again, and write to you all.

Hope you are well, friends.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

on the road, again

Last week we hopped in the car and headed north for a long weekend.

First stop ~ New York, for all of the festivities surrounding the annual Winter Antiques Show. While we couldn't see it all in one day, we did make it to the Duncan Phyfe exhibition at the Met (buy the catalogue) and the preview of the Betty Ring Collection at Sotheby's. Both truly fantastic! Our day in the city was capped by an evening reception at Gracie Mansion, where this particular blogger actually sat in a Duncan Phyfe chair. Yes, it is still in one piece (a testament to its excellent construction). The house itself is truly magnificent, a rare glimpse of Federal-era New York. If you have never been, make a point to go! They offer tours every Wednesday. . . and special tea tours on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Second stop ~ Connecticut, where we were happily snowed in for a day, enjoying the company of some good friends (drinking wine and eating fondue into the wee hours).

. . . and then it was back in the car, headed south!

Cheers friends!