Pumpkin Crème Brûlée

We've been enjoying this Pumpkin Crème Brûlée during these cold, autumn evenings this week. Perfect for the season! Click here to find the recipe.

Leaf Peeping in New England

Recently, Colette and I took a day trip to Manchester, Vermont. We took the back roads, through small, New England towns and past all the glorious autumn splendor that is quintessential New England. We had the day all planned out before we left home, and part of the essentials was breakfast at one of our favorite spots, so getting there before they stopped serving breakfast was of paramount importance. Hence, we only stopped once all the way there, because...well...this! How could we not stop and take a photo?

We got to The Copper Grouse just in time for breakfast. We love their cozy interior, with its rich paneling and warm colors. It was especially welcome this day, as it was damp and drizzly and just the sort of day you want a warm place of refuge.

After breakfast, we wandered the main roads and the back roads of Manchester. The clouds were hanging low over the hillsides and the autumn foliage was pretty close to peak. After a while, we found a parking spot and enjoyed a stroll down Manchester's marble sidewalks, the leaves crunching beneath our feet. Here are the sights we saw:

Then we drove to a local farm, where everything autumn was offered! We came seeking cider donuts (yum!), but enjoyed the hot, spiced cider too!

The drive home was breathtakingly beautiful too! This first building (this photo and the next) is one of the most intriguing buildings I've encountered in New Hampshire! It seems to be a four-story mill building...not sure if it's still used for something, or not. The stream was definitely trickling beneath the building, so it seems possible that it's still a working mill of some kind. It made me smile to see that someone has put a metal roof on this great old building...shows someone cares for its preservation.

I hope you enjoyed your tour. This weekend, we are doing so much autumnal wandering that we've named it "Autumn Fest" in our household! Those leaves are dropping fast, and we are out to enjoy it while it lasts!

Sabbath Rest

Did you watch the royal wedding Friday? Like any confirmed anglophile, I did! My favorite moment was when the choir and the whole assembled wedding guests and wedding party sang "Immortal, Invisible". Nothing like the sounds of voices filling a cathedral with praises to God. It's like a foretaste of what heaven will be like!

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
in light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, Thy great name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
nor wanting, nor wasting, Thou rulest in might;
Thy justice, like mountains, high soaring above
Thy clouds, which are fountains of goodness and love.

To all, life Thou givest, to both great and small,
in all life Thou livest, the true life of all;
we blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
and wither and perish, but naught changeth Thee.

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore Thee, all veiling their sight;
all praise we would render, O help us to see
'tis only the splendor of light hideth Thee!

- Walter C. Smith (1867)

Costumes in Stock for Halloween

Spotlighting the costumes that are available in the shop for Halloween. It's just 18 days away! Where has the time gone? If you, or someone you know, is looking for an historical costume for their little trick-or-treater, here is what is currently in stock!

George Washington/Alexander Hamilton Costumes were just restocked this morning! These will not last long, and will likely be the last I'm able to complete before Halloween, so don't delay, if you've been waiting for one. Click here.

Add a haversack to the above costume, if you'd like. Click here.

And there are three different Colonial Girl's Ensembles! Click here for this one.

Click here for this one.

And click here for this one.

I ship USPS Priority Mail, so it should arrive to you in 2-3 days! Click here to visit the shop!

Seasons are Changing

As surely as I enjoy watching the ferns sprout from the forest floor each spring and unfurl their graceful tendrils, I enjoy watching them turn to gorgeous shades of gold and brown.

Early Morning Stroll About Nantucket

Last week, Colette and I went to Nantucket for a trip scheduled prior to her spraining her ankle. (By the way, I'm happy to report that it's rapidly improving!) We had a wonderful time exploring the island from one end the other.

On our last morning there, I did my favorite thing to do on Nantucket...I took an early morning stroll. Nantucket, early morning, just me and my camera...it IS my happy place! Absolute bliss.

When I stepped outside our hotel that morning, to my great surprise, a warm breeze was whooshing over the island. A very strong, warm breeze. The sky was painted with pink-tinged clouds with golden highlights. Every fiber of my being felt alive and the breeze was invigorating. I'd never experienced Nantucket quite like this, and it made the windswept island all the more captivating and precious to me.

I love wandering and photographing all the unique features of the homes and gardens of the island. I'm drawn to their historic beauty and all the personal touches that have been added or have withstood the hand of time...doorknockers, flags, mail baskets, picket fences, mouldings, gardens secreted away beyond gates, Land Rovers collecting dust in driveways, the last of the dahlias, and on and on and on...

I do hope this woman will forgive me for invading her privacy with my zoom lens, but I think I shall never forget her. I glanced up and there she was...doing yoga on the widow's walk of her home...stories up in air...facing the rising sun...that warm, whooshing breeze brushing over her. What an experience that must be!

  1. widow's walk - a railed or balustraded platform built on a roof, originally in early New England houses, typically for providing an unimpeded view of the sea.

Eventually, I wander into the heart of the town. So wonderful to find the streets deserted still...plenty of time to admire the overflowing window boxes, peek into shop windows, and quietly greet passersby and every friendly dog.

I always know it's time to turn my feet back towards the hotel when the streets start getting busier. The hustle and bustle drives me back. The quiet of Nantucket is my happy place!

Sabbath Rest

He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings;
He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding;

- Daniel 2:21

The Last

The last of the sunflowers were snipped from the front flower bed. No matter how busy I am, I can't resist the lure of bringing the last of the flowers inside.

The Maine Sights

I thought I'd give you a little tour of some of the sights I've been seeing while I've been chauffeuring Colette to her job in Maine. Maine is beautiful at any time of year, but summer and autumn are definitely when it shines! Being further north than we live, there is more autumn color to be seen here. But still...it's a wee bit early, and it's just beginning to pop everywhere.

Given almost unlimited time to myself, my first choice of activity is to go antique shopping. And Maine, especially up and down Highway 1, is loaded with intriguing shops. Give me a three-story barn full of antiques, and you could lose me for hours!

Having run through most of the antique stores in the area and lugged home a number of small items...yet another walking stick, a small iron to use as a doorstop in my sewing room, a deer antler, a dried gourd, etc., I turned my attention to exploring bakeries and small restaurants. They all need exploring, right? 

Super good, jumbo biscuits here! And they make them into sandwiches!

And I finally made it to the locally-famous, Musette, where I had a super fluffy waffle stuffed full of ham and roasted peppers and onions. Highly recommend!

Sometimes I just enjoy driving and "getting lost" in an unknown area, which is the advantage of the modern age when you can just Google Maps your way from lost to the closest bakery! Win, win! While "lost", I happened upon this scene and had to pull over. It just took my breath away...England has met New England in a glance. Just look at that view!

But by far, my favorite way to explore places is on foot. After consuming the fluffy omelette with great enthusiasm, it was time for a long stroll. The town I was in then, Cape Porpoise (which has the cutest name!) is chock full of iconic Maine sights, and it was a joy to have time to savor them.

I've visited farm stands and garden centers. This one is Snug Harbor Farm. A large, white patty pan squash and a luminous, pale green bird bottle gourd came home with me from here.

Last Saturday, because it was the weekend, a flea market was happening, and I was able to go. This carved eagle, holding the Coast Guard's motto of Semper Paratus (always prepared) in its talons, came home with me. Perfect, since our son's a Coastie! It's probably going on the gallery wall in the family room. And, yes, these trips are starting to get expensive. More walks...less shopping. 

Today, it is raining and only in the 50's. And of all days, I completely forgot a jacket. But I've been doing a bit of wandering, because autumn is too pretty not to.

But I've been trying to redeem the time too, and have been blogging, typing for hours and hours on a project for our town's historical society, returning emails, and more. I've been reading. And I'm doing all the hand sewing I can possibly do. Today, I brought our Christmas cards along, and if time allows, I will be signing all of them and addressing them. Christmas is coming!
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