I had traveled up to northern Vermont to visit my sister – and attend her first orchestral concert! Having taken  up cello after retirement, I am in awe of someone willing to put those new skills out in public like that! She is now playing with the Me2/ orchestra, “Classical music for mental health.” This group is designed for acceptance of differences, especially supportive for people with mental health issues, and also allies. We all, of course, sometimes have “issues” – but to have a group where the support is there to acknowledge those issues, and the level of diversity that brings, is a breath of fresh air. Held in the auditorium of the Burlington City Hall, the program was “A Viennese New Year” with pieces by three of the Strauss family – energetic, upbeat, cheerful – and probably the concert I’ve enjoyed the most in recent memory. 

The above photo was taken as we walked to the car after the performance; I guess it makes the building stand out? I’m glad I don’t have those red lights glowing through my bedroom window!

My wonderful brother-in-law likes taking photos of the many birds that visit their feeders. This one was on the other side of the house, surrounded and sheltered by the snowy hydrangea bush.

Kayaking with ORFS at Otter Pond

Tuesday, June 28: Outdoor Recreation for Seniors (ORFS) was out on a small lake, with a brisk wind. It was windy enough that a few of the kayakers opted to walk with the hikers instead. But the conditions were not too bad; one had to work harder to go upwind, but control was easy, and the waves were manageable. It was a beautiful day.

The blueberries are still green, but coming along:

And the Sheep Laurel (Kalmia angustifolia) was bright along the waters.

The water lilies, both white and yellow, are thick along the shores. There are a lot of insects crawling on all of them.

There were ducks, and a cormorant:

There is one new house – so new it’s not finished yet! And I like the architecture, especially the window echoing the arch. 

Back at our launch point, we ate lunch together, and enjoyed the flowers next to us.

Paint Choices #5

Not everyone wants to blend in with the surrounding area – unusual paint choices are one way to make a house stand out. Not everyone chooses to do the expected, and Victorian houses provide a great excuse, with all their ornamentation. I would not necessarily make the same choices, but I’m also glad we don’t all make the same choices! I know the first house is in Northampton, Massachusetts, and maybe the second one as well, but I didn’t label that one.

Paint Choices, #4

It’s not just the owners of Victorians who are brave in their color choices! But I will admit that I live in a house in the woods, with naturally colored wood siding and a brown metal roof. Maybe if I lived in suburbia, I’d be more adventurous. I don’t have to stand out in the crowd when there’s no crowd around.

Albany, New York

On my return home, I was able to stop and visit with a former student and her significant other – and the cat. They have a house in a quiet neighborhood of older homes, with character!   Albany archesThe interior of the house also has arches, delineating most separations between rooms. It was harder to capture those, though! Even the cat scratch furniture has character – Albany cat scratchAlbany screened catSafe on the other side of the firescreen, that’s Ellie. I think! I didn’t write down her name, and my memory is not infallible.

Saturday we went over to Troy, across the Hudson River, to the farmer’s market and to walk the town; that will be the next post.

Around Baltimore

While hanging out in and around Baltimore, I drove through Dickeyville on the west side. A National Historic Site, it has charming architecture and lots of history – which I didn’t know until I checked it out on Wikipedia after admiring the buildings. Dickeyville church

Dickeyville houseI don’t want to step out that red door.

WetheredsvilleOnly one way to Wetheredsville, I guess!