Around New England

It’s been a long time since I last posted. It’s not like I’ve been kayaking – this is what the poor boats were hiding behind yesterday, and that’s after a very warm day and lots of rain in yesterday’s thunderstorm! All that knocked the level of snow down by about 8 inches.

But not much longer now – and my body is so ready to stretch itself out paddling! If I’d thought to tag along with my sister and brother-in-law this morning, I’d have been able to take a photo of the mostly iced Winooski River – another reason to not have the boat on the car.

Still, I’m putting many miles on the car – weekly trips to Connecticut to see Mom, a couple of trips to the Burlington area to see my sister, and a trip back to Portland in late February to deliver a pile of small knitted toys for the Friends School Portland auction, coming up in a couple of weeks. And hang out and knit, and help hang a couple of insulated shades in the guest bedroom before the exchange student comes.

stuffed toys

Some of these I’ve knit multiple times now – I’ve nearly finished the third owl, and I have a second alien. (Owl number two was given to one of the Quaker Knitting Goddesses when I stopped in Concord, NH to visit on my way home.)

I spent a day helping a friend with chores and visiting; Russell Royalty thought that the thing to do was to toss his fresh hay in the water tank – which was freshly filled. And I thought it was raccoons who washed their food!

Tommy Esty

One busy weekend, I volunteered at the library, went to a presentation about the history of a local airport, and gathered for pot luck with a group of friends on Saturday, then Sunday worshiped with my Quaker community, met friends and carpooled over to Weston, where there was a group show of local artists, one of whom is a good friend of our crowd. Weston is an old Vermont town; I admired this door as we walked over to the art exhibit.

Grafton door

Of course, with the snow comes the opportunity to take some interesting photos – when I remember to put the camera in my pocket, anyway.

Eaves iceSNOW CHICKEN

But spring is just around the corner – maple sap is flowing, sugaring has begun in the local woods, and mud season is making driving on some back roads more of an adventure than I need. Soon I’ll be able to pry the kayaks out, and get the Roadtrek out of its snowbank and on the road!

Portland to San Antonio to Portland, Part 3

San Antonio! We were glad to arrive, with a couple of days to spare before my flight out. Our three horses were happy to be out in the pasture. They added to the resident five:TX PEI threeTX horsesOnce the horses were settled, and Dotty had adopted JackTX Dotty & Jackand Blizz had settled in,TX Blizz stressedwe headed out for dinner, Italian that first night. And then Mexican at two different places the next two nights – this one had live music, although not these!TX musical frogsWhat follows are views from around the ranch:TX ranch houseTX rabbitTX flowerTX horseshoesTX outbuildingTX trough and pump

Indigenous bees build sculpture –

TX bathroom door lit

There were deer most mornings and evenings.

The old stone lined well:TX old well

One day we went around the corner to Bracken (in addition to running other errands) to go to the feed store. I’d not taken the camera, so we had to go back later – it’s an area that tries to look picturesque – but the Hanging Tree Saloon is a seriously utilized watering hole.

TX Bracken signTX Bracken blacksmithTX Bracken cotton ginTX Bracken hanging tree

The next  morning I was headed out, with a early morning flight. Southwest Airlines has some new planes, and this first flight was on one. And I don’t know if they have fewer seats – but they do have more spacious seats, as well as really cool LED lighting. As we got above the clouds the views were stunning in the morning light –flight home SW AirThe middle of the flight was clear, until it clouded up again just before Baltimore. We landed in snow, with plows everywhere.flight  home BWI snowSoon after getting to the next gate, Southwest started announcing gate changes. This is never a good sign – but we were only about 10 minutes late loading on for the second leg. And then we sat, and sat, and sat – waiting for our turn for deicing. It was enough time to nearly finish knitting a couple of small stuffed animals. It was going to be a busy weekend – a Quaker Knitting Goddess retreat in Worcester, to which I headed as soon as I could retrieve my car in Portland. Then Saturday I went down to Connecticut for my aunt’s memorial – a great collection of cousins from across the country were there, including some I’d not seen for years. The food included “edible” arrangements; they were spectacular, but not (according to those who nibbled on them) particularly edible.

And back to Worcester, where I finished the stuffed animals –Owl and Pussycat

And then home again, with a stop to visit friends along the way – and except for trips to Connecticut to see Mom, plan to be home for a while. And it will be a while before the kayak comes out to play again!

 

Portland to San Antonio, Part 2

The perceived wisdom is that one should post one’s blog daily, or at least regularly. Well, that’s not going to happen! I would like to post more promptly, so the memories are more fresh, but having internet access becomes an issue – to say nothing of having time!

We spent two nights at Advantage Farm, in Blacksburg, VA – having arrived in the wee hours of the morning, we were in no hurry to move out the next day! It did give me the opportunity to do the previous post, and knit some, and watch the activities of a high level equestrian facility. And it was COLD – just as cold as the 17F weather in New England! Fortunately I’d brought clothes for any weather, so was prepared. Some photos from the farm:

We headed out shortly after dawn, and almost immediately stopped for fuel – and across the road were the best donuts I’ve ever eaten, fresh, fresh, fresh – and I’m glad I didn’t get more than two apiece, as I’d have eaten way too many! VA donutsA few on the road photos – JD had been given a new travel mug:Onn road coffeeBlizz was SO stressed out! (Not.)

(At least as long as she wasn’t trapped in her carrier!)

Dotty was happy to walk about at every opportunity – although she wasn’t happy about the No Pets sign –On road rest area Dotty/no petsOn road rest area squirrel

That night we stayed at an Alabama State Park; they have equestrian facilities, including a shelter with stalls for the horses.

AL facilitiesWe arrived at dusk, and left at dawn – putting in long days! On across Mississippi – the state and the river – and into Louisiana.On road LA signThere are lots of trains out there where it’s more flat.On road trainAnd that night we spent at LA Lk Bistineau signwhere the daffodils were blooming.LA daffodilsAgain, we were loading at dawn –LA Lk Bistineau sunriseI may try to stay here again – the kayaking looked great! Then it was on to Texas – another long day of driving, although we reached the ranch at San Antonio with a lot of daylight left, having left so early and in spite of Austin traffic!

Texas scenes will be another post, maybe as early as tomorrow! (or maybe not…)

On the Road Again – Portland to San Antonio, Part 1

JD picked me up and we left Portland in rain. And it rained. And rained. Our stop for the night was in New Milford, Connecticut, at Candlelight Farms signat dusk, in light rain. The first thing, after checking in, was to unload the three horses and get them settled. The ground was mud and puddles – the next day it was frozen solid! I hadn’t known there was such a thing as a “horse hotel,” but this is one – and a B&B, so there were accommodations for people as well as horses. Candlelight Farms hoof prints

All photos were taken the next morning, starting as the sun came over the hill behind me – the view from my window:Candlelight Farms dawn

I went walking about before breakfast. The Inn is primarily a wedding venue, so there are lots of arches:

The photo of the bell is not great – I would have liked the buildings a little darker, and the car not there – but part of the point of this blog is not to manipulate photos beyond cropping, and hey – it’s a great bell!

On either side of the front door:

The horse barn and some inhabitants:

Those are two of ours, Rita and Tommy.

There are a pair of old (and cared for) maples in the front, and at the foot of one, a bicycle built for two.

.Candlelight Farms maple

Candlelight Farms maple bikeCandlelight Farms parking

And then, indoors –

Candlelight Farms kitchen all

Carl and Nancy were wonderful hosts, and we were fed a wonderful breakfast of croissants, eggs scrambled or omelets, potatoes, yogurt parfaits, coffee – lots of it, for the coffee dependent. They were generous with food, company, information, humor – all one could want in a host. We stayed until noonish, visiting with them and with JD’s friends who had come to join us. We eventually loaded up and departed; this is our rig.Candlelight Farms our rigOur next stop: Advantage Ranch,  in Virginia. It’s a long way; with that late start, we pulled in in the early hours of the next morning.