Sunday, December 25, 2011
I finally decided on the backsplash tile and spent the last two weeks doing the job. I selected 2x2 Carerra tile, which contrasts nicely with the Vermont soapstone counters. It was a lot of fun and not too difficult. The soapstone was given a drink today of mineral oil for its bimonthly conditioning, thus the shiny surface. The last thing needed in the kitchen is the surround for the hood over the stove. I've been searching for antique corbels and been working on the design.
The light in the kitchen is always warm and beautiful.
The vines are all ordered and will be here in the spring for the vineyard.
Sunday, December 4, 2011
Teke out early studying the early morning frost. Vineyard area newly mowed and staked.
Treasures from the front garden.
Teke stalking the tennis ball to the left. He was successful.
Winter is coming quickly and we're ready! We have a snow plow for the driveway and stakes to mark it if there's a blizzard. This weekend we took advantage of the warmer weather and put the tarp down for the new vegetable plot and made room in the garage for the tractor. All we need to do now is wait for snow.
Sunday, November 27, 2011
I just learned the scientific term for a large flock of birds doing that amazing thing where they fly together in a huge mass, managing to avoid crashing into each other while maneuvering in close proximity, all going in the same general direction, each flying a separate and daring path. Kinda like relationships. Our linden tree manages to attract monarchs, and murmurations.
The first true harvest of the lavender in the front, luckily I grabbed it well before the first frost, to let the plants leaf out a bit again in preparation for winter.
The smell of lavender fills the dining room. We reconstructed the original mantel, but have to save up a bit to reconstruct the fireplace to be able to use it with wood again.
The fields have been marked for the vineyard planting in the spring. We're working with the Crow Farm to supply their new winery, and Schmidt Vineyard Management, and are planning to plant Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and some experimental Reisling and table grapes.
Get ready for the first big snow!
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Where is the time going?
It's tough to imagine we're more than halfway through the summer.
I've had a lot of plans of things I wanted to do this summer but the heat robbed me of the energy and my job has challenged me with management of my time.
It's a great treat to be at home when I'm here, and to relax with all the beauty around. I'm amazed to see these roses blooming, all the different varieties.
I'm also looking forward to the cooler weather of summer to finally push away this heat.
We've had lots of thunder, lightening, and heavy rains. The other night it sounded like the wind was going to break the windows it was so stormy. The skies are very dramatic lately and lovely to photograph.
Stay cool out there, and take time to enjoy the natural art around you.
Monday, July 4, 2011
Roses. They all smell so different. I planted David Austin Old English Rose varieties. Some of them are from the 1700's. This is a variety called Abraham Darby climbing rose.
This bouquet includes lavender, an varieties Crown Princess Margaret, and the Generous Gardner climbing roses.
The front door took many weeks of restoration. Just needs a protective coat now. The Amish wreath is a braided rope and is a sign of welcome among Amish in this area.
Thinking a lot lately about existential questions, as I marvel at the survival of this house. I've been here through blizzards and heat waves, near tornado winds and droughts. And the house remains standing. Still.
Leads me to ponder our own survival. What are we really here for? Why do the things happen to us in our lives happen when they do? Is there a greater purpose? Is this all just random chaos? Do we have the beliefs we do to help us survive, to comfort ourselves in a world that seems at times confused of meaning, or is it ever possible to see the reality of life mechanics without a view colored by distortion when bad things happen? No matter how many storms we weather, how can we see if the windows are covered in mud?
What about the great stuff? Are these our gifts? Or merely moments of coincidence or luck? For examplen, the house and I had the good fortune to find one another, or was it supposed to happen for some greater good? I think the way you view your life reflects many things, culture, life experience, historical context, and core belief system which can be shaped by upbringing, religion, or insight. This house was built to last, after all.
If you pare down all the extra stuff, perhaps the views are remarkably similar regardless of all these complicating things.
Maybe we all essentially need to love and be loved, feel safe, and have beauty in our lives, in addition to critical items like food, clothing and shelter to be in our best state of mind. And if we don't experience it in our external world, we create it in our internal world. Through imagination and defenses. Just because we can.
What do you think?
Sunday, June 19, 2011
Moment of peace.
Roses and lavender, sweet perfume.
National Register site visit coming up in July. Just enjoying living here and getting used taking care of this treasure. Almost completely finished with the major portions of the project. We're installing AC shortly, the backyard outdoor shower, and finishing sealing the storm windows. We've had some problems with sulfur and debris in the well, but it's almost resolved now.
Monday, June 13, 2011
There is this mystical quality to light.
Light plays around us and with us.
Sometimes, if you look very closely, light shines from within us out towards others, reflected in the small gestures we do for others, in the way we forgive a slight, in the blind interpretation of someone else's behavior to be benign, and especially in those moments of true generosity of spirit, giving of yourself just because.
In the moments that are our darkest, there will always be the tiniest of glowing sparks yet alive.
Waiting for the thinnest breeze.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
First rose of the season along with the new lavender from the front.
What makes a house a home? At what point does the structure stop being four walls and a roof and turn into something safe, cozy, familiar, and the place you dream, sleep and love?
This home is filled with photos and paintings of people essential to me in my life. The moments captured in time on the walls and table tops represent years of laughter, tears, hopes, sorrows, and growing older. What do you fill your home with?
Here is the new old door, renovated by Chester River Carpentry, the door courtesy of Oldhouseparts, who've also helped me find old hardware. They've been very patient and generous with me and my doors.
The master bathroom antique dresser and mirror from St Michaels, MD is finished transforming into a vanity now and provides a relaxing space for getting cleaned up.
The corner of the bedroom saved for my artwork.
What corners do you save in your home?
Stay cool and enjoy the early summer.
Friday, May 27, 2011
The living room, taking shape now, standing at the back door looking north
Top of the landing, looking downstairs. Panels are hand carved and original to the house.
Blue tailed skink, just decided to visit the second floor one day, on the endangered species list
Resident black rat snake, Charles ("Charlie" for short), who insists on popping up in all kinds of unexpected places.
Dining room table and chandelier from Deep Landing Workshop. These artifacts are a portion of the total recovered from the soil at this point.
Another view of the living room, from the front door looking southwest
And we had a celebration of the completion of Phase I recently, with family, food and friends, along with folks who worked on the house, to include Jeff Conner's team with Chester River Carpentry (general contractor), Steve Toth (tiling), H&B Plumbing and Electricity (Bob Meffey); Johnson Tree (driveway); Relay Mechanical (Rick Hudson); Maurice Jones (ML Jones Masonry), and Rick with ADT security. Many thanks to all for joining our fun and adventure!
Looking forward to the continuing growth and blooming of HU