Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Last Days with Our Girls

Saturday October 14 – Tuesday October 17, 2017                      Most Recent Posts:
Greenfield Mountain Farm                                                           October in Virginia
Afton Virginia                                                                              Back in Virginia – A Carrie and Celia Meet Up

The most fun of all our time in Virginia were the days that Carrie and Celia came to visit us.  Beware, this is a “Gramma Blog”.

They arrived Saturday morning and we all went over to Carrie’s high school friend Allegra’s niece Arya’s birthday party. Did you get that?

Arya was turning 4.  The evite said it was a “Spooky Soiree” and everybody was encouraged to wear costumes.  After all Halloween is only 2 weeks away.

Carrie and I wore our renaissance costumes.  Celia came as a pumpkin.

She’s a punkin’ all right.

Carrie’s friend Allegra, her mother, my friend, Lynne and Carrie.  Too bad Lynne wasn’t with us in Lubec, she’s definitely dressed for it.


Nana and Celia reading in their jammies. These pictures follow in no particular order and are just a montage of our days together.  Emphasis on you know who.

Celia visits Winnona. 

She gives the tow bar a few pats.


She’s heard that Grandpa had a problem with towing when he left Maine.  Maybe she can help.


Someone chalked a beautiful rainbow on Winnona’s street.


Horsing around for the camera.  Look at all those teeth!


One afternoon someone is caught in the act of pilfering raw pie dough to eat.  A LONG standing habit.


Celia is introduced to Amanda her Mama’s childhood baby doll and other childhood toys of her mama’s.  Grandpa kept them all.


Carrie’s high chair is totally cool in that it folds down into a little desk and chair sort of thing.
Grandpa knows what Celia likes, sweet raisins.


Is that an objection I see?

Celia decides she likes her mama’s rocking chair and takes it home with her when she leaves.  Nana wove the cane back and seat for it and many other chairs at the farm.


Carrie’s friend from the 2nd grade on was Kate VanderBeek who comes to the farm for a visit and has Celia’s rapt attention.


They play inside and outside.  


Grandpa gives her a turn around the yard in the Flexible Flyer which was among the toys he pulled out and cleaned up for Celia’s visit.  Notice the farm bell on the pole.  I rang that to call whoever was eating in for dinner or lunch.  It can be heard all around the farm hollow (really known as a haller, y’all).



On another day, Celia is looking very serious about getting the rest of that delicious breakfast on the spoon.


She succeeds despite the fact that her usual little spoons had disappeared and she had to use a regular spoon.  But then food in the mouth is a favorite thing for her and she does seem to prefer the spoon to just shoveling it with her fingers.


Time to take Amanda for a stroll around the farmhouse kitchen in the strawberry shortcake stroller.


She’s a bit young for piano lessons I would think.

Caught her in the “stink eye” again.

Maybe someone had told her not to do this.

Off at a run across the yard and through the leaves.

We’re on the merry go round at the park.  Everyone is sitting.  I’m working it with my feet at a nice slow pace. 


Looks like she’s giving “kitty” a good talking to.


I think “OH” is her favorite word.   Said with many different inflections as in “oh dear” and “oh boy” and “Oh no” and “Oh my”. 


The last day Carrie and Celia were here we went over to see her cousin Justin, his wife Carmen and their 4 children in Charlottesville.   Only Issac was still long enough for a picture.  The other three were a blur on their bikes and scooters up and down the street.


We take care of a lot of “business” when we are in Virginia but it’s really all about seeing these two.   It’s goodbye for now.  Sure wish they could come with us.  What fun we’d have!


October in Virginia

October 8-28, 2017                                                                          Most Recent Posts:
Charlottesville Virginia                                                                 Back in Virginia – A Carrie and Celia Meet Up
                                                                                                   A Spectacular Send Off From Schoodic Point

I’ve written many posts in the past seven years on Charlottesville and all the things to see and do here including Shenandoah National Park, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello and the University of Virginia.   You can find any or all of those by googling those terms using the search bar on the top left of the blog.

When we return here it’s mostly for medical appointments, to see friends and the big one, to see Carrie and Celia.  So most of my posts from here are about seeing them as our friends are tired of having their pictures taken and I don’t tend to carry my camera around everywhere like I do outside of Virginia.

All that said this post will have a few things that happened while we were in Virginia including a visit from Carrie and Celia.  I left out all the visits and meals with friends and  picked 3 things that are at least a little different from those we’ve done before.  


I went for a hike at the Ivy Creek Natural Area originally the farm of Hugh Carr a former slave.  You can find a previous post that tells all about Ivy Creek and its history here.   I  stayed for a presentation in the education building by local author Jennifer Ackerman on her new book The Genius of Birds.  My pictures of Jennifer were too blurry to use so I borrowed one from her web page. 


Her presentation was excellent with unbelievable examples of the genius of birds from the enormous amount of field research she did.  Her slides of bird photographs were outstanding. 



Jennifer Ackerman

Gordon3I also took a beginning calligraphy class at my beloved Gordon Avenue Library.  Libraries just have everything.  I’ve always loved calligraphy and beautiful handwriting in general.  The Instructor was a local calligrapher and the class was wonderful.  In fact the instructor was so good that I do think with regular practice, as in until it became rote, I could become proficient enough to suit me..  Just not sure where to fit that into my life around the hiking, kayaking, biking and all the rest. 





Our local absolutely stunning 1931 Paramount Theater does vintage movies at least twice a month and I walked on down there to watch Some Like It Hot with great performances from Marilyn Monroe, Joe E. Brown, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon.  I only had my phone so some of the pictures here are………well Galaxy S5.   Therefore these are a combination of ones from the Paramount website and mine.

Paramount Markee2paramount4Some like it hot1

Some Like it Hot

Some of the nearby restaurants were all decked out for Halloween.  Sal’s gets the “most creative” award.



I asked David to choose some pictures of what he did while we were in Virginia and laughingly he chose not play but projects.   I guess those are fun for him.

Well this first one was not so fun.  Seems wasps had decided inside the shop was a great place to build nests.  David not so much.  Gives me the creeps just to look at them swarming all over

IMG_0002Next in line to deal with is the toad lighting problem.  Last post I mentioned that we had to drive home from Maine separately because none of the lights on the back of Ruby were working when hooked up to tow.

The Blux Ox cord connecting the electric from Winnona to Ruby is of course  blue


The 4 wire flat harness had pulled loose from the Blue Ox Mounting.  Apparently water had gotten in the rubber boot, had  no where to drain and caused the wires to come loose. 

IMG_0008You can see the water line and the rust from water accumulating inside the boot and being unable to drain.  This seems to be a poor design.  Blue Ox of course has never heard of this problem though they did agree that it could be a problem and it might be a good idea to drill a small seep hole in the bottom of the boot.  That done square off the wire ends, restrip and clamp and it should be better than new.  Or at least it’s been working fine since this was done.

Getting things fixed is very satisfying but some things are more fun.  The granny smith apple, tree planted YEARS ago for Carrie since it is her favorite, had a bumper crop of apples.  Lots of folks were notified to come on and pick.  Carrie took a bag home with her from her visit and some of them ended up in pies.  YUM!   But there are still apples for the deer and whoever else wants a share.

All organic with a bit of cosmetic cedar apple rust.  Cedars grow in farm fields and it is absolutely impossible to keep them out so apples have rust on them.  A rag wipes it off.  No danger to health. 


We have views of Humpback Rocks on the Blue Ridge Parkway from the yard.   This one is zoomed in over the trees   We kept waiting and waiting for the usual Blue Ridge color display.  October has always been THE month and one of the reasons we hang out here then and do medical appointments but color was so late this year that we missed it.   Of course there is no climate change.


This crib is on its 3rd generation now that David put it back together and cleaned it up.  I used it, Carrie used it and now Celia is using it when she visits.

Winnona doesn’t spend her time in Virginia at the farm because there is a 3/4 mile driveway that is too rough for her and lined with trees that need trimming for her to drive through.  We’re never here long enough to make much headway on that but some was made this year.

Truck fulls of gravel are picked up by David’s antique 1986 Chevy S-10 pick up truck


Then it is spread and graded sections at a time.   A lot of work.


But at the end of the day there are beautiful sunsets over the Blue Ridge.


The very best thing we did of course was enjoy a visit from Carrie and Celia.  That’s up next.