Friday, June 25, 2021

It’s Celia’s Turn

Greenfield Mountain Farm                            Most Recent Posts:
June 12-14, 2021                                               It’s June Finally
                                                                              Celia’s 5th Birthday

IMG_5848This weekend it was Celia’s turn to visit Nana at the farm.  She and her mom came down on Saturday.  Carrie said it was fantastic to get away from the cicadas who are so loud at her house that the family can’t stand to be outside.   Very quiet here, no cicadas just frogs and crickets and whipoorwills and lightning bugs.

Celia sleeps in her mom’s old bedroom in the alcove bed which has a trundle underneath it for friends.  One of those friends comes to visit this week-end.   The carpet is soft with a thick pad and great for sitting and playing on.


Not sure why I seem to have no pictures of the many times over the week-end Carrie played the piano and  the girls sang but I do have this video of a lyrics flub.  Too cute!  See it here if you like.

We take a hike in the woods and the girls “ride” a downed tree.


David and I had many trails on the land and I held spiritual retreats at the Solstices and Equinoxes each year.  David made benches and set them out at various places on the trails for folks to sit in the quiet for contemplation.    Over the years we’ve been gone, the leaves have covered the trails but the benches are IMG_5860still here.  Obviously extremely well made. 

Carrie, Celia and I happened on one by accident.

Celia is quite the story teller which is what is going on here. 

I don’t remember the gist of it but it was fantastical no doubt by the look on her mom’s face.

Back at the farm on the front porch swing they look mighty sweet.


Next morning it’s time to get that pretty curly hair combed so we can see to do some puzzles on the big bookcase table in what we call the west porch.



Celia helps one of the Cabbage Patch Dolls play the piano while Nana and the other doll are cast as the audience.  The photo is dark because of the big windows in the background..



Carrie took her professional flute with her when she moved to college but left the one she learned on which has both a curved and a straight neck.  I should sell it but when she picks it up to play it for her audience of two, I’m glad I did not.


The Cabbage Patch twins go for a ride around the yard in the old wagon.  Same wagon Colin was collecting sticks in on his visit.


Of course “the kids” have to go for a swing.  I guess Carrie would be their grandma and I’d be their great grandma.  Good grief!


Had to put this picture of a sulk in the blog lest it look like all was constantly moonlight and roses.  Celia is a bit of the drama queen and I doubt any of us remembers what was so utterly awful but at the time . . . .   Anyway, I thought this was hilarious but tried very hard not to laugh as I know it would not have been appreciated.   Some years from now she’ll think it’s funny too.


Carrie met Allegra Deucher in kindergarten and for several years she lived just down the country road from us and spent nights in that trundle bed.  They went to school together until graduation from high school and have been friends since they were Celia’s age.  It’s always wonderful when Allegra comes to visit.  The 3 are playing some sort of Princess Dominoes.


And another round of Zingo.  “The Babies” as Celia calls them have been cast aside.

Nana has never had a dishwasher.  Didn’t want one.  Having two members of the family washing/drying gives them quality time together to talk.  The time goes by easily and the chore is quickly done.

IMG_5894 (2)

We have a picture of Carrie and her dad in just this pose.  Perhaps that’s why Carrie took this one.  I didn’t know it until I saw it on my camera.  Thanks Carrie!


Sadly all good things must come to an end and even though they have stayed over until Monday, Monday does come and we take our last hike together. 




They finish off their time at the farm with some more piano playing and singing.   Here are two short videos.  One of Carrie and Celia at the piano singing Mary Had a Little Lamb and one I know Carrie will love of Celia and the dolls snuggled up singing on the couch as Carrie plays. The song is pitched a bit too high for Celia but she’s a trooper.  Just click the highlighted phrases to see and hear them.

C&C at Brusters

They gather their things all together and as always, I take no pictures of them  leaving.  Only of them arriving.   But Carrie sent me this one when they stopped at her dad and my favorite ice cream store, Brusters, on the way home.  I stop there on the way either to or from her house too and they never have Jamaican Me Crazy which was the favorite flavor of David and I.  But this time they had it!  How does she get so lucky??   And she didn’t even choose it but got black cherry instead.  What is wrong with that girl?  Smile

I’ll be back on the road in just over a week on my way to Vermont so I won’t see them again for a while.  I do feel lucky that there is Zoom and Facetime and email and digital pictures.  I would have loved these to share with my mother when Carrie was Celia’s age.

Monday, June 14, 2021

It’s June Finally

June 1 – June 11 2021                                                 Most Recent Posts:
Greenfield Mountain Farm                                        Celia’s 5th Birthday
Virginia                                                                          Spring Brings Changes

IMG_20210602_080752117_HDRI’ve been waiting for June ever since I was forced back to Virginia in March this year because I could not find either anyone to truly fix my hydraulic problems or a way to get the covid vaccination while on the road.   But both of those have been taken care of and I’ve been anxious to get back to living in Winnona.

June has been vacillating between gorgeous wonderful weather and hotter than the fires of hades weather.  I guess I’m thankful it hasn’t all been the latter.

One benefit of being in Virginia for so uncommonly long is that I see more of Carrie and her family.  She and Colin were here, see blog link above,  I was at their house for Celia’s birthday just under 3 weeks ago and she and her mother are coming on Saturday for a visit to the farm. 

So this is the post of what I’ve done or not between visits.  Mostly it’s hiking and reading and business of all kinds – routine medical, my dad’s estate STILL.  These last two are boring so I’m not going to say anything about them.

IMG_20210602_080739080The fields at the farm are grown high with grasses and wildflowers.  I can hear the whippoorwill in the evenings and after dark and the wood thrush in the mornings.

I don’t often take my real camera with me when I’m wandering around the property so nearly all of these pictures were all taken with my TOTALLY INADEQUATE Motorola phone.  I apologize in advance.  Motorola may have been the first company to make and sell a cell phone but the one I have is junk.  Wish Santa would bring me an Iphone or at least a much better droid.  End of rant and apology especially for these field wildflower pictures..

I always run into somebody on my hikes.
One morning it was turtles.  I hadn’t seen them before and I haven’t seen them since but on that day, I saw two of them not very far apart.   Both are Box Turtles and in these pictures look alike but they aren’t the same turtle given how far apart they were and how quickly I saw them both. 



IMG_20210603_082445231I see deer at some point every day but usually they see me first and all I get is their white tail flag flying as they disappear.  But on this day, One was just ahead of me and I stopped and tried to get his picture.  We stared at each other for quite some time.  If I’d had my “real” camera this would have been a great shot.  Wish it weren’t so heavy to take with me.

Other white tails are on the little bunnies I see as frequently.  But I never see their little white puff tails unless they are hopping away and then whatever pictures I take are blurry.


But they are cute never the less and I GREATLY prefer them to the other frequent visitor whom I am actually trying to trap with no success.  I’m afraid he and his clan are living both under the house and under the shed so they really do have to go.  I have told Shannon that when he is here this summer painting the inside upstairs to do what he can to eliminate them before they dig trenches that fill with water under the buildings or chew the wires.

I spent years fighting to save my vegetable gardens and I have ZERO love for the Woodchuck no matter how much wood he can chuck.  If I knew how to use David’s rifle, this guy right outside my west porch would have been history.

Groundhog (6)Groundhog (13)

Back to something concerning but slightly less unpleasant.


One of the reasons we have had some days of delightful weather in June, read that 70’s to mid 80’s, rather than over 90 is that we have had rain, rain, and more rain. 

How I wish I could send it out to the poor desert southwest.  It’s doing a number on my farm lane which cost me many pennies to put back in shape two years ago.  I spent one morning raking gravel back into the sunken spots and holes as best I could but I’m afraid I’m going to have to pay for some more gravel and more professional maintenance unfortunately.  There are ruts that are just too much for me where the gravel has been washed into the side ditches. 

We’ve had days of all day drizzle.  I actually don’t mind those cool days and am willing to hike or walk in them though pictures don’t turn out well and I fear for my camera.


But other days it has been down pours.  Those are the ones that over flow the gutters, pool around the foundation of the house and wash out the road.

These pictures were taken from the front porch.  I love to sit on the swing or in the rocker and watch it rain if it isn’t blowing in my direction.  Not sure if you can see how hard it’s coming down in these pictures.  The mountains are invisible just beyond the yard in the fist picture.  The gutters are overflowing in the second.  These were taken just before I was forced inside.

Back inside I could see out the pantry window that I had serious gutter overflow issues so I jumped outside for a second to take these pictures of it pouring down and where on the ground it was splashing.  The standing stone marker is for our beagles who are buried under several of the gardens around the house.


But then the rain stops, the clouds at least lift and the sky glows pink.

I am spending a lot of time at perhaps my 4th favorite activity after kayaking, hiking and reading – planning my travels.  David was always the driver and maintenance man and I planned the trips, made the reservations, mapped everything out and navigated.  I like my job better than his and so wish he were still here to share the fun.

IMG_20210606_154907253I sent this selfie of me to Carrie to tell her that I had discovered Vermont, where I will be this summer,  has over 100 covered bridges, over 422 waterfalls and endless places to hike and kayak.  I haven’t gotten the numbers on those yet but clearly I can’t do it all even spending nearly the entire summer there.   In this picture I am mapping the distance from each waterfall and covered bridge to each of the two different parks I’ll be staying in –one for July, one for August – so I’ll be able to hit the ground running so to speak.   I’ve spent fun filled hours at this activity and I’m not nearly finished.

An American ChildhoodSpeaking of reading.  My Wednesday night book discussion with my friend Laurie has us reading Annie Dillard’s An American Childhood.  It’s a beautifully written memoir of her happy childhood and has kept me laughing out loud.  Every child should have such a mother.

On my own I have been reading Leave Only Footprints by Conor Knighton. He’s a correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning and after his fiancĂ© pretty much left left him standing at the alter, he took his broken heart on the task of visiting every one of America’s National Parks in a single year.  Even Hawaii, Alaska and American Samoa.  I’m enjoying

it but in my opinion,  he’s moving much too fast to really take in the magnificence.   How many days could he possibly spend in each park of the 63 National Parks allowing for travel days? 

The book is not organized chronologically so it is difficult to know how many days he spent where.

The of the 23 chapters have titles and several parks are discussed in each with no regard for location.  Chapter 3 is titled Animals and discusses Everglades, Channel Islands, Pinnacles and Death Valley.  chapter 22 is titled Disconnecting:  Isle Royale, Olympic, Virgin Islands. 

Still it is wonderful to read about these parks and he was very lucky to have been at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park just as the Kilauea volcano erupted and red hot lava spilled down its sides into the sea.  What a spectacular even that must have been.

I’ll close with some fun things I’ve seen around on my walks.   Who could possibly have set up this paw print looking set of rocks?  Wasn’t me and no one else walks out here.


Walking down this path I found an interesting tree with a see through hole right through it.  The tree seems to be thriving just the same.  Nature is amazing!



Closer lock.  It’s a shagbark hickory.


Another lovely scene from this walk and then evidence my neighbors and I walk the same path.



Taken May 30

Pretty soon I’ll be saying good bye to this view from my bedroom window and heading on down the road.

But I’ll be right back here sooner or later.


Saturday, June 5, 2021

Celia’s 5th Birthday

May 22 – May 25, 2021                                        Most Recent Posts:
Reisterstown Maryland                                        Spring Brings Changes
                                                                                   A Visit from Carrie and Colin

I packed up on Saturday and drove 3 hours away from calm toward busy Washington DC and then Baltimore Maryland to see Carrie and her family and especially to celebrate my grand daughter Celia’s 5th Birthday.   How can she be 5 already???

IMG_5708Her birthday was actually on Wednesday the 19th but with school and her parents both working, I’d waited until Saturday to drive up to celebrate with them.  So it turns out she had multiple birthdays which I know was just fine with her.

I arrived just after her swimming lesson and in time for lunch.  Colin went down for a nap and she and I went straight to games and reading.

First we played Guess Who.  It’s a great game and she’s definitely got the hang of it.  “ Is your card a boy or a girl?”  “Does yours have glasses?”


She picked out a stack of books and we read them all.


When Colin got up we had our little party.  I’d gotten her 3 different types of presents but it turned out that her mother and I got our wires crossed and Celia already had both of the games I’d gotten her so she had only two boxes from Nana.  That seemed just fine.  This is what happens when you say smile.


When I was her age, clothes would have been a big disappointment to me as a gift but not Celia.  She was thrilled with two new sundresses and wore them both while I was there.  But I don’t think I got any pictures of her in either one of them.  Wonder if her mother did.


The other box was three new books If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, an second in her favorite series Madeline and one I really like entitled The Rainbow Fish.

Here Mommy checks out If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.


At the time I bought these snazy sunglasses for her I had no idea her cake was a butterfly.  She really loved the sunglasses.  So did I and I tried them on just in case they would fit me but alas, too small.


Time to sing Happy Birthday and cut the butterfly cake.  Delicious chocolate cake with too many sprinkles for me but she loved it.


Make a wish, blow out the candles.


Daddy cut very generous pieces for us all.  Thanks Matthew!


Colin is really getting into it.


Few things in life I like better than reading and I am so thrilled that both of my grandchildren share my love.  My favorite book went over smashingly.



Our last fun of the day was outside with the rocket launcher.   It was me against Celia.  Colin was the count down and luckily happy to be my fetch it.  Great fun.  Take a look here.


The next day Matthew was cleaning out/up the basement so we all pitched in to help with the toy area and managed to clean out all the bins and bag up three huge trash bags of stuffed animals etc to donate.

This picture is sort of half way through the clean out.


And here is Carrie at the end.  Of course it won’t stay this tidy.


After all that work, it was time to relax in the pool.


Celia was going to demonstrate for Nana what she had learned at her swimming lesson.


It’s the putting her face in the water and going under that is the hardest.

First you learn to blow bubbles in the water.


It was scary but she did it!!


Back inside a lot of time was spent emptying the car bin and sending the cars in races down the slide and then constructing a sort of race track for them.


Sydney wisely realized she needed to get a higher view which would put her out of the way of racing and flying cars.


The lovely Lila had no intention of getting anywhere near the excitement.


Other things available in the play area bins are baby dolls which need to be dressed and undressed and put to bed and fed.


This is undoubtedly THE very best reading chair ever.


Carrie took a short video of us enjoying our favorite activity.  You can find it here.


Coloring is nearly as popular as reading and luckily Nana is small enough to fit on the little people’s chairs at the coloring table upstairs.  Colin is reading rather than coloring and Carrie took a short video you can find here of two little people and one bigger Nana coloring at the little table. 


The Cicadas have started up here at their house in Maryland.  We took a hike down to the stream to check them out.  They weren’t very loud just then but they were quite visible.  In the few weeks it has been since I was there, the noise has gotten so loud Carrie says it is difficult to be outside.


On this day their molted skins were everywhere.



We saw them with red eyes and lacey wings.


That stage was everywhere too.  They are gearing up for warmer weather and serious singing.



Colin thought they were very interesting.  Celia not so much.
The Washington Post did an excellent short article and sound clip about this Brood X lifespan if you are interested.  Access it with this link.


Back inside on my last day with them we created Celia’s Cafe where she mostly  made tea, cupcakes and grapes for her two stuffed patrons.




Bear kept looking at the menu and ordering more and more until the table was overflowing with dishes.


It was great fun and I was sad to say good bye to them.


But, Carrie is bringing Celia for her visit to Nana at the farm in just a few weeks and then I will return in September to their house for Colin’s birthday.