If It’s Home, Make It Homey

I’ve always enjoyed homemaking and I miss writing about it! Even when I was living in the most unlikeliest of places for being a homemaker–a small bedroom in a housing project while growing up, a dorm room, the tiny Vermont house no bigger than a shed I lived in during grad school, it didn’t matter. I’ve always created and managed a budget whether on a piece of scrap paper, spreadsheet or software. I furnished my home with antiques and vintage items bought for a dime or dollars at yard sales. A carpet remnant I bought at an outlet on East 64th street with money I made from pet-sitting and carried home on the Tramway to Roosevelt Island covered ugly black asbestos tiles in my childhood bedroom.

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Update

Hey everyone who reads my blog! I decided sometime this spring that I needed a long break from blogging which I had originally posted about here. I made my blog private because my plan was up for renewal and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to pay another year of hosting; a free account means ads show up (and I don’t make anything from them) which I didn’t want. I used the time offline to sort through three years of posts to decide which I wanted to keep or discard. I decided to pay for hosting another year so here it is! I’m still not planning to get back into blogging on a regular basis but I do update regularly on Instagram. Anything related to books I publish in the future (and there will be!) will be posted here to my blog. I hope you are all finding ways to enjoy the simple pleasures of being alive and can find comfort in the fact that 2020 is almost over! And yes, my silver hair matches my vintage aluminum Christmas tree! As always, no plans to cover it up…

Laurel Hill Cemetery Comes Alive

I took these photos of blooming flowers, ivy, trees, shrubs, greenery, moss and other life forms during a couple of early mornings at Laurel Hill Cemetery in Saco. It was during these walks that I experienced a deep peace I hadn’t felt in a very long time. I hope the peace of this special place reaches you through this post:

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Be Someone’s Jackpot

It’s a wonderful feeling to be able to be another creature’s jackpot. Chipmunks have a very rough life fraught with constant danger and often, enmity from humans. Desi, a new friend this season who was one of the chipmunk babies from last fall all grown up almost got killed by my neighbor’s dog this morning. She lives in her yard but comes to visit. I was outside waiting for her and I heard growling, then the sound of the dog slamming into the fence and rustling leaves. I’ve heard this before and usually I see a squirrel running for its life over the fence. Today it was sweet little Desi only she made her escape through a small space underneath it.

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Something Supernatural in the Cemetery

Yesterday at daybreak Wayne and I went for a walk at Calvary Cemetery in South Portland. Walking in and photographing old graveyards and cemeteries has been a passion of mine for many years. If you haven’t seen my past blog posts please click the link, I think you’ll enjoy them. I didn’t sleep the night before because I had spent much of it crying and laying awake thinking about the hawk and Buddy. I wanted to honor his life and make peace with his passing in a somber, spiritual setting while getting some fresh air and exercise with Wayne. I also sensed there was something I needed to see.

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Full Joy at Half Capacity

My town has opened up the parks and beaches! The parking lots are partially blocked off so that they’re halfway open. I visited a few places early this morning that filled me with peace and calm. Come have a look!

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Pandemic Flower Power, Parties, Pizza

May hasn’t been very gracious. Saturday temps were in the 30s with blustery winds, snow and rain. Sunday was sunny but still cold.

When the going gets tough, the tough get groovy. I decided that I wouldn’t let the boorish behavior of some clouds and weather patterns get us down. I threw two parties for two, the first of which was late Saturday afternoon right before the Lawrence Welk Show on PBS.

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Thrifty Gardening: Repurposing Old Things

For the first time since mid-March I went to a store. I knew it would be different, but it was exceptionally unpleasant even though it was a plant nursery. The locally owned nursery from which we usually buy our vegetable plants and offers home delivery or curbside pickup didn’t have the two tomato varieties that are our favorites–Lemon Boys and Beefsteaks, so I went to Lowe’s. Although the nursery is mostly outdoors they forced people to first walk through the store instead of directly entering. The woman at the register was not distancing from me and they aren’t set up so that you still have to use the gross stylus pen to approve the purchase, something that has grossed me out long before the pandemic. A chipmunk popped out from nowhere as I was paying so that helped me feel more at peace. Also it was very windy so my nose began to run underneath my mask!

OK, enough whining. Here are a few ways I’m reusing some old things laying around for gardening tasks!

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Higgins Beach Sunday Sunrise

We decided last night we would leave our house at 5:00 a.m. to watch the sunrise. It was very cloudy and drizzling–would we be treated to a show? We decided to find out. Wayne and I listened to the Grateful Dead playing “Fire on the Mountain” live in 1983 on XM during our ride which was perfect since the morning sunrise cast a magical pink “alpenglow” on the clouds. We had the whole beach to ourselves except for a surfer and a walker in the distance.

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Kindness Sent to the Land Of Chipmunks and Sudden Snows

April was a tough month for so many reasons, the weather being one of them. We broke a record of 79 years with not a single day above 60 degrees! It was mostly highs in the forties and low fifties, wet, dreary and we had a surprise snowstorm the second week of April (shown above). Then all week I had a headache that finally went away overnight. Receiving two different surprises in the mail from friends this past week really raised my spirits! You’ve gotta see how cute they are:

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