Deep Sadness

Yesterday evening after watching Lawrence Welk I was sitting on the rocking chair in the sunroom. I saw my neighbor’s chipmunk I named Buddy standing up looking over at my house. Ricky had more babies and he has been very interested in everything happening. Like all chipmunks he is sweet, charming and curious. They continually fill me with joy.

Wayne came in and was standing somewhat in front of me when I saw something odd in the neighbor’s yard behind him where Buddy had been standing. I didn’t have my glasses on and the sun was low in the sky behind her house. I put on my glasses. It was a hawk perched on the ground with its wings partially open looking like a large angel of death. I ran out but it was too late. I watched it fly away with Buddy. I’m devastated. I had always prayed that I would never witness this very thing. I was able to save his life almost one year ago when a hawk was dive-bombing him. Not this time.

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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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Something Pretty: Save Money, Reduce Waste

This is just a quick post to share how much I like using Swedish “Dish Cloths” in place of paper towels which are hard to find now in some places due to pandemic shortages. However I just checked and you can still get these cute dish cloths online. I bought all ten of these for just under $12. I don’t use them to dry dishes as the name implies but do use them daily to wipe down my counters with homemade spray cleaner made from water, vinegar and orange oil. They are machine washable, too!

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Guest Post: A New Englander’s Tiny Balcony Garden in Italy

Many of us who are stuck inside small urban homes during quarantine (or any time!) may find ourselves wishing we had some nature within reach. My dear friend and Bostonite Stephanie moved to Italy many years ago and created a green oasis on her chic Florence balcony. I’m very grateful that she was so generous to share her story and beautiful photos with us here on Simple Living New England. Come see her flowers, fruit trees, bird friends and more for inspiration!

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Blustery Beauty at Higgins Beach

I got a parking spot at my favorite beach!!!! I smelled ocean air (40 degree air, but I’m no longer picky!) instead of whiffs of Clorox! As a way to prevent crowding my town of Scarborough closed the beach parking lots except for a small portion of one at Pine Point. They technically did not close the beaches nor did they prohibit VERY limited parking along the street so that those who live within walking distance can still go as well as those who could snag a spot. Today was my lucky day! It’s the first time in over three weeks that I actually went for a drive anywhere. (My wedding ring still fits, ha! I take it off at home.) I really needed to at least see and smell the sea from my car. I was so thrilled that I was able to actually park and take a quick, socially-distanced walk!

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Making (Hair) Do: The “Quarantine Coif”

Wayne, an essential worker, still leaves home Monday through Friday while I only venture off our property to walk around the neighborhood. Like everywhere else barber and salon visits are out. According to headlines, home hair coloring and grooming supplies are selling out. I’ve read many comments about how awful it is that one can’t cover up their gray hair. It’s not an issue for me because as I’ve shared before, I’m going gray because I like it! Last week I decided to share some of my eclectic taste in vinyl on Instagram and included a selfie (above) in which my salt and pepper colors are very evident. Hmm I also see my crows feet in that pic, too. No Botox for me, either, now or ever. Anyway, I privately received some remarks about my hair!

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