Rainbows and Raking Light

Yesterday’s early afternoon rainbow out over the Atlantic was a real treat. Rain showers had been everywhere, just not directly overhead. But the showers out over the ocean provided us with some beauty as the sun was getting ready to set.

Rainbow on Saturday April 13 , 2024 at 6:37 pm

And then Sunday morning a raking light highlighted the dining area with the new table runner (made of Nantucket Summer Moda fabrics) and the new luminara candles purchased specifically to go in this setting.

Raking light on a beautiful Sunday morning, April 14 2024 at 7:13 am

I particularly love the yellow background outside the dining area windows — yellows curtesy of the daffodils that line the bank and the forsythia that are blooming just below the edge.

Ahhhh………..spring on Cape Cod

Wren Parents – feeding the babies — ready to fledge?

There are lots of bird sounds coming from the West yard. In the nearly-devastated Kousa dogwood hangs the wren house. The wrens had started a second nesting when the micro-burst hit our property with 80+ MPH winds that knocked down a 50 foot maple. It hit the Kousa dogwood dead center and totally broke all the limbs. Somehow, the wren house was not knocked down and, four days after the storm, the arborists came out and removed the maple. They first pruned the Kousa with a chain saw then carefully pruned the Kousa remnants. I had the bird house in my hands for a while and hung it back up in the tree where it had been, mostly because I had no where else to put it. The next morning, the wrens were in the tree remnants singing and soon the male was bringing the female food while she sat on the eggs. I cannot believe that they did not abandon the nest. These are determined bird parents.

So, the eggs hatched and the parents have been busily feeding the babies in the nest that are becoming more and more noisy as they clamor for food. I am hoping that they are ready to fledge – in fact early tomorrow morning would be a good time. The landscape project is beginning here tomorrow — demolition of the sidewalk that runs right by their nest. I’m sure they won’t be happy with all the activity, but I’m guessing they won’t abandon the nest either.

Here are photos from my viewpoint at the table pondside.




Mom feeds the babies
Mom feeds the babies

Painting — AT LAST

If you go back about a year in this blog you will find a large empty room with construction photos as a wall of windows was being replaced. Well, after a summer of trying to contract a painter, we found one at the end of the season who is now in with his “guys” and painting this room. It’s going to be fantastic when it is done. In fact, it is already looking much better as the paint goes on. But the smell of the oil based primer is driving me out of the house today. Hubby will be here to supervise!

Living room is empty AGAIN
Living room is empty AGAIN

The View from my Happy Chair

With the outdoor scaffolding gone a week now, I’ve really come to appreciate the view from what Hubby calls my princess chair but I’ve renamed my Happy Chair.

Some of the reasons I am happy today:

1) had a nice nap in that chair today

2) the view of the east yard contains almost pristine snow since the deer have been fenced out since December

3) the scaffolding has been gone from outside for a whole week and from the inside since Feb 1 (after being up in both places since October of last year)

4) the last time that contractor will be in this house – ever again – was Monday night and the last bill was just received and will be paid tomorrow

5)  the remote controls for the gate have finally been installed and they work

6) we’re finally getting some warmer weather and spring may be here soon – at least we can see the end of winter

7) I’m knitting my first sweater and it looks like it is going to fit !!!

8) I am going away on a quilt retreat soon

9) there have been bluebirds at our sunflower feeder and on the nesting box in the north yard


Happy New Year!

And into 2014 we go.

A picture of our Christmas tree and decorated living room scaffolding will be inserted soon!

In the mean time : —————-

Christmas cactus from a couple of years ago
Christmas cactus from a couple of years ago

The Great 2013 Windows Project – Day 0

Outdoor scaffolding arrives!  In “contractor time” this is July.  The windows that were to take 6 weeks to arrive were received by the lumberyard last Thursday.  In “real people time” this is the end of October – 4 months later that was planned.  Watching all the good weather go by with no work on the house . . . . . . . whatever.  It’s finally about to begin, along with the serious praying for good weather and for not too much rotten wood in that east wall.

So – let the photo blogging begin.

outdoor scaffolding arrives
outdoor scaffolding arrives

In the mean time, work has been progressing on the landscaping. Our landscaping crew cleared the lower yard.  This is the view from the deck, but the view from the chair where I spend most of my time knitting is similar.  It is fantastic!  I didn’t take a “before” picture, but this new view is not to be missed.  Upon closer inspection, the area is a long way from being ready for grass planting, but that’s for next spring.

lower yard cleared and ready for spring work
lower yard cleared and ready for spring work

The area I’m calling the island is where a huge decorative fir stood that Superstorm Sandy got rid of last year.  Hubby did all the work cutting and taking the tree away – many trips to the dump with the pickup truck.  The tipped root ball is still there and the area had been totally overcome with blueberry and other vines.  Alonso, one of our landscapers, is in this photo somewhere — only part way through the clearing.  In our version of “Where’s Waldo?”, this is Where’s Alonso?

Where's Alonso?
Where’s Alonso?



Of sails, frogs, and hurricanes

The outer rain bands of Hurricane Irene are here.  Our weather station in the garden is reporting a rain rate of 1.55 inches per hour.  It also presents a text interpretation of the current weather and now has the text at the bottom of the display saying “It is raining cats and dogs”.  Funny, but unfortunately, it is predicted that we may get up to 10 inches of cats and dogs during the course of the hurricane.  The storm itself is south of here but is predicted to make landfall on Connecticut between Greenwich and Stamford.  Our home is DIRECTLY in the path of the eye of the storm.  For some weird reason, I have never wanted to be in the eye of a hurricane.  Storm winds are supposed to start picking up shortly after midnight.  I predict not much sleep tonight!

So, while we are listening to TV track the storm — currently CL&P is in the process of advance covering of a certain part of their body – I’m going to do a blog update with vacation and yard photos while there is still power.

To start with — a photo of Mini-Phinni this year’s youngest frog.


Mini-Phinni on the back side of the pond


The view from our room at Malbone House in Newport, RI


Courtyard at Francis Malbone House


We went for a sail in Newport harbor.  Laying down on the deck looking up at the rigging of our boat as the sails went up:


Sailboat rigging

And while we were out in the harbor we saw a sailing sight that many would have been envious of.   Two J Class Yachts were racing – perhaps not an “official” race – but two sailboats on the same tack are racing.  And these guys were racing!  The boat on the left, J5 (Ranger), was built in 2004 and is a replica of a 1937 America’s Cup defender.  An interesting item about the original boat — it had bakelite deck inserts.  The boat on the right, JK7 (Velsheda) was refitted in 1997 with a large carbon fiber mast.  Each boat requires a crew of 16 to sail, 30 for racing.



J boats racing


We continued to sail straight at their path and tacked to get out of the way just after the photo below was taken.  Note that the main sails look dirty — but it is because they are made of carbon fiber.  They are sailing downwind — spinnakers filled to the max.


J Boats - Up close and personal


Unfortunately, the brief two-day birthday trip came to an end and we drove back to Connecticut.  It was time to make preparations for the hurricane.  We stopped halfway home to try to find some flashlight batteries as the word was there was nothing to be had in our town.  Turns out, there was also almost nothing to be had in Middletown either.

So, the work of moving lawn and deck furniture, plants, flags, etc began on Friday and continued into Saturday.  I did take time out to visit the pond and found Phyllis sitting on her favorite rock.   I hadn’t seen her in a long time.  I believe I saw her smile and think she was happy to see me.  She, at least was totally unafraid as I took her closeup.


Phyllis on her favorite rock -- across the pond from the fish feeding rock

"I'm ready for my closeup" -- notice her shadow in the late afternoon sun


And the peach lily was still open


Peach lily - love that macro lens


And everything outside has been moved in.  The title of this photo is “fake frogs in foyer”


Fake frogs in foyer


Look at the deck!  Nothing there.  From the looks of the outside of the house and yard, it looks like we have moved out.  Guess we have, moved in, that is.


Clear the decks for Hurricane Irene




Spring Flowers, Fish, and Kitchen

So — work progresses here on the final stages of the big kitchen remodel of 2010/2011.  The tile back splash was put up today and will be grouted tomorrow.  The painter was back doing the outside work on the new bay windows and the new detached garage front that hubby installed a week ago.  And some spring flowers are blooming — irises in the pond, wild daisies next to it.  It was a beautiful, absolutely beautiful day here today.  One could not help rejoicing in the beauty of a perfect spring day.

The day in photos:

tile back splash

the view from my kitchen window -- painter's legs

wild daisy



Movin’ In

The kitchen is done!  (Well, we won’t talk about a couple of things yet to finish).  But we can definitely clean up the construction dust and start putting the stuff in the cabinets and drawers.  I worked from 2pm til 8pm and am less than half done with the cleaning.  There is dust and dirt in every corner of every cabinet and drawer.  Hubby was restoring the electronics to the media cabinet in the corner of the room.  I can watch TV, movies, or listen to music while I continue the cleaning tomorrow.  In fact, there are so many cables behind that cabinet that I’m pretty sure I can do all three at the same time while I’m cleaning tomorrow.

But, we started the moving in . . . . .

It’s an orange peeler that our friends gave us for Christmas.

Spring? & other stuff

One and a half  inches of snow fell on the first full day of spring, and yesterday into today, one and one half more on the 4th day of spring.  Spring?

The good news?  The kitchen is “almost” done.  It has been almost done for the last two weeks now, but the almost is a whole lot closer to done today.  The trim is up on the cabinets and the painter was in prepping for his paint job on Monday of next week.  The front dishwasher panel is currently puzzling the carpenter as I am puzzling over some difficult piano music for April 2nd.  I decided to stop annoying us both and came down to the computer for some quiet time.

Think I’ll sneak upstairs and take a photo – – – –  this is the sub-zero FINALLY almost completely invisible behind custom cabinet work

And now — pick colors for the walls — the title of this photo is simply, POSSIBILITIES . . .

I was in Lancaster, PA to a quilt show last week.  Their spring is further advanced than ours and I found these beauties outside the B&B where I stayed overnight . . .