Saturday, October 1, 2016

Goodbye Summer Hello Fall

Time to wrap up summer before the fall fun begins.  My daughter Gabe is coming for a visit next week - we'll spend 5 days locally and then she and I will drive all the way to Prince Edward Island, Canada!  When we moved to New Hampshire 18 years ago, we were huge fans of Anne of Green Gables and I promised Gabe that since we now lived "so close", we would go there very soon.  We never made it and I feel badly about that but I am making it up to her now and we are so excited!

That huge pink dahlia is called Emory Paul - over 12 inches across!

September was eventful.  We had our house painted yellow (so now I can't refer to my old house in Kingston as the Yellow House).  I will hence call it the Kingston house.  Can you tell how much I love yellow exterior paint?  Our large and old fashioned linen closet got painted, the color inspired by a drawing room I saw in a book on old English houses.  The driveways at the Kingston house property were finally paved and in applying for a paving permit from said town, I ran in to all sorts zoning and property line issues that were never resolved with past owners so my property now has it's own street name, Ginger Way and a corrected property line.  After attending three different town meetings, other issues were resolved too.  I attended a garden symposium in the Litchfield Hills of Connecticut and spent many wonderful hours and miles exploring the delightful towns there and one particularly outstanding garden at Hollister House in Washington, CT.  My dahlias and nasturtiums heavily fulfilled the measure of their creation.  I hiked to the highest peak in New Hampshire, Mt. Washington, both torturous and glorious, with four friends.  I won a Chili Cook Off for the second year in a row.  Gabe and Dan had birthdays.  Good stuff.

That is a stuffed angel food cake - you cut the cake in half, hollow out a tunnel in the bottom layer - fill it with a mix of drained crushed pineapple, strawberries, mini marshmallows, and whipped cream, put the top layer on and then frost the whole thing with sweetened whipped cream.

So, here's the end of summer, beginning of fall in pictures and probably a few more words.
 This is the Glebe House in Woodbury CT built in 1740.  The garden was designed by Gertrude Jekyll, a very famous British garden designer.  It's the only one she did in the United States.  I didn't go inside but instead toured the garden.
 While driving around the west Hartford area, I serendipitously ran in to the almost completed Hartford Temple (of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints) of which I'm a member.  Dan and I will go to its open house October 17 - yay!

 What I wore to the garden symposium.  I'm glad I dressed up a bit - many women were dressed to the nines and I was astounded at the number of well known garden and clothing designers who were present.  It was also the hottest day I have experienced all summer - the temperature was 98 but the humidity was in the 90s as well - sweltering!
 Part of the group - there were probably 300 of us in attendance.  We listened to six lectures of an hour each (one British and five American garden design experts/designers/plantsmen).  It was so wonderful! After the symposium, we were invited to drive to the Hollister House historical garden and tour it and attend a rare plant sale.  The garden was exquisite and I found a few plants to take home.
The plain front of Hollister House which is deceiving - the back is incredible!!
 Above and all below - the back of the house and property

 Now for the hike:
 The toughest part of the hike
 Looking down after the toughest part.

 From the top looking down the other side.

 We made it!
 Our group that "signed up" was originally 15.  Just five of us made it that morning at 4 am.  Here we are about a quarter of the way in, having peeled off our layers from the cold we first experienced.

 Blondies Dan made us to eat when we finished our grueling hike.
 I couldn't wait to get to the top of the mountain so I could eat this lunch!  Hummus on one side, avocado on the other, ham and swiss in between.

 Now for the Kingston house driveway:

Because the property line was found to be in part of the driveway when I had it surveyed, I couldn't pave to the dirt and had to gravel the area connecting the Yellow House to the back yellow cottage.  My neighbor, who owns the dirt area on the right, will plant grass there next spring so it looks finished.

 The beginnings of my prize winning chili - 1/2 beef 1/2 pork.
 The back and front of the newly painted yellow Rye House.  And dead lawn.
 Bits of fall in the house above and below.

 FYI - I made my own poo pourri.  And saved $15.95 - that stuff is expensive!  The ingredients on the label are simply purified water and three essential oils so I used the old bottle and my own oils, lemon, bergamot, and lemongrass and it works just as great at pennies a bottle.

 This is a door mat on our back porch made from old flip flops - isn't it cool?  And very cushy to step on.
I finally painted our large linen closet below.  The house painters did some wall repair and prepping and the first coat and I finished the job with multiple coats and a couple accent colors.

 And now to end - time to bake all things pumpkin!  Much to Dan's chagrin - he's not a fan.  Milk chocolate chunk studded pumpkin cookies!

 Those tiny pumpkins, the wee be littles, are from our garden.