I've often heard children say, "There's nothing to do today". I beg to differ. I'd like to inspire you to do something. Anything. Read. Bake. Hike. Fish. Plant. Sail. Climb. Play. Reach. Move. Laugh. Dream; and take time to sit with me on The Old Granite Step.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick or Treating images....the lights are out.




Hallow-e'en 1915 
by Winifred M. Letts 1916

Will you come back to us, men of our hearts, to-night
In the misty close of the brief October day?
Will you leave the alien graves where you sleep and steal away
To see the gables and eaves of home grow dark in the evening light?

O men of the manor and moated hall and farm,
Come back to-night, treading softly over the grass;
The dew of the autumn dusk will not betray where you pass;
The watchful dog may stir in his sleep but he’ll raise no hoarse alarm.

Then you will stand, not strangers, but wishful to look
At the kindly lamplight shed from the open door,
And the fire-lit casement where one, having wept you sore,
Sits dreaming alone with her sorrow, not heeding her open book.

Forgotten awhile the weary trenches, the dome
Of pitiless Eastern sky, in this quiet hour
When no sound breaks the hush but the chimes from the old church tower,
And the river’s song at the weir,—ah! then we will welcome you home.

You will come back to us just as the robin sings
Nunc Dimittis from the larch to a sun late set
In purple woodlands; when caught like silver fish in a net
The stars gleam out through the orchard boughs and the church owl flaps his wings.

We have no fear of you, silent shadows, who tread
The leaf-bestrewn paths, the dew-wet lawns. Draw near
To the glowing fire, the empty chair,—we shall not fear,
Being but ghosts for the lack of you, ghosts of our well-beloved dead.

A non-traditional Jack O' Lantern!

When our boys were growing up, we always tried to inspire them to be creative and to think outside the box.  So after years of carving "normal" Jack O' Lanterns, our older son came up with this.  No fancy carving kit kit was used; just a little imagination and a kitchen knife.  A Boston Bruins Jack O' Lantern.  His fourth grade art teacher would be very proud.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Our Very Own Giant Pumpkin

These pumpkins were harvested for the Grange Fair at the end of August.  At that time, ours was still a babe in the garden!
We had never really tried to grow a "giant" pumpkin before.  I use the term "giant" loosely.  When our local Grange announced a pumpkin growing contest, we decided to enter! 

Free seeds were given out by the Grange and we were ready for them!
The right mix of soil is important. 
A hole is poked in the soil and the seeds are planted!

We had decided not to worry about the pumpkin.  We were going to let Nature take her course.  When the Grange called in August to see if we had a pumpkin growing, we had to go look.....and yes!  There was a giant pumpkin growing.

Two weeks later.....
.....and voila!
We watered the pumpkin quite a bit in the last several weeks.  On the day of harvest, it was pouring rain. 
The vine was carefully cut.  Serious giant pumpkin growers wait until the last minute to cut their pumpkin off the vine.  Some farmers even cut a couple of feet in either direction on the vine from where the pumpkin is growing.  They put the ends of the vines in water or milk so the pumpkin doesn't "shrink" upon harvesting.
We took advantage of the rain barrel in order to wash the pumpkin off.
We carefully loaded it into the back of the pick up for the ride up to the "weigh in".
Our competition!  Needless to say we did not win, but our color was wonderful compared to some of the larger pumpkins.  

The above pumpkins were auctioned off as a fundraiser.  You may recognize the second one in line as the Old Granite Step pumpkin!
We have decided not to carve our pumpkin into a Jack O' Lantern.  Instead it rests in a place of honor at the side door.  Our pumpkin is "giant" in our eyes.  We will save seeds to grow next year and will be sure to share some of those seeds with our local seed library!  A fun experience.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Pumpkin Memories

I have fond memories of going to pick out our pumpkins when I was a little girl.  I don't think they were actually grown at this location, but I can't say for sure.  Clearly, this was a "no frills" operation.  The house still stands, but I haven't been able to get a pumpkin there in many years.  I chuckle to myself every time I drive by and wonder if the current owners know of this "pumpkin" history.  The photo is from the 60's; I'm not sure of the exact year.  Judging by the hat, it must have been chilly out!

Where do you get your pumpkin?

Saturday, October 25, 2014

A test of patience - Refinish your old stairs!

If you're like me, you love old houses.  When you look at one to purchase, you look past all of the work that it needs because it speaks to you.  You know you can renovate beautifully without skipping a beat.  You have vision.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pay a visit to the New Bedford Museum of Glass!

We often hear that "Good things come in small packages."  At the New Bedford Musuem of Glass, that certainly rings true.  Located in New Bedford, Massachusetts, this petite but wonderful collection of glass is mesmerizing.  We were captivated by glass that dated back to 600 BC and awed by the crystal "chair" that greeted us as we entered the museum. Wonderful!

Emphasis is placed on local glass companies, such as Sandwich Glass and Pairpoint Glass from Cape Cod, as well as Mount Washington Glass, which was made in New Bedford.  The collection of glass paperweights is impressive.  These small works of art encapsulate tiny bits of artwork within.  They are all quite beautiful.  The display of vaseline, or uranium glass is spellbinding.  Displayed under black lights, the pieces "glow" due to the uranium content in the glass. Of course Corning is represented nicely; with highlights on Stueben.

The museum has been open for several years, but it continues to grow at a fast pace.  The curators of this small but engaging menagerie continue to expand the collection daily.  They are creating a library of "glass" related books that will soon be open to the public for research and enjoyment.

Part of the charm of this museum is that it's tucked behind an antique shop; the two simply go hand-in-hand.  Visit if you can; you won't be disappointed!

The collection of glass "molds" is notable.

The blue glass is my favorite.  This is part of an old whale oil lamp.

Another favorite....this mercury glass paperweight.

The display of uranium glass is breathtaking. 


A beautiful example of Mt. Washington Glass from New Bedford.

At one point, this wonderful Stueben piece titled "Trout & Fly"  had a gold "fly" attached.  Apparently, someone removed it.  The museum is currently having another fly created in order to complete the piece.  Stueben has released a replica piece for a limited time.  Click here for more information.

Don't miss this wonderful destination!