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.

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

More abandoned houses.

You know that for some unexplained reason, I am drawn to abandoned houses.  I wonder....did children live here?  Where did they put the Christmas tree?  Did they have a cat?  A dog?  A garden?  May these images invoke the same sort of questions for you.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Pressing cider on Christmas Day.

When we made our cider last year, it was the day before Thanksgiving.  A snowstorm blew in from the west and while everything was covered with a beautiful blanket of white, it was a bit chilly in the barn!  This year however, was very different.

Monday, December 28, 2015

A handmade Christmas dinner favor....make them for any event!

There were 13 of us for Christmas dinner this year!  I wanted to create a keepsake that all of the travelers could take when they departed for home after dinner.  This is a simple, yet creative remembrance of our time together.

A view from the kitchen window; will it really snow tonight?

We set all kinds of warm temperature records during the past week but things are changing.  We expect some snow tomorrow before turning to an icy rain.  I snapped this photo this morning and it reminds me of the rhyme we said as children:

Pink sky at night,
Sailor's delight.
Pink sky in morning,
Sailors take warning.

The plow is on the Jeep just in case!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Memories of Santa's Land in Putney, Vermont

We were lucky enough to have relatives in Vermont so Santa's Land was an annual trek.  Enjoy these photos from the mid sixties.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Monday, December 21, 2015

Some seasonal decor in Boston's Back Bay.

A trip to the city isn't complete without a walk around Back Bay.  While many things have changed over the years, some things seem timeless. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

It's a grilled cheese and tomato soup day!

It's a chilly day in New England and the wind has been whistling all day.  After waiting in line at the post office (yes, Christmas packages that should have been sent last week), a cup of tomato soup and a nice grilled cheese on wheat bread warms the soul.  The heavy pottery of my old LL Bean blueberry dishes seems so fitting at a time like this!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Monday, December 14, 2015

Placing tinsel on our Christmas tree in 1969.

I'm not sure what struck me first when looking at this photo....the plaid skirts?  My blue tights?  My sisters' red knee socks with the decorative lace top?  The Hi-Fi?  The light bulbs that got so hot but were so much better than LED lights?  Or perhaps it's the tinsel that's not made anymore.  Such a classic 1969 Christmas.  I miss those days!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A pair of old spoons and some new curtains.

When rummaging through a big old barn full of dusty antiques in Vermont, we stumbled across this idea for the kitchen and loved it!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A picture to ponder.

The little wren living in this house comes to the feeder for suet and is a delight to watch.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Anne of Green Gables - The house.

It was my first and only time on Prince Edward Island.  It was late October and it was a bleak, rainy day.  The house wasn't open at the time but it overflowed with charm for this little girl who loved Anne of Green Gables.  The author, Lucy Maude Montgomery, was born on this day in 1874. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from The Old Granite Step!

View from the kitchen window. 11/25/15

The cat woke me up early this morning.  It was chilly but so still and beautiful.  I lit the fire in the wood stove and poured a cup of coffee.  It's times like these that we need to savor. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

The comfortable cat.

by Charles Baudelaire
They are alike, prim scholar and perfervid lover:
When comes the season of decay, they both decide
Upon sweet, husky cats to be the household pride;
Cats choose, like them, to sit, and like them, shudder.

Like partisans of carnal dalliance and science,
They search for silence and the shadowings of dread;
Hell well might harness them as horses for the dead,
If it could bend their native proudness in compliance.

In reverie they emulate the noble mood
Of giant sphinxes stretched in depths of solitude
Who seem to slumber in a never-ending dream;

Within their fertile loins a sparkling magic lies;
Finer than any sand are dusts of gold that gleam,
Vague starpoints, in the mystic iris of their eyes.

Lighthouses - A game.

I happen to love board games.  If you love lighthouses, this is for you.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Abandoned in Vermont - House for Sale

A recent stop at a farm stand in Northwestern Vermont led us to this antique homestead that's for sale.  Located near Alburgh, VT and not far from the Canadian border; it's wonderfully flat property that could be conducive to farming; either animals or crop.  Very scenic and longing to be cared for again. 
 Loads of space in the barn.
 Has a newer attached barn.
 Interested?  Here's the number!
This could be your next project!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The old watering cans.

The Watering Can 

And, what of those
Petunias gracing
Your new deck
Would they not die
If your hand
Did not carry
His water to
Feed their beauty

by Debora Short 

Saturday, October 31, 2015

A hearty Butternut Squash Soup recipe.

The fall has been playing tricks on us here in New England!  We've had several frosts and we've even had snow flurries.  Yesterday, however, it was 70 degrees outside!  Today it's blustery and it barely reached 50 degrees.  The leaves are crisp and the colors are beautiful.  Light a fire and stay in tonight.  You'll just love this butternut squash recipe!  It's perfect for the season.
Chop 1 large onion into small pieces, add 1 teaspoon of salt and cook over medium heat until onions are clear.
Cut 3 small carrots into small pieces (approximately 1 1/2 cups).

Peel and cut (also into small pieces) 1/2 of a large butternut squash (approximately 2 1/2 cups).
Add the carrots and squash to the onion mixture.  Cook for 15 minutes.
While you're waiting for the stove top mixture to cook, slice bread (of your choice), put on cookie sheet and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake bread in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until lightly browned.
Using a blender or food processor, blend the vegetable mixture until smooth.  Add a dash of nutmeg.
Serve while hot; wonderful for a chilly night!

Friday, October 30, 2015

The fall garden at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe.

As Vermont waits patiently for the snow to begin falling, here's one last look at the gorgeous and very well maintained grounds at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe.

Color was everywhere!
The view is spectacular.
I have asked my husband to recreate these steps at home.

I didn't realize the family cemetery was at the lodge.  It is beautiful and peaceful.  The public is not invited in, which is certainly understandable.

Such scenic views.
A lovely spot for grazing.

The garden was waning but so pretty none-the-less.


If you get a chance to visit, go inside the lodge and enjoy a meal.  A stunning spot to enjoy conversation over lunch or dinner.