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.

Saturday, December 21, 2019

A peaceful Winter Solstice.

The 2019 Winter Solstice is at 11:19 Eastern Standard Time.


1.  Astronomy.

  1. either of the two times a year when the sun is at its greatest distance from the celestial equator: about June 21, when the sun reaches its northernmost point on the celestial sphere, or about December 22, when it reaches its southernmost point.

  2. either of the two points in the ecliptic farthest from the equator.
2.  a furthest or culminating point; a turning point.

This photo was taken on a wintery December evening about fifty years ago, in a small Connecticut shoreline town.  The solstice causes me to reflect on the buildings in the photo which are all, unfortunately, gone now.  The peace emitted by this lone image is strong.  We can only imagine the stillness that inspired the photographer to snap the photo.  So at this time of the Winter Solstice, take a moment to enjoy the tranquility of a winter's night that will only be a memory tomorrow.

a reprint from 2014

Monday, December 2, 2019

We found this in the basement of our 1810 house when we replaced the furnace.

The old furnace just couldn't go on any longer.  It chugged away for the most part but with a hiccup every now and then.  It was larger than the new one and there was a piece of sheet metal behind it that covered
a huge fireplace!  I will say that the basement of this house is beautiful.  But I can't figure out why there would have been such a large fireplace down there.  Was it used for cooking?  Was the basement built first and they lived there before adding the actual first floor of the house?  It's perplexing.
The piece of granite used on this particular fireplace is very large.  There were several operating quarries in this area when the house was built but why put it in the basement especially when the fireplace directly above it in the family room isn't this nice?
So now we're tasked with cleaning all of the rubble out of it.  It can't be used but it can be clean and it certainly makes a great conversation starter!  

Thursday, November 28, 2019

An easy place card idea for your holiday table.

I am truly thankful for my family and friends.  This is a nice way to show those that will be sharing a meal with us today that we are thankful for them and it can be done last minute.  Simply print out who you're thankful for (I used card stock but copy paper will work) and choose a meaningful item to glue onto the tag.  All of of us love the beach and are grateful to live near the ocean, so I chose seashells.  You may wish to use acorns, dried flowers, or be creative and use things like old buttons or even golf tees!  If you don't have a printer, nice handwriting will suffice.  Make a hole for the tie and using twine or ribbon, tie it around a napkin.  Makes a pretty table setting.
 Happy Thanksgiving from The Old Granite Step!

Friday, November 8, 2019

Fix it upper or tear it downer? A Nova Scotia lovely.

I like to believe that any old house can be saved but I admit.....my first glimpse of this one led me to think otherwise.  Then I started to look at it through my magical rose colored glasses.  Tear off that front porch and maybe, just maybe.....

Saturday, November 2, 2019

The Red Tail Hawk and the birdhouse.

I was recently carrying brush to the compost pile when I stopped in my tracks.  This bird is simply stunning.
This really puts it into perspective.

Friday, October 18, 2019

An easy tomato salad recipe right from the garden.

Cherry tomatoes are easy to grow even if you don't have a garden.  They thrive in containers and are appropriate for pots on your patio, deck or window ledge.  We're still picking them even though it's late in the season.  Simply slice them in half, add some chopped basil, fresh ricotta cheese and season with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.  For a twist, add ricotta instead!  Several years ago I posted an easy ricotta recipe.  You can find it here.  This makes a terrific side salad or can be a meal by itself!

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Snowdrops in the garden; a sure sign of Spring.

Fifty degrees out and hundreds of snowdrops....Spring is here!
Although the Winter was relatively mild, I am delighted that the first full day of Spring has arrived.

Sunday, March 17, 2019