Thursday, August 2, 2018


I must admit it, I was a Girl Scout.

A Brownie and then a Girl Scout, until I went to 8th grade.

They have a really good motto:  Be Prepared

I like that.  And I've embraced that concept since the.  I liked to do my homework when I got home, and hand it in on time.  Not last minute.

As a nurse in charge of an ICU and then a Recovery Room, I would have mock codes so we could practice and make sure we all knew what each of our jobs were to best insure the patient's recovery.

And being prepared was invaluable as I did "family", a lot of time by myself since Rob was off caring for others in the ER, OR or the office.  Someone asked me one time why I had the table set for dinner at about 1:00pm, it was so early.  "Because before I know it, it will be 5:00 and the kids will be getting hungry and crabby and I'll be making dinner and it will be one less thing I have to do."

But the Girl Scouts have a really good signature song too! 

"Make new friends but keep the old!  One is Silver and the other Gold!"

These neighborhood friends are gold to me. 

We've done life together for over 30 years.  One came in 1972, another in 1978 and we arrived in Canton with our four children in 1987.

But we've also done death together.  A brother, a sister.  Parents, grandparents and aunts and uncles.

We've grown our children up together.  Soccer, hockey, golf, horses, lacrosse, track, and swimming teams, plays, band, sports camps, homecoming dances, prep schools, and then graduation parties, college tours and choices.   Bridal showers followed, weddings,  receptions, and now baby showers and grandchildren.

We've done hospital guild boards, historical society boards, Save Historic Canton association, Study Group and Dinner Club together.

We've done flower gardens, camps, cars and lawn sales, and neighborhood friends.  We've exchanged dishes and silverware, napkins and ideas.

We've followed each others pictures as we've all been all over the world visiting our children as they in turn, have gone to the 4 corners of the earth, each following their dreams.

We've done this getting older thing together too, and all the various things that includes; stents and ports and values and radiation and.....


Front porch, back porch, kitchens, dining rooms.....



Monday, July 23, 2018

Long Island

We're here with Jon and Jill and the girls for a couple of days. Arrived in the evening on Saturday, too late to see Harper, who was already asleep, but briefly held Penelope and grew to love her even more. What a sweet, lovely little girl she is. Another granddaughter. So blessed. Went to church early this morning with Jill and the girls. Jon had to go to work early, as usual, and wouldn't be home till later. I admire Jill who gets the girls ready each Sunday and brings them to observe the Sabbath. The love and commitment to the Lord and His body is evident as we entered the sanctuary. Great sermon from the Book of Jonah. A concept about the whale that I had never thought about. That's why we have church. Sharing insights that maybe we don't get from our own private study. Coming together each Sunday to seek the Lord, pray for each other and study the Word. So important and necessary. Home for lunch on their beautiful back porch overlooking the garden, woods and beautiful swimming pool. Surprise! Jon joins us for lunch and then all the adults are off for their naps too. Monday, Rob is off to the track helping Jon put a new motor in the Spa. I imagine they will head off at noon time for a little lunch. From the time Jon was a little over 2, Rob had him helping with projects around the house and garden. OR cap, hammer and Oshkosh overalls and all! He loves working with all the boys and various projects, installing counter tops, plumbing, electrical, carpentry. I don't think he'll be bored after he someday retires! Jill went to work at the clinic and I stayed home and Harper and I explored their beautiful property. Even engaged in a little science project when we found a caterpillar crawling on the driveway! Lunch time with Penelope exchanging smiley faces and giving her a bottle and just holding this beautiful little girl the Lord has given Jon and Jill! Tomorrow we're off to Manhattan, hopefully not for more adventures but enjoy the few hours we have there in the best city in the world. It will be interesting finding parking for the Ram truck we came down in! Exploring the neighborhoods on the upper east side!

Saturday, July 21, 2018


We need rain!

It's been bright and sunny here for weeks!
Temperatures in the high 80's or 90's, which is very unusual for this area.
Great pool weather and lake swimming and sun bathing.

But we need rain.

I drive to Madrid to sit for my 4 lovelies while their mom goes to exercise class and the fields are polka dotted with those huge round hay bales.  The farmers have cut several times already. We had a rainy spring and then immediately it turned to summer so everything grew quickly!

But now the fields are starting to look a little brown.  A little desperate for some moisture and relief from the sun.

My hostas and daylillies have really enjoyed the rainy spring and the subsequent sun, but after a couple of weeks of no rain I had to take out sprinklers and begin to give them the water they craved.  I was a little tardy on that activity and they began to get brown edges and curl up which is not too flattering for hostas.  And now I dread the arrival of my water bill....both at the house and Inn!  The sprinklers have been going for hours in the cool of the morning and evening.

But I do love these nice sun shiny days.

Especially in the mornings sitting on the back patio overlooking the back garden, listening to the cardinals and noisy wrens and watching the goldfinches and nut hatches flit back and forth from the trees to the bird feeders and every once in a while take a dip in the bird baths.

Could we just have a gentle rain for a few hours every night around 3:00am?

And then I think we could achieve a little bit of heaven on earth!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Memorial Day

What is a memorial?

The definition is "something, especially a structure, established to remind people of a person or event.

Memorial Day is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering the people who died while serving in our country's armed forces.

So we remember Christian Skoglund and his service in the Army.

Sadly, we all now have a little box with a gold star in it.   And a wonderful memory of a tall, handsome, fun loving, very competitive man who became family with us.

My dad and uncles fought in WWII.  My grandfather in WWI and I recently discovered that he fought in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive,  a major part of the final Allied offensive of World War I, but terrible trench warfare.

But I've also discovered recently, another figure from WWI, who wasn't an American but a British nurse serving in Belgium.

Edith Cavall.

She was a strong Christian, with a belief in helping people, both the allies and enemy soldiers.  She was credited with helping 200 British soldiers escape to neutral Holland.  She was also a spy, secreting out to the British, German activities.

She was executed by firing squad by the Germans on October 12, 1915.

She was a heroine and a martyr. 

And I was so impressed with her story and courage and strength in a very difficult time.

Imagine my surprise when visiting Moores Hill Lilacs , in Potsdam, New York, and discovering a lilac named after Edith Cavall.

I bought a bush and planted it in my newly established lilac patch in front of our 1885 barn at the Inn.

Perhaps a memorial.....I don't know. 

But she is an inspiration to me.

To live with honor.

Saturday, February 17, 2018


I'm dreaming of gardens!

Probably because it's February; with unpredictable weather, mostly siding on cold, dreary days and icy roads.

But today the sun shone.  And tomorrow it's supposed to be in the 50's.

My earliest memories, perhaps from old pictures or stories retold by my parents, are of our first home, and my father establishing borders, and gardens, and a lawn and planting trees.

7 Terrace Court

It was initially a very common ranch, built on a slab.  Constructed for the thousands for returning GI's and their family's.  We moved there when I was a bit over 2.

It had no lawn, or landscaping, garage or even a driveway.

But it had mud!!

My father remediated that in short order!

The mud disappeared from our property.

 Although the empty lot across the street was a real drawing card for the little 2 year old girl who lived at 7 Terrace Court!

Tales of  me disappearing to the enticing mud property when my mother was hanging the laundry began to be circulated at family gatherings.  And they always ended with the little blonde girl taking off all her clothes to wallow in the squishy stuff.  Coming home covered head to toe with mud,only little blue eyes shining out.  I don't think they ever found my shoes.

We lived there until I was 14.

But I remember the beautiful pear tree that my dad planted.  Magnificent flowers in the spring and yummy golden pears in the late summer.

 And honeysuckle climbing up one side of the house, so vigorous that my dad started claiming it had the characteristics of a weed.  He was constantly pruning it back and I loved the sweet heavy fragrance when I passed by that side.

And the hedge that he planted on the back boundary of  our property. It grew so tall and thick that we couldn't see our back neighbors house.

He didn't have vegetables on that property.  He started a vegetable garden when he moved to his next house.

But he always had a lush green lawn.  Of which I still am jealous.

I just went through the thousands of pictures I have on my phone.   And was reminded....

Soon I'm going to be seeing so many different colors of day lilies, and apple tree blossoms, and pink tulips, and peonies, and lilacs and black eyed susans, and  I'm going to be getting out to my garden house to plant pots of impatiences and tend to my "secret garden" for my granddaughters.

So I'm encouraged.

There's lots of green and red and pink  and yellow and blue and orange under all that white stuff we have around.  And soon they will all awake after their long winter's nap.

And I'm sure I will add more flower pictures to my phone collection.

Only the year will be 2018!!

Monday, February 12, 2018


And just like that we've slipped into another year.

But it's already six weeks old, with so many events, experiences, holidays, family, church, dinners, guests, trips, building, and everyday routines in the past.

And like two years ago we woke up to beauty that frequents the North Country in February.


I wrote this poem two years ago on February 18, 2016 when we awoke to another.....


Diamond necklaces were flung down from the sky last night,

Caught in the tops of our eighty foot maple tree branches.

Or were they crystal chandeliers?

Majestically draped in those tree tops?

Cascading down from the heights,

Constructed secretly in the dark by tears and wind

Glittering, sparkling, captivating in the morning light.

Daggers, long and thin, droop from the low hanging branches.

Spears and swords,

Translucent sculptures,

Transitory art.