away for the weekend: April 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

barn charm - another londonderry barn

"Monday, Monday - can't trust that day"...
I was singing this in my head this morning as I sat in what was essentially a parking lot on my drive to work.
Monday can truly be a rude awakening, sometimes.
Anyway -
it was a beautiful Spring weekend in Vermont -
a little hiking, a couple stops at our fav coffee shop, grilled steak on the deck...

This barn - we can't quite figure out.
I think it's new - and there has also been quite a lot of beautiful work done on this property -
- but -
no signs of farming that I can see.

No animals,
no crops,
I don't think I've ever seen any people, either.
What do you think?

Friday, April 26, 2013

random five - whisper words of wisdom

Finally - things are starting to bloom, here in New England.
And - I'm wrapping up my week of 200 mm -

which was a whole lot more fun than I expected it to be.
I'm not sure what I've learned, yet, but honestly -
limiting my choices was not a bad thing.

Often while I'm reading your blogs,
I enjoy the quotes that sometime accompany your images.
Then I think to myself,
why don't I know any quotes?

And guess what - I do.
They're like my own little mantras.
So today I will share five of my favorites - in no particular order.

"Peace begins with a smile." Mother Teresa

"Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans." John Lennon

"To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1
(turn, turn, turn)

"There will be an answer, let it be" The Beatles

"Ob la di, Ob la da, life goes on" The Beatles

Hmmm, yeah - think maybe I'm a baby boomer?
And with these little words of wisdom,
I wish you all a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

rurality - vermont fresh

Driving the back roads of Vermont, there is always something picturesque, quaint or just plain quirky to see.
- and then, make a quick u-turn for
(or maybe not so quick if you need to convince the driver - which really only delays the inevitable)
- because - you know - seeing these things is fun,
but capturing them with a camera is even better.
Anyway -

I spied this colorful van parked at a farm in Londonderry, Vermont.
It's an exciting reminder to me that farmer's markets will soon be opening.
- smile -

Many Vermont farmers pride themselves on their organic produce.
Vermont Fresh is a state-wide network of farmers, food producers, and chefs -
providing some of the most amazing farm-to-table cuisine found anywhere.

And - another sign that Spring is finally coming to this northern part of New England -
Jamaica State Park is reopening this week.
Time to get out those hiking boots
-another smile :-)

How about you - are there any rural markets or activities that you look forward to?

Rurality Blog Hop #11

Monday, April 22, 2013

weston, vermont charmers

Our weekend was blissfully quiet and uneventful
and I enjoyed my week of 200 mm more than I expected to.
Weston, Vermont is one of my favorite towns to visit -
beautiful farmland and charming homes
(not to mention The Vermont Country Store).

A few weeks back I photographed this barn using my nifty fifty,
and when I realized it would require a lot of cropping - I scrapped the photos.

One of a cluster of buildings - sitting quite a ways back from the road.
I was very surprised by how close it appeared at 200 mm- it completely fills the frame.

These little outbuildings are also part of the cluster.
And then, across the street -

on a farmhouse porch attached to the barn,
a pair of farmers relaxing on a beautiful sunny day in the mountains of Vermont.
I hope you all had a chance to find a little peace last weekend, also.

Friday, April 19, 2013

random five

Completely random...
My mind has been a bit scattered all week -
waking this morning to the news of a dramatic scene unfolding in Boston.
I am finding myself with an unexpected day off, and
I pray that this all ends without further blood shed. 

I spied these jugs outside a shop in Jamaica, Vermont.
When I shot them last weekend, I loved them for their bright cheerful colors -
today when I look at them, their rainbows symbolize hope.

These week from my scattered brain - completely random thoughts:

1) I am wrapping up my photography exercise next week with a 200 mm setting.
This should be interesting...

2) Last year for Mother's Day, my daughters gave me a pair of red cowgirl boots.
They're perfect for adding some pizzazz to my catholic schoolgirl style.

3) I thrive on sunshine. I don't care whether the temperature is 0 degrees or 100. If the sun is shining, I'm likely smiling.

4) I am dreaming on quiet mornings on the lake in my kayak.

5) Again - no number five, so I will wish you all a happy weekend.
Take care.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

walk and click - middlebury, vermont

A couple summers ago, Greg and I went on a bike ride that looped through the northern half of Vermont - roughly following Adventure Cycling's Green Mountains Loop.
375 miles of beautiful and charming villages, farms, hills and mountains.
(did I mention hills and mountains?)
The ride took us through Middlebury, Vermont - which I vowed to come back and visit someday -
sans bike shorts...

Last Sunday - which was supposed to be 60 degrees and sunny - seemed like the perfect day for taking a walk through a quaint little town.

Yeah - sunny and warm...
not so much.

I'm not sure how Greg managed to keep me from going into this store.
I may have to back, again, someday.

We enjoyed our walk, all the same.

And - as always in Vermont - rocks stacked for meditation.

I hope you all get a chance to get out this week and enjoy your neck of the woods a little.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

barn charm - barn segments

My thoughts and prayers go out to all the runners, helpers, observers and family - anyone affected in any way by the attack at the Boston Marathon. The mood here today is somber as we try to make sense of the violence that took place at this event that does so much good for so many.

This week - all 85 mm - resulted in barn segments.
I was much too close to this barn for my lens setting.
Barn side

Barn roof

Barn foundation - I like the stones down a the bottom right.

This barn sits on Main Street in Jamaica Vermont, and is for sale - along with a charming little house.
I dream of opening some sort of shop in it, and using the barn as a workshop.

I took this photo a couple months ago before I started this nonsense 
errr, I mean extremely valuable creative exercise...

It's a cutie.

On another note, I was extremely surprised while catching up on my blog reading last weekend to find that one of my barn photos had been featured as a Friday Find on Laurel's blog The North End Loft.
Laurel is extremely creative and always has something fun and crafty going on in her Idaho home.
If you've never visited her blog, click on over - its a fun place to be!
I particularly love her recently redecorated craft room.

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Friday, April 12, 2013

five on friday - my "style" edition

Okay - so it's still just a little early to say that Spring has sprung -
and I suspect that when we get to Away this evening, we'll find that there are still many piles of snow along with a fair amount of mud.
But - here in Boston, we have our first blooms - 
and this guy looks much happier to me, lounging among the petals.

So - I'm calling this week's random five - my so-called style

1) I'm tall, which I definitely didn't appreciate when I was young - but now, I'm kind of liking it.

2) I have a closet full of cardigan sweaters. I don't know how or why this happened, but boy, do I ever need a style consultant!

3) I also have a closet full of flats - but then, I don't really need to wear heels now, do I?

4) A typical outfit for me is a skirt, tights, flats and sweater (okay, yeah, a cardigan) - which my kindest friends call "classic", but I know it's really more like "catholic school girl"

5) One thing I love about having daughters is their savvy style advice which goes something like -
eye roll - "no, mom..... no"

So with that -
A quick update on my focal length "challenge" -
I probably shouldn't call it a "challenge" so much as a "creative exercise". 
This week was all 24 mm -(which is just one of the settings on my kit lens).

And what have I learned so far?
Well, if I want to take different shots - I have to move around.
Believe it or not, that in itself is a valuable lesson -

"A good photograph is knowing where to stand." Ansel Adams

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

round schoolhouse - brookline, vermont

I had put my quest for old schoolhouses on hold for a few weeks -
until after mud season, anyway.
But sometimes opportunity just presents itself.
While out exploring last weekend, in the middle of making a u-turn, we saw this.

Yep -  a round one-room schoolhouse.
It's also somewhat unusual that it was built of brick.
The wood siding on the attached shed would have been much more typical for Vermont.

Not satisfied with a quick drive-by shot, I needed to explore a bit.
Even Greg and Nearby-apartment daughter got out of the car for this one.
I'm not sure why or when the shed was built onto the side.

This little chalkboard hung inside.
Taking a quick peek (okay, maybe not so quick) through the window, it looks as though it's been set back up as a classroom - maybe as a museum (?)
but the glare was too strong to get any photos.
It would have been interesting to go inside - it looks kind of small for 60 students
(even on benches)

Monday, April 8, 2013

barn charm - 24 mm week

Fresh mountain air and scouting for barns -
the perfect medicine for a tension headache.

We spent a quiet weekend at Away, working on little projects around the house -
and of course, just a little exploring.
This week's focal length is 24 mm - which seems to be better suited for me
(with just a little cropping).

This big red barn is attached to the back of the farmhouse -
which is not unusual in Northern New England.
I imagine it makes it easier to tend to the animals during the long winter months.

We were fortunate that mud season has not made the roads too unpassable- yet.
Although, we did hit one rather muddy spot in an area that was just a bit off the beaten path.
When you see quaint villages and beautiful farms such as this one,
it's easy to forget that parts of Vermont are - well - a bit different.
(We're thinking we may have heard dueling banjos in the distance...)
Yeah, it would seem we ventured into an area of hermits (think Unabomber),
 and communes (yes - they do still exist).
It's always an adventure.

And with that, I'll leave you with this thought 
- which hangs in one of our favorite restaurants.

Friday, April 5, 2013

five on friday

Killer week - and that's enough on that topic...

Anyway - walking back to my mom's house last weekend,
I noticed this fence zigzagging up a side street,
and it actually worked well with this weeks 100 mm.

So, for my five random thoughts, I'm finding that I really like Deanna's Letters on Friday format:

Dear Friday,
Thank you for being you. I'm so happy that you're here!

Dear 100mm,
I know I haven't really given you a fair shot, but we're probably not going to be bff's - we just don't seem to see things the same way.

Dear Vermont,
I get the whole mud season thing, really I do, but please - please - allow my little Subaru to make it up the hill to my driveway tonight. Please?

Dear 5 am
Why, oh why, oh why must you be such a rude awakening? Every day you arrive much too quickly and you're much too dark - just saying.

Dear Headache,
Stop - now - please.

I'm joining Random Five Friday and Friday's Fences

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

a seaside walk

We were extremely lucky, last weekend, to enjoy beautiful Spring-like weather.
It was a much welcomed break from the cold that's rolled back in.
We also enjoyed Easter dinner with my family at my mom's home.
She lives in a beautiful seaside town outside Boston.

Dinner was so wonderful (yep - we all ate too much)
so a walk along the harbor before further indulgence in ice cream cake was in order.
Out we ventured - trusty Rebel with this weeks lens (100 mm) around my neck.
Fishing boats make their home here.

As do quaint little shops. This has long been one of my favorites -
nautical knicknacks, antiques, postcards.

It's difficult not to love a town with a quaint lighthouse.
Town residents fondly tell the story of Rebecca and Abigail Bates - daughters of the lighthouse keeper during the war of 1812. One afternoon, home alone, they spotted a British warship in the harbor.
While keeping out of sight, they took up a fife and drum, fooling the British into thinking the militia was headed towards them. They became known as the "army of two".

I remember the lighthouse more for the breakwater you see to the right. If you look closely, you can see someone venturing out. This was great fun when I was in high school.

I'm finding the 100 mm focal length extremely awkward - it seems everything is either too close or too far.
I'l be glad to move on in a couple days - it's all part of learning...

I am joining Madge for Rurality Blog Hop and

Have a great day!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

barn charm - londonderry, vermont

Last weekend, Greg and I stayed home to celebrate Easter with our family.
And while I'm sure there are barns in the Boston suburbs - well, I didn't see any.
So this snowy barn is from a couple weeks back -
which is just as well, because this week's focal length is 100 mm,
and so the challenge really begins...

Can you guess what it was about this barn that caught my eye?

Fortunately, we're beginning to see the first signs of Spring at home -
and even managed to take our first warm-up bike ride of the season.
Yep - there's hope.
How is the season shaping up where you are?