The Round House

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What makes a building a work of art?   One of my discoveries of interesting and unusual sights that we pass on the way There is this house on a back road.  It’s sort of round, at least in the front and has an observation tower on top.  Yes, the picture is not one of my best, but it was taken “on the run”.   Hopefully this one will be replaced by a better one this summer when I’m doing more of the driving.

Round House

And now a word from… SPRING!

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Spring

Oh, yes, it is Spring.  Don’t look at the calendar.  The week of January 25th, the hyacinths in the front garden broke ground There.  (If you don’t know what a hyacinth is, it’s that early spring flower that looks sort of like an artichoke, smells very heavily sweet and comes mostly in shades of purple and lilac.)  They have been newly joined by tulips and the golden daylillies which are just breaking through the soil this weekend.   The myrtle (also known as ‘vinca” but I like to call it myrtle) is turning a brighter green as it wakes up and starts to crawl all over the mini boulders I put in the front garden and I can’t wait to see its tiny periwinkle blue flowers.  And the tulips!  I know I have a few yellow ones which are red on the inside but there are also these funny little squarish pointy red ones too.   I am so very excited about the flowers this year.  The winter has seemed so long with nearly five feet of snow.  It makes the early spring so much more glorious.

And would it be spring without more renovations?  R and I went on a shopping adventure to Home Depot for odds and ends for the new kitchen.  Our contractor, Tony starts ripping the old one apart tomorrow.  I wish I could be there but it’s probably better I’m not.  The new kitchen will mark the completion of the transformation of There from the unloved, overcrowded, filthy condition that it was in when we bought it 5 years ago to the calm, peaceful. comfortable home that I saw it as.   The new sliding doors will be dressed in new drapes that I will be sewing in the next few weeks.  They will be in the same shades of pale blues and greens as the rest of There. 

Once the kitchen is done in the natural maple cabinets and neutral countertops with the lovely new lighting and the still to be determined backsplash, I am hoping that R will see that my beloved There is too peaceful and pretty, warm and welcoming, bright and beckoning to live anywhere else.

I’m hoping…

Snow Farms

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My son is a professional hair dresser and I have decided that he will give me hair services for the rest of my life as payment for carrying him for 9 months.   He lives and works in a small historic town on the Delaware which is about a 75 minute ride from There.  The relaxing ride through the Pinelands takes me past many miles of farmland. For three seasons there is life abundant in one form or another but now, in the dead of winter, under a foot of virgin snow, the farmland lies dormant, often with a backdrop of woods.  So peaceful.

Christmas Blizzard 2010

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Snow cap on the patio table

The Sunday after Christmas I left for my vacation.  I left early because all week they were predicting this blizzard and I didn’t want to get caught driving in it.  I foolishly stopped to take a few pictures on the way but still arrived just as the first snow flakes were starting to stick to the grass.  I hurried out to fill the bird feeders knowing I would be alone and snowed in for at least the next 36 hours.  The birds would be a source of amusement.  I unpacked, gathered up my candles, flashlight and blankets in case of power failure (W’s suggestions), took stock of what food I had brought and R had left for me, and set up my paints.   Inspiration was fleeting and incomplete so the painting I made was borderline horrible.  I decided to watch the snow and the TV reports.  This photo was taken about 11 PM Sunday night.   We had over 20 inches.  

But it’s got new windows

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The house on the corner

Before the pine barrens, at the edge of  horse country,  there is this small farm with a corral for perhaps 3 or 4 horses, a pole barn, a small house and a few small sheds.  At the edge of the property, just at the corner and very close to the road is this old unpainted wood house.  The front door is boarded up.  But recently, I noticed that new windows were put in.   I find it hard to figure out why.  Now the side window on what looks like an addition was boarded up.  The attic window by the chimney was also boarded up.  But the front and sides of the house have new windows.   No curtains though.

The end of the tracks

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This picture needed to be large to see the detail.  I noticed this only recently and this was my first opportunity to get a photo of it.  And yes, the tracks continue on the other side of the road.   I don’t know of any railroad stations in the area so maybe the tracks were strictly for freight trains hauling goods, produce, etc.  There’s nothing but pinelands in the area with an occasional house or two.  The road has been there for at least 40 years so it’s hard to say what the train line would have been used for.  With a little nerve, a willing companion, alot of bug spray and maybe a good staff (to fight off the Jersey Devil and occasional buzzard or gopher) I might be willing to do a little exploring in the spring to see if there are any clues as to where the tracks lead a half century ago.   If I can fill my list of pre-requisites to make the journey, I’ll report back on my findings.

Tara, With Apologies to Margaret Mitchell

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Outside of town where the famous flea market is, we found a “short-cut” through horse country.  I never knew there were so many horse farms in this section of Middlesex and Monmouth counties.  There is one with many, many acres of pasture on either side of a long driveway.  The driveway itself is a mile long if it’s a foot.  When we drive during the day, there are dozens of horses out in the pastures.  When we drive by closer to dusk, there are hundreds of New Jersey geese in the pasture on the left side of the driveway and hundreds of grey doves in the pasture on the right side.  The segregation (by their own choice) of these birds is somewhat amusing.  One of my silly imaginary trips involve the rebellious goose who finds that one discontented dove.  They fall in love and walk wing-in-wing down the road that separates their kin.  OK, enough time spent on that…

The house is huge and grand and does look like something out of a movie.  It looks more like a mansion than a farm house.  It is too far back from the road to photograph properly and privacy concerns forbid me from using a telephoto lens.  However, I will attach a photo of the pastures very soon.

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