« June 2019 | Main | August 2019 »

July 29, 2019

Please send hardiboard, and a trip to the Museum of Everyday Life

vermont clapboard replacement

Winter in Vermont is hard on things (and people). Each summer includes maintenance and repair. I usually find a few clapboards that have become rotted from prolonged exposure to moisture, where the snow piles up. The clapboards are not costly. It's more of a hassle and time expense. The trick is getting the old board out, without destroying a bunch of good ones. A sawz-all helps, but for now I just go slow and carefully remove all the nails, one at a time.

vermont clapboard nek siding 

A neighbor said "That's what we call job security up here". I've heard people up here are starting to use hardiboard (cement panel siding). I think I'd like to replace the bottom few feet of on each wall with hardi, eventually.

The mortar around the stacked granite front porch has mostly failed. A few of the granite blocks were falling out. I'm trying to point up the blocks, a little bit each day.  

vermont staked granite porch stoop deck  

fresh clear coat from vermont natural coatings soy  

She's applying fresh natural polyeurethane, made right here in Hardwick.  

mackville pond hardwick vermont 

#2 son attended a Stargazing party hosted at Mackille Pond by the library. We didn't know about this local pond before this week. #2 son didn't really talk to the other kids, "I'm not social". But he did enjoy the evening with S'mores and swings.


lvrt johnson vermont nek vt 

#1 son, Daughter, and I rode over twelve miles on the LVRT, From Hyde Park to Cambridge. We try to ride a new section each year.

lvrt hyde park vermont cambridge rail trail bike 

lvrt bike trail vermont johnson vt nek summer 

lvrt rail trail bike path vermont nek vt 

museum of evveryday live glover vt toothbrush barn 

The Museum of Everyday Life in Glover VT is just as it sounds. The current exhibit features scissors, along with a few toothbrush and pencil installations.  

the museum of everyday life vermont nek glover vt barn 

hair toothbrush museum of every day life glover vt 

scissors at the museum f everyday life glover vermont nek vt 

don't run with scissors nek vt museum 

scissor exhibit museum of everyday life nek vt 

rock paper scissors vermont museum glover vt nek 

clark's pond nek vt glover vermont clarks  

Clark's Pond, Glover, VT 

bread and puppet theater rain glover vermont circus nek 

We attempted a stop at the Bread and Puppet museum, but we found a circus about to begin. I asked "what happens when it rains? and what about lightning?" I had several confirmations of "in thirty years, that's NEVER happened". Then the sky opened up.... and it started to DUMP rain on us. Then there was the crack of lightning and rumble of thunder and the rain came harder, and harder... we (along with most everybody else) made a mad dash out of there.  

$5.77 per lb live lobsters 

Lobster! on sale for $5.77 a lb! 

hill farmstead greensboro vermont ipa nek  

Around this time each summer, I start to get IPA burnout. But then I remind myself I don't have this option once I return to Austin. I force myself up to Hill Farmstead at least once a week. I'm always glad I did.

hardwick cafe highland center for the arts creme brule' nek 

$4 crème brulee at the Highland Center for the Arts Hardwick Café. She was happy to have it all to herself.  

foam brewers burlington vermont cheese and charcuterie board 

He LOVES a good cheese and charcuterie board. The offering from Foam is a good one too. Mom requested a stop there, she also loves their summer Gose.  

foam brewers gose burlington vt vermont  

new england craft beer connection  

We also made a quick stop at Four Quarters to meet up with some beer friends.

captain kirk uss enterprise  

We continue to enjoy watching Star Trek a few nights per week. Season three provides well written plots that deviate from the campy alien and sexy green woman story lines. Themes often include pacifism and tolerance. Spock has many memorable quotes, Including...

Spock : We must acknowledge once and for all that the purpose of diplomacy is to prolong a crisis. 

July 23, 2019

Westlake to NEK VT Waterfall tour

vermont daylillies

It was arrival day for guests from Texas. It was also day one of the great New England heatwave of 2019. Daytime highs in the low 90's may not seem that bad coming from Texas, but when the evening temperatures don't dip below 70's...  The house heats up without a central A/C system to cool the house down. I did give in and buy the last window A/C unit in the area. People at the store were waiting for me to complete the purchase... hopeful I would somehow change my mind (I had purchased the last unit online minutes before they tried to buy it). Our day lilies also made a nice show of color to announce the summer heat.

eanes westlake friends  

These two have been friends for several years now, He was happy to be able to share our New England home with her. We did a quick stop at our backyard waterfall near Joe's Pond. None of them dared enter our spooky house there... I urged them to claim a souvenir from the house, "maybe an old clock radio? You can have anything you want from that whole house". My offer was declined.

cadys falls   

We beat the afternoon heat at our favorite local swim hole.

morrisville falls swimhole vermont  

"we're almost there.... trust me, keep climbing." 


So worth it!


swim hole nek vermont vt waterfall 

They swam, and explored, they didn't want to leave.


hill farmstead greensboro vermont best brewery in the world vt

The adults also managed to visit Hill Farmstead. It's also a good way to beat the heat... 

schilling brewery littleton new hampshire best beer in NH 

Every Summer, my Mom expands her beer appreciation. We had a lunch at Schilling in New Hampshire as our friends made their way back to Boston to catch a flight home to Austin.  

hardwick vermont artist rochester house vt nek 

Now that our work load is mostly complete. The Daughter has settled into her resident artist role. This house has a long history of artistic residency.

Wallpaper removed, paint applied...

hardwick house vermont nek airbnb

resident artist draws back cat hardwick vermont vt rochester house 

nova scotia sunset bay of fundy photography paul schuster 

The bare walls were ready for some framed photography. I hung three prints from our Summer 2017 trip to Nova Scotia. 

framed art yarmouth nova scotia   

montpelier vermont capitol  

We've seen some drizzly days. Montpelier capitol tour was an easy diversion.  

vermont capitol tour 

vermont senate capitol tour  

vermont spring water roadside fountain hardwick vt 

We stopped at a fresh water spring fountain here in Hardwick, off rt 14 on the way to Montpelier. That water was so delicious.  

jeudevine falls hardwick vt 

Jeudevine Falls is just up the road from us here in Hardwick. These are some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Vermont. They are on private property, the owners request $5 per person to help maintain the large property (children are free). It's also for sale, or you can rent the place for your wedding (if you're into that sort of thing).  

jeudevine falls vermont hardwick  

frontseat coffee hardwick vermont vt nek  

We now have a real coffee shop in Hardwick! I have missed my cappuccino machine something awful. This is just down the road from our house.  

front seat coffee frontseat hardwick vermont vt espresso machine free wifi 

We are just down there on the left! 

kings around the corner 

I used to spend summer in Nebraska, with my Grandparents. My siblings did the same, and they all recall spending evenings playing "Kings Around the Corners" with my Mom's Mom. I missed game night then. I'm thankful that I get to be there while my children learn the game from their grandmother. (note that #1 son opted not to join. That's likely the same choice I made at his age, explaining why I am now just learning).

chocolate chip cookies 

#2 son made chocolate chip cookies (Nana helped...) We spent the end part of the week cleaning and prepping for guests. He had a friend/classmate coming to stay with us. 

kay-so the cat  

I facetimed with Kay-So. She was happy to hear my voice, but was not so amused to see me on the iPhone...  

July 15, 2019

Shift change and off with the wall paper

vermont summer project 2019 hardwick NEK wallpaper

My Mom arrived in VT, from Nebraska. We dove straight into the summer work projects.  

The old wallpaper was peeling in spots, and featured a pink tone. It's been a three year process, removing all the pastel (Pink, Yellow and Blue) from the house. This wallpaper was the last bit of the pastel motif.  





I installed a new dishwasher. The old one was super ugly and had finally quit working. We found one at an agreeable price on sale for 4th of July.  

kings around the corner like group solitare 

We have "game night" after dinner, every other evening. We watch Star Trek (Kirk/Spock era) the other nights. My siblings used to play Kings Around the Corner with my Grandma. Now my children spend summer eves playing with their grandma. I'm trying to learn, but I'm not that bright.


We returned to the creepy old house to work on the path down to the brook.  

joe's brook pond west danville vt 

Even #1 son is enjoying the outdoors this summer.  

joes brook pond danville vermont 

The daughter and I hiked to the big waterfall. I climbed up on it. Not as difficult as I had thought it would be. 

joe's brook falls joes pond danville vt 

joe's pond joes brook vermont waterfall 

(BIG)  I grabbed a quick pic with a real (non phone) camera.

keiser pond vermont

I took everybody to Keiser Pond.  We found a woman, her mother and, daughter (three generations) laying in the sun, enjoying cold beverages. They told us about a free concert in St Johnsbury happening the next night, at Dog Mountain.

kingdrom allstars band at red barn brewing danville vt 

Kingdom Allstars (8-12th grade kids) played at the Red Barn Brewing in Danville.  

red barn brewing west danville vermont summer 2019 

hazel rochester hardwick vermont lucinda 

We went to Antiques and Uniques in Craftsbury. I met the lady that grew up in our home here. Her mother was the town artist. She was most amused to meet me, "OH! You're the person responsible for the famouse house paint, with the blue trim. Well, it's certainly a landmark NOW!" 

I never imagined my house paint scheme would be "famous". But I'll take it.  

porsche 912 vermont antiques and uniques 

I don't see many old Porsche in VT. But we chased an early 911 up rt 14 on the way up. I found this 912 for sale on the lawn. It must have suffered at some point. I figured it must be a 1967-69 with body panels, trim and seats from a later model 911. The engine lid didn't sit right...  There was no price posted.

catamount arts dog mountain music series  

We attended the season opener for the Catamount Arts Summer Free Music series at Dog Mountain, thanks to the tip from a local.

catamount arts dog mountain summer free music series  

dog mountain free summer music series vermont 

That's some beautiful backdrop for a stage (Eric Karp played, Subject to Change opened the show). 

harbison cheese jasper hill catamount arts summer music at dog mountain 

The kids surely enjoyed the Harbison Cheese from Jasper Hill.  



July 08, 2019

Vermont waterfalls and creepy old houses


time capsule home danville vt

It's not uncommon for a person to spend winter in Florida. But if that person never makes it back... what happens to their home, and everything in it? Maybe somebody like us could purchase it, because there is a waterfall in the back yard. So here we are.... the home is JUST as it was left in 2012, The beds are made and the laundry is all folded, ready for the owner to return.  




Kat likes to dedicate some time each summer to sorting, packing up, and hauling away the contents of the home. We now have a lot of Tupperware... She cleaned up a bit, then we hiked our waterfall. 

joe's brook west danville vermont joes pond

joe's pond brook waterfall w danville vt 

trash cleanup at joe's brook pond waterfall danville vt 

She is the enemy of litter. She cleaned up any plastic trash she could find in our falls/brook. Some kid up at Joe's Pond lost his beach ball. She cleaned it up and took it home. The kids took it to the back yard where they had good old fashioned chase/kick the ball type summer fun.  

wildflower bouquet danville vermont 

She collected a bouquet of wildflowers growing right by the house.  


We did a quick/easy hike.  

black barn farm bolton vt 

I took the kids to a friend's house in Bolton. He also has some nice waterfalls on his property.  

bolton pothole vt 



It was nice to see the boys cooperating and away from digital devices.  

bolton vermont blaack barn farm 

Simple Summer fun. 

bolton vermont black barn farm waterfall 



July 05, 2019

VT chores balanced with leisure

We got straight to work upon arriving to the VT house.


I removed some old appliances.

drywall repair 

I have a drywall repair to deal with.

gary fisher lamoile trail hardwick vt 

I took Gary Fisher for a ride to the hardware store (several times). This is directly across the street.  

joe's brook danville vt west 

We stopped to view our waterfall property on Joe's Brook.  

joe's pond lake house flag hoist 4th of july west danville vt 

Flag hoist and fireworks over Joe's Pond.  

joe's pond 4th 3rd of july fireworks  

hill farmstead july 2019 

I like to run up the hill to Hill Farmstead to walk in right before closing time. No crowds! We arrived at 4:55 and it was nice.  

creamee hardwick vt 


We arrived on her birthday. She spent the majority of the day in the car. She didn't complain.  

Louisiana, , NC, DC/MD (people and places)

We drove east...

We stopped near Lafayette LA to meet up with Bonnie and child.  


pinthouse pizza emilio tipa street drinking new orleans 

Then to New Orleans for the usual shenanigans with CMoore.  

nola brewing hand in hole fun

nola brewing  

Then on to Cary NC to see my brother and wife.  

cary nc 

cary nc pool 

durham hotel rooftop sunset cocktail 

We went downtown Durham for sunset cocktails and tapas.  

rooftop durham hotel 

bone marrow tapas durham matteo's tapas 

We turned north and went to stay with the folks in Maryland. 

DC Metro 

Metro into DC from Rockville. 

washington dc mall 

big blue cock national gallery dc art 

We spent the day at the National Gallery of Art. 

giant blue cock washington DC gallery of art 


downtown crown beer and wine pub 

We met friends in Gaithersburg.  

gongon and popo 

We said goodbye to the folks and continued north. 

wang and schuster