Welcome to 'Attic of the Heart'!

Welcome from north-central Connecticut! In this blog I will share whatever is in my heart, on my mind, or something interesting I've found to share. Thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Happy October Ending!

Did you ever pet a bumble bee? I did. It was a real cool morning, so this fellow was very accommodating.

...I just got my daily dose of Mitford. Actually, the first daily dose during lunch, followed by another at bedtime. Almost as good as an apple a day.
I love Jan Karon's books on the Mitford series. I can identify with some, having lived in small rural towns at one time. I live in a smaller town now, but I don't know anyone. They are a reserved bunch around here. Polite, but reserved. Me, on the other hand, I love to talk and have a good conversation. I don't mind being a bit personal, open up a bit, if it will help get to know someone.
That's midwest friendliness. And Maine and New Brunswick too. No pretention, just me. I am uncomfortable with pretention. Actually, I feel sorry for these people, as they don't seem to be comfortable letting the real them come through.
I realize that I probably have 'put on' a bit at some point, but generally speaking, what you see is what you get with me. Ok, so I hide the wackiness for the most part. I save that for my husband, the cat, and my best friend Sandy.
We have our own club, you know, which we call the Dingbat Club. I am president, and she is number one. There are satellite members, many of whom I don't know, but they know who they are. In order to be a member, you have to have a bit of innate wackiness. Let the goofiness shine through.
For example, I like to be goofy, and sing silly songs to my cat (which I'm sure only he appreciates :0)). Or, or rare occasions, I pretend to be Freda, someone whom only Sandy knows. (Freda will be a funny old lady someday, with big floppy hats, large handbags, baggy knee highs, and a definite love of flower gardens.) I am also known as Myrtle, of Myrtle's Girdle Shop. 'Big or small, we make 'em all.'
Get the picture? Oh, and most importantly, must love animals. And talk to them. Not like you are actually waiting for them to answer, but... you know. Right?
(Ok. I confess. When I talk to Max, he actually answers me with some kind of meow, purr, or prrtt kind of thing. That happens when you've been with each other for several years.)
Let's see...oh yes. We like to bake, and we like to eat. We love cookbooks, decorating, antiques, the simple things in life. We are quite old fashioned - we believe in old fashioned values, good morals, we love God. And we value our friendships. The older I get, the more so.
How did I get on this subject? Must be the Mitford influence...

Well, we are thinking of NOT going home for Christmas this year. Sigh. Can't decide if that's a good idea or not. We always go home for Christmas. 9 hour drive each way, hoping it doesn't snow during the drive. (it can snow after we get there - that's always fun) But the thought of a road trip again, visiting both sides of the family, well...it's exhausting just thinking about it. The downside of staying here is we don't know anyone or have any family here. We would be alone. So we are trying to think of alternatives. Perhaps a weekend trip up to Maine where they are really celebrating Christmas, a stay at any inn, some festival or music presentation would be nice.
We need something to do to celebrate and make the season memorable. Of course, going to a candle light service at church would be lovely. Going into Hartford for a presentation of the Nutcracker would be high on my list. Even higher would be a trip to Boston to see the annual Boston Pops Christmas music presentation. I've always wanted to do that.
Another down side, mailing all those heavy presents into Canada. Now that will be expensive, I can guarentee you. What was I thinking, buying 4 sets of flannel sheets? Or giant wreaths for a door? I think gift cards should have been the order if I had thought this thing through earlier, but it's hard to tell how one will feel when one gets close to the holidays. We might still change our mind. My husband is thinking staying home and resting would be nice, after working 12 hour days for months on end. Can't say I blame him.
Well, I finally joined the gym. Yup. A brand new Planet Fitness opened up 15 minutes away. Great opening special, so I signed up. Now, to get there...sigh. Why do I always have a mental block about getting ready to go?? Why do I put off what I know will make me healthier and feel better in the long run? Why???
Well, I better get going. Housework is waiting, the laundry buzzer just went, I have a garage full of furniture that I stupidly volunteered to refinish...(WHAT was I thinking??!!) Oh right. It costs money to replace all that bedroom furniture. Recycle and reuse, right?
We barely escaped the snow last night. I heard New York got nailed. Kind of early, isn't it? I know some years it's at least Thanksgiving before we get any snow, and sometimes not til after Christmas. But this year, everything seems more normal for being a New England state. Previous years, you would think we were Virginia or something. Nearly subtropical.
The juncos arrived this week. I just love those little birds. I love their 'talking' to one another. My carolina wren is back, visiting the feeders. I just love him too. I think he's my all time favorite bird. Little pot belly and stick tail. Just makes me smile to look at him.
We had a lot of chipmuncks this year. They got into the grill of the van and made a nest in the air intake (think that's what it's called). You would do well to take this apart and check it out - we never guessed that they would be in there. Thought it would be more obvious - just open the hood and peer in. Sure improved how the van worked. :0)
Gotta run. Happy October Ending!

Friday, October 10, 2008

I just love autumn...

One of my favorite spots, about 1 mile from our house...

I just love fall. I love the colors, I love the cool crisp air, the fresh scent of pines and falling leaves. I love being able to see through the woods again, instead of the jungle we have for summer. I love all the wild flowers and vines and things that have fully matured with their seed heads, and finding neat stuff growing in the fence rows and along the edges of fields.

Except I can'
t do that right now. I don't have a field, or a fence row to explore, and that bums me out. I used to, but not where I am right now. All I can do is walk or drive by and admire someone else's.
That's the difference living here in CT as opposed to way up north. When we lived in NB, and Maine, we had so many fields, just acres and acres of potato and hay fields that the farmers didn't mind you using if you were careful. My brother has a 4-wheeler that he drives around on over 2000 acres, even though he only owns 5 of them. But that's the way it is up there. As long as you stick to the edge of the field, or wait until it's harvested. Down here, there are fields too, beautiful acres of garden crops and tobacco fields, orchards, etc., but we don't know anyone here, and there are so many no trespassing signs out there. There's just too many people, and I'm sure that the area farmers (and big conglomerates like Culbro) have had bad experiences, or just don't want to be sued in case something happens.
Sigh...So much beauty here, but you can't touch it.
My husband and I have discussed this many times. Maybe because we are relative newcomers (3 yrs here), we feel this way. We feel we don't 'own' or have a stake here. In Maine, we rented, like we do here, but for some reason, we felt a sense of 'ownership', like it was 'our state'. I took pride in living there, loved to tell people the best places to visit, what not to miss, etc. But here it's different. Why is that? When we think about going to visit places, at first it seems great - so much to see and do. Then you start thinking about the crowds, the traffic. And talk yourself out of going. I know we shouldn't, but we do. And it's kind of depressing.

Saint John River, New Brunwick, Canada - view from his Dad's camp.

My husband feels that way about fishing. He loves to fish. He has so little time for a hobby, and doesn't get much chance to go. He got out about 3 times this summer, and nearly each time was a huge disappointment. He didn't get any fish worth keeping, for one thing. Another, it seems there are so many people who have the same idea that it's hard to find your own spot. He went fishing over to Congamond Lake. Was there about 15 minutes, and a family drove up in a pickup, and proceeded to swim right where he was fishing (there is a public beach, and this definitely wasn't it). So he gave up and came home. Poor guy was so disillusioned. I felt so bad for him, as we are trying to make it work here.

Crossing the bridge in Belgrade Lakes, Maine, where we stayed in a B&B...

In Maine, much less people, much bigger state, and so many places to fish. We talk about moving back up there, but he has a good paying job here (best he's ever had), they love him, treat him good. But he works 12 hrs a day, 5 days a week, plus every other Saturday. Being in management means more is required. And he's a giver. Gives it all he's got, just like he was an owner (and more than some of them). That's his work ethic. But I'm so afraid it's aging him and wearing him out.
Maine jobs in his field are hard to come by, much less good paying ones. And he'd have to prove himself all over again. When you are over 50, you really think about that. He has tons of experience in his field (steel/metal manufacturing) an excellent work ethic (hard to find nowadays), and a huge commitment to getting things done. The 'word' out there is that if you want things done, see him.

No place is perfect. This I know, having lost count on how many times we've moved over the last 25 years. (6 states and 2 provinces so far, with over 20 moves involved). Utopia doesn't seem to exist. Either it's beautiful, and it's too expensive to live there and the people are unfriendly. OR, you trade in some of the beauty, and you have low paying jobs, but friendlier people.

Sigh. Life isn't easy, and I don't mean to complain. God has blessed us so much here. But what do you do when your heart doesn't belong here? Stay for the money? Or 'go home' and try to make it work on less? It's not an easy answer at our age. We've started over too many times. It seems to get harder each time (not to mention the physical aspect!! I got alot of stuff over 26 years of marriage!!;0))
But yet we can't see ourselves retiring here. The house payment would be huge, the property taxes are probably the highest in New England. Everything in CT is higher than most of the surrounding states. Food is generally cheaper in Maine, even though they have to ship it farther. Go figure...
I admit one of our problem is our choice of housing. We aren't city people. We both want some land. A small farm. Heck, we could get by on an acre if need be. If all we wanted was a small fixer upper house on 1/4 acre, there's plenty of that here for around $200,000. But then we think - wow! For that kind of money, we could get 5 or more acres, a farm house, barn, garage, etc in Maine! Our dream!
So....do we forget the dream, or do we move to Maine, and my dear sweetie commute on weekends home to Maine? That is what we are plotting right now. It would be hard, but when we retire, we'd have a home. Without a huge payment. Because we wouldn't have to spend that kind of money up there for our dream.
Why are things always so complicate?