Got Skunks?

Maybe you noticed a slight whiff of skunk around your yard. Oh, oh, hopefully, there isn’t one hiding under the shed. Luckily, the black and white striped critters are mostly nocturnal, so you are unlikely to come face-to-face with one unless you are a late-night star-gazer.

This is the time of year when we are more likely to notice skunks. Apparently, the young ones start roaming more in the fall as they become independent. They are less careful about their scent than grown skunks. That’s why you get that slight drift of skunky smell. It’s likely as the young skunk wandered about searching for its nightly meal, it left a little odor behind it.

Skunk Poster Print
Skunk Poster Print by WildlifeAnimals
I forgot to close my Havahart trap this evening. Around 10 pm, I heard the clang of the metal trap door. It was unlikely to be the pesky red squirrel that I wanted to trap. They aren’t usually out after dark. Cautiously, I tiptoed down the steps from the deck and shone my flashlight on the trap. It looked empty.

What a relief. Just then, a skunk hustled away towards the woods. Fortunately, it wasn’t interested in confronting me. I’m guessing that it triggered the trap, but was too big and wasn’t fully inside when the door started down. It must have been after the peanut butter on the inside lever but was able to back out.

That was a lucky escape for the skunk and for me too. I certainly wasn’t anxious to deal with an annoyed skunk in a cage. We learned that lesson the hard way, some years ago. Always close the trap at night.

Skunk inside a catch-and-release trap.

Skunk inside a catch-and-release trap.

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Your Cottage in the Woods

HGTV popularized the concept of a “tiny house,” but at Lake Forest RV Resort in New Hampshire, these small cottages have been popular for years. Let’s check out one that’s on the market right now near Great East Lake.

The tiny house is really a Kropf park model, assembled in Indiana and trucked to the New Hampshire woods. There, a glassed-in room is added and a good-sized screened room. These are ideal for living close to nature with woods on all sides.


Take your morning coffee here while enjoying your woodsy view. Another good spot for that is the table on the screened porch. Keep an eye out for the ever-so-cute chipmunks and the sassy squirrels.

You have several seating areas in the added room or the interior of the park model. Relax, entertain friends, watch television, or read a good book. You are away from your regular routine and living the life of Riley in this senior community. You’ll make lots of new friends among the seasonal residents who spend their spring, summer, and fall away from the steamy heat of Florida or the Carolinas.

Lake Forest RV Resort provides ample recreational activities from boating on Great East Lake or golfing on its own 9-hole course. Residents plan weekly hikes, yoga, bingo, shuffleboard, and plenty of community dinners. Stay as busy or as lazy as you would like.

This cottage includes lots of storage with tall cabinets all along the hallway. There’s extra utility storage space just off the bathroom too.

Compared to the ones you see on HGTV, this is a palace in the tiny house category. Kropf creates various floor plans for its park models and the one used here is particularly well-designed.





Used for occasional weekends, this cottage is like new.


The dramatic windows in the living room brings the woods right inside. This cosy woods cottage comes fully furnished and ready for you to move right in. Bring your shorts, a sweatshirt, walking shoes, and don’t forget the swimsuit for swimming in the lake.



More views of the delightful New Hampshire retreat that could be yours.




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Posted in Lake Forest Resort

Last Chance for Willowbrook Village

I was mad at myself when I heard that Willowbrook Historic Village was closing permanently this fall. For years, I’d intended to visit it and now it was almost too late. Low attendance and funding difficulties force the historic site to close after Columbus Day (October 10, 2016). The hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The village, in Newfield, Maine, is well off the beaten track. As you pull into the parking lot, you see an idyllic 19th-century scene with a bandstand on the green. Across the road, willow trees frame the millpond. Houses, barns, and a one-room school take the visitors back in time when life was slower.

The place is a treasure trove carriages, toys, musical instruments, furniture, and tools from the bygone days of the 1800s. Arranged in vignettes with labels to satisfy your curiosity, it’s a fascinating glimpse into the time of our great-grandparents. I loved it and think you will too. Please, set aside some time to see it before it closes forever.


It is open Thursday through Monday (closed on Tuesday and Wednesday).  You can read more about the closing of the museum in this article. Many of the exhibits are going to a museum near Bangor. That’s quite a distance, so I recommend seeing them while they are nearby at Willowbrook Village.

For more details on visiting the historic village, go to the Willowbrook webpage.

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Posted in Daytrip, Sightseeing

Shopping Again

Don’t call me a shopaholic, but here’s my second post about a shopping excursion. We stopped at Job Lots in Ossippee on our way up Highway 16. Autumn is here and summer folks need tarps. Job Lots is great with a good stock of various weights and sizes of tarps; just perfect for covering your wood pile or deck furniture.

Of course, their eclectic selection of discount and remainder items entice you into browsing. Before you know it, you’ve filled your cart with the oddest assortment of inessential essentials. I didn’t really need the pumpkin spice flavored biscotti but I sure look forward to dipping the crunchy sticks into my cappuccino.

Nonnis PUMPKIN SPICE Biscotti


Now, I did need the food storage containers for my kitchen and the divided tote to keep my groceries from spilling all over the trunk of my car. The cheese slicer isn’t essential, but will yield nice straight slices of cheese which I can never achieve with a knife.

I sorted through a stack of sturdy plastic trays with graphics of lighthouses, boats, and crabs. When I found the one I wanted, a lobster design, into my cart it went.


Lobster tray found at Job Lots. (photo by Virginia Allain)

We found another tray of bamboo with legs that folded for storage. Great for breakfast in bed which I never do, but I might use it with my laptop on the bed while I prop up my feet.

The khaki slacks from Land’s End for $6 tempted me until I realized they were for 6-foot-tall women. I eyed the birthday cards, the office supplies, and the bathroom rugs. Then, I tossed a down-filled bed pillow into the cart and an herbal, microwave-heated neck wrap. It was $10 cheaper than the one I’d researched on Amazon. Job Lots had some microwavable booties too, but I restrained myself.

The cleaning supplies aisle contributed some solution for the shower’s soap scum. Mundane, but needed. Our cart filled, we checked out and headed home with our discoveries.

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Gift Shopping for Myself


Sweet silver heart from White and Company Gifts

I indulged myself with browsing in White and Company Gifts on Friday. What a treasure trove of goodies they carry there! I couldn’t resist one of the silver hearts. The weight of it will serve nicely to hold down a stack of papers on my desk.

If you’re in Sanbornville, NH at the Gaffney Library or City Hall or Leno’s, the gift shop is just a few steps away. Park in the lot opposite the library and cross the street. The shop’s in a vintage house with marvelous plantings and intriguing art out front.


fleur de lis, black eyed susan flower, rock in Sanbornville

Pretty plantings in front of White and Company Gifts in Sanbornville


Inside I found all sorts of tempting merchandise from lake signs to antiques and t-shirts with the local towns on them. My cottage wall space is limited and sadly there’s no room for another thing. If you need wall decor, you will find a good selection here.

Two armoires filled with shelves of shirts caught my eye. I happily selected 2 vee-necked t-shirts for myself and a sweatshirt for hubby.I didn’t have anything with Wakefield on it. I’ll take that pink one to Florida and advertise New Hampshire to all my friends there.

Anyway, if you need a gift for someone or something pretty for your house, stop by and check it out on 20 High Street in Sanbornville. Don’t forget to get a gift for yourself while you are there.



Wakefield NH t-shirts and sweatshirt from White and Company Gifts.


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Baby Maples Everywhere

Our New Hampshire camp has gravel in the parts of the yard that aren’t wooded. It makes an easy-to-maintain place with no lawn mower necessary. After all, you come to the New Hampshire woods to hike, kayak or read on the deck, not to push a lawn mower around.

This year, the woods seem to be attempting a takeover of the yard. Dozens, maybe even hundreds of teeny maple seedlings sprang up in May and June, right through the gravel.

reforestation in our yard, baby maple trees

Reforestation in our yard, baby maple trees

Now, in addition to the exercise I get taking walks in the woods, I’m getting lots of bending down exercise. I guess it’s a good way to burn calories as I pull up all these baby trees.

I seem to remember that last year was the takeover attempt by the pine trees. There were fallen pinecones everywhere. The year before, we had an over-abundance of acorns. That bumper crop probably made the squirrels happy. Actually, the squirrels eat the pine cones too, not just the acorns.


2012-04-13 fl to nh 025

Trio of pine cones. (photos by Virginia Allain)

It really makes me wonder how long it would take for the forest to fill in our clearing and obliterate any signs of human habitation.

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Posted in Uncategorized, Woods

Patriotic Blueberry Patch

My neighbors probably paused in surprise on their evening stroll. It’s mid-July and the Allains suddenly decorated a section of their garden in all-out red, white, and blue bunting. There’s a good reason for it, and it isn’t because I’m mixed up on my calendar of patriotic holidays.

This frenzy of decorating happened yesterday after I spotted a plump robin landing in the yard. From my computer workspace, I have a panoramic view of the gardens and the woods. “How nice,” I thought, “we have a big robin visiting.” The second time, I caught the flash of its wings, I tuned in a bit more to observe what it was doing. Darn! It was eating the blueberries. Yes, the very ones I intended to pick later today after finishing my blog updates.


Blueberries from my patch

The blueberries I picked a few days ago

I rummaged out the string of pennants that I’d decorated our front deck back on the 4th of July. Placing stakes around the edge of the blueberry patch, I strung the small vinyl triangles completely around the planting area. In addition, I placed a red, white, and blue pinwheel in the garden. My hope was that any breeze would keep these things fluttering and distract the birds from my delectable berries.

One drawback to this plan was that it takes a fairly windy day for a breeze to filter through the woods into our yard.

patriotic blueberry patch



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Posted in birds, gardening