Another Visit to White and Company

I always have a good time browsing in the White And Company Gifts in Sanbornville, NH. There are so many unique and beautiful things to see there that it’s a pleasure to just wander around. If I needed a gift, it would be the place to go. I make sure to go on my own so I won’t feel rushed by hubby.

It’s also a good place to find decorative items for your lake cottage. They have Balch Pond, Lovell Lake, Great East Lake, Town House Pond, and other signs. There are vintage items like antique quilts, one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture, and so much more.

As the weather starts indicating autumn on the way, you might need a Wakefield hooded sweatshirt or get a t-shirt for the Indian summer.

Many of the items are locally made by talented stitchers or painters. I’m not sure if the jewelry artist is from New Hampshire or not. She creates amazing pieces.


Karen Mauser – Vintage Jewelry Designs


This amazing piece is made from vintage jewelry pieces.

The shop is conveniently located so you can combine it with a visit to the adjacent library or some business at town hall. There are several restaurants within a few blocks so add a tasty lunch to round out your day.

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Here’s a link for a map and the hours at White And Company Gifts. They have a Facebook page too.

Posted in Uncategorized

Things I Learned This Summer in NH

Well into my retirement, I find there are lots of things I haven’t yet learned. Here’s a sampling:

  • In really shady, damp areas, you might as well give in and grow a moss garden.

pixie cup lichen and moss

Pixie Cup Lichen and moss – Photo by Virginia Allain

    • Blackberries grow not just on bushes but also on runners across the ground. Teeny wild blackberries are crunchy to eat with all their seeds.
    • If you paint cute little birdhouses to decorate your garden, you need to cover the opening to keep wasps out of them.
    • If a red squirrel or chipmunk gets under your cottage and starts gnawing at night on your infrastructure, you need a Rat Zapper to deal with it.

    • Apparently, I’m viewed as the most likely person to paint rocks and place them around our community. A number of people asked me about this. I tried painting a rock last week and gave up in despair at the blotchy, amateurish result.
    • The summers get shorter as we get older.
    • Don’t obsess over every single pine spill tracked in if you live in the woods. It’s inevitable.
    • Buy your annuals for planting early in the summer. Later on, there is a very limited selection.
Posted in Uncategorized

Black Mushrooms in NH

In the past, I’d seen one or two black mushrooms, but this summer seems like nature is giving us a full show. There’s been rain at the right intervals to bring out a range of colors and shapes to catch the eye of even casual observers of nature, including black ones.

deep black trumpet mushroom

This type of mushroom is called a trumpet

When the color is black, it stands out from the yellows, oranges, reds, white, and purple fungi that I see more often. Sometimes the black one is really another color that’s just reached the end of its life. Some turn black and shrunken or even slimy at that point.

rotten black mushroom

Probably a tan mushroom that turned black as it reached the end of its days

The ones in the collage are probably all the same variety of mushroom. Their color and cap shape change over several days as the mushroom matures. Sometimes ones will seem more gray or deep brown depending on the light at the time they were photographed.

The one below was new to me. It felt plush, not firm when touched. The honeycomb appearance wasn’t visible in the shade of the trees but revealed itself when the photo was enlarged.

honeycomb black mushroom

Black mushroom with a honeycomb surface

This fungi is not what we expect in a mushroom. I’d heard a name (Dead Man’s Fingers) but when I looked it up online, the photos didn’t match well with this one.

black fungi

If you know the names of any of these, please tell us in the comments section.

Posted in Uncategorized

Finding Painted Rocks

Last year, I wrote about finding a painted rock at the Lone Oak Ice Cream stand in Rochester. Now I see that some are appearing right in the small community where I live. What a treat to suddenly spy a rock that’s been decorated with an insightful saying or a whimsical design.

It was last week that I noticed the first one, an owl design in the flower planter by the laundry room. Chances are dozens of people have seen it there but left it to entertain others as they arrive with their baskets of laundry.


This owl painted on a smooth stone has a startled look.

The artistic resident, as yet unknown, has been busily creating new ones and they are appearing in odd spots around camp. On my way back from the mailbox, I noticed this one at the corner of Oak and Green Road. Looking for mushrooms to photograph meant my eyes were searching the roadside continuously.

painted rock in New Hampshire woods

“Worry is the interest on trouble before it comes due” – painted rock in New Hampshire

I brought it home to enjoy for a few days, then I’ll place it somewhere around camp for someone else to discover. It’s tempting to hoard the pretty painted rocks, but I want others to have the fun of discovering them too.

The next one that I found was nestled in the flower bed by my driveway. It depicts a medieval style door with a stone surround.  The wooden panels of the door are vertical and crossed by 2 wide hinges. Painted ivy and a flower enhance the door scene.

fairy door painted on a rock

It looks great in my moss garden. Surely, it will fool a fairy into thinking it could reside there. The fairy might even work some magic and make the door open to reveal a fairy home inside the mossy stump.

Have you found any of the painted stones? Tell me about it in the comments.

I’m hearing from others at camp about how much fun they are having finding the rocks. Here are some of the pictures they shared.

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Posted in Fun

Almost Apple Picking Time

For my readers in New Hampshire, here’s an excursion that would be fun. Fall isn’t too far away, so set aside some time on your calendar for an outing to pick apples. The blog post below is from Weekends in Maine. I’ve added some New Hampshire places below that.


Fall brings with it many rituals. Apple picking is one of those activities so when the weather starts to get crisp, and the leaves begin to change, you’ll find me headed to an apple orchard. … Continue reading

I checked the New Hampshire Orchards lists for pick-your-own places in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire. It looks like these are the closest to where I am.

Hollow Hill Farm

Hollow Hill Rd
Tamworth, NH 03886
Carroll County
Phone: (603) 323-7456
Open: Open: Labor Day -October 15; 9am-5pm, closed Tuesday and Wednesday
Description: Apples and pumpkins, PYO. Apple picking in a small, well-groomed Orchard situated in a rural area with serene atmosphere and mountain views. Handicapped accessible.
There are a couple in Guilford and Laconia as well.
apple tree pixabay

So pretty, can’t wait to taste this lovely apple. Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Even closer for me is several in Acton, Maine, just across the state line. I was able to put my zip code into a directory of apple orchards which brought up a map and all this great information. I recommend calling ahead for times and to be sure the apples are ready for picking.

Romac Orchard

H Road
Acton, ME 04001
York County
Phone: (207) 636-3247
Open: 9-4 weekends and holidays through the harvest season. Call for details
Description: Enjoy apple picking atop York County, with White Mountains and blue Maine lakes in view. Free Hay Rides.
Apples: McIntosh, Macoun, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Cortland.
Kelly Orchards Inc.

82 Sanborn Road
PO Box 48
Acton, ME 04001
York County
Phone: (207) 636-4591 or (207) 636-1601
Open: August – Thanksgiving; Daily 10am-6pm.
Directions: Rt 109 to Sanborn Rd. 100 yards south on Sanborn Rd.
Description: Peaches, Raspberries, Blueberries, Apples, Pears, Sweet Cider, assorted vegetables, Fall Squash and Pumpkins. Wholesale, retail and PYO. School tours and hayrides. Come, walk in our orchard and enjoy the quiet! Pick some farm fresh fruit!
Apples: Paulared, Gala, McIntosh, Cortland, Sunrise, Honeycrisp, Macoun, Jonagold, Spencer, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Mutsu/Crispin, Lady and Northern Spy
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Posted in Activities, food

Keep a Dog Safe in a Boat

dog in a canoe

This Scotty dog is enjoying his boat ride with safety.

If you love boating and want to take your dog along, take precautions for the safety of your pet. Here are ways to make boating safer for your animal. You wear a life vest and so should your dog.

dogs-boat pixabay

A sudden bump and the dogs could be in the water. Their paws can’t get traction on the slippery deck. (photo courtesy of Pixabay)

There are personal floatation devices (PFD), especially for dogs. Get one. Make sure the PFD fits properly. It should have a strap across the back to help pull the dog onto the boat if he falls in the water. The first time, the dog may not want to wear it. Once he gets used to boating, he’ll associate the life jacket with an outing and look forward to it.

dog wearing a personal flotation device

Here are a smart dog and smart dog owner. (photo by Virginia Allain)

Have him swim around in a shallow area with the PFD on so he gets used to that situation.

Getting into the boat from the dock can be safer for your dog with a dog boat ramp. If the dog is small and easily handed into the boat, then you may not need a dog ramp. Another helpful item is a dog boat ladder. This is intended for use out in the water.

Some dogs are water lovers. Make sure your lab or golden retriever or standard poodle understands that there’s boat time and there’s water time. Don’t encourage them to leap into the water from the boat one time, then try to keep them from doing it in the middle of the lake or ocean.

black dog in a life jacket

A Newfoundland dog in the water (photo courtesy of Pixabay)

You can check Amazon for ramps for dogs, dog boat ladders, and dog PDFs. Here’s a sampling to get you started.

Boat Ladder For DogsBoat Ladder For DogsView DetailsDog Life Jackets, for Water Safety at the Pool, Beach, BoatingDog Life Jackets, for Water Safety at the Pool, Beach, BoatingView DetailsSwimWays Sea Squirts Doggie JacketSwimWays Sea Squirts Doggie JacketView DetailsDog Life Jacket, American Flag Life Vest for Puppies and DogsDog Life Jacket, American Flag Life Vest for Puppies and DogsView DetailsDog Life Jacket - Outdoor Safety Adjustable Vest for various sized dogsDog Life Jacket – Outdoor Safety Adjustable Vest for various sized dogsView DetailsDeluxe Pillow Pet Preserver for DogsDeluxe Pillow Pet Preserver for DogsView Details


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Posted in Lake

Fun at the Acton Fair

Circle the last weekend in August (23rd – 26th) on your calendar so you don’t miss the Acton Fair!! They have rides, games, live music, animal exhibits, and much more. It’s not a huge fair but has lots of country atmosphere.

The exhibition buildings are open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Sunday, the hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Here’s a photo sampler from my last visit to the fair. Besides the usual chickens, cows, and sheep, there are exotic animals like llamas and alpacas that are raised locally.

Sheep judging at Acton Fair, Maine

Sheep judging at Acton Fair, Maine

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Prize-winning chickens at the fair

quilt at the fair

Quilters in the area vie for the honor of blue and purple ribbon awards.

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wood scultor at the Acton Fair

See how these log sculptures are made.

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black-faced sheep at the Acton Fair, Maine

This sheep is some farmer’s pride and joy.

We found the horse pulling contest interesting to watch. Those huge draft horses are amazing. The link takes you to my post on that and the photos of the event.

The fairgrounds are open all day. If you like the rides, the midway hours will be-

Thursday 2-10PM
Friday 2-10PM
Saturday 12-10PM
Sunday 12-5


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Posted in Events