I love making things from natural ingredients, whether it's soaps or salves, or good home cooking. Taking care of my home, gardens and pets is my life and fortunately my hubby prefers me being home and working from home as well.
The older I get I realize there are some things that I can't do as well as I used to, but I plan to continue doing what I love for as long as I can. Today I grow herbs, vegetables, fruit and perennials on various gardens scattered over a rocky, tree-filled and rather wet parcel of land in New Hampshire. I visit my local chiropractor weekly and he keeps me moving. New England weather is a real challenge but somehow most years we get plenty from the gardens.
Soapmaking is just one of many interests, one that helped support the growing number of stray cats that "found us" when we moved to N.H. years ago. It was a natural outgrowth of a lifelong interest in the healing properties of plants. In the 1990's I was a contributing editor for the Herb Quarterly magazine and also wrote for the Herb Companion magazine. I gave many talks on herbs to various groups during that time. One day I hope to write and illustrate books about the many pets we've had over the years.
Music is a big part of my life. At 14 I started working in bands along with my talented sister. In the late 1960's we performed at the famous Electric Factory in Philadelphia opening for such groups as Santana, Chicago, Iron Butterfly, Steppenwolf, Arthur Brown and many others.
Shortly after moving to New Hampshire in 1979 Phil and I formed the band "Bittersweet" and soon found ourselves working full time as musicians. For about 15 years we performed aboard the MS Mount Washington on Lake Winnipesaukee for the dinner cruises in addition to working in various clubs and at private functions. Today we work a much less grueling schedule, mostly outdoor concerts and special events.
I'm not on Facebook or any other social media site. Why? Many reasons, not the least of which is I don't have time for it and can't understand why anyone would see the need to tell the entire world their every move. I still like communicating the old fashioned way. There are no cell phones or tv's here, and you'd be hard pressed to find anything "new" or modern in our home. We collect the old films we love, mostly comedies, and watch them with a projector and screen.
" Bittersweet" circa 1992
Life Across the Pond...
In a previous life I lived in England, having married an Englishman I'd met on a Windjammer cruise in the West Indies when I was 19. At 21 I moved to the English Lake District. Living in a 400+ year old stone cottage on the outskirts of a rural village seemed an idylic life for a gal who loved to be self sufficient. Though there were no gardens I learned to make wines from fruits found in the hedgerows, bake bread and plaster old stone cottage walls too. I listened to many wonderful artists who came to the Lake District and still to this day love the music of Martin Carthy, Archie Fisher, Barbara Dixon and bands like Steeleye Span. I returned to America in time for the Bicentennial in 1976 with an antique English banjo in tow along with my trusty Fender bass (never played while living in the UK). My years in the Lake District provided a background for what was to come. At least today I can actually watch a Monty Python film and understand the humor, which seemed to bypass me in my youth.....we have literally hundreds of films...mostly comedies, including everything Python, Benny Hill, Father Ted, Ripping Yarns and numerous other British comedies. I will always cherish my years in England and the wonderful memories of living there. I hope someday to return for a visit and gaze again on the beautiful mountains, lakes and cottages.
The photo to the right is of me and my sister in front of the stone fireplace and chimney breast I helped to replaster in the old cottage in Ambleside. What a job that was! Little did I know I'd be repairing plaster ceilings and walls in an old New England farmhouse in years to come.
Just like the cottage in England, our old farmhouse is an ecclectic mix of many eras. I cook on 2 vintage stoves, a 1928 gas range and a 1915 woodstove.
I'm a talk radio junkie!
Talk radio is always on in the house and workshop. Favorite talk show hosts include Jeff Kuhner, Mike Siegel, Mike Gallagher, Rush Limbaugh, Mark Levin, and Sean Hannity. I've learned alot from those guys. Thank God for conservative talk radio!
I love animals, especially cats! I'm an avid reader and book collector and was greatly influenced by the books I read over and over again as a kid. One favorite was "Rabbit Hill" by Robert Lawson. I dreamed of having an animal sanctuary when I grew up. Well you could say we've had a sanctuary of sorts for the past 35 years.