We were away last week and during that time, summer ended in Connecticut. It was almost a relief. You know how that works? We came home to lots of branches down from a rainstorm and wilted plants that couldn’t sustain the incoming cold. As much as I adore the spring-summer flowers, I also love seeing the changes that fall in New England brings. New England is in season now.

With fall, come the holidays around the corner. Who isn’t plotting time indoors and entertaining in some fashion? This is a blog I follow that has lots of entries about household cleaning solutions. Perhaps it’s the less exciting aspect of entertaining but I know you care too!  Two sisters on a mission is a great blog by a couple women in the know on everything from cleansers safe rugs and  furniture fabrics.

New England

Ah. The garden is ready for cutting back perennials, emptying ceramic pots and covering small evergreens.

There’s a lot of info out there about household cleansers and weed killers. Living on well water as we do makes you more aware of how you water your gardens. People on city water would do well to monitor their water too and there are many ways to be more conscious about products we use daily and the chemicals they contain. More about that.

Do you ever think about the water you use for your houseplants? I only recently thought about it when I realized that we have significant water softening going on in our house as our well has quite hard water. The good news. We had a very eco-friendly plumber who insisted on our using potassium chloride (a salt substitute) vs. salt. Sadly, it’s way more expensive, BUT. We’re not salting our well water or plants. The treatment system allows you to use some salt on occasion to mitigate cost. More about the differences. Consider what you use to water your plants too- especially in winter.

New England

The Geese- a wonderful example of nature through the eyes of a favorite Impressionist painter, Monet- Painted with oils- 1874

We had to visit the Clark Museum in Williamstown MA yesterday to hear a lecture about the Impressionists. Bringing my mother who was a potter and one of my first teachers, made it an important visit. We had a great time! Claude Monet- what’s not to like? Monet had a special touch in his paintings of water, flora and fauna.

It’s been a hard week -more killings, in Texas this time in what feels like a never-ending scourge of lives taken for no good reason. Sung music in the form of southern spirituals has a rich tradition for soothing people in troubled times. I found this band and the music resonated. Ranky Tanky is a native quintet from Charleston, S.C. that performs old Gullah songs with a wonderful jazz sensibility.

“Gullah” means “people blessed by God in West African.” The band’s name “Ranky Tanky” translates loosely as “Work It,” or “Get Funky!” Both work for me. The song was written by Bessie Jones an American gospel and folk singer, born to a poor but richly musical family in Georgia in 1902 who was credited with bringing traditional folk songs games and stories to a wider audience. She was a member of the Georgia Sea Singers.

Sink ‘Em Low by Ranky Tanky.   Ranky Tanky is touring. Find them here!

I make Paola Pillows to bring beauty and comfort into peoples homes. Do you know anybody in need of comfort and beauty this winter season?

You can find them here.

New England

                                                            Woodland Hosta

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