Monthly Archives: September 2012

of Harvest Market and corn hats…

Fall is a time for work, to harvest, stack wood and prepare for the brutal winter that’s soon to arrive. It is also a time to celebrate.

My small town is transformed every last weekend of September into a glorious mess. Traffic slows, people converge from nearby towns and states… and they walk. Booths line the streets, vendors sell their treasures, cookies and milk, and memories. I could find more words to convey the glory that is Harvest Market, but I’ve decided to let my photos do the talking.

Hope you enjoy and wish you were here.

our normally quiet road is transformed into chaos…
even a rainy day won’t keep treasure seekers away…
my youngest working the lemonade stand. And yes, they still did a brisk business, maybe just not as much as the soup tent…
me and a rattle snake skin. Me and snakes, a true love affair…
my oldest and her dad. She just loves corn…
See? Here she is… rocking the corn hat! (photo credit: Olivia Roupe. wish I could take kudos for this fine image, alas, I cannot)
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trouble in wordpressville…

Frustrated. I’m frustrated with wordpress and I’m gonna have to vent.

I’ve had some wonderful visitors to this and my other blog, letterstorosa, blogs that I want to leave a comment or even simply say I liked something to let them know I came by – blogs that will not let me.

I spent time today reading other wordpresser’s complaints about the very same issue. When I try to leave a comment, it asks me to log in… I log in and it won’t take my comment.

I have to believe there are others who’ve had the same problem with my blogs.

To that end, I want to let the following bloggers know that yes, I have visited, I do like your wonderful posts. Yes, I think what you’re doing is amazing. If you’ve liked one of my posts, I’ve sought you out. If you commented, I’ve tried to do the same. If you don’t see me, please know I was there.

If you’ve tried to comment on one of my posts and could not, I would like to suggest that you facebook me at There, you can comment away and hopefully, I can respond.

If you’re following one of my blogs, please know I check your site often, some every day. Imagine how frustrated I am that I can’t follow you! Imagine, the loss I feel when I get excited and the words are just bursting to come forth … and I can’t post a comment.

So for now, if you’re visiting, please note I will seek you out and I would encourage you to check out these other sites… and if you’re able to leave a comment, great. Tell ’em Sue says hi.

lexisnana at: (it kills me that you’ve visited and commented so often and I can do nothing but reply on my own blog!) Here you’ll find lovely posts about grandkids and family memories…

a new visitor highlighting an Irish comic book artist: (and please check out my reply to the comment you left!)– Patrick Latter, a Canadian photographer of extraordinary talent. You’ve seen his Gravatar he’s the dashing lad with the tie…– a great writer, her blog name says it all. She is one cool cat…– a recent visitor, a writer with a conscious…

And to all the regular visitors and I have this to say.

Thanks for dropping by. You made my day.


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Casey’s Hill

Sometimes, the obvious is right in front of your eyes. You pass by the sign everyday and never stop to wonder. “Irish Settlement Road.” Were they Irish that lived there? The answer, in this case, would be yes.

And Irish, too, would be Casey’s Hill.

A few years ago, my small town was offered to buy the local sliding hill and the adjoining field. We voters, smart Vermonters that we are, said yes and kept it from being developed into housing. And now, kids have a magnificent hill to tempt fate and get their ya-ya’s out come winter.

Casey’s is a beautiful slope with a million dollar view. Mt. Mansfield, the tallest peak in Vermont hovers just behind and gives you a winter’s tale. Sometimes, it looks frigid and you just know, bitter winds are whipping the snow around, gusting to hurricane force. In the summer you can see people hiking the exposed ridge of Mansfield. Good binoculars and a clear day are all you need to watch people moseying along the nose, the chin the forehead. You can’t see profile on Mansfield from this side. Got to go over the other side of Pleasant Valley Road and then it appears.

But I digress.

This small slope is home to all manners of dare-devils, young and old alike. Not supposed to build jumps, but some just cannot resist. It’s quiet now, with fall approaching. The mowers haven’t made their final cut – they wait as long as possible thanks to my daughter who informed the town that it shelters the final hatch of monarch butterflies in the milkweed patch at the hill’s base. These are the travelers, the strongest butterflies that will migrate over 2,000 miles to Mexico.

But winter’s coming and we all know- gotta get the sleds unburied from the shed and polish up the skis. All you need is a few good inches of the white stuff. Think it’s too early? We had a foot and a half day before Halloween a few years past…

So, here’s to Casey, our Irish sledding hill – a wonderful spot to while away short cold days and fight long winter blues.

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See, I told you so…

I came across this document using the Mormon’s free site – If you’re interested in genealogy, you should check this out. All the big-wig expensive genealogy sites use their information, only familysearch is free.

Buried way back in my father’s family tree are the Jones. They were Welch and their history weaves through Wales, England and back to Wales again. Griffith and his wife, Sarah came to America in the 1640s to settle Springfield, Massachusetts. They had eight children and one of them, a daughter, Experience Jones, married into the Ferry family. This is a copy of Griffith Jones’ death certificate. He died February 19, 1676. How cool is that?

Now onto another document I pulled from familysearch. Henry and Rosa’s wedding licence. And see, I told you…

They were Blair.

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An amazing piece of history…

newly released 1940 census – from Northfield

I realize this image is blurry and unreadable, but to me it’s an amazing piece of my family history. Listed on this one page from the 1940 census is the following: on the top is Henry and Rosa Blaine, my great-grandparents, a few lines down is Freddie Drinkwine and his family (Rosa’s brother and clan), and down from there is Henry and Mary Ferry – my grandparents. Below them is Henry Ferry, my dad.


There’s a good reason I moved from Northfield. Our family desperately needed a new gene pool to tap from…


Now, onto another amazing thing.

I would like to thank Stephanie Gregg for passing the love and nominating this blog for an award. You can find her blog on writing at: and I encourage you to do so. She is a self-published writer with a bit of Scotland running through her blood. I wish anyone well who’s trying to make a go of writing in this cluttered, crowded cyberworld!

And I would like to nominate the following blogs. Please check them out! a Dubliner with an incredible gift. If you knit or have ever even tried, be prepared to be awed. This woman has elevated knitting to an art. This is a writers site. Anyone who writes, wants to write, wishes to write better, should visit Judith’s blog. She has created thought-provoking posts and gives feedback on her reader’s comments. Another wonderful writer with amazing insights – I enjoy her posts and encourage you to check this out!

now onto the seven things about Susan…

I’m a writer. I’m an artist. I cannot sing. I have two lovely daughters, both are my heart and soul. My husband is my life. I hate snow and winter and live in a snowbelt. I am a foolish woman….

With accepting this award, copy the sunflower and post it on your blog, nominate 3 other bloggers, and tell us 7 things about yourself.

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Blaine, dammit

Well, went to Northfield last weekend and found my gram’s marker and her parents, Rosa and Henry. Knew it’d be Blaine not Blair, but hoped they hadn’t continued the lie into death.

Guess I was wrong.

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My Blairs

My gram never talked about her parents, never mentioned Rosa or Henry Blair or their parents. She was a tight-lipped, practical Vermonter who didn’t need to indulge in the past. They were all gone, weren’t they? What mattered to her was the present and the taking care of the living. I suppose that came from losing her brother, Freddie, when she was but seven and burying her last baby, Wilfred Ferry. I’m not sure that my dad even knew he had a younger brother, one that didn’t live past a day.

Another Freddie that wasn’t to be in my family.

The Blairs came down through Canada and spoke French. Even now, with all those years gone and my dad a tried-and-true Vermonter, he still slips into French with ease. Tudes, one brother calls me. “la tudesante” my dad says with a wink.

I plied my Aunt Lilah about Rosa before the Alzheimer’s took her memory. What was she like? I asked, knowing I was treading in unfamiliar water.

Lilah waited a breath before responding. Tiny. A hundred pounds soaking wet and she smoked nine-inch white owl cigars.

More, I begged, as if that wasn’t enough of a visual to sum Rosa up in one sentence.

She lived next door to Mother, Lilah continued, and died before her time. Barely in her sixties I believe.

That’s all I got from Lilah before she changed the subject. Don’t know why they didn’t want to talk of the family or why it would seem so taboo. Guess it was more about the poverty and how hard their lives were, living in rural Vermont. I’m determined to collect and share all I have so that on the off-chance my children are curious to know of their Vermont heritage, I can tell them…

Rosa Blair smoked 9″ White Owl Cigars and lived next to your great-grandmother…

I’d like to invite you to explore another blog where I reflect on my family’s life in rural Vermont in the form of a letter to my Great-Gran, Rosa Blair. You can find it at:

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