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  • a happy, ordinary, middle-aged, suburban woman who paints odd pictures, gardens in a straw hat, lives with the love of her life, is owned by one cat and the ghosts of several others, and walks a little funny 'cause she has a fake leg. She started this website because there's more to life than what we lose, and we need to let each other know what's possible, even if it's only a happy, ordinary life.

November 2011

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  • E-mail me at:

    sara at saraarts dot com

    Make sure the subject line of your correspondence is clear and specific. I do not open e-mails from strangers unless I can tell in advance that I want to read them.

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  • I Took The Handmade Pledge!

Good reads, grownups only

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Melissa B.

Congratulations and my god that looks fun!


Oh, Melissa, so so SO fun, really.

When I call the Hawthornes adorable, I am not kidding. Not only were they both pretty to look at, but passionately in love their entire marriage long. Sophia, an artist and diarist (the blogger-equivalent of her own time), scratched notes in the window panes of the Old Manse with the diamond in her engagement ring. One marks her sadness coping with a miscarriage her first year of marriage. Another marks her first baby Una's observations out the same window, so beautifully and tenderly it squeezes tears right out of your stomach. (I am almost choking to death thinking about it.) In another window upstairs, she and Nathaniel etched an entire conversation with each other using the same ring.

The Hawthornes may have left the Manse under some kind of cloud (something you will probably not hear of during the Trustees' guided tour, which mostly focuses on romantic and wonderful things like the restored vegetable garden Henry David Thoreau planted out front for the Hawthornes as a wedding present), but those etched windows are still there. One of the Ripley/Emerson wives and/or daughters (Sarah Ripley, I think -- yay Sara(h)s everywhere!) insisted no one replace them, ever.

Now, if you think this looks like fun, wait 'til I photograph and post our next canoe trip. (Heck, wait 'til you see what I did today.) Or, come visit sometime, maybe next time you get sent to Boston for work, and I will show you all of it in person.

Ron Sullivan

Dang. Grafitti ain't what it used to be.

And doesn't all that lawn look lush!


Yes, Ron, that is the advantage of a summer of dumping rain: lush lawns. Lush everything, really. So very much green.


Love that Transcendentalist gossip. I MUST set aside a day to explore that house.


Oh, yes, Patry, you must, you really, really must.

Also, it will please you to know that on the day when these photos were taken, several people were blatantly loitering about the property. One did have a notebook. Another, a barefoot youngish man with longish hair, sat on a low stone wall playing his guitar.

We are really quite serious about our loitering in this town.

Ron Sullivan

I do like a town that encourages loitering, as it's one of my chief talents. I mean, here I am loitering when I'm supposed to be finishing something whose deadline was um yesterday, wasn't it.


Well, Ron, as a fellow loitering afficionado, you might at some point want to take a leisurely stroll over to Patry's place where she has posted a most delightful essay all about it.

And now I must scurry to dress so we can go out and have our usual Saturday lunch 'n' loiter outing. After a brilliant, dramatic thunder and lightning storm last night which played merry hell with traffic all around eastern New England and even downed a steeple in Portsmouth, NH, it's another gorgeous rain-free day. Plus, we are on a mission to secure a picnic basket so we can go canoeing tomorrow. Yes, we do need a picnic basket in order to do that.

Ron Sullivan

OK, take the List Five Weird Things About Yourself meme along too. I got tagged and now I'm tagging you.


Why, Ron, there is nothing "weird" about me. Nothing at all. I would think that would be obvious.

(Tell my cat to stop laughing. I'm serious.)

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