Whistler, Moulton, and my snake-friend

I’ve been doing more research on Pomfret and I am almost sure that James Abbott McNeill Whistler lived in the white house two houses down from the Vanilla Bean. I also now know that his mother would have preferred not to live in Pomfret at all, but she wanted her sons to attend the school in Pomfret. Whistler took his mother’s maiden name as his middle name because of the sacrifices she made for him.

I also now know that Louise Chandler Moulton lived in the mustard house at the eastern-most intersection of Brayman Hollow and Peterson Road. Her family called the house “Elmwood Cottage.” Moulton and Whistler walked home from school together. One afternoon Whistler gave Moulton a painting which she kept until she died. A poem about her childhood home reads:

My thoughts go home to that old brown house
With its low roof sloping down to the east,
And its garden fragrant with roses and thyme
That blossom no longer except in rhyme,
Where the honey-bees used to feast.

Afar in the west the great hills rose,
Silent and steadfast, and gloomy and gray.
I thought they were giants, and doomed to keep
Their watch while the world should wake or sleep,
Till the trumpet should sound on the judgment-day.

And I was as young as the hills were old,
And the world was warm with the breath of spring;
And the roses red and the lilies white
Budded and bloomed for my heart’s delight,
And the birds in my heart began to sing.

…it isn’t the best piece of poetry, but it is comforting to think that she thought of her childhood home when she was older (and who would want to think of your childhood if you were raised a Calvinist). I will write more about Whistler, Moulton, and Pomfret in another post.

The seemingly, (and actually), random photograph of a Garter Snake was taken outside of my garden while I was home two weeks ago. Isn’t (s)he pretty!


Long Weekend


It is long weekend. I am in Connecticut, at home. I have been cleaning up my yard, and I will soon be working in my garden. I planted peas the last weekend in March as I thought it was time to plant them, but I do not think that it was. Not a single pea has peaked above ground. Perhaps this was an especially cold March? Maybe they are taking their time. I don’t know.

I picked up litter on 6/10ths of a mile on my road. I did this six months ago as well. I collected:

Redeemables (67)
32 alcohol cans
18 alcohol bottles
9 non-alcohol cans
8 non-alcohol bottles

Things that were redeemable before their barcodes became unreadable (32)
22 alcohol containers
10 non-alcohol containers

Non-redeemables (46)
13 alcohol containers
19 water bottles
5 iced tea containers
4 juice containers
2 coffee containers
2 milk containers
1 tin can

Garbage (one medium-sized trash bag)
30 or so plastic and Styrofoam cups (most from Dunkin Donuts)
1 portable fan

If this rate is consistent along Route 244‘s 3.6 miles in Pomfret (which it likely is; there are no major roads that intersect with 244 besides at its ends), there are 1740 recyclable containers thrown out of car windows onto my road every year. There are 28 houses on my street, one golf course, and two large farms. There are 56 containers for each of these! Every week an average of twenty alcohol containers are thrown out car windows onto this one stretch of road.

Because the expanded bottle bill passed fewer water containers will be thrown out of car windows as they have been given value. I am sad that the bottle bill did not include other possible additions such as coffee and tea containers. While the bill was being drawn up there was also talk of increasing deposits to 10 cents. There is other incentive to throw alcohol containers out of car windows. I don’t know how to solve that problem.

The town of Pomfret, Connecticut will be having a town-wide roadside clean up tomorrow, Saturday, April 18th. I will be participating!

There will be two book sales, a rummage sale and an auction on Saturday, May 2nd. I believe that both public libraries are currently accepting book donations at specific times.

I am starting to dream up my summer, and I decided that I am going to make non-stop yogurt and bread. OM NOM NOM