Adventures in New England....

I am not sure which I was more excited about,
visiting family and friends, 
seeing the latest developments at Tahilla Farm,
 or the anticipation of donning my winter gear 
after a three year hiatus.

Either way..
I was busting with joy,
all the way from Saigon to Hong Kong to 
Chicago to Manchester, New Hampshire. 

Never mind that Mr. H booked me on the LONGEST flight EVER..
(significant cost savings, says he) or that I was ill mid-flight with eight hours to go, 
or that I arrived in Chicago to realise I was a day early and as a result..
had to take the only rental car left in the lot...
a red four times the cost of what I had booked.

Never mind that within 20 hours of arrival I would be checking myself
into the Emergency Room at our local hospital feeling like I was at death's door.

I was in New England...
and that my friends was worth all that came before me 
(except the emergency room part).

It took a bit longer that anticipated to get back on my feet...but when I did,
I went running to the hills of Tahilla Farm where my winter gear awaited me.

and a whole lot of trucks. 

and more trucks.

and Mr. H's "Master and Commander" curved window
in progress and a whole lot more. 
Was I still excited? You betcha.

Ice covered winterberries...

and mossy covered icicles 

were as welcome a sight as the view peeping 
between our stone walls.

Even when the diggers arrived to lay the underground electrical wires, 
pulling apart our stone walls...I looked on in fascination.

There were many consultations 
with Sheldon the Architect and Tim the Builder
and then the serious dig began 
as I dragged a garden bucket around with me, 
unearthing remnants of the construction process. 
Forget that I looked like a half mad foolish woman...
I needed to connect.
And I did. 

 After all...I am a New Englander.
When the call comes to connect with the land, you have to go with it.
To this I say, to each her own. 

 I just simply took it all in...
in black and white

 and colour.

A stariing contest with the goats of Juniper Hill Farm, they won. 

 Before I knew it, my imaginings at Tahilla Farm were over 
and I was on the move again, heading north..
but not before the first snowflakes 
of a mighty storm started blowing in.

After the snow storm, Tahilla Farm by Tim the Builder

My anticipated two hour drive took six.
All the while, Miss Claire, my lovely daughter,
exclaimed what a beautiful sight it was to be driving in snow.

White knuckled from gripping the steering wheel
and cursing the snow gods..I felt otherwise.

With each passing Ford pickup truck, I wished that we owned one.
They glided effortlessly along the highway as my lighter weight
comrades in snow skidded and slid off the road.

It was steady as she goes for this driver
and my luck was with me for this is what greeted us.

White on white...with a flash of red, white and blue,
a beautiful sight in New England. 

I had died and gone to heaven (figuratively speaking).
We were in a New England winter wonderland with family for Thanksgiving.
From our last Thanksgiving in the USA in 1998 to our first since, in 2014.
I only wished that the rest of our clan could have been with us.

It is beautiful countryside...
what we (family) call the "Highlands" of New Hampshire.

On a clear day, you can see the mountains of Vermont.

Every experience is special...from the barn door...

to the welcoming fires that always burn bright in this hearthside.

On Thanksgiving day, we tucked into a 25 lb. turkey, 
cooked by my very talented sister-in-law 
and her sous chef in training, her son.
It was a day to remember...forver and ever.

My only regret was that it passed too quickly.

From the "Highlands" of New Hampshire 
we travelled to a little town by the sea in Massachusetts.
Two and a half hours of clear driving..a welcome relief.

If you have follow Collage of Life, 
you may recall that I hail from Cape Ann, north of Boston.
The days of my youth were spent by the sea, a place
where my family still lives.

Travel through the towns of Rockport, Gloucester, 
Essex and Manchester-by-the-Sea
and you will think you have driven into a painting.

always comes to mind for me.

As much as I love a winter's day in the woods, 
there is something wonderful 
about winter winds whipping off the sea. 
It is one of the things I love about New England,
you can have it all.

Before I knew trip had ended. 
I spent my last night at an airport hotel struggling 
with the weight of my luggage
while taking in a winter sunset over Boston.

My flight to Vietnam was as eventful 
as my arrival into the USA two weeks earlier.
Mr. H heard all about it..
from Boston to Chicago to 
Tokyo to Saigon..on deaf ears.
When there is a savings to be had..he is all ears.

And there I sat these past days, in Saigon, 
in a jetlag stupor 
wishing I was wearing my winter gear and
feeling every inch 
of this Richard Diebenkorn painting when....

Richard Diebenkorn via

I received this photo from Tim the Builder with
three simple words..(always a man of few words).
"view family room"

Jetlag be gone!

"View Family Room" by Tim the Builder

Our imaginings are taking shape.
We have a room with a view..well almost.
This is where we hope to one day be sitting, 
in the "Lowlands" of New Hampshire,
with family from the "Highlands" of New Hampshire,
with the hearthside ablaze..and a turkey in the oven.
(assuming I survive the flight from Saigon).

And with that I say goodnight!
Wishing you happy days and good health!

Jeanne xx

Photos were taken by me, in my travels
with the exception of two by Tim the Builder,
Tahilla Farm snow and the "view family room".
More photos on my Instagram page here.
The painting by Richard Diebenkorn
can be found here.


  1. Lovely images! Glad to see a post and know things are going well. (Except for your bout with illness, but it sounds like that passed quickly and you did not let it slow you down for long!) I left a comment on your previous post, but it didn't seem to "take" so I'll just leave this brief note and see what happens...

    1. You are very kind Quinn...keeping up with my blog has been a challenge to say the least. I am always appreciative of your comments.. :)

  2. I love your blog postings.
    Blessings to you and yours at Christmas and always

  3. What a gorgeous and happy post! I love seeing my New England through your eyes. Happy holidays!

    1. From a fellow New Englander...I take that as a huge compliment! Thank you Mary! :)

  4. WHAT A SORRY you became ill en~route!NO FUN WHAT SO EVER!Then an EMERGENCY room visit.........I had one of those a couple of weeks ago!Six hours and they could find nothing wrong!$15,000.00 later....................I hope your GOOD and it looks like your trip HOME was FABULOUS!MERRY CHRISTMAS.............where will YOU be for that?I love your bucket of FINDS!!They need a special spot at the FARM under a glass dome!XOXO

    1. Thank you Elizabeth, I was on the rebound in no time and I agree...a glass dome would be lovely. Thank you and Merry Christmas!!

  5. Happiest Holidays!
    Photographs are stunning gorgeous capturing the best of New England
    Prayers for your continued good health
    The family room view is a window to daydreaming.

    1. Music to my ears...or words to my heart Maywyn. I am a daydreamer from way back. Best wishes...:)

  6. so sorry you were sick + glad you are better + "happy trails to you".

  7. New England is lovely and my heart tells me that it is one of those places where I could settle and be happy. Loved the photos of the snow. It looks like we are finally in for some cold weather and we might even get some hail.

    1. I hope you enjoyed the cooler breezes Loree. We are just moving into winter in Saigon and I am loving it. Mid-70's! :)

  8. Your life is such a grand adventure! So glad you were well in time to enjoy your time with family and friends. Your new view is so beautiful. Love the photo of the red barndoor!

    1. Thank you certainly is different from life with four little ones. I love that red barn door too. It has been the subject of many photographs... Best wishes... :)

  9. Your photos are amazing. They tell such a story. Thank very much for continuing to share.

    1. Thank you Lisa...for sharing my photo! The blogging world does go round..just love when that happens. :)

  10. That photo of the red barn door in the snow is exceptional. It looks like a Christmas card.

  11. Your photos are stunning! Sorry you had travel troubles and hope you are feeling 100% again. Jet lag is killer, isn't it? My son is in Hanoi now...headed out to Halong Bay tomorrow. I can't believe his 5 months in Asia is almost over - he will be home for Christmas! Enjoy your week, Jeanne!

    1. I hope your son had a wonderful experience Sandy. .I see on IG that he is on his way home...the whole lot of them. Best wishes for a blessed holiday my friend. xx

  12. As always, so happy to read of your adventures far and wide! Sorry to hear your arrival back to "Tahilla Farm" was punctuated with an place to recover I'd say. Your Thanksgiving looked as pretty and inviting as picure postcards...while the Richard Diebenkorn painting certainly portrayed another feeling altogether!!
    I hope the next 2 weeks leading up to Christmas sees you reunited with your children for a happy celebration....and I certainly will, as always enjoy life through your lens!! ( also bought "The Fig at the Gate".. can't wait to start!!)

    1. Thank you Susan..I hope you enjoyed The Fig at the Gate. I had to leave it behind at Tahilla Farm..something to look forward to. Warm wishes from Saigon... :)

  13. Oh how I would love to be in New Hampshire right now! Just beautiful for the holidays. And the Lyme Inn looks amazing. A winter wonderland!

    1. It was Sunday and now I am in a tropical wonderland...and missing that snow! Merry you and yours. :)

  14. Oh dear. I am so sorry to hear about all of your illness and hope that it is well and truly behind you because clearly, you have so very much to look forward to!
    Sending you much Love and wishes for the happiest of holidays,

    1. Thank you Heather...I rebounded and have put that experience away in my travel memories, hopefully not to be repeated. Sending warm wishes from Saigon for a Happy Holiday!...xx

  15. Beautiful photographs. Tahilla Farm looks amazing, whatever the season. I imagine it's hard to tear yourself away.

    1. Thank you was fun to capture a third season, I have one more to go, autumn. Fingers crossed for next year. Sending warm wishes for a wonderful holiday from Saigon... xx:)


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