Ruth Doan MacDougall: "Ruth's Neighborhood"

Ruth Doan MacDougall's Neighborhood photo

Facebook Columns: July 2018- September 2018

Current entries are HERE.


September 30, 2018

                In the table of contents of the October issue of New Hampshire Magazine, I noticed that there was an article titled “Welcome to Keene,” by Susan Laughlin. Don and I lived in Keene while going to college, so I eagerly turned to that article and saw that it was about how “The city with the widest Main Street is filling up with great flavors.”
               In utter fascination I read about new chefs opening new restaurants with upscale Keene cuisine. I read about “Parmesan portobello fries with a Peruvian aji sauce,” and “bacon-wrapped chicken wings coated with a bourbon Moxie glaze” (hooray, Moxie!) and “duck confit sliders” and “chicken Marengo with a quail egg.”
Well! I remembered the old Keene cuisine.
               Don used to rhapsodize about how, during his first two years when he was living in the men’s dorm, at one of the local beer joints he could get a fine supper of “a dropped egg on toast and a dimey beer” for a total of about fifty cents. (“Dropped” was another term for “poached.”)
               During those years he worked washing pots and pans in the college kitchen, just like Tom. As I wrote in Snowy, when Tom and Joanne got married “Tom switched from his pots-and-pans job to a better-paying job at the newsstand downtown . . . He spent the Sunday selling newspapers, serving coffee and doughnuts.” When Don returned to Keene with me to live in the married students’ barracks, he worked weekends and some nights at Armstrong’s on that wide Main Street, a newsstand-luncheonette where he grilled burgers and made sandwiches in addition to serving coffee and doughnuts. The height of his cuisine was his chopped-ham sandwiches he brought home after work for us to have for an evening snack.
               And of course there was pizza. The pizza-beer joint we went to inspired this reminiscence in One Minus One:

               Garafano’s, which looked like a long wooden houseboat moored on a stark field, where Mrs. Garafano, thin and freckled, stood behind the bar and talked across her baby set upon it, and students drank dimies and ate meatball sandwiches, and the people from the farms sat in booths whose tables were crowded with thick plates of steak rinds and scraps of French fries growing skins of grease. Now and then their children would clamber down from the seats and run the length of the room and back again; from the jukebox Connie Francis whined songs; and Mr. Garafano in person, a square dark man wearing a T-shirt, with a dish towel tucked into the waistband of his trousers, would come out of the kitchen to bring you your pizza.

               Not exactly duck confit sliders.

©2018 by Ruth Doan MacDougall; all rights reserved


September 23, 2018

                  Last week a Laconia High classmate arranged a mini-mini reunion and brought with her three other dear friends from the Gang to have lunch at the Village Kitchen. As I drove to meet them, I found myself remembering this paragraph in Henrietta Snow, when Snowy and Bev are at Dudley and Charl’s house for supper.

  • Snowy leaned back and listened, keeping an eye on Ruhamah at the dock. The comfort of old friends, however changed; old comfort food on the grill, updated. The porch and lawn seemed in constant motion, alive with kids and dogs. Don’t, she cautioned herself, think ahead any further than this.

                 Four of us five old friends, I thought, are now widows.
                 In the parking lot, there were tears and hugging and laughter. In the restaurant, I ordered Don’s favorite, the fried shrimp boat (in this case “boat” meaning not a full dinner). Over lunch there was much talk on many subjects, reminiscences, updates about other friends, discussion of practical problems, including support systems, and uncertain thoughts about the uncertain future. And through it all, concern for each other. Love.
                 Even the subject of Moody’s Diner in Waldoboro, Maine, came up. The Village Kitchen doesn’t take credit cards, and I asked my friends if they’d ever been to Moody’s. Yes! I reminded them that Moody’s didn’t take credit cards until fairly recently and that there were tales about new customers stranded without cash, with perfect strangers digging into wallets to help out. (The Village Kitchen has an ATM machine for such emergencies.)
                 As I drove home after our two-hour lunch of talking, I thought about women talking and about the section in Henrietta Snow in which Snowy and Bev stop at Moody’s for lunch and then meet Puddles at the Whitehall Inn in Camden. I remembered writing their “grand finale,” when they sat rocking on the porch and talking. Then the next day they said good-bye in the inn’s parking lot, hugging and crying and laughing, as we had just done in the restaurant’s parking lot.

©  2018 by Ruth Doan MacDougall ; all rights reserved 


September 16, 2018

          Homes: the problems of everyday maintenance of them is put in perspective by Hurricane Florence and the other disasters that could destroy them.
          These everyday problems became my responsibility when Don’s health began failing. I started to assemble what I thought of as a “support system” for our house. Oh, how spoiled I had been by the luxury of Don’s ability to fix almost everything! And for the times when he knew he needed help, either with our house or one of the places we looked after in our little caretaking business, he had assembled people who were his support system, who came to the rescue. Back in August 2016 I wrote about this in a Facebook piece, ending with:

  • One episode that I especially cherish occurred after a night a few years ago when a bear opened our porch door politely and entered the porch and then, upon our awakening indoors and noisily seeing him out there (eeks from me), made his hasty departure straight through the porch screen. Only a few weeks before, a friend of ours, a member of a local construction group, had replaced the old porch screen with new. When we joked to him about this, he insisted on coming over to our house and replacing the bear-ruined section of the new screens. Free of charge. He was coming to rescue us from blackflies . . . 

          My support-system people have also been coming to the rescue.  For example, here’s what was happening one recent busy day: the carpenter was retiling our shower; the plumber dashed in to fix the kitchen faucet; and the handyman arrived to investigate a smoke-alarm problem.
          My best wishes to everyone coping with the very serious problems of Hurricane Florence.

© 2018 by Ruth Doan MacDougall; all rights reserved


September 9, 2018

           In The Cheerleader, Puddles remarks, “You know what I found at Woolworth’s the other afternoon? Some great big enormous underpants . . . and I grabbed them up . . .  and Snowy was backing away, and I chased her all around the store until she got to the door and ran outside and I couldn’t go after her or I’d be shoplifting.”
          In addition to these underpants (this scene inspired by my being similarly chased around Laconia’s Woolworth by my dear friend Gail), there were other items of interest to Puddles in Woolworth’s, such as malt balls (a favorite of Gail’s).
          Memories of Woolworth’s were caused last week by a trip to a Family Dollar store when my sister, Penny, was visiting. The store is a fairly recent one in nearby Meredith, and we’d never been to one before, so we went, saying, “Dollar? Dollar stores? Remember when Woolworth’s was the five-and-ten, the five-and-dime?”
          And thus we remembered our browsing in Woolworth, our deciding what we could afford with our twenty-five-cents-a-week allowances. We had been, we realized, learning to shop.
We remembered the goldfish we bought and walked home carrying in a little cardboard box that resembled Chinese-food takeout boxes. We remembered the tiny painted turtles who, when we got them home, sometimes made a break for freedom, only to be found much later dead and dusty, usually behind the refrigerator.
          Penny remembered nail polish and Tangee lipstick. I remembered pencil boxes, pencils, and one notebook in particular whose scenic drawing on the cover gave me an idea for the story I wrote in it. We remembered the lunch counter with its big glass container a-swirl with a green lemon-lime beverage. We couldn’t remember buying any food at that counter, just Cokes and the green drink.
          And Penny remembered how she’d bought our mother some plates and dishes one at a time, white with a maroon-stripe border interspersed with flowers. I remembered how some years ago I’d spotted one of these very dishes at a yard sale and bought it. When Penny and I got home from the Family Dollar, I rushed to a cupboard and found the dish. We guessed that when I bought it at the yard sale I’d paid more than a dime and probably more than a dollar.
Then Penny began to sing Bing Crosby’s “I Found a Million-Dollar Baby in a Five-and-Ten-Cent Store.”  

©  2018    Ruth Doan MacDougall    All Rights Reserved


September 2, 2018

            There are new little milestones now, such as returning to places Don and I used to go to for lunch. 
           In his last months, we began to join friends in a Sandwich meeting room for the Sandwich senior lunches served on Wednesdays. One friend likes to call it the “old fogeys’ lunch.” This is part of the “Moultonborough, Sandwich, and Surrounding Communities” senior meals program that serves lunches in Moultonborough Mondays through Thursdays. They are more than lunches, they are dinners, which means you don’t have to make lunch and you can get away with making just a light supper that evening.
           This past Wednesday I went. Most of our friends there had already spoken or written to me about Don, so we proceeded with the usual casual chat, very comforting. This Wednesday’s menu was Stuffed Sole, Mashed Potatoes, Green Beans, Beets, Coleslaw. And Tapioca Pudding. Friendship and food, good therapy.           
           The previous week, a high-school friend invited me out to lunch. Where should we go? With some trepidation I suggested to her the nearby Village Kitchen, which I’ve written about here before and which Don and I have enjoyed very often over the years. Many memories. Would I burst into tears? We went It’s a popular place; it was noisy and happy with summer people and locals, the familiar waitresses rushing around. From our table whose window looked out on the entryway-porch, I glanced across the room at Don’s favorite booth, where another couple sat with the view of the mountains. Then one waitress came dashing past us and leapt onto a seat of an empty booth that overlooked the parking lot. She banged and banged on the window, yelling, “Honey! Honey! You forgot your glasses!” 
           Everyone started laughing, including me.
           She spun around and announced triumphantly to the room, “He heard me, he’s coming back!”
           Someone asked, “Why did you call him ‘honey’?”           
           “I didn’t know his name,” she said, “so I had to call him something!”
           Out the window beside me, I saw “Honey” hurrying across the porch, his expression embarrassed, sheepish. But he must have been so glad he hadn’t reached home to discover he’d forgotten his reading glasses.
           And I was glad I’d returned to this restaurant.


August 26, 2018

             During this difficult summer, our library’s audiobooks have been more important than ever for bedtime listening, for comfort. Here are the ones I’ve liked best—starting  with the first of two by Rosamunde Pilcher.
             In Pilcher’s End of Summer, Jane impulsively returns home to Scotland after years in America. Scottish scenery! Also, two men in her life. I jotted down this observation on my bedside notepad: “Small things are always comforting in the face of tragedy. Teacups clinking . . . crackle of fire.”             
             Three of the four women in Frances Mayes’s Women in Sunlight impulsively leave their past lives in America to share a rented house in Italy; the fourth woman, Kit, has been living in Italy for years. Italian scenery; Italian food! Also, renewal, new possibilties, even joy.
             In Carole George’s memoir, The Lambs: My Father, a Farm, and the Gift of a Flock of Sheep, there are two impulsive decisions: (1) She buys a farm in Virginia. (2) She heeds her father’s suggestion that the scenery needs a flock of sheep and buys thirteen Karakul lambs to raise as pets. When I was writing The Flowers of the Forest I did a lot of reading about sheep, and the main thing I remember is a saying that goes something like “A cow is always looking for a place to lie down; a sheep is always looking for a place to die.” But before the inevitable occurs, there was learning, love, companionship on daily walks around the farm. And a piano in the barn.
             Back to Rosamunde Pilcher. Our library now has the audiobook of her Shell Seekers! I had read the book when it was published in 1987, and I later bought a copy at a book sale, intending to reread it. And now I finally have. I’ve never done this with an audiobook before: I listened at night, but in the afternoons or with supper I read the book. Dual enjoyments. 

© 2018 by Ruth Doan MacDougall; all rights reserved 

UPDATE: Donald K. MacDougall (1936-2018)

August 19, 2018

           CENTER SANDWICH, NH— Donald K. MacDougall, 82, died August 13 at the DHMC hospice center.
           Born in Laconia in 1936, Don spent his early boyhood in the Weirs. He graduated from Laconia High School in 1955. He married his high-school sweetheart, Ruth Doan, in 1957. After serving two years in the U.S. Coast Guard, he graduated from Keene State College with a B. Ed. in 1961. In 1970 he received his Master’s Degree in Library Science from UNH.
           Don taught English at the high schools in Sharon, MA, and Lisbon, NH, and then he and Ruth relocated to England where Don was a dormitory counselor at the U.S. Air Force high school in Lakenheath. When he and Ruth returned to the United States, Don became the librarian at Somersworth High School and Kingswood Regional High School.
           Don and Ruth lived in Farmington, NH, before settling in Center Sandwich in 1976. He did caretaking for properties in the Lakes Region, including Bald Peak Colony Club.
           Don is survived by Ruth, his wife of 60 years, his brother Richard Kirk Dougal of St. Augustine, FL, and his sister Deborah Kay Dougal of Franklin, NH.
           He loved the Sandwich library. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Samuel H. Wentworth Library, PO Box 146, Center Sandwich, NH 03227.

© 2018 by Ruth Doan MacDougall; all rights reserved 


August 12, 2018

      Don has pneumonia. Hospice care is being discussed. My sister and niece are with me and we will be visiting him today


August 5, 2018

          Don and I talk on the phone every day, but I waited until my weekly visit to the hospital to tell him about your response to my post last Sunday.
         He understood and was overwhelmed, happy, grateful. As am I. Your words have enveloped me, bringing comfort and strength.
         Next week I’ll return to my usual tales of happenings in Sandwich and such.

© 2018 by Ruth Doan MacDougall; all rights reserved 


July 29, 2018

         I have been waiting until things were more definite to tell you about Don’s health, hoping that it would improve. In a way, it has, but I’m afraid the news is devastating.
        About a year ago, Don’s memory problems seemed to become more than “senior moments.” Our wonderful primary-care doctor gave him a memory test and kept tabs on the situation. I braced myself for Alzheimer’s. Then an occasional delusion would appear in Don’s conversation. Thinking he was joking, I’d look into his blue eyes and see that he wasn’t. Did he really believe that his brother, who lives in Florida, was in our house? The delusions increased and then in the past three months they speeded up, rampaging. 
        The delusions were the clue. A mental-health counselor made a tentative diagnosis of Lewy Body Dementia, an aggressive form of dementia that we’d never heard of before. A neurologist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center confirmed the diagnosis, and Don was admitted into this hospital in Lebanon, NH, on July first.
        He is still there, while a nursing home is being found for him.
        Needless to say, this has been a terrible shock—a series of shocks. Life has been disrupted in so many ways, from his absence in our household to the ton of paperwork involved in medical care. The disruption will continue indefinitely; it includes my writing schedule. But my sister and niece have been here and are helping me tremendously. Our town is full of concern.
        At the hospital, the medications have helped Don. He’s calmer, humorous again, more my Don. And thus, as I said, his health has improved.
        But I miss our being together at home! And I know that you love him too.
        I may not be able to answer individual queries for a while, but please know that you are all dear to me and I value your friendship. Thank you. 

© 2018 by Ruth Doan MacDougall; all rights reserved 


July 22, 2018

     Here are some things I’ve seen and overheard that have amused me recently:
I was almost past a farm-stand sign when I realized what I’d just read on its list of the farm’s produce:
     Whoa! Marijuana? Oh, oh yes, medical marijuana is now legal in New Hampshire. But at a farm stand? So this was a joke?
     On another day, I saw this on a Harley Davidson dealership sign:
            Put Excitement Between Your Legs
     And I saw this after that big motorcycle week in New Hampshire. The excitement continues.
Here’s a vanity license plate:
               Bow Jest
     Friends from Pennsylvania who summer in New Hampshire say that in all their travels they’ve seen the most vanity plates in New Hampshire. They concluded that folks here while away the long winter thinking them up.
     At a nearby table in a Dunkin’ Donuts two women were doing a crossword puzzle. One leaned toward the other and asked hesitantly, “Osprey?” 
     I don’t know why I found this so funny, but I did. Maybe it’s because my father claimed that an osprey followed the Fish & Game truck to his and my stepmother’s backyard pond and promptly devoured the fish that were delivered.
     And then in a restaurant I overheard two women in a nearby booth. One said to the other, “You don’t have to finish your French fries.”
     The other said, “Oh, really?”

© 2018 by Ruth Doan MacDougall; all rights reserved 


July 15, 2018

     Last month, U.S. Poet Laureate Donald Hall died at his New Hampshire home.
     I first read him in the 1960s when he sent my father a copy of String Too Short To Be Saved: Memories of a Disappearing New England. In his accompanying letter, he wrote of his admiration for my father’s novel Amos Jackman. 
     My father and I liked his memoir. In its epigraph, Donald Hall explained the title: “A man was cleaning the attic of an old house in New England and he found a box which was full of tiny pieces of string. On the lid of the box there was an inscription in an old hand: ‘String too short to be saved.’”
     From reading this book we went on to reading his poems. 
     I didn’t really know the part of central New Hampshire that Donald Hall was writing about, Danbury, where in his youth he visited his grandparents’ farm, which later became his own home. My father was acquainted with the area, but having grown up in the Connecticut River Valley part of New Hampshire and then lived the rest of his life in the Lakes Region, two beautiful parts of the state, he was somewhat immune to its charms, shall we say. However, Donald Hall’s writing made us aware of this landscape that we might not otherwise have appreciated fully.
     Eventually Donald Hall and I had a brief correspondence about the writing business, and eventually I became better acquainted with the area when I took over my father’s hiking books and climbed, several times, Mount Kearsarge, that region’s mountain. Also, the son and daughter-in-law of Gloria, my dear Bennington friend, moved to a town near Danbury, so when Gloria and her husband drove up from Connecticut to visit them, Don and I drove down from Sandwich for a mini Bennington reunion.
     At about this time, Newsday sent me Donald Hall’s memoir Seasons at Eagle Pond to review. As I opened the package and took out the book, I remembered that copy of String Too Short To Be Saved arriving in my parents’ mailbox.

© 2018 by Ruth Doan MacDougall; all rights reserved 


July 1, 2018

     The tourist season is now upon us in the Lakes Region, and it’s reminding Don and me of how we used to travel off-season.
     During our caretaking years, we were working full tilt during the summer, so we couldn’t take a vacation until autumn or winter. Thus we found ourselves in cottages or cabins huddling around a fireplace or space heater or under blankets, all of which was fun, for this short spell. Summertime tourist sites were closed; the ocean was glorious anyway. 
     Traveling on Thanksgiving and at Christmas, we did of course meet other travelers, but often places were closed on the day of the holiday. You could starve to death! One Thanksgiving we were extremely grateful to find an Asian restaurant open. At Christmas one year, the inn we stayed at had promised to include Christmas dinner, but since it turned out that we were the only guests, they sent us to a restaurant in another town. During the meal, a predicted snowstorm began, and the drive back to the inn on twisty seacoast roads was precarious.
     When Penny and I were planning a trip to the Cotswolds to visit gardens, the timing had to be autumn because of our work. Penny is a landscape designer; she said, “England being England, there’ll be flowers, and when there aren’t we’ll see the ‘bones’ of the gardens.” And so we did. Only one of the gardens she wanted to visit was closed. As I write this, I’m wearing the Warwick Castle T-shirt I bought and I’m remembering flowers and peacocks there.
     For contrast, here’s the off-season experience from Hell:  A Maine B&B advertised that it would be open on Thanksgiving, and we delightedly reserved a room. What hadn’t been mentioned was that the owners’ extended family would be celebrating Thanksgiving there. We were the only guests, in a little upstairs room. Downstairs, revelry grew louder and louder through the evening, into the night, and the cigarette smoke rose thicker and thicker. We opened a window and leaned out, gasping. We considered packing up and leaving, but shouldn’t we wait to pay our bill? In the wee hours a baby began crying. Louder and louder. A car revved up and the wails receded; was the mother taking the baby for a ride to try to soothe it to sleep? In the morning, downstairs, the owner didn’t mention the situation as he made us coffee, and I chattered politely on about my Great-great-aunt Edith who’d lived in the town, but when it came time to pay for our holiday night, he shook his head.

© 2018 by Ruth Doan MacDougall; all rights reserved

RDM titles collage

Current entries are HERE.



Pete   (March 31)
Road Trip  (March 24)
Reviews and Remarks (March 10)
Girl Scouts  (March 3)
Board, Not Boring (February 25)
Postholing & Forest Bathing (Feb 18)
Chocolate (February11)
PW's Spring Previews (February 4)
From Pies to Frost (January 28)
An Island Garden (January 21)
More Sandwich Board (January 14) Nancy (January 7)


Link to the Current Entries


Spotted Dick (December 31)
Dashing Through the Cookies (December 24)
Chocorua (December 17)
Senior Christmas Dinner (December 10)
The Sandwich Board (December 3)
Nostalgia (November 26)
Socks, Relaxation, and Cakes (November 19)
Holiday Gift Books (November 12)
Maine (November 5)
Cafeteria Food; Fast Food (Oct 29)
Happy 100th Birthday, Dear LHS! (Oct. 22)
Giraffes, Etc. (October 15)
A Monday Trip (October 8)
Laconia High School, Etc. (October 1)
Christmas Romance
(September 24)
National Potato Month (September 17)
Globe (September 10)
Preserving With Penny (Sept 3)
Psychogeography (August 27)
Bayswater Books (August 20)
"Wild Girls" (August 13)
Kitchens (August 6)
Old Home Week (July 30)
The Middle Miles (July 23)
Bears, Horses, and Pies
(July 16)
Fourth of July 2023
(July 9)
Lucy and Willa
(July 2)
Frappes, Etc. (June 25)
Still Springtime
(June 18)
Wildefires to Dougnnts
(June 11)
In the Bedroom
(June 4)
Dried Blueberries
(May 28)
More Items of Interest
(May 21)
F(ire Towers
(May 14)
Anne, Emily, and L.M.
(May 7)
Earthquake, Laughter, and Cookbooks (Apr30)
Springtime and Poems
(April 23)
Cookbooks and Poems
 (April 16)
 Items and Poems  (April 9)
Two Pies  (April 2)
Audiobooks (March 26)
The Cheeleader
's 50th Anniversary
(Mch 19)
The Lot, Revisited
(March 12)
(March 5)
Parking and Other Subjects (February 26)
Concord (February 19)
Bird Food and Superbowl Food (February 12)
The Cold Snap (February 5)
Laughter and Lorna (January 29)
Tea and Digestive Biscuits (January 22)
Ducks, Mornings, & Wonders (January 15)
Snowflakes (January 8)
A New Year's Resolution  (January 1)



Jingle Bells    (December 25)
Fruitcake, Ribbon Candy &Snowball
.(Dec. 18)
Christmas Pudding (December 11)
Amusements (December 4)
Weather and Woods  (November 27)
Gravy (November 20)
Brass Rubbing (November 13)
Moving Day (November 6)
Sandwiches and Beer (October 23)
Edna, Celia, and Charlotte (Octobert 16)
Sandwich Fair Weekend (October 9)
More Reuntions (October 2)

A Pie and a Sandwich (September 25)
Evesham (September 18)
Chawton (September 11)
Winter's Wisdom? (September 4)
Vanity Plates (August 28)
2022 Golden Circle Luncheon
(August 21)
Agatha and Annie (August 14)
National Dog Month (August 7)
The Chef's Triangle (July 31)
Librarians and Libraries (July 24)
Clothes and Cakes (July 17)
Porch Reading (July 10)
Cheesy! (July 3)

The Summer Book (June 23)
Bears & Goats & Motorcycles ...(June 19)
Tuna Fish (June 12)
Laconia (June 5)
More Publishers Weekly Reviews (May 22)
Shopping, Small and Big  (May 15)
Ponds  (May 8)
The Lakes Region (May 1)
TV for Early Birds; An April Poem    (April 24)
Family; Food; Fold-out Sofas (April 17)
Solitary Eaters (April 9)
National Poetry Month (April 3)
Special Places—Popular Cakes(March 27) Neighborhood Parks ( (March 20)
More About Potatoes—and Maine (March 13)
Potatoes (March 6)
Spring Tease (February 27)
Pillows (February 20)
Our Song (February 13)
Undies (February 6)
Laughter  (January 28/30)
A Burns Night  (January 23)
From Keats to Spaghetta Sauce (January 16)
Chowder Recipes  (January 9)
Cheeses and Chowders  (January 2)


The Roaring Twenties (December 26
Christmas Traditions (December 19)
Trail Cameras (December 12)
Cars and Trucks(December 5)
Return? (November 28)
Lipstick (November 20)
Tricks of the Trade (November 12)
A New Dictionary Word (November 7)
A 50th Reunion (October 31) "
Sides to Middle" Again
(October 23)
Pantries and Anchovies (October 1i7)
Fairs and Festivals (October 10)
Reunions  (October 3) A Lull  (September 26)
The Queen and Others (
Sept. 19)
Scones and Gardens (Sept.12)
Best Maine Diner (September 5)
Neighborhood Grocery Store; Neighborhood Café (August 28)
PW Picks of the Week (August 21)
A Goldilocks Morning_and More (August 15)
Desks (August 8)
Sports Bras and Pseudonyms (August 1)
Storybook Foods (July 25)
Rachel Field(July 18)
The Bliss Point  (July 11)
Items of Interest  (July 4)
Motorcycle Week 2021 (June 27)
Seafood, Inland and Seaside  (June 20)
Thrillers to Doughnuts (June 13)
National Trails Day  (June 6)
New Hampshire Language (May 30 )
Books and Squares(May 23)
Gardening in May (May16)
The Familiar (May 9)
Synonyms (May 2)
"Bear!" (April 25)
Blossoms  (April 18)
Lost Kitchen and Found Poetry (April 11)
More About Mud (April 4)
Gilbert and Sullivan (March 28)
St. Patrick's Day 2021 (March 21)
Spring Forward (March 14)
A Blank Page (March 7)
No-Recipe Recipes (February 28)
Libraries and Publishers Weekly (February 21)
Party; Also, Pizza (February 13)
Groundhog Day (February 6)
Jeeps (January 31) Poems and Paper-Whites (January 24) Peanut Butter (January 17)
Last Wednesday  (January 10)
Hoodsies and Animal Crackers  (January 3)


Welcome, 2021December 27
Cornwall at Christmastime( December 20)
 Mount Tripyramid ( December 13) 
New Hampshire Pie ( December 6)   
Frost, Longfellow, and Larkin ( November 29)
Rocking Chairs ( November 22)
Thanksgiving Side Dishes ( November 15)
Election 2000 ( November 8)
Jell-O and Pollyanna ( November 1)
Peyton Place in Maine  (October 25)
Remember the Reader  (October 18)
Sandwich Fairs In Our Past  (October11)
Drought and Doughnuts  (October 4)
Snacks (September 27)
Support Systems, Continuing (September 20)
The 85 Best Things to Do in New England (Sept
Dessert Salads?! (September 6)
Agatha Christie's 100th Anniversary (August 3
Poutine and A Postscript(August 23)
Pandemic Listening and Reading (August 16)
Mobile Businesses (August 9)
Backyard Wildlife (August 2)
Maine Books (July 26)
Garlic (July 19)
Birthday Cakes (July 12)
A Collection of Quotations  (July 5)
Best of New Hampshire (June 28)
Hair (June 21)
Learning (June 14)
Riding and "Broading" Around (June 7)
Sunday Drives, Again (May 31)
The Passion Pit (May 24)
Schedules & Sustenance (May 17)
Doan Sisters Go to a British Supermarket (April
National Poetry Month 2020 (April 12)
Laconia (May 10)
Results (May 3)
Singing (April 26 )
Dining Out (April 19 )
Red Hill (March 29)
An Island Kitchen (March 22)
Pandemic and Poetry (March 15)
Food for Hikes (March 8)
Social Whirl in February (March 1)
Two Audiobooks and a Magazine(February 23)
Books Sandwiched In   (February 9)
Mailboxes February 2)
Ironing (January 26)
The Cup & Crumb  (January 19)
Catalogs  (January 12)
Audiobook Travels  (January 5)


Christmas Weather  (Dec. 29 )
Christmas in the Village  (Dec. 22)
Marion's Christmas Snowball, Again  (Dec. 15)
Phyliss McGinley and Mrs. York  (December 8)
Portsmouth Thanksgiving.  (December 1)
In the Dentist's Waiting Room, Again.  (Nov. 24
Louisa and P.G.  (November 17)
The First Snow  (November 10)
Joy of Cooking  (November 3)
Over-the-Hill Celebration  (October 27)
Pumpkin Regatta  (October 20)
Houseplants, New and Old(October 13)
Pumpkin Spice  (October 6)
Wildlife  (Sept 29)
Shakespeare and George  (Sept 22)
Castles and Country Houses  (Sept 15)
New Hampshire Apple Day  (Sept 8)
Maine Woods and Matchmaking  (Sept 1)
Reunions  (August 25)
Sawyer's Dairy Bar  (August 18)
Old Home Week  (August 11)
Summer Scenes  (August 4)
Maine Foods (July 28)
Out of Reach  (July 21)
This and That, Again  (July 14)
The Lot  (July 7)
Pizza, Past and Present (June 30)
Setting Up Housekeeping (June 23)
Latest Listening and Reading (June 16)
Pinkham Notch (June 9)
A Boyhood in the Weirs (June 2)
The Big Bear (May 26)
It's Radio! (May 19)
Archie (May 12)
Department Stores  (May 5)
Spring Is Here!  (April 28)
Dorothy Parker Poem  (April 21)
National Library Week, 2019  (April 14)
National Poetry Month, 2019  (April 7)
Signs of Spring, 2019 (March 31)
Frost Heaves, Again (March 24)
Latest Reading & Listening (March 17)
Car Inspection (March 10)
Snowy Owls & Chicadees (March 3)
Sandwiches Past and Present (February 23)
Our First Date (February 17) 
Ice Fishing Remembered (February 10)
Home Ec (February 3)
A Rockland Restaurant (January 27)
Kingfisher (January 19)
Mills & Factories (January 13)
Squirrels (January 6)


Clothesline Collapse   (December 2)
Thanksgiving 2018
(November 25)  
(November 18)
A Mouse Milestone (November 11)
Farewell to Our Magee   (November 4)
Sistering (October 28)
Sears (October 21)
Love and Ruin (October 14)
A New Furnace (October 7)
Keene Cuisine September 30)
A Mini-Mini Reunion (September 23)
Support System  (September 16)
Five & Ten  (September 9)
Dining Out Again  (September 2)
Summer Listening (August 26)
Donald K. MacDougall 1936-2018  (August 19)
Update--Don (August 12)
Telling Don (August 5)
Don's Health (July 29)
Seen and Overheard (July 22)
Donald Hall  (July 15)
Fireworks (July 8)
Off Season (July 1)
A Clean, Well-Lighted Place (June 24)
2018 Motorcycle Week (June 17)
Springtime Sights (June 10)
Seafood at the Seacoast? (June 3)
Lilacs (May 27)
Going Up Brook, revisited  (May 20)
The Weirs Drive-In Theater  (May 13)
The Green and Yellow Time, (May 6 )
Recipe Box and Notebook (April 29)
Henrietta Snow, Second Printing (April 21)
Miniskirts and Bell-Bottoms (April 14)
The Poor Man's Fertilizer (April 7)
The Galloping Gourmet (April 1)
The Old Country Store (March 25; First  FB entry)

Earlier: :Ruth's Neighborhood
(multiple entries, 2011 - 2017)