Monday, March 8, 2021

T Stands for Happy and Sad

 Hi everyone.  

Another week of T has rolled around. My post today is both happy and sad. And also (warning you), pretty long.

You may know the sad news already.  A few weeks back on T Day,  Eileen  of The Artful Crafter told us  she was going in for open heart surgery.  Sadly, she passed from complications due to that surgery. I'll miss her art desk photos with her glass of wine or other drinks that she almost always included in her T Day posts. I will also miss her photos of Mexico where she was living.   Eileen  participated  over  at Art Journal Journey as well as T day. I know she expected to be back to join more challenges. 

I received this ATC from Eileen back in 2018 for T day's anniversary party. I thought I would share it again in her memory.

RIP Eileen.

I had some celebration baking scheduled for this week, but it seemed a bit too fun after writing about a loss. I thought about whether I should end this post here, or whether I should include something else. 
I am a happy person by nature, and when I get sad,  I am just one of those people who plows onward.

This week for T I will share photos from another road trip. Hope you don't mind as I've done that a lot lately.

Last week was my birthday. Since I was going to have the day to myself   (the hubby had to work), I decided I would  go do something . Right now New Hampshire is in the early spring  mud, icy patches  and still  snow covered state  called called mud season. That meant I needed to find something to do that was not outside. 
I like to visit the King Arthur Baking Company Store in Norwich, Vermont, but with covid and the 2 hour trip each way, I hadn't been there since the summer of 2019. Even though visiting would mean a bit of driving, the change of scenery would be great, and Vermont is pretty covid strict. 
In fact, I was a little worried that the store wouldn't even be open. (Looking on the internet proved it was in fact open with some strict protocols.) 

 I decided to head out early, so I set the alarm. I got up just as the hubby was getting ready to leave for work. It was a bit strange  that he looked a little too casual, but in my morning grogginess I didn't think too much about it.

"Do you want your first birthday present now?" He asked me right after I had rolled out of bed.

I know I looked at him utterly confused. He's a jokester, and I was expecting a silly comment. Plus I wasn't quite 100% with it yet.

"I'm coming with you today. I've taken the day off so I can spend your birthday with you."

That was a really nice surprise and birthday gift. Let me take you on our adventure.

We had watched a show about donuts a couple of weeks earlier. At that time I had said how I hadn't had a donut in well over a year. Our first stop was at a local grocery chain that makes donuts we like, and he ran in (he's all vaccinated plus done his 2 weeks) and got us some donuts. He got way more than we needed, but smart man that he is,  figured I would want a choice.

It was a beautiful day as you can see. Then we arrived at King Arthur, which is actually only about 2-3 miles over the New Hampshire border into Vermont.

Those feet on the right are the women's who took your temperature to let you inside.  There was a 30 person limit inside. It felt OK.

I managed to pick up some baking supplies I needed. I have occasionally ordered from them in the past 2 years, but it seemed whenever I did order, there was always something I wanted that was out of stock. No problems with that in the store.

After I finished shopping, we decided to take a little drive and check out a few of the covered bridges in the area. One I had never seen but wanted to was the Cornish-Windsor Bridge. It spans the Connecticut River which divides New Hampshire and Vermont. It wasn't much of a drive to get there from King Arthur either.
We entered on the Vermont side and drove back to New Hampshire through the bridge.
The hubby took the photos since I was driving. 

The Cornish-Windsor Bridge is the longest covered bridge in the US and the longest 2 span covered bridge in the world. 
It is also still in use as a way to cross the river.

In this next photo you can see the hubby enjoyed his day off when I stopped to take a photo of the bridge.

We were going to visit one other covered bridge, but the road in to it was fully involved in mud-season. I turned right around and decided I'd check that one out some other time. There were a few others we could have driven to find, but it was now lunch time, and we were hungry. I had decided what I wanted for my birthday lunch, and that included a bit of driving to get there.

We drove part way back home and stopped in Concord, New Hampshire for lunch. One of the local coastal seafood places had opened a restaurant in Concord, and that's where I wanted to eat. We ordered over the phone, and they brought our lunch out to us in the car. 
I ordered one of my favorite sandwiches, even if it wasn't yet summer. Some of you can probably guess what this was without me showing you.
And if you could hear me, I would say this in my local, dry, and  even a little sarcastic tone, "I'm just supporting local seacoast lobstermen." Smile.

Funny it was on a hamburger roll not in a hotdog roll. 

The scenery overlooked the parking lot. Not exciting but the sandwich and chips  tasted yummy.

It might have taken me forever to get here, but finally,  my T day drink.  Don't forget to stop by  Bleubeard and Elizabeth's blog    for this week's drink related post.

My birthday present to myself to remember my fun birthday. It's filled with some of Trader Joe's Spiced chai tea latte mix.

Thanks so much for visiting and reading all the way through this post. Happy T day.



Mae Travels said...

It’s great that you had a good outing for your birthday, and still felt safe in the King Arthur shop. We sometimes order from them, but going in person sounds just fabulous.

Be well... mae at

Kate Yetter said...

Sad news about Eileen. She will be missed.

Happy Birthday, Erika! I loved seeing the pictures of your road trip. First off, I love that your hubby took the day off. What a treat. Not to mention the donuts and lobster sandwich. Yum!! And I love that you went to the King Arthur store. I didn't know they had one but I certainly have it on my to-visit list now. I love using their flour and they have great recipes on their website.

Happy Tea Day,

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Nice tribute to Eileen, Erika. How in the world did I not know it was your birthday? Happy belated. It sounds like heaven to me, especially since your husband is now completely safe. How incredibly sweet of him. And those donuts look wonderful. Now I'm hungry for one, also.

Gotta love reading about that covered bridge. That is on my bucket list. I want to find a covered bridge, too. This one is even more special indeed.

LOVE how you ended your morning with lobster "roll" and chips. And of course, having a drink (cocoa?) at the King Arthur Baking CO. is the perfect ending. Thanks for the tribute to Eileen, your birthday donuts, your birthday drive, your birthday lobster, and your birthday drink you shared with us for T this almost Tuesday. Sorry I missed your birthday.

Birgit said...

I am sorry to hear about your friend who sounds quite special. I am glad you have a good view of the world and can still enjoy the day and reflect on a most special time last week...your birthday! How nice that your husband decided to spend the day with you, buy a good amount of donoughts and drive through that famous covered bridge. I love that one picture of all the criss-crossed cool. Enjoy your new cup.

Darla said...

I enjoyed the chance to go along for awhile on your trip. I particularly liked the covered bridge photos. When I was growing up there was a covered bridge near where my grandpaarents lived (in Oregon). It fascinated me.

kathyinozarks said...

Hi Erika, we are all so sad with the loss of our good friend Eileen,
that was so nice that your husband took the day off to spend your bday with you.
I envy you that you can drive to King Arthur-I love their products and always use their unbleached flour when I bake with wheat. They have been around since the 1700's I believe it is. I grew up in Indiana and they are known for their covered bridges too-more southern Indiana than where I lived. They are always so beautiful and fun to drive through.
thanks for sharing your bday with us and all the photos hugs Kathy

Laurie said...

Happy belated birthday! Beautiful post!

Iris Flavia said...

Yes, I was shocked hearing the sad news of Eileen. She was so fit, or so I thought...

To come to something positive: your Hubby is the cutest!
Wow, donut-galore!
Beautiful bridge.
Thumbs up!!!
Really, here you´d be sad. Nowhere, not even at the coast have I ever seen a lobster roll.
To Birthdays, glad you had such a happy one, happy T-day today, hugs!

Ella said...

Oh, sad news! I'm sorry for your girlfriend!
Happy belated birthday!
The photos are very nice and you had beautiful company in that day!
The bridge is very beautiful, we don't have something like that in Europe!

Dortesjs said...

thanks for showing me around in the snow ;O))) great photos

craftytrog said...

I didn't know about Eileen, such sad news!
It looks like you had a wonderful birthday with Hubby, a lovely treat to spend it together like that.
Happy T-Day,
Alison xx

Cath Wilson said...

SO sorry to hear about Eileen. I visited her blog often and loved her journalling layouts. It's strange how we get to 'know' blogging friends. So, so sad.

Looks as if you had a wonderful birthday (Belated Birthday wishes!!) and had a great time. It's so good to see sunshine. The lobster looks GOOD and reminds me of my visit to Iona, during which we sailed across to a tiny island called Ulva (no cars allowed) where they served fresh seafood in a little pub. We had a great day there.

Really saddened to hear about Eileen :-(
Cath x

J said...

A lovely post and Happy belated Birthday, a lovely surprise from your husband, mine's a joker too so I know what you mean about being careful!!
Lobster roll and chips, still makes me laugh as we were expecting fries the first time we went to Boston, we call those crisps, ha,ha
Enjoy your week
Jan S

CJ Kennedy said...

Sad about Eileen, but we have her memory and her art. Looks like you had a fun birthday. Sweet of your husband to take the day off and to get you donuts, too. I've never been to the King Arthur store, but it's the only flour I bake with. I have ordered stuff online. Their new logo is okay and I love all the symbolism in it, but I miss King Arthur on the packaging. Cool bridge. I've only seen the one in Lancaster, NH. I knew your lunch was going to be lobster roll. Hotdog roll, hamburger bun. Potato. Potahto. It still looks awesome. Happy T Day.

Divers and Sundry said...

RIP Eileen. So sad :(

I'll take all the virtual travel I can get these days :) Thanks! Happy T Tuesday! Happy belated Birthday! What a fun outing :) Happy T Tuesday!

R's Rue said...

I'm so sorry. Hugs

Susie of Arabia said...

Happy Birthday! Sounds like you had a nice outing with your hubby. I haven't had a donut since July 2012 - no kidding. Sorry about your blogging friend.

Linda Kunsman said...

My heart is aching over the passing of Eileen. It was a shock to me for sure. She will be sorely missed. You gave a her a nice tribute.
Happy belated birthday to you!! How nice your hubby took the day off for you! My hubby just did that as well for my birthday coming up on Monday but we have no special plans -yet;)
I'd love to see the King Arthur store, and those covered bridges as well- how cool!
And thanks for putting lobster rolls in my head- I so want one now!!
Thanks for sharing, and happy T day wishes.

Let's Art Journal said...

Such heart breaking news! Your tribute is beautiful, I love the ATC that she sent out and it still has pride of place in my craft room after all these years! She will be very much missed. Looks like you had a lovely birthday, so thoughtful of your hubby to get you donuts and so much choice too - perfect 😁. The covered bridges take me right back to our holidays there, thank you! Take care and Happy T Day wishes! Hugs, Jo x

Jeanie said...

This sounds like it would be my perfect day! Oh, King Arthur, covered bridges and a lobster roll. And best of all, shared with someone you love.

I'm so very sorry about Eileen. I didn't know her but I do know that our blog friends are as real as though we see every day.

Valerie-Jael said...

Lovely tribute to Eileen. Glad you had such a beautiful present and surprise trip out for your birthday. Look after yourself, hugs, Valerie

Lowcarb team member said...

A very nice tribute to Eileen.

I am pleased you had a lovely birthday, really enjoyed seeing all the photographs.

Take care, my good wishes.

All the best Jan

Repolainen said...

Happy Belated Birthday!!
Your husband made your day.... wonderful surprise... Real Love!!
I'd to Google The Cornish-Windsor Bridge - wow!!
We haven't been to US, except airports.
Some day, we hope.... Route 66.
Or what do you recommend along the way?
Lunch, coffee and King Arthur's delicacies - yami !!
I'm only walked & sat in the King Arthur's Seat in the Holyrood Edinburgh some years ago. Have a nice time for you!!

DVArtist said...

It's always an empty feeling when we lose one of our own. A very nice tribute and Eileen would want a happy post.

Anne (cornucopia) said...

I did not know this sad news about Eileen. (I haven't been doing much online visiting lately.) Although I only knew her "virtually" in the blogger world, she was very nice. I am crying over this sad news.

pearshapedcrafting said...

A lovely tribute to Eileen.
What a treat you had for your birthday - lovely surprise from your hubby!
Every birthday should have donuts! King Arthur looks like great place to visit.
Best of all was that covered bridge - I would really love to see some IRL!!
Lobster roll and those chunky chips look great!
Very belated T Day wishes, Chrisx

nwilliams6 said...

I didn't know about Eileen. Sweet that you posted something you sent you! She will be missed.

Wow - some fun goodies and a fun adventure. Love the covered bridge. Really great pictures. Thanks for sharing everything in your posts sweet friend!