About My Blog

I’m an old school blogger. I began in the late 1990s with an anonymous “online diary” over at LiveJournal. My first “blog” was named “Informed Bliss” in the early 2000s before blogging was synonymous with commercial ventures that relied upon sponsored posts, promoted products, and using metrics such as page views and “likes” as measures of success. I blogged because I enjoyed it. I later created my blog “Outdated By Design” which focused on my weight loss, vintage diets and retro eating. I retired that blog early in 2017. Serene New England, est April 2017, continues to maintain the spirit of blogging “back in the day”; this is a place for me to share original content about living a simple, sober life (my last drink was in 1994) in Maine with my fiancé, Wayne.

About Me

People often ask why I moved from Manhattan to Maine.

New England’s serene surroundings and gentle opportunities for connecting with the natural world keep me grounded. I find peace living on the coast, appreciate the calm and silence during a gentle snowfall, get a thrill from the changing leaves in autumn and enjoy treasure hunting for old books and vintage goodies at estate and rummage sales.

After attending The Lenox School (which later merged with Birch Wathen) for middle and high school with the aid of a scholarship from 1978 through 1985, I attended Bennington College in Vermont for one year, also via scholarship. I loved Vermont and the academics, but I really wanted to be in a more economically diverse setting in New England since being the “scholarship kid” among the wealthy elite had its challenges. I transferred to the University of Maine in Orono where I earned my B.A. in English. I went on to earn an M.S. in Counselor Education at The University of Vermont in Burlington where I was awarded a department assistantship and lived in a tiny house in the woods. I later returned to Maine in 2001 where I’ve since remained and founded my business, Hillstock, LLC.

Marie Joseph Spiritual Center, Biddeford Pool, Maine

In the fall of 2014, in the midst of a divorce, I sought non-denominational  spiritual counseling with a Nun at the beautiful Marie Joseph Spiritual Center in Biddeford Pool, Maine. It was through these meetings that I was inspired to embrace Christianity which is now an integral part of my spiritual path. Wayne and I are Episcopalian.


Cooking and baking wholesome dishes inspired by vintage regional cookbooks and handwritten recipe cards is relaxing and therapeutic for me. It’s also what helped facilitate losing 10% of my unwanted mid-life body weight in 2010.


My fiancé Wayne, who is also in long-term sobriety, has designed and built yachts, loves to sail and enjoys working in the marine industry as a technical sales consultant.


Welcome to Serene New England, Est 2017!

Pine Point Fisherman’s Coop, Scarborough, Maine