People often ask why I moved from Manhattan to Maine.
After attending The Lenox School (which later merged with Birch Wathen) for middle and high school with the aid of a scholarship, I attended Bennington College in Vermont for one year, also via scholarship. At that point I decided I wanted to be in a less affluent setting and 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 on the southern coast in 2001 where I’ve since remained and founded my business, Hillstock, LLC. The serene surroundings and gentle opportunities for connecting with the natural side of things has been an inspiration to me and an integral part of my healing from a traumatic childhood.
I’ve always been a “quiet” kind of person. 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. I’m also in long-term recovery from alcoholism (July 9, 1994 is my sobriety date), cigarettes (started smoking a pack of Marlboro Reds daily at age 13, quit in 1999), and binging on junk food/going on fad diets (haven’t since 2010). I’ve lived with chronic PTSD since my childhood that has manifested primarily as frequent nightmares.
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. Long-term sobriety, stability and healthy eating do not guarantee lasting serenity. It was through these meetings that I discovered comfort and a home not just in New England, but also in life as a Christian. My connection to God has given me the courage and self-compassion to share more openly. As an Episcopalian I enjoy going to church every Sunday.
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 which I’ve since kept off. You can expect to see many classic, some quirky, but all scrumptious vintage New England and British recipes brought back to life in new ways.
boyfriend fiancé Wayne, who is also in long-term sobriety, is passionate about boats and has been working in the marine industry for over twenty years. He has designed and built yachts and now provides sales and consulting.
Welcome to Serene New England, Est 2017!