Monday, August 29, 2011

Why we love it


After dinner if there's time, the creek is just a few blocks from home. We skip rocks. I botanize.

Constellations of queen anne's lace nod among the goldenrod. Everything goes pink for a few minutes as the sun sets.

Later, a campfire out by the back fence. I curl into my sleeping bag for warmth, and shiver inside, eventually, but not before pausing to look up. The spellbinding intensity of stars. 

Lots of wind, and rain, and leaves and twigs everywhere Sunday.

In the end, a house and a town that kept us safe. Continuity. Morning sunlight in the front windows.

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Monday, August 22, 2011

Antiques and angels and still, the tomatoes


Notes from my week:
  • Garden-wise, I continue to spend lots of time slicing tomatoes. After eating gazpacho and grilled cherry tomato skewers and corn on the cob last night, I sat and thought, for the first delicious time, about next year's garden. Because it's never too early for that, right?
  • Work-wise, I keep feeling the presence of angels. Or fate. Or something. Have you ever had that feeling? I've been wanting and working towards this writing thing for so long (it seems), and feeling like I'm ever-so-far away, still, and feeling frustrated. And then, suddenly, one day I was right around the corner. Like I'd been riding grumpily on the back of a goat for miles, and then I hopped on a plane and zip, I was there. No offense to goats.
  • Saturday morning, I opened the drawer where I stuff my tip money, and was pleasantly surprised. I loaded my bag with a tape measure and a camera and a water bottle and a wad of bills, and I drove to the Madison-Bouckville antiques show. And I had a freaking fabulous time. Part of my haul is pictured above. Best score: a plate commemorating the 185th anniversary of the settlement of Gilbertsville, for $10. The etching on the front is by a local artist, Frank Eckmair, who I have the pleasure of serving each and every night I waitress in town. 
  • Spent lots of time yesterday walking around the yard with Patrick and Diesel and Pete and Ophelia. That was the best part.
How was your week?

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Monday, August 15, 2011

In between the tomatoes and the smiles

This one's for Becky.
 I'm swimming in a vast and endless ocean of cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, and green beans. I love this part of summer. The vegetables are keeping me from thinking too far ahead, from being over-eager in my planning, because there's never more than half an hour's pause between the cooking and the eating and the sighing contentedly and the replenishing of the vegetable piles right now.

This week we will be eating ratatouille, and gazpacho. Stuffed zucchini. Corn on the cob. I bought a smooth, supple ball of fresh mozzarella this weekend, so, we will be eating caprese salad one night, too. 

Good things are moving forward. In between cooking tomatoes and picking more tomatoes, I've been tucking in little smiles to myself, thinking about the freedom waiting for me at my desk. Freedom that I'm growing more and more eager to step into.

Filling in between tomatoes and smiles: laptop research, spreadsheets, IKEA, Craigslist, and my goodness, we need to finish cleaning out our old house (we have tenants moving in Sept 1st!). It's a busy, delicious time of life.

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Monday, August 8, 2011


Things seem to be falling into place for my little work-from-home dream. Pinch me.

Here's what's happening: I've been working two nights a week at the bar/restaurant in town, The Empire House, since May. I've been meeting the town, earning a little bit of money, and getting to sample nearly every magnificent dish that leaves the steamy, wondrous realm of the Empire's kitchen.

Gilbertsville is a special place. Lots of creative people live here. Over the months I've met teachers and farmers, artists and writers and sculptors and poets. Last weekend, I met the husband and wife publishing duo who lives on our street. Then I met a farmer who needs help writing his website.

For some reason, I'm thinking about Connect Four (here I go, betraying my early 90s childhood), when you'd move one of the bottom pieces aside and this big stack of chips would fall neatly-- chunk!-- into the hole. In late October, it seems, I will begin commuting from bedroom to "office" down the hall every morning.

Thanks for reading. 

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer break

I'm going to be updating the blog only on Mondays for the next several weeks. I have a lot on my plate right now-- gardening, canning, writing, cleaning, writing, working, more working, more writing-- and I need to spend some time investigating something auspicious. Not to be vague or anything.

It could make working from home a real, actual possibility.

Because, you know, that's all I've ever wanted to do. Especially now, with Gilbertsville. My heart cracks a little bit each morning: I look out at the garden and the fields and the flowers and the trees, and I sigh as I climb into the car. I can't imagine being a mother and leaving home for the best part of every day. It's where I make sense, and-- though I admit this sounds very pre-feminism-- where my purpose is clearest. 

Hopefully in the next couple of months, a writing desk with a computer and a file drawer will come to inhabit my craft room. And I will be busy, day in and day out, with the business of writing and growing and learning and working-- and be able to turn and look out the window on paradise whenever I please. 

Send your hopes my way, friends.

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Monday, August 1, 2011

Back from the wilderness

Apologies for the unannounced absence! The good news is, we spent a week in the Adirondacks and had a great time. There is no bad news. Regular blogging resumes now.

We spent a week in the Adirondacks two summer ago, and though it was excessively moist, we managed to have a great time anyway. This stint built upon that theme. Fortunately, we know the area well enough to have a built-in list of rainy day (and rainy evening) activities. We went to the Adirondack museum in Blue Mountain Lake (world class), we ate dinner at one of our favorite places, the Eat-n-Meet Grill in Saranac Lake (also world class), and traveled to Lake Placid one evening to catch a movie (Horrible Bosses). Who says there's anything wrong with going to the movies while you're on a camping trip? 

No one. That's right.

On with the photos!

Patrick's Ultimate Veggie Burgers, a camping trip tradition since 2007.

Ruins of MacIntyre Furnace, at the south side of Mt. Marcy. What makes these old industrial relics so appealing? This one reminded me of an Incan temple or something. Very cool.

Forked Lake.

Lamb gyro at the Eat-n-Meet. We watched it pour, and felt smug.

Buttermilk Falls.

Cardinal flower.

Hiking the Floodwood Loop in the rain. Insufferable deer flies.

Submerged "bridges." Not pictured: the ice cream cones we inhaled later in the day, as a reward for our exertions. When camping, it's very important to keep your strength up.

Rocky Falls, on Indian Pass Brook. I worked two miles away from this place the summer I was twenty. It felt great to be back.

Loon mama and chick. We heard loons every night, and most days. Listening to loons = inner peace.

Cranberry on the shores of Rollins Pond.

Rollins Pond.

Fly agaric mushroom. 

Next year, we're talking about doing a multi-day canoe trip. I already can't wait.

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