Monday, June 29, 2015


First, the facts:
1. The night before our big party, a freak storm snapped one of our backyard hickories like a damn toothpick.
2. The party was awesome anyway, though I am grieving that tree like a family pet. You don't realize how much real estate a big tree like that takes up in your heart... until it's gone.
3. Highlights of the party included playing on the downed tree, making tree jokes ("look what crashed your party!" "I guess it just decided to drop in...") and the strongest campfire jam session yet. There was Wagon Wheel and Fools Rush In and Dock of the Bay and Free Falling. 
4. The garden is fine. The garden is great. The peas are coming in and I'm starting to feel drown-y in vegetables. One of the summer constants.
5. This past weekend, we went to MassMOCA for the Solid Sound festival. I bought P tickets to it for his birthday. The whole festival, from the music to the art exhibits to the food, is curated by the band Wilco, and Patrick is a HUGE Wilco fan. I am a huge MassMOCA fan. We went there last summer for a Jason Isbell concert, and exploring the museum was one of the best parts of the day. You'll see what I mean in photos, I think.

Party campfire.

Summer garden.

Richard Thompson at Solid Sound.

Festival selfie. Damn him.

Two examples of MassMOCA's completely fearless approach to art. Barbara Bush in flames, and this very extremely disturbing diptych from Francesco Clemente's Encampment. Whoa. I don't like safe art, at all, and I don't especially like pretty art, either. I like to be challenged, and nearly everything at MassMOCA seems to challenge me in the best possible ways. 

I like that. I like the dark and the erotic and the ridiculous and the creepy.

Saturday night, there was Wilco in the rain, and it was good. Walking back to our campsite (about 10-15 minute walk) it picked up. It started to blow quite intensely. Our tent stayed perfectly, miraculously dry, but others did not fare well at all. This was the pile of ruined ez-ups, the following morning. Oh my.

We packed up and relaxed at the car for awhile. I believe we opened beers at 10:30 am, sitting at the car in the misting rain listening to the Buddy & Jim show on Outlaw County. They were playing nothing but old country music. PBR, old country music, and Sunday morning were just meant to be together.

Back to the festival we went. It was subdued, and still gray, but awesome. If you're anywhere convenient to western Massachusetts, do yourself a favor and go for the day. Everything about it is too cool to be believed.

Eventually, we headed homeward. It was a wonderful experience. I think I'm pretty much done buying Patrick "things"-- he just doesn't want them, or need them. Doing something like this, where we get to have an awesome, interesting, crazy, occasionally wet experience together... it's definitely a bigger return on the investment of dollars. And... I get to buy myself a ticket and it's a present to me, as well. I like that. 

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Front garden

I took the front garden photos last week, intending to share them in a timely fashion. It's look absolutely to-die-for out there, for the first time ever, and that feels so good. Yes, I am a grower of food, but also, I love my flowers. I especially love shade gardening, that holy trinity of ferns, hostas, and bleeding hearts with a few heuchera thrown in for good measure. I've spent four summers working on that front garden, which was almost completely weeds when we moved here (see below) and now things are taking shape.
When we were embroiled in that first summer here, that first summer of being oh-my-god overwhelmed with what we'd taken on, I would sit and dream of this day. The day when I can return from a weekend away, in June, and not have dragons to slay. The day when there's still plenty of doing, but plenty of sitting back and enjoying the results of all the hard work, as well. The day when the place, the whole place, feels rejuvenated. That day is mostly come, with the few exceptions of one entire side of the house that's still covered in aluminum, the back stairwell/entryway for which I'm saving my pennies, and the total eyesore garage, for which we're still drafting a plan. Most days, it's easy enough to ignore the side of the house, the stairwell, and the garage. Especially when the patches of fern, hosta, and bleeding heart are looking so fine.

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