Saturday, October 31, 2009

don't wanna write about it.

I could post about my brother-in-law.

He traveled up from Albany on Tuesday to help with the Big Project and he is now recovering on our leather couch from a serious nap. Don't get the wrong idea; he worked like a dawg all day Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, along with a few other extremely lucky guys who are probably as tuckered out as he is. He turned the big Four-Oh this month, so per his request, I will bake a Double-Fudge Coca-Cola Cake tonight. I don't have this cookbook, but we found a recipe online. Oh joy.
His tastes are not what one might called (ahem) *refined*, but if such a cake (smothered with peanut-butter frosting) is what the guy wants for his birthday, well then. Give the guy his cake.

But nah. I don't wanna post about him.

I could post about reading "The Grapes of Wrath".

-which I finished up an hour or so ago. Whew. Scathingly true. Brutally honest. Historically accurate. Brilliantly written. It will take me a week to emotionally recover. But what a book.
I walk away from movies that are not as raw as this book. But how can one who loves great literature (such as my meek little self) walk away from a book which has been awarded a Pulitzer Prize AND the Nobel Prize for Literature? No can do.

But nah. I don't wanna post about it.

I could post about the Big Project.

After all, it's all the talk around these here parts. Breakfast, lunch, dinner; they all involve in-depth conversation about our new addition. Late-night talk centers around the weather report for the next few days. The walls are up (three of them, anyway!) and the trusses are
partially installed. Men in muddy boots tromp through the house and I hardly complain. People ask me regularly: "Aren't you excited?"

But nah. I don't wanna post about it.

I could post about all the international travel that's gonna happen around here this week.

#1 Daughter and Grandma Jean fly to Texas and then travel to Mexico this week. They will be cooking and delivering traditional Thanksgiving dinners to underprivileged villagers. It will be a ton of hard work and a ton of fun, all rolled into one.
Hubby and his best buddy fly to the Dominican Republic this week. They will be visiting a number of friends and new ministries while they are there. They will likely even relax a little, which is nice for two hard-working guys. I pray they come home refreshed, re-energized, and tan.

But nah. I don't wanna post about that, either.

I think I will close now, since I really don't feel like writing much about anything. I get this way sometimes.

Friday, October 30, 2009

bad, bad blogger

Mea culpa, as they used to say a millenium ago, for not tending my blog faithfully. I am guilty as charged!
If you gave me three lashes with a wet noodle, I would gladly take the blows and then use the noodle to feed the work crew that has been muddying up my kitchen with their boots.

See my other blog for the details. And thanks for believing that some day I will be spouting philosophy, recipes, poetry, and funny stories like I used to, back when we weren't increasing our property tax base.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I am looking forward to performing some great music with this flutist and this clarinetist.
As soon as the music arrives, I will be doing some serious practicing.

Until then, I think I'll rake leaves,

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Children's Story

This lazy, lazy blogger is entirely done in by a modest amount of yard work. It's true.

I am so out of breath that my story will be told in pictures today. Pictures with short captions. Like a children's story book!

Father brought home something in his trailer! What oh what could it be?

The strong boys help Father. Look how strong the boys are.
The boys like to help Father. Most of the time.

The boys and Father bring something heavy into the barn.

Careful, boys! Careful, Father!

Mother watches. Mother wrings her hands. Mother reminds them that glass can break.

Father tells the boys to ignore Mother. But that's fine, because Mother is getting a new hutch.
Mother is happy. Mother has other things in the barn that make her happy, too.

She has an antique general store counter.

She has some old blue shutters.
And right outside the barn and around the corner, she sees pretty girls.

The girls are pretty.
The boys are strong.
Father helps Mother.
Mother says thank you.

The end.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

who is dawn?

A new day has dawned.

This statement, simple enough, makes me laugh in remembrance of when my favorite family was road-trippin'. I was reading "Tales of One Thousand and One Nights" aloud in the car, and after I had intoned, "...and when dawn arrived...." (which is an integral part of the story, seeing that Scheharazade spins wild tales to the sultan every night in order to save her life) for the twentieth time, Friend #12 finally broke down in frustration.

"WHO. IS. DAWN? You keep saying she came, but I don't know who she is!"

But I digress.

At 6 a.m., the construction crew is just moseying down the hill to the bridge. The scuff of their boots on gravel ricochets on the empty street like the first noise of creation. The moist, dim air is hungry for sound, having languished in near silence throughout the long night.

Over the tumbling pewter-stroked river water, a crisp sliver of moon hangs by a invisible silver wire in the inky sky. That indefinable hour called twilight, those suspended minutes between evening and morning, creeps along like Carl Sandburg's famous fog on little cat feet.

I blow my nose eighteen times and sit on the couch, thinking about the day that stretches before me. Scripture memorization. School. The baking of a cheesecake. The cooling of a cheesecake. A run to Canton to deliver #1 Daughter to her babysitting/cleaning gig, a run to Potsdam to accompany a dress rehearsal in a concert hall. #1 Son's face in our kitchen and backyard. Hubby's cheerful requests for fresh coffee. Dinner somehow. The happy sounds of hammering, shoveling, drilling, and who knows what from behind the house. Maybe the treat of a concert tonight!

It will be a lovely day of busy-ness. How nice to think it through while the birds are still in their nests and the kids are still in their beds.

Monday, October 12, 2009

what's going on in our front yard

After promising my husband that I wouldn't toss his camera into the depths of the sea, I ventured out onto the river for a quick loop around the island. It was about forty-six degrees outside, but the sun was shining and that was encouragement enough for me!

Even though it is a holiday, the construction crew were busy at work on the bridge. As I rounded the end of the island, I could take in the whole scope of their project.

You can see our stone home at the left side of the bridge.

Although I feel conspicuous when I take pictures while the guys are working, I know they are really too busy to pay any attention to a little green kayak about to go over the falls.

I like to tempt fate by paddling as close to the falls as I dare. Here you can see the edge of the world dropping off to dangerously frothy and boiling waterfalls.

From this angle, the scaffolding and support work is clearly visible under the stone arches. The masons have been repairing and re-pointing the historic stonework.

The two arches on the right are finished.

I think they look entirely lovely.

After circling the island closest to town, I firmly anchored my kayak in some water-weeds and snapped these shots:

These pics don't do justice to the muddy and rutted mess that surrounds our home! But we take it with a dose of humor, knowing that soon it will look wonderful!

Monday, October 05, 2009

in which my camera walks the plank

Alack and alas, last week I dropped my camera into the murky depths of the Grasse River. I was in my kayak, of course.

It is the first unfortunate thing that ever happened to me while kayaking. Well, there WAS this.
Otherwise, every single venture on the river has been full of joyous and rollicking good times. Without fail, each time I come home with a damp bottom and more prominent tan lines, I wax rhapsodic about my little trip on my green boat.

This day, I watched the skies. I waited for a shining hour to present itself, ripe for a quick paddle. In between peeks out of windows, I read over lessons with my star pupil, mopped the floors, cleaned the bathroom, did laundry, practiced the piano, and made cabbage rolls.

The hoped for hour never came. -Or else it passed me by when I was engrossed in household tasks of the hum-drum sort. Nightfall dropped its curtain a few minutes earlier than last evening, leaving me bereft of even a tiny splash of river water on my brow. The day is now gone, joining the 365 X 47 days that dance behind me like so many beads on a string.

The days for sunning myself on the water in 2009 are fast coming to a close. They were a finite number from the very beginning, anyway -so I tell myself. Soon my little green vessel will be stowed in the barn for the long, dark winter months.

Then, safely cloistered in my warm house, I will cast longing eyes from my deep window sills far up the stretches of the Grasse River where imagined blue herons lurch from the blooming brush and the little fishies flash their scales in the underwater sunbeams once again.

Friday, October 02, 2009


A few touches of autumn "bling" grace our home:
- a small wooden tole-painted bowl filled with bittersweet brightens a window sill.
-a handmade flannel banner over the kitchen window declares "Give Thanks".
-a few pumpkins huddle on a yellow chair near the front door.
-a fall garland decks the mantel, interspersed with tea lights.

October has come to us, and after greeting her reluctantly, we embraced her and invited her in.
There are things to like about her, really there are.

Meals are becoming heartier. They demand to be eaten slowly while blessings are numbered.
Tonight we dined on chicken lentil soup, or some such thing. It doesn't have a name or recipe and features ingredients that I found in the cupboards.

The truth is, we will never eat this particular soup again, as I will never remember how I made it. Whole wheat bread accompanied it. Into this bread went whole oats, chopped walnuts, and maple syrup -all for good measure.

The other night, we had an apple-pie-making get-together. We sliced and peeled and dusted and rolled and pinched and carried pies up the road where a warm over met them. We don't have an oven here quite yet. But why let little details stop us? Fall demands pie, and pie it shall have.

Dear faces find their way to our table. Micah, Jess, Lore, her friend Bean, Luke the bridge-worker, Christina, Lexi, whoever. We find a way to feed them all and have plenty leftover besides.
We are thankful for food to share.
Thankful for a new house to call home.
Thankful for a warm touch, a joke, a smile, a look.
Thankful for ten thousand things more; things that crowd my head as I drift off to sleep at night.

October, you can stay for awhile.