Friday, July 30, 2010


This jewel of a summer day brings me respite.

My creaky voice is raspy & worn out. Too much chitter-chatter, all of which is fun and therefore completely necessary to my well-being. Even a 2.5 paddle down the Grasse River in complete silence yesterday morning (also completely necessary to my well-being) was not enough vocal rest. So today I put my foot down ( and the phone). Mum's the word, people.

Hence the blog post. I can let my fingers do the talking.

I have been happily puttering in the kitchen all morning, organizing the spices, the pantry, and the shelves. I am stirring granola which is browning in the oven while reveling in the homey smell of oats, walnuts, and maple syrup. For once, I am actually planning the dinner menu: steak and veggie kabobs, potato salad, and greens from the garden.

I miss certain people, including Friend #7 who knows who she is. She passes our old stone home twice daily but do I see her frowsy hair & fine face? I ask you. Of course she cannot come today or else I would only be able to stare at her. Remember: no talkie much today.

Our driveway-dwellers have been up & about, fiddling with their vehicles and generally looking busy. How I love them!

Friend #12, who is here for 5 weeks from S. Korea, is berrying today. Blackberries this time, all of which will turn into jam later today.

Out my window, my garden is growing. If you lean from the window after midnight, you can faintly hear things expanding in the moonlight. The tomatoes are plumping. The pumpkin vines are invading everything. Even the cucumbers are beginning to rally.

#1 Daughter is still a-bed, surrounded by her hand-painted furniture and the fan blaring in her sweet face. I may rouse her; I may not. It all depends on how much I am liking the house to myself.

Hubby and #1 Son are working. Their cheerful industriousness floats my boat and pays the bills.
They shall have steak for dinner!

Monday, July 19, 2010

a week in pictures

This is the view from one side of the bridge next to my house.

And this? This is the other.
How I love this river!

Hubby built a stone wall to edge the garden and I planted the flowers & vegetables. We work well together.

For a few hours, #1 Daughter ransacked the Adirondack mountains for this blue stash. Then she waded into a perfect lake where there was a sand bar and never picked another berry.

She can get distracted easily.

On the previous day, She & I escaped in the red convertible to Canada. We took off without telling a soul. We ate Greek take-out in a park that overlooked this fantastic historic mill. We also went to IKEA.

Please don't ask us how much we spent there. Thank you for your discretion.

Last week we picked raspberries at a local farm. Now we have 16 ruby-colored pints of summer-in-a jar on the kitchen shelf. If only all of summer was so easy to capture!

Our pea-pickin' fingers have been harvesting these sweet things. Many of them go directly into our mouths (so sweet you feel like crying), but a mess of 'em are in the fridge, awaiting a dish that goes something like this:

whole wheat pasta
cream sauce
steamed baby peas
chopped turkey ham
parmesan cheese

I tell you. Our mouths never had it so good.

Friday, July 09, 2010


We own a board game that is a lot of fun. It is called "Riks".

You may know it by the manufacturer's title: Risk.
-but as long as we have entertained this boy at our premises, it goes by the name "Riks".

One time years ago, we found this amazing game in a closet, offered it to him to play with instead of the same old wooden train set we always provided, and voila.

An obsession with Riks was born.

Some kids like to play it more than others.

Certainly, the game pieces are riveting. In a military sort of way.

The horses are obviously standing at the edge of the Indian Ocean to get a drink. I'm not sure why the cannons are there, though.

In case you wondered, this version of "Riks" goes by a loose, variable set of rules that go with the flow.
Some people go with the flow more than others.

When this particular battle was over, I allowed #1 Daughter to make herself useful somewhere else. After all, not everyone can appreciate a one-world system run by a seven year old.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

the neighborhood bonfire

We hosted a bonfire at our old stone home last weekend.

It was scheduled for the previous weekend, but rain forced us to postpone it a week. Fortunately, the neighborhood kids were still up for watermelon, pink lemonade, and s'mores.

The bonfire was the brainchild of this fun girl. Here she is, eating peas and thinking about all the fun she was going to have in a few hours.

We opened with a backyard game of croquet. Having a large wooden mallet to swing around seemed to put the new kids at ease.

The LOTM was in top form, minding the flames and keeping tabs on the brush pile. He had obtained the proper village "celebratory" burn permit which demanded that a proper hose and fire extinquisher be on site.

The LOTM took his job quite seriously, for which we are thankful.

A real bonfire ("the Tee-Pee of Flame") was warming our toes by nightfall.
Within one hour, it was singeing our eyebrows.

Someone (not Jamie) brought a guitar, which is the instrument of choice at a bonfire. Shortly after this photo was taken, #1 Son brought out his fiddle. Shortly after THAT, the mosquitoes came out in full force and we all ran away screaming.

A whole posse of kids showed up, thanks to Facebook. We didn't know most of them before, but we do now.

Thanks, Facebook.

After the flames were extinguished and the mosquitoes had sucked most of us dry (and we think even carried a few of the lighter kids away), the die-hards came inside for shelter from the elements. And card tricks.

These were SOME card tricks.

We all had such a great time that another neighborhood bonfire is in the works for next month!

Saturday, July 03, 2010

my new favorite place

I have discovered my new favorite place.

Stepping to the left of the kitchen sink, I open the door previously leading to a five foot drop to the hard ground. Only now? Now there is a porch.

Oh, it is not by any means a finished porch. The screen panels will be crafted eventually. I will paint the bamboo furniture that followed me home from an auction and purchase new cushions for it. A long table will be cobbled together, taking into account how much elbow room 10 people need for eating corn-on-the-cob. A few pieces of flea-market furniture will find a home there in order to store packs of playing cards and a few games.

This crisp, shiny morning found me with my Bible & coffee, seated at a small drop-leaf painted table, overseeing a paddling flock of geese on the river. I dreamed about all the faces that might find respite here on this happy side-porch; who will sigh here, who will rest here, who will laugh here.