Thursday, August 28, 2008

Well, obviously I have the most severe case of end-of-the-summer lethargy in history! I believe I still have lots of fascinating insights and spellbinding stories about my laundry and the front porch and stuff like that, but I just haven't been able to summon up the energy to dazzle you with my stories.

So anyway, I was tagged by Jen again, this time a meme about 6 things that make me happy. And that's enough to get me posting again, since I didn't have to think of a topic.

Here goes (the obvious things - Gus, Matthew, sisters, Dad, cousin Beth, Aunt Jane, Uncle Rob, dear friends - I will skip because, well, that's obvious) in no particular order:

1. Psych! I lied! I couldn't skip this, because (cue upswell of sappy music) it's what makes me happier than anything and everything else combined:

(I'm talking about Gus, not the deep-water band, though that did make me very happy.)

2.  But there's also this (Vermont, in general):

I've always loved our annual visits to Vermont, but this year the Northeast Kingdom made us all fall more deeply in love. The quiet, the mega-NATURE-y quality of everything made this suburban girl want to move there immediately.

3.  These (representative sampling below, big Funny and kitten Nuts watching BirdTV):
I've always been a dog person. I loved my ker-AZY Huwie and was convinced that dogs were the way to go. Cats were aloof and snooty - what was the point? But then we brought home Silly and Funny from the SPCA, and I was hooked. They (and Nuts and Caroline) make me laugh out loud every day. They're sweet and loving and goofy and inexplicable. And I have become the crazy Cat Lady.

3. This (in general):
The chance to fry my brain on something crazy like this makes me happy. Knitting's so much a fabric of my life it's hard to remember what it was like when I didn't knit.

This (in particular):

Who knew you could do something you absolutely love and get a little $$ for it too?

3.  This (the Phillies in general, not Chris Coste in particular):
Being a Phillies fan has been a huge part of my life since 1974 - Tommy Hutton and Willie Montanez and blessed Mike Schmidt - I was done for. And even though for every Bull Luzinski there's been a Danny Tartabull, and only one World Championship in all those 34 years, there's always this:
And it never fails to make me happy.

4. Oh this:

The only thing better than a good sea yarn is TWENTY-ONE of them, one right after another!! Patrick O'Brian captured my imagination this year like the Sophie captured the Cacafuego! You know?! Having a great book to curl up with before bed makes me very happy.

5. This:

The beach at Amagansett. Our annual wintry trips to this desolate stretch at the end of Long Island recharge my emotional batteries every time. Thank you, Aunt Jane, for letting us share this.

6. Who loves a paint job, big or small? I DO!!! When we moved to our house every room was white. Two years later, I had taken care of that. This summer I painted the back patio concrete tiles (I will paint anything!), the foundation of the house - three times! ( 1) too pink, 2) too orange, 3) just right!), the window and door trim, the front porch, and now I'm primering the clapboards so I can paint the whole shebang outside.
Aaaaaaaaaah - painty goodness.

So there are a few (of the many many) things that make me happy. Now you tell me 6 things that make you happy in the comments! It's Happy Time!!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Right this moment in the garden:

Monday, August 11, 2008

Well, we're back. And counting the days until we can return. This vacation was totally different from our other Vermont vacations - the quiet, the remoteness, the whole mega-nature-y quality of the experience. We're aching to go back. Anyway, here are some random snapshots of our time:

The first night at the Pond we were awakened by the most ghostly, eerie sound I've ever heard. It went on and on. I knew in my rational mind that it was some kind of nature-y thing, but I was also suddenly struck by how isolated we were. Thoughts of chainsaw-wielding madmen, abducting aliens, crazy drifters all raced through my brain as I stared at the ceiling saucer-eyed with terror. Silly suburban girl! The next day we discovered that it was loons. There was a family of them on the Pond. Here they are:

Go here to hear their various calls and listen to them all. Now imagine you're a suburban prissy-pants scaredy-cat mom transplanted into the wilderness. We came to love the loon family, but that first night took a year off my life.

This little plant was next to the house. I will spare you, but I must have taken 16,000 pictures of it - in the sunshine, in the rain, on a cloudy day, covered with dew. I had to make a conscious effort to walk by it after a while. We couldn't find it in our National Geographic book - does anyone know what it is? Here's my favorite picture of it:

On the front porch were two feeders, a regular seed feeder and a hummingbird feeder. There were so many hummingbirds (which we never see at home) that we actually got bored with them. Here's one:

Because we were up in the Northeast Kingdom, we decided to visit Montpelier and Barre. Barre is like the world's largest supplier of granite. The cemeteries are filled with jaw-dropping carving. This one broke my heart it was so beautiful:

Here are Matthew and Gus canoeing on Symes Pond. Gus loved canoeing. They also went fishing, but only Matthew caught a fish. I took Gus out in the rowboat one day. I ambivalently wanted to catch a fish (the competitive part of me) and also really didn't want to catch a fish (because I would have to touch it! And extract the hook!). Even putting on the fake worm-shaped and -textured bait almost made me scream with skeeviness. Wilderness Woman I am not. Anyway, here's a nice shot of the two of them (they're right in the middle. Look how glassy the Pond was!!!):

Sigh. I might subject you to some more snapshots, but it might make me all misty-eyed and sad. I will show you all the knitting I did in another post. I knit up a storm!! In the meantime, 356 days to go.....

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Two reasons why I like Vermont:
1) I've had to wear a sweatshirt ever since we arrived. Ahhhh........
2)  This is what I look at when I have my evening gin and tonic on the porch:

Sunday, August 03, 2008

We are in Vermont!! Weirdly, we have no cell phone access (and there's no phone in the cabin), but we have internet access. We made it here yesterday in the middle of a horrendous thunderstorm and good thing we have a 4-wheel drive car too! I will download some photos that might give an inkling of the spectacular surroundings, but we're off to explore!
O Vermonty goodness, how happy you make me every year!!!