Monthly Archives: March 2010

An Early Spring Night’s Dream

Isn’t “Quick Post” a WordPress feature, or something? If it is, I’m not using it. However, this will be a QP all the same. Do I sound like I’m out of my mind? I am.

On Monday, April 12, I have a big job due. I’m arranging and recording twelve songs for an old boss in the city. But I think I’ve mentioned that before. The point being – pressure. Nothing horrible, but it is a deadline, it’s for a friend, and it’s a chunk of money we will dearly be able to put to use. In fact, if it were not for this gig, there would be no weekend vacations anywhere this Summer.

Point being, for some reason, when I am under pressure, I dream. Or rather, I remember them. I retain little bits of insignificance from the day, and insert them into my slumber. For instance, the other day I accidentally phoned someone that I really did not want to speak to. Dialed the wrong number. Dreamed about it, which made me laugh. Yesterday, in passing, I decided that I probably had plenty of firewood for the rest of the season. Dreamed about it. Thought about finding the time to repot some more seedlings before the warm weather tomorrow. Dreamed about it.

I find it fascinating. All funny/pleasant dreams, and all had a sort of Spring-like feel. And just the fact that I am remembering them. I usually don’t. Ah, well. Perhaps getting my head back into some music has brought my inner-dreamer closer to the surface.

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Muckedy Muck

Ever muck out a chicken coop? This was my first time. I can assure you that this video is two things – amusing, and gross. You’ve been warned!

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Anglophilia

I stopped writing and started deleting this post three times. I was thinking that the post doesn’t really have anything to do with anything local or any of my adventures around here. But, Carole loves these personal posts, so here it is. Ha!

Anglophile (ang-lō-fīl) n.One who admires England, its people, and its culture.

It’s nearly a mania, Friends. I am very particular about my tea (Earl Grey loose tea only, and I prefer St. James’s brand). I’ve gotten to the point at which I actually prefer strong tea to coffee. Two sugars, no milk. In fact, I own books about tea, and even giving a proper tea.

Other than one or two American series, I watch exclusively British television. I’ve seen everything from the absolutely genius older series Upstairs Downstairs to the newer Clatterford and The Vicar of Dibley. More recently, Little Britain is a favorite. I’ve seen most of the costume drama mini-series as well, from the old stuff to the new. (Lillie, about the Victorian actress Lillie Langtree was a favorite, but the more recent Cranford is just plain genius. I’ve watched both twice.) I don’t get into the UK soap-operas much, but I did get very into Monarch of the Glen. I’m watching The Irish RM right now.

I just read Fodor’s London (the travel guide) for pleasure, followed by Turn Left at the Pub, a walking tour of several English villages. (I’m more into the countryside, but the London book was interesting.) I also read the UK Times for my news. I’ve never been much of a newspaper reader, but when I get the urge, I go to the Times.

Surprisingly, I suddenly have three (potential) penpals! Remember that I was just speaking about how lousy those penpal websites can be? I tried one of them, and I’ve already corresponded with a few folks from Ireland and Great Britain. Cool, no? I’m totally a nethead, but I’m also one of those folks that believes we are losing the art of the handwritten letter. I thought it would be nice to combine my desire to handwrite with my desire for some UK pals.

So, you see, I think I qualify for the Anglophile badge. You have a great day in your neck of the woods. I have to run into town to see if I can find a decent tin of Earl Grey.

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The Neighbors Approve

It’s a Dishwater Day, Friends. So many nice things coming from friends and neighbors this week. Ain’t that awesome? You know what Dishwater Day means – I’m just going to toss in all the old stuff I have sitting around after cleaning up. A few slices-of-life, maybe a little news. See? I don’t even have a plan.

Item Number One: Random Acts of Kindness

First off, it’s thatching season, if you’re a grass nut. And I am. Or, it was thatching season until it started raining. I was outside much of the last several days, raking thatch out of the first year grass I planted last season. While I was raking, a car slowed down out front and hollered, “I love your rock wall! You’re doing such a nice job with the place!” Now, isn’t that the kind of thing that just makes your day?

Item Number Two: That Sweet, Sweet City Money

I snagged a commission. That’s one of the best parts of being a musician. You get to use words like gig and commission. An old boss/friend/neighbor in New York City (mid-disaster) suddenly needs twelve full-length songs arranged for a small orchestra. And recorded. Fast. Did you know that there’s someone you can call for that? Me. I’ll be spending two weeks in the cabin writing and recording orchestra arrangements. (An explanation of how I do this would require its own blog post.) A little extra money is always nice, and as I well know, city money is even nicer.

Item Three: It’s Raining

It’s raining, there’s no sun, and my seed starts are getting leggy. It was nice and sunny for quite a while, and now two days of dark. It’s okay I guess. The seedlings are stretching for what light there is and wrecking themselves. I’m certainly not going out in the rain to build a cold-frame (which wouldn’t help much anyway), so I think I’ve decided that seed starting may not be my thing. Anyhow. If they last, they last. If they don’t I have more seed.

Item Four: The Bi-Annual Pen Pal Search

In the Expanding-My-Neighbors department – Every other year or so, I remember that I might like to have a UK penpal. I remembered the fact this morning, looked around at websites that facilitate such things, and decided that (in addition to the fact that there are precious few people who want to write by hand anyway) these sites were so much webcrap, I don’t have the hours-to-weeks to muck through them. Eh. Perhaps in two years.

* * *

That’s the news, Friends. You have a great day too.

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The List (Spring Edition)

  • Rake up thatch in the grassy areas ✓
  • Post on Freecycle for more planting containers ✓
  • Start seedlings indoors ✓
  • Put together other garden bench
  • Gather containers, fill with soil, and plant veg garden
  • Take insulation skirt off the RV, awning out
  • Finish up/even out rock wall
  • Figure out location and arrangement of new pole barn
  • Tear down chicken pen, salvage boards & 2x4s
  • Build pole barn or lean-to barn
  • Use remaining (partially rotten) logs to line garden beds
  • Play croquet at least twice
  • 2nd Annual Neighbors Over for Chili & Glaziers Night!

  • Fill in bare areas with grass seed
  • Get 4 patio blocks for bench feet
  • Canoe – a lot
  • Clean nails and  move salvaged (huge) beams to line driveway
  • More gravel in the driveway (Muddy!)
  • Till area behind driveway and plant grass seed
  • Move red spruce and add more white pines
  • Research & plant salt-resistant trees for road screening
  • Chop up wood and stack (in that new barn) for firewood
  • Have a load of sand brought in to fill the “house hole”
  • Replace the ugly pink curtains in the RV (maybe)
  • Repaint the green trim on the cabin that I have always hated (maybe)

Cleaning the Hen House video coming Monday!

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Adirondack Ghosts, or Light Emitting Diodes?

Oh, great.

Now, I’m one of those people. I’ve always been interested in ghosts, and I read plenty of (supposedly) real life ghost stories. I would like to believe the witnesses. And I think I do, mostly. But, there’s also an element of, “Oh, yeah. Right. Sure you saw something.” Well, guess what?

I saw something.

You might remember that last Summer, I thought I had some sort of indistinct impression of a girl and a old guy at a workbench in my backyard. That was indistinct. Could have been my imagination. That’s one thing. But what I have recently seen twice is another thing entirely.

Coming back from Plattsburgh the other evening, we decided to go through Vermontville and Bloomingdale, rather than taking the Onchiota turn. This takes us past the graveyard in Vermontville. I had forgotten about it, until I saw those little blue lights again. Little blue lights at or above many of the graves there. I’d say a few dozen. Perfectly distinct. Bright enough that they caught my attention. They looked so much like blue/white LEDs that I actually considered that hypothesis. Until I asked myself, “Why would several-but-not-all of the graves in the Vermontville cemetery have LEDs on them?” But that’s exactly what they looked like. Organized. In rows. (Ish.) Sort of like the LEDs in the photo, only without the glimmer.

A few miles after that, we passed our own cemetery, in Brighton. I thought, “How weird that was. I’ll look in our cemetery too, to see if I notice anything.” I saw the same little dotty blue glow, but here in Brighton, only one, maybe two dots. Way, way back on the South end, in the back corner. Just like last time. I have seen these same lights, awake and clear-headed, twice.

Adirondack Ghosts, or light emitting diodes? Another type of anomaly?

My neighbor friend and I just went over it. He’s a scientist. (Seriously.) Some new-fangled cemetery accessory? Doubtful, and kind of silly. A weird granite-based reflection from headlights? Nope. Our lights weren’t facing the stones, and it doesn’t happen other places. Some sort of Spring-thaw-gas-from-the-ground thing? Doubtful. This is our first Spring here, and I saw the same lights during the Fall. We’re stumped.

I guess, as much as I am a ghost person, I want there to be a physical explanation.

I’m going to leave it in your hands, friends.

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An Open Letter to the Side Yard Apple Tree

Dear Apple Tree,

One more chance. One more shot, and that’s it.

That’s fair, isn’t it? I mean, we’ve tried for four years running and it’s just not working out. I can’t imagine this comes as a sudden shock. So. The fact is, Apple Tree, if you continue to insist on producing horrible tasting bitter fruit, you are totally next year’s firewood, my friend.

Your apples are totally awful. I mean, shades-of-Snow-White awful. Each season, I take a bite, I pause to taste, and then I spit your foul fruit to the ground and call for an exorcist. You should be ashamed of yourself. I can tell you’re from a good family. You’re grafted onto hardy, excellent root stock. You have been nicely pruned each year, as if you deserve it. If you don’t mind my saying so, I think you’re wasting your potential. If you would only apply yourself.

In addition to all this, you stand there bold as brass right in the middle of my Alpine garden, contributing nothing. Frankly, you’re in the way. So, I suggest you get your act together. Because, the fact is, if you’ll excuse the language, I want me some fancy apple wood a lot more that I want your shitty apples.

Sincerely,

The Gardener

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