Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Stripping

It has been hot and humid here for the past couple days.  Perfect weather for stripping.


Stripping wall paper, I meant.

Because a steamy day just makes me want to get out a steamer and really sweat it out.

I don't always plan well.

I had a real estate agent look at the house.  He said 90's wallpaper is so unappealing to buyers.  On the other hand, he really liked the coziness of the 70's den downstairs.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Weekend Coming Up

I have enjoyed the visit with my two grandchildren this week.  I think one of them is ready to go home now.

I will drop them off at their house on my way to visit a friend in New Hampshire for the weekend.

My neighbor dropped off some fresh vegetables from his garden--even better than a visit to the Farmers' Market.  What a feast of fresh vegetables we enjoyed tonight--with some Vermont cheddar for a bit of protein.



Summer goes by so fast!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Day Trip

My grandchildren are visiting.  Today we made a trip to Ausable Chasm in upstate New York.  In order to do that we had to cross Lake Champlain.  Dane had not heard about the Lake Champlain monster before.  He kept a sharp eye out for Champ.
 We took the ferry from Burlington, VT to Port Kent, NY

 It didn't look too bad when we started out.
 But as you can see, it was kind of hazy.
 Above and below are scenes of the Burlington waterfront.
 Dane spotted this stowaway on the ferry.

 When we finally got across the lake--an hour long ride--the clouds were so black and threatening.  I had my sunglasses on and I had to stop to change to my regular glasses because it was too dark to see.

As we pulled into the parking lot for Ausable Chasm the sky opened up and it poured.  We sat in the car.  When the rain let up a little we made a dash for the welcome center.  It was time for lunch anyway.

The rain let up and we went ahead with our plans.  The woods along the trail were drippy from water on the trees, but by the time we got to the raft launch the sun was out.  We had a great ride.  We did get wet going though the rapids.

Because our plan was to ride the river raft, I left my camera in the the car.  You can view pictures here.

We took the shuttle bus from the raft pull out back to the welcome center and had something to drink before heading back home.  

I drove to Essex, NY, to take the ferry to Charlotte, VT.  It was a much smaller ferry but a quicker trip--and much less expensive!  However, we did have to take a slight detour to get their.  There had been some flash flooding and wind damage to trees that had the direct route closed off.

 The weather was nice as we left Essex, NY.  Dane watched for Champ once again, but there was no sighting today.
 Apparently, there was quite a storm at home while we were gone.  Here's how we found the deck upon our arrival.
 
Kind of pretty sunset tonight:

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Sleeping

We had a hot and very humid day on Tuesday that continued into a rather uncomfortable night.  I have a small air conditioner that sits in the window but it seems like too much of a hassle to install it and use it for the two nights, on average, that it would be useful during a Vermont summer.

We were supposed to have a thunderstorm that would bring in a cold front.  No storm, but the humidity was gone on Wednesday.  Last night the temperature here dropped to 47 degrees Fahrenheit (8 Celsius).  I would call that a cold front.

I think I should have slept much better last night than the night before.  I don't know really because I was asleep both nights.  However, yesterday morning and this morning both I got out of bed and it looked like this:

a circle of pillows.

I don't know why, but this makes me giggle.  I know I have had a restless night when all the pillows are thrown on the floor.  Only one was missing from the bed this morning, all five were in a circle yesterday.  I have not figured out what this circle of pillows is telling me.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Harper Lee's New Book

I have not read Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.  For that matter, it has been quite a while since I read To Kill a Mockingbird.

I did find this article about the dilemma for educators interesting in the "seriously?" vein.

But other ardent fans of “Mockingbird” said they are heartbroken that they might no longer be able to present Atticus to their students as a pure icon of justice.
That includes Allison Jackson, an English teacher in Baltimore County in Maryland who named her Welsh corgi after him. She hopes her ninth-graders would read “Mockingbird” before hearing much about the new book. “I want my students to experience Atticus Finch, civil rights hero, the same way that people have for the past 55 years,” she said.

and
Sara Confino, who teaches ninth-grade English in Maryland’s Montgomery County, said she is struggling with how to address the troubling aspects of the new book in a school where most students are black or Hispanic. 
“How do I tell my students that yes, Atticus Finch is a wonderful character, he will represent you in court…but he doesn’t think 88% of you should be in school here?” she asked. “That’s a really hard sell.”

Seriously...pure icon of justice and a civil rights leader?  Hard sell to Black or Hispanic youth that there is a difference between legal justice and social justice--never mind in the 1920s or 30s, but today.  A hard sell?

I am practically speechless.

Glimmers of hope come for me in these quotes:

“Mockingbird” is one of the most commonly assigned works in U.S. schools, typically in eighth or ninth grade. While the novel depicts its narrator, Scout, as a girl who looks up to her lawyer father as he defends a black man wrongly accused of raping a white woman, “Go Set a Watchman” shows Scout as an adult disillusioned with his segregationist views. 

and
“One of the reasons school is boring is because we avoid conflicts,” said Ms. Jago, associate director of the California Reading and Literature Project at University of California, Los Angeles. “These are not easy conversations to have with students, but avoiding the conversation isn’t going to get us closer to the nation that we want to be.” 

But, okay, here is probably the real reason for the article about the new book:

Its U.S. publisher, HarperCollins, is owned by News Corp, as is The Wall Street Journal.
Certainly makes me want to reread the one and then read the other!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Summer gifts...

My plan to support local farmers this summer is going quite well.  I have the garden satisfaction I need from flowers and herbs and far less of the aggravation of fighting insects and veggie loving critters.

This was my haul from Thursday afternoon.  How gorgeous is that eggplant? And the homemade mustard is delicious.


The field wildflowers are out and I picked these on a walk the other day.

I attended a birthday party this weekend--a member of our card making group, birthday #95.  Lately I just party, party, party!

This party was at the birthday girl's lakeside camp.  It was a hot day but there was such a pleasant breeze off the lake.  The great grandkids took advantage of the cool water.


Big crowd, including her 99 year old friend from Florida and 90 year old brother in law.  (Helped me recover from being the oldest one at the last party! Impossible amounts of delicious food.  Musical entertainment by a local barbershop quartet.  Friends.  A good time.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

BEWARE: Underwear

I mentioned that I was reading The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: the Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo.

My life is not magically changed, but I have not yet piled every article of clothing I own on top of my bed and then handled each piece to feel a spark of joy (keep) or not (get rid of).  I haven't done that with my books or my papers or the miscellaneous stuff around my house.  I might someday.  Then I will let you know about any magical changes that take place.

But--

Here's a confession: My underwear drawer looks like hers and has since a time before Marie Kondo was even born.  And that is why I get a little testy.  She makes millions teaching people to tidy their underwear drawers but I already knew that and just wasn't smart enough to cash in on it.



The summer after my freshman year at college, I worked at a small restaurant in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.  Two guys owned it and lived upstairs.  There was another girl and I who worked there that summer and shared a bedroom upstairs as well.  We cleaned rooms at a nearby motel in the mornings.  I worked in the kitchen and my room mate waitressed with another woman who lived in town.  It was kind of a strange set up, but the strangest part to me was when one of the owners asked which one of us had the incredibly neat underwear drawer.  I mean he had to have been snooping, but he asked without any embarrassment at all.

Years later, when my daughter was probably six or seven, she came home from a friends house.  "Mom, do you realize that not everyone keeps underwear the way you do?"  She had witnessed her friends mom open a dresser drawer and toss in a jumble of panties, completely unfolded!!  Honestly, the things you can't protect your young children from having to see too early in life!

Still--

I have to confess that I did learn something from that book and it is going to make my life easier.  I had aha! moments over the notion of tidying once and then finding a home for the things that you keep when I reading the following bits:


  • The point in deciding specific places to keep things is to designate a spot for every thing.  p.131
  • ...pursue ultimate simplicity in storage so you can tell at a glance what have.  p.137
  • ...store all items of the same type in the same place and don't scatter storage space. p.138
I realized that I am tidy, but not organized.  I put things away and then can't remember where I put them so I waste time looking for something or I waste money buying something I don't need.  I think: well that was not a good place to store that so I rearrange storage space and then I forget where even more things are because I am putting things into deep storage so I don't see them at a glance.

There are some things I need to tweak in my tidying routine.  One of them is not dealing with my underwear though.
And my socks are not to bad either:
Although the pantyhose still in the packages is a KonMari no-no.