Tuesday, October 29, 2013

a matter of focus

I found a birch sapling today, hallelujah. My first birch buds since moving down here. I’ve seen yellow, black, white, gray, they’re all here, but not in the abundance they are in Vermont.

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hey buddy!

I saw something behind it I wanted to focus on, but I had set the camera’s focus on “manual”, and then forgotten I’d done so. So the first shot out of the barn was blurry.

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I liked how it looked, and started fiddling with the lens, twisting it bit by bit to see what I would find.

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This is where fairies come from: the in-between spaces.

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see her rippling?

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ghosties dance even as the next layer of reality resolves itself...

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...into leaf litter against a boulder, only faintly smudged with the idea of birch buds.

I’m enjoying these in-between states. It seems to me there’s a lot to learn in these spaces.

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Even something out of focus can be beautiful.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

slow news day

We have a couple of holly trees here.

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I never realized their berries were on long stalks – having never before encountered holly up close and personal.

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Some of the branches produced berries...

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While others produced these. These are buds, apparently.

We have just a couple more brown-eyed susans ready to open up. When I spotted one, it was so cute I was cooing to it and Maggie got jealous and came over to investigate.

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Two pretty girls!

Monday, October 14, 2013

naughty maggie

Recent news: I completed my sixth half marathon – the ING Hartford – over the weekend. Kevin was out of town on bidness, so I was on my own.


Typical pre-race madness. I was in with the 2:15 pace crowd, mostly because I was too lazy to fight my way back to my own people, but as it turns out, it was a gloriously crisp day. Cool temperatures + flat course = I was right to be with that crowd, because I finished just a bit after the 2:15 mark.


That’s my second-best time ever, so yay, me!

Kevin came home later that night. Whew. I always do better when my boy is around. Yesterday was all about pancakes, and beginning to install book shelving. As for today:

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Perhaps this is the last of the brown-eyed Susans?

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And on the other end of the spectrum, a blasted-away Susan.

I spent a while trying to get enough decent shots of some sort of possibly-a-weed – I suspect in the mint family, but it has no particular minty odor. I’m not saying this is a good shot:

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...I just like the fact there’s a spider in it, whom I didn’t notice at the time.

The azalea buds (?) have these awesome, whimsical decorations:

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Probably the remnant of the stamen. Or something.

It is a gorgeous fall day. Alas, I’m trapped here this afternoon because the chimney sweep is due to arrive momentarily. I’d much rather be out in the woods, OR perhaps helping to earn my keep (via an as-yet-to-manifest job), or perhaps helping to contribute to global peace and environmental sanity.

Charlie has it worse: he’s at the vet all day, having his teef cleaned.

Maggie, on the other hand, is as happy as can be.

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My departure with Charlie for the vet this morning was hasty - I forgot to put away some things. A freshly licked-out can of cat food, and Charlie’s broken food dish (half-filled from last night, but since then, scrupulously licked clean) greeted me upon my return. No wonder she’s licking her chops. Naughty Maggie.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

dave deux, part deux

So back to the home improvement channel – here are some random before-and-after shots of various spots throughout the house:

Downstairs bath/laundry room



A sickly beige and a completely random dull magenta. Awesome!

Let’s apply our Benjamin Moore magic to it. Remember, our favorite color is their “butterscotch”, a deep orange – every other color in this house is either butterscotch, or one of the four lighter shades on the same paint chip.


So this leaves us with a groovalicious peachy scene. At first I thought this was a little too much “hand me a drink with an umbrella in it” but it’s grown on me.

The master bedroom.

Oh, the master bedroom...the wallpaper from hell. We tried removing it ourselves.


That didn’t go well. It just wouldn’t come off. After a combined maybe six hours of developing tendonitis from working on it, we called a friend for a recommendation and he handed over Tommy, the sheetrock guy. Tommy thought he could strip the whole room down in a half day, by slathering joint compound all over the walls.


Oh, Tommy, Tommy, Tommy...this room defeated even Tommy. It took him four times longer than he thought. He wound up needing to skim coat most of the room because there were so many little slubs of imperfection in the finish. He got it down to a state of virginal purity, and then I threw up a couple gallons of paint on it – one wall in the famed butterscotch and the rest in an innocuous, related, nearly-off-white. And then Kevin put down some flooring.


Here’s the butterscotch wall – note the subflooring, with a few pieces of the new flooring waiting to be sent into action.

And here we are with the new flooring. Ah. Much better.



Guest bedroom/home gym room

This room used to be painted a disturbing pale yellow, and was complemented by set off rather grossly by industrial gray wall to wall. I already told you about my bestie Michele visiting and kicking ass

Here she is moving heaven and earth in order to remove a tiny bit of that wall-to-wall that was wedged underneath the murphy bed (! we have a murphy bed! so far, we’re thinking that’s a cool thing). I was super helpful during this process. I handed her tools, and I took pictures. Couldn’t have happened without me, nope.



Isn’t she adorable? She’s adorable.

Here’s the after:


Why yes, that is a tasteful peachy color that positively glows. Very mellow – does not induce a desire for an umbrella-festooned drink. Which is good, since this room is devoted to virtue and health.