Wednesday, July 30, 2008

First Stop on the Anniversary Tour !

Shelburne, Vermont was the first stop on our 30th honeymoon trip. It was a rainy day but we didn't let the weather dampen our spirits. We began our day at the Shelburne Museum which is not your typical museum. There are 37 historical buildings situated on 45 acres. We had a wonderful time investigating and exploring the exhibits. I think my favorite were the automatas, which are large, antique wind up toys. We felt like little kids as we ran from one building to the next, dodging raindrops and soaking up new information. Below is the round barn from the 1800's which was an amazing piece of architecture plus housed incredible exhibits.


A Working Carousel from the 1920's.

We toured through this restored steamboat.

I love this sign on the covered bridge.

My husband needed a time out in this slate jail from the 19th century.

Hollyhocks looked beautiful even in the rain.

Ah, Beautiful Rain.

We were finally ready to find the Inn at Shelburne Farms so we could wine and dine and enjoy each other's company. Our large, airy room overlooked Lake Champlain. We felt as if we had traveled back to a simpler time. Ahhhhh..... my words and picture can't do justice to the incredible food, the views and the gardens. The staff was welcoming and helpful. There is no A/C at the Inn but the breeze from the lake kept us very comfortable. I would strongly recommend a stay at the Inn. Ask for the White Room and tell them that Debbie sent you.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Lace Free After Thirty Years!

I threw my suitcase on the bed and began to pack for the mini-vacation my husband and I were taking. This wasn't just any vacation though. This was a celebration of our enduring love. Thirty years of marriage under our belts. That's a lot of years. No wonder my jeans are a bit more snug than they used to be. And to think I blamed it on potato chips and ice cream.

Thirty years of marriage. I know it sounds cliched but where did the years go? It seems like just yesterday that we were planning our wedding reception at the local American Legion Hall complete with crepe paper streamers and daisy bouquets. Thirty years later daisies are still my favorite flower.

Hitting the 30th wedding anniversary is cause to pause and reflect. How can we be celebrating thirty years of marriage? We are not THAT old. I have seen the pictures of people in the paper who are celebrating their thirtieth anniversary and they look like grandparent material. Oh,yeah that's right. I am going to be a Grammie in March. Yahoo!

How did we get to this stage in life so quickly? Celebrating thirty years of being married to my best friend has been equivalent to riding the Himalaya Roller Coaster ride at Disney. We have whooshed forward at breakneck speed, hit a few bumps along the way and occasionally felt that we were being thrown for a loop. But through it all we have leaned on each other for support, held on tightly when we needed reassurance and celebrated small accomplishments, achievements and our love and friendship with hugs, kisses and wild abandon.

Thirty years ago we danced to Billy Joel's 'Just the Way You Are' and those lyrics have held true through the years. We have never tried to change each other. Okay, maybe I have encouraged my buddy to try to improve a few little imperfections but it was always done with a smile. Well, most of the time.

So here we are thirty years later. As I packed my suitcase I thought about how the world has changed. In 1978 we didn't have personal computers, cell phones, DVDs or Cd's. A gallon of regular gas cost $.63 ! We couldn't afford to stay in a hotel so we went camping in Nova Scotia for our honeymoon. We realized mid-honeymoon that our tent had a bunch of pinhole size holes which would only be an issue if it rained. And it rained -hard. My resourceful husband found a sail maker who repaired our tent - for free. There are good people in the world.

As I packed for our 30th honeymoon I was reminded once again how life has changed. I packed my reading glasses which weren't necessary when I was twenty-one years old. I packed my prettiest bra. Back in the seventies I rarely wore a bra, few of my friends did in those days of liberation. I threw a sweater in my bag - sometimes I get chilly when I am in restaurants. I think I am becoming my mother!

As I decided on appropriate nightwear, I was reminded of a boss of mine, Elaine, from thirty years ago. The girls at the office held a bridal shower for me. As I opened a sheer negligee made of lace and little else, Elaine commented that I should just save it until I was married for thirty years because that is when I would really need it. Sorry, Elaine, you were wrong. Maybe I'll need it after sixty years of marriage but I doubt it.

First stop on our anniversary tour...Shelburne, Vermont.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Baby - You're always on my mind!

Haven't been able to post lately ~ my sweetheart and I have been busy celebrating thirty years of marriage. We went on a road trip and had quite a few fun adventures. Can't wait to share pictures and stories but right now I have to go get my wheelbarrow so I can carry three of the biggest zucchini I have ever seen out of the garden! I was only gone five days ~ but my veggies and the weeds are out of control ! No more relaxing for me!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Can you feel it?

You don't need a degree in meteorology to figure out the weather today - it is hot, sticky and extremely humid. Combine this weather with my fiery hot flashes and I think I could probably self combust. Now that would be a sight. Guess I had better ask my friend,Google, if that can really happen.

Lousy sleep last night. I was tossing and turning, trying to unstick myself from the sweaty sheets. There was no air movement. My husband was tossing, turning and sighing. Loud sighs. I tried to lay still so I wouldn't miss any breeze that might enter the room but none came my way. Finally at 5:30 AM I surrendered and got out of bed. UGH.

I grouched around the kitchen, drank my HOT coffee, felt my temperature rising. I thought about the day ahead and perked up a bit when I realized that it was my day to go hang out at GIRLS,INC with some wonderful teens. I stood up slowly since my sweaty legs were stuck to the leather couch. The last time I had sweat this much was years ago when Jane Fonda led me in aerobics, asking me if I felt the burn.

We are currently reading 'Stargirl' by Jerry Spinnelli. There are six girls in our book group. I love middle schoolers. They have one foot in childhood and one foot in adulthood. They think they know all the answers but they aren't afraid to ask the questions. As I sluggishly moved around, I thought about the activities we would work on in our group. I forgot about the heat, humidity and stickiness until I realized I had been out of the shower for less than five minutes and my armpits weren't smelling so sweet already. Great. Could be a very long day.

I walked through the doors of GIRLS,INC and I felt it. Almost immediately. It started with a smile and then a wave. The girls from my group recognized me and sauntered over as only middle school girls can. They grabbed their books and their journals. The room we met in was stifling hot - no AC, no windows but who cares? I could feel the powerful energy of adolescence wrapping itself around me. These girls were ready for a serious book discussion and I was NOT going to let them down. Move over, heat. Back off humidity. I didn't have time to deal with sticky pits and droopy hair. These girls deserved to spend time with an adult who was alert, attentive and focused. For ninety minutes we read, we discussed serious stuff and we wrote about how we were feeling. And for the first time all day I didn't feel grouchy, hot and miserable. I felt alive.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

There is Life without Internet

I am back ! Since my last post I have been busy living and enjoying each moment - or at least trying to appreciate each moment. For the most part I have been at our camp which does not have cable or Internet service - which I am thankful for except I do miss the world of blogging. I could go to a Starbucks but with the high price of gas and with this incredibly beautiful weather I really can't bring myself to lift myself out of the hammock, put down my latest read and drive 20 minutes so I can write a post which might not get read so... I stay in the hammock reading.
I must be honest and tell you that I have suffered a bit from blogging withdrawal. It is similar to caffeine withdrawal. My fingers itch to type, my mind keeps forming a post, I wonder what my blogging friends are doing. I feel guilty that I have no way to let people know that I am still alive and kicking. I worry that my loyal followers might abandon me. I understand that in order to increase my readership I should post on a regular basis. And then I do a reality check.

I was put on this planet to live each day to the fullest, to have adventures, and to celebrate life. I could easily spend hours typing my thoughts and opinions of which I have many but I can not allow myself to be addicted to blogging. My time spent at our camp forced me to break the addiction. I love blogging but I have to keep its importance in my life in perspective. There is a lot of living to be done.

The reality is I haven't had much time to lay in my hammock. I have been gardening, walking, swimming, volunteering, coloring, rug hooking, cooking, catching my first fish, taking a boating class, visiting with friends, preparing for our son's wedding in less than one month, celebrating the wonderful news that we are going to be grandparents :) and making plans to leave next week for a few days with my husband so we can celebrate our thirty years of marriage. As soon as I finish this post I am off to experiment with making dill pickles from the 12 pounds of cukes I just picked from our garden. My days are full and I sleep well at night. Life is good.

There is nothing quite like a new box of crayons.

Fishing the day away !

My latest rug project !

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Spaghetti is NOT a vegetable.

Having just finished reading 'Animal, Vegetable, Miracle ~ A Year of Food Life' by Barbara Kingsolver, I am still processing the wealth of information which I read over the last month. This book was a slow read for me – not because I was bored but I believe that to do justice to this book one has to read slowly and digest each morsel.

There were times when I was truly inspired. I could not wait to go out and plant my own bed of asparagus in my fledgling garden so to the local garden store I went. I wanted to taste fresh asparagus as Kingsolver describes it in her book. I grabbed the first clerk I could and impatiently told her how I wanted to buy asparagus plants for my garden – quickly. I think she smirked at me as she shook her head ‘no’ and started to turn away. Whoa there – I need to start my Barbara Kingsolver asparagus bed NOW – what do you mean ‘no’?
“If you wanted to plant asparagus beds you should have done it a month ago – at least.”

Oops. I then tried to rein in my excitement as I read and I resisted ordering heirloom turkeys immediately. Maybe next year.

This book is considered a memoir but should also be considered as a serious textbook/reference book at the high school/college level. It is interesting how it was written as a family affair with her daughter and husband. To be honest it was Kingsolver’s writing style which allowed this book to flow as well as it did. Her husband writes with a technical style which did not always hold my focus. I enjoyed the recipes which her daughter offered but would caution the whole family against being a tad judgmental at times.

I did wonder more than once about whether or not their ‘experiment’ would have worked if they had stayed in Arizona. I wondered about the message their book might send to those not fortunate enough to be able to up and move to the fertile Appalachians.

The ‘vegetannual’ is a powerful teaching tool and would make a beautiful poster/print. I would have used it for the cover of the book. Now, whenever I shop, I stop and think about the vegetannual and I converse with myself about the distance that kiwi had to travel to sit on my local grocery store shelf.

This book would be the perfect book club read. I frequently wished I had someone to discuss various issues with, ask the many questions that came to mind and share my reflections with others.

Whether or not you agree with every word in this 352 page memoir, I think you have to respect Kingsolver for using the power of her words to force people to stop and think about our food and its origins. While one might not be inspired to run out and plant an asparagus bed, let me leave you with some food for thought: 'If every American family chose to eat just one (1) meal a week consisting of locally grown food, we'd save 1.1 million barrels of oil -- a week. '
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