Thursday, June 28, 2012

I went to an auction

I know, I'm closing the store and have oodles of things to sell, and shouldn't be buying. Problem is, I love auctions, they've become part of my life. So I told myself I would only buy small things I could sell in the Etsy store.

These aren't small, are they? What is it with me and rocking animals? (Remember this?) I can't resist them. And the little trike just stole my heart.

A Roseville basket.

A pretty painting of pansies.

A sweet frame with a music staff and wheat sheaf on it.


Beacon Hill window boxes, from last weekend's day in Boston.

I've been toying with keeping the painting, because it's so sweet, and pansies, and so forth. But then I look at my flowers and think, why bother? The real thing is so much better.

Tomorrow I'm off to the Catskills for almost a week.
If you send me your address, I'll mail you a postcard.


Monday, June 25, 2012

In the Public Garden

 The Provincetown exhibit (which Steve has great pictures of here) was extraordinary. After, I walked a block to the Boston Public Garden. The smell of roses and clover were heavy in the air. It was in the 90's and the garden was full of people escaping the heat--it felt ten degrees cooler in the park.

I have fond memories of the Public Garden. My favorite is skating on the pond one New Years Eve. I loved Boston when I was young but now, having had New York as my city for many years it often seems small and provincial. But then I have a day like this one--the gallery, the Public Garden, a stroll through Beacon Hill to the Brattle Book Store--where art and history, books and natural beauty converge, and I fall in love with Boston again.

 It is the Revolutionary War, Louisa May Alcott, the abolitionists, Thoreau, Make Way For Ducklings, and a Robert Lowell poem,

Back in the Public Garden, swans were nesting, but didn't seem bothered by the busy ducks.

I have a few roses in my garden.

Lemon lilies.

Bees in the salvia.

The hydrangeas are blooming a breathtaking shade of blue that sets off pink and yellow so nicely, and with this cheerful posy I join Jane's Flowers in the House.

Friday, June 22, 2012

summer pleasures

Books, baseball, flowers & art.

No Catskills this weekend. Tomorrow I'll go to Boston to catch the last day of an exhibit of paintings of Provincetown (Cape Cod). I learned about it from Urban Cottage Steve. If you missed the post, take a look here--he includes pictures of many of the paintings.

I plan to spend the rest of the weekend reading, weeding, and watching baseball. I'm a New York Mets fan (living in the land of the Boston Red Sox) and they are playing the big bad New York Yankees--a subway series, and I wish I was in New York taking the #7 subway to the ballpark.

There are many good, and a few great books about baseball. The best of them are human interest/baseball as a metaphor for life...and appeal to people who aren't baseball fans. This is one--about a season with a minor league baseball team. Here is one of my favorite Roger Kahn quotes: "You may glory in a team triumphant, but you fall in love with a team in defeat." Appropriate for a Mets fan.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


The perfect June flower--bright, simple, and outward looking, buttercups are blooming in abundance on our Catskills property.

  Creeping over the stone wall.

 Stealing the limelight from forget-me-nots.

 Edging into the brook.

Did you play the buttercup game as a child? If a buttercup held under your chin makes your skin glow yellow, you like butter. (Does anyone not like butter?)

This is my favorite time of year. I might say that again in October, but remind me about the wildflowers.


p.s. I want to make one of these little libraries.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Catskills weekend

 Saturday morning I raced to the farmers market for a waffle (read more about that here) but the waffle people weren't there! I consoled myself with banana bread, cherry tomatoes and strawberries.

 In the store I put out a new batch of racy potholders. Even though I'm closing the store, I had to get them. They are made by a young woman in Boston, and the kitschy outdoorsy themes are perfect for the Catskills.

 Father's Day was Sunday so I took this instant ancestor out of the storage room to enjoy the day. At $35 I think someone with a sense of humor will want him in their home.

 I still have plenty of rustic cabin decor. Everything is now 30% off. I want it gone by the end of August so I don't have to carry it downstairs and store it somewhere!

 I planned on some natural history reading this weekend, but ended up with an old-fashioned spy novel. I am toying with a theory: You want to read about something different than where you are. If I'm in the woods I don't want to read someone else's memoir about rural life, but if I'm in the city I do. Or maybe that's just my lazy excuse for wanting to read a page turner.

This was my Saturday cocktail hour: on the deck within sight and sound of the waterfall-- strawberries from the farmer's market, seltzer, and a Helen MacInnes novel. I've never read her before, but I do have a fondness for spy novels. Alan Furst is a favorite--his World War II novels are understated, dark and moody, filled with train trips through Bulgaria, covert actions in Romania, love affairs in Paris...

Friday, June 15, 2012

We Took to the Woods

Getting ready for a weekend in the country used to mean packing my car with auction finds. Now that I am closing the store it doesn't seem smart to put more things in when I am trying to get everything out.

I am looking forward to the day the store is closed and I have time to do other things on my weekends in the country. 

Today I will go straight to the house, sit outside and read. Late spring is my favorite time of year--it stays light past 8:30 now.

I'm taking along a book called The Garden of Reading. I thought it was a collection of short nonfiction pieces, but it's stories by a wonderful array of authors as diverse as Colette, Eudora Welty and Stephen King.

I have been re-reading books for something I'm working on, and highly recommend these memoirs by smart, strong, interesting women: The Road From Coorain, by Jill Ker Conway; West With the Night, by Beryl Markham; Out of Africa, by Isak Dinensen; and We Took to the Woods, by Louise Dickinson Rich. Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

book memories

 This is the gardening book my mother used. I found it at the local book exchange. Seeing it gave me such a feeling of deja vu, that I had to bring it home.

 This edition was published in 1968. Fashions in gardening have changed. You don't see many massed pots of marigolds these days.

 "Pruning is more of an art than it is a science, but it's an art that's quickly learned. The first thing to learn is that there is a difference between pruning and butchering." I agree with the principles stated here, though I'm not sure any art is quickly learned. I think pruning is more craft than art. Landscape design can be art, but is pruning ever truly inspired?

 I also picked up this copy of Black Beauty. I am trying to reduce my possessions, and always take more books to the exchange than I bring home, but I never come home empty handed.

I was a constant reader as a child. I lost myself in books, and found myself there too.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I received this sweet magnet made from an old photo by Annette of Chasing Lightning Bugs. Don't they look like they are having fun? And they are near a military academy, so maybe they were visiting their fellas.

I was reminded me of a book giveaway Monica of ink & chai did (here). I am borrowing her idea and giving away these books.

Just mention in the comments which book you would like (and maybe include a second choice). International friends included. No hoops to jump through, but preference will be given to people who have visited here before.

The books are:

ten poems to change your life, by Roger Housden
Birds in Fall, by Brad Kessler
An Appetite for Passion Cookbook, by Laura Esquivel
The Bookseller of Kabul, by Asne Seierstad
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, by J.K. Rowling
the new work of dogs, by Jon Katz

Edit: All books except Harry Potter have a home. Please let me know if you would like it or if you would like a surprise book. This was fun--I'll do it again soon.


Monday, June 11, 2012

a visit to a farm

 We visited our dear friend Monica on a farm in Vermont. That's Monica, with one of the many goats and 5 dogs who live on the farm. Monica is 80, and she's on the go all day long.

We saw the whole goat cheese making operation that begins with the milk from these ladies, pictured with my son Luke, and another of the dogs. 

The farm belongs to a couple who moved there when they were first married--they bought the land, lived in a tent, and built everything themselves--cabin, house, outbuildings, gardens...and had two children who are now 10 and 13. Monica was the father's nanny when he was a child---she came over from England to live with his family. We got to know her when my children were young and she lived with a neighbor-- she became like a grandmother to my boys. She loves animals, and has visited the farm most springs to help when the kids (baby goats) are born. This year she's been there for several months, and is getting ready to retire and return to England. She has kept in touch--returning to London almost every year for a visit, and is looking forward to drinking tea and playing cards with her friends, and taking busses everywhere. 

What I found most interesting about the farm was the way all the animals mingled. Here's a cat keeping pace with a dog.

A dog hanging out with the chickens, who are truly free range.

Chicken in the herb garden.

Dog and chicken in the shade.

Chicken and dog visit baby pigs. 

It was all very Charlotte's Web.