Saturday, July 31, 2010

Silly corn...

I have the most delightful niece. She sends me fun emails from time to time. She takes liberties with spelling and punctuation in a way that I find totally charming. I hope she does not mind that I am sharing this.

Her description in the following recipe was so cute I had to try it out immediately. And she was right. As bizarre as it sounded, the taste sensation was just amazing. Sort of like summer exploded in my mouth. You should try it, too.

"Corn On The Coab, Delicious Style

Corn on the Coab
Fresh Cilantro
Fresh limes
Dental floss (because it's basically your teeth's wost nightmare)

You take an ear of cooked corn (we usually steam ours in the oven in the husks), shuck it, and smear good quality mayo all over it. THEN! You roll the sticky cob in a plate of fresh chopped cilantro. The mayo acts as glue. Then you sprinkle paprika over the corn cob. Then you squirt fresh lime juice over the whole thing. Then you eat it. It's SILLY it's so good. The lime cuts the spicy of the paprika and the sweetness of the corn interacts with the lime... holy COWZERS is it lovely. "

Friday, July 30, 2010


On April 12Th I blogged a post about goals that are unwritten are still just dreams. I boldly stated the goal of losing 40 pounds by August. August is fast upon us, and as of today I have lost (drum roll, please!) 30 pounds. I missed my goal, but not by a lot- and I am quite pleased with myself. I am two sizes of clothes smaller than I was in April, and that feels sweet.

I hereby update my goal... writing it firmly so it will not be just a dream. 20 more pounds by sometime in late September. That seems do-able. I know my pony must appreciate my efforts, too!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Life imitates art...

Life? Art? Which imitates which? Two of the cornish-x chicks pose with the yard art. And make me chuckle.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Everyday art...

At Memory Lane farm the barn is a work of art. Gardens skirt it, with little chairs holding potted plants. Hanging baskets full of flowers, wind chimes and this wonderful old door turned into a folky flag make for a picturesque place. Throw in some colorful chickens strutting about and the scene is complete. Completely wonderful.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Oh What FUN..!

I learned something new. Chanel loves to play in the water!
I already knew she loves to EAT lush grass. This weekend Chanel the Halflinger and I joined some horse loving friends and went to Andover, Maine.

There were trails and hills and woods and fields and RIVERS!! We rode through the rivers, (the thought of which scared me. The REALITY made me giggle with unbridled GLEE!) Friend Liz with her beautiful horse Peach were there. Peach is a bit envious of Chanel's forelock and mane, but Chanel is envious of Peach's long delicate legs and slender figure.

We stayed at Memory Lane vacations. Great stables, wonderful accommodations, scenic beauty and relaxation. And really nice people. The chickens and rising full moon? A bonus.

We went for some long, scenic rides. Chanel enjoyed it all, but was tired at the end of the day. She ate, drank, then slept HARD. Her lower lip was spread out to the right, relaxed to the max.

After a nap we all walked down to the river and let the ponies splash and play. They kicked at the water, then rolled in the sand, then splashed and kicked more. It was a delight to see. This photo is of my sweet friend Sonia with Presto. She thought he didn't like water. She thought wrong!
Leaving home is such a PROJECT. I feel the need to leave the house tidy and clean. I worry about the animals, even though my husband and kid are very capable of filling in. And there is packing to do; for me AND for the horse. By the time we left, I was already tired. I was thinking, "WHY am I doing this ?"
But, the weekend was rife with adventure, relaxation and laughter.
When it was all over I got to come home. (I love coming home. )
This weekend was an expedition... a stretch. And I loved it... the foggy mornings, the leisurely days, the new and unexpected. The hours riding and just BEING with my very special horse and my sweet friends. I am so grateful.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Grandpa's favorite flower...

My father loved Day lilies. He called them "Tiger Lilly's," I have no idea why. I think he liked them because they are so dependable. They come up every year, and here in New England they begin to bloom right around July 4Th. They don't require any coddling- in fact, they thrive on neglect and spread effortlessly.

I caught sight of this bunch of them back lit by the rising sun and grabbed a picture. It seemed especially fitting as today would have been my dad's birthday. Happy birthday, dad. I miss you still.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Day in the life...

The broiler chicks are 6 weeks old and huge. They are fun to watch as they waddle around the yard, catching bugs and eating grass and sipping delicately from a variety of water bowls.
The two Silver Laced Wyadotte chicks are growing (more slowly than the broilers, but steady!) and they do so love a sun bath.

And here is the guy that mows my lawn. He is particularly good at edging. And eating rose bushes. >sigh<
I took my horse out for a little ride today... the deer flies nearly carried us away.
We cut our ride rather short and I came home and ate lobster for supper. Never a bad thing!
There is a lobsterman who sells 1 1/3 lb. lobsters out of a truck near my house on Saturdays. They are only $5. each. I have vowed to eat lobster every Saturday night for the rest of the summer. We eat "in the rough." This means we sit at the picnic table in the back yard and cook the lobsters on a propane "King Cooker." We crack them and dunk the meat in butter which drips down our arms as we eat with our fingers. The dogs, rabbit, sheep and chickens mill about the yard. The candle on the table flickers and the wild birds dart about. As the evening deepens bats dip low across the night sky and mosquitos come out in flocks, driving us indoors.
I contemplate, as I sit coated in butter on the cedar plank of the hand hewn table, about the richness of my life.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Funny bunny...

Daughter Rachel brought home a very sweet, ultra tame bunny last winter. She lived in a cage and was bored, bored. I looked into having a nice hutch made for her, but knew it would not offer enough room for her to really be a rabbit. So I took a risk and started letting her hang out in our big (almost an acre) fenced yard. There are places she could escape if she tried. She could dig out. A hawk could get her... but meanwhile she is the happiest of bunnies. She leaps and twists and digs and kicks and eats grass and weeds to her little hearts content. My theory? A life that is rich and full but perhaps shorter is better than a life in prison.

Last night we were sitting outside and watching the bunny romping about. The meat chickens were also out, (scratching, eating, taking dust baths and being chickens.) The bunny approached one bird and stuck her head under the birds chest and lifted up. She repeated this several times. The bird finally became irritated and ran off. The bunny chased her. Then the bunny began to chase OTHER chickens. Much like a bad dog, she was all over the yard, chasing the chickens. The chickens were not amused. But WE were!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A happy...

Today my friend Sonia gave me the happiest gift. This beautiful basket filled with succulent snow peas, crunchy carrots, radiant radishes, beautiful beet greens, delightful dill and fabulous flowers. Everything was MOST artistically arranged, and there were cute little notes attached. For instance, the bunch of carrots was fastened with a little oval tag that said "For Chanel (my horse) and friends. Eat your greens." (Too bad for Chanel, I am eating those carrots myself. They are sweet and have a huge YUM factor.) I did sacrifice one to the bunny, though.
This was a shining lovely bubble of a moment in a hectic sort of day. Thank you, Sonia. You are a treasure. AND an artist.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Pet Tech First Aid class

Yesterday I attended an 8 hour pet first aid class given by Pet Tech in Rockport, Maine.
This is a class all pet owners should take... and certainly one that pet care professionals should attend, as well. The instructors, Mary and Beth were great fun and very good at their jobs.

Each of us had a model dog to work on. We learned to do rescue breathing, CPR, and how to help a choking animal. There were lessons on stopping bleeding, splinting suspected fractures, and bandaging. What a great way to spend a day!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Impossible blue...

Even my good good camera cannot capture it... but the delphiniums are blooming--- impossibly blue.
Meanwhile the garden in general is riotous. My first attempt at growing broccoli is a huge success, and the lettuce has been delightful. The flower beds are all all rich in color... but this delphinium is perhaps my favorite.

I cannot look at it without thinking fondly of being 6, and lying belly down on the hardwood floor by the fireplace in my bedroom, reading AAMilne in hardcover. My ribs would ache from the pressure of the floor but I would remain there and read. This poem perplexed me... I did not know the blue of delphiniums, but I did appreciate the name and the idea of them.

And now they grow by the door, tall and luscious and a blue that makes my heart beat a little faster. Like a Dormouse.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Highly suspicious yard art...

My friend Liz gave me these funny yard art chickens. Smooch the Pooch found them highly suspicious. He gave them the once over more than once. There was a lot of muttering and grumbling under his puggy breath. The chickens remained calm.
Smooch still doesn't trust them.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Independence Day...

We had a quiet morning at home, sleeping in and enjoying our place in the world. Then we drove to Reid State park. The day was fine- sunny and warm. The beach was wide and sprawling and dotted with sand frosted children. Gulls wheeled in the clear sky and a family of ducks surfed the waves near the shore.
The sandy beach was long and curved, the tide was coming in. You may note that there are no people in the water. Well... there were a few, but they were hardy souls. The water was bone chilling. The three of us held hands and waded in about to our waists. We wanted to dive right in, but every splashing wave took our breaths away.

We walked and waded and sprawled in the sun. I took pictures, of course, and listened to the magical sound of the surf on sand and granite. The day wrapped around us, scented with wild roses and salt air, a gift.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Insert imagination HERE....

This is my first ever blog post that is not accompanied by an illustrative photo.
Please use my words, combined with your imagination, to create the appropriate image:

When our daughter was very small... maybe 3 years old, she and Chris and I went to a Sunday morning flea market at the fair grounds in Memphis Tennessee. We searched for an affordable treasure or two among the junk. One vendor offered plus sized men's tee shirts. Since Chris is a plus size, he checked the booth out. He came away with one ugly purchase. Something the vendor called a "Texas Tee." Size 5 x. HUGE. And beige, (not a real color!) A loose knit pocket tee, offering little in the way of fashion.

I rolled my eyes. Little did I know that shirt would become a family favorite. The fabric has a bit of stretch to it, the neckline is loose and giving, the whole thing feels like, OK, I'll just say it, it feels like wearing a hug.

Chris wore it a lot, banging around the house, cooking, mowing and enjoying leisure time. It was washed often. It acquired stains and a scent all its own. Even fresh out of the wash it looked disreputable.

I borrowed it a time or two. Tiny Rachel wore it, down to her little ankles, as a dress up ball gown, as a cozy nighty. The shirt acquired a patina of comfort. When I was sick, I wanted to don it. When Rachel was sick, she insisted upon wearing "the big Daddy shirt." It saw her through many a virus, chicken pox, much needed nap and a flu or two.

Eighteen years or so have passed. Rachel recently came home for a lovely visit. The first night home her car was packed with all her "stuff," and she arrived here too late to unpack. Looking for something for her to wear I asked, "Want to wear something of mine? Something of Dad's?" Her weary eyes lit up, "The 'big Daddy shirt?'" I dug it out, tucked deep in a bottom drawer. I held it to my face as I brought it to her, inhaling deeply. It smelled of sun and detergent and Chris and time and love. A good smell. A soft smell. I held it up, the generous neck dropped over our daughters head. The sleeves hung almost to her wrists, the hem danced around her knees. She sighed when the smooth fabric embraced her. A happy, coming home and feeling good sigh.

That shirt. That purchase I rolled my eyes at, has become a family icon. Something that offers fashion-less comfort and softness and familiarity. With stains. I suspect that long after Chris and I are gone, Rachel will have that shirt stashed in the back of a closet... that her kids will dance with its hem brushing their ankles. That she will hold it to her face and breath in the scent of times gone by. That shirt will be what memories feel like.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Slug slayer....

I took a break from gardening to refill my water bottle, leaving my gloves on the deck rail. When I went to retrieve the gloves mere moments later, one had fallen into the herb garden. As I bent to retrieve the glove, I noticed it wiggled a bit. I went to get my camera.
Under the glove was this small snake. Chris, an everlasting little boy, insisted on picking it up. I was glad he did when it flashed this red underbelly at us. I have never seen this type of snake before. It is a Northern Red Bellied snake, and I was overjoyed to read that they eat SLUGS.
Since we have a bumper crop of slugs here, and since slugs like to eat everything I grow, the thought of a glove hiding, slug eating snake in my garden makes me glad of heart.