June 27, 2010

catching up

We are busy as bees working in the yard and tending the garden, which is doing very well despite numerous snails and slugs. We have been sprinkling the sluggo around and it disappears quickly. The other day we suspected the birds might be eating it... yipe. Besides slugs another groundhog is on the loose. We have not yet captured him/her but will post it when we do. A deer came by the other morning to eat apples from our tree that fell on the ground. Alden did not seem that interested at the time but later talked about it all day.

Alden has finally taken up the harmonica. I know this is a 'careful what you wish for' but I have been trying to get him into it for several months. He is the type of chap that really enjoys watching others do things and is a bit shy about trying new things himself. It was nice to see him finally take to it.
We also have a chipmunk living in the hollow of our apple tree. Alden and I saw him the other day and we were both delighted. Alden promptly dropped about a dozen apples in the hole for the critter to eat. Hilarious.
I took Alden to visit Grandpa Scott for the day when I went for a conference in New Hampshire last week. They had a good time looking at the chickens and driving the tractor. Alden figured out the scoop control lever and the steering wheel this time around. Clever lad.
Ilana, Karen and Barbara all got together and got Alden a riding lawn mower for Father's day.

June 22, 2010

June 21, 2010

Variations 3

Artdogs exhibit Variations III (June 18 - July 14). Featured artists, Karen Adrienne, Nancy Barron, John Carnes, Kerstin Gilg, Karen Klitgaard, and Scott Minzy. Opening reception was held on Sunday June 20 from 4 - 6 PM. The exhibit investigates the ways in which six artists viewed and responded to separate objects that were selected and then exchanged.

Object 1- the history book (on the left)

Object 2- The brass star lantern

Object 3- vintage binoculars (on the left)

Object 4- wire cage with five balls in it (right)

Object 5- A Cripple tag (right)
Object 6- vintage box of Atlas tacks (left)

June 10, 2010

Got him!

Not to sound crazy, but I think this is the groundhog I saw when we got back from Arizona. He/she looks like the one.

Fortunately we got him before he could get to our garden.
He was taken to Peacock Beach as is the custom.

June 5, 2010

Beth Eisen

We lost our dear friend Beth on Sunday, May 31st. She lost a battle with cancer that began almost a year ago to the day. Beth was an extremely gifted person -- a gifted artist, writer, knitter, community organizer and developer, the list goes on and on. But she was also a prolific gifter, a testiment to her tremendous generosity of spirit and thoughtfulness. After her death, I walked in stunned silence through our house and found her presence everywhere I looked -- on our bookshelf, in the kitchen, in my cookbooks, my closet and even the little toys that Kerstin placed on the door frames and sills of our home. Beth often gave us little gifts when we'd get together, always lovingly presented with the I-saw-this-the-other-day-and-thought-of-you sentiment. It amazes me to this day how much she thought and cared about others. But there was one gift that stood out among the others. Three years ago, after we closed on our home, Beth appeared on Karen's doorstep with a brown paper bag.
"Potatoes for your new garden!" she proclaimed.
They were beautiful and smooth, all blue and gold, fresh from the Fedco Sale.
"I don't know what varieties they are," Beth went on to say "but I saw them and I thought you guys would enjoy them."
So we planted them in our new garden and watched them grow large and deep green, then dug up bushel after bushel of warm spuds in the late summer. These potatoes have fed our family for the past three years, as we've been reserving a few and re-planting them in the spring. Last year, they blackened and wilted under the scourge of the late blight outbreak and we decided to eat our entire harvest and plant new varieties this year to break the cycle of the oomycete pest. This spring, we tilled as normal, hilled our rows, set down row covers and weed blocks and planted peppers and beans in that area of the garden. Last Saturday, the day before Beth passed away, I was rooting around in the garden when I came across a large bulge under the row cover next to one of the newly-transplanted peppers. I unpinned the cover and found a beautiful, perfectly-formed blue potato sprout, emerging green and purple, graceful and defiant. Somehow this potato survived the blight, the winter, the rototiller and the hoe. This was Beth's potato, her generosity and spirit endured every hardship.

We transplanted Beth's potato to it's own private plot in a little corner of our yard. We will let it grow this year into next, for as long as it will in the years to come.

June 2, 2010

They're back

Yep, when we got back from Bisbee I saw this little chappy in the back yard. Fortunately the garden was not disturbed.