Monday, August 23, 2004


Cynthie and I went to the Bouckville antique show this weekend. The antiques were entirely overshadowed by the mud! It was nearly impossible to look at anything 'cause you had to be so careful to watch where you were walking. After buying nothing at the huge show site, we stopped at a small shop where I bought a nice oval picture frame and a flea market spot where Cyn bought a white oval dish. Hmm... Was oval the theme?

Yesterday was a nice day. Wait... I think it didn't rain at all yesterday! The rain gauge says 3 inches for last week. The brook looks great. It would be nice if it always had this much water. But not at the cost of everyday rain. The forecast says sun for 4 days. Now I'll have to put watering the plants on my to do list -- something I think I've done only once this season.

Last week I was looking at the reading list in the Britannica Great Books series. I have some catching up to do even on the seventh grade list. There are some authors I haven't even heard of. I think I'll try it.

So I read Plato's Apology and Crito last week. Socrates says the death penalty isn't much of a threat 'cause it isn't clear that death is a bad thing so “Be of good cheer about death, and know of a certainty, that no evil can happen to a good man, either in life or after death.” While that's a nice thought, there are some things which may not be evil but certainly are pretty rotten.

I've also started the latest book for my book club: Bel Canto. I didn't expect to like it but I do. Still finishing Bill Bryson's Walk in the Woods. And trying to read enough of a book of 3 Utopian novels I bought years ago to decide whether or not it's worth keeping.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Painting the porch

I'm glad I live where I can take my clothes off to paint the front porch. I'm such a slob with paint - or in this case preservative with stain. I think I built that porch in 1986 and this is the first maintenance I've done. Anyway, it's finished and looks good. It almost inspires me to finish the window trim. Almost...

Bill helped me get another load of manure out of the barn. Yuck. It's really wet in the corner where Charlie usually stands. I think I'll block that corner for a while 'til I get it cleaned up.

Then, of course, it rained.

I'm finally reading A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. Last year my best friend from high school called. We hadn't been in touch for 20 or 30 years. In a long, delightful conversation, she recommended it and I've finally gotten to it. I can see why Pat liked it: "When I awoke, it was daylight. The inside of my tent was coated in a curious flaky rime, which I realized after a moment was all my nighttime snores, condensed and frozen and pasted to the fabric, as if into a scrapbook of respiratory memories." Actually, as I type this I realize there's a typo in the book.

Last weekend Belinda finished mowing the section that connects the two trails that lead northeast and northwest from the house. It's really great to have access to that part of the woods again. I don't think I'd ever actually seen the gigantic apple tree that marks the center point between the two trails. When Bill and I walked that way we found a large patch of Indian Pipes. We've walked that way a hundred times or more over the years. We used to cut firewood in that area. I can't believe they could have been there and we'd never seen them before. And in the southeast woods, quite near the trail, the other species - the one with a cluster of flowers on each stem, Monotropa hypopithys - we'd never seen here before. Could it be that they're there this year 'cause it's rained so much? And the stream in the northwest section is really lovely. Of course, in other years it would probably have been dry at this time of year.

I'm having some modest success getting things from my "to do" list actually scheduled on my calendar. It's so easy to get distracted with things I'd rather do that some things on the list just stay there forever nagging me.