We Give Up.

This year we have zero apples or pears on the trees, there were no strawberries, and I only picked two containers of black raspberries (compared to last year’s, roughly, thirty).  Is it because of the weather?  The early Spring and the fact that the blossoms were blown off the trees too soon?  The shortage of honey bees, or no honey bees because there were no blossoms?

Also, we’ve been here for six years and have yet to have a decent tomato crop.  We’ve dealt with tomato worms, tomato blight, spindly plants that didn’t produce much fruit, and one year, the wrong seeds in the packet.  This year I’m not sure what will happen.  Our plants are gorgeous – tall, fat stems, plants full of deep green leaves, tons of tomatoes… but the first one that turned red, rotted.  And I don’t understand why?  It had been really dry for weeks, we were careful with the watering, because I think in the past we’ve watered too much… We give up.  Thankfully, we are not farmers and we don’t depend on produce for a living.  Next time you see a farmer, give him/her a BIG FAT hug.

So, the past few weeks…

[clear throat] Mi Mi Mi… nope, still no voice.

But that doesn’t mean I haven’t done and seen things these past few weeks.  It just means that I’m still searching for my elusive voice.

It wasn’t to be found in NYC.  I went bridal dress shopping (girls trip) with my friend Florence.  We had success with the first dress – amazing!  But the real highlight for me was dinner at Les Halles (sorry FloCo).  Much to our dismay, we did NOT get to have drinks with the man, the myth, the legend… Anthony Bourdain… but he did speak to us through his escargot and pâté.

It wasn’t in Boston.  This was a dual-purpose trip.  First and foremost, to celebrate the loving union of my girlfriend Jules, a friend since my second year of college, to her partner Janet.  I have never known Jules so happy.  Second, for maid of honor dress shopping.  Again, success with the first dress (F has good taste and she knows what she wants).  My husband accompanied me this time and we enjoyed an afternoon of drinks and seafood on the harbor with some of our best Boston buddies.  We aren’t moving back to Boston so quick, but it did make us long for the advantages of city life.

I found dead, a turkey, a mole, several birds and a spent snake skin.  One of those birds was a baby bird that I found on the lawn – it had been sucked up by the mower.  Awful, isn’t it?  It made me wonder how many baby birds must die this way, after leaving the nest, learning to fly.  They are so tiny, hidden in the “tall” blades of grass.

After several run-ins with (uncommonly) aggressive baby woodchucks, my husband shot  two of them dead.  My father is so proud!  Those suckers moved from the field into our yard, and instead of running away, they have stood their ground, showed their rapidly chattering teeth, and charged at us.  Acadia actually grabbed one by the back and shook it.  I yelled at him to leave it, marched them into the house, threw on my big girl boots (actually, they are quite manly muck boots), grabbed my walking sticks and marched back down the hill to face this critter who had STILL not run away.  It darted at me, I poked it with the (handled) end of my sticks and he STILL would not run away.  I was simply trying to send him a message “LEAVE US ALONE!”  But instead, he latched on to my stick and I lifted him into the air multiple times.  I was finally able to usher him onto his back, into the tall grasses at the bottom of our yard.  This is when we knew we had no choice.  The two deaths did NOT include this particular chuck – he is still on our radar.

I killed my sourdough starter – on purpose – because I am tired of feeding that sucker and baking the same kind of bread every day now for four months.

I wrangled a big eastern milk snake off the pool cover.  Again, big girl boots and walking stick gave me the courage… that and the fact that I had already been bitten by one last year and I knew that I wouldn’t die.

My mother-in-law came to visit for a week.  It was one of our best visits.  She even came to work with me one day and spent the day at the Spa – very jealous that I couldn’t join her.  I can’t wait for our next visit.

Scotty donated to the local PBS station and surprised me with two tickets to go see Aussie Pink Floyd in October.  So good are these guys that David Gilmore hired them to play at his own 50th birthday party.

I was convinced that I would be inspired to write something funny, poetic, prophetic or satirical on the one year anniversary of my blog, but that day came and went this past Thursday, June 21, the Summer Solstice.  (Also the 3 year anniversary of my friends Jen & Dion… go go go!!  I love you guys together.)

Friday the 22nd was my dogs’ sixth birthday.  And you know what?  In dog years, that makes me and my “children” the same age.  How many parents can say that?  I really feel like we are on the same wavelength these past few days.  :)

I have also been facing a bit of a health scare.  There is nothing to report at this time, other than an enlarged thyroid (aka, goiter… ugh… makes me feel bad for laughing so hard at the goiter episode on Seinfeld).  This could be anything from a temporary flare up due to pre-menopausal hormones, or related to an autoimmune disorder called lupus (family history), or hyperthyroidism, or even cancer.  So far I have only had bloodwork, and I’m no doctor, so I would be remiss if I tried to interpret the results.  I met with a surgeon for all of five aggravating minutes.  I have an ultrasound scheduled for Wednesday.  And I am going to make an appointment with an endocrinologist for a more in-depth analysis, perhaps through more blood work and a biopsy.

We all feel invincible until one day, something happens, and although  I am not sure what it is yet, the unknown is scary.  And cancer, oh my god, that word, cancer.  It can strike anyone at anytime.  I eat really healthy, I’m active and exercise every day, but I am also a casual smoker (so casual in fact, that many don’t even know I smoke).  So of course, there is extra reason for concern.  At the moment I feel scared (or maybe more accurately, anxious), not only for the potential of what this could be, but for the Scarlet Letter and the accusatory mob yelling  “you deserve this.”

Sending out an S.O.S.

So I’ve been staring at this post, adding a few pictures, and not writing a thing for two weeks now.  A serious case of writer’s block.  Where is my inspiration?  My muse??  It’s not in a  pool opening or in a relaxing mineral bath at the Spa.  Not in my terrible allergies or being sick on the most beautiful day of the year so far.  Not in baking bread every day or drinks with the girls.  Not in staining a door or chopping down an apple tree… not even in my poor dog’s ear infection that antibiotics can’t seem to cure.

To all the writers out there – HELP!!!

Outtakes from a Glorious Weekend.

A fun, productive weekend.  Highlight – my girlfriend Florence asked me to be her Maid of Honor.

Morning Walk – May 3, 2012.

Morning Walks – April 15-19, 2012.

I think of my Nan most mornings when I head out on my walks with my dogs.  Nan & Pomp always had dogs, and every morning it was Nan’s great pleasure to return home after her night shift as a Nurse at the Psych Ward, and walk her dogs in the pasture.  To catch the sunrise.  To breathe in the cool morning air.  To join the song and dance of the animals as they enthusiastically met each new day as if it were a gift.

Morning Walk – April 15, 2012.

Just over two weeks into the new job and so far so great!  But there is just not enough time in a weekend to accomplish all that I want to do.  But on the wheeler, I did manage to crank out a few hours in the field picking up piles (of cut up tree limbs, branches and thorny vines), had a nice visit with my step-mom and nieces (and the rain has washed away all their beautiful chalk drawings all over our patio), I painted the outside of the kitchen door, planted a row of bulbs that my neighbors dropped off (because they are in the process of demolishing their house to make way for a new house and the bulbs would have otherwise gone to waste), I baked bread, made pulled pork, purged about 3 ft. of accumulated paperwork (boy does that feel good!) and we went out for dinner and an amazing show.*

*Strunz & Farah – This gifted guitar duo, known for their dazzling original compositions and improvisations, plays a blend of flamenco, Afro-Latin and Latin folk, Middle Eastern and jazz forms. Backed by an international ensemble of world-class musicians, their technical perfection, lighting-fast finger speed, fiery improvisations and unbelievable solos make this a must-see performance! http://www.troymusichall.org