Let there be light!

June 20, 2008

One of the first things I did when I moved in to my house last summer was to take down the ugly dining room light fixture. I hauled that thing to the curb without a second thought and then spent a year eating in the dark. I’ve learned a lot of things this past year, but perhaps one of the most important lessons is that sometimes it’s okay to live with something that isn’t perfect. In fact, sometimes living with it can be better than living without it.

But then Joe came along. And for $50 bucks he connected my repainted found dining room light. And it was good.

I can only hope that my discarded old light fixture looks this nice in its new home.


Hot Summer in the City

June 16, 2008

I just got back from a whirlwind trip down to the big apple with one of my oldest and dearest friends. We took the train in from Poughkeepsie and proceeded to eat our way through downtown. In the past I’ve stayed in midtown and gotten stressed out from the pace, the people, the traffic, and the pollution. But this trip was different.

We stayed at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Tribeca–very clean and very close to a lot of things. They do have the world’s smallest bathroom, but we made do just fine. Here’s a rundown of the hightlights: dinner at Red Bamboo (delicious spring rolls and vegan dumplings) one night and Caravan of Dreams the next. (I’m fascinated by raw food and my friend’s gone vegan, so that might explain the restaurant choices).

Tired of having to choose between chocolate and almond croissants? For a stroke of pure genius, try the chocolate almond croissant at Bouley’s, then try the #9 at Hampton Chutney and prepare to blow your mind with spice. Which you can then cool off with iced coffee and a spelt chocolate cupcake from Babycakes.

On Saturday we headed to Brooklyn for the indie craft show-the Renegade Craft Fair–but first checked out the famous Greenmarket at Union Square and loved it.

You know you’re a homeowner when…

June 10, 2008

You decide against a half-day yoga workshop because for the same amount of money you can buy one gallon of porch paint and one gallon of exterior latex paint.

You don’t think twice about reheating day-old coffee instead of brewing a fresh pot.

You unplug your toaster, hairdryer, and office powerstrip when not in use.

You feel pure joy when you compare this month’s electric bill to last month’s.

You dream about a clothesline for the backyard and new wainscoting for the upstairs bathroom.

For the Love of Peonies

June 8, 2008

All I managed to do with the peonies last fall was cut them back and then put a little cage over them this spring. But apparently, that was enough!

A Front Porch Summer

June 8, 2008

Sometimes you need a real incentive to begin a task. My latest incentive involves a small iron table and four chairs that fit perfectly on my front porch. Picked up at a garage sale, the royal blue just needed two cans of spray paint (Lowe’s carries the perfect color–Sea Glass.)   New fabric and padding attached with trusty staple gun and it’s going to look great. Once I paint the porch.

I really don’t have any excuse not to work on that porch. Last summer, it was at the bottom of the priority list, but we did rip out the old carpeting. Yesterday I started scrubbing away years of grime and took down the ancient green plastic shades. It’s already looking brighter and cleaner.

The goal? To sit at my little table, drink my latte and read the paper.


June 4, 2008

I glanced out the upstairs window yesterday evening and spotted Ruth in the yard.  At first I couldn’t figure out what whe was doing–she wasn’t bunched up and crouching.  She was, um, relaxing. She was lounging like a satisfied cat. And she was right outside my back door. Clearly she feels at home here.

Yet Another Reason to Love Vermont

June 3, 2008

It’s not like we actually need more things to love about the Maple state. What we actually need are more reasons to love upstate New York–besides the Hudson river and the post-apocalyptic architecture of Rockefeller Plaza.  But here it is!  Leave it to Vermonters to not only come up with such a sentence for trespassing teenagers, but to actually go through with it.

As a writing teacher, however, I have to question the continued use of writing (and reading) as a form of punishment. Will these kids really gain an appreciation for Frost’s poetry? Or will they just make sure they plan the next kegger for an abandoned barn?