Friday, November 26, 2010

I have a lot of leaves to rake

Friday, November 26, 2010
Waning Moon
Uranus Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Rainy and cold

I could not get my act together and get out of the house on Wednesday. I was stumbling around totally incoherently. But we finally got on the road and headed for Maine. Not a bad ride, although going through the “Big Dig” tunnels under Boston was a little scary. But we did it, and hit the portions of road that were familiar.

We made many of our usual stops — a few places in Kittery, Stonewall Kitchen to stock up on jams and sauces (and their Coastal Morning Coffee is really good), a thrift shop in York (where I found some unique, hand-made bud vases and a fish-shaped copper mold. We wanted to have lunch at the Stolen Menu Cafe in York, one of our favorite places, but it’s only serving breakfast this week, and we missed out. I did A LOT of shopping in NH at the liquor store (no taxes on liquor), and, in the attached gift shop, found a lovely rosemary and mint soap. I’m extremely partial to rosemary soap and it’s hard to find. In addition to loving the smell, it’s a wonderful antiseptic, so if you have a cut, it helps fight/heal infection.

We wound up in Ongonquit, at the Bread and Roses Cafe — although it’s closed for the season, it’s open this week. I got a phenomenal apple turnover, and my mom had the best elephant ear she’s ever had. The coffee was from CarpeDiem, and is some of the best coffee I ever had. What a treat! Again, here are examples of independent artisans doing something better than any mass-produced place could come up with, and at fair prices. I also bought eclairs to take home. Have you ever seen anything like these?

We got to Maine as late as we usually do when we leave from New York! But the family was glad to see us. We unpacked, distributed the little gifties, and I started heating up the dinner. The stove is a very old electric burner one, so it took for damn ever, but, eventually, we got it warm. The beef stroganoff was a hit, as was the lemon cake.

My great-uncle has lost most of his hearing, so you have to pretend you’re standing on an Elizabethan stage projecting to the rafters to have a conversation. But then, he will be 94 this year, and is still living on his own and getting around pretty well, so I’d say he’s doing all right.

I was supposed to go over to visit my cousins, hang out, and help with the onions, but I was so tired I was afraid I’d pass out face down in the bowl. I was in bed by 8 PM. And I slept straight through until 6.

I still felt a little wonky in the morning, despite all the sleep, but had a good breakfast. I spent the morning polishing my lectures for next week’s SECONDHAND SPIRITS workshop — I hope some of you will join me. I’m getting really excited about it.

We headed over to the hall around noon. I jumped into the kitchen, as I usually do, to help with the mashed potatoes, the sweet potatoes, and whatever I could to set up. The potato masher is four feet long, so that should give you an idea of how many potatoes we cook!

Dinner was great — somewhere between 50 and 60 people for dinner, everyone in a good mood and happy to see each other. Most of us only get to see each other once a year, although now that I’m closer, I hope I can get up more often. And I invited everyone to visit. They were joking that they’d charter a bus and all come down — only maybe they weren’t joking! 😉 Hey, as long as I have enough advance notice to stock the cupboards, I’m used to feeding actors, I can feed them, and we can all hang out on the deck.

I didn’t stay until the bitter end of clean-up, which I usually do, because we needed to get back on the road. We left around 2:30. It was a surprisingly smooth ride, with the Big Dig a little scary again, but from Boston down to the Cape, I was surprised by the depth of traffic. It all moved well, so it wasn’t a problem; there was just a lot of it.

Got back around 6:30, unloaded the car. The cats were exactly where we left them — I don’t know if they moved in the whole 48 hours, poor things. They were very upset. We spent the evening trying to calm them down. I think I have to take Iris to the vet next week, poor little thing.

Watched a public television special on European Christmas traditions, which was lovely. Had a nice glass of wine, ate those enormous eclairs (and got whipped cream all over everything). Went to bed at a reasonable hour.

Up early this morning, at my usual time (at least it wasn’t 4 AM, finally) — yoga, meditation, fed the cats, made the coffee, to my desk. Tried to write a bit on the Willowspring Grove novel, but I’m feeling very disconnected from it. I think I’ll have to type in some of what I’ve handwritten to get back into its flow.

On today’s agenda is more work on the lectures for next week, blog posts I owe Savvy Authors, and getting started on an article I landed to write for WOMEN ON WRITING that’s due in less than a month. Since I have to interview experts for it, I have to get those questions out ASAP to give them adequate time. I also need to unpack a lot more, especially in the kitchen, run a few loads of dishes through the dishwasher and laundry through the washer/dryer. I’d like to vaccum and scrub the bathrooms down, too.

I need to call the Natural History Museum to confirm Saturday and call Mattress World to order my split box.

It’s raw and rainy, so I can’t do any yard work (but I like the sound of the rain against the house, and feeling all cozy inside). I don’t shop on Black Friday — I’m not that nuts and I don’t wait in line and scramble to pay people for merchandise. You really want my business? Serve me champagne and h’ors d’oeuvres! Don’t think I’ll stand in line all night to dash in and save a few bucks. Just not worth it. I can find individual artisans who create unique gifts at fair prices and don’t make me jump through hoops to part me from my money.

I notice on my bills that, although MA’s nickname is “Taxachussetts”, the taxes are less than in NY. On my cell phone bill alone, I’m saving $4/month in taxes, which will add up to $48 over the course of a year.

That’s a lot of cat treats.

The Hounds of the Baskervilles were very busy baying at something early this morning. The cats were not amused. And the Westie across the street is sitting in the window, waiting patiently all day for his person to come home.



Published in: on November 26, 2010 at 8:11 am  Comments (4)  
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  1. Wow – are those leaves really all yours? 😮

    Looks like you’ll soon be back to normal, almost there already.

    • Yeah, I have a lot to learn when it comes to yard work!

  2. We need to rake, too. But out here, we all just use leaf blowers. Bwahahahahahaaaa! But I always do it after ten a.m.

    Those eclairs look TDF!!! YUM! So glad you had a good visit with your family. Enjoy your weekend!

  3. Oh, I can imagine raking up all those leaves and then throwing them in the air. Sorry to hear the cats are slow at adjusting to the move. But, I am glad to hear you had a good time with your family.

    I hope you have a lovely weekend!

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