Monthly Archives: May 2009

Finding the Tiniest in Vermont

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Although I have traveled to many places over the years, Vermont has always called to me. I knew it was where I belonged, and it was a happy day when I received my Vermont driver’s license and put on the “greens,” the green Vermont license plates, on my truck (the numbers and letters on my plates, after decoding, translate to “bees love honey”). I am madly in love with my new – last – homestate, and with the Green Mountains that climb along its western side.

For the last day of my Blogathon New Thing extravaganza, I found out about a tiny little city in the upper portion of the mountain range – Vergennes.

Vergennes is Vermont’s oldest city, established in 1788, and is also Vermont’s first incorporated city. And it is the state’s smallest city (third smallest in the nation). Now, I am a sucker for anything that claims to be the world’s largest or smallest, shortest or tallest, etc. I have seen the largest basket and ball of twine, New York’s smallest post office, the world’s biggest shoe….I could go on. So of course I had to read about Vergennes, and I plan to visit soon. Look out Vergennes!

And to fellow Blogathoners – it has been a wonderful ride. I tripped and fell a few times, missing some days on the way. But most of the time, there were fellow froggers to fill in the potholes. I thank you. And a big thanks to Michelle Rafter, the genius behind the Blogathon. Count me in for Blogathon 3.

Cheers Honey

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I know – I missed a day. But I had a good excuse. I went to the farm yesterday and added honey supers to five of the beehives. We hope to pull some honey before opening day on the 4th of July. While I was there, I checked out the blueberry fields with owner Byron Winney. A colony of honeybees worked the middle field of blueberry flowers along with dozens of bumblebees. The plants are loaded, so Mother Earth willing, there will be a bumper crop this year.

Today, I am enjoying the beautiful weather – and a lovely drink by friend Monica Bhide, author of “Modern Spice.” I must admit, I made mine a mock drink without the rum puncher. But it was so delicious! And next time, I am planning to add some fresh blueberry juice, too:

Pomegranate Delight

Dance Fever

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I was chair-dancing this morning…I can’t sit still when a good song comes on the radio, and pretty soon my upper body starts to sway in the computer chair, then my arms start to swing, and pretty soon I’m doing a full out eyes-closed, lip-biting, torso-turning half-body groove-thing. Good thing I live alone.

I relate to the Seinfeld episode where Elaine shows off her special dance move. Elaine, like me, loves to dance. And like me, she doesn’t fit into the “wow, she can really dance” category. But she’s entertaining.

Writer buddy Michelle Rafter suggested I learn a new dance move for my month of New Things. I have a wedding to attend this coming weekend, so I thought it was a great idea. Maybe I could finally fit into that “wow, she can really dance” category. I decided on hip hop – don’t laugh now. But since I am still healing from surgery I had to be careful with my choices. I found this video. I’m not sure how well I did, because, again, I live alone. I’ll probably forget the steps by the time the wedding rolls around. I think that might be a good thing. And lucky for you, I don’t own a video camera.

Now, I challenge you to learn a new dance move, or teach us one! Can you imitate Elaine’s kickin’ dance steps? If you’re brave, upload a You-Tube video of your move-mastery, and send me a link. I will post any or all videos! How ’bout it? Sir Buffalo Sushi – are you game?

Update: Moscow Burning suggested taking a look at this clip from Hellzapoppin’. Made me tired just watching it! So where are your dance moves, Moscow? Hmm?

Me and My Shadow Puppet

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Bennington is rainy and overcast today – a perfect day to make homemade bread and a pot of soup. A handful of dried beans that were soaking overnight, some stew meat, garlic, onion, and some leftover tomato sauce and vegetables, along with the rest of the kale I received in yesterday’s CSA box. Once that was done, I flipped on the office light to do some work…and noticed the shadows on the wall.

I remembered that fellow writer Wendy Helfenbaum had suggested learning to make a new shadow puppet. Since my shadow puppetry skills were rusty at best, and I could only remember how to make the Aflac duck, I went searching for a shadow puppet as my New Thing. I found several on this site , but the little dachshund stole my heart. I made the man’s silhouette as well – mine looked eerily like Ronald Reagan…

Kale, Kale, the Gang’s All Here

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I picked up my first CSA share today. Chuck and Lisa’s produce looks fabulous! The shares are still small, as the season is barely in, but I was happy to get a bunch of young kale in my box today (as well as organic eggs, spinach, and mesclun mix).

I love kale. It is so packed full of nutrients that I am surprised the leaves don’t explode from the pressure. I usually eat it raw or throw it into stews or soups. But I decided to search for a new way of loving kale as my New Thing. Now, I love kale even more.

I made kale chips out of 6 fairly large leaves. A warning – although these are called “chips” they do not taste like potato chips. But they are delicious – I ate all 6 leaves in about 6 minutes (I think 1 leaf is a serving)! Oh, another warning – there is a fine line between “crispy” and “burnt” so watch them carefully. Let the edges brown lightly and the leaves get stiff, but no more than that. If you do kill the kale, don’t worry – throw the burned bits into the next pot of soup.

Enjoy!

Little earthquakes and memories

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My friend Wojo just sent me a link to a beautiful speech given at Kenyon College. I want to share it with you. The speaker mentions a 1974 movie line that says “Earthquakes bring out the worst in people.”

We all have our own little earthquakes on a daily basis. The tough thing about earthquakes is that they quake whether we want them to or not. All we can do is choose how to handle the damage – with our worst or with our best. Sometimes, it is difficult to tell which one we’re using. But in the end, we all get up and dust ourselves off, and start the cleanup.

Instead of today’s New Thing, I would like to take this space to remember all who came before us. And I would especially like to honor two men who were special to me: my father and my oldest brother. Both wore uniforms at one point in their lives. The last thing I heard from my father before he passed away 28 years ago were the words “I love you.” The last thing I heard from my brother when he passed away 2 years ago were the words “I love you.” If every moment I spent with either of them slipped away into darkness, those words were enough. They are powerful and gentle, soothing and solid…and can even be silly.

Remember to say them now to those who are cleaning up earthquake dust around you. I love you.

Oh, and one last tip: Earthquake putty.

Operators are standing by.