Columbus Day Weekend

  • Post published:10/13/2008
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All the festive events for the holiday weekend actually began on October 8th when friends gathered with Elsa Bakalar, our most famous and generous local gardener, to celebrate her 90th birthday. It's been a difficult year for Elsa with two broken hips and other injuries, but she was as ready for her party as any of us. Judy (left) worked with Elsa for many years in Elsa's house and gardens and Marie (center) has known Elsa since she…

Lantern Festival in Montreal

  • Post published:10/10/2008
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In China the Lantern Festival begins on the 15th day of the first lunar month, or about the end of Spring Festival which is also known as the Chinese New Year. It is easy to understand how lanterns might be a part of a celebration welcoming the lengthening days.However, there is also a Mid-Autumn Festival, which is also sometimes called a Lantern Festival. In Montreal September and October are the months when over 1000 elaborate lanterns made in…

Our Trip au Canada

  • Post published:10/07/2008
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Journeys can be planned, but they usually hold many fascinating surprises. We set off to enjoy the beautiful autumnal foliage, which seems particularly beautiful this year, zip through Vermont and land in Montreal. We were enjoying the foliage, but stopped at a Rest Area in Vermont. First we were surprised by the big sign, Free Wi-Fi. Oh why hadn't I brought the laptop?! We found that all the Vermont rest areas had Wi-Fi and many also had fax…

Muse Day

  • Post published:10/01/2008
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Christina Rosetti was talking about love, of course, but love in a world of abundance and delight. This has been an excellent year for apples. The harvest is so good that some people have complained about branches breaking with the weight of so many apples. As I passed the trees bent low with thick set fruit, I immediately thought of this poem, A Birthday. MY heart is like a singing bird Whose nest is in a water'd shoot;My…

27 Years of Serving Ourselves

  • Post published:09/28/2008
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Last night the Heath Gourmet Club celebrated its 27th Anniversary - 27 years of serving ourselves really good food, lots of it very local. I made an apple tart with homemade applesauce from our own not very beautiful apples spiced with Calvados and topped with thin slices of Cortland apples from a new orchard in town. There used to be a number of orchards in Heath and the remnants are to be found everywhere, including our own fields…

A Child’s Garden of Literature

  • Post published:09/27/2008
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While browsing through the garden blogs this rainy morning I came upon the Human Flower Project and this recent post about the Books in Bloom garden created by St. Michael's College (Burlington, VT) education professor Valerie Bang-Jensen and biologist Mark Lubkowitch and their students. All the plants in the garden have a connection to a children's book. There are lupines for Miss Rumphius, poppies for the Wizard of Oz and blueberries for Blueberries for Sal. Of course, there…

Journey of a Thousand Steps

  • Post published:09/26/2008
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We have finally begun mopping up after spending the summer putting a new cement foundation under the eastern end of our house and installing a new heating system. We hope we'll be a little warmer and dryer this winter.This stone retaining wall, one of two, is the attractive bonus of the project. The thicket of blackberries, invasive pasture roses, asters, weed trees and goldenrod has been removed so that we can have access to the new basement wall…

A Step Missed

  • Post published:09/25/2008
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My autumn crocus (Colchicum) is blooming at the foot of my wisteria. I cleared away the lemon balm that had totally overrun that area. Autumn crocus, sometimes called Naked Ladies, send up their blossoms in the fall with no stem or foliage, hence their naughty common name. The leaves come up in the spring; the bulbs can be transplanted in late summer when the foliage starts to fade.I intended to move the bulbs where they could be more…

My House is Not a Barn

  • Post published:09/22/2008
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This is our old stove, a Magic Chef c.1930s. It was in our old farmhouse when we bought it, and I used it for the first couple of years. It only has three working burners, but the oven worked and as the cook I was happy. But we worked on the house and moved the kitchen space and I got a modern stove. After renovating the old kitchen space (some years later) the old stove was moved and…

Summer’s Over – for Some

  • Post published:09/19/2008
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There was a serious frost warning last night but the temperature was 36 degrees when we woke. Not even the basil was nipped.However, it seems that it is only prudent to give the houseplants that have been vacationing on the piazza an insnpection for disease or pests, a watering and a good shower. This task done they are certified safe and I bring them back into the house.The census this year is a giant jade plant, a jasmine,…