Tuesday, September 29, 2009

In which I make up a post as an excuse to use this picture of pears.

I absolutely love cold-weather cooking, and I've been immersing myself in doing just that lately.
The girls held a tag sale on Saturday, and while I wasn't (and didn't want to be) involved, I obviously had to stick close by and monitor the traffic situation while they were out in the driveway. I basically wore a path between the kitchen and the front door all day.

I can't say I minded one bit.

One of the things I made was a roast chicken, for the sole purpose of making stock. This is one of the last frontiers for me (the other one being homemade pasta), something that not only seemed daunting and involved, but unnecessary. Surely, someone else can do this better? (I feel this way, by the way, about most baked goods more elaborate than cookies and brownies.)

I couldn't have been more wrong. First off, what's the easiest thing in the world to make? A roast chicken. Secondly, the next easiest thing to make is chicken stock.

I've been using a version of Ina Garten's recipe for chicken + croutons; I slice up some onions and toss them with olive oil, and then roast a chicken (or two) over them, simply stuffed with a cut lemon and some thyme or rosemary.

Well, the logical next step, once the chicken is carved, is to put the...um...carcass (sorry to my vegetarian friends. Is this indelicate?)in a pot with the onions, cover it all with water, and get it cooking for a good long while. Then strain it well, and there you have it.

The term liquid gold comes to mind every time I think about this, but I do feel like a bit of a dork saying that out loud.

Anyway, I'm sure I don't have to tell any of you, any of this. I imagine you've been doing this for years (and making fresh pasta, to boot).

But, while I'm sharing, I've been staring at this cookbook , A Platter of Figs, for almost two weeks now, and I've decided that I'm not bringing it back to the library yet; that online renewal thing is my friend.

I'd tell you to "check it out", but that would be a bad pun, huh?

I'd love to hear what you're cooking these days.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Labels: , , , ,

Monday, September 28, 2009


We went apple picking today with twenty-two people, and there wasn't a wrinkle in the entire day.

I am here today to say go. do. live. feel. eat. touch. spend. take. give. laugh. yell. cry. get out. reach out. stop working. get working. climb. fall. hurt. heal. hold. hope. fumble. fear. reach. react. act out. bite off. make do. make new. make from scratch. borrow. beg. share. love.

It's all we can do.

Do it now.


{Who knew apple picking was so inspiring?}

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Labels: , , , , ,

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Public Bookstore [Installation]

The time has come, and not a moment too soon.

Actually, it's about three or so days late.

But, we've gotten the first stage of Public Bookstore installed in the gallery. And oh, my, is it GOOD.

These pictures are from yesterday, and since then, we've cleaned up the place, put the finishing touches on (adjusted lighting, added descriptive labels, etc...) and hung some work. I say some work, because we have so much to show, we will display all the work on a rotating basis over the course of the show, which will run at least through the New Year.

I thought I'd show you these shots of Tim installing his genius display system. He had a huge helping hand this weekend when our friend (and Public Bookstore contributor) Bret Wills opened up his studio and worked with Tim. They rigged up a system of some old wood boards (from our friends' house, now undergoing renovation,) and a heavy-metal strip down the center. I could use up a hundred words to describe it, but it might make much more sense just to look at the photos. More soon to come of the actual, you know, artwork. Although I think Tim's installation may be a work of art unto itself.

But, I may be biased.

And a gratuitous shot of the one waiting out front while I take pictures.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Labels: , , ,

Friday, September 25, 2009

Friday Happiness

I was bereft of inspiration, and on top of that
I had to bring my little girl over to the pre-k
and leave her crying and
yelling "mommmmmmy...I want to stay with yoooooou"
and even though I completely recognized in her voice
and her carriage
a touch of the "putting on", of the slipping this costume of bereftness
over her purple dress, and trying on the whole idea of being lost
without me,
I know her.
And she was and was not
feeling it.
I was feeling it.
I was hot and cloudy and hoping
that if I just scooped her up
and out of there
all would be ok.
But, alas,
I'm no spring chicken.
And I know that she will be ok,
and that I need to leave her.
So I went,
listening through the closed,
single paned windows,
as my little purple-dressed girl,
wailed inside.
I turned right instead of left,
and with my camera on the seat
next to me, like a puppy,
I drove to the one place I would always go,
given a chance.
And my puppy and I got out and went for a walk,
and bought some bread,
and took many, many pictures of flowers,
and vegetables and then on the way out,
pulled over in front of the "no parking" sign,
right next to the "electric fence" sign,
and looked and laughed at the geese, honking
at I don't know what. But they certainly all agreed
that one particular thing deserved
honking at. (And by the way, they are not all the same,
at all. They are all sorts of colors and with stripes even,
and some are definitely cuter than others. Something to do
with the placement of their eyes, I decided.
Although they all honk the same.)
And then one hit me on the head.
One acorn, and another and another-not all hitting me
on the head, but all over the place, and all different
and perfect, even though many of them lose their caps
when they fall from the tree.
I had the impulse to glue the caps back on.
Isn't that ridiculous?
Why do I always want to fix things
so that they are just so, again?
And scooping them up,
and meaning to take them home,
I felt that I had found some sort of treasure
and that the girl
who runs the childrens' programs,
(and who was very pregnant the last time I saw her,)
was going to stop me and say I couldn't have those acorns.
They need to stay here. They belong to the farm.
But she just smiled and waved, and called out "how are the girls?"
and drove away,
no doubt to pick up that baby of hers.
And so I turned back toward the car,
walked away from the geese,
with a handful of acorns,
and went back to the place from which I had come.
And picked up my smiling,
purple-dressed girl.

Inspiration found.

Enjoy the weekend. Thanks for reading.

Labels: ,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

What we have here is a momentary lapse in inspiration.

Is it too tiresome for me to stop in here to tell you that I've nothing-once again-much to say?
I'm preoccupied by all sorts of things that for one reason or the other are just not blog-material.
I could tell you all about how this first week of school for Anna is really not going all that well, for her or me.
How the girls' schedule is really overwhelming, and putting quite a strain on our ability to function as a family in the way that we are used to, and that is most important to us.
That despite not being particularly productive here at the computer, I'm accomplishing things around the house at roughly the rate that ice melts.
Or that I have a couple of really exciting projects to work on, but technical difficulties involving computer storage issues are holding me back from diving into them.
Heck, I could even waste your time a bit and tell you that I walked too far in the city in my new-ish clogs, and got such blisters that for the last week I can only wear an old pair of flip-flops without pain.

And so, lacking in inspiration, I move forward.


maybe today at drop-off, Anna will not cry inconsolably and hang onto me for dear life,

and certainly I could spend a quick fifteen minutes and adios that pile of laundry over there.

After all, really, there's no sort of doldrums that can't be helped by a cup of tea and some cheesey toast.

It's possible that if I took my camera with me when I leave the house, I'll find something to take a picture of, and my creativity will get a necessary kick in the pants.

And surely, tonight, we will all sit down with our knees under the table and enjoy a meal together.

And if nothing else, tomorrow I am off to lunch in the city with my mom, and Miss A., and one of my most favorite people in the world, who is visiting from Denmark.

Or, to be totally cliche, this too shall pass.
Hopefully faster than ice melts.
Whatever that means.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Labels: , ,

Monday, September 21, 2009

Some days

on the way there
on the way home
...it's all just a little too much.
Don't you agree?


Ok. I'm back.
Yes, that was me, the woman walking down the hill from school, pushing an empty stroller, and weeping.

That was also me, the woman Google-ing "compulsory age for school in New York State" this morning.
Double pathetic.

Also me? The phone call on the way back from drop-off, telling my husband quite gravely that "we're not doing the right thing."

It's just that...
Anna started five-day-a-week Pre-K today, and it took me by surprise, how much I just wasn't ready.

She, mind you, is all about ready. Not a minute's worry.

I, mind you, could certainly use the measly two-and-a-half hours to get some things done around here.

But still. I had my moment of panic, I went home and instead of folding some laundry, blog-posted my angst (see first two lines of post), then (oh my, already!?) it was time to pick her up.

Anna, how'd you like school?

I think we'll be ok.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Labels: ,

Public Bookstore [Introducing Stephanie Dennis]

We are thrilled to have Stephanie Dennis be a part of the first issue of our 'zine. As we begin this project with a black and white printing, we felt her drawings would be a wonderful part of the collection.

We first admired Stephanie's work when she was featured by This Joy + Ride(thank you Shari and Sheri!), which if you've been paying attention (ahem) is one of my most favorite photographic inspirations. I was particularly pleased that Tim shared my enthusiasm for Stephanie's drawings (and paintings, although they would deserve a color printing...) and we were excited that she was interested in being a part of Public Bookstore.

Stephanie has also agreed to exhibit one of her originals with us in the gallery show that will accompany the launch of the 'zine. When it arrived here in New York, and I opened the package, I actually gasped. I knew I liked the drawings, but was not prepared for how gorgeous it is first hand. Thank you, Stephanie!

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Labels: , ,

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Happiness

Flowers for Friday.
Flowers blooming well into September.
Soup weather.
Little girls playing dress up. Big girls going along.
The first local apples, by the bag-full. And going like hotcakes around here.
The resiliency and ebullience of kids. What sometimes seemed simply loud and chaotic, is looking joyous and full of life these days.
Music. And, this music video (thank you, Brian), which I find so beautiful and haunting (in a good way!)
Friends. Friends. Friends.

Enjoy the weekend. Thanks for reading.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Public Bookstore [Introducing Beth Billups]

I was introduced to Beth Billups' work last winter, and just had to have one of her little love paintings,which then I just had to give to away to my friend, whose birthday just happens to fall dangerously close to Valentine's Day. Beth told me I wasn't the first person to do that: buy a painting for myself and then want to pass it on to a friend. I think Beth's paintings strike an emotional chord that makes you want to share them.

Never mind that I love Beth's blog as much for her bits and pieces about parenting her kids, and cooking, and moving the family across half the country this summer, as for her wonderful posts about works in progress and her process. Her paintings just absolutely charm me, and seem to put into visual form ideas and emotions that I connect with very personally.

Please go check out her work and her words and pictures. And then come in to the gallery next week to see one of Beth's encaustic paintings in living color.

I know you will be as charmed as I.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Labels: , ,

Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Happiness

Iron bed, out in the barn
Window open, out in the barn
I love the way the house seems to be glowing.
::being completely happy to be chilly in the mornings.

::pots of loose leaf tea.

::Anna making a fort in the livingroom, with a sheet that still smells like the beach.


::kids who laugh on their way to and from school.

::friends who stop by the house when it's empty, and leave cake.

::eleven green, tart, somewhat mottled apples on our tree. a new record for us.

::roasted broccoli with lemon and garlic. go make it now. you won't be sorry.

::neighbors who blow kisses across the park.

::actually getting to wear back-to-school clothes the first week (see #1).

::photo inspiration all around.

::hugging my friends every chance I get. I can't think of anyone who couldn't use a hug. Can you?

Enjoy the weekend. Thanks for reading.


Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

New beginnings, and an introduction.

[drawing by Lois Cremmins]

Hello! Today is the first day of the school year, here. I know we are a bit behind the rest of the country, but for us, today's the day!

And so, five-sixths of our girls are out making their own way in the world again. I'm so pleased to report that it went off with out a hitch, with out a tussle, with out much fuss at all, actually. Little Miss A. will start a pre-K program in two weeks, and I'm sure that will be a different story (for at least one of us), but today, all is smooth sailing.

Which leaves me to focus now on the work at hand: Public Bookstore. Our release date is near, and thus I thought I would begin to introduce a few of our contributors to this first issue.


Public Bookstore [Introducing Lois Cremmins]

We first met Lois in 2007, and took an instant liking to her work, her home, and Lois herself. You can see more of Lois' paintings(and read an interview with Lois) here on the gallery site, and here on her own site. Lois provided us with a recipe for the bio page of Public Bookstore, and I have a copy of it written out and pinned to the wall behind my computer screen. I think it works well as a guide for not just art, but life in general. See if you agree.

[drawing by Lois Cremmins]

By Lois Cremmins

Here is my personal recipe:

Be open - everyday - to observing, listening, reading and feeling.
Stop to record these things.
Mix them up with past, present, inside, outside and whatever else comes to mind.
Throw in some interesting composition and a whole lot of color.
Be true to yourself – no matter how weird or ugly the work is.
Don’t care if anyone likes it.
Do this and it will usually turn out alright.


More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Where these hydrangeas came from.

We're home, and I am feeling quiet, but wanted to stop in here and say hello.


I grew up in this town, in a house built in 1969 that, until we sold it five years ago, never was home to another family but mine.

This house, on a little half-acre, was surrounded by woods and fields full of tall grasses, and lilacs, and apple trees, and pricker-bushes, and hydrangeas, and bittersweet vines tangled all the way up the limbs of tall, tall trees.

One day, a few years ago, all of that land was sold, and someone came in and chopped down many of the trees, and paved over much of the field, and built very,very big houses.

For a while Tim and I lived in a small cottage on the edge of this property, and I would still walk over and cut branches of pretty things all year long to put in our house. I felt that I grew up in those fields and those woods, and that it was my right. I'm sure it was wrong, but still, that's what I did.

After a while, all of the flowering bushes and trees disappeared. Bulldozed over, or died off, or, maybe, were moved.

Today driving through that place for the first time in a while, I spotted a hydrangea tree all pink and healthy, and pulled over in a space where someone had moved the boulders that line the road. I trudged right through the un-mowed grass left in one of the few un-built up lots, and cut off some branches for home.

I'm sure it was wrong, but still, that's what I did.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Time now

Falling from the tree

to go home.

See you soon! Thanks for reading.

Labels: , ,

Friday, September 4, 2009

Friday Happiness

Flowers on Friday
Do you see it?

Hello, Friday! This week has flown by, of course. And this will be my last Friday here in Maine...by next week it will be all about back to school, and back to work, and looking forward to our September show. Next week I'll start telling you a little about some of the artists who are a part of Public Bookstore. I can't wait to share some of the wonderful work that will be included in our first collective volume.


Today, another show begins; this one at Nahcotta, in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, and although we can not make the opening reception tonight, we are planning to stop on our way home and check it out. I can not wait! I've wanted to see the space and the show since I first laid eyes on the extraordinary work of Jennifer Judd-McGee. Go check out the list of artists, here. There are so many names on that list that I'm looking forward to finally seeing (their work) in person.


For now, for a few more days here, it is still all about tea in the morning and the beach in the afternoon. Good bread from the bakery down the road, walks through the wooded path, watercolors, and Our Daily Red. Snuggling on the porch, and collecting rocks.

And finding that your favorite flowers right now seem to be something you grew up calling a weed. But loving them, nonetheless; finding them everywhere, and appreciating their prettiness, despite their ordinariness.

Isn't that what it's all about, after all?

Quotidian beauty.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Labels: , , ,

Thursday, September 3, 2009


We have spent so much time in the car this month. This month. I mean, really...we've been driving for weeks.

Usually, we do our fair share of driving. One of our favorite things to do is set out with a car picnic and no set itinerary...maybe a direction to head in, or one thing that we have in mind to see or do (or more likely...eat). But we drive and drive and look at houses and towns and people-and it's inspiring and exciting. That may sound ridiculous, but it's true. We get all excited about what we're seeing, and have some of our best conversations and most productive brain-storming sessions when we're just aimlessly driving around looking at eye-candy.

I don't usually drive. We're very 1950's in our Sunday drive roles: Tim drives. It's his thing. He even washes the car before we go out on a long drive. Although don't tell him I told you that. He might be a bit proud to admit it. Sort of like I wouldn't want him going and blabbing that I clean the house up a little extra, if I think people might be dropping in for a visit.


This summer I've done way too much driving, without him. I don't like it. Besides the fact that I always get dangerously sleepy the minute I get into a moving vehicle, I just don't like it.

I like to sit back, put my feet up, daydream to the soundtrack of our day, playing on the radio. Hand over some snacks, maybe reach over and rub the driver's shoulders a bit. Reach back and hold the arch of a little foot, to soothe a four-year-old into complacency (wish me luck...).

I like to be a passenger for once. I feel like I'm always the one driving the train at home, so to speak.

On our drives, I'm just a passenger.


These are some photos I took yesterday from the passenger seat. I like them a lot. Brief little glimpses.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

It's too easy.

Chase's Daily
Chase's Daily
Chase's Daily
Chase's Daily
Chase's Daily
Chase's Daily
Chase's Daily
Chase's Daily
If you get to go to lunch in a place as beautiful, and pure, and perfect as Chase's Daily, and you happen to have been lucky enough to bring with you a proper camera, and you walk into the back room and see all the glorious bounty grown in a place called Freedom...
Well, it's too easy.

Here are the photos. But I really can't take credit. I give all the credit to the Chase family.

And to Tim, for being the most patient man in the world. Not only back then on that day that we went and spent two weeks grocery money on a proper camera. But also for today, when he held a box of leftover thin-crust eggplant pizza in one hand, and a highly spirited four-year-old girl in the other, while I fell in love with some cabbages.

And just in case you are all tired of the lovely pictures of Anna sniffing flowers and what not, here's the darling now, in Chase's Daily.

More tomorrow. Thanks for reading.

Labels: , , , , , ,