Sunday, August 29, 2010

The best laid schemes of mice and mothers

I can't comment on the planning skills of mice or other mothers, but this mom's blog plans certainly went awry. For starters, it turns out my dana by AlphaSmart is disappointingly dumb. If the batteries run out (as they do with mysterious speed even if you don't turn on the device), all saved files are lost. So much for the blog posts I had saved on there. Sigh.

Meanwhile, my children are waging a double-pronged attack to see how sleep deprived their mother can get.  Walker, who once upon a time slept through the night or maybe woke up for one ten minute snack, is now up more at night than he was as a newborn, literally. But in the months since those newborn days, Forest has lost his nap, so this time around I have no chance to catch up on my sleep or write, for that matter. I am amazed, all over again, at just how utterly sleep loss correlates with brain power loss. Sad to say, for the time being, I'm an idjit. By default, the blog is on hold. Yes, the children are winning.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

It's good to be home

Although I spent my last week of packing up feeling very sad about leaving Maine, I sure am happy to be back in Brooklyn, hot as it is. It is great seeing friends and family. I'm enjoying The Grid. 24/7 online access is glorious, even if I only have five minutes here and there to check my email. And I've already been to the Food Coop twice with plans to return again today. (Nearby shopping with no car means frequent trips, unlike in Maine where we drove to the grocery store once a week.) On the other hand, I'm glad to be leaving Brooklyn this Sunday to stay at my parents in Cambridge for six days.

On first arrival, I was amazed to see how small our apartment had gotten. Three days back and it already feels back to normal, but with the cabin fresh in the spatial portion of my brain, walking in the door was a shock. “Hey, this place is a cubbyhole.” We are still adjusting to the heat and weaning down from the a/c. Yesterday, we air conditioned the whole apartment; today, half; tomorrow, none. And now I must get back to unpacking. The wall of stuff in Forest's room is almost back to the actual wall, by tomorrow I hope to start bringing stuff up from the basement.

Going forward I thought I'd put up some posts from this summer that I wasn't able to get off of the dana, by alphasmart, and write a few posts I had planned but never had the time to write. Then?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Park Slope Food Coop, here I come...

As we are getting ready to return to Brooklyn, I have been having a strange backwards reaction to leaving Maine. The past few days we've had some lovely social time and after each event, I find myself feeling flat and sad. The first time it happened, I was more than a little confused because I left excited at the prospect of new friends in my new neighborhood. But then, after it happened again, I realized it's because making new friends means saying goodbye to old ones. I can't even write that without tearing up. I know, I know, I'll stay in touch and visit, but it isn't the same. So as I get ready to leave Maine, I'm all weepy about leaving Brooklyn. Go figure.
And, for the most part, my friends are the main thing I'm sad about leaving behind in New York. Apart from people, I'll miss being able to walk and take public transportation to get where I want to go. And, even more, I'll miss the Park Slope Food Coop, a lot, from September through June. (I might be wrong, growing season may keep up through September.) July and August, the eating is delicious around here thanks to all the gardens and farms. The rest of year I'll be dreaming of that produce aisle on Union St.
The local supermarket certainly is trying:
And thanks to Ginny's comment, I know all about gobo root's Clark Kent alias: burdock root. Other Hannaford's bags mention “tabouleh” and fiddlehead ferns. But their produce section is still a supermarket produce section. End of story. (Trust me if you've never been to the Food Coop, the produce section has an unbeatable trifecta of selection, quality, and prices that can't be matched in the Northeast, maybe even on the East Coast.) On the other hand, I am cognizant that if we were living in The Interior, as Aaron tried to convince me to do thanks to property prices, the supermarket selection might not include things like tabbouleh and organic almond butter.

But right now, the eating is fantastic here on the Gold Coast of Maine. Here are some items from this week:
The bananas, cantaloupe, and sea salt are there to represent Hannaford's; the potatoes are from the Belfast farmer's market; and the cukes and zukes come from our neighbor's gorgeous, over-flowing garden. Here is our weekly bread pre-baking:
I just learned the way to slash bread is with a razor, and what a difference that makes. (Slashing prevents an air bubble from forming just under the crust.)

Caulkamamie schemes – redux

I am posting this again because something went wrong with the links the first time around.

One reason it is silly to spend too much time worrying and anticipating future challenges is the high likelihood you will be wasting your cortisol on the wrong topic. All that anxiety we had over the wood stove delivery, and, just like that, in less time than it took me to get Forest to sleep that day, the stove came up the driveway and was in the house. Meanwhile, a throw-away item on our to do list: spray house with weatherizing stain, has muscled a bunch of other Must-Do's! off our list and is eating up impressive (or is that depressive?) amounts of time and money.

We just spent the past week pulling, chipping, scraping, hammering, plier-ing, and otherwise wrestling dried, cracked caulk out from between our exterior logs. Early in the week, we realized there was no way we were going to get the whole cabin done. “Spray the cabin” was down-sized to “spray the bottom three logs of the cabin” which was further revised to treating up as high as five logs (gasp), but only touching the two weather-beaten sides. Whatever we de-caulk, must be washed, stained, and re-caulked before we leave. We are almost done with the acid wash. You can see how high Aaron could reach on this log:

We can only hope Forest doesn't talk about this project too much when we get back to Brooklyn. Child-services might get called in. Some oft heard phrases of late:
“Mommy, are you getting the caulk off?”
“Are we getting new caulk?”
“I want to get the caulk off!” This one gets repeated insistently.
“Mommy and Daddy are getting the caulk off.”
“Where's the caulk?”
And more recently:
“Mommy's putting the caulk on.”