Circles of thought

  • Happy Anniversary!

    We went about our day in a normal fashion, and had just gotten home with dinner (pizza with eggplant and goat cheese and Caesar salad) when Matt’s mom called. From my end of the conversation, I gathered that Matt was thanking her for a card we hadn’t yet received. I suddenly realized that it was our anniversary! Four years, which isn’t much in the grand scheme, but not too shabby. We both felt terrible that we hadn’t remembered on our own what day it was…and we would’ve been much nicer to each other if we had. Unconditional love is a nice thought, but sometimes dirty dishes get in the way…….

    I weeded in the garden for a bit today. Every day I venture out, vulture-like, to see what’s ready to pick. We’ve had some strawberries so far, and the blueberries are getting very close. The raspberries have started to turn, and I picked what I could from the edge of the patch. It always turns into a brambly mess as the weather gets nice, as hard as I try to keep paths clear so I can pick. Instead, I have to put on pants, sneakers, and long sleeves so I don’t get too scraped up.

    Tomorrow we’re going to New Hampshire for the fourth. We’ll be at the Manfre’s lake house, close quarters and hopefully fun times. I’ve always loved the fourth, since it’s right around the corner from my birthday. When I was little, we would go to Pennsylvania to visit with my Mom’s family. They would have a cake and present for me, and I would swim until my lips turned blue. There are pictures of me when I was six in my pink tiger bathing suit with the little skirt, eating cake.

  • I'm a blogger, too!

    [wp_caption id="attachment_17" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="Sausage and peppers with fresh local squash"]Sausage and peppers with fresh local squash[/wp_caption]

    Well, those of you who have known me for awhile probably never would have thought they would see ME blogging. Since I am rather adverse to computers and technology in general, it is rather a stretch. I thought it may be a good project for someone nearing an important age (it's not 20). Maybe it's the fear, or just the novelty, but I hope to keep it going---at least for a few months.

    I am beginning my much-anticipated four day vacation. I plan to do lazy things that I don't normally have time for, like lying in the hammock (a new addition to the estate--check it out when you visit) and creating a brand new gelato flavor (I've been wanting to use fresh herbs in everything). Also, I am determined to make fun popsicles--all the rage now, but there's something very appealing about them. Like the Jell-O pudding pops that I loved as a kid--creamy and comforting, vanilla, chocolate, and swirl. My brother and I had them when we went swimming at my grandparents' pool.

    I also plan to get in the studio and try to remember what I do there. It's unfortunately been awhile...The good news is that 500 Handmade Books just came out (published by Lark Books), and my books are two of the 500! Not a very good percentage, I know, but good enough for me.

    Stay tuned to this space. I promise pictures and more.....

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Circles of thought

I was trying to put into words today why I enjoy tasting wine (other than the obvious!). Maybe my mind was somewhat fuzzy since I had been tasting for the previous two hours, but that’s one reason it’s so interesting; it’s really hard to put smells and tastes into words. As I’m swishing, I’ll go through lists of adjectives, fruits, vegetables, and herbs, until one seems perfectly suited to what’s happening in my mouth. And even though we taste in flights so there is something to compare in each category, it still requires “palate-memory” to determine whether a wine has a long finish, or is balanced, or medium bodied. It’s like playing an instrument where you always need to have an idea in your head of what each note sounds like to stay on pitch. I have never thought of comparing tasting to the arts, but I see that there is a strong parallel. There is a slightly nebulous idea of good and bad, balanced and disharmonious, and it is a highly thoughtful, contemplative activity.

Beyond the analytical aspect, there is a strong sense of place that comes through in well-made wines. When I first heard the word “terroir” used, I thought it was an elitist term that only wine snobs used (and misused). But I now I see that all agricultural products have some aspect of terroir, and it is amazing to compare similar wines from different parts of the world. I can taste the sunlight, and the iron in the soil, and whether it was a wet or dry year. And then you realize that everything living has an aspect of terroir that endears it to a certain part of the world. And then here I am, back to my ongoing exploration of place and home, breathing a sigh of relief that my life makes some sense and isn’t as disconnected as I think it is.