Monday, December 10, 2012

A beautiful video :)

I loved this, and I want to share it with everyone! So cool! Take a look and tell me what you think...

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Deck the Halls

I'm so excited for the holidays at the Cabin!  I had to post this picture!  We had a great little Christmas luncheon there this weekend, with family.  

I'm also excited about spring at the cabin... I'm going to need to learn a lot about how to take care of the logs correctly.  I'll get there.  I've been researching, and I believe I'm going to need to stain it first, and then redo the chinking.  I think it will be a summer long project - especially considering my fear of heights.  But rain and snow and moisture are apparently bad for the logs, and I don't know how we would replace them if they rotted out.

Monday, December 03, 2012


There is a lot to do to prepare for the holidays. The shopping, the decorating, the cooking. It is a lot to think about and a lot to get done.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I feel a little less pressure.  Most years, the preparation for Thanksgiving is minimal, and it's Christmas that requires all of the work.  This year, thought, since we had Thanksgiving Dinner in a house that wasn't fully ... operational...  after a storm that left everyone out of commission for at least a week... well, Thanksgiving required a lot more work than it usually does.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I can move on to Christmas.  And I'm keeping that much more simple than I usually do.  Because for one thing, my kids aren't little anymore.  So I can do less and not feel bad about it.  Christmas is for the children, in many ways, and now that the children are adults, I'm not as concerned about it!  (I don't think THEY would be happy to hear this!)

So this weekend I decorated - but not our usual home, I decorated the cabin, instead.  And I guess I'll decorate my other home, but I'm gonna have to get some help, or it isn't going to be too decorated.  Nick's girlfriend is willing to help me there, so I'm happy... I might not decorate there at all if it wasn't for her.

I also went Christmas shopping, and got some great gifts for some great people in my life.  I still have quite a few things to get, though...

 I'm preparing.  But I'm keeping it minimalistic this year. 
I would send this as my Christmas card photo, if I was going to send Christmas card photos out!

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I have a lot to be thankful for.  We just celebrated Thanksgiving, but I'm not done - the gratitude continues, and looking through my photos makes me very happy and reminds me of the wonderful people in my life.

When last I wrote, I was getting ready for the big storm.

It really was a big storm.  We were out of electric for about a week.  And that was NOTHING compared to what so many other people went through.  Many people have lost their houses and streets and utilities all at the same time, so even rebuilding is hard.  Sandy is one for the history books.  I'm so grateful that our house and our family was spared.

Then, my nephew graduated from the Marine Corps, and I'm grateful that he did so well.

And then, of course, we had Thanksgiving in our cabin, and I'm grateful that my whole family was able to gather together and enjoy the weekend, with plenty of food to eat, and electric at the cabin - and now even a toilet that flushes!  One more step forward!

Monday, October 29, 2012


We've been waiting to get electric service to the cabin since we got it. It's been taking a really long time, but we haven't been worried, because it's fun to camp, and that's what we've been doing - camping there.

But we were really excited to get the call this week - the electric is in!   And even though we didn't MIND living there without electricity, we have a lot of reasons that we really like electricity.
Like music, for example.  We can't listen to the stereo without electricity.  I brought a portable player, and we went through about 10 D sized batteries in one weekend, and that's just too much.

(We like the sounds of nature, too, but music is lovely.)

And also - power tools.  Hard to do any work with power tools if you don't have power.

Since we had power tools now, the Husband got a lot of work done.

We have a long list of work to do there, and an idea of how important it is on the priority list.  My priority list might surprised you.  Safety is obviously the number 1 priority.  Anything to make the house safer as we use it has to be most important.  Number 2 in importance is any relatively "easy" and inexpensive job to make the place neater.  Which is why Husband has already started doing trim work --

like putting in
this door threshold,
going into the kitchen,

like covering these beams --

even though
we have
lots of
other things
to do.

Thor and I were eating our dinner - left overs we brought with us, prepared in the microwave, now that we have electric -- and we saw a car pull in.  I was sooo happy that Nicky came up to stay overnight with us!  It makes me so happy when my kids decide to spend time with us, even if they don't have to and we don't expect them.  Nothing in life is better than that. (And that goes for ALL of my kids, both my sons, and their friends, and my nephews and niece, and even all the kids I feel like are in my family even if they aren't!)
My handsome nephew William - we went for a short hike.
On Saturday afternoon, Thor and I made some time to hike around the property.  I love my property.  It still feels so weird that I can say it's "mine."  Like this rock pile.

There are so many mysterious areas, but slowly but surely the mysteries are becoming clearer.


Since Nick was there, Thor started working on the railings.  Like I said, safety is most important.  This is a safety issue - to a degree.  Because obviously it's safer to have railings, but since my kids aren't little anymore, I don't really worry about them falling.  On the other hand, I am afraid of heights, so I just feel safer being upstairs if I have a railing.  The railings are taking some time, but they'll be done sooner or later.  Hopefully before Thanksgiving.

And then, we headed home, earlier on Sunday than usual.  The big talk is of the impending storm, and we didn't want to get caught in the mountains and not be able to get home.   And the signs were a bit scary.

At home in Iselin, we don't think we need to worry much about flooding - at least not yet.  We aren't close enough to the ocean for the storm surge, I don't think.

Our biggest concern used to be the large trees next to our house, but they were trimmed down to nothing and so they aren't a concern anymore.

And back to the electric; it seems to be a likely concern that we will lose power, and if it goes out, it will be out for days.

But we are already used to dealing with no electric.  So I am not really sure why I should be too worried about that.  Sure, there will be no computer, TV, or house phone, ok that's fine.  My heat will go out - but I have a gas stove, so I can keep the house from getting too cold, and it isn't really that cold out right now anyway.  Plus, I can cook on a gas stove.  I would lose the food in my fridge and freezer - but I did freeze a lot of huge blocks of ice, so I'm hoping they will keep things cold long enough to get the power back.  And I don't have that much frozen or refrigerated food anyway.

And we might not lose the power, anyway.  But that would be a fitting end to this story, wouldn't it?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Ghost Story

So Beth told me a ghost story. It was a dream she had.
She dreamt that there are ghosts at the cabin.
There is a friendly old woman who haunts the cabin itself. She is dressed in old fashioned clothes. She likes to have tea with me, and she wants to share the folklore that she knows.
She also wants to warn me about the other ghosts.
The other ghosts are outside. They are also dressed in very old fashioned clothes. But they aren't happy and friendly.
They are walking by the cabin, coming down the path from the mountain, past the pond, and past the house.
They are not necessarily evil, but they are more ... tortured?
They are the victims of some violence.
Beth said that in her dream, she could see them walking. But she didn't want to look at them, because they are scary looking.
Not the happy little floaty kind of ghost - more like the rotted flesh, caved in skull kind of ghost.
And according to my friendly woman ghost, I had better leave them alone.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Warmth - various quick comments
and lots of photos

The days are starting to get shorter and the nights are getting longer, and we got our first wood stove!  Yay!

I had a bunch of mugs with advertising slogans that I painted with outdoorsy designs so they would all match.  I like them.
 Here is the kitchen - where I spend most of my time lately - from all angles:

 Fall has always been my favorite season.
And, we got the Hex Sign up!

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

My Summer of Music
is almost over...

 Last year, I called my summer "The Summer of Art and Flowers," and I spent all of my time painting and gardening, and it worked out really well.

This summer, I called my summre "The Summer of Writing a Book."  I didn't write anything.

It turned out that it was actually "The Summer of Music Festivals."  And that is the reason I haven't posted much in the last few weeks.  I've been going to concerts.

Last week was the free concert in Central Park in NYC.  It was to spread awareness about extreme poverty in the world, and my son got us the (free) tickets for our birthdays.  We went into the city and saw Band of Horses, Black Keys, Foo Fighters, and Neil Young.  Then, after the concert, we went to a really cool little bar and heard an acoustic set of cover tunes by a really good duo called C.O.A.L.G. - I was happy.

The weekend before that, we were in Atlanta for the Music Midtown festival.  I'm working on a video on that one - not that anyone will want to see my video.  We saw lots of great acts, but my top ones were Joan Jett, Adam Ant, Avett Brothers, Florence and the Machine, Foo Fighters, and Pearl Jam.  Not necessarily in that order.  It was WONDERFUL!  I was happy.

And earlier in the summer, we went to FireFly Festival in Delaware - BEST FESTIVAL EVER!And yes, I was happy.  :)

Thursday, October 04, 2012

One and a half minutes

I am going to give my self
one and a half minutes
to blog right now
before I have to get ready to go to work.

And now that I've decided that,
I can't decide what to say.

I guess it's the pressure
of a limited time.

I've been traveling a lot lately.
We went to Atlanta two weeks ago
and NYC Central Park last weekend
and this weekend, we
will be headed back to the Cabin.
I'm pretty excited about that.

I'm looking for a woodstove
and shopping at a thrift shop
and my son may be buying me a
very old
used truck.

And I'm hoping we got Electricity.

Time's up,
more later.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

My new place in time and space

I can understand why no one else is as excited as I am about the new cabin.  It would be hard for anyone to care as much about this place as I already do.  So many things I love.

It's a new place to start decorating.  It's a new place to fill with some of my things - things that I've collected over the years, but have no good place for here in my regular home.   It's a new place to fix up - I love renovating and building and planning and construction. 

It's a new place full of artsy details, which you might look at and say OH DEAR - That building is collapsing!  But I look at and say, WOW,  look how cool that frame looks,
 with that plant growing inside... and yeah, we're gonna have to get rid of that collapsing section, but I think I'm going to save that door for SOMETHING - and that's exactly where I want to put the outdoor shower!  (It's on the list - but who knows how long it's going to take to get through the list!)

I love to look at the building and wonder - who worked on this section?  Why did they put it here?  Why did someone allow it to fall apart? 

And it looks SO NICE when something that's falling apart is cleaned up and put back together - a real sense of accomplishment!

And I love walking down to the pond, and learning that the green slimey looking stuff is actually plants, and not just slime, and that there are golden salamanders of some kind floating in there - living their little salamander life!

 And I love finding the flowers of the end of the summer, and wondering exactly which kind of flowers they are, and what they could be used for - are they chamomile?  Are they daisy?  I don't know!  And it takes some good reference books for me to figure it out, and some peaceful time with my nose buried in a book in the woods!

And I love walking through my own woods, and not even knowing them yet, and finding strange THINGS just sitting there - in the back in the woods - and wondering WHAT THE HECK IS THAT?  And why is it there?  And who put it there?

Like this thing.  What is it?  It's pretty sturdy!  I could swear I've walked through this part of the woods before, and I hadn't seen this metal thing!  Why is it there?  What is it used for?  I don't understand it at all!

So many cool things to discover and wonder about!

And the trees - the shear NUMBER of trees!  I love trees!  And now I have uncountable numbers of trees!  And they are all my own trees!

Of course, when I say that, I feel bad.  Because the trees aren't really mine, they are the world's.  How can anyone really own the world?  Or a tree?  The tree owns itself, doesn't it?  But - I'm the tree's protector, now, aren't I?  I feel like they are my own.  I want to get to know each tree.  I have an unimaginable wealth of trees and plants and rocks.  And strange scrap metal things.  And animals.
 The animals - I don't see as many wild animals, because I seem to share the neighborhood's farm animals.  And I love that too!  I have dogs now!  Well, at least this one - Mugsy tolerates us quite well, as long as we let him continue on his never ending search for frogs and snakes and mice and things.  The other dogs aren't sure about us yet.  I keep forgetting dog biscuits.  And a cat!  We call the cat Asthma, because we don't know it's real name, and it wheezes quite a bit.  Asthma has stopped by for two of our campfires now.  And we have chickens hanging out under our deck occasionally!  How exciting is that?  Well, really exciting, for me!  I just like looking at them as they peck at the bugs and wonder around, and I love to hear them clucking.  And of course we have the salamanders, and who knows what other aquatic animals, and frogs and toads, and I've seen deer prints - but no deer yet - and I've seen wild turkeys wandering down the road.

And, last but not least, we now have a new sliding glass door - it was the number two item on our list of things to accomplish.  And the number three item was the electric.  We've got that ALMOST checked off - we had an electric inspection, and soon, they'll hook us up to the grid.  And maybe, if we're lucky, we can get the well going, and the wood stove, and we will have accomplished our goals for the summer and early fall, and then we can move into phase two - fall and winter.

I really feel like I belong here, and I can't wait to get back.