September 30, 2013

all the fall things

I didn't intend to take a two week break there, honestly. But it's been busy to the point of chaotic at our house. Fall always is, but this year more than usual. There are fairs and dinners and events and so many things to enjoy and also to get done before the weather turns and we retreat inside to hibernate by the stove.

The new room is habitable. Not finished. There is no paint, the drywall is not taped and the shingles are only half up but it's a usable space now, and a few more evenings work of hammering shingles and finishing walls and adding paint will see it done. The garden is offering up potatoes, and lots of them, although not much else. I was more than a little jealous of the long, lush, full of goodies beds in the school and master gardens during our Community Harvest Dinner. One of these days I'm going to have a real garden that can grow more than potatoes and lettuce. Although even that is better than nothing.

We've been to old fashion fairs and modern funky fairs and apple orchards and farmers markets and had visitors and have all come down with colds and gotten well again. Last night Will and I chased a raccoon out of the chicken coop. I usually think raccoons are kind of cute, but not in the dark when they are trying to snatch my favorite chicken for a midnight snack.  There is still wood to be stacked and garden beds to close up and grass seed to lay down. So much to do in the fall.

The leaf peepers are arriving in their shiny cars. Local cars are dusty, or more often downright dirty, the tourists are the only ones with clean and shiny cars. We joined the trend and drove through the hills down to Woodstock which really might be the prettiest town in America as they claim.

Even with the busyness, I love fall. Especially fall here. The weather is crisp in that wear-a-sweater-look-for-pumpkins kind of way in the mornings and evenings but warm enough in the middle of the day to go back to t-shirts. My knitting love becomes, if possible, even greater as I start to see the kids pull on scarves and hats on cold mornings. We use the woodstove but don't really need it, which makes it a treat instead of a chore. My wool skirts have been rescued from summer storage and are getting plenty of use. They are my favorite thing to wear. I used to wear wool skirts all winter but there comes a time here where it's too cold for anything buy pants, so now is the time to get my tweed on and rock the skirts. And the apples, oh the apples. Everywhere, everywhere here, there are apples.

September 9, 2013

at brimfield

The Brimfield Antiques Show has been on my radar for a couple of years. I think I saw a special on the Travel Channel ages ago and thought it sounded right up my alley, then it started popping up on blogs I read and I was even more convinced, and when we moved to New York I started plotting to actually go, now that it was kinda sorta near, but something always came up on the weekends of the event. Until this weekend. Finally, finally. Brimfield!

I love this kind of antique shopping. When I go into an antiques store I always find myself nervous and wanting to leave. Nervous because inevitably I have a child with me who would rather dance and spin than remember to be careful and not touch and leave because I always feel like browsing for a long time wihtouth buying, or without buying something expensive, is frowned on. But when you have acres and acres of tables and bins and baskets and pile and too many fellow browsers for the stall holders to care much what you do (as long as you don't break thing, of course), well, that's a little heavenly. We wandered and wandered and wandered. We didnt' see everything, in fact, I wonder if we even got halfway. There is so much to see. SO MUCH. And also there was only so much walking we could coax out of the kids. But we got our fill. Not that I wouldn't like to go back. Now that I've been and I know what's there...

Endless cool things. And also strange things. One of a kind, one of a hundred to choose from. Briton kept asking "where do they get all this stuff" and I wonder myself. It's beyond a flea market or a antique warehouse. So beyond. So huge. So much fun.

We brought home a few little things. A set of silver bread knives, a few odds and ends, marbles and a pretty compact and a tiny measuring tape, hooks and hinges and a bottle opener, little things. I found a Catherineholm pot, I've been wanting one for so long. It was a hard choice between a tall yellow Dansk and a short, fat, patterned Catherineholm, but I haggled and got a good deal on the Catherineholm.

And then Will spotted a pile of old factory carts, just the size and style and heartiness (no worries that the kids will break this) that we have been wanting in a coffee table. It's in rough shape but the wheels are so cool and the sides are stamped with the factory name. So far we've only scraped and sanded the worst of the paint so we don't have lead paint flakes all over, but eventually it will get some more attention and be something a little prettier. If a factory cart can be pretty.

September 6, 2013

lapful of wool

It's fall here. Honestly fall. Last night we lit the woodstove for the first time in ages. Really lit it. Not just, for a few hours lit it, but lit it for the night, loading as much wood in as we can to keep it going for the night. This morning the air in the village smelled like woodsmoke and cold. By afternoon it will be warm enough for short sleeved shirts again but right now it's scarves and socks and the fire.

The leaves are turning fast. Up close they still look green but if you look over the hills at a distance you can see they have a yellow and red wash to them. This weekend is the harvest dinner. Apple cider and squash casseroles and mismatched tablecloths and the sun setting behind the mountains. Last year we didn't bring sweaters with us. It was so cold, but too much fun to leave. This year the car will be full of extra sweaters and socks and boots and coats and jugs to bring home extra apple cider in.

Evelyn's sweater, her Christmas sweater, is underway. I love knitting sweaters for her because they fly off the needles. Fast knitting, but still substantial knitting. This year she is getting owlet. I've been wanting to knit it for so long, I kind of want to knit one for myself, in fact. Maybe if I ever get all my alpaca spun up... But not till after Christmas, too much knitting to do for others until then.

Last night was my favorite kind of night. Fire, music, a book - not sure if it's a good book yet or not, but still - and knitting in my lap to keep me warm.

September 3, 2013


So this happened this weekend.
Actually, It happened last weekend, this weekend we just made it worse.
Renovating our house is, obviously, something of a hobby of ours. And I love it when a space turns out just the way we planned it but this, this is not my favorite part. This was the sunroom. Which, in the year and a bit that we've lived here has gotten zero use. It's too big and too uninsulated and too, I don't know, superfluous. So it's being turned into a smaller more outsidish porch and a much needed guest room/craft room off the living room. Smaller, insulated windows. Thick, insulated walls (can you tell I'm really into insulation? Yeah, remember when it was negative 24 here? It's all about insulation)

We are aiming for two weeks to completion. Which is totally crazy and probably unattainable but we will try. For now we are stepping over the piles and shifting tools here and there and generally living amidst the chaos. Ah renovation. My old friend.