Wednesday, October 28, 2009

There is no preemptive action we can take. Seasons prove year after year that the earth is bigger than we are and we are forced to live under the circumstances it presents however unforgiving they are.
            v                                      v                                           v

7am over coffee in Market Square

I have lived in Portsmouth since June. It is nearly November. And I am still enchanted with this place. It's all brick and wood and books. Old bridges, old shops, older houses, a blue door, a red door, the trolley. No one hustles here. But boy the town did bustle in summer; I miss that. And here comes the pending halt of winter; I fear that. Right now. Right now, it is fall. we are in an inter seasonal warp between the most liveliness I have ever seen and what will probably be the most like death I have ever seen. It looks as though everything is dying. But dying with valor!
The colors of autumn are simply brilliant. Some trees look like blood, some match pumpkins, and a few resemble sunshine. It is like a contageous cold is being carried by the chilled breeze and making the trees sneeze leaves. Winter has already struck some bows bare while summer still lingers in a few branches. The streets are similarly decorated. Some residents dec themselves in lengthy coats, scarves, and ear-covering caps while others scurry in sweaters and cartigans. Some have resigned themselves to their homes and lit their fireplaces while others are scrounging for last chance hiking trips. Soon enough, winter will catch up with all of us though. Right now. Right now, it is fall.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

So my neighbor is a lobsterman.

So last night, Iwas anticipating cooking chicken when the door bell rang. It was our lobsterman neighbor, Jeff, holding two live lobsters that he had caught in the bay! He instructed us (in his rich Mainer accent) to boil 1" of water then stick 'em in for 12 minutes. Great. So Chris and I let them crawl around on the kitchen floor while we boiled the water. It was like having pets. Then we killed them. Nervously, Chris took one tail-flapping crustation and I took the less angry one; we exchanged glances then quickly crammed them into the pot and slammed the lid on. Ah! Their feelers were hanging out under the lid and I tried to tuck them in, but didn't have room. 12 minutes later, they had turned from black to red. We used the reverse side of the canopener to break them open and a fork to do the rest. They tasted pretty good. What an experience.

Liz Bolner gave me a funny video. No, we didn't cook them this way. ha. Youtube: "How NOT to cook lobsters."

Saturday, October 24, 2009

rainy rucky rugby and the american revolution

And today, Chris played a rugby game in Boston. Do you know the history of rugby? It started in a soccer match at Rugby Boarding School in England in 1823. A player picked up the soccer ball and ran then the other team said Hey, you can't do that and tackled him. Later, they said Hm that was fun and started rugby. American football is spawn of rugby, of course, but we lost awesome words like "pitch," "scrum," "ruck," and "maul." Half of Chris' teammates have gnarly Brit, Scot, Irish, or New Zealand accents. BTW I thought my stubbly-faced husband looked pretty good standing there with mud all over his british-looking jersey and rain and sweat rolling down his face and hair tips. The rain made it more fun (only bc it was 65 deg.)

After the game, we went to Walden Pond and pretended to be transcendentalists.
After that, we drove to Concord where we saw the other home of Henry David Thoreau along with the homes of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott. And we walked across the Old North Bridge where the Minutemen fired the "shot heard round the world."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Yes. It's snowed here. No, it did not stick on the ground.

Monday, October 19, 2009

To Spice Cider (and a good lookin man)

Buy cider from your local grocer
Pour desired amount into sauce pan
Throw in two cinnamon sticks
and a palms worth of whole cloves
Heat to a simmer

SO GOOD! Do it. Toast pumpkin seeds too.

1) he drove his truck down a muddy rocky mountain road very skillfully at night. That looked really good.
2) later, he plowed down guys playin rugby then we hopped in the car and drove to Boston with him covered in crusty mud not having shaven in a few days. I just stared at him the whole drive. Why does mud and facial hair looks so good? I don't know but he looked dang good. What a man.

Harvest Festival and other festivities

Saturday Chris and I and two of our New Yorker friends went to a Harvest Festival in Old York Village. People get so much more into the seasons up here- it seems like it is a major part of people's lives. I think the semi-lack of seasons deprives Texans of the fullness of this mentality. I really really enjoy it though.
The food tent was full of so many different smells! Meals ranged from hot chili to lobster rolls. One woman use the biggest ladle I have ever seen to transfer steaming clam chowder. Another group had an actual kitchen stove in the tent and were baking cookies. My favorite was the waddling pastry man in a fulfledge cook outfit hat included.
Oh by a colonial cottage, children were grinding apples in a 17th century apple grinder. The crushed apple would fall into a little barrel then be pressed with a weight to squeeze out the juices, which would then be heated over the hearth and then served by folks dressed in colonial garb for a dollar. THIS CIDER WAS AMAZING! Really. Fly to Maine and go make yourself a cider. ha.
Craftsmen sold their goods at traditional market stands.
We went to the childrens section and got our faces painted! ha. Three of us got pumpkins and Janneke made Brian get a heart on his cheek. It was so funny. I wish I had taken pictures.
*Later that night, Janneke and I toasted salted pumpkin seeds and painted our pumpkins while the boys grilled burgers. I also spiced some cider, which they said was really good. :).
*Then we walked downtown to the Spring Hill Tavern for live folk music and dancing.

mud on the tires

ha- so Chris and Rick and I drove the truck down a dirty dirt/rock road in the mountains for several miles at 40 mins till dusk. We were feeling pretty darn adventurous. We parked by a remarkably still lake and bounded around a nearby boulderfield. When we got back to the truck , the lake was pink from twilight and the trees and rocks on the water's edge were black. No prob. we got headlights. BUT we decided to be a little more adventurous and drive across some low water onto an abandoned road. This road was so rocky-crazy. There were a few times the boys hopped out to investigate whether or not we could get over spots. The third of those investigations resulted in an awkard turnaround. So we'll never know where the road goes. After that tho, we got quite the scare- we inched to the left of a big rock, but after the front tires went over, the bottom of the truck landed on the rock. I was pretty nervous. Chris threw it in reverse and got it off. Oh geeze. We went right on the next try. Success. Pitch black out and splended stars by the time we got back to the main road.

Oh Rick has a self-made luggable telescope. So sweet. We examined Jupiter and three of its moons and 2 galaxies that I forgot the names of.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

rock climbing>hiking>log cabin

I top rope climbed a 35 ft. rock! We drove down this backwood, potholed, dirt road then hiked a big hill to this sweet wall, anchored in, and climbed a few routes.

Tell me this isn't a sweet name for a road: Kancamangus Hwy. We went hiking near it in the White Mtns. in the peak fall season! The hike started out crossing the historical Albany covered bridge then continued quite steeply up and up and up. From the uppest spot, we saw a splendid pittapatch work of orange and red and yellow and deep green conifers and a winding river in the valley below. Marvelous!

We grilled meat then ate apple dumplings and vanilla ice cream by the fire place in Rick's middle-of-the-woods log cabin.
In the morning, we made blueberry pancakes, greasy bacon, sunny-side-up eggs, coffee in the sweet old style kitchen, and what other than more rock climbing?
That night, it was live music in a basement-tavern in old downtown. Good times.

Can you tell I like my husband?

Chris gets back tomorrow. He left last Thursday to sail the boat down to Florida for renovations. When he was leaving, I watched them launch the boat from a park on the other side of the Piscataqua River, then as the tug boat pushed them harbor ward, I hopped in my car and raced out to the peninsula-island of New Castle. The road runs along the waterway, so I could glance between the buildings to see that I was barely ahead of the Tahoma. I parked at Fort Constitution (the lighthouse that mom and I visited. also a small coast guard base), jumped out of my car, ran through the gate, and climbed up on top of the old wall. Perfect timing. I sat and watched the boat then walked along the top of the wall with it until a coast guard officer stopped me and told me to go back. I told him that my husband was on that cutter then another coasty came out and asked me if I had my ID. Yes! So he invited me to come down to the tip of the land then he loaned me his binoculars! I was thrilled! So I watched the ship until it got to the open water. I like this old painting of the fort:

Friday, October 9, 2009

October II: Pumpkin

I had to buy pumpkins. So I stopped at a 300 year old farm-orchard called Emery and poured myself a $.50 cider then scouted the patch. This is a bonified pumpkin patch. The vines are still laying between the pumpkins, which sit where their stalks were cut.
After I loaded up my cultivars, I decided to explore the rest of the orchard. I took the back road past a hill of maze, beyond rows of apple trees, then parked beside another pumpkin patch, and hiked into some splendid woods. Oh so lovely! Oh so colorful and so quiet and so quieting. I probably walked for half an hour and thought about some important things that have been on the backburner for a while and needed to be pondered. Good times.

October I

I climbed an aspen tree. The sun shone through the bright yellow leaves and made me feel like Glinda in the middle of a glowing bubble.
My favorites are the sugar maples. They are such a glorious red! I can compare the color to nothing else. But if I do ever see something that is such a beautiful red that I want to compliment it, then I will gladly compare it to a sugar maple.

Autumn is in full blow. Tuesday was a blustery day. It was like the earth was sick. The sky had a grey complexion and the woods had a cough like I do. They were sputtering out leaves everywhere. Chris and I drove down a windy narrow road where leaves fell like rain on our windshield from the arches of trees above while the leaves on the ground swirled about us and would have invaded our windows had they been down. What a neat site.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Sailor is not sailing. You wanna know why? Cus he's home!

I'm looking at Chris right now. He sitting on our couch full of football watching men for whom he made burgers and I made sweet tea, homemade nachos, and chocolate chip cookies. From Tuesday to today though, I have had him pretty much all to myself. He is just so wonderful. I love him more than I thought I could ever love anybody. It's pretty much amazing. I stepped outside while he was grilling today and said, "You know, I was thinking and with the way that you treat me and flirt with me and call me baby and tell you me you love me all the time, I think you may be serious." He smiled at me and I leaned over the porch rail for a kiss. Delight. Bliss. Yippy!