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Adventures in Vermont Living….

  • Posted on September 1, 2016 at 3:23 pm

Please note: I’ve previously lived in NY and NJ, in areas with decent to very large Jewish communities in the area. Vermont? Not so much Jewish….

I have both a bat and bar mitzvah to go to in September, so I went to my local Rite Aid pharmacy to pick up the cards while I was out running errands. I look up and down one card aisle- no bar/bat mitzvah cards at all. I go down the second aisle and finally find them. There are TWO bar mitzvah cards, and ONE bat mitzvah card. That’s it. In NJ, I’m sure I would have had more choices. In VT, as the Husband said, I should be grateful that they had even one bat mitzvah card, especially since most non-Jews up here may not have ever been to one!

Also, it’s before Labor Day and the leaves have started to change. Not just one or two, but a lot of the maple trees have started to change. It seems the maples are the early turners.

I’m SO not ready for winter yet!

End of Summer….

  • Posted on August 31, 2016 at 10:59 am

I spent about two and a half hours out in my garden yesterday, weeding the veggie patch so I could get to the corn and feed and water it. I admit, I’ve been a little negligent over the last few weeks, since I’ve been feeling like crud when the weather was suitable to get out there; otherwise it’s just been too darn hot. But yesterday was good weather plus we had people working in and around the house so it was easier on my head to be outside. Somehow in all of this I managed to get sunburned, quite nicely so, but only on the left side and back of my neck and shoulder. Apparently the top I was wearing was too loose, and slid down to expose that part of me, and I forgot that though it was only 70 degrees, the sun was still rather bright. I think I was lulled into a false sense of autumn, since the leaves have already started changing up here. Yes, seriously. I really need another few weeks of summer before I’m ready to take on the rapid descent into the winter snow!

Adventures in VT Living….

  • Posted on August 23, 2016 at 4:33 pm

My car, which has satellite radio, is in the shop today so I have a loaner, which doesn’t have satellite radio. Which is fine, I’m always happy to have a listen to VPR. But what got me today was watching the list of available FM radio stations drop down to one. One. And it wasn’t just for a brief moment- there was a good bit of time where I only had one or two stations available. That’s something you never had while living in NY/NJ!

Taking the Win

  • Posted on July 17, 2016 at 3:42 pm

Some days I have lofty ambitions (some days getting out of the house is a lofty ambition!). Especially when I have company coming, as we do this weekend. One of our guests is from out of the country, and instead of going out for dinner, chose to have a BBQ/grill here at the house. To go along with that theme, I was going to make ice creams for dessert. I made an (outstanding!) orange cream one, and did not have the spoons to make the white chocolate one I had planned. I did also make candied cherries (pitted by hand since I couldn’t find either of my damn pitters), which did not come out quite as candied as I had thought, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. I’ll bake brownies from a box tomorrow and that’s going to have to do. Well with the home made stuff, anyways.

For dinner we’ll have salmon burgers and chicken breasts. I also got some coleslaw, potato salad, Israeli couscous with veggies, wheat-berries with fruits and nuts, and I think there’s one or two more salads, plus I’ll go to the farm stand in the morning and get fresh veggies for salad as well as what should be some beautiful raspberries! And giant marshmallows to roast, should we be so inclined. I meant to get a melon, but didn’t want the fussing. I’ll put together a local cheese plate, I’ve got a big bag of grapes (note to self, throw some in freezer). I have crackers and chips and veggies (maybe make dip?). No one will go hungry.

So I’m going to stop myself with what I’ve got and be good with what I’ve done. The Husband has been cleaning the house for what feels like days (I’ve helped a little where I can) so this is all just going to have to do.


Updated with post event notes: Our guests brought a lovely home made almond cake which had an orange glaze and went great with the orange ice cream, which was declared a resounding hit! There was more than enough food (big surprise there!).

Thanksgiving Recap

  • Posted on November 30, 2015 at 2:56 pm

What a whirlwind Thanksgiving weekend turned out to be, and that’s without any major plans!

For Thanksgiving dinner itself we went out to the Dorset Inn and had a lovely, if unspectacular, meal. The appetizers of duck pate and gravlox were excellent. The turkey etc were good. And I should know by now to never order pumpkin pie- it’s just never as good as my own. (And I should know better at the Dorset Inn where I find more often than not that the bottom crusts are under-cooked for my taste.)

On Friday I made second Thanksgiving and roasted a fabulous turkey breast which we served with a smorgasbord of sides I had picked up from the various stores in town doing Thanksgiving to go. Three different kinds of stuffing, two gravies, two mashed potatoes, mashed sweets, roasted veggies and a cranberry pear chutney. This was so good we had it again for dinner on Saturday night. We tried to go the Weston holiday craft fair, but we got there too late in the morning and it was absolutely packed. We’ll try again next year, but getting there before they open.

The highlight to all this was the kick-off event of the holiday season- the 5th Annual Dorset Lighted Tractor Parade. Yes, you read that right. Nope, I’m not kidding, not even a little bit. We went last year, in the bitter cold and snow, and watched from a great spot in the car on the town green. This year the weather was much, much more hospitable. We were parked on the other side of the green, which meant that we’d only get to see the tractors come around once, so I’m very glad that I decided to shoot them all the first time they came around!



Fall in the Green Mountains

  • Posted on October 15, 2015 at 3:05 pm

This is one of the many reasons I love living in Vermont. Taken today from my driveway.



Epidural, Day 5

  • Posted on October 12, 2015 at 5:03 pm

It’s now five days since I’ve gotten the epidural. I wish I could say that this has been a miracle for me and I’m pain free; alas, I cannot. However, it has been an improvement so I can’t say that the procedure was in vain. Which is good. I think I would have lost my mind (what’s left of it anyways) if I had gone through all that and not felt any better at all! So yes, it’s better. Not perfect, but better, and I will happily take that. Plus there’s still another week to go where I may/will see additional improvement as the medication continues to do its thing. I have hope back now, that this will continue to improve and I will get better. It was a little rough for the last couple of weeks (sorry, Husband!) when the pain kicked up and my ability to deal with it dropped. When the pain gets like that, particularly after several days, let alone weeks of it, my head begins to get foggy. I have memory holes. Not like long term memory holes (those are a different issue!) but short term, like forgetting to do something or buy something that we had talked about minutes earlier. At the farmers market I left TWO stands having paid and then forgotten to take my food. One I remembered and went right back for, the other totally escaped me until I got home and unpacked. It’s disconcerting- because you don’t know what else you may have forgotten!

It’s breathtakingly beautiful up here in the Green Mountains of Vermont! We’re finally truly able to appreciate the beauty of the change of the season. Last year was nowhere near as colorful as this, plus we were just settling in AND dealing with the insanity at the other house AND I was still commuting weekly. I don’t really remember last October. This year is oh so very different. We feel settled now. in the house and in the area. Jobs, not so much, but we’ll get to that. Now that I’m starting to feel better I may actually be able to look in more earnest than I have been. I may have said this before; it’s hard to look for a job or think about a job when you can’t think about working an 8-hour day doing ANYTHING without fear and wanting to cry. Now that I’m starting to feel better, I may be able to do this. First things to do- 1) figure out what help I still need from other people; 2) figure out what it really is that I want to do! Yeah, that little thing.

So now it’s 5 pm and this is the first time today that the pain had picked up to more than just a dull ache. I’m good with that. Considering by this time a week ago I was already running out of spoons and brain-power, that’s a good thing. To be fair, I’ve done a whole lot today- changed the bed linens, run three loads of laundry, pulled everything out of the truck so we could pick up my new chair, and sorted through and labelled 9 of the giant Tupperware tubs we have still in the basement from the move. My winter project is to go through them all and have a solid idea of what is where, and clear out and donate what we can.  Now I just have to make dinner and then I can collapse. Then we’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Restaurant Update

  • Posted on October 9, 2015 at 4:58 pm

We’ve obviously had to try all new restaurants and make all new friends. Our preferred haunt is The Dorset Inn. It is the oldest continuously operating inn in America, I believe. We have been there more times than I can count, for every meal as well as some of their holiday and special dinners. They are just fantastic in every regard. There is the casual tavern and fancier main dining room, both with the same menu. Their summer lobster special was outstanding. Their sister property is the Barrows House. We like sitting outside there in the summer but alas, I think they have already closed that up for the season. Mio Bistro is also wonderfully local and fresh, though we haven’t been back often enough since their renovation. I think part of the draw for us was being able to sit at the bar and talk to Leo the chef/owner as he cooked, and the renovation took that away. These are the ones that are in Dorset, the town 20 minutes from us.

In Manchester there are many more options, and still some we have not tried, or gotten back to enough. I think now with tourist season coming to an end, we’ll be more inclined to try new places. We finally got to both The Perfect Wife and her tavern The Other Woman. We just received birthday coupon cards from them so that will certainly get us to the Wife to celebrate! Brasserie L’Oustau is where we go when the Husband gets his foie gras craving. Yeah, I know. It’s a bit at odds with the local/sustainable/etc that we generally have in VT but what can you do, we all have our vices. We had a wonderful meal at Bistro Henry, which left us asking why we hadn’t eaten there sooner. I wanted to love Depot Bistro at Depot 62 but I liked it very much. Not sure there’s enough variety on the menu for the Husband. I’ve had several good meals at Thai Basil. And the biggest surprise is really excellent sushi at Sushi Boat; they have a very limited menu with few cooked items but everything, especially the eel, has been outstanding. We have been to most of the restaurants at the Equinox Hotel. The Marsh Tavern is a stand-out and one of our go to places for lunch.

We’ve been here and there and more often than not have found some great food. I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to start writing more regularly and will have better information and updates.

Update, new beginnings, etc, etc…

  • Posted on October 8, 2015 at 6:35 pm

We’ve passed our one year anniversary here in the house! In some ways it’s hard to believe it’s already been a year and in some ways it’s hard to believe it’s ONLY been a year. Every day we are still grateful and amazed at the beauty in which we are lucky enough to live. Yesterday we had a flock of 30 wild turkeys come wandering through the yard. It was pretty awesome to watch! The sunsets here are magical, swaths of colors that you can hardly believe are real. It’s part of why I can’t/don’t paint. I can’t even come close to capturing the depths and beauty of the colors I see! That’s why I like the camera; sometimes you get lucky enough to capture a good shot that comes close to the reality. Sometimes.

Part of the reason I haven’t posted anything in ages is because I have been dealing with sciatica since February which makes it hard to sit or think straight. Apparently I have been in worse shape for the last month than I thought, but I suppose it explains why I feel like I’ve not accomplished a thing. It certainly explains why I haven’t been able to look for a job, really, let alone find one. But yesterday I had an epidural injection, so steroids and anti inflammatory directly into the spine. Fortunately I was able to put my headphones on and with the help of Xanax and a good playlist, I was able to space myself out long enough for them to do this and not get freaked. And I walked out under my own power to where the Husband of Wonderfulness was waiting for me. How we just wait and see how well and how long this works. I have no expectations; so any relief will be appreciated. After more than seven months of this daily pain, I’m grateful for any help.

Remarkably, even with the sciatica, we’ve made it out to a whole bunch of events this summer. Most recently the Weston Antique Show and Manchester Arts and Crafts Fair. We’ve also been to the Scottish Festival/Highland Games, a Native American Pow Wow and the Southern VT Arts and Crafts Show. We’ve done tourist things like the Ben and Jerry’s Factory tour as well as the Bennington Battle Monument. We’ve become familiar with a lot of local booze and hard cider. The farmer’s market has become a weekly staple in our lives (I haven’t bought eggs from the supermarket since we’ve been up here!). Yes, we’re pretty much in the middle of nowhere so quickly running out for something is not so quick. The nearest general store is 12 minutes each way and they close at 8 pm. 8 pm!!  There is a 24-hour supermarket 20 minutes away, but you have to cross state lines to get there. So we have to plan more than we used to with what there is in the house. I grew herbs on the deck this summer- a first for me! We had an amazing mojito mint plant that completely took over its pot and at one point threatened to take over the deck. We had two different kinds of basil- a green one that grew incredibly well and bushy and a purple one that was just lovely and then started to flower! I also had a citronella geranium. I don’t know how much it helped with the bugs when we were out there but it was nicer than the candles were.

So where am I? I’m still looking for a job, which hopefully I will be able to get back to in earnest next week. It’s hard to think about a job when you can’t think about sitting, or doing anything else for that matter, for eight hours. And I couldn’t even fathom looking for something ELSE to do, when I can’t walk or stand up for more than 30 minutes at a clip. Now, maybe now, I will be able to get my head back in the game and get this done. I need a job before I start to lose what’s left of my sanity.

Health-wise? Other than the sciatica, we are pretty much at a plateau, and I’ll take that. My physical therapist is going for her yoga teacher certification, so we are starting to add yoga poses to my PT exercises, which is great. I still haven’t made it to a class yet, but hope to get clearance in 3 weeks when I follow up with the spine specialist if not sooner.

And that, as they say, is that. I’m waiting for the Husband to come back from a drink with our neighbor and then we’ll likely go out for dinner. It’s Columbus Day weekend, the busiest weekend of the year, so I doubt we’re going to get out to dinner at all this weekend with all the tourists around. We’ll go leaf peeping and just plan to eat at home. We live in everyone else’s vacation spot! Hopefully I’ll start posting more from here on in. At least that’s the plan in my head.

January 2

  • Posted on January 2, 2015 at 2:29 pm

I took today off from work, since I have some vacation time still to burn. We ended up needed to get some emergency work done on the house and the access to the attic is in my office so I spent most of the day on the couch doing a whole lot of nothing. N0t necessarily a bad thing to do on a vacation day, but not what I had intended.

We had a brief snow squall come through in the morning, which dropped about an inch. It was lovely to look at but made me every grateful I was inside.


The big adventure for the day was heading up the road to Bill the butcher to pick up my rather large order. Came home and vacuum sealed everything, at least till I ran out of bags. So now in addition to the ground meat and chicken breasts we had before, I’ve got a chicken and some wings to make soup, a boneless turkey breast, a brisket, and some short ribs. I got an upright freezer for my birthday and it is almost filled with yummy goodness- not to mention a stash of frozen pizza for the nights we don’t want to cook! Now all I have to do is start making recipes where I can freeze one portion or more for later! I’ve got no problem with leftovers- they usually make a great lunch the next day over some couscous or quinoa. But I’d be happy to forgo leftovers to get a food stash going.