Friday, August 29, 2008


8-29-08 VERMONT: WOW! Quite a speech. I haven't been political on the blog for a while. Everything was OK except for the Repubs sniping at Obama, but I was starting to get that old swift-boat feeling. What a job Obama did last night. He hit all the points, answered all the innuendos, met all the charges, beat back all the snide criticisms, and especially laid to rest the experience question. As I have said before, doing the wrong things over and over for thirty years is experience, of a sort, but shows lack of judgement and lack of the ability to learn from mistakes. Experience is only important if you profit from it. More important is having good judgement in the first place. Obama has been right of Iraq and right on Afghanistan, and McCain was wrong on both and wrong on the economy and wrong on taxes and wrong on the climate and wrong on energy, for starters.

What a show it was! That stadium was packed, even the seats with no view. Now let's see how many show up for McBush's acceptance speech. It's good he has all those houses, there will be someplace for him to go after election day.

The Clintons said all the right things, said them with enthusiasm and promised to work for the campaign and Obama's election. I hope they meant it. Biden's acceptance was a bit tepid, but he'll warm up.

Summer is over. Tomorrow we go back to Short Hills.

New blooms: turtle head.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tale of the Table Saw.

8-25-08 VERMONT: When we were in Burlington last week, we bought an old barn louvered vent at the same place where we got the park bench. This week I put the louvre near the peak of the garage gable to dissipate the heat produced by the generator. The generator, which is like a car engine, not only runs when the electricity goes out, but it also does a self-test each week. The garage gets pretty hot while it’s running. When the generator first went in, I made an exhaust pipe to prevent carbon monoxide accumulation in the garage, but never got around to the heat issue until I happened on the louvre. I cut the hole with a reciprocating saw and re-used the removed pine siding to make a frame for the louvre. The installation, of course, required a new power tool, a table saw, because I had to rip-cut the siding to make a proper frame and also to rip a new slat for that park bench. Questions about the need for the new saw were raised within the household. There’s now a pretty good sized herd of power tools milling [?] around in the basement.

You heard it here first. There’s going to be an early fall. Phlox that usually bloom in September are out. Apples are reddening that usually ripen later in the season. Many trees are beginning to show color, and a few leaves are already down.

New blooms: sedum, wild mint.


August Garden.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Day Trip to Burlington.

8-21-08 VERMONT: Two nights ago, it was so cold we needed a fire, last night we had dinner at Donna and Bruce's with Phyllis, Arnie and Peggy. Thanks, Donna, it was great.

Today was beautiful, sunny and warm, I think it was the third nice day this summer. We drove to Burlington for a visit, an easy 1.5 hours on I-89N. The UVM campus is right in town. Most of Church St. is a pedestrian mall with lots of outdoor restaurants and lots of clothes stores, all about four blocks up the hill from the Lake Champlain waterfront. The center of town is filled with renovated 19Th century brick buildings. We had a water-side lunch with a clear view of the Adirondacks, watching the boats come and go.

Walking back to the car after lunch, we happened on an antique store and got a long park bench at a bargain price—an anniversary present to each other. It just fit in the back of the Subaru.

New blooms: flea bane, bane berry, heliopsis.

burlington, VT-Church St. Mall. Lots of outdoor eating and clothes stores.

Burlington, VT-water front lunch.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Empty Handed at the Auction.

8-19-08 VERMONT: We shared Peking Duck with Dave and Gail at an Asian restaurant in Lebanon last night. On the way home we had a distant lightening show off to the north. By the time we got here, it was raining and some canines were whining, panting and shaking. I won’t embarrass the faint of heart by mentioning any names, Chloe.

This morning there was 0.65 inches of rain in the gauge, the rain was down to light showers and it was cold and windy. We went to an auction at an old farm in Lancaster, NH. It’s a cute town, east of St. J, VT on the edge of the White Mountains. We made a couple bids, but bought nothing. We’re supposed to get some summer later in the week.

The kitchen is full of tomatoes, and we eat corn every night. The plan for tomorrow is to make and freeze pasta sauce.

New blooms: white star clematis.

Water, lily pads, sun.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Winding Down.

8-16-08 VERMONT: We continue to have a shower almost every day. Today we had a bit of rain and a lot of electricity but no wind. Chloe was frantic. She’s not a thunder lover. Rain total in the last few days is only 0.20 inches.

Dan and Lily have come and gone. August is waning as we creep up to September. The days are already shorter. This summer has been cool and wet, I may have mentioned that, and getting cooler, earlier each evening.

New blooms: globe thistle, lobelia, aster.

Thunder Storms Make for Interesting Skies.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Mildew Attacks.

8-11-08 VERMONT: Bette and Lonnie visited on their way down from Maine. They arrived on a beautiful Saturday, our first non-rainy, warm, sunny, dry day in over a week, and left Sunday morning. After they left, the rain started again and continued today all day.

Judy and I, mostly Judy, gave a dinner Saturday night while the Hanauers were here. Judy’s presentation was awesome. The guests included Ken and Jane, Lee and Judy W., Phyllis and Arnie, Andy and Katie—mostly docs, all from our road. Lots of internship stories.

Sunday night we had dinner at the Hannons with the Hanlons. We had a hibachi night in the gazebo—it was great. Their setting is beautiful. Thanks, Boom-Boom.

Dan comes up tonight to pick-up Lily when camp ends on Wednesday.

New blooms: more mushrooms.

More Mushrooms, yellow series.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Mushrooms Take Over.

8-8-08 VERMONT: More rain. Everything is soggy, damp, squishy and dripping. We have had another 2.25 inches since 8-5-08 with more forecast for today and Sunday. The flower stalks are falling over from the repeated pelting.

Mushrooms are popping up all over. They are all different in form, size, color, shape, texture, but I can’t say anything about taste. I counted at least fifteen varieties.

We went to the Shelburne Museum on Wednesday. It’s near Burlington, about a 90 minute drive for us. They have a Mary Cassatt show this summer and a small impressionist collection. We like the Americana and the folk art and the colonial houses, barns and stores that have been preserved.

New blooms: black-eyed susan, liatris, more phlox.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Stormy Weather.

8-5-08 VERMONT: The monsoon continues. We have another 0.7 inches in the rain gauge. The pond is full, both ponds are full, and there are big puddles in the pasture. The forecast is for rain the next five days. I haven’t watered in weeks. I did pruning and weeding, transplanted a few volunteers and cleaned the culvert yesterday. Tomorrow I’ll order lumber for the ark.

New blooms: catmint.

Seems happy with the weather.

Do these guys get bigger every time it rains?

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Sun Flower.

8-3-08 VERMONT: When we got back up here after our week in NJ and NYC, Lynn, there was 0.75 inches of rain in the gauge and another storm last night to start August in soggy fashion. We had a total of 5.6 inches of rain here in July, a bit more than normal. The pond is clearer after the barley straw pellets dissolved, but the clearing may just have been due to flushing out the algae by all the rain.

We saw the Happy Camper yesterday evening. She was preparing dinner for eight over a wood fire. Today she is off for a five day hike on the AT between Crawford Notch and Franconia Notch.

The veggies are ripening. We have a bowl of tomatoes in the kitchen, and lots of corn that will be ready in a week or so. The moulin rouge sunflowers are six feet tall, and the first two have opened. I picked a quart of blueberries yesterday. It’s very quiet with all the grandkids gone, but definitely more relaxing.

New blooms: sunflower, goose-neck loosestrife, shasta daisy, soapwort, golden rod.

Sunflower, better color than the usual yellow.