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29 :: June


Our main garden vegetable garden is close to the house, right alongside the driveway. The sunlight is great there and a watering source close by. But behind the stone wall there is a field, and in that field there is open space and a few shade trees and a horse (not ours) and a pumpkin patch. Oh, and blueberries and strawberries. This field sure holds a lot, it is oh-so-pretty back there. 

Having brought back plants from Vermont, I needed more garden space to plant them. 


And so I dug. This part of the earth had been turned over once in the spring, we composted too. I had plans for this sprawling garden of winter squash and melons (hoping raccoons do not touch the melons!), but none of my melon seeds germinated and as far as the squash goes, well, I just never did start those seeds. The weeds grew in, the weeks passed. I realized my best chance at growing these items would be to find some mature and robust seedlings. An assortment of these plants was the only thing I wanted to bring back from Vermont. (Thank you Vermont. You really do have everything I need.)


And so this week we dug up those weeds, added more compost, and planted our Vermont garden. Now if I can just will the deer and other critters to stay out of it because a fence won't be happening this year. Actually, I'm sure the whole thing will be greatly expanded next year. 


Because these things matter now, little Scout thinks it came out just fine. 






I'm sure there is more to capture than garden happenings, but I can't seem to think of too much else right now. A reader emailed me about my potato beetle concern and she pointed me to the underbelly of the leaves to look for larvae. Sure enough, there it is. Only on two leaves though but I will check daily for more to come... thank you for your help Jen!






He is such a fan of leafy greens. Not so much the eating of them, but the getting to play with one of his very own each night as we make dinner. He twirls around and tears it to shreds, then walks away... hmm. That's not the cute part. 


My laptop is going in for repair this week, and I'll be going away for a week coming up shortly. Both of these details are keeping my ebook, Mealtime Salads, at bay for a little longer than I had hoped. It looks like late July at this point. I'm so excited to share it with you though!

Did you know Renee has a new ebook coming out too? We're actually writing about the same topic! This happened by complete chance - we were chatting through email in the early spring and were sharing new projects and ideas we had coming up... we both had ebooks in the works on the topic of meal sized salads! So funny. We're excited to share our different perspectives and experiences as well as unique recipes. The best part, the recipe section of Renee's book will focus mostly on whole food dressings and mine will focus on salad compositions and hearty toppings (think yummy bean recipes, sunflower burger bits, smokey tempeh, etc). Both books will be valuable to anyone looking for ways to make salads a daily mealtime focus. 

I'd like to put it out there that I'm looking to hire someone to design and help with the publishing logistics of this book. Making it look pretty, have proper elements such as a table of contents, making sure people can read it on multiple devices, etc. If you know of a designer/ebook publisher to recommend, please let me know! (threadcityyoga@yahoo.com)

26 :: June

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The morning began slowly. Wild thunderstorms and a little screen porch sitting. Coffee. Emily went back to bed as she is the ever tired puppy mama now. It's really nice to see their bond develop. 

He sits already. At first we were like noooo, it must be coincidence, but after one more day of working with him to sit for his toy it appears to be true - he has solidly learned his first command. Smartypants.

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Today was the first day of our summertime rhythm. It felt sort of strange with the incredible storms we were having to slip into summer, but alas, that is what the day brought. So we packed up and visited with some friends at their house on the lake and enjoyed our view, mostly from the indoors. 

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I'm not sure if I mentioned here but I moved nearly my entire herb and perennial garden from the old house to this one. What a task that was, but so worth it! My sage and lavender aren't having a particular good show of growth and flowers this year as a result, but I'm confident they'll take root and be happier next year. Only one batch of Lavender Lemonade could be made with the amount of blossoms on hand. Every last drop was savored.

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Having all that fresh thyme was wonderful as I prepared dinner last night. A huge green salad with a little wedge of Onion Tart (from The Art of Simple Food). Such magic happens in the oven with this basic recipe. With all the rain it was cool enough to turn on the oven and bake this up. A simple and rustic kind of dinner.

I do feel ready for a different pace. Early mornings, slow evenings. Sports schedules cast aside. Ah, summertime... here we go.

25 :: June


Allow me to properly introduce you to our newest family member, Scout! He is an eight week old Border Collie pup who is settling in so nicely here at home. 

You know, I never told my family this (until after the fact), but the week leading up to vacation I had this crystal clear vision (more then once) of us adopting a puppy on the ride back from Vermont. How silly, right? But this very clear scenario kept running through my mind's eye.

Now, we have been planning on getting a puppy this summer, but the odds of randomly stumbling upon puppies while traveling are not to be counted on. Especially puppies of the very breed that my husband and daughter both had at the top of their list. Being that we aren't the type to seek out a breeder, we were counting on the right puppy to present itself to us, Border Collie or otherwise. 


We decided to hop off the highway and drive through the town of South Royalton, to show Emily the law school Adam chose not to attend so many years ago, opting for the one with the better scholarship instead (oh, hindsight can be such a stinker). As we approached the town green we noticed a farmers market winding down, only fifteen minutes left before closing time. Thinking of the near empty refrigerator we'd be returning home to, we decided to stop for a few provisions.


Among the eggs and carrots and radishes and kale - we found the sweetest little tumbled up pile of puppies! We were smitten and talked with the owners who farmed grass fed beef and an apple orchard. Everything felt right and we had a brief but serious family meeting by the gazebo... the decision was made to welcome this little guy into our family. Normally we prefer female dogs, but something about Scout's temperament spoke to us and after three days together I am happy to say he is a wonderful match.

I guess there was something to those visions after all. 










The day after we returned home was spent hanging laundry, as well as harvesting and weeding the garden. I think it's fair to say that for every day we were away, one hour of weeding was required. Six hours of weeding paid off though because things are looking pretty good out there. (Though why does it still look weedy to me in these pics? It's really not!)


{The newly dug section.}

Most of our garden was properly prepared in the early Spring, with lots of great compost worked into the soil. In a bit of a 'we have more plants than space' panic right before we went away, we dug up another eight feet and stuck the remaining plants in. This is not ideal soil, but my fingers are crossed (and I did add a whole bunch of compost last night). Now the rain is pouring down and I do hope those roots are being happily nourished. 




I noticed one potato beetle last night so I must read up on them today. I've got three rows of potatoes to protect and am feeling like a mother hen about that. Other than the rogue beetle - our chard, kale, and lettuce have not seen a single pest yet for which I am super thankful for. Now, let's hope tomato, melon, and corn season looks the same. What a miracle that would be! 


Tonight I'm going to make a version of Alice Waters' Onion Tart using swiss chard with the caramelized onions, I think that will be a nice combination and we have a beautiful crop of chard at the moment. 

We're taking Scout to visit with some friends as well. Other than that, just continuing with our puppy-moon and enjoying the garden and the rain. It's good to be home. 

21 :: June {postcards from vermont}






































I feel our time here coming to a close... soon. Thankful for the promise of a full summer stretched out before us upon returning home. Also thankful I decided to share some of our moments here, for it brought many of you closer to our world as you shared wonderful local spots and delights for us to check out (we did!), as the author of the book I'm reading (and quoting) said hello on yesterday's post. All so wonderful.

Though we are feeling a disappointed that one of my close blogging friends was in this very town yesterday, which we learned of a little too late. Imagine!

I'll share a little more about where we are staying once we return home and I can think properly about a few details to offer. Some of you have been asking where exactly we are in Stowe, I'll fill you in on that soon. 

For now, we soak in the final moments of this trip. Hoping to beat the heat on a little outdoor adventuring... wondering if instead we'll find ourselves lounging with more of those amazing maple creamees in hand. I'm hoping for a little of both.

20 :: June {postcards from vermont}





































Vermont is different. It has the highest of the following per capita in the nation: libraries, Peace Corps volunteers, farmers' markets, organic certified farmland, amount of money spent on local food, breweries (one for every thirty thousand people), artisan cheeses, percent of unpaved roads, dairies, tennis courts, and wildlife watchers.

~The Lepine Girls of Mud City, by Evelyn Grace Greer

19 :: June {postcards from vermont}






While she enjoyed her first ever room service experience, he enjoyed a little time golfing. It's not really his sport (although he does love whacking those balls around every few years and has been known to [along with his brothers] rough up a few golf carts in his day), the opportunity to play on one of the country's premier courses right outside our door was not something to be resisted. And he behaved, returning the golf cart in fine working order.


Plus, snacks were served in cedar chests along the course. I should have gone too...










After Emily finished her breakfast she had an appointment at the spa for her first real manicure. As for me, I felt like I had the full treatment and never even left the waiting room... the images above were all taken in the there. Heaven. 




She was told to relax for an hour while her nails fully dried... not a problem.








As we were leaving the spa (which felt like the inner sanctum of this resort) we visited the sauna, 'locker' rooms, non-poolside jacuzzi, etc.

Oh my. We are not in Kansas anymore. 






It is so bike friendly here. How easy to bike up to a cafe and have lunch, then get back on the trail. Reminds me of how snowmobiling is in Northern Maine. Wishing we brought our bikes, but I do think we'll be renting some today or tomorrow. There is so much to do... 


Though golf isn't his sport, hiking and fly fishing are. A true fly fishing shop is not something we see everyday back home so he did find himself a little sanctuary in there. Plus, he found some essential gear that he's been in need of. He heads out fishing soon, I think tomorrow morning. The guy who owns the shop told us people freely and safely eat the fish they catch up here which is not something we can do in Connecticut for health reasons. I could see the nostalgia in Adam's eye, his own youth lived in these mountains and plenty of teenage weekends spent hopping on dirt bikes and not returning home for a couple days. Camping and living off the fish they caught and the apples and blueberries they wild-harvested. It's always hard for him to return south after our time here. Someday, we won't be returning south. 


This trip is so wild for us, unlike anything we've ever done. Spas and fancy golf mixed with crazy vertical hikes and the gathering of a few final plants for our budding little homestead garden back home.  

We have this place almost to ourselves. Have you noticed how few people are in my photos? Apparently July 4th is the true start of the season and then of course foliage and ski season are busy too. Early to mid-June is the time to be here for folks like us who aren't so much into crowds. Although rumor has it Wayne Gretzky is in room 384... so it's us and The Great One! We don't put special emphasis on "celebrity status," preferring to think we're all pretty fantastic. But I'm not gonna lie, along with Mother Teresa, Jesus, Emily Dickinson, and the Dalai Lama, Wayne Gretzky is definitely on the short list of "famous" people my husband would love to meet.

Maybe he'll be on the trail or at the swimming hole later today, that's where we're headed. 

18 :: June {postcards from vermont}







iced tea






















To venerate the land

is to keep it alive,

no matter the struggle,

for it’s a labor of love.


To venerate the land

is to make it lasting,

and in doing so,

honoring the human spirit and

the blessed spirit of all of nature;

its intrinsic balance and beauty,

forever benevolent to its keepers.


~ Evelyn Grace Geer

17 :: June {postcards from vermont}


At the Vermont Welcome Center Adam found another guy to talk about this amazing Dory. I wish I got better shot from above, it was so beautiful inside. 














A visit to our favorite Farmers Market. Sweet and perfect in every way. 


An indoor Living Machine at the rest area on Route 89. All waste/water is naturally processed and made reusable after taking its route through the attached greenhouse. Pretty amazing. 


As the valet walked us to our room and told us all the things we needed to know about where we are staying and what there is to do in the area (hello Long Trail right outside our window), he also spoke of the excitement among staff regarding the wedding that was to take place that evening. I thought the enthusiasm was sweet because I imagine there are weddings here often. To be genuinely happy and have such great energy for each couple... love. 


Even better, the bride's suite was next door to us! She was out on her terrace and we were able to wish her congratulations. It's funny, even though a perfect stranger, something about seeing a bride makes you feel so genuinely happy for her. Also, I haven't been to this town since my own honeymoon so a bride sighting felt rather nostalgic. 


My first set of postcards. This is a trip that has been long in the planning and saving for... (we are more accustomed to sleeping on the forest floor than a spa menu)... but someone here is having a pretty special birthday (today!!) and we are spoiling him as much as we can this week. Gruelling hikes by day, jacuzzi, piano lounge, and fireplace by night. 

14 :: June












We are still living on lettuce over here, but about to add kale and chard to the table. Peas too. I planted some of these things a little late but they seem to be handling the warm late spring temperatures just fine. There will be peas after all, I wasn't sure about that. 

The potatoes! And corn! Both seem to be coming up with a vigor that leaves me giddy. Two rows of corn and three of potatoes, we are very excited about that. The tomatoes though I am feeling overwhelmed by at the moment - I sort of lost track of my seedlings and just kept planting as new varieties of heirloom seeds entered my cart each time I visited the Co-op. Forty eight plants and seven varieties later... we are shoulder deep in tomatoes! Thankfully I have some time to prepare my plan of preserving such a lot. Time also to hopefully budget for the dehydrator I've had my eyes on for some time. Then I could also make things like these Sunflower Flax Chips... yum.






Her first dance, a formal one at that. A lovely multi-course meal was served, followed by two hours of dancing (I did not get a picture of the very-cool-vibe dance floor, off to the right). I was so nervous for her leading up to the dance because she was so excited and had great expectations for the evening (even though this yoga mama talks a lot about expectations, which are different than goals). She had this vision of how the decor, dancing, and fancy meal would all play out. In her mind, it was going to be the time of her life and I was so hoping she was right. We've all been to these sort of events before though and sometimes it's just... meh.

Not this night. Everything exceeded her expectations and everyone truly had a memorable evening. We snuck in for a few pictures at drop off, then returned to catch the last few dances at the end of the night. These kids have energy! Two hours straight of heart-pumping dancing (the dj didn't do slow dances) and they didn't sit out a single one. It was a very happy and exhausted car ride home. 


Now we are packing up for a little getaway. The house is in order and being cared for, we are setting out for our beloved green mountains for a week of fresh air and contemplation. 

I'm trying to be less of a homebody and get out in the world more. (Though for me Vermont is more like going home than it is traveling.... baby steps.) Raising a young adult has given me the perspective that not everybody is content being home for five (okay, six) out of seven days each week. (Really!? Why not?)

I'm trying to be better about putting more on the calendar, not for the sake of keeping busy but as a way to explore and learn and grow. 

I think I'm actually going to do a little posting here while I'm away. Chances are I'll have more down time to do so than life has offered lately. Besides, who can resist pretty pictures of Vermont? Not I, she brings me to my knees every time.