Tuesday, August 13, 2013


They are out there in full-force, croaking and cicada-ing away. And every once in a while what sounds like a bird playing a small washboard chimes in. Soothing I suppose. 

(The sound of cicadas is hard to describe, somewhere between a quack and a chirp with a slight maraca rhythm.)

Spoke to Maman a couple of times today, and she is recovering nicely. She had so many telephone calls this morning that she didn't finish her breakfast until 1:00.

My day was reasonably productive and on-track, although I was slightly thrown when I got up and M wasn't here. She has Tuesdays off and when she wasn't at the kitchen table drinking coffee and doing the crossword, I wasn't sure what day it was. (She had an early morning appointment.) I started listening the the audio book of The Brothers K to see if I could get some momentum there, but the part I am in now seems really trite and off-topic, thus vexing me and trying my patience. Sigh. Perhaps it will all be worth it in the end. 

Besides The Brothers K, I am trying to get caught up on my reading challenge (52 books per year). I have so many started and at various stages of completion, I am focussed on getting a few read so that I can move on to other things without feeling so disjointed. I am nearly finished with Joan Dye Gussow's book, This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader, which I have been reading since at least February.

"After thinking about the chiles rellenos, it is difficult for me to take seriously the question of whether eating locally is worth the trouble. Trying to understand why, I have realized my own commitment was driven by three things. The first is the taste of live food; the second is my relation to frugality; the third is my deep concern about the state of the planet."

I hear you, Joan. I always feel I should save and use, which ends up with me having too much stuff and trying to save everything. But some of it has become a new habit (okay, now there is a cricket in the house, about a foot away from me. Very loud.) M and I have begun to save the trimmings from our vegetables (and sometimes chicken) to make vegetable stock, which I did yesterday. It is fantastic. I plan to snarf up some fresh tomatoes and make some soup. (Tonight's dinner, along the same lines, was turkey kielbasa with beet greens started with a Marcella Hazan soffrito, garnished with quattro formaggi and served with peasant bread.)

The weather was rather dreary, rainy, and softly chilly when I woke up. It did clear up enough for me to venture afar for a walk and I had to go to the library anyway. I drove around trying to find a suitable (new) walking place. I finally parked near this sign and went to investigate. I love that the State Education Department found this a worthy heritage site as far back as 1936.

The actual burying ground is about an 11 minute walk from the sign. The highway buzzes by quite near. It was very beautiful. These kinds of ancient graveyards are all over the place here in the Northeast. But to a California Girl's eye, they are invariably unique and fascinating. I always want to stop and explore, but I never do, except I did.

I walked the entire perimeter more than once, trying to get in a solid 15 minutes of walking before I paused for photography. Some of the gravestones were old enough to be worn away or caked with dirt and moss.

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