Wednesday, August 20, 2008

what a mess

No E., I'm not talking about my hair. Although I could be.

The garden. It needed some serious cleanup. I recall this happening last year too -- sometime in August, I totally losing momentum on my little patch of green. In any case, here's the tragedy, my good friends the cosmos, leggy and straggly and just all over the place, those cool little red guys, like their "bad friend" aiding and abetting. And the Peonies, developing the mildew I'm now used to this time of year:

Here's the after. Everyone trimmed back and tied up. Radically. Peonies completely cut back. It's kind of stark now, but I know it's just plain going to be good for everyone. Not that there still isn't a lot of fixing up to do, but at least it doesn't look like it just got out of bed.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

The Steed!

At long last, the Steed is home. I mean, the bike itself has a new home now, but my brother in law Jeff made a frame (welded steel!) of the amazing portrait by Elizabeth Zechel, and my sister hand-carried it from California after many months of nagging (thanks Eliza!).

Ode to the Steed

The Steed is a solid friend -- not a nimble bike, but an indestructible heavy protector. Safe for potholes. We spent 2000-2006 together, the longest I've ever owned a bike, let alone a bike in NYC. It became mine for $40 at someone's stoop sale -- she threw in a pair of shoes with the deal. When the steed and I lived in Greenpoint, the bridges were my main commute, and the steed got me home safely after many a late night downtown. I used to hang my groceries from the Busy Bee off the handlebars and I'd carry all however many pounds up three flights of stairs to my fourth floor walkup. When I trained for my first marathon, the Steed and I would ride to Central Park so I could do my long runs. When I worked at Human Rights Watch, the Steed was always parked out front of the Empire State Building. When I was in grad school, it was always chained to other bikes at John Jay. When I started at JackRabbit, it was always locked to the bus stop post out front of the Brooklyn store. We rode together downtown on 9/11 to try to be useful. When I met Steve (my husband), the Steed was parked downstairs. It survived many a harsh winter, and hot summer, and never complained about the elements. Almost every part on it that could be stolen was (wheels, seatpost, chain, even the pedals), hence the thief-deterring paint job, worn to shiny on the top tube by the kryptonite chain.

Eventually, the seatpost ended up fusing to the frame -- bad for me, because it was just a little bit the wrong height. The steed helped me train for my first triathlon -- we did our laps of Prospect Park, and no matter how heavy, it is a fast bike, and we not only kept up with the training group, we were always at the front of the pack. When I got my road bike, I felt a little bit like the girl who dumped the guy next door for the quarterback when prom-time came around. And the Steed did not take well sharing me with my speedy Felt. It lashed out and hurt me, first by gauging a hole in my leg where the bolt for the seatpost had been while I was training for the tri, then by tightening up my hip flexors on my commute from Sunset Park, the primary suspect in turning my hamstring tendons to hamburger meat. That was when I decided the Steed had to find a new home, and it was heartbreaking. I contemplated donating it to be a ghost bike (the white bikes that are monuments to victims of NYC bike fatalities), but then Terry needed a commuter bike, and that seemed like a better solution. Now the steed gets to ride the speed bumps on the Williamsburg Bridge once again. But with this portrait, it will be with me forever.

The steed now hangs on the living room wall, above the computer where I'm tying right now. Here it is in situ:

Sunday, August 3, 2008

More of Maine

The first thought that went through my mind when I woke up and looked out the window was "you've got to be kidding me." We arrived as it was getting dark, and so my first view of the house was when I opened my eyes and looked out the window to this:

My boys, and that view.
We got to hang out with Cyrus.

Enzo city dog turned water pup. Fetching sticks. Wet dogs don't get to go into the house.

We went to nearby Blue Hill for a little hike, and got stuck in the blueberry fields. Al made pancakes with our booty. And pie.

Enzo found a favorite spot under one of the trees on the cliff. Dug himself a little nest, and this is where he hung out most of the time.

Sunset at high tide.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Dunham's point, Deer Isle, Maine

I'm not kidding. That was Tuesday. More to come.