Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Lots of fun and food, but to be honest, the photographer in me has been WAY too distracted by the ice outside. I know it's not magical and it is causing a lot of people a lot of problems, but I just can't help myself.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Ice Storm!

It's wild up here, and we had a wild night! A tree hit our house just before dawn, but it doesn't appear to have done any damage. There is another one hanging across the driveway. It's still raining at nine o'clock this morning, and the sound of breaking trees fills the air. Why we still have power, I'm not sure, but I'm not complaining! Hope everyone is safe! The EMT in our family had a very busy night last night.

Last night, as it was getting dark

View out my kitchen window this morning

Close call

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Too Much Education in My Life

Last Friday, I went to a concert at Johnson State College, where my husband and daughter were performing. It was wonderful and relaxing. When it was over and I was waiting for them to pack up, I took a moment to appreciate some artwork hanging on the walls of the lobby. It caught my attention right away, because the collection of photographs was called, "Adrift in Autism."

The huge, oversize photos were of beautiful landscapes of fences, streams, and sweeping vistas with breathtaking fall foliage. As a photographer, I appreciated them deeply. But no matter how hard I tried, I could not make any clear connections to autism. Did the fences signify being trapped in a society that didn't understand the artist's condition? Did the vistas represent the distance he felt from those around him? The stream could be that he was swept away inside his own mind?

Feeling like I was stretching it a little, I made my way back to the beginning, hoping there might be an artist's statement near the title that I'd missed. There wasn't. But I did take a closer look at the title.

"Adrift in Autumn."

Okay, suddenly things made a lot more sense.

And people around me wondered why a woman who had been clearly admiring the artwork suddenly burst out laughing.

Then I got to wondering, what would an exhibit called "Adrift in Autism" look like?

I got no further than what a student I know would say if I asked him: "Why for do that?"

Yeah, I definitely need a vacation.

Thursday, December 12, 2013


I've been terrible at blogging lately.

My father had a crisis over Thanksgiving and spent several days in the hospital after a hard fall that caused internal bleeding in his leg, which led to worries about his kidneys which filter out the blood. At 93, that's a scary thing to go through, but he's home and healing and looking more like his old self every day.

Favorite quote from the hospital adventure:

As the EMTs were carrying my father out of the house to the waiting ambulance he suddenly cried: Wait!

Everyone stopped and looked at him in alarm.

My father:  I don't have my binoculars!

We quickly added his binoculars to his overnight bag. That settled, we headed for the ambulance.

I also bought a new car. My trusty little Focus had developed more rust than metal, too much to pass inspection. So we traded for a new, white, Subaru Forester, complete with all wheel drive and some cool features like heated seats, a back up camera, and a moon roof. I don't quite know what do with all the gadgets. The door panel is more complicated than the Focus's dashboard, the steering wheel will answer my phone if I program it to do so, and the rear view mirror now opens my garage door. The outside mirrors and windshield are even heated so the snow just melts away. Loving it so far. The driver's door opens and the wipers shut off in the off position instead of me having to open the door from the inside and try to shut the wipers off when they were down. Those were the two main features I was looking for. And less rust.

The problem is that my daughter also has a white Subaru Forester. The first day I drove mine home, I parked it in the garage and then went upstairs and happened to glance out my bedroom window in time to see a white Subaru rolling down the driveway toward the pond. I instantly panicked, thinking I'd forgotten to put it in park and forgotten to put the garage door down, and now it was going to finish its maiden run just like the Titanic did.

And then I saw it make a neat turn at the last minute and back into the spot where my daughter always parks. I remembered the band was rehearsing at the house that night. And my daughter wondered why I was sobbing hysterically when she came upstairs.

No, I've learned to enjoy moments of peace whenever I can find them, like in the middle of the night or at school when I read aloud to quiet students, or when my kitties are purring or that nice noise the furnace makes when it comes on, or the way laundry feels when it comes out of the drier. That's the important stuff, anyway.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Snowy Thanksgiving

I shoveled for the first time this season, Whisper went out to inspect my work, abruptly remembered that snow is very cold on his precious little paws, and was right back at the door. Not happy with having to wait for the photographer to finish, either.

Have to say that I really missed seeing Ruby greet the first big snowfall with that joyful way she always threw herself on her back and wiggled wildly, all legs waving in the air, and ending by standing and giving a vigorous shake.

We're celebrating with my mother at the Arbors today, then visiting a few other relatives, and cooking our feast tomorrow at home tomorrow.

Have a wonderful day, everyone!

Thursday, November 14, 2013


I finally had a minute tonight to download my flying photos. 

This is the actual plane we flew to Florida in

And look at this! I'm telling you, we were so high we made orbit! I swear, we really did! I mean, look at these photos! Seriously!

I'll never be the same again!

Sunday, November 10, 2013


Oh, I am so jetlagged!

Dennis keeps telling me that jet lag only happens if you fly East/West. I just give him "the look."

Believe me, I have jet lag.

Tampa Airport

Just hanging, looking cool on my laptop waiting for our flight.

(Why do I think I'm probably not convincing anyone?)

I will be most glad to be home. Not that I"m nervous about flying adventure part two. We've got another half hour to wait, but we're through security and I managed not to trip any alarms or trip over anything. Benefit of travelling with a disabled person -- we were waved to the front of the line and they were very nice to us. Going to be a long way home. We arrive in CT at three (hopefully) and then a five hour drive home. Then I'll have to do some laundry. And snuggle my kitties.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

More Florida

We're on the 19th floor, on the bay side

The sunrise this morning

I love palm trees

Manatees swimming by

Where I start my mornings

Friday, November 8, 2013

Saturday, November 2, 2013

It's Snowing!

Yes, officially. Just looked outside and there was white stuff coming down, mixed in with the rain. We are SOO not ready for winter yet. But I do have my snow tires on! (okay, I'll admit it -- I never had them taken off last spring. I just ran them all summer knowing that we're going to trade my car this fall.) And we actually started car shopping this afternoon. Holy cow, cars have gotten fancy. They're like driving computers around, they've got so many screens in them. I mean, my car's ten years old and our van is the cheapest, most base model we could find to cart Dennis's drums around in. We've never had a car that even told us the temperature. Now we're looking at cars that show you what's going on behind you when you're backing up and have places to sych in your iPod! Creepy. (Okay, my iPod is one the girls cast off years ago and Alaria told me NOT to ever bring to school if I wanted to keep my cool factor intact. And while I'm on the subject, I still have a stupid phone. Not like I want an iPhone or anything!!!

And we're getting ready for another flash trip to Florida. While we're on the subject of my deficiencies, I haven't flown for thirty years. Really. I've traveled a whole lot, but always by car, usually with camping gear, kids, and pets. And my last flight was back in the days when all you had to worry about was your plane crashing. It's a little overwhelming, the lists of what not to bring and how to pack what you can bring. And everyone is telling me that I'll be red flagged since I'm not in the security system yet. It will be good research for future stories. Yup.

Anyway, we're going to the Celebration of Life ceremony for our dear friend George Peters, my long time summer next door neighbor and my summer father. I still can't believe he's gone, but I'm utterly convinced that he's sailing between the stars now to his heart's content.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Ok, moving into the next phase, maybe?

Well, things seem to be settling down with my mom. She has been back at the Arbors for six days now, and though her blood sugar is still fluctuating, she is able to be kept relatively stable there. We successfully visited her, and she seemed settled in her bright, sunny room. I brought her a prism and some more clothes. She wanted us to take her home when we first got there, but we distracted her with photos and after a while she got sleepy, so we slipped away. She is no longer anchored in the present -- she eases effortlessly into the past when her parents were alive, and her two weeks in the hospital are long gone. I do not doubt that she is in the right place to have her needs met now, but it is so, so hard. I do feel deeply honored every time she asks someone to help her call me -- I can not do what she wants me so desperately to do, but since out of all the people in the world, I am the one she calls to, I know that I must have done something right, sometime.

The next phase will be the daunting process of straightening out her house and dealing with her car. But there will be happiness in that -- my oldest daughter and her fiance are going to move in. They will be the sixth generation of my family to live on the beautiful farm. It feels right.

But before that, or at least while that is going on, my husband and I are going to Florida. Just for a long weekend, in few weeks. The dear friend we went to see last summer passed away last week, and his ashes are going to be buried in his beloved sea. I picture him sailing through the stars every night now. And that is hard, hard, too.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

And on and on...

Things aren't getting much better yet, in fact, they're a bit worse. My mom is in intensive care now to receive insulin through her IV. We're still trying to get her levels to stay put. She's having quite a ride.

I've been going to the hospital after school every day. Last night I didn't get home until nine thirty. Today I'm feeling guilty for only staying an hour. But I've got dumb stuff like laundry and her bills to deal with, and I really wanted to go for a walk while it was daylight, to say nothing about the minor detail called sleep... The hospital folks are wonderful with her now that they've got her figured out, and I think that I'm just an agitation at times -- her ride home that isn't being very accommodating.

My favorite exchanged yesterday:

Nurse: Okay, dear, do you know where you are right now?
My mother, with a withering stare: Approximately.

She's never been anything if not direct.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Plot Thickens...

Just when I thought things were settling down yesterday, my mom's diabetes went whacky bonkers again. I insisted that I'd just made a happy ever after blog post, but the powers that be weren't listening. So back to the ER we all went last night for more drama of the scariest kind. Who knew that blood sugar reader machines only registered so high? My mom, however, is tough enough to beat the odds and keep living even when the machine says it's no longer possible. Shows them what Vermont women are made of. Clearly, they need to design a new reader for us.

Today, she decided to check out the bottom end of the scale, and maxed it out, too. I'm thinking of her as a kind of test pilot now.

And believe me, if they had a stress meter for daughters of dementia/diabetic moms, I'd be cranking that thing to new heights, as well.

We're all searching for equilibrium right now.

The only thing I know for sure is that I've got the best family and friends in the world.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Big Changes

It's been a rough week. I think it's entirely appropriate that there's a tropical storm named after me right now (my real name is Karen, if you didn't know) because I am definitely caught in something much bigger than I am.

My mother has Alzheimer's, and her long time partner has just more or less left her. I've been scrambling to get things covered, planning on spending nights with her myself at first. On Wednesday, I got a call at work from my mother's daytime caregivers saying that something was very wrong. When I got to her  home, she was barely able to get out of bed. We rushed to the ER. Her diabetes had gone out of control and she near to entering a coma. After hours of treatment, she became stable again, but it was obvious she needed more care than we were going to be able to give her at home. Thus began a scramble to get her placed in an assisted living facility. Fortunately, I'd already done preliminary research, so all it took were some phone calls and then hours of paperwork and meetings. When she was able to leave the hospital on Friday, it was to move straight into her new home. In the mean time, I've been through three of the worst days of my life. Suffice it to say that she does not like change.

Some of my favorite moments:

Mom, looking under the sheets on her gurney in the ER:  Wow, look at that! Those are my feet down there!

For some reason, that struck both of us as hysterically funny and we laughed for half an hour.

Someone brought her several pictures to color and box of crayons. She was not and has never been remotely interested in coloring. I love to color and began to do so.

Mom: What's wrong with me when am I going home why am I here?
Me: What color should I color this fish?
Mom: Blue

Mom: What's wrong with me when am I going home why am I here?
Me: What color should I color this fish?
Mom: Purple.

Mom: What's wrong with me when am I going home why am I here?
Me: What color should I color this fish?
Mom: Pink

And so on

Mom: What's wrong with me when am I going home why am I here?
Me: Right after I finish my bagel.
Mom: Oh, all right. Are you done yet?

A moment of drama:
My mother, running down the main aisle in the ER, gown flapping to the breeze, carrying her plastic bag with all her possessions in it, heading for the doors at top speed, people leaping out of the way. Me after her, a nurse after me, both of us doing our utmost to stop her without getting anybody hurt. Just before we reach the doors, I see a brilliant solution out of the corner of my eye.
Me: Mom, look! It's a Rose-breasted Grosbeak!
Mom, whirling around: Where?
Me: pointing at a photo: Right here!
Mom: That's just a photo! I thought you meant a real one!
Mom takes off again. But now she has turned around, and charges back to her room where doctors with meds are waiting.

Fletcher Allen at its best:

Me, upon arriving Friday morning to find my mom alone in her room: Where is the sitter she's supposed to have with her?

Fletcher Allen: She doesn't need one any longer.

Me: Really?

Fletcher Allen: If you want to move her into the Arbors, it's their policy that she has to be independent for twenty four hours first. So if you want her to leave tomorrow, she can't have a sitter today.

Me: But we're moving her to the Arbors because she needs 24/7 care.

Fletcher Allen with a confused look: Really?

Me to the Arbors: Why do you have a policy that my mother has to be independent at the hospital for 24 hours before she can move in to get 24 hour care?

The Arbors: That's the stupidest thing we ever heard.

Me to Fletcher Allen: Please reinstate the sitter. That is not the Arbor's policy.

Fletcher Allen: But if you want her to leave tomorrow, she can't have a sitter...

Me: What is that line about how do you keep your mind when everyone around you is losing theirs?

Anyway, she is safely there, and now we have to start thinking about what to do with her home and her car and all that stuff. But for today, the only thing on my schedule is to make brownies.

The Media this morning: The government has been shut down all week.
Me: Really?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Annual Trip to the NEK Last Weekend

Lovely sunrise, lovely views, lovely day

(The NEK is Vermont's Northeast Kingdom -- one of the most beautiful places on the planet.)

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Harvest Moon

Beautiful night out tonight. It's the Harvest Moon, so I figured I'd better harvest. For me, this meant dumping two potted tomato plants after bringing in the green tomatoes, picking some leaves off my sage bush, and digging up some chives and parsley and planting it in pots to keep on the windowsills this winter. While I was at it, I cleaned out my bird boxes. There were two nests -- one chickadee and one great crested flycatcher.

All ready for next spring.

Then, just because I'm crazy that way, I took a dip in the pool. Yeah, it was damn cold. But I feel like I've got to take advantage of every moment before we winterize it soon.

Enjoy the moon tonight however you celebrate a full moon!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Museum Flood Video

Here's a link to a video I made for the Birds of Vermont Museum to commemorate the flooding from this summer:

Click Here

And here's a link to the museum website to learn more about this amazing place:

Click Here

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Too Much Wildlife in My House!

WAY too much wildlife in my house tonight! First a mouse ran across my bedroom floor while I was writing. I squealed, picked up my feet, and was glad to see him scamper away in the direction of the cellar, where I figured I'd never see him again. Ten minutes later, I found him smooshed against the screen door like he was trying to fit under it. Opening the door made him run back into the kitchen and hide behind a cooler. I armed myself with a broom and moved the cooler. After a brief face-off, we both turned and ran. Fortunately, he ran right out the door and vanished under the lilac in half a heartbeat.

Just now, I went into my bathroom and saw movement on the floor in the closet. Not another one! No, it wasn't. It was a big, fat toad. We've NEVER had a toad in the house before. I like them outside just fine, but they're a lot bigger in the bathroom, believe me. I was pretty sure the broom wasn't going to work, so I decided on my proven method of trapping spiders. It took two tries to upend a plastic cup over it. Fortunately, I'd chosen one heavy enough not to be dislodged by a lot of hopping. I slid a folder underneath it -- a sheet of paper wasn't going to work -- and rushed it out the door. Last seen, the toad was heading for the lilac, too. Imagine the tales of Mouse and Toad tonight. The Nightmare of the Blue Sneakered Monster.

If I have to get up in the night, I'm carrying a flashlight. And the broom. And I'm putting on my sneakers.

Oh, and both cats were in the house during both episodes, and neither of them noticed a thing. This is good.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Shhh... I hear it!

It's quiet! It's a peaceful moment! I'm going to pet it and cuddle it and hope it doesn't go away!

Thursday, August 22, 2013

This really gets to me

I found this in our local news this morning: Vermont Man Gets Nearly 5 Years in Movie Fraud Case. (Click here to see the piece)

I feel really bad about this on so many levels. I don't doubt that he got what he deserved, and I feel really bad for the people who invested money in him, because I totally understand why they did. Mac Parker was a kind of hero of mine while I was a teenager. He was a simple Vermont storyteller, and he told stories well. No props, no nothing -- just a man and his stories and his Vermont accent. Stories that could have been about my grandparents. Stories that were about what it's really like here now. I heard him perform and I own many of his recordings. My mother admired him. He could make you laugh and cry and think all at once.

Somewhere, something went wrong. I feel like he betrayed himself, and the people who took him to heart, not just those who invested money in him.

One of the things he said really resonated with me, but now I'll never be able to think of it in quite the same way. It came at the end of a long description comparing Vermont to the rest of the country. He finished with the line, "Thank God I live in a quiet place, and I've remembered how to listen."

Now I wonder how he'll fare in jail for five years.

But despite what went wrong for him, I will never forget how to listen.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


We had a really nice time in Maine. The sea, as always, worked its magic.

Usually when we're in Acadia National Park, we spend most of our time riding our bikes on the gentle carriage roads, but this time we wanted to do something different, so we focused on hiking. My knees had discouraged me from doing this for years, but I decided to risk it since they were feeling pretty good. The first day, we hiked up into a place called The Bowl, which was a high elevation pond. The trail was steep, but the pond was lovely -- a little bowl of water nestled among mountain tops.

The second day, we decided to challenge ourselves more on a trail climbing up onto Great Head, which is the highest headland on the entire east coast of the US. It is a point of land that juts out into the ocean with absolutely amazing views. It was described as having "moderate rock scrambles." This turned out to be (in my opinion) scaling bare rock ledges with sheer drops into the water, a LONG way down (hence the "highest headland" title). A true rock climber would have scoffed and done it one handed, but for my poor knees and easily upset stomach, it was a challenge, especially going back down. But the photos were worth it, and the bald eagle that soared low over us twice was just fantastic.

It never rained at all because we put a lot of effort and strategy into hanging our gigantic tarp over the table and tents and even leaving a place to get the van under cover if necessary.

And, of course, we managed to consume a great deal of seafood. We also bought a lovely painting by a local artist, a book of chowder recipes, and several cheerful sun catchers. Oh, and I did some back to school shopping at an L.L. Bean outlet on the way home. (Okay, a new bathing suit on sale is back to school, right?)

The best part was returning home and finding that all the fallen tree mess had been cleaned up by our neighbors and our fridge was full of treats. Our driveway was also mysteriously repaired shortly before we left. I am SO appreciative of the wonderful community we live in.

Things are still rough, but we're doing all right.


 The Campsite with the amazing tarpage

The Happy Hiker at the Bowl
(Believe me, this was not the way the entire trial looked!)

The Bowl

Sand Beach from Great Head
(See how high we were! Those are people on the beach above the high water line)

The Eagle

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Death and Destruction

This has been a terrible summer -- there's no other way to describe it.

It began with the sudden death of our beloved dog Ruby, then progressed to the knowledge that a dear friend was very ill, which prompted our flash trip to Florida. Literally immediately upon return (that very night) my youngest daughter's boyfriend of two and a half years died in a car accident minutes after leaving our house. It's going to take us a long, long time, if ever, to come to some kind of understanding of this. Less that a week after, my father-in-law was diagnosed with lung cancer. This on top of my own parents' slow but steady worsening health.

Of far less consequence, four or five trees beside our house came down in a storm while we were in Florida. They're still lying there untouched. Once, we would have tackled cleaning them up immediately. Now they're just lying there, and every time I look out a kitchen window, I realize how temporary things that I thought (or at least hoped) would last forever can be.

Did I mention that I was just told that even my car won't make it through another winter?

We're going to Maine for a few days this week. We all need to sit beside the sea for a while.

The trees will still be lying there when we return.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Birds of Vermont Museum Video

I made this recently for my father's museum. All the photos are mine or used with permission. Obviously, before the flood.



Thursday, July 4, 2013

Flooded Again!

Not trapped at home this time, but at The Birds of Vermont Museum, yesterday. It started to rain about one thirty in the afternoon. We had thee staff members in the museum, my father, and two children who were taking part in our day camp. Both were under ten years old. One was the nephew of our director, the other the granddaughter of a volunteer. We stood glued to the glass front door as it rained harder and harder, watching a little, tiny trickle that hardly could be called a brook rise higher and higher. It filled its normal culvert under the path that leads to the parking lot. Then it began to fill the second culvert that worked as an emergency spare, never expected to be necessary. Then it started licking at the top of the path. We had a family of visitors waiting out the storm -- we urged them to leave, thinking to keep them from getting their feet wet if the brook crossed the path. They left. We noticed when they drove past that there were big puddles on the road, which was high enough not to be visible from our doorway.

Moments later, something funny started happening to the bank coming down from the road. It was turning brown and muddy. I pointed it out. We stared. And then water just started pouring down across the road, down the bank, across our path, and down a narrow road to another bigger brook which had a bridge leading to our land on the other side. We just watched, completely stunned, as probably thousands of dollars worth of damage just happened.

Then a car pulled into the parking lot and a family of four dashed toward us. We dashed outside and waved them back, yelling across the torrent that it wasn't safe. They got back into their car and drove away.

First the spare culvert washed away. Then the buried power cable that runs to the sheds became exposed, straining in the current. What would happen if it  broke, or ripped out of the museum building? We didn't know.We switched off the breaker. Doing that also turned off the cash register and the credit card machine. Not good.

Then the car of visitors came back and parked. A bad sign -- they couldn't get out.

The water flow began to shift so that it started to fill the parking lot. They kept backing up. We began to fear for our four cars parked out there, too. I could easily imagine them washing away before our eyes. The people in the car, we learned later, called 911, panicking. The Burlington Free Press put up an article saying there were people stranded in a car in Huntington with water rising.

Then we began to fear for my father's bridge, which spanned the big brook. He'd built it probably forty years ago to reach acres of land he and his partner own on the other side. We ran out into the rain and saw that the ground had washed away on both sides of it, leaving it a wooden span in the middle of a torrent, which was right up under it. I expected to see it buckle and flip and wash away any moment. One of the children noticed some lumber going downstream. It was the part of the retaining wall on our side of the bridge.

I went back inside. My 93 year old father was standing alone in the doorway. One of the children whispered to me that she thought he was crying. I went and stood next to him and said quietly, "I think we might lose your bridge."

He just nodded and didn't say anything.

The phone began to ring as news got out of the plight in Huntington. The people in the car in the parking lot called us. We told them to sit tight and that we had bathrooms and hot tea waiting when the water dropped. I called my daughter. She said, "What are you talking about? The sun is shining."

The rain let up. The water stopped rising. It began to drop. My father's partner, Gale, who had been out shopping and been able to drive part way in, arrived, arm in arm with a woman up the road, wading through the torrent. I'm not sure how far she had walked, but it was long way. She and I walked down the road in other direction to see if we could wade out that way. We thought maybe, but we were later told by an emergency worker that children shouldn't try to cross at big washout further down the road. It started to rain again. I got drenched. Gale gave me one of my father's t-shirts.

The people from the car waded over to us, at last, on the road. One of them offered to pay admission. I told her for heaven's sake, don't even think about it. Then they all ran for the bathrooms. We made them hot chocolate and tea. We now had four kids. They made friends very quickly. Gale took my father up to the house so he didn't have to watch any longer.

But what really mattered was that his carvings, all 500 of them, his life's work, were safe.

Hours later, the water level had dropped enough for even children to walk out. We all made phone calls.At six o'clock, I walked about a mile down the road, wading through ankle deep water in one place, gazing at the destruction. My husband had parked at the end of the road and was walking up to meet me. Amazingly, there wasn't much damage there. He didn't really believe how bad it was until I showed him my photos.

When I'll be able to get my car out, I don't know. When the museum will be able to open again, I don't know. How much damage happened to our trails and bridges in the woods, I don't know. If my father's bridge will ever be safe to cross again, I don't know. And how this symbol that even what we think is indestructible really isn't will affect him, at age 93, I don't know, either. And that worries me.

(I took the second two photos. I'm not sure who took the first one -- we were passing the museum camera back and forth between us constantly. My camera was in my car. I stole the photo from the museum's facebook page.)

Sunday, June 30, 2013


This lovely lady snapping turtle sauntered across our front lawn this morning. I suspect she visited the edge of the woods last night to lay her eggs. Now she is heading back to the brook. My daughter named her Cruncher. We are being careful of our toes.

Friday, June 14, 2013


Vacation, finally!

Ballet performance last weekend, high school graduation for my daughter tomorrow -- my life has been sandwiched between BIG EVENTS lately.

My husband mowed the lawn this week, finally finding a moment when it wasn't raining. The grass had turned to wildflowers -- daises, Indian paintbrush mostly -- and I hinted that he could mow around the thickest patches and leave some color out there. To my surprise, when he finished, it looked more like he'd mowed paths between flower beds. It works for me, but was a bit out of character for him. When commented, he said sheepishly that there were a lot of butterflies feeding on the flowers, and it didn't seem right to cut them down.

Is that not sweet?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Getting Famous... Slowly

Vermont's Great Outdoors Magazine published one of my Carver's Daughter articles today. Here is the link:
Click Here. My article in on page 48. Pretty cool.

Monday, May 27, 2013

We're out!

My family got home at ten o'clock last night. And today I'm free!

To watch a video I made of the experience, click here:


Sunday, May 26, 2013

It's Stopped Raining!

I can see the mountain for the first time in four days. Yes, that's fresh snow up there. No, it's not normal, even for Vermont.

The word is that the temp bridge will be open to traffic, foot and car, by ten o'clock tonight. That's two hours from now.  I'm so impressed by the hard work of the Vtrans guys who have been at it from dawn to after dark for two days over a holiday weekend. I REALLY hope my family will be home tonight. I have this image in my mind of us lined up doing the can-can in the middle of the bridge.

Saturday, May 25, 2013


We will be able to drive out tomorrow! The temperature has been in the thirties today, and it's windy and STILL raining. These guys have worked from dawn and they're going to work until dark. Yeah for VTrans and Westford! Their hard work makes me feel loved. There are good people in the world. They assure us we will be out by tomorrow afternoon.

We're an amazing team of organized people here on our island. One of the workers tells Dennis on the mainland they will need someone on our side at seven fifteen tomorrow morning to catch a rope. A flurry of phone calls: at least two people will be down at seven fifteen. (I will not be one of them. Even after this gets fixed, it is still washed out where my own driveway meets the roads. Someone who can drive down can do the catching. It's over a mile for me to walk.) I've never talked this much with my neighbors before.

I have discovered a cash of Mountain Dew in the band's refrigerator downstairs in their practice room. At this point, everything in this house is MINE. If I want to subsist on Mountain Dew and Klondikes, I am ENTITLED!

The Rescue has Begun!

The word is that people are working on the road already, as of this morning. With luck, the temp bridge should be installed by tomorrow afternoon. I will probably venture down this afternoon and take some photos. It is cold (43 degrees) and still raining. The forecast is that it might change to snow later. If it does, it will be the latest I've ever seen snow in Vermont. That is not what I'd intended when I hoped the rain would stop!

Friday, May 24, 2013

There is Hope!

Not only has my missing cat turned up safe and dry, but I just got a call from our contact person saying that she'd just been notified by the town that the state has approved the request for a temp bridge. It will take two days to install, and they will start on Sunday and finish on Monday, and with luck, we should be able to get out on Tuesday.

It will remain in place until they engineer a better solution for the brook.


I have decided it is no longer necessary to ration my Klondike bars and am celebrating by eating one. (Would Klondikes have counted as emergency supplies? Would they had made it over the ridge on an ATV? Hopefully, I won't ever find out!)

The Plot Thickens...

The official word is that I'm going to be on an island until at least the beginning of next week. 

The town has applied for a temporary bridge, but the state has to approve it first, and then the water has to drop before they can put it in. It's anyone's guess exactly when that'll happen.

In the mean time, one of our neighbors has been appointed our point person with the town, and she's called everyone to make sure we're all okay. If we need emergency supplies, she will arrange for them to be brought in by ATV. I'm not sure how many of us are actually up here -- I'd guess about twenty. At least one is a nurse, just in case.

So for now, I'm staying put. It would be a very long, wet, rugged hike to get out of here, and I'm not going to attempt it unless I have to, since I have a knee that bothers me. I just managed, with the help of some firefighters, to get some clothing and medicine out to my family across the raging torrent. (They threw me a bag on a rope, I put my bag in it and threw it back.I must say, my toss was at least as good as theirs!)

So everyone please hope that Vermont bureaucracy moves fast and the sun comes out!

In the mean time, I'm going to have a writer's retreat!