Sunday, August 31, 2008


It is possible to fall instantly in love, at first sight, with the first feel of soft breath on my cheek, with the holding close of a small warm body, sleeping with his head on my heart. Love. Complete. Total. The son of my nephew. I am head over heels. Tyler.

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Friday, August 15, 2008


I am buried, inundated, covered up, drowning, suffocating, full up. It's stuff. Stuff in my home. Stuff in my drawers. Stuff in closets, under the bed, in the garage, the basement, the cupboards.

Stuff on chests, desks, in bookcases. Stuff on the kitchen counter, on shelves, in neat little storage containers, baskets and boxes.

It's very cool stuff, mostly, beyond the detritus that accumulates in any house over time. The stuff in my house is pretty and it adds tremendously to my eclectic and romantic style of decorating. After the housekeeper's been in on Wednesday, I come home and my house looks like it's ready for a magazine shoot.

But I'm sick of it, this stuff. I feel overwhelmed by it. In addition to the house, I have a warehouse full of stuff. Full. Now that is overwhelming, but it's business and it's away, so it's the house that's on my mind right now.

I want it gone, this stuff of mine. My husband won't release his, but I am certain I can work up to letting go my 1920s moon prints, the English potlids, three dozen opera glasses, some of the little boxes (all of them? eek!) and possibly the seashell purses (but not the 1890s seashell souvenirs, not right now).

There's old copper and 1000 pieces of Harlequin and Riviera dinnerware. There's the divine old Steubenville dinnerware I have never used, not once. Wooden hatforms and shoeforms to match. Pen and inks of Paris, old photos and stained glass. Watches and funky jewelry from the '80s and an old fur muff. A leopard collar (should I bury it) and tortoiseshell dresser set (I should bury it). Books and books and books and books. Lamps and trays and coffee grinders and things that caught my fancy one moment in time.

I don't know what I'm saving it for. It keeps me tied down, trapped by even the thought of moving out of this house. I want to live in Mexico and moving the contents of this house seems impossible and I don't even want to. I want simple, easy, and I don't want to devote another second of my life to the maintenance of things I don't need. It's almost shameful, really, that I have so much. So many people live on almost nothing and I am whimpering about my excess.

I've needed a project, especially with the garden going by for the winter, so I'm going to get rid of it, one piece at a time. eBay for fun and freedom. Will people buy it? The treasures, certainly, but all of the rest? No way to tell. Push comes to shove, Goodwill's getting a windfall. When I'm cleared out, I expect I'll feel light as a feather with skippy traveling feet that will take me around the world, unburdened, released from bondage, free.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008


Luscious ears of tightly packed golden kernels oozing with sweetness. It's hard to believe that something so magnificent can grow in the backyard. Putting up corn is a gardening tradition in our little cottage.

Once the tassels appear, we keep an anxious eye on the weather hoping we don't get rain just as the dusty pollen begins to fly. In an effort to pollinate every last kernel, we collect the dust in a cone and sprinkle it on those ears which are growing at the outer edges, away from the prevailing wind.

After pollination, the silks brown and the ears begin to swell, growing fatter each day and increasing our anticipation of what's to come. Picking the right moment to harvest is key, and we puncture a kernel or two each day just waiting for that moment when the juice that results is a creamy and thick elixir of sweetness.

We had the first ears last night, along with jerk chicken and a squash and onion sautee, also from the garden. They were indescribably delicious covered in butter and lightly salted. I could eat a dozen of them. No store bought or canned or frozen corn even comes close.

This morning I skipped out of work to preserve the harvest. Ear after ear was stripped of its green leaves to expose a network of lacy silks inside. The effort required makes the glowing kernels feel like a reward, and they are. Better than any corn, anywhere, this fresh-from-the-garden treat.

I steam blanched the ears six at a time, plunged them into an icy bath and then dried them carefully before wrapping tightly for the freezer. Frozen garden corn is never quite the same as that pulled directly from the plant and quickly boiled, but it is half again as good as any other corn I've ever tasted.

Midwinter we'll sit down to an evening meal of stew and salad and we'll have golden ears of garden corn on the plate as well. I can close my eyes on the coldest night of the year, take a bite and it's summer again. Magic.

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