Sunday, May 16, 2010

Pub & Grub at The Jonesville Store

After a full day of yard work Saturday, I was ready to have somebody else cook dinner. The HH* and I hied ourselves down to The Jonesville Store in Clifton Park for their 'Pub & Grub' music-food-beer festival. The Ernie Williams Trio, above, was just setting up inside as we arrived, while the band outside, the Blackboard Blues, was doing their final set. The beer and food pairings that night featured Adirondack Brewery craft beers (from Lake George) with Jonesville's own gourmet food.

Both inside...

and outside, the crowd was friendly and appreciative of the good food, cold beer, and fine music. I would definitely go again.

P.S. I am told that The Jonesville Store generally has live music on Friday and Saturday nights. See their website for hours and more info.

* HH = Handsome Husband

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Happy Armed Forces Day and many thanks for your service to all those serving and to all those who have served.

Special greetings and thanks, with our love and pride, go out to Molly Conner, Jason Eller, David Machell, James Finnegan, and James Mark. Keep safe, my dears.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

All Afghanistan, all the time

Sorry, Seth G. Jones (In the Graveyard of Empires) but I've been lured away by Sebastian Junger (War). Oh, I will come back to you, but there's been enough hype to entice me to buy Junger's book and move it to the top of the queue.

Our Molly writes: War is about Jason's old "sister" company. He was in Chosen company, and the book is about Battle company, but they belonged to the same battalion.

Sebastian Junger is well-known for his earlier book, The Perfect Storm. I don't expect to find it very soothing.

For the birds

Last summer, I won a raffle at the Saratoga Soroptimist Secret Gardens Tour (which, by the way, will be held this year on Sunday, July 11.) One of my prizes was the sweet hand-painted bird house in the photo, above. This spring, I hung it near our back deck, and quite quickly a wren family moved in. At least I think they are house wrens. I haven't wanted to disturb them by getting too close.

From the Saratoga County Soil and Water Conservation District office in Ballston Spa, I purchased two handmade bluebird nesting boxes. In the back yard, above, chickadees promptly moved in. But in the front yard...

if you look close, perched above the box, waiting for me to vamoose...

is a mama bluebird. Heaven!
You can click on the photos to enlarge them, but really, I need to get a better camera.
Who's hanging out in your backyard?

Friday, May 7, 2010

"Let the walking begin"

As I have written here , I have become a fan of Rory Stewart after reading his book, The Places in Between. So I was eager today to check out the results of yesterday's elections in Great Britain. And the winner is...

Rory Stewart Wins in UK Election

Travel Blog • Michael Yessis • 05.07.10

“The Places in Between” author and Tory politician Rory Stewart captured 53.4 percent of the vote and will represent Penrith and The Border as a Member of Parliament. As Slate’s June Thomas tweeted, “Let the walking begin.”

Photo Credit: Martha Stewart (I assume not that Martha Stewart.)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Let it all hang out in Bend, Oregon

For your amusement, a Colbert Report piece about Bend, Oregon, home to my eldest son John and his family (who DO hang out laundry.)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The books I read now

I have just now finished reading The Places in Between, by Rory Stewart, a book recommended to me by my daughter. This is an unusual tale, written by a British man who walked across Afghanistan in 2002. I, in turn, recommend the book to you.

As I sat down at the computer, intending to look up what Rory Stewart is doing these days, an email from my daughter arrived with a link about him. Turns out he's running for Parliament.

As for my daughter, within a few weeks, she and her husband will fly to Kandahar with the 101st Airborne and will be gone for a year. This will be the second deployment for each of them.

During my daughter’s first deployment, while she was near Kabul, I had trouble figuring out how to cope, how to feel about her being there. I tried to do supportive things. I packed and mailed boxes of homemade cookies and silly gag gifts, of Sudoku puzzles and fancy soaps. I bought a large plastic button to wear, inserting into it a photo of my daughter in her Army uniform. I put a "proud parent" bumper sticker on my car and hung a Blue Star flag on our front porch. I planted up pots of red, white, and blue flowers for the deck.

I didn’t watch the evening news.

But none of that felt quite right. It wasn't enough.

This deployment is different. This time, I want to know. I feel that if I can understand it all better, I will have, if not more control exactly, at least more of a connection to what is going on.

I have bought three large maps: one of the Middle East region, one of just Afghanistan and Pakistan, and one road map that shows Kandahar Province. (There are not many roads there.)

My husband and I have bought books about Afghanistan to read: The Places in Between, which I have just finished, and In the Graveyard of Empires, which Bob has read. Perhaps we will now switch.

In The Places in Between, Stewart wrote: I chose to walk from Herat to Kabul in a straight line through the central mountains. The normal dogleg through Kandahar was flatter, easier, and free of snow. But it was also longer and controlled in parts by the Taliban.

After reading his book, I now understand the geography of Afghanistan much better - and much else about this troubling corner of the world. Ignorance was not bliss last time. It does feel helpful to know more now.

And while our daughter is away, when I am not reading, I will knit.

For my beautiful daughter who once danced ballet and played the cello, I will knit a helmet liner of the softest wool.

I will make her other little gifts, too, to keep my hands busy and to keep her close in my thoughts.

And with each click of my knitting needles, with each tightening of the yarn, I will draw my daughter safely back home.