Tag Archives: Writers

“Where the railway was, the river is now.” | Milk Street

Summer! The sights and scents of haying. The sweetness of fern, the hot aroma of wild sage, the occasional whiff of spearmint. The blast of heat up from the tractor, the wind turning leaves at the end of the field a milky silver, birds swooping down over the mowed grass. The rhythmic chugging of the baler, and the occasional snake, pressed flat to the hay, bound up with baling twine like a dull green ribbon.

Summer was also a time for farmhands, Onie and Herbie, who slept in the bunkhouse nearby. Herbie, thick and slow-moving, and Onie, lean like a string bean, showed up every day for noon dinner: a roast, baked potatoes, baking powder biscuits, a well-cooked vegetable, fresh milk from the Holstein out back, and molasses cookies or a slice of pie for dessert. Eating and talking didn’t go together; it was heads down and every man for himself. The potatoes were popped open with a whack of a fist and a sunny yellow pool of homemade melted butter soon followed.

This is the reason I first subscribed to Cooks Illustrated. Chris Kimball’s editor’s note was always the first thing I read. And because of wanting access to his story telling, I became a better cook. So it was with sadness that I did not renew my subscriptions to the entire array of resources after learning of his ouster from the company he started. Thank God he found(ed) another place to call home and another home for his stories… Go check out Milk Street.

Source: “Where the railway was, the river is now.” | Milk Street

Lifescapes: Susan Wittig Albert

Reading note. As a responsible omnivore, I need to know where my food comes from and understand and respect the needs of the fellow creatures whose deaths make my life possible. The chickens that gave us eggs and went into the freezer were treated with care and concern; they had the run of the meadows, with all the green grass and grasshoppers they could eat…  What’s more, all these animals came from this place, or nearby. They shared the soil with us, the water, the weather, the air. In that, there is a certain deep integrity, a wholeness, a relationship which I find richly satisfying.–Susan Wittig Albert, Together, Alone: A Memoir of Marriage and Place

via Lifescapes: New arrivals: baby chicks.

Leon Hale Talks About Owning Rural Property

I caught Leon Hales latest in my feed reader last week and thought he had a lot of good points. After spending a quarter of a century posting columns from the porch of his place in Winedale, Leon Hale has come to some conclusions about the joys of a second home in the country.

Here’s the main one: Your weekend hideout will end up costing you twice as much as you probably thought.

He explains this point this way…

Owning a weekend farm, or whatever you want to call it, is a great deal like starting all over. You’ll likely have another mortgage payment to make. And more insurance. And another set of taxes. (Taxes in the country aren’t super high, but they do the same thing taxes in the city do — they go up.)

I’ve heard weekend landowners say that somehow it didn’t occur to them that when they bought their little place, they would also need to buy everything they already owned in town.

Then he reminds all us men of this terrible fact of married life…

Here’s the gravest risk of them all:

A couple buys 30 acres in the woods, 100 miles from Houston, and the husband loves the place and wants to live out there. But the wife hates it. Can’t stand the loneliness and the insects, and once she saw a snake. That husband has big trouble.

This is the one that worries me about planning a move to the mountains…What happens if my wife isn’t happen once the move is a done deal. It’s not like you get a do over. And moving to the mountains wont be a perpetual vacation.

His most important point is this…

What you need to do, before making a move like this, is realize that you’ll have a good many days when you wish you hadn’t done it.

For his reasons to these points you’ll have to read his column from this past week over at  Owning a country home is no easy chore | Leon Hale | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle.

When you live in the country full time, not just on the weekends, your life moves at a different rhythm. The things you take for granted in town just take longer in the  country. Especially when it involves repairs. Parts are never available when you need them. The parts warehouse is far away in a distant city.

Even finding someone to do work on your place takes more time and effort.

p.s. I have been having a bit of trouble finding my voice these past few weeks…Blame on the dog days of summer…Blame it on procrastination. What ever the cause, I will make a more concerted effort to restart the habit of opening the stream and letting the words flow.

Lost In Someone Else’s Words

If it seems like I’ve vanished from the face of the world here lately, it’s mostly because I have. At least the face of this world. I’ve been spending my time for the last two weeks lost in the world created by Stieg Larsson.

It seems I finally made the mistake of picking up the first two books in the Lisbeth Salander saga. I had been hearing about them for a while, but hadn’t run across them in my few travels until last weekend when I saw both at Sam’s. I tossed em into the basket and figured from the heft of the two paperbacks I would have the rest of my summers reading lined out…Boy was I wrong.

It seems these books are real page turners from the very first chapter. Once I started reading them last week, I found myself pushing as far as I could each very late night and rushing through chores each day to get back to the story…By the time I finished up book two I was hooked. A quick check with Amazon and the hardback of book three was ordered for delivery this week…Then, it looked like it was going to be a few days of withdrawal as I waited for the book to get here.

I turned my eldest onto the book and she rapidly found herself hooked as well…But when she showed up on Sunday and said she saw the movie was out at Best Buy and I should put it into my que, I headed over to Netflix. A quick search and it turned out it was available to stream…yeah. I wasn’t aware that it was Swedish until I started playing it on the big screen, but that made it even better in my view…

Book three actually arrived early and I was back in the world of Salander and Blomkvist right through to the end yesterday afternoon. Now I’m just sad that Mr. Larsson isn’t still around to  write some more novels…I would really like to see where he would have taken these characters.

I highly recommend the three book series to one and all…