Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A River Flows On

"Rivers are roads which march and carry you where you wish to go." Pascal

After writing this blog for just over four years, it is time to say good bye.  I wanted to say thank you for following along here and reading about my many adventures along the Ausable.  The entire time I was hunting down phone booths, photographing gargoyles or sampling food, I met some truly incredible people within the community that have since become friends.

Local business owners never gave me a hard time about my odd ways of pretending I was a serious investigative reporter and neighbors started getting used to me acting like I was a private detective.  They didn't give me the "stink eye" when I was trying to solve mysteries of pencil shavings in the covered bridge or pulling my car over on the side of the road and walking into the river to take odd pictures.  The ladies in the knitting group at the Chiropractor's Office/Alpaca Shop humored me just like the women in my book group did letting me go on and on about my adventures, even if that did mean I was sharing too much information about bodily functions while running on 9N.  These women helped me understand that there were just some things I shouldn't write about on the internet.

Luckily, their critiques never stopped me from writing about bear poop in our mud room.  I'd like to thank google analytics for giving me real data on how many people in the world actually google "Poop Identification."  I've also come to realize people truly like reading about bad things happening to good people, like the time I wrote about vomiting along the Ausable when I tried to spend an afternoon floating down the river in a water tube.  As fun as it has all been, the time has come for this blog to move along with the river.

With the arrival of 2013, the river has begun to freeze and I am already looking ahead to the spring when the water will be rushing again and we will be welcoming our first child.  I find this time to be both thrilling and scary all at the same time, but I am truly excited about sharing my adventures with a little one.

Thank you all for your friendship and for reading along.

"A river seems a magic thing.  A magic, moving, living part of the very earth itself." Laura Gilpin

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Cat Mystery

Do you remember a few months ago when I mentioned that one of our cats started hating the other one?  They had lived with one another peacefully for close to 4 years until Bella decided one day that she despised Monty.  It was bad.  As soon as she would see him, she would attack.  Not play attack, but "I want to cut your ear and rip out all your fur and make you scream like you are being murdered" kind of attack.  I realize that if you are not a cat person, this story will certainly not convince you of ever liking cats and you should stop reading now, but for those of you that are intrigued and might be able to provide some insight, keep reading.

All this is so strange because Bella, the younger of the two, is truly the sweetest cat I have ever owned.  She loves love.  This behavior has not changed towards humans, however she no longer wants love from Monty.  Poor Monty.

When this started 6 months ago, we immediately took Bella to Elmbrook Veterinary to have Dr. Sue examine her.  She did discover that there was blood in her urine and we treated her for a bladder infection.  I didn't blame Bella at all for lashing out when we discovered this, I'd be "pissy" too.  After 3 weeks of taking antibiotics we brought her back to get re-examined and there was still blood in her urine.  At that point we had xrays taken of her bladder and we truly thought she had bladder stones.  So, we did bladder surgery to remove the stones, but to our surprise there were no bladder stones.  Sue had run test after test and sent away numerous blood samples to try to figure out what was going on.  Of course, nothing solved our mystery and we reached a point where we didn't want to keep making Bella go through all this.  So, we put up a screened door in our hallway to separate the two cats.  One cat has the back of the house, the other has the front and our companionship.  To make things fair, we trade them out every 24 hours.

As you can imagine, a locked screened door in the hallway does not lead to good feng shui or the desire for my husband to once and for all finish that hallway.  At night, the cat that's in the back of the house makes it known around 2 am, that it does not like being the cat on the other side.  Every couple days when Drew and I are home together at night and things seem peaceful we get a toy out and play with the cats or we give them wet food together.  During those situations, they are fine together, no attacks, no puffy tail and no immediate chasing.  The other night we had the two of them actually sitting on my lap together, this was rare.  Could it be that Bella finally decided she was going to start playing nice again?

Not wanting to take any chances in the middle of the night, we separated them.  The next day, we tried to get them together again and Bella didn't want to have anything to do with him and began to attack.
After 6 months of dealing with this arrangement, it's become a part of our living situation, but honestly, I don't want to do this for another 6 months.  I have sent in my information for a casting call to the Animal Planet's show, My Cat From Hell to have Jackson Galaxy, their cat behaviorist come help us.  In their casting call, they ask: Is your cat's behavior driving you or others crazy?  YES!  Are you at your wit's end?  YES!  Do you need help getting your cat to behave? YES!

I understand how hard it is to break into Hollywood, so if you have any suggestions, please let us know.  However, don't suggest we get rid of one of the cats, I'm not that person.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

I Should Have Stopped

On a typical morning commute I see tourists pulled over on the side of the road taking pictures of our beautiful area.  Yesterday was no exception since the foliage is really starting to pop, especially along the river.  However, I did find it odd that so many cars were parked in Wilmington Notch along the narrow rock wall.  I kept driving, but I wondered if I should have stopped and if there was a brilliant orange tree that was photo worthy.

Hours later, I found out there was a moose standing in the river.  Yes, a moose. A bull moose.  The moose stood there for hours.  He stood there the entire time I was at work and then he retreated into the woods on the hillside.  I should also mention I was working on my normally scheduled day off.  Tourists showed me their pictures and stories of the moose along the Ausable.  Friends posted their pictures on facebook.  I have no picture.

I have never seen a moose.  I didn't see a moose the year one was hanging out at Cascade Ski Center.  I also didn't see a moose in the field off of 9N between Upper Jay and Jay last year.  I've been to New Hampshire and Maine and I've never seen a moose.  I have always wanted to see a moose.  I should have stopped.

Friday, August 31, 2012

How Does Your Garden Grow?

In following the popular trend of growing ones own food, we jumped on the bandwagon and tried our luck with a couple raised beds planted with veggies and herbs this summer.  We have had mixed success.  Surprisingly, more success than failure.  I blame the failure on not paying attention when being told how to identify weeds as a child.  I'll get to that later.

Here is a more in depth recap on growing our first vegetable garden.  We didn't want to overwhelm oursleves and so I found this simple plan and also this plan.  Drew built one raised bed, but after mapping it out and buying the seeds and plants, we quickly realized we needed to build at least one more.

We had a great soil mixture delivered to us from Flowering Meadow Nursery where we stupidly instructed them to dump the soil in our driveway on the opposite side of the house from the gardens.  We spent the rest of the evening wheeling it around on a wheelbarrow that had a flat tire.  That was fun.  Um, not.  Either we completely miscalculated the quantity needed or they were very generous.

What did we plant? In the first bed we had sugar snap peas, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, lettuce, carrots, onions, basil and rosemary.  5 1/2 out of 8 worked.  The snap peas and the cherry tomatoes were my favorite.  I can't believe I didn't like tomatoes until this year.  Have tomatoes always tasted like a burst of sunshine?  The lettuce came up, but it was sad looking and we had barely one salad each with the greens.  As for the carrots, I don't know if I can say they were unsuccessful.  I never really gave them a chance.  This is where I needed another lesson on properly identifying vegetables vs. weeds.  It turns out, those feathery greens aren't weeds, they're carrots.  Fail.  Oh, and when I checked on the cucumbers, I noticed Drew had accidentally butchered one with the lawn mower.

The second bed had green and red peppers and more tomatoes.  We are still awaiting the peppers to turn red and wondering what to do with all the tomatoes.  

We have had less frozen pizza this summer and more gazpacho, blt's, and various cherry tomato salads.  Thanks to pinterest I discovered this recipe for chickpea, tomato and basil salad.  Does anyone else have any other recipes to use up the tomatoes?   

The slugs and worms weren't too harmful and the wildlife has been surprisingly kind to us.  I noticed only a couple bites on a tomato and some gnaw marks on a cucumber, not enough to make us want to put up fencing.  With the nights getting cooler, I'm realizing that the garden is coming to an end.  Will we do it again?  Yes, but next year I'll let the carrots do their thing.

Monday, August 27, 2012

High Chair

For the record, I would like to make it clear that I know I have a vivid imagination.  So what.

This is not something I was imagining.  Do you see it?

Look a little closer.  What is that above the river?  Really, you can't see it?  How about now that I have  circled it for you?

It's not an illusion.  There is a chair sitting high above the river.  Here's a different angle.  Do you see it now?

Still don't believe me... go look for yourself.  It's behind the Recovery Lounge in Upper Jay and I'm thinking I missed one heck of a performance and party Saturday night.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Here is something to record...I took an actual lunch break and left my windowless office. To my delight, I noticed that it was still summer outside.  My nose followed the smell of grilled hot dogs and I found myself at Woody's next to the Post Office on Main Street.  

I asked the teenager working the stand if he ate hot dogs all day.  He said, "just one a day" and not that I was judging or anything, but he was quick to add "I only work twice a week."

I ordered a Michigan and a grape soda.  It was darn good and the only thing that would have made my meal better is if I could order Summer to slow down!  I can't believe that this was my 1st lunch break at Woody's.  Maybe I should consider eating two hot dogs a week before they close up for fall...

Sunday, August 12, 2012


People are talking and they're talking about the Farmhouse Restaurant and Crowing Cock Saloon.

The Farmhouse is located behind Saranac Sourdough where Caribbean Cowboy used to be.  Don't worry fellow Cowboy lovers, you can still eat Rob and Vicky's food down the street at the Cowboy.  I'm not talking about that right now, however I find that the food at the Farmhouse has me drooling for other reasons.  They source as much food as possible from local farmers and businesses and the menu lists all that info.

We both ordered different flavored home-made sodas, maple and rhubarb.  They were both tasty, but I'd have to say that the maple was better because it was a unique flavor and not too sweet.  I should mention that the menu didn't tell us about the tree where the sap came from to make the maple syrup that flavored our soda, but we didn't want to be obnoxious and ask.  I couldn't help thinking about the hilarious Portlandia skit about this.

Next we had crab stuffed deviled eggs.  We don't know what chicken the eggs came from and we can only suspect that the crab did not come locally. It didn't matter to me, I love deviled eggs of all kinds, traditional with the yolk, mayo and a little bit of mustard or hummus filled, I'm not picky.  Yes, I am that person at a potluck that takes two halves.  I can't help it, I love them!  These were lovely to look at and tasted that way too.

Next time I want to try the Clover Mead Fromage Fort, garlic and wine infused cheese with crostini.  I know there is enough on the tapas menu that I could have made a meal out of it, but we ended up ordering individual entrees instead.  For dinner, Drew ordered the non-local Caribbean Seafood Salad.  Greens, sea scallops, shrimp, salmon, fresh fruit mojo, cruda, rice and a champagne dressing.

Maybe the greens were local from Fledging Crow?  He thought it was good and managed to clean his plate.  I had the Classic Farmhouse Meatloaf Sandwich made with Atlas Beef and Harmony Pork.  
I thought the portion size was generous, it hung over the bread.  

Just in case I didn't have enough to eat, the sandwich came with fries.  

I really liked my dinner and I would definitely like to go back and try out some other items on the menu.  Locally grown or not, the food is good and the prices are friendly for locals too.