30 Days of Transition

Thirty days hath September.

Today, it’s downright hot outside.
Two turtles in the sun for web
Thirty days from now, this pair of turtles will be burrowing in somewhere that will help them survive the cold to come.

Today, it’s shorts, AC and a T-shirt.

Thirty days from now, it will more than likely be jeans and a long-sleeved shirt.

Right now, the cherry tomatoes are clustered on their vines, the garden phlox is filling the air with its new-mown hay scent, and we have an abundance of yellow squash to eat for supper.

Thirty days from now, I’ll be cutting back the gardens for winter, freezing the tomatoes, making applesauce, and eyeing my butternut squash for harvest.

It’s a big month, September is.

The Slant of the Light

After weeks of mostly cloudy skies and rainy weather, we’re into a stretch of beautiful sunshiny days.
Old road in summer for web
Just in time for the kids to go back to school.

I’m not sure what perverse sense of humor the weather goddess has around here but it never fails that we have some of the hottest weather of the summer season as soon as the teachers and kids are back in those oh-so-not-air-conditioned buildings.

But there’s not denying what’s coming soon. The green on the trees at the top of the hill across from my studio is weaker and it’s easy to see the yellow to come.

The light slants lower in the morning, lending mystical shadows under the trees and over the waters of the river.

Oh yeah, it’s coming and usually I’m counting the days to the beginning of September because I’m not crazy about the heat. But this warm season barely deserves the name since we’ve all spent most of it in long-sleeved shirts, sweatshirts and even summer sweaters (which means cotton instead of wool).

Hope the autumn is long and dry and warm.


We were on the western side of the Green Mountains over the weekend, celebrating a special occasion with friends. We were in a neighborhood that values gardens and the botanical side of life.

The many different plants made me appreciate, all over again, the dazzling texture of life. I never tire of admiring leaves, the patterns that frost makes on a window, the way trees talk to the wind, the myriad options for seeds.

These are two textures that caught my eye this weekend, the leaves of a begonia known as escargot (for obvious reasons) and a lime-to-lemon host.

Esargot leaves for webHosta leaves for web

That Banging Sound You Hear…

…is my head hitting the wall.

Transferring a phone number from TracFone to TracFone is not easy
Transferring a phone number from TracFone to TracFone is not easy

I absolutely hate taking on new technology because no matter what anyone promises you, it NEVER goes smoothly.

I am one of the last adopters to any new software, figuring that someone else can do the beta testing.

I don’t replace my computer until I’ve dragged it behind my car for a couple of years.

So when the battery on my old TracFone started turning off at random, I waited and waited and waited.

Then I finally bought a new phone, another TracFone because I don’t use these darn things very much.

Now, they promise that transferring a number from one TracFone to another will be easy. Activating a piece of cake.

They lie and I know it.

So I’ve had this new phone for a couple of weeks now, dreading this moment.

Now I have two—count them—two dead cell phones. One doesn’t work because it’s been deactivated. The other because it has not been activated.


Bang. Bang. Bang.

On the Way to Work

My studio and house are separated by 60 steps or so on a path that is surrounded by gardens on both sides.
Ripening cherry tomatoes
Last year was the first time I grew veggies in a small plot close to the door of my studio.

There’s a trellis of cherry tomatoes right on the path. We grow cherries because we have such good luck with them. And when we harvest them all in a few weeks, we’ll wash them, drain them and then pop them in plastic bags for the freezer.

That’s it, no other processing, no making sauce when the temps are high.

Then as the cold times roll through here, I’ll pull out handfuls of the green and red fruits. (Yep, we harvest them all and the green ones are as great as the red.)

They are a terrific addition to soups, chili, spaghetti sauce.

But for now, it seems that some of them just go from hand to mouth, hand to mouth.

Sure makes my commute a treat.

Author of the Carding, Vermont novels, quilt books, and book publishing guides.