Thursday, September 24, 2009

Maine !

We spent the night in a delightful Bed & Breakfast called LeVatout in Waldoboro. It's run by a German ( ! ) writer and an American photographer and gardener extraordinaire. The two of them have created an incredible garden filled with an amazing array of plants, all of them tucked in many garden rooms and secret corners. There are places to sit and relax, a fire pit, a vegetable garden, a little building with a stage for workshops and lots more. All of this on less than an acre, but it feels like the garden is at least 5 acres in size.

Inside, the house is just as wonderful as the garden with lots of rooms and corners to explore. Just look at our room, it had a wonderful bookshelf with lots of books by and about Virginia Woolf among other authors. Someone loves books and loves to read !!
And best of all, the writer is also a fabulous cook . We enjoyed her shrimp and egg breakfast tremendously in her huge kitchen which is in the center of the house - truly the heart of this home. The gardener came in and joined our breakfast conversation and when I admired the bank of blooming streptocarpus in the window, she gave me two of her plants which are about to flower. I was so blown away by her generosity. Here they are on the balcony of our hotel room enjoying the view of the ocean.

We spent the day poking up and down some of the peninsulas near Waldoboro, enjoying the glorious fall weather, the ocean, the woods which already are changing color and the fine old buildings you can glimpse on small country roads and in the little villages as well.The old boat builders had not only high standards for the boats they made, but their houses as well. The architectural details and the craftsmanship are probably unique in their excellence and artistry.
The day concluded with the obligatory lobster dinner. Totally delish - 'nuff said.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First day of fall in New England

and it's time to celebrate by taking a little trip to one of the many used book stores in the area.

After a lovely drive along the Connecticut river on a winding country road through fields where pumpkins and squash were being harvested and turning left at Montague Center just past the village green, I found a little bridge and then this old mill - just stuffed full of lots and lots of books - heaven !

Lots of cozy chairs and sofas invite you to get comfy, have a cup of tea and enjoy the rushing water just outside the window while you try to decide how to reduce the stack of books to a manageable size to take home.

I can't think of a better way to welcome the new season !

Monday, September 21, 2009

The morning after

Now that the euphoria and excitement of the workshop has worn off a bit, I am breaking out in a cold sweat thinking about Mr. T's fabulous, valuable, and much-loved Civil War book. I totally took it apart, ripped off its covers, pasted and sewed things and now I have to put it all back together and make it look better than before.

What was I thinking ? People charge hundreds of dollars to do this job ! Why didn't I stick with the ratty old hymnals everyone else was practising on ?

Time to call on my inner Obama and cry " Yes We Can !"

Sunday, September 20, 2009

GAS workshop

What a weekend ! We took books apart, put them back together, learned how to line out, make a new corner, discussed Moriki , guillotines, Davie boards and tight English and generally had a grand time. All this took place at a workshop for book restoration at the Garage Annex School in Easthampton, MA.

I was the least experienced in the class and was totally overwhelmed the first day. All the other students were experienced and knowledgeable and both my teachers gave us an incredible amount of material to learn. But this morning I thought " This isn't rocket science - I can do this ! " and jumped right in and did a full reback of Mr. T's favorite Civil War book, which is the fat book in the last picture.

It's amazing what a change in attitude can do - suddenly I was having a ton of fun and all the new information made sense. There's a tremendous moral here : just a slight change in outlook can affect you in a major way ! I can't wait to get home and work on all of my books. French joints anyone ?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The busy summer has flown by and fall is here. School started yesterday and we are so proud of our very own first grader ! Here she is holding her Schultuete,a German tradition to sweeten the first day of school. The Schultuete contains candies, little presents , school supplies like a pencil case, cool erasers, magic markers - you get the idea. Judging by the size of this Tuete, R's school career should be very sweet.
And yes, the first day was great - according to reliable reports the girls had so much fun they didn't want to go home !