Why is it that when I went out and bought $150 dollars worth of groceries yesterday, I still seemed to have nothing to make for dinner? The first mistake was that I went to the market after teaching a spin class followed up by 45 minutes of running. I did my best to not gnaw off my arm out of hunger during the drive to the market. I fantasized of eating everything on the menus as my car passed Wendy's, McDonalds's and Burger King on Route 66. I thought to myself, if i could just make it past these establishments, I could withhold a weeks worth of fat and calories. I can't be the only one that struggles with this temptation sometimes. Moral of today's story is NEVER go to the supermarket when your hungry. Like a starving child you see on a poster, I walked right by the nutrition rich fruits and veggies and headed strait to the stuff that puts meat on your bones. I could also swear that the check out guy was evaluating my purchase choices with a bit of an eye roll. I came home with enough schools snacks to provide the entire lunch room with a snack. I went hog wild in the ice-cream department. I thought purely with my empty, unfulfilled stomach and threw out everything I ever learned about the food pyramid. At least I didn't forget to buy the milk. I got the second eye-roll when I got home and Chris helped me put the groceries away. He suggested that we go up to the orchard and buy some apples. Lesson learned. Dinner came around and of the $150 dollars spent, all I could show from the market outing was a pound of hamburger meat, clearly born of the desire stemming from my fast food drive by. I thought of going into the pantry and pulling out one of the thousand single serving snacks that I bought and attempt to make them into a side dish somehow. But supermom strikes again. To make up for my poor decisions, I went into what remains of my summer garden and pilfered it finding a sad tomato, a softening cucumber and our very last watermelon. I really think I need a personal shopper in the future. Next time you wander through the market take pity on the lady filling her cart in the snack isle, especially if she looks sweaty and hungry. Someday it could be you.
In my life of absurdity and chaos today, I must have walked by the couch 50 times. Resting in various forms of repose sat the king purring. Little did he fret about my list of things to do, little did he care. All at the same time, the joker would sit by my feet. Every minute or so I would hear the undeniable sound of a ball dropping to the sound of bum, bum, bum. It would go on for hours while I edited. The routine became laughable as I would edit a photo, chuck the ball, wipe the slobber off my hand and repeat. All along, the joker (or jester) would entertain the king as he clumsily chased the ball around the king's throne. The entertainment would come to an abrupt stop when the jester would jump for a ball and land on the king. The hiss and swipe of the king's claw would act as a reminder of the proper pecking order in this fiefdom. While the roles we play in this house are often undefined, at least two of us know of their capacity as dwellers of this old home. It's good to know that despite the disorder we may find in this house on any given day… our unfolded laundry, un-emptied dishwasher and other undone deeds, they know their jobs. Gunther (the king) is to kill all fairy woodland creatures entering the abode and to keep warm the beds of the house until someone returns to sleep in them. Mile's(The joker) job is to produce as much dog hair as possible and test the limits of the shopvac. As their humble servant, I provide these masters with kibble, treats and ball throws on demand. If your anything like me, you may not feel like royalty in your home but somehow you find your place. If I were to guess, my job is to keep all of the eggs(that would be the humans) in the carton without cracking. I'll keep wishing for that and hope for the best.
A few days away from this blog feels like a lifetime. This little vacation of sorts was really no vacation. For two weeks, entire lives revolved around the Durham Fair. Not only myself, but a big chunk of most that live in Durham and Middlefield. The list of to do's was relentless: Choose photos, processing photos, print photos, buy materials for kid projects, getting them to follow through with the projects, help create a classroom fair project, cleaning the Photo Dept. building, organize photos for the fair association, getting to the fair(not fun this year), doing your shifts, dealing with rain and a camera, dealing with wet kids, climbing the damn hill 100 times, doing "Drums Alive" on stage, trying to find the pumpkins(how could something so giant be hidden so well), trying not to go broke, trying to decide on what to eat, shooting a wedding on fair weekend… really, I could go on forever. Awards were garnished with ribbons. Peter continued his lego winning streak with his super cool Tour de France design. Kate won on her colorful drip candle. Perhaps the award for the most perplexing aspect of the weekend goes to my Lightroom program that lost all of Thursday's and Friday's photos. Demoralized by this, I have so little to share with friends of the fun times (I think) they were having at the fair. I tried my best yesterday, to capture a few photos, but after Saturday's wedding shoot, I could barely hold up my arms to take a shot. Maybe next year's motto should be "Say yes to less", but I know that wont happen because we all seem to get swept up in the tidal wave. Life is short and if I'm lucky, I'll only have 60 Durham Fair's left to capture and enjoy. If this is the case, I shouldn't sweat losing my photo files from this year. Next year's probably wont be very different anyway. While I wait for my photo recovery miracle to happen, There are a few things that I did see this weekend that would fit the miracle genre. I got my car out of the muddy parking field! I watched a little girl sing a song with the voice of an angel, I watched Michael Hayes (patch editor) take more photos than me for once, I managed to resist temptation to gobble up the giant fluffy donut(and now i regret it). The biggest miracle of all was that I reached into my bag pocket last night and pulled out a $100 dollar bill that I had put there in case I need to pay ransom to get Peter back in case of kidnapping. Good thing he was covered with so much sweat and sticky ice cream that any kidnapper would think twice. Now we wait for the crisp days of fall to sharpen the senses as we say goodbye to the hazy memories of summer. The seasons help us say hello and goodbye with regularity. Durham Fair, we'll see you again someday.
Were going to the fair, rain or shine. Living in this town, you mark your year as the year that it rained at the fair or didn't. Either way, we still have fun. The kids woke up this morning and it was reminiscent of Christmas morning as they buzzed with excitement. I'm tired already. I have come to realize that the Durham Fair is a homecoming. It truly does have something for everyone. My kids love to see their exhibits, I love the photography. My parents come to experience the feel of a small town and what a town showcase it is. Everyone shows up. High school kids treat it like the prom. College kids reunite with friends they have missed. Even older ex-townies trek homeward to reunite with friends of the past. So in essence, it's not the food, or the entertainment, the exhibits or the rides that make the fair. There's is no one thing were drawn to more than the people. The fair is built on volunteerism. Every person that puts time into the event cares about our community and making it a better place to live. That's why you'll see us there despite the weather. This town depends on its people. So as we get rained on this weekend, enjoy it because we're all there to see each other. While this is the case I do have a secret reason for showing up. There is a giant sugar donut with my name written on it. Check out last years video.
When opportunity calls, you need to take it. Yesterday when a friend called for an impromptu visit to New York City, I just couldn't say no. She is an amazing treasure trove of information regarding all things especially when it comes to gardens. She was researching a new project that had recently been unveiled along the west side of Manhattan. The High Line was a freight line that was built back in 1929 when interestingly enough, too many accidents were occurring between trains and street traffic. Rather than let 10th Avenue maintain it's nickname of "Death Avenue", city planners created this overhead train-line that would travel thirteen miles. It would serve it's purpose for sometime until train service needs fizzled and the weeds began to grow. It began to look much like an abandoned Chernobyl as nature overcame man. Then in 1999, two locals who perhaps were inspired by the greenery growing within the steel girders, rethought this area. The High Line was slated to be demolished unfortunately, but preservation efforts prevailed and the project came into being. The steel work throughout is intricate but somehow blends in well with the grittiness of the meat packing district of New York. The project progressed with the mindset that this would become a self sustaining green-way for all New Yorkers to enjoy. Clearly, they succeeded. As one walks up the stairway , you're greeted by a birds-eye view of Manhattan. With no stop lights or cross walks, one navigates this pedestrian wonderland uninhibited by the rush below. The path is dotted by kids, seniors, students, tourist, and workers on lunch break all walking blissfully. Many of them could be overheard speaking proudly of their new urban playground. Once again, NY ingenuity at it's best had prevailed despite the odds. The green-way is not designed for hard exercise, it's designed to get frantic New Yorkers to slow down. While a butterfly flutters from milkweed to other flowers, honey bees travel busy routes through yellow and purple perennials. The miracle here is how gracefully the vegetation grows in and around steel and concrete. A perfect balance is struck between the right amount of room for people and greenery. Descending the stairs back to 10th Avenue, anyone could notice how the vacation had suddenly ended. The concrete jungle would surround you once again and the pace would pick up. This is a new must see location born out of the imaginations of fellow New Yorkers who have a modern vision for an aging city. I applaud the efforts to those that make things happen despite the odds against them. New Yorkers, you should be proud.
Check out all of the photos here.