It's back to work for this gal. We had ourselves a goodbye party on 9th Avenue of all places at 3 this afternoon. We've seen such beautiful things these past 3 weeks and our last impression is going to be 9th Avenue and 37th Street???? Seems wrong. But I don't have to dig very deep to grab hold of memories of country side, mountains, beaches, creeks, Clintondale sunsets and everything in between.
The kids spent some time in the city on their own (read about their good times and look at pictures at Gizmo's and Kajan's blogs!) and I went upstate to work on the house. They came back just in time for us to have a wild evening in Marlboro. Dinner at the Raccoon Saloon was a definite hit. Cool view and really good food. Made with love even. Mussels for me, pate for the big guy and lots of vegetarian options for the mean greenies. After that we strolled over to the Falcon for some live music. The act of the night was Marc Ribot known to music nerds and some regular people as a guitarist for Tom Waits, Elvis Costello and others. Cool. But for the evening Marc had decided to play an experimental jazz set all by his lonesome. A man and his instrument. I don't know who in the audience knew this beforehand and who (that "who" would include "us") were a bit miffed when the first song Smoke gets in your eyes took a wrong turn 30 seconds in and became a series of yelps and eeeks and deedle-deedle-weeeeeps. That was by the way the title of the second song. We wanted to like it so bad and we wanted to be adults and sit still and nod our heads just a little bit but I'm sorry it was mostly painful. And I could draw a picture from memory of Marc's bald spot because that's all I saw for an hour. And being like 13 Kajsa and I got the giggles and couldn't stop.
There was an electric guitar leaning against the chair and we said "let's wait". Maybe this will pick up. Maybe Marc will go into an awesome rendition of Black Dog and the whole joint (which IS a very cool joint) will start swinging. But alas - after a 20 minute piece called Silent Movies we started filing out. One. By. One.
SO - thank you Marc Ribot for giving us so much comedic material that it lasted for the rest of sis/Giz's stay. Lotsa mileage for sure.
But HE IS very talented.
Friday was a chill day with some house work sprinkled in. One of the first things Gizmo decided to tackle at 19 Maple Ave was the stones in the pit.
Kajsa captured our manly men in action.
(Sorry I just couldn't help myself)
We had realized we were sitting on a gold mine in stones. And that they could fill all kinds of purposes.
Some digging and some leveling sand and...
...a beautiful step stone for the new entrance. Thank you Chris for helping with the idea!
And this one:
A gorgeous stone bench in one of the prettiest spots in the yard. It doesn't take the place of the picnic table but only makes the picnic table more useful and so that it can be moved to shady spots whenever wherever!
We are also saying goodbye to this structure this week. It's old and leaky and falling apart. It also makes no sense. Once upon a time when people were 4 foot tall the kitchen was in the basement at 19 Maple Ave and this half bay was maybe built to make the kitchen brighter and roomier? Anyway, the J's are tearing it off and we won't miss it.
So Kajsa and I decided to move our precious Hostas before this turned in to a war zone and we found a pretty place over by the little sister veranda.
I think they will be happy here.
But don't think we worked all day. Whatta ya crazy? We made sure to stop and have challah french toast with fresh fruit and Mimosas. There was a slight chance it was going to kill our motivation but it was a risk we were willing to take.
Saturday was set aside for our BIG TUBING ADVENTURE! There had been talk of how awesome tubing would be if you had a little hangover. So that became some kind of lame excuse for having a schnaps sample party the night before. How do you spell schnockered? Anyway. We accomplished our goal and picked up Meg at the New Paltz bus station on Saturday morning. We peppered her with excuses for our base humor and lack of control over bodily functions and set out for PHOENICIA! There was also a quick run down of internal jokes that have developed in the past few weeks so that she could be part of our cool club.
The ride up 28 is just beautiful and the journey became an integral part of our adventure. In Phoenicia it was not hard to find TownTinker. The big red barn that rents tubes and all the acutrement. (I don't know how to spell that either.) It's like the biggest structure in town and it seems to employ most of the population. The tubing package consists of a tube with a wooden seat in it, a life vest and a bus ride up the river. We get our stuff and jump on the bus.
Our busdriver Harry was totally the coolest busdriver! He channeled Sam Elliott and made the girls happy. Go Harry!
In the river we jump. Trying out our techniques, getting ourselves comfy on our tubes so that we can enjoy the next 2 hours to the max.
And we did! Due to lack of rain the river was pretty low and there were spots you had to get up and walk and I got a little chilly but it ended just when I developed fanny fatigue and I was ready to walk home rather than get off my tube to get off a rock one more frikken time....
Those are my wah-wah complaints - but the rest! Man - when can we do it again??!?!? When you go - you really go and the rapids are fun as all bejesus and in between you just bop and float and look at birds and maybe if you're lucky you can find a can of Bud Lite in the water that has gotten away from the fratboy party just ahead of you and you get off your tubes and share it on the shore between 5 friends and you realize that beer tastes good again and that the river has totally and completely cured your hang over. WOOOOO-HOOOOO!
Here's to buddies and tubing and great days in the country!
On Sunday morning the kids and I left for the city around noon. The big guy stayed in Clintondale to get some scraping done and joined us later in the eve. Sis/Giz and I had 2 more things on the list to check off and we set out on the subway. (We tried to count all the modes of transportation they have taken during this trip and we didn't come up with a number but found only very few that didn't make the list, such as rollerskates, snow mobile and paraglider.)
Ground Zero and a visit to their preview center. Still as emotional as ever.
And the Statue of Liberty. I talked them into taking the Staten Island Ferry cause it's cooler and more blue collar and you get a pretty good view of the lady. I just hope we came close enough. Scale is what you're after and unless you stand next to her it's hard to appreciate it.
Our last dinner was Korean BBQ and we were at one point fanned over by 3 waiters, who knew 1/16th of the English language between them. Made for an interesting eating experience. And tasty as always! Drinks at the Frying Pan for a final look at Manhattan from the water. An emotional and lovely evening. We have gotten very used to having sis/Giz around and are truly sad to see them go. The big empty has lodged itself in the heart area and I guess we'll have to fill it with Skype for a while. But as the case was with mamma and pappa - it was hard to say goodbye but it feels so great that my whole immediate family now has a real picture in their mind of my beautiful house and my beautiful yard and my beautiful village and that is worth very much. Vi saknar er redan och hoppas vi ses snart igen!!! Kram kram kram!!!
So as I get my lazy ass back to work tomorrow, James is going back to C-dale to kick some painting butt.
Look at the progress already!
Bay window primed!
More windows primed and an eave above them scraped, sanded and ready for primer!
That is all for now. I'm going under the radar for 7 days in a row of work and won't have house time for a while. Sad but very needed!
I can't wait to plan our next adventure together!