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all clear.

August 29, 2011

That wasn’t so bad.

We’d stocked up on candles, filled pots with water, harvested what we could from the garden, prepared projects and even baked a hurricane cake, but in the end, Irene caused us little trouble aside from a few downed tree limbs and a day spent inside. Christopher caught up on the Economist and made us spicy beans for lunch. I made bread and read and cut fabric pieces for a quilt (my first!).

By late afternoon, under blue(ish) sky, we walked down to see the swollen river and then picnicked outside until dusk.

At night, we lit candles just for the fun of it.



August 28, 2011

Judging by the rain lashing our windows this morning, it would seem that the leading edge of Hurricane Irene has finally reached Massachusetts.  Our larder is stocked, water stored in every spare pot, and We still have power.   In fact, we managed to brew fresh tea and coffee this morning, and we have a loaf of emergency bread baking in the oven.  We expect things to get worse through the morning and into the afternoon, but hardly as bad as we feared earlier this week.

But what a week it has been.  The house shook beneath our feet on Tuesday, just as Elizabeth learnt over twitter that an earthquake had shaken DC only moments before. And through twitter, we struggled to understand the tragedy unfolding for the citizens of Tripoli as the conflict in Libya erupted in the capital, while a very different type of protest continues to take shape in Syria – both crises that carry significant implications for the region.  Our hearts broke when we heard the United Nations house in Abuja had been attacked, while this week, people from at least five countries in the Horn of Africa struggle to get through one of the worst famines in living memory.

We’re so grateful for what we have, and fortunate to live where we do–hurricanes and earthquakes notwithstanding.  And as we cozy-up for the storm, our thoughts are with our friends and fellow members of the human family facing down much greater challenges elsewhere–in Haiti, the Mid-Atlantic, Damascus, Mogadishu, Dadaab and beyond.


{this moment}

August 26, 2011

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember ~ Amanda Soule



letting summer linger.

August 24, 2011

Well. It’s been a very full several days.

We canned, canned and canned some more, with our table now nearly covered in jars of tomato sauce, ketchup, peach salsa, ginger peach jam, pickles, peaches in syrup and more, and plans for more to come!

Christopher brewed a pale ale and a beautiful Scottish Ale, and will take on a second batch tomorrow, followed by a stout – all perfect fall beers.

We’ve been glued to our radio and computers, watching every moment of the Libyan revolution that we can, engaged in constant conversation on what it will mean for our careers (I study new governments, while Christopher performs aid work in emergency settings) for Syria, for China, for the US, for the world and, most importantly, for the Libyan people.

I put in a sizable order for yarn with Quince and Co. (sizable for me, at least, aknitter of only seven months) with holiday gifts (really? yes.) on the brain.

All the while we’re at the stove or hooked to the BBC or out brewing on the driveway or even driving to work, we’re beginning to see the signs that summer is slipping away and transition is ahead. The sun no longer wakes me early, the squash vines are starting to stretch, our work schedules are beginning to heat up and there are even a few bright red and yellow leaves scattered on the walkways.

So tonight and last night with the prospect of plenty of rainy evenings and days to spend indoors this weekend, we’re trying to savor every summer second we can. We’re eating tomato sandwiches, sitting outside until the bugs get the better of us, lingering at the farm where we pick up our CSA and enjoying bike rides into town.


p.s. For the first time ever, our little blog received over 100 visitors in one day today – 150 to be precise! I know that’s small in the blog world, but it feels momentous to us. Thanks, folks. We’re enjoying the conversation.

{this moment}

August 18, 2011

{this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember ~ Amanda Soule



we’ve been busy.

August 18, 2011

It’s been a busy couple of evenings.

“Can while you can!” the sign at our CSA pick-up said. Taking that advice to heart, we came home on Wednesday with about fifty pounds of heirloom tomatoes, grown just down the road by our wonderful farmers and sold at a bargain. Committed to some homemade holidays this year (never mind our desire to gorge on our own tomato sauce and ketchup come winter), we canned late into the night last night, chopping, measuring, bringing scraps out to the (very spoiled by now) chickens, listening to RadioLab podcasts and relying on guidance from Sherri Brooks Vinton’s Put ‘Em Up (which we think is a fabulous guide to canning by the way). Hard on the back and on our beauty sleep, but worthwhile nonetheless, our jars and freezer are stocked with tomato sauce, next to some little cans of ketchup we couldn’t stop tasting all evening.

Not quite satisfied, I came home this evening determined to try one more recipe in Sherri Brooks Vinton’s book – her spicy peach salsa, which let me tell you is wonderous (and currently cooling on our kitchen table, lids popping as I type).

Canning is not always a joy on a humid, hot, late night, but is oh so satisfying nonetheless. I’m proud of us for setting this goal and meeting it as vegetables come into season in enough quantity to pickle and sauce and jam, despite all of the other tasks around the house that compete for our attention. Each time we take the time to can a bit, I’m reminded that we’re a really good team and are living out those values and visions we’ve set for ourselves as a couple. I can’t help but smile and start peeking around for more recipes.

Which is good, because Saturday is mere hours away – and that bushel of peaches isn’t going to jam itself.

Guess what we’re up to tonight…

August 17, 2011