Barn 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife (except this one by bette blau)

11.1.16 Legends of the Fall

 

We saw leaves go to glory,

Then almost migratory

Go part way down the lane,

And then to end the story

Get beaten down and pasted

In one wild day of rain.

 

So wrote Robert Frost, in his poem "November." And to be sure, we've had those days here. On the heels of a killing frost last week came a smattering of snow that turned into icy rain before ushering in warmer days. A little green still clings on in the garden, as you can see above. I just harvested lots of mint and sage, both of which are drying now and will be used in my big batch of garden tea: lemongrass, lemon verbena, lemon balm, mint, anise hyssop, scented geranium, lavender, sage, chamomile, calendula and rose petals.

 

Dear friends and supporters, if you have not yet heard, I have relinquished my role in Fish &  Bicycle. The official language is this: 

 

Laura Silverman is leaving Fish & Bicycle to pursue other projects. She is proud to have helped create the vision and fully endorses Juliette Hermant as she brings this much-needed Catskills venture to life.

 

It's all true and yet says nothing of my heartache. I fear disappointing you, but I trust you to extend your kindness and compassion when I need it most. I hope whatever other projects I pursue allow me to do the things I love and share them with you.


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Tagged — Sullivan County
Cottage 790 xxx
house & garden photos by george billard; food photos by gluttonforlife

6.17.14 Outside In

This is summer upstate: Tiny hummingbirds perched on the branch of the redbud tree, their scarlet throats glistening in the morning sun. Thick hops vines twining up the barn. Rising early to the impossibly loud birdsong and air so fresh it's like a cool hand on a fevered brow. Lazy dinners in the screened-in porch, as the sky darkens and the fireflies wink. The hot thrill of bear sightings. Ticks, ticks, everywhere. The sound of ice in the cocktail shaker announcing the end of the workday. Cold cherries. Shades of green so various the mind boggles. Whole fish on the grill. Canoe trips across the reservoir to the waterfall. Hands plunged into the damp earth. Foraging for wild berries. Memories of summers past—camp, swimming holes, fresh corn, cookouts, family picnics. Nostalgia, penetrating and bittersweet. Let me take you down...
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Tagged — Sullivan County
Snowy house 790 xxx
photos by george billard

2.20.13 Home Rooms

A bit more about our little homestead. We've put in a lot of work over the last 7 years, transforming a place that was decidedly ramshackle, with questionable bones, into our own private paradise. I found this cottage just at the time I met G, so a major undertaking I had thought would be a solo project turned out to be a challenge built for two. (Still thanking my lucky stars!) Why not buy something new and pristine, you ask? Well, money, for one thing. Plus I was looking for something in this area in order to be close to a good friend (who wound up selling his place, but that's another story) and this was well-situated and truly the best of the bunch I saw. And I just envisioned the possibilities, I guess. Remember, at the time I was single and it was intended to be a weekend place, so I didn't think I needed lots of space. But when Prince Charming entered, he immediately financed the construction of our pride and joy: the screened-in porch.
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Tagged — Sullivan County
Eldred interior 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

2.18.13 Inside Story

It occurred to me that you never get to see inside our little cottage, aside from a quick peek at the bathroom we renovated. We had the white brick fireplace built to replace the wood-burning stove that was here originally. Inspiration came from a Swedish book on fireplaces that I found in the mid-90s in a vintage book store in Illinois and carried around optimistically for a decade. We also stained the floors and ceiling beams a deep espresso brown and gave the walls a coat of white paint. My aesthetic is defnitely inspired by my Northern California upbringing, with lots of earthy colors and organic textures. (I recently received this book as a gift and was instantly nostalgic.) Mixed in are assorted works of art, ceramics, elements from nature and pieces collected on our travels, including several Berber rugs from Morocco.
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Tagged — Sullivan County
Christmas eve 790 xxx
photos by george billard

12.26.11 Fête Accompli

'Twas the night before Christmas and we were invited to spend it at Beaver Dam. You may remember it as the gorgeous house to which we fled last winter during the DBR (Dreaded Bathroom Renovation). Or perhaps you recall an impromptu potluck there about which I posted this fall. For Christmas Eve it had been splendidly decked out for the season, lit by candles and smelling of pine and woodsmoke from a blazing fire. Such hospitality! Dear friends, delicious food and wine, beautifully wrapped presents: it was an outpouring of love.I awoke this morning to learn of a terrible tragedy that befell a family on Christmas morning, and I feel it is even more crucial to appreciate the good times we have together. This time of year is an especially good opportunity to express to your loved ones how much they mean to you. Don't wait.
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Tagged — Sullivan County
Fiddleheads2 790 xxx
iphotos by gluttonforlife

4.27.11 Woodland Wonders

A-foraging I went and I didn't find one thing I was hoping for. No morels, no edible fiddleheads, not a single solitary ramp. And yet, it was truly a glorious day. The mighty Delaware, full of silt stirred up by the recent rains, is flowing the color of milky coffee. Eighty degrees out, with gentle breezes, fluffy cumulus clouds like globs of marshmallow cream in a Tiffany blue sky. The kind of weather sure to rouse even the drowsiest bear and summon the rattlesnakes from their stony bowers. I confess, I devoted a fair amount of mental energy conjuring up scenarios in which I was lunch. A trio of turkey vultures circling overhead didn't help matters much. But in the end, I was sufficiently distracted by all the green living things teeming on the forest floor.
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Tagged — Sullivan County

11.14.09 Creature Feature: Young Buck

[gallery]
photos by george billard
It's been two months since we closed the door on the Bowery loft and made the move up to our little 1935 cedar-shingle cottage in Sullivan County. I moved to New York City on June 6th, 1985, right after graduating from Harvard. I remember seeing Rubén Blades at the Village Gate that first night in town. It was quite a wild ride for nearly 25 years (with a 4-year hiatus in Los Angeles), but the time just felt right for something else. G and I had been spending increasingly more time upstate, and loving it. To date—and winter has not kicked in yet—I have no regrets. Living in nature is magical, inspiring, relaxing. I was working for Johnson & Johnson last year on the launch of a new product and came across some research that said just being in nature reduces stress. Your eye alights upon a wildflower or a monarch butterfly or a bald eagle—not on a homeless person or dog poop or a steaming manhole. Don't get me wrong, I love the city. It's just that this suits me fine right now. A couple of days ago, when our nature-loving friend Philip was visiting from the city, we went to check out the nearby Basha Kill. This beautiful wildlife preserve lies in the valley between the Shawagunks and the Catskills, once inhabited by Native Americans and then, in the 1700s, by European settlers.
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Tagged — Sullivan County
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