Archive for September, 2008

Bristol and Beyond

State Street. VA on one side TN on the other.

We had a lovely weekend in Bristol. We packed ourselves into the van with a car following behind and headed on down. The van is a high style travel option, in case you are looking for one. Nice big comfy seats. Places to plug in a computer to work. Lotsa cup holders. We had a cooler packed to the gills. Bread,cheese,fizzy water, fizzy orange and cranberry drinks, nuts, chocolate, crackers, and lots more. This is how you avoid a starvation induced food mistake. Anyhooters we were a jolly bunch. We got to the hotel in time to relax for a bit and change clothes and then headed on to the music. The fella played on the big stage the first night and I sang on the same couple songs I helped with on the album. Then we strolled and ate. Overall we had a great time. The fella had two gigs, we saw some friends from here do their thing, and managed to see some of Doc Watson and James Hand. We capped the weekend with a gig over the mountain from here on Sunday night.

Now to beyond. There are only a few more weeks of the CSA to go. How sad. I wasn’t able to figure a way to get to the harvest festival at the farm, which is a total bummer. The farmer told me to forget about work and just come and even tried to win me over with homemade blackberry wine. Alas, I couldn’t figure a way to make it out. The Kp and IC were also thwarted, annoyingly, AFTER she had made 3 pies for the event. Maybe we can get a private invite? I’ll have to work on that.

Now I am sick. Grrr. Which may mean Having to reschedule my massage tomorrow. Grrrr. I am hanging at home today. Trying to take it easy and get some cleaning done.

xo,

LB

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Bristol.

The sign. My fella played on a big outdoor stage with this as a backdrop.

The sign. My fella played on a big outdoor stage with this as a backdrop.

The LB’s Wild Kingdom

Today* was a day of critters. I didn’t really notice as the day was unfolding but it was.

First, this morning as I was having coffee and e-mails on the porch I was visited by a humming bird. I have had at least one all summer buzzing in the bushes ten feet from my tree porch but this morning the thing came onto the porch and spent a few whole moments with me. It buzzed just inside the doorway to the porch in an odd mix of hummingbird frenzy and total stillness. Weird. Just looking at me as I looked at it.

Then, this evening my fella and I had a chimney swift date.We have been planning this one for quite a while. Since we first met. I had noticed in 2005 when I went for an evening tea with two of the members from the Serbian theatre company, that a place downtown had great view of the swifts in action. I had told the fella about this memory pretty early on and we talked about going to see it. It took us a while, but we got there.

We got a pot of tea and headed to the back porch with a great view of an unused brick chimney. Just before dusk the birds start to arrive a few at a time. By the time the sky is starting to turn pink it is filled with hundreds of chimney swifts making big loops just overhead. It is really amazing. You don’t often so many at once. They loop and show of for at least 30 mins until someone calls it bedtime and, a few at a time, as they circle the chimney, they drop straight down to roost. It is really cool, must say.

Later in the night I did some skunk watching. A big chubby guy strolled around at the foot of my stairs. Then he squished himself, including his fat butt, through the fence to the neighbors yard.

* this was actually a couple days ago.

xo,

LB

Too Bloody Cold.

I was awake by 7am today.

Now, I know that most of you are normal people who generally start your days at the beginning.

Imagine for a moment that you are a big moss covered sloth.

This is how I feel in the morning. 7am is not my friend.

I will be ready to go back to sleep in a few hours. Just you wait. Only I will be at work where napping is frowned upon.

I think I am awake partly because I was cold. Cold!

My little tree house apartment is just one small corner of a much larger house and the big part controls the ac. Which is why I have ac on at all. I have all the vents shut but can’t keep it out. So, this morning I was cold. I am on the porch warming up. I think I will get a thermometer, just so I can know exactly how put out I feel.

Though, it is just as likely that I will discover that I am a 90 year old.

Time to call the KP an IC to see if we can meet early at the market.

xo,

LB

Some Things

You will likely find boring but……

I don’t seem to care.

This past Saturday Market was an adventure in wetness. My usual time to head several blocks over to the market coincided nicely with our little tropical storm. I spent some time on the porch calling the KP and Starrhillgirl to guess whether it was worth the trek. There was much back and forth. None of us can actually see the market from our houses and SHG hadn’t gone to market since her CSA shows up on her porch. Finally I decided that if my farmer had chickened out he would have let us all know our shares wouldn’t be available so I grabbed my bag, and my box to return, and my brand new umbrella and headed out bout 9am. I caught a lucky break and ran into my neighbor in his old white truck heading out for breakfast. I happily caught a ride with him. The market was a lot of fun in the pouring rain. Several vendors had braved the weather and a handful of folks turned up to buy. I had a nice long chat with my farmer as the water poured by the gallon from the roof of his tent. I scored some free sun-golds. He offered, and I said the IC would be happy to see more of those, thankyouverymuch. Apparently she ate the last batch like candy. My farmer’s wife and children offered me a ride home but I had another stop at the market and was enjoying the sensation of walking in the rain, so I politely declined. I am hoping to make it to the harvest festival at the farm, where there will be a “Jack and the bio-dynamic beanstalk” puppet show. Word.

Also, the fella and I finally cooked the steak I bought him. We went for a drive, which is not environmentally responsible but when you live in the land of greatest beauty, it has to happen every now and then. We headed down the way to the little town on the James to take a look at their new main street and so I could pick out all the houses I like. Once the day turned to dusk we headed back to my place to eat. I had stopped by the local fish guys and gotten a tuna steak so we cooked up the fish and the meat and some mashed potatoes and some corn on the cob and a big salad of tiny greens with cukes and tomatoes and goat cheese and ate ourselves silly. The fella agreed that the hunk of happy cow tasted better than miserable cow and it was a fine meal all around.

Also, last week marked my Nephew’s first week of kindergarten. WTF! How that is possible is beyond me. Just a minute ago he looked like this:

In his First Few Hours

In his First Few Hours

Hopefully, they will realize what a genius he is!

In other exciting news. I got a visit from The Herbwife and her fella while at work. I feel soooo 2008, actually meeting people from the interweb in real life. Weird. We had a very nice chat and are hoping for a blog coffee date with Starrhillgirl next time they are in town.

Last night Starrhillgirl and I had a date at the diner to see my fella play.

xo,

LB

P.S. Inspired by the Herbwife, I give you a gander at my jars. However, it is clear who has the bigger jar collection, if ya know what I mean.

Stalked By Squirrels

Everyday while I am away.

A squirrel comes to play.

Seriously, it hangs out on the porch while I am gone. It knocks over pots and yesterday it brought a friend. As I climb the stairs it senses that it has been busted and starts having a little panic attack and eventually flings itself off the porch and hopes for the best.

For the last 20 minutes it has been hanging out just one step below the porch, giving me the hairy eye ball and hoping I will leave. What the hell is it looking for?

How rude.

xo,

LB

We Drink No Wine Unless it’s VA Wine

Well, That isn’t even remotely true but it was last night.

A few of us from work, Jedidiah, J and J’s lovely lady T and I have decided to get a little wine drinking group going. We started a little over a month ago with some Burgundy’s and a Condrieu I had that really needed to be drunk. Despite the fact that one or two of the Burgundy’s looked decidedly sketchy the evening turned out pretty durn well. Everything tasted delicious and Jedidiah and I didn’t even get into a fist fight! So we will soldier on. I would love to tell you that these evenings resemble the salons and discussion groups of the days of yore. A gathering of the intellectual elite as they redefine the thinking of an entire generation, However, there is way too much potty talk for that to be true so I won’t even try.

Last night was the second dinner and we decided to go with Virginia wine. Jedidiah already had a bunch to choose from so the rest of us showed up with food. Since the wine was coming from Virginia and we are a local leaning bunch, we thought we would make all the food local, too.

The evening started when Jedidah and I headed to his wine cellar to pick out a couple of reds. We debated for a few minutes, I ogled everyone’s loot and then we hit the road. Once we got to Jedidiah’s place I reminded him quickly that his house should belong to me, he agreed of course, and we started setting up. J and T arrived with the main course and we got to work tasting the whites and eating some bread and cheese. It should be said that the bread was locally made but the starter cheeses were not.

We opened a 2007 Veritas Sauvingnon Blanc and a 2006 Chester Gap Sauvignon Blanc. The wine maker for Veritas had said that the 07 SB is the best wine she has made and the Chester Gap was a new one for us. The Veritas had a great, typical SB nose, but we thought it was a little thin. Still it was crisp and clean and got a little more going on when it warmed up a bit. The Chester gap was a bit more rich and we all agreed we liked it a bit better than the Veritas. We admitted this in hushed tones since some us think Veritas’ wine maker is totally dreamy and we felt a bit bad preferring the Chester Gap wine. This discussion took place on the porch.

Local apple, local bread, and local feet enjoying local wine.

Local apple, local bread, and local feet enjoying local wine.

We used these same two wines to go with the beginning of our meal, so we moved to the table and enjoyed our local salad, arugula, tomatoes, cucumber, hard boiled egg, and local unpasteurized chevre. The dressing wasn’t local but what are ya gonna do? A person can’t live without olive oil, vinegar or mustard.

Local Salad.

Local Salad.

We switched back and forth between the whites and everything was pretty darn tasty.

Then we moved on to red. Jedidiah opened two reds, a 1999 Barboursville Nebbiolo and a 1998 Barboursville Cabernet Sauvingnon Reserve.

Nebbiolo on the left, Cabernet on the right.

Nebbiolo on the left, Cabernet on the right.

Frankly, they were both really good and still full of a lot of life. The Nebbiolo still had good acidity up front and nice soft, ripe fruit. The Cab was bigger and darker with pleasant tannins. Do I sound like a wine snob? I think I’m boring myself. They were good. The Nebbiolo being a stand out and better with the food we had, too. J and T brought Local potatoes roasted with herbs and local eggplant brushed with local pesto and grilled. Very tasty.

Roasted Potatoes

Roasted Potatoes

Grilled Eggplant

Grilled Eggplant

The night was a huge success. Virgina wine is a beautiful thing. I know I am biased. I think Virginia in general is a beautiful thing and it is difficult not to root for the home team but this is an exciting time for wine round these parts. There are some really great wines being made and we are just beginning to discover what grapes might someday be the Kings and Queens of our region.

Next dinner will be at J and T’s and we are thinking about focusing on the Loire, I think Jedidiah is also hoping for some damn meat. We’ll see.

xo,

LB