Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fashion

We attended a big gala last weekend for the American Heart Association that was held on the grounds of the Hayground School in Bridgehampton. The setting was lovely, the food good, and the cause more than worthy. But I came away shaking my head about some fashion issues I observed. And I think there ought to be some rules.

For instance: if you are of a certain age and are adequately endowed, strapless gowns should be totally forbidden. If your boobs hang to your navel when you are naked, you can no longer wear anything that doesn't hold them up to a certain level. Strapless is OUT!

Also, if you have owned a dress - or anything else for that matter - for over twenty years, its time to retire it. It is either no longer in style or it is no longer appropriate for you to wear, one or the other.

And another thing: just because you wore your hair in a beehive hairdo when you were a teenager in the 1950s doesn't mean it still looks good on you now. If you haven't had a consultation with a good hairdresser in awhile, you might want to take the time to do that soon!

And lastly: if you are going to an expensive event that has the name "ball":in the title, jeans and sneakers are really not quite up to dress code. I love casual as much as the next person, but I draw the line here. And men, just because you throw on a navy blazer does not make the jeans and sneakers acceptable!

OK - I feel better now. Sometimes you just need to get things out there.....

Friday, June 29, 2012

Weddings

This year we've only been invited to one wedding, and its a non-traditional one. I'm very much looking forward to it.

My husband's cousin, who is over the age of 50, was widowed a few years ago when her husband lost a battle with a very aggressive cancer. Last year she met someone who had gone through a similar experience and now, happily, they are joining their households and making a new life together.

At our age, its a very different kind of celebration. This is not young love, with children and careers ahead. In many ways this is a more complicated melding of lives, combining  homes and families to create something new. We're very happy for them both.

I consider it a great gift that I was able to find love once in my life. Not many people are able to find happiness for a lifetimes the way that I have. Finding it twice is almost unimaginable. I'm thrilled that these two people have been twice blessed. And I can't wait to celebrate with them.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Bridge

As I mentioned yesterday, we attended a function last weekend at The Bridge, which is a private golf course built on and around the old Bridgehampton Raceway. It was an experience.

When we were young the Bridgehampton Raceway was a nationally recognized racetrack and when there were races scheduled the whole area was hopping with race teams and spectators and it was very exciting. The garage across from my house often had a high-end race car in-house and we would walk over and "ooh" and "aahh" over it, Most often they were porsches and we were fans. We never attended the races there but would watch them on tv, which was a treat for us, seeing our hometown area on television! We were proud of that track.

Well. the racetrack no longer operates and instead a very expensive private glf course has been designed on the property and we were looking forward to seeing what the property was like now. We were pleasantly surprised.

First, there was no sign that a golf course even existed: no identifying markings at all, only a number out front to clue you in to the address. We turned into the non-desrcipt driveway and wound around the turns and curves of the original racecourse looking for the clubhouse. Along the way we passed the preserved remnants of the tract, fuel signs, towers, underpasses - all reminding us of the property's history. When we turned the corner and the clubhouse came into view there was another surprise. Here on this historic property, with remnants of an historic past, was a lovely, modern clubhouse, as contemporary as they come. It was sleek and low-slung, with vertical boards and steel trim. Inside it was white and open and the decor consisted of memorabilia from the race course's storied past: photos, trophies, racing flags and scorecards, each one perfectly displayed against the stark white contemporary walls. And outside was a deck overlooking the bay with the most incredible views I've seen out here.

Although it would be nice if more people were able to enjoy the beautiful grounds and incredible view, I'm grateful that it's been preserved and left open to the vistas surrounding it. It was a brief look at a ver special place.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Galas

This is "gala" season here on the East End. It seems as though every weekend there are big events to raise lots of money for charities. Tickets can cost hundreds of dollars and are often snatched up by the rich and famous that frequent our shores at this time of year. Occasionally we get to attend one, either because I'm working the door as a volunteer or we were invited as guests. And we get into some pretty amazing places as a result.

Two weeks ago I was able to walk the beautiful gardens of the last house on West End Road, which were tended by twenty gardeners and quite spectacular. Last weekend we were at the Bridge golf course which had formerly been the Bridgehampton Racetrack. Another wonderful venue that normally only a privileged few are able to see. I felt very lucky

There are some incredible places out here and we're fortunate that their owners are sometimes generous enough to allow us inside to look around. What an interesting place this is.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Weekends

Ah...weekends! As much as we love them because we have time to have fun and get things done around hte house and all that kind of thing, we who live out on the East End have a love/hate relationship with them because weekends mean traffic.

Last Saturday I made the rookie mistake of going into the village too late in the day. On a normal Saturday we get all our village errands done before 10am. But this day it was nearly noon before I was able to get out to get a couple things I needed. First, I turned right out of my driveway and came almost immediately to a stop. Traffic was backed up from the light on North Main Street and we crawled along down Accabonac and then onto Collins. BUT, shock of all shocks, there was a parking spot right in front of the IGA. I grabbed it and ran in to pick up a couple containers of frozen lemonade. Again surprisingly, I walked to the check-out counter and there was no one in line. I was out in minutes.

Then I headed up Cedar to hit the Golden Eagle. Traffic was heavy along North Main and Cedar, but when I got to Toilsome there was only one car parked in front of the store. Amazing! I parked, ran in and picked out the sketch pads I needed for me and my granddaughter for our art projects, and off I went. I made the conscious decision not to avoid the commercial core in the interest of seeing how things were going there, a necessity for my job. Although there were people everywhere and things were very busy, things seemed to be going smoothly and I passed down Newtown Lane without any trouble at all.

Sometimes it's surprising that even on a Saturday things are OK. I left the house thinking I would end up coming home with nothing and waiting to get things done on Monday instead, and there I was with all my errands done and very little stress along the way. How nice!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Heat wave

I'm not a big fan of the heat and humidity so I wasn't happy with our little heat wave last week. However, at trip to Riverhead in the midst of it made me appreciate living where I do!

I had to attend a business luncheon at a Greek restaurant on Main Street in Riverhead on the first day of the heat wave. It was not too unpleasant driving over and air conditioning in cars today makes travel easy. (I remember the days when we didn't have a/c in automobiles which meant all the windows would be down and the noise - not to mention toe wind - was unbearable on car trips in the summer!)

We finished out meeting at about 2:00 and I walked out the front door with a fellow attendee. As soon as he hit the air he moaned and I understood a second later as I did the same. It was stifling - difficult to breathe the air was so heavy. I walked quickly to my car, took off my jacket and threw it in the passenger seat, and climbed in. I turned on the ignition first to get the a/c cranking, and then went to drive off, only to find the steering wheel too hot to hold on to. I found a cooler spot along the bottom of the wheel and off I went. The thermostat in the car registered 97 degrees. I drove down Flanders Road in the comfort of my air conditioned vehicle and occasionally glanced at the thermostat. Slowly, as I flew down Sunrise Highway, the numbers began to drop: 96, 94, 93, 91, 90....etc, until I reached Wainscott where I stopped at the farm stand. The thermostat said 83 degrees. I stepped out of the car to a beautiful breeze that came from the ocean, across the open farm fields, and cooled the air nicely. Ahhhh...I was home!

Heat waves are never fun and I will never be a fan of high temperatures or high humidity. But at least loving by the water makes them more bearable. Thank you Atlantic Ocean for that nice little reprieve!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Too fat

I told a friend this story recently and she said I should blog about it. In all honesty I can't remember whether or not I've ever blogged about it in the past - with nearly 1500 posts behind me who knows? So here goes:

A few years ago I decided to look into laser surgery for my eyes. I have very bad eyesight - have had since I was young - and without my contact lenses I cannot even make out faces, no less read clocks or words or anything like that. So the idea of some day being an elderly woman in a nursing home who cannot function because no one bothers to put my glasses on for me is terrifying. So I saw an opthomologist who in turn sent me to specialist in Patchogue.I went and spent about an hour having test after test to see if I were a good candidate for this life-changing surgery. (Few people realize how debilitating poor eyesight can be simply because glasses are so common. But it really is a disability) Anyway, after test after test we came to the final test and the doctor took one look into my eyes with this particular instrument and immediately declared "Well, your corneas are very thin and I would never recommend you get laser surgery." "What?" I said.  ""Too thin - your corneas are very thin. You're not a good candidate for this surgery." I was crestfallen.

All the way home I fumed. Since I was in the 5th grade and was the first girl in my class to have the  horrible distinction of reaching 100 lbs on the scale, I've been told I was to fat. Teachers, relatives, doctors - all have been free to inform me many times over my life that I'm to fat. So here, finally, there is something about me that is too thin. Normally I would be celebrating. Instead it stands in my way of having laser surgery. What are the chances, right?

Surely there are some ironies in life....

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Maidstone...again....

Earlier this week I had the privilege of attending a function at the Maidstone Club. It was one of those majestic weather days. sunny with pretty clouds on the horizon, nright blue skies and a rolling ocean. The breeze was lovely, the ocean looked gorgeous, and everything was perfect.

Once again, as I sat in the second floor ballroom eating my dinner and looking out over the golf course and saw the cars passing by on Further Lane, I thought about what a gift this was to our community. Here is a park-like setting, lovely undulating greens and beautiful ocean views, open for all of us to walk through, bike around, drive by and enjoy. It's like no other. Every other golf course I've ever seen has been surrounded by condos or homes and here this one is, open for all to enjoy. And the vistas that go right to the sea are like none others. Were it not for the club we'd be looking at hedges and houses, not ocean views.

I can only thank those who have made the decisions over the years at the Maidstone for making it a gift to the entire community.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Summer

Well summer is officially here and its come in with a vengeance. Only a week ago it was comfortably warm during the days and cool and lovely overnight. Now, the heat and humidity have arrived and it is totally summer.

Well I guess its OK because it is the end of June and it would be nice to be able to spend some evenings at the beach with a nice fire. I don't mind wearing sweatshirts but I really don't like to have to wrap up in blankets and shiver! So I see some beach nights in our future now. I'll make sure I have the makings of s'mores in the cupboard...just in case.

Summer is the best time to enjoy the children on our lives. With no school, i.e. no schedules, we can spend longer hours with them and they can stay up late and sleep the next day. When I was a kid I loved being out of school for the summer and I still love that feeling of freedom that summer brings. My schedule may be busier than normal, but with more daylight it feels as though there are more hours in the day and I love that.

Here's to a great summer!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Fathers

I had an odd relationship with my father. He was not a warm fuzzy type and didn't deal particularly well with children. I think he did the best he could and didn't have a great home life himself when he was growing up, so he really didn't know better, but his idea of motivation was sarcasm and criticism, which doesn't work all that well with children. I can't say I felt loved by him when I was growing up-I thought I was a huge disappointment to him really. I loved my father - after all he was the only father I ever knew - but I longed for the kind of father my friends had, who greeted them with hugs and kisses and lots of affection.

Which is one of the things that attracted me to my husband. He was a physically affectionate person even with his friends, and I loved that. I knew that some day he would be the kind of father that I needed so badly when I was young - the kind I wanted for my own children.

And he was. Not only was he a great dad, he's a wonderful grandfather now too. And watching him on Father's Day made me realize I had given my children the greatest gift of all - a wonderful dad. I'm not sure they realize how lucky they've been, but not only is he a great father but he made me a better mother. It was his example that allowed me to learn to be a better parent. I had a wonderful mother as  a role model but my husband helped me to learn how to hug freely and love unconditionally, which didn't come naturally to me even with her influence. Now, I see that influence in my children as they parent their own children.

And they know he loves them.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Company

The solitude I spoke of yesterday is gone and I'm more than happy.

Last week the family from out-of-state arrived for their annual summer stay. Specifically, my daughter and her three children, ages 10, 7, and 6 are now in the house and keeping things hopping. I love it. For the next few weeks we'll always have someone around to chat with, play a game with, take a walk with, or just sit with. Its so nice to come downstairs in the morning to find a little one waiting on the couch, and then have someone to say goodnight to every night. It's like those wonderful years when my own children were small and they filled the house with energy, noise, and life. There is nothing like a child to make us feel alive.

So solitude will be rare in the coming weeks. Which is a wonderful thing.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Solitude

I don't find myself at home alone in the evenings often. In fact, I'm out at night much more often than my husband is, between ambulance meetings and calls, and various committees and business meetings I attend. So its not unusual for me to go out and leave my husband at home. My husband on the other hand avoids night meetings like the plague so he rarely goes out.

So it was with some joy that I discovered myself home alone last week one night. I took a nice long, hot bath, I luxuriated in the comfort of my cozy bathrobe, and I had the television all to myself.

Normally we watch television together and can always find things we both enjoy. But when we're alone we both tune in to channels that never get watched together! I know when I'm out the tuner is normally on ESPN. And when I'm alone I tend to hover around HGTV and TLC, with a little Discovery thrown in occasionally. 

And sometimes I don't watch TV at all, but spend my evening on the computer or reading. Its quiet and peaceful and I love it.

Solitude is not something I yearn for - I love company and I enjoy having someone at home with me most of the time. But occasional solitude is something to savor. 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Rain

Last week we had what people call a "cleansing rain". It began overnight and rained all the next day, at times heavily, and into the next night. I was lucky enough not to have to leave my house and I enjoyed it from indoors.

This is the best time of the year for a nice rain. It's not too hot so it's comfortable with the windows closed against the rain. But its warm enough to keep them all cracked open a bit, letting the fresh smell into the house. My french door was opened to the cool air and it never rained inside, instead falling straight down and not coming in at all. Only a pounding rain will splash into the house with the doors opened. My living room windows were cracked and I could hear and smell the rain. It was sweet and clean and totally the definition of a "cleansing rain". Everything is so green and lush.

I spent the day cleaning and organizing my house. With company arriving for the weekend it was perfect timing. I was able to clean the bathroom that was just painted and put it all back together, looking so nice with its new color. It was a perfect rainy day. I went to bed feeling as though I had really accomplished something. Or maybe the rain did. Either way, it was a good day.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The pond

Town Pond is buzzing this year! Honestly, I don't think there's ever been so much activity.

I drove by the other day and on the west side was a beautiful big heron along the shore. Scattered throughout the water were at least a dozen or so ducks in small groups, and across on the eastern side the swan family had staked out some territory: mom and dad were hovering close to the three small ones, who were swimming around the edges looking for goodies.

The pond has never been busier than it is this year and its almost distracting when I drive by. It seems as though there's always something exciting going on and new residents - or perhaps weekend visitors - are always around. Just like the rest of the town.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Little league

Two of my East Hampton grandsons are playing baseball this spring. It's been fun to go down to the Little League fields again and watch the kids play. Especially as a grandparent.

We spent many, many years in the Little League system as parents. With four kids our experience began when our eldest, a girl, joined T-ball. We like baseball so we encouraged all our kids to get involved, with mixed success. She didn't last too long in the system, but she did T-ball and minor league ball, and in fact my husband couched her minor league team. Our second girl wasn't interested in baseball but her younger brother was so as soon as he was old enough he was on a team. Both he and our other son went right through the ranks, from T-ball to minor league to little league to senior league. Along the way my husband coached, and then was president of the league, and it was about a twenty year period that we were involved in Little League.

Now as a parent, every game was a priority. I sat in the stands or stood by the fence for every game throughout the years while my husband was usually on the bench with the kids or acting as an umpire behind the plate. I had blankets and heated seat cushions and all manner of creature comforts, necessary for those early Spring games. In other words, I did my time.

So now here we are with two boys playing and as grandparents we get the best of both worlds. We get to go to the games, watch as long as we want to, enjoy the time, cheer them on, and go home when we feel like it. Which we do.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Little girls

I love children. Especially toddlers. Their enthusiasm for everything is contagious. And there is something about a little girl that is especially endearing.

Two weeks ago I came across a sale online and couldn't resist buying a cute little summer dress and sparkly pink shoes to match for my two-year-old granddaughter. The dress had pink, orange and raspberry colored spots all over a white background. The shoes were sneaker-like, but covered with pink glitter and with straps that ended in small flowers. Adorable. So when they arrived in the mail I took them down to give to her. And that's when the real fun began.

When I entered her house and told her I had a present for her she squealed with delight. We opened the packaging and she was jumping with excitement - she loves a nice dress! The dress went right over her head and then she opened the shoe box and wanted them put on. Once she was in full regalia, she danced around the living room for the next ten minutes. She twirled, she hopped, she ran, she skipped - she literally danced around, looking at her dress and shoes as she went. She was in heaven. At one point she even brought me her hairbrush, obviously aware that she needed to complete the look with a fresh comb-out. Clearly little girls are just miniature women! It reminds me of the lyrics of a John Mayer song: "Girls become lovers that turn into mothers" - so true!

What could be more fun that giving a little girl a new dress and shoes and seeing her face shine with the excitement of it? I wish I could find something that would have the same effect on my grandsons but so far I haven't. Perhaps if I took them fishing I'd see it when they pulled in their first big catch. Or maybe if I bought them a go cart or some other electronic moving vehicle.  But I know for sure a new pair of pants and a pair of loafers would not have the same effect at all. Viva la difference!.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fresh paint

So the bathroom is done - new toilet and new shower and new faucets. And a new tile floor.But the thing that makes the most difference is the fresh coat of paint.

I love paint. I love the way a change of color can bring an completely different feeling to a room. I think we've painted every room in our house at least twice, some three or four times. Most of the painting has been done by us ourselves, which is satisfying, but the older we get the harder it is. All the cutting in and priming - I don't have much patience for it and we both get achy, so when we can manage it I like to hire someone else to do it. I hired someone for the bathroom - a small room so not overly expensive and lots of cutting in. It was an easy choice.

The thing I loved about having it done for us is that I was able to walk out of a green room and come back into a yellow one. A bright, fresh, yellow room that was a breath of fresh air. A treat to be sure.

Painting ourselves is satisfying - having someone else do it is better...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Friends and family

We were with friends for dinner last week and the discussion turned to family. One of our party had recently celebrated a birthday and there was a party with a tent and great food and all his family in attendance - nieces, nephews, grandchildren, etc. There were some close friends there as well, probably 60 people in all. A really nice party.

Well our discussion touched on this recent event and the statement was made: "That's really what it's all about, right? Family and friends." Indeed.

We're preparing for our daughter's family to arrive for a nice long visit this week.I can hardly wait to get them here because it means not only will we see them, we'll get to see all the other family more frequently. Because its summer and the kids will be out of school and the days will be long and warm. And when we're not with family we'll be with friends, because there's plenty of socializing in the summer.

Family and friends.It really is what it's all about!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hooks

I've been working on an idea for a fund raising event for this fall - money raised would go to women's cancer causes through Southampton Hospital. Anyway, during a discussion about this event I was told I should look for "a hook" - i.e. a celebrity to attend and attract ticket buyers.

That got me to thinking about the whole "hook" thing. There was a time when getting "the hook" was not a good thing. It meant being pulled off the stage during the vaudeville years, right? In East Hampton "the hook" meant an area at the west end of the village around the Hook Mill and if you were going there you were going "down hook" or "to the hook".

In this instance it refers to a person or event that "hooks people in" to an idea or an event or whatever it is being discussed. So now I'm looking for a "hook".

I'm fascinated with words and phrases and love the historical significance of them. So many of the terms we use are Biblical, like "turning the other cheek" and "pearls before swine". In fact, I've heard people attribute sayings to Shakespeare that are actually Biblical. Origins are so important and often give a deeper meaning to things when known.

I love language.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Longing

Something both interesting and surprising happened to me last week. I was watching a cooking segment on a television show, and suddenly I had a deep longing to be sitting with my mother-in-law again. I was completely taken by surprise.

I miss both my mother and my mother-in-law, but usually its my mother I think about. My mother died the year before my mother-in-law, but the latter had left us many years earlier due to Alzheimer disease. So she's been absent from my life much longer than my own mother. I think that's why it was a surprise that she was the one I yearned for. I believe ti had to do with what I was watching because I had a flashback to her sitting at my kitchen counter talking to me as I made a lemon meringue pie. I don't know if that scene ever actually happened or not, but it was what came to my mind. She often stopped in during the day to sit and chat, sometimes while I worked in the kitchen, which I loved. In this particular moment of memory I could hear her laugh and imagine the conversation. And I missed her.

That memory so took me by surprise that I began to think about the other people who have been part of my life that are no longer with us. I thought about my grandmothers and remembered with fondness so many little things we did together, like crafts, baking, or shopping - small things but huge in my memories. I found myself longing for those strong women and wishing they were still in my life. Of course they will always be part of me, but how I could use them in person, for their wisdom, their love, and yes, their laughs. I can hear each of them in my mind. And the longing never ends.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Salt burn

Some of our trees are reminding us of our autumn storms now. When Hurricane Irene skirted by us it managed to bring a good deal of salty water inland, sea spray blown off the water and onto the tops of trees throughout the closest areas to the sea. Now the effects are obvious as some trees are completely bare while others have bare tops. looking as though their growth were somehow stunted along the way.

The experts say the indigenous trees fared well, but those imported species may never recover. There is a lesson there - one I learned years ago. I saw a gorgeous orange rhododendron at the nursery and had to have it. The salesperson told me that they were from the west coast, Washington state if I remember. No wonder I had never seen anything quite like it! So I spent way too much money on it, brought it home and planted it. It never came up the following year. Lesson learned.

Now I plant things I know will grow like weeks out here in the middle of the ocean - lilacs, hydrangeas, pink rhodos etc. They like it here and are more than happy to endure a little salt water every once in awhile.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Gardens

This is a great time of the year if any garden around town. The one at Home Sweet Home is incredible, with its heritage plants overflowing the beds now. A walk around the grounds is a real treat.

Last weekend we attended an opening at Clinton Academy in the early evening. The gallery was full of stunning artwork by various members of the Moran family, but the bar was set up outside in the garden and once we meandered out there we couldn't pull ourselves away. Everything was lush and green, with bright bursts of color coming from the various perennials and bushes. The air temperature was perfectly comfortable and the crowd was friendly and lively. We sat for over an hour, chatting with friends, munching on grapes, and sipping wine or sparkling water. It was a picture that mimicked those in the gallery, of others in another time enjoying a similar pleasure in a similar setting. Obviously East Hampton has been a place of sensory pleasures for a long time. I hope those who come behind us care enough to keep it as it is now, as beautiful as it has been for hundreds of years.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Swans

The swans in Town Pond are enjoying their celebrity again this year. With only three cygnets they're getting very focused attention and everyone seems to have a photo to show. Just check out Facebook and they're everywhere. Especially adorable are the ones with little ones riding on mother swan's back.

We were down at Three Mile Harbor last weekend at an event which was held at East Hampton Point, a restaurant with one of the most beautiful settings in town. As we stood out on the deck overlooking the boats in their slips at the dock, there they were: another family of swans happily gliding along in and amongst the boats, clearly at home in this little corner of the world at the very end of the harbor. It was beautiful to see, looking as effortless as possible. No doubt their legs are working hard under the water, but from our vantage point there was nary a ripple.

Swans are not native around these parts, but they have made themselves at home and they are beautiful to look at.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Summer odors

The thing about this time of year is our windows are open pretty much all of the time. I love it because the cool breezes come blowing through the house keeping it cool and comfortable even when the temperature climbs. With little humidity, June is a pleasant month and if we're lucky we never need to a/c overnight.

But that also means we hear and smell everything going on in the neighborhood. Just the other night we had the most delicious odors wafting through the living room as we were watching television. We couldn't quite tell whether it was a neighbor grilling a steak, or one of the restaurants in the neighborhood creating the smell, but it was wonderful and my mouth was watering. Our pizza just didn't measure up.

We have three restaurants within walking distance to our house. And the bagel store, which of course smells wonderful at 4am. It's one of the negatives about living in the village. One of the restaurants changed hands this past year and I'm thinking it will be the source of some of the scents coming our way because its a "grill". I can only imagine how good that steak tasted...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer clothes

Here's the problem with summer clothes: they need to be ironed.

Winter is great - I wear sweaters and sweatshirts and heavy jeans most of the time and none of those things need to be ironed. But the summer is another thing altogether. Everything is either cotton or linen because I am overly sensitive to the heat and I can't abide by anything that is man-made, synthetic, or jersey-type stuff. I need the beathablilty of cotton and linen. And they come with wrinkles.

Now I remember being told by a southern friend that down south they call them "expensive wrinkles" when it comes to linen, and they forgive them. But they have to start out crisp and flat, and there's a price to pay for that. Our iron is used just about every day, often more than once, because we are both "iron-as-you-go" people. No sense in ironing things and then putting into drawers where they will wrinkle all over again!

I can't imagine all the hours my mother put in to ironing back in the good old days before permanent press fabric. But even modern clothes need to meet up with a nice hot iron every so often. And my cool linen shirts and pants always do.

That's why we have an ironing board in our bedroom...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Refreshing

Well our master bathroom is finally nearly done. We had a toilet replaced and the shower replaced, and as always, these projects turn out to be bigger than we expect and this was no exception. Opening up the shower revealed rot and mold where there was a leak for many years, and studs and insulation had to be replaced, tile re-done, etc, etc. It's the usual story!

Anyway, with new faucets in place, updating the old gold colored ones that were so in fashion twenty years ago with more conventional silver ones, and having a new toilet that works better than the other one is wonderful. Now we're down to the last step - the painting. I've chosen a nice soft yellow to replace the sage green that was in there, which will still coordinate well with the same green that's in the adjoining hallway and bedroom, but give it a nice clean look. Yellow is wonderful when used sparingly - sunny and bright and a very happy color. Perfect for waking up to every morning.

I'm grateful we didn't need to do a complete renovation on this bathroom and now I think we are safe from bathroom work in our future. They should be good for another twenty years and at that point they'll most probably be somebody else's problem!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Rainy Saturdays

Last Saturday was a rainy one and so all the outdoor work on the agenda had to be put aside. Suddenly all the inside jobs, which I've been putting off because the weather was too nice to be bothered staying in for, reared their ugly heads and there was no choice but to get to them. I stripped all the beds in the guest rooms, did some clean up in that part of the house, got some baking done that needed to be put into the freezer for events coming up, and then sat to work on my knitting. I have a big knitting project with a due date and am furiously working my fingers to the bone to get it done. So it was the perfect time.

Someone asked me recently if I've read any good books lately. I love to read and there is nothing like a good thriller in my mind. (I understand Ken Follett has a new one hitting the shelves soon!) but somehow I just can't seem to find the time to do it. When I do have a few minutes to sit, the yarn and needles are there waiting for me. Staring at me, really. And even when I don't feel like it, the knitting begins.

Somewhere along the line one of the people in my life convinced me that there are no gifts as valuable as homemade ones. It's a curse. Thanks Mom, or Grandma, or whomever it was!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Plumbing

Not my personal plumbing, mind you, the house plumbing. Where do I begin?

Our house was built in the early 1920s. I love old houses for their charm and quirks, but there are some things that just cry out for modernity, and plumbing is one of them It's been a problem since we moved in.

The first week we owned the house a cesspool collapsed. That was an omen. Since that day in 1979 we've added two cesspools and spent thousand and thousands of dollars on our plumbing system. And we need to spend more. The old pipes combined with a very high water table right here in our neighborhood have not been kind to us. Talk about a money pit!

The latest news, after many problems and many emergency calls to the cesspool people, is that we need to pull up the line from the house to the cesspool and replace it due to a"pitch" problem.  If we don't, it will continue to cause back-ups into the house. Believe me when I say its not pretty.

Sounds simple enough but here's what it entails: pulling up the newly built deck, which was not only nailed down but glued last year when it was put in, digging up the walkway which is made of pavers, and possibly into my garden, which is where the cesspool sits. It will be a mess and most likely very costly.

Now this work should have been done earlier but with us, its all about choices and we needed to spend the money on other things first. But this past weekend the whole issue reared its ugly head again and now we're in crisis mode.

Is this really the American dream?

Dallas again?


I saw an ad on TV the other night for the return of the show "Dallas". Wow. I can't even imagine how all those beautiful people will look now! I would imagine JR will look more like his father did in the original show, grizzled and old. What will Sue Ann and all those beautiful women look like? Will they be gray and grandmotherly or will they be playing into the whole youth culture thing and still be trying to look like 50-year-olds? I can't wait to see.

Nostalgia is a wonderful thing. But something I think its best to leave well enough alone. I am happy with my memories of a young and handsome Tom Selleck as "Magnum PI". And I'm happy to see the older version on "Blue Bloods" now. But I think perhaps it best if never the twain shall meet!

Perhaps "Dallas" will be a worthy remake. Then again, we may wish to stay with our memories of that show as they were. There's something nice about having our fondest memories unsullied.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

June social life

For some reason the social calendar is crazy in June. Every weekend is already full of notes about opening parties, graduation parties, anniversary celebrations, and all kinds of other special occasions. June is a very popular month for parties!

It makes me appreciate the fact that some other things in our lives take a back seat during the summer season and we locals stop meeting regularly for things like choir and board meetings. Many of the organizations I belong to suspend all meetings (with the exception of emergency-type things) from now until after Labor Day. It makes all these weekends more tolerable when we're not out every other night all week long.

The summer weeks go by quickly so this is the time to enjoy the warm weather and the ability to meet outdoors for parties and ceremonies. There's nothing like a garden party in a beautiful setting. Last weekend we attended such an event that took place at the Maidstone Club tennis house, sitting so nicely on the banks of lovely Hook Pond. The weather was perfect and the company wonderful and it was an enjoyable hour to be sure. At some times this place we live is too pretty to believe and that night was one of them. There was a nice breeze drifting across the lush green grass tennis courts and it seemed the ideal setting for a glass of wine and some tasty hors d'ouerves. Even of those of us who live north of the highway, life can be really special when you live in East Hampton.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Three months

Today begins the three month of summer, regardless of what the calendar says. We may have a few more official weeks of spring, but it is totally summer here on the East End.

The beaches look great - with the exception of Georgica, which has suffered from erosion this past year. The portable bathrooms and lifeguard equipment have been installed at Wiborg, but the parking lot is woefully lacking in space and it will be tough to accommodate everyone there. We're still hoping to be able to move everything back where it belongs before the summer is over. People don't deal with change well so I know there be some repercussions as they realize what's happened.

Other than that we're in good shape here and the season is looking good to go. And "go" it will, as it does ever year! When what feels like a few weeks have passed it will all be over and we'll be lamenting how quickly it went.

But for now, here in the very first week of June, its all in front of us and we can rest in the knowledge that there are plenty of good times to come. Bring it on!