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Archive for the ‘Moving’ Category

Pumpkinfest

It is Pumpkinfest in Damariscotta, Maine, and how happy I am to be a part of it!

The Weigh-Off was last weekend — 65 giant Atlantic Pumpkins were brought to the local garden center and weighed. The 1st place prize went to a pumpkin weighing 1,266 pounds, and 2nd place went to the slimmer 1,264 pound pumpkin — both produced by the same grower.

The pumpkins are sponsored by local businesses, and after the Weigh-Off they are brought into town and placed on palettes by trucks and forklifts. It is Damariscotta’s version of the inflating of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade balloons, and it is a wonderful, traffic-tying-up event.

It takes two days for local artists to carve and paint these pumpkins. The giant pumpkins have their insides gutted and the seeds removed before they are turned over for decorating. Why? Because the growers do not want their seeds falling into the hands of a competitor. The total purse of prize money awarded is $10,000, and so the genetics and growing practices of these farmers are a highly guarded secret.

Husband and I walked the streets of our little town today, so delighted that we had chosen this charming place to call home. Here are photos of a few of the pumpkins, some in progress, and some completed. Humor, artistry, imagination, all on display here. I will include captions where appropriate.

1Metcalfs

Outside a jewelry store, this "Day of the Dead" theme is continued on the jewelry for sale inside.

Outside a jewelry store, this “Day of the Dead” theme is continued on the jewelry for sale inside.

3MaineKayak

4Mouse

Every side of this pumpkin shows hardware, and bits and pieces of household stuff.

Every side of this pumpkin shows hardware, and bits and pieces of household stuff.

6SaltBayCafe

Outside the bank, of course!

Outside the bank, of course!

8Mice

This is a monkey-in-progress, and one that had had the seeds removed to protect the genetic secrets of its giant-ness!

This is a monkey-in-progress, and one that had had the seeds removed to protect the genetic secrets of its giant-ness!

Outside King Eider's Pub, this pumpkin was painted by Glen Chadbourne, resident of the neighboring village and illustrator of many of Stephen King's books.

Outside King Eider’s Pub, this pumpkin was painted by Glen Chadbourne, resident of the neighboring village and illustrator of many of Stephen King’s books.

The Princess and the Pea, pumpkin-style

The Princess and the Pea, pumpkin-style

A goldfish, with fins-to-come.

A goldfish, with fins-to-come.

Outside a facial salon.

Outside a facial salon.

Sponsored by a local plumbing company, of course.

Sponsored by a local plumbing company, of course.

16StarFace

17Type

The carving echoes the artwork of the restaurant's logo: the Damariscotta River Grill.

The carving echoes the artwork of the restaurant’s logo: the Damariscotta River Grill.

Herons, sharing their sand bars with pumpkins, and with...

Herons, sharing their sand bars with pumpkins, and with…

...the pumpkin stem that became a bald eagle.

…the pumpkin stem that became a bald eagle.

Outside the Colby and Gale gas station, this artist had just started carving into the huge pumpkin.  Intrigued by the roof, I peaked behind and found ...

Outside the Colby and Gale gas station, this artist had just started carving into the huge pumpkin. Intrigued by the roof, I peaked behind and found …

...the little theater, destined to be placed under that shingled roof.

…the little theater, destined to be placed under that shingled roof.

Outside the ice cream store.

Outside the ice cream store.

Pumpkins can wear masks, too.

Pumpkins can wear masks, too.

14Crissys

This week, Hansel and Gretel discover a house made of sweet squashes and gourds, and....

This week, Hansel and Gretel discover a house made of sweet squashes and gourds, and….

...a witch!

…a witch!

Outside the Newcastle Public House, this pumpkin became a giant cheeseburger, with the pumpkin seeds transformed into sesame seeds.  This one gets my vote for Best Carved Pumpkin Ever.

Outside the Newcastle Public House, this pumpkin became a giant cheeseburger, with the pumpkin seeds transformed into sesame seeds. This one gets my vote for Best Carved Pumpkin Ever.

And of course, what is a pumpkin festival without a little humor? After a day of seeing huge, enormous, gigantic pumpkins, resting their great weight on stacks of wooden palettes, I loved seeing this:

24ClarkFarmStand

WORDS FROM OTHERS

“…dark furrow lines grid the snow, punctuated by orange abacus beads of pumpkins…”

― John Geddes, author, “A Familiar Rain”

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Robins on the Lawn

Today was a long day, and I am tired. I walked the dogs along the Damariscotta River, which I have done before, but today we ventured further than we’ve ever been. The newness proved exhausting. The woods were too close, dark, and cold for that early in the morning, and the river-dampened dogs were as unhappy as I was in my light sweatshirt. Later, I worked at my desk. I unpacked 2 boxes of books and emptied 4 plastic bins of my son’s clothing and desk accessories. And I marinated chicken for tonight’s dinner.

But the most tiring event was gently cleaning beloved decorative plates that we found yesterday by surprise. The box was badly labeled, and I find these incessant surprises more wearing than exciting. (Perhaps if I could find the juicer for the kitchen, and my warm sweaters for my closet, I would not be as petulant.) The plates were from my mother’s household. I was happy to wash them in preparation for putting them out on display.

What made me tired was the emotion these dishes brought to the surface – memories of my gentle mother and how she loved these things, of the house in which I grew up, the scent of the lemon furniture polish she used, the untimeliness of her death. All from rinsing a few plates.

I went to the kitchen window, not to look out, but to think about what I should do next. It didn’t seem right to start the evening with my husband in this tired, unsettled state. But of course, I did look out.

On the lawn, in the fading light of this cool autumn day, were 8 robins. Robins! The birds I associate with spring and new beginnings. And while I am the very definition of New Beginning in this house, and had spent a good part of the day unpacking items to roll into my New Life here in Maine, it is autumn after all, and the world outside my window is winding down for the year. Seeing birds of spring was surprising.

And yet, those robins were there, quietly dipping their heads into the deep grass, in short determined motions. I’m certain they’re feeding and hoping to pack on a little weight to hold them during their long trip south. A lot of Mainer’s are doing that now: getting ready to go south. Our new next-door neighbors will be leaving shortly. I’m sure the lines at the grocery store will reflect this new state of affairs soon. My life will be empty of close neighbors and robins.

The birds are preparing for a new beginning in the sunny south. My new beginning will be my first autumn in Maine. I am looking forward to leaves that turn earlier, and a longer season of cinnamon donuts and pie. I am eager for this longer season of cold, when much of the warmth comes from the brighter color of the food – squashes, pumpkins, turnips, beets.

How lovely that this season of rest and quiet healing will be new to me. I plan to sleep well tonight so that I am fully ready for tomorrow’s surprise outside my window. I will take my place in this new family of things.

WORDS FROM OTHERS
“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.”

― Mary Oliver (1935 – ), American poet

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Moving: Tossed and Found

We are mostly moved. We still have items in a storage pod in Portland that need to be added to the cardboard pyramid in the basement, but other than that, all of our items are safely within the house.

It wasn’t easy. The move was epic on both ends, but made bearable by cheerful movers, understanding friends, cooperative dogs, and a forgiving spouse. We are here.

Naturally, my eyes and attention are entranced with our new yard and gardens. I’ve moved from a 1.3-acre plot, mostly unusable steep hillside, to a flat 2 acres. The land clearly has at least 3 almost-underground streams crossing the width of the property, but I’m looking at those streams as assets to irrigation rather than as barriers to planting. The house looks out onto a lawn, a row of large granite blocks, a thick patch of goldenrod and sumac, and a lovely tumbling stone wall. I have plans for the area between the two borders of rock depending on what is below those weeds and weed trees. Is it dry enough for flowers and vegetables? Or is it so wet that I will have to build raised beds before planting anything? Is it all rock ledge, and so only suitable for ground coverings and artful seating arrangements? (Will I return from The Common Ground Festival next weekend and decide: Hang the garden! I’m running goats and chickens on this ground!)

We have a father and son team coming over today to start cutting and hauling the brush for us. Here is what faces them:

The Two Walls and the Mystery Area between them:
BeforeTwoWalls

This shady corner faces our neighbor to the southwest:
BeforeShadyCorner

This is the full length of the mystery area, facing our neighbor to the northeast. His property is several acres of beautiful meadow:
BeforeFullLengthTowardsNeighbor

Husband and I have walked/struggled through these weeds several times since our move. We found garbage tossed about, and left – TV’s and such – and decided to clear out as much as we could find before our brush cutters arrived today. We found evidence that this property was indeed once a horse farm. Here are a few of our discoveries today:

We found this huge rectangular piece of metal partially buried. We have no idea what it is:
GarbageRectangularMetal

We found 3 metal spikes, aligned, and one is still attached to a fence post. The spikes are immovable, and Husband thinks the farmer might have drilled into the rock ledge to secure the spikes and posts as fencing for the horses:

PostAndSpike

We found a lot of stuff that can only be called garbage: rolls of old wire, boards studded with nails, random bits of metal, plastic sheeting, a huge sodden rug bound with bungee cords (possible script for CSI racing through my head at that one), and the seat to a tractor:

GarbageWireAndSeat

Next to the tractor seat we found an intact scotch glass (possible script for a Twilight Zone episode is writing itself in my head):

ScotchGlass

We found many leather straps, with buckles and tack for horses. I love these.
RectangleCircleHarness
HookAndBuckle
TwoSilverOneBrassHarness

We also found several items that might serve as sculptural elements in the garden some day. I have them on the granite blocks next to the deck, drying in the sun. I will see if I still like them after I brush the mud and moss off of them.

But without question, my favorite “found” item today was the steering column and wheel from that long-ago tractor:
SteeringWheelPlus<a

If we ever do build a beautiful garden, with scented flowers and shaded chairs and tables, this steering wheel will grace that garden. Count on it – I have plans for this recovered treasure.

Next up: The “After” pictures to the “Before"'s I shared with you today.

WORDS FROM OTHERS
“To play safe, I prefer to accept only one type of power: the power of art over trash, the triumph of magic over the brute.”

— Vladimir Nabokov

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I am starting to say good-bye. My garden is part of my very essence. We came to this home five years ago: a lovely house, and an untended yard. Husband built me a 50 X 40′ garden on a south-facing slope. It was perfectly positioned, with rich, black soil. We planted, tended, harvested, and breathed. Here is how this garden fed me, body and soul for the last 5 years.

2009: The grass is removed, the borders are defined, and the deer fencing is up.

2009: The grass is removed, the borders are defined, and the deer fencing is up.


The trellises are in place, the paths are lined with newspaper to suppress weeds and covered in straw to please the eye.

The trellises are in place, the paths are lined with newspaper to suppress weeds and covered in straw to please the eye.

After one year, I’d settled in, and 2010 was the most spectacular year in the garden. I had enough time on the weekends and during the week to tend to the garden. I planted, experimented, harvested, stored, shared, and reveled.

2010: Lush!

2010: Lush!

Here are a few of my favorite crops:

Good Mother Stallard beans are an heirloom variety of dry shelling bean.  I love working in the hot summer garden to have something delicious to eat in the frozen winter.

Good Mother Stallard beans are an heirloom variety of a dry shelling bean. I love working in the hot summer garden to have something delicious to eat in the frozen winter.

Good Mother Stallard beans, shelled.  A feast for the eyes, too!

Good Mother Stallard beans, shelled. A feast for the eyes, too!


Broccoli, dicicco, the Italian variety.  I preferred this variety and the Lacinato variety of kale, as both were sweeter and lighter in presentation than their American counterparts.

Broccoli, the Italian variety. I preferred this variety and the Lacinato variety of kale, as both were sweeter and lighter in presentation than their American counterparts.

I chose flowers, herbs, and vegetables for many reasons. One of the most delightful was to attract pollinators:

The buddelia bushes attract everything with wings.  It is living art.

The buddelia bushes attract everything with wings. It is living art.


Bumblebee on Marigold.  I'm also happy to report that in the last 5 years, I've seen the population of honeybees increase significantly.

Bumblebee on Marigold. I’m also happy to report that in the last 5 years, I’ve seen the population of honeybees increase significantly.

I experimented with different techniques in planting, staking, and harvesting. My favorite exploration was with the Florida Weave: a method of staking tomato plants that supports their branches at regular intervals by weaving string between posts.

The first row of string supports the new plant.

The first row of string supports the new plant.

I did battle with pests. Let’s start with the insect variety. I learned that products that show the initials OMRI on the label are environmentally safe to use. I used Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew to rescue my brassicas from the ravages of moth larvae:

BEFORE:  Ravaged kale.

BEFORE: Ravaged kale.


AFTER:  The recovery was dramatic.

AFTER: The recovery was dramatic.

I did epic battle with chipmunks. The little varmints discovered my delicious, young bean plants one year, and completely wiped me out.

The growing vines were cleanly nipped, and the plants never recovered that year.  NO GREEN BEANS. Disaster.

The growing vines were cleanly nipped, and the plants never recovered that year. NO GREEN BEANS. Disaster.


I spent the summer trapping and releasing (miles away) 37 chipmunks.  MacKenzie was interested in this process.

I spent the summer trapping and releasing (miles away) 37 chipmunks. MacKenzie was interested in this process.

I discovered and used fabulous tools. My favorites:

Compost Turner:  Insert deeply into compost, turn, and lift.  The compost is fluffed and aerated.  I admit it, only a Garden Geek would find this thrilling.

Compost Turner: Insert deeply into compost, turn, and lift. The compost is fluffed and aerated. I admit, only a Garden Geek would find this thrilling.


The broadfork.  It aerates the soil without disturbing the tilth.  Place, step down, rock back, remove.  Again, thrilling.

The broadfork. It aerates the soil without disturbing the tilth. Place, step down, rock back, remove. Again, thrilling!

I made cloches out of milk jugs to get a jump-start on the growing season. I cut off the bottom of the jugs, cut a hole in the handle, pressed a stake through the handle into the earth, and made a mini-greenhouse around delicate seedlings. My neighbor asked if I was growing a crop of heavy cream. 🙂

Pea plants are sprouting under those jugs.

Pea plants are sprouting under those jugs.

I took great delight in starting seeds indoors and Husband made me gorgeous wooden seed trays. Like everything he puts his mind to, the results were both functional and beautiful:

3 out of 8 trays: Pre-polyurethane.

3 out of 8 trays: Pre-polyurethane.


The trays in place, by my office window.

The trays in place, by my office window.

Another fabulous tool is the soil-block press. This particular one makes four 2″ square cubes at a time. These cubes allow the seedlings to grow without becoming root bound.

The first soil cubes go into the tray.  Ready for planting!

The first soil cubes go into the tray. Ready for planting!

I had bountiful harvests. We ate like kings, I had more than enough to share, and I tried my hand at canning. An enormous amount of work up-front, but we reaped the rewards all winter long. Another benefit of canning: you do not fear power outtages and losing an entire harvest in the defrosted freezer. Here are a few photos of the bounty:

A basket of beans next to a heavily laden zinnia.

A basket of beans next to a heavily laden zinnia.


Harvested green, because frost threatened that night.  These were wrapped in newspaper to ripen, and made into sauce.

Harvested green, because frost threatened that night. These were wrapped in newspaper to ripen, and made into sauce.


Too many tomatoes to can immediately?  I froze them, and canned at my leisure.  They resembled bags filled with croquet balls!

Too many tomatoes to can immediately? I froze them, and canned at my leisure. They resembled bags filled with croquet balls!

Garlic, hanging to dry.

Garlic, hanging to dry.

Jar after jar of pickles.  Dill and sweet!

Jar after jar of pickles. Dill and sweet!


Jalapeno peppers, the Dulce (sweet/mild) variety.  I froze many and canned even more.

Jalapeno peppers, the Dulce (sweet/mild) variety. I froze many and canned even more.

I took the overflow into my office on a regular basis. Here is one morning’s offering:

This was in 2010, so to my 2012-13 office-mates, please forgive!  I was growing flowers almost exclusively during my time with you.

This was in 2010, so to my 2012-13 office-mates, please forgive! I was growing flowers almost exclusively during my time with you.

I experimented with craft projects from my gardens. Two of my favorites:

Ristra peppers became...

Ristra peppers became…

...a curtain of sorts.  I harvested enough to make curtains for both windows.  They dried, and were a cheery decoration that looked especially nice during the holidays!

…a curtain of sorts. I harvested enough to make curtains for both windows. They dried, and were a cheery decoration that looked especially nice during the holidays!

And then there were the decorative gourds that became bird houses:

I dried them until you could hear the seeds rattling inside.

I dried them until you could hear the seeds rattling inside.


I used a dremel to grind a hole, tapped out the innards, brushed them with polyurethane and hung them to dry.

I used a dremel to grind a hole, tapped out the innards, brushed them with polyurethane and hung them to dry.

And yes, we had birds move in!

I had the Summer of the Snakes. 2011 was the year when Black Rat snakes made frequent appearances, getting tangled in deer netting, and tangling our heart strings. Husband and I rescued 4 and had to bury two. It was emotional, more than a little unnerving, and ultimately gratifying to see the survivors slide away. MacKenzie was a little too interested in these events, and was banished inside the house.

Going back to where he belongs.

Going back to where he belongs.


Banished MacKenzie, broken-hearted at being removed from all the fun.

Banished MacKenzie, broken-hearted at being removed from all the fun.

Of course, the most wonderful part of having a garden is sharing it. No one shared it more regularly, and with so much enthusiasm as my dogs. Gordon, Puppy Extreme, sometimes was a little too enthusiastic, and had to be banished, for the safety of the seedlings:

On the wrong side of the fence.

On the wrong side of the fence.

And sweet MacKenzie just wanted to be near me. As long as a bed wasn’t planted, I had no objection to her using it as, well, a bed.

MacKenzie warms the soil, prior to planting.

MacKenzie warms the soil, prior to planting.

All of these topics have been discussed in past posts. You can find more info and more photos by searching for key words/phrases.

My beautiful garden. I am leaving you! I hear the new owners are thrilled with what they saw when they came to see the house, and I hope they feel about this small patch of soil as I do:

It is a place of beauty, food, scent, and solace. I hope to carry what I have learned and felt to my new garden, one gardening zone north, and a whole new Life away.

WORDS FROM OTHERS
“A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust.”

–Gertrude Jekyll (1843-1932) British horticulturist, garden designer, writer

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Moving: Lists

1. Decide what definition of “move” fits this post, and use it to frame the discussion.
2. Share my choice: “Definition 4: to take action: act.” I cannot do either, take action or act, without a list. I know this about myself. It is the only way I can stop the 3 a.m. gasps of panic: GAAH! I don’t want to forget to do THIS, or THAT, or WHATEVER. Make a list! Go back to sleep!
a. Admit that while I can always make a list, I can almost never go back to sleep.
3. Look up the definition of “list” and discard all the verbs and adjectives, and references to sailing and tipping over. We are moving, in every sense of the word, and believe me, I’m listing enough already.
4. Share the definition of “list” that suits today: “a simple series of words or numerals; an official roster; catalog; checklist.”
5. Learn a fun fact about this particular definition: “First Known Use: 1602”
6. Take comfort in the realization that people have been making lists, and stopping those wee hour panic exhalations by making a list, just like me!, for over 400 years.
a. Think about a great plot for a horror movie that has to do with lists.
b. A woman, that makes lists because she can’t sleep, wakes up and sees thousands of women from history, gathered around her bed, staring at her.
c. The women are holding lists appropriate to their period of history. From yellow legal pads and ballpoints, to quills and parchment, to rocks and lumps of charcoal. (We are all tormented.)
d. Rather than running away screaming, the heroine (me) asks to see the lists.
e. The thousands share the pressures and stresses of their lives that have compelled them to make a list, and the heroine learns that not much changes in a woman’s life. “Call ConEd to cancel the account” could so easily be exchanged for “Remind Husband to prime musket for expected arrival of invading army,” or “Scrape the bear hide for howling baby’s new shoes.” Really, it’s all the same.
7. Explain: I make a list every day, beyond those that many people do. No pedestrian grocery list for me, or Honey-Do list for Husband. My lists are all encompassing:
a. Plan the year ahead!
b. Decide the goal of the week, and break it down into daily tasks.
c. Put the list by the coffee pot! (for maximum visibility, even though the recipients are often so annoyed by having their day start with a list from me, that they push it aside, or “accidentally” drip coffee over the more onerous items)
8. Take comfort in the fact that I’m joining the company of Famous List Makers of History. Benjamin Franklin and Woody Guthrie both made lists.
9. Share the best of both lists. Start with Benjamin Franklin.
10. Benjamin Franklin wrote a list of 13 virtues, when he was a mere slip of a boy – 20 years old. The idea of a 20-year-old male thinking about virtues long enough to make a list is already historically significant, methinks. Of the 13, the two that speak most to me in this tumultuous time of moving, are these:
a. Industry: Lose no time; be always employ’d in something useful; cut off all unnecessary actions.
b. Tranquility: Be not disturbed at trifles, or at accidents common or unavoidable.
11. Continue with Woody Guthrie. Mr. Guthrie made a list of 33 New Year’s Resolutions in 1942. To be fair, I will share only 2 of these, even though the full list is delightful. Again, choosing the 2 most pertinent, that also happen to be the first and the last items on his list:
a. Work more and better.
b. Wake up and fight.
12. Accept that lists will help organize the move, and might even help me sleep better, but won’t make the load lighter, the burden easier, or the event resolve more quickly. The move will happen on its own terms. It’s a lot like Life.
13. Get more sleep.

WORDS FROM OTHERS
1move
verb \ˈmüv\
intransitive verb
1
a (1) : to go or pass to another place or in a certain direction with a continuous motion (2) : to proceed toward a certain state or condition (3) : to become transferred during play (4) : to keep pace
b : to start away from some point or place : depart
c : to change one’s residence or location
2
: to carry on one’s life or activities in a specified environment
3
: to change position or posture : stir
4
: to take action : act
5
a : to begin operating or functioning or working in a usual way
b : to show marked activity
c : to move a piece (as in chess or checkers) during one’s turn
6
: to make a formal request, application, or appeal
7
: to change hands by being sold or rented
8
of the bowels : evacuate
8

Origin of MOVE
Middle English, from Anglo-French mover, moveir, from Latin movēre; probably akin to Sanskrit mīvati he moves, pushes
First Known Use: 13th century

Related to MOVE
Synonyms
budge, dislocate, displace, disturb, relocate, remove, reposition, shift, transfer, transpose
Antonyms
freeze, still

 Merriam-Webster

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Moving: Tools

5a today. We are operating or functioning or working in a usual way. In our house, that means finding the right tool for the job.

Henry David Thoreau once said, “Men have become the tools of their tools.”

Oh, stop that. If we didn’t need tools, everything would come assembled and would forever remain in good working order. Good luck with that. I need the right tools for moving, just like I need the right knife in the kitchen, or the right bribe for my teenagers (don’t kid yourself, hazelnut-flavored coffee creamer is as effective in motivating my Youngest as a paycheck is in motivating me.)

We all know the usual tools for moving: clean, dry boxes, bubble wrap, newspapers, packing tape, and sharpie pens to label the boxes. Don’t forget take-out food for dinner and a good bottle of wine for the end of a backbreaking packing day.

Another useful tool that I can’t photograph for you: appropriate music for packing. While Patsy Cline and “Walkin’ After Midnight” is effective when you’re mopping a floor, something louder and inspiring is best for packing. Begin with The Rolling Stones and “Start Me Up,” and continue with whatever else you have that won’t annoy your packing partner. An un-annoyed packing partner is perhaps the best Moving tool of all.

But this year, Husband found something astounding at Home Depot that has changed our Packing lives and will certainly improve our Unpacking lives: Stretch Film.

It is not tape. It is stretchy, clingy cellophane on a wand that you use to bind items together. Unlike tape, it will not rip the finish off of the item when you try to unpack it. Just like plastic wrap, it will tangle and cling if you aren’t careful when unrolling it.

Husband uses it to bind things that aren’t going into boxes. This weekend, we used it to bind my garden tools: Styrofoam pots, garden stakes, and my trellis rods that have the polypropylene netting attached. This last is particularly annoying (“annoying” is a key vocabulary word for Moving), as it sticks out, tangles, unravels, and generally misbehaves. The Stretch Film subdued the netting. I look forward to a zippy unpacking experience up in Maine when I am happily building my new garden.

Here is what it looks like:

AAAAHandwithwrap

AAAAtooltrellis

Pots, garden stakes, and trellis poles,  wrapped and subdued.

Pots, garden stakes, and trellis poles, wrapped and subdued.

I highly recommend this stuff. It works, it’s easy to use, it reduces annoyance both pre- and post-Move, and Husband feels clever for having discovered it. Win, win, win.

Yes, you do need the right tool for the job. Here is validation of that philosophy, from the 1800s:

“Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.”
— Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881, Scottish philosopher)

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Move

23 DAYS.

We are moving. Check out the definitions in the Words From Others box. That lengthy list is just for the intransitive verbs only, and I suspect after August 27, 2013, I will be adding even more definitions.

This is the start of a series of posts about our move, that I hope will quickly switch over to posts about my new gardens, our new business, and a new life for our family — in Maine.

Each of these posts will address definition 1-4c, but today’s will also address 1-2. (I can promise you, none of my posts will ever address definition 8.)

We love New York. We love it so much that both my husband and I chose to start our lives here as young single professionals, drawn to the energy, passion, creativity, and 24/7 drive of this state. Its natural beauty speaks to us. But the taxes do not, and the business opportunities have shifted. Our youngest is now in college. This is the right time for us to make a major life move.

There is so much to share. But more on that later. More on the daunting business of choosing what items to move and what items to leave behind, later. (Look at the Photo of the Day. That is the result of one Bulk Trash Day. After Christmas and Halloween, our favorite day of the year.) More on the reactions of the kids, later. More on the impact of leaving neighbors, leaving my beloved garden, leaving our friends and (closer) proximity to family, later.

For today, I thought I’d give you a snapshot of where we are and where we will be in 23 days.

New York is located in the Northeast region of the U.S. It is the 7th most densely populated state, and was inhabited by various tribes of Algonquin and Iroquoian speaking Native Americans. Its first European settlers were Dutch.

Facts that I find more lively: Its nickname is The Empire State, and its motto is Excelsior….Ever upward.

Maine is described as being in the New England region of the Northeast region of the U.S. (I like that qualifier. I have always associated “New England” with cool temperatures, seafood, and vacation. All very good things.) It is the 41st most populous state, and was inhabited by Algonquian speaking tribes. Its first European settlers were French.

Maine’s nickname is The Pinetree State, and its motto is Dirigo….I direct.

My husband and I are sad to leave our state of Empires (building, business, striving) and the relentless push that is in the very air to move ever upward. But we are also content to leave this state, this condition, of our lives behind. We turn our faces to the fresh cool pine trees of Maine, and its call to direct, to guide, to lead.

We direct our lives to the north. 23 days to go.

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