That’s not why I write

It is full-on summer at the Clearing. New flowers each day, moose-tracks in the blueberry patch, bunnies, wild turkeys, quail, a fisher cat (or maybe a mink?). A couple of deer. Frogs, pollywogs and cute, fat toads. Madame Snapper made her appearance again on the exact same date as last year (see my entry “A … Read more



It snowed here three days before we left for California on April 30th. Less than a month later, as I sit in my cabin and type this post, it is 87 degrees. Ahhhh…the ever-changing climate of New England! Although, if memory serves, May wasn’t typically this hot when we were growing up.  Plus, we grew … Read more


Croak is what they do

In just a matter of about a week the daytime temperatures have risen by an average of about 30 degrees or more. It was 65 and sunny yesterday. Today promises even warmer temperatures. On the way from errands in Barre yesterday afternoon, we observed folks in tank tops and shorts. It’s still a little nippy … Read more


IMAX Theater at the Clearing

This has been an interesting “spring.” We think we’ve had more snow in March and April than we had all winter. Granted we were only here in winter during December and the first two weeks of January, but still. Not that it has accumulated to any degree this spring, it just feels as though it … Read more


Who Knew Trees Do Math?

(From a paper I wrote for my math 100 class.) The above photo collage, clockwise from top left, shows the mouth of the Selenga River Delta, an angiogram of a human kidney, a deciduous tree in winter, and a typical graphic of a fractal image. I find the similarity of the four images astounding. Before … Read more

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Henny Penny, my face is falling (among other things)

…and I want to stop caring about that! We are two weeks away from heading back to sunny (well, actually quite rainy this coming week, according to Southern California. I am excited to see my girls, and all our dear friends. However, as I sit here in my cabin by the propane heater with … Read more


Reading, writing, shopping, hunting, shooting (in no particular order)

Shopping is the elixir of a woman’s soul. I’m not talking about shopping for shoes or purses or dresses, although there are scores of women out there who would have me tarred and feathered and tethered to the nearest pole in the town square (wearing shoes that did not match my purse, of course) as … Read more


Fifty shades of sepia

My apologies for taking a powder the last several months. Maybe you have all abandoned ship. I hope not. It’s not like I didn’t want to write, and I even made a few lame attempts, but couldn’t seem to get any traction going. Of course, I have several great excuses, among them, our warp-speed class … Read more


Flying poodles and swami-wannabes

Here we are, as if beamed up from sultry, green Cabot, Vermont, and plopped down in the middle of dry, brown Southern California – the whole dreaded process of getting back here already a mere, distant hallucination. Isn’t that always the way with alien abductions? (Hey…wait a minute…I think those were poodles…) In truth, it was … Read more


Christmas in July

Every morning at the Clearing brings a fresh bounty of gifts from Mother Nature. Eric and I are in constant states of rapture over each summer day’s new offerings. The growing season is so short here, hence things grow very quickly. As Eric says, they really have to get after it. We leave for sunny (and … Read more

Kylie and me

Will the Real Martin Luther King Please Stand Up?

Going a little “off Clearing topic” today. I recently posted on Facebook about President Obama’s very moving eulogy for Senator and Reverend Clementa Pinckney. Here is part of what I posted (if you already read it on FB, skip to below): “Had the first chance to listen to President Obama’s eulogy for the Senator and … Read more


A Summer Solstice event at the Clearing

The other morning Eric rose at about 5:30 to take the poodles out to “do business.” The day before, he had been working on digging out a stump in the front yard above the garden wall, over-looking the pond. Planning to work on it more the next day, he left the dirt piled around the … Read more

Chicken soup for the new Vermonter’s soul

Yesterday afternoon, as we made our way back down the driveway from an errand run, and turned the final corner that approaches the Clearing, we startled a moose feeding on aquatic vegetation from the pond bottom. For a split second, as she rose from the pond, we didn’t comprehend what we were seeing. A moose! I … Read more

P.F. (Pillow Face) Chang

I know…what on earth is she talking about?? (Just wanted to see if you were paying attention.) We’ve all heard  the term, and have surely experienced the phenomenon, “bed head.”  (I have bed head at least every other day now, as shampooing and blow drying every day just takes too much time away from BEING AT … Read more

More crops and critters

Waiting for one of these little buggers to hold still for a photo is no small exercise in patience. This swallowtail is much more cooperative.   Irises everywhere. So much beautiful color. Love this pretty flower, but I have no idea what it is called. Anyone? We were making our way down the driveway when … Read more

Just a smattering of wildlife and flora

Jack peeking out of the Pulpit.   Beautiful, deep purple lilacs.   Pretty little garter snake, out to soak up some photons after the cold rain.   Eastern newts basking in the pond.   Momma robin’s pride and joy.   As yet unidentified flying object at the Clearing…  

The trials of being a tick, poodle business, and rain, rain, rain

It has been five days since the Fateful Tick Bite, and Eric does not have an inkling of a target on his back (unless there is one for some undisclosed criminal activity I don’t know about), so we held a trial, and Betty, still having the damning evidence of Eric’s DNA hanging out of her … Read more

Aliens, Sasquatch, ticks, and other things that go bump in the night…

We have acquired our first tick. He (or she?) is in a plastic cup with a trivet on top. (This is in case an infection ensues – we can have the tick examined for whatever disease it might carry.) I found her (let’s assign a gender) sucking blood from Eric’s back the other sunny afternoon … Read more

Beyond the beyond…and beyond…

It’s hard to know where to begin. First off, let me say I had planned on at least one more post before reaching our destination – something along the lines of “Keep on Trekkin’, Baby!” – with humorous stories about our adventures and poodle foibles along the way, through the Great Plains, the Mid-West, Upper … Read more

Trekking towards the Clearing

So, I guess, in a way, I’ve been “trekking towards the Clearing” since I came into the world just after midnight, during a thunderstorm, on July 30th, 1954.  During the “baby boom.” It’s rather surreal to reach the tender age of sixty, and feel you have finally found the place where you belong. I suppose everything … Read more