Thursday, March 15, 2007

Busy Spring

This is going to be a busy spring. Now that the weather has started to turn (there are still cold days coming up, and even another snow storm, but nothing like we had last month), we have a lot of project to do around the house: a new storm door, repairs to the downstairs shower plumbing (which sprung a leak inside the wall), a new faucet in the kitchen, new walls and floor in the sitting room, and lots of painting.

Work will go on (and on and on) as usual, and now we've added Karen's job at Lowe's; she enjoys the work, but the hours are unpredictable.

It won't all be work. We'll be finding the time to visit, to swim and kayak, to play games and go to some of our special summer places, like Bobby Sue's Ice Cream in Freedom (best homemade ice cream in the state) and the steam train in North Conway.

And I'm getting active in the theater again after taking a few months off. Well, actually only a couple since I was on stage for one night in January. This time I'll be in the seats, directing one of three one-act plays as part of our directing workshops. That will be just the beginning of what I hope will be a very active season at the Village Players.

Check back here for updates; there will be a lot to report from the Brooks Bunch in the months to come. After all, the snow is just beginning to thaw.

We're ready to come out of hiding.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Of Pancakes and Concord Grapes

This morning and yesterday, I made pancakes for breakfast, partly because I haven't made them in a long time, but mostly because Karen made Concord grape syrup on Friday night.

Karen's recipe for grape syrup is simple, though at the same time hard to follow. It starts like this: take a long walk in mid-Autumn along the Back Bay of Lake Winnipesaukee until you see a vine of Concord grapes growing wild. Pick as many as you can find and freeze them. About six months later, find them in the freezer and decide it's time you did something with them. You see what I mean.

But like so many of the culinary pursuits that Karen decides to take on at a whim, this one turned out too delicious to describe. I don't know why you can't buy grape syrup in the stores, but the fact that you can't just makes me feel that much luckier to have Karen's imagination on my side.

She also found a bag of cheap apples she had bought from the local store, owned by a local orchard. We had forgotten about them, and they were a bit beyond pleasant eating. No matter! While the grapes were boiling down, Karen whipped up some homemade applesauce. Sometime I think her talents are wasted on art, but then I remember how much work and how little pay is involved in food as a profession. I think she should stick with interior design.

Today is the first day of spring. Well, okay, not officially, but it feels like it because the sun its out and the snow is melting. Soon everything will be a nice, muddy mess. But no matter. The change from bitter cold to just a little chilly is invigorating, which is a good thing because otherwise the changeover to Daylight Savings Time would be just about killing me. I know it's playing havoc with Will and Danny.

Soon Tom will be 17 (yikes!), and school will be out, and before you know it I'll be complaining about the oppressive heat.

Never satisfied.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Chalk One Up for Phil

It seems strange to be predicting an early spring when we are on the eve of a major snowstorm. But you have to realize that snow is just a normal part of spring in this part of the country. What makes it more spring-like, with three weeks to go until the official start of spring, is the temperature. Although some cold days are predicted, we're having many more days with above-freezing daytime highs, and many fewer nights in the teens.

Which means that winter will soon give way, and before we know it summer will come. When I will be writing less about the weather.