Friday, October 15, 2010

Apples and Things

Here's what's happening with my apples.   What you see are some experiments:  the far right bag are McIntosh apple slices, dried after being dunked in lemon water (to retard darkening).  The middle bag is Cortland apples, dunked in lemon water, the leftmost apples are Cortland, not dunked in lemon water.  The slices didn't darken, but there's a little less *zing* in the flavor.

The McIntosh are almost gone for the year.  We had a windy storm last week and a bunch of apples fell.  I went to pick some up the other day and most of them are partially rotted already.  The Cortland apples are looking great!  Unfortunately those don't cook well - which is why we're into drying these days.  I considered trying to root cellar some apples, but all the literature on the topic says that the apples to be stored should be perfect, and I don't have any of those.  There's no such thing as a perfect apple on this 'stead.

Sharon Astyk, who writes a blog called Casaubon's Book, wrote about re-evaluating her life today.  Her stuff, is normally pretty dense, weighty and doom-y so I don't read it often, but the topic of reevaluating is hot for me these days.  She talks about reevaluating on several aspects, but the aspect that strikes me is community, something I totally ignored when I bought this place, but have been struggling to find.  I wrote a blog post almost exactly a year ago saying that I was going to find comunity, darn it, even if I had to drive an extra hour and a half every day (or something like that).  We'll I've tried the whole "drive an extra hour and a half a day just to be part of a tribe" and it doesn't work.  I wonder why I didn't learn that lesson when I lived in a similar situation in South Carolina.  The lesson is Live Where You Want to Spend Your Time.  Not 45 minutes away.  Not an hour away.  Actually, when I had the apartment in The Hague, I knew I'd want to be in the Centrum, so that's where I got my apartment.  I'm only dumb sometimes, like when I want to totally change my life to something I've never done before!  Alone.  In the woods.  Leaving my family shaking their heads in curiousity.  OK, OK, we'll call it optimism, not totally dumb.

I am finally beginning to give myself permission to not try and do everything all at once, by myself out here, alone in the woods.  What I feel is relieved.  That ... and sad.


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  2. Ha! I'll try again -- I agree that it's best to live where you want to spend your time. Although I wanted to spend my time in Vermont, I couldn't afford the real estate, so I moved as close as possible. I definitely see you enjoying the stimuli of a rousing scientific conversation over a glass of wine with a like-minded cute, smart guy more than discussing the price of corn with your neighbor. No, not THAT neighbor, as I suspect she is only interested in corn in it's metamorphosis into liquor. It is sad when your dreams don't turn out as you hoped. But it is possible to modify your dreams into those that will bring you happiness. It's like apples: you don't have to grow them to enjoy them. Just drive out to the country to an orchard and pick them!

  3. Thanks Sue. In the last year or so before I got divorced, I was chatting with a close friend about ... stuff. At one point she said that she never thought I fit with my ex. I had never looked at it that way, and her saying it, in a way made it true. It was a truth I had no idea was true until someone else said how they saw it, and gave me the oomph to move into a better emotional place.

    You know, I use you as an example of when it works. You have a farther commute and more animals (=more work), but you have the community that supports you.

  4. Wow...Thanks for the link to Casaubons Book. I agree with your assesment. I'd better not spend the whole afternoon reading through all her archives, I might have to slit my wrists and call it a happy day.

    On the other hand I'd rather not live my life with my head in the sand.

    Kuddos on a great blog, Jordan.

  5. You've had some really productive/important insights lately.

    I haven't read Sharon's post yet, but I will after I write this. It does seem like contentment is a moving target a lot of the time, doesn't it?