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Fall in the Country

November 2007

Hi, readers!  It’s been almost twenty years since I fell in love with a beautiful rural area in the eastern Catskill Mountains.  I became familiar with this part of the Hudson Valley when I would visit my good friend (and then future co-author) Paula Danziger, who had a house in Woodstock, New York.  I enjoyed getting to know the area on weekend trips to visit Paula, and eventually I decided to look for a country home of my own.  Like Paula, I was drawn to the area’s quiet beauty and peaceful lifestyle, and I felt very much at home with the community of musicians, artists, and writers.
After looking at many houses over the course of a few months, I knew exactly when I had found the right one.  The house is over a hundred years old and sits on several acres of wooded property, a few miles outside of town.  The surrounding woods give me a wonderful sense of privacy, and for most of the year, I can’t see any other houses.  However, I’m lucky to have the world’s best neighbors, Hal and Jean, who live across the street with Daisy, Sadie’s littermate, and Bluebell, their cow, and I've met lots of other terrific people in the years I've lived here.
When friends came up for a visit a few weeks ago, we decided to take advantage of the gorgeous fall day and snap a few pictures of the house and yard to share with you:

(Click on the pictures below for a larger view.)


Here I am with Sadie and Gussie on the front steps.  Sadie was so excited when she saw that my friend’s two children, five-year-old Kaj and two-year-old Kiri, had come along.  She absolutely adores kids and is very gentle and patient with them.  She had to be, because Kiri chased her around the yard all afternoon!

This building is a former chicken coop, and the original nesting boxes for the chickens are still inside.  Since I don’t raise chickens, this is where I store tools and garden supplies.  I also keep the wood for my fireplace stacked here.  I love having fires on cold evenings, and I go through a lot of wood every winter.

Here I am with Sadie and Kiri outside of the vegetable garden.  (Kiri is wearing the smocked dress I made for her when she was born!)  I enclosed the garden to keep the deer, rabbits and other wildlife from eating all the vegetables.  Now that it’s fall and the growing season is over, I’ve pulled up everything except for a few broccoli plants. And the garlic has already been planted. It stays in the ground all winter.  Starting in March or April, I’ll be busy planting the rest of the seeds and seedlings.

I wanted to have somewhere fun for kids to play outside when they came over, so this little house has gotten a lot of use.  The door was sticking a little when Kaj tried to get in, so getting it unstuck is on my to-do list.

Sadie’s favorite time of day is when we go on our two-mile walk before lunch.  Neither rain or snow, nor sleet or hail will keep us from our daily trek!

Isn’t this a stunning view?  The leaves will be gone soon and the snow will cover everything you see, but for now, I’m grateful for every day of this spectacular Hudson Valley autumn.
Until next time, happy reading!

P.S.  To see more pictures (including an adorable one of Sadie!) just click on “Photo Albums” and it will take you right there.