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Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Spring has sprung - in the Catskills that means mornings are 32 degrees, and afternoons are 65. Even in the summer, our evenings cool down melodiously - negating the need for air conditioning and discouraging a lot of pests.

Here is Cottage 5 Maurizio's yard, about 10 days after we planted it. First you 'grade' it, then you rake the rocks out, then you add two teaspoons of top soil, rake it 0ut, sprinkle liberally Delaware Valley grass seed, and cover with hay (which keeps it protected from too much sun and too much wind), let sit 2 weeks, and enjoy. We differ from most country builders by even using top soil - most just rake around the clay like soil they found on site, throw some seed around, and wallah - a rocky, spotty, weed lawn impossible to fix without starting from scratch. This is a great example of how Catskill Farms exceeds expectations - a fine yard process like this is easily $5k, and no where in the contract does it stipulate I will do it. But let's be honest - it's better this way, so we do it.

Maurizio also has already planted some trees -

Sullivan County has lots of little farms and 'at home' suppliers of all the little essentials that makes life sweet - in this case, honey. Which immediately makes me wonder why a few of my customers have never heard the cliche 'you catch more flies with honey....'

And the Sullivan County countryside, in all it's glory.

And Cheri's 1100 sq ft modern abode.

And Cheri's note to us after she settled in (one of full timers) -

I'm so happy to be here.
It's unreal.

I'm not kidding.
I keep telling the dogs we are on vacation.
Norm is like a pig in shit, Scout a bit wary.

When I wake up and go outside
I don't need to smile at anybody if I don't really want to.
Or talk about the weather. Or how I'm doing today.
I don't have to make a mad dash for a hot pile of poop nearly getting hit by a street sweeper sitting on his throne.
I don't have to cover my ears as screaming emergency vehicles go by or be saddened by
firetrucks rolling by with american flags flying.

I can sit on the porch with scout and norm
and listen to a little chirpin' and hummin', whooshin' and cracklin'.
I talk to spiders before I pick them up and gently place them outside (where I think they belong). We differ.
I found a tiny bird dead on the patio in the morning one day...it must have flown into the sliding glass doors in the night.
I buried the little body in the backyard. (respectfully).
And yesterday I uncovered two tiny translucent bright orange baby salamanders under a log.
Awesome. After admiring them, I placed the log back over them, gently.

...not to mention having a washer/dryer. And a fancy stove.
shit. it all just blows my mind.