Well, it was an eventful Christmas here at Foggygates. We had the annual Hatfield Luminarium on Sunday night the 23rd, and had some friends and neighbors over afterwards for a very nice French dinner of Beef Bourguignon which Amy spent all day preparing. It rained this year so I didn't get any pics, but a good time was had by all. Then on Christmas we had some friends and relatives from Vermont and New Hamphire here for a dinner of locally-smoked ham, potato & mushroom au gratin, and peas & onions, with home-made lemon tart for desert.
Amy was in charge of all the food- the way we do food here is that I cook during the week, but if anything calls for planning or expertise, she does it. So it was real bummer when she got up with a stiff neck Christmas morning, and then came up from the basement at 9:04 a.m. saying "I dropped the butter and when I bent down to pick it up, my neck went out".
Ouch. I mean, I never had a neck go out, but I've had my back go out in spasms, and it's not fun.
She was barely able to walk, but insisted on presiding over the kitchen all day and, with much help from our friend Anne from Vermont, dinner made it on, and was enjoyed by all.
It wasn't until around 5 pm that Amy suggested we might want to go to the emergency room, as she could not actually move without 10th-level pain.
They prescribed some very nice drugs, and she had a half-nights sleep last night and is feeling somewhat better today- though I went and did the farmer-thang and watered the six horse at the barn. Got horse shit all over my pants and gloves and remembered how it feels to care for outdoor animals in winter, back when I had ducks. You know, it's good feeling, no matter how much ice-encrusted shit you have on you when you get home. Ice is ice, and you live in New England and you expect something else than to wade in horse shit? Forget it- haul the damn water out in wheel-barrows over the ice to the horses. That's life.
We're covered in frozen horse-shit, but all is happy here.
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
The Book Elves love Christmas, but they get very, very competitive when shopping for a Christmas tree. After being banned by the local tree farm after a rather ugly incident involving the mayor’s mother and a chainsaw last year, they decided to cut their own in our back woods.
Now here’s the thing about “home-grown” trees- they tend to be “home” in more ways than one. The first inkling we had that they might have brought more into the house than just a balsam fir came when a sleepy chipmunk landed on the mantle, and soon there were a variety of songbirds flying around the living room. It was actually very cute and Christmassy and lent a festive air to our Christmas party last Thursday evening -the bright colors and cheerful songs of the chickadees, jays, cardinals and titmice were quite charming.
And then the squirrel and the red-tailed hawk popped out...
But before they turned our living room from a scene from Dickens’ ‘A Christmas Carol’ to a scene from a Bruce Willis “Die Hard” movie, the Book Elves finished our latest catalog-
Catalog #310: BOOKS ON THE DECORATIVE ARTS, including folk art, interiors, metalware & iron, textiles, & other “Americana” & related subjects” features 271 fully described books and catalogs.
The catalog may be browsed on our website.
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
The Book Elves love decorating for Christmas, and they love seeing the big, 80-foot maples out front strung with brightly colored lights. But after last year's unfortunate 'incident' with the rented cherry picker and the power lines, they knew they had to come up with an alternate method of stringing them.
The Book Elves are nothing if not resourceful (or ever-so-slightly addled) and so they trundled on down to our local Radio Shack and bought a radio-controlled airplane and two-dozen boxes of new light strings. It was a simple enough idea- a radio-controlled airplane flies as high as the trees and is, by definition, “controllable”. It is also quite powerful enough to attach a few strands of Christmas lights to, and so they did, and away the plane went, round and round the tree.
Personally, I have always found it a pity that some of the Book Elves more unusual and interesting ideas usually turn out to have completely unexpected consequences, especially for unsuspecting bystanders...
But before they hog-tied the neighborhood carolers (and their dog) to a tree with sixteen strands of “Merry Christmas Blinking Frosty Lights”(tm), the Book Elves finished our latest catalog-
Catalog #309: RECENT ACQUISITIONS & OTHER INTERESTING BOOKS ON ANTIQUES & THE ARTS, DECEMBER, 2007, features 217 books and catalogs on antique furniture, silver, ceramics, glass, textiles, folk art, and many related topics.
-Barber's scarce 1893 catalog of American ceramics
-Several nice early 19th century miniaturist's manuals
-A nice 1873 Elkington Silver & Electroplate catalog
-A very scarce Henry Wood Erving pamphlet
-A superlative copy of French's 1879 'Art and Artists in Connecticut'
-The book issued at the 1925 opening of the American Wing, limited to 500 copies
-A scarce 1884 book on electric lighting in the home
-A copy of Isham's 1928 'Early American Houses', one of 35 copies on rag paper
-A scarce 1816 pamphlet describing the Piccadilly exhibition of Napoelon's captured personal carriage and its luxurious contents
-An 1898 monograph on woollen fabrics of the Oudh provice of India
-A unique court exhibition of old British sherry labels, used in the noted 1967 case of Vine Products v. Mackenzie
-An important 1925 pictorial survey of Art Deco in France by Henry Van de Velde
and much more!
The catalog is posted online.
We also have printed copies available. Please send us your address if you would like a free copy.