Miss my bunnies

With my elder daughter’s growing allergies to rabbits’ prolific fur, which flies everywhere, Salty and Pepper had to move on. The Lagomorph duo did provide companionship through two deep winters, as well as constant amusement. In late summer, they received a new home with a then 13-year-old and her 11-year-old brother. From what I seen from a distance since, they couldn’t have been luckier. Those are two happy kids.

Still, it’s surprising how many times I start to do something that might involve them – say bend over to pick dandelion greens while out on a walk or gather carrot ends or parsley stems to feed them while I prepping dinner or move an electrical cord or papers out of their reach – only to realize, emptily, their lusty absence.

Here are a few shots as reminders.

 

For tiny Dover, why all the hoopla?

As improbable as it would seem now, Dover was a throbbing center of dissidents and misfits in its early years, at least from the perspective of the Puritan authorities to the south in Boston.

Nor would I have expected a settlement inland from the ocean to be the one that took root, rather than the companion complex facing the ocean, but the Dutch trading post at Albany, New York, was even further up a river and survived.

There are good reasons that Dover became the center of action north of Salem, Massachusetts, and of Boston further south, not that you were taught any of that in your history classes.

I have to admit, it’s taken a while for the fact to sink in. Dover was the heart of the New Hampshire province, not that we see that today. Still, the roots remain.

My book, Quaking Dover, looks at the history from a minority viewpoint that leaves most of the last 200 years pretty wide open. Yes, there’s so much more to examine and include in the full picture leading to the rebirth of the community in recent years.

But what I’ve found is still pretty remarkable.

To think, it was such a humble and audacious start 400 years ago and counting.

It’s gonna be a big year!

 

Why there’s no Eastport, Massachusetts

From 1653 until 1820, Maine was governed by Massachusetts.

The westernmost port down there is Westport, beside Buzzard Bay. A lovely place, by the way.

And the easternmost port was Eastport, in waters subsidiary to the Bay of Fundy. As you’ve been seeing here.

But then, come 1820, the two extremes separated when Maine finally became independent as a state.

Now I guess that easternmost point down under distinction falls on Chatham, out on Cape Cod. And Maine has no Westport.

One year, while still living in New Hampshire, I was in Eastport one weekend, and Westport, the next. I saw it as some kind of weird coincidence, not knowing there really had been a rational connection.

Have you ever thought about the name of the place where you’re dwelling?

When and what do you eat?

A cheese, green pepper, and mushroom omelet using eggs from our next-door neighbor’s hens is served with home fries made of potatoes I purchased in Aroostook County. Notice there’s no need for ham or bacon. I do love grapefruit juice, by the way. Brunch like this remains a favorite Saturday tradition for me.

My eating habits were one of the places my residency at the ashram changed my life (see my novel Yoga Bootcamp for a taste of the experience).

The lacto-vegetarian cuisine was one, leading to three extended periods “on the outside” when I continued it. Even when I haven’t, the amount of meat in my menus has remained much less than many Americans’. I rarely use bacon, for instance, and when I do, it’s likely to be as a garnish, say on a spinach salad. Hamburger is more likely to be in a meatball or meatloaf rather than in a bun.

Gravy, curiously, has become more heavenly than ever as an extension of the rue family.

And lamb, a recent addition, is simply glorious, especially grilled.

Grilling, I should add, is something I’ve come to treasure through my wife and the space we dubbed the Smoking Garden. There’s no substitute, as far as I can tell, and it makes for some great social gatherings.

What I gained through the ashram was a delight in vegetables and fruits, especially in season, as well as dried beans, nuts, and mushrooms.

The other lasting change was in my dining habits.

Our first food of the day came after morning meditation, community scripture reading, and perhaps physical exercise, and then it was light food – coffee and toast, maybe with yogurt or fruit, and that after we’d already been up three hours. The real meals were a late brunch or early lunch, around 11, and an evening meal around 4 or a little later.

I’ve continued a similar schedule, foodwise. Well, my caffeine intake is down, per doctor’s orders, but what I have is top-notch. Quality over quantity, right? When I was working the “vampire shift,” till midnight or so, the hours were adjusted accordingly, often with a melty cheese sandwich before bed or a martini. (Alcohol was strictly forbidden on the yoga diet.)

In retirement, I find myself often down to one major meal of the day, and holding steady.

What are some of your food traditions?