My Wonderful, Beautiful, Not Bad, Very Good Day

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WHAT A SATURDAY I had. Just about perfect in every way.

  • Color is peaking in my own backyard, above.
  • Eric the Tree Man is almost done taking down the big dying oak in front, below. That, plus some huge limbs that overhung the house, and one that protruded unkemptly into the street, are gone. That’ll be it for major tree removal.
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  • I went to 4 yard sales; the number has shrunk since Labor Day. I got nothing at the first three. At the last, I scored a load of gardening books for 25 cents apiece, terracotta saucers for under flowerpots 3 for $1.00, a clear glass urn perfect for a pillar candle $3, and an unused mint green rag rug, about 4’x6′, for $2. Whoopee do. Nothing is going to touch my yard sale triumph of two weeks ago, but I can still get a thrill from a Le Creuset pot for $2 or wicker chairs for $5, below.
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  • My daughter painted the front door. Can’t get enough of that Sailor’s Sea Blue.
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  • I took a drive down exquisite Further Lane, below. There are parts of this area I haven’t yet discovered, and that’s intentional. I don’t want the sense of wonder to end, so I’m taking it slow. Further Lane is quintessential Hamptons. You can buy a lot of landscaping and, well, land — acres of meadow stretching down to the dunes — given enough millions. The houses are plenty big, but you wouldn’t call them McMansions; they’re too good. They’re mostly hidden behind magnificently sculpted hedges.
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  • I went stone-shopping at Southampton Masonry on Springs Fireplace Road, below, looking at cut bluestone for a walk around the house. My thinking: buy the stuff, have a palette or two delivered, and then, one by one, whenever I’m feeling strong or help is around, move the stones into place, laying them directly on the compacted, sandy soil. My hope/fantasy is that they’ll settle in perfectly from people walking on them, and I’ll never have to go through that monstrous excavation/crushed rock/gravel/edging process that probably wouldn’t yield the kind of informal look I want anyway.

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  • No trick or treaters came to my door. I laid in a stash of lollipops but, admittedly, did nothing to encourage them.

Random Thoughts of Fall

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WELL, OCTOBER’S ALMOST OVER, and I owe Long Island an apology. I jumped the gun last week when I called its fall foliage show a “dud.” Last week, there wasn’t much in the way of color. But this week,  the woods behind my house are glinting gold in the late afternoon sun, and there’s even a smattering of red from the burning bush that strains toward my neighbors’ sunnier yard. Though not the glorious blaze of the Hudson Valley (why must I keep comparing?), the roads around here are a pleasure to drive these days. So sorry, Long Island, you’re very pretty in fall.

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Then there are the Montauk daisies, above. There are stands of them everywhere and they are welcome indeed, to be flowering so abundantly in late October.

Today, feeling rural, I bought the Farmer’s Almanac; I needed something to read in parking court (they reduced my ticket from $60 to $30 just for showing up). Strange little book. Published in Lewiston, ME, since 1818 (there are two competing farmer’s almanacs; I bought the one with a Colonial homestead on the cover), it seems to appeal to old people on both left and right. It’s got ads for everything from organic fertilizers to air guns, plus knee braces, Depends, and various supplements and snake oils.

I’m glad to have the frost dates, gardening tips, and Moon calendar (I always like to know when the moon is in Aries, my sun sign, said to be “green light” days for making things happen), but the weather forecast for this three-day period in the Northeast (“rainy skies”) is already wrong.

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I’ve been paint-happy lately. All the trim and moldings in my house, above, are now painted Benjamin Moore’s Sailors Sea Blue — a wonderful, easy-to-live with French blue.

Last seasonal observation for today. The Fall ’09 Hamptons Look (female version):

  • skinny jeans (most likely brown)
  • high boots (ditto)
  • long, loose sweater belted at the hip
  • long scarf around neck
  • sunglasses on head

I can do that!