Thursday, July 31, 2008

Back From The Store

I think I have just about now adjusted to being back from Vermont. Maybe. Every summer we go to Barnard, Vermont, eat ice cream, marvel at the cool weather, and dare each other to jump in the lake (which is really, REALLY cold). There are two focal points to Barnard: the lake (also known as Silver Lake) and the store (also known as the Barnard General Store.) If we are not in the one, we are usually in the other.

The picture above was snapped (against the Tweenish One's will) in the store. To say that the Barnard General Store is special, a tradition, cozy, and a throw-back to more civilized times just doesn't cover it. This store has been in continuous operation for 175 years, serving on and off as a place to buy everything from horse shoes (for their real purpose) to Fluffer Nutter, depending on when you happened by. Today it serves as a kind of store/everyone's living room, a place where you can meet up with your neighbor for coffee or argue with him or her vehemently about, well, just about anything. And no one will mind either way. The store now has wifi, which would be a mixed blessing if it wasn't so unreliable. A kind patron showed me where to sit (next to the ficus tree) to get, well, just about any reception. She also explained that there was no wifi on rainy days. At the time this made perfect sense to me. Maybe we could start this system in DC?

Just across the road is Silver Lake, a spring-fed lake where someone always seems to be swimming. Or paddling their canoe over to (where else?) the general store to buy whatever necessary item that came to mind in the last hour. It's the kind of lake that takes some serious talking to oneself to jump into. And even if I can only talk myself into staying in for limited periods of time, I just love watching the old gal across the lake make her morning swim through the mist in the morning.

This year's main Barnard occupation was reading, knitting, cards, icecream, and fishing. It rained a lot. We did not care. The Tweenish One and his Tweenish Buddy perfected their worm baiting techniques, and spent hours in the rain and out of it, standing on the dock behind the house catching fish and hurling them back into the deep.

I think I really, really need to go to the store.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Old Lady Puberty Pills

Today, I got a box in the mail. Of course, Sam (aka Tweenish One) watched me carefully when I opened it, like all kids do when they are really, really hoping it's something for them, which all boxes in the mail are supposed to be. For them. He stopped watching though, when I pulled out two prescription bottles. He'd seen it all before.

Disgustedly, he asked me: "Are you STILL taking those old lady puberty pills? "

After I stopped laughing, I had to say, yes, I was still taking old lady puberty pills. I tried explaining about hormone loss and bioidentical compoounding, and how I get these specially made hormones from a place in New Hampshire, and, well, that's about when he slumped even further down on the sofa. "Mom, please, you can't talk about that stuff with a GUY," he told me.

Tweenish One was not amused. He was worried. The conversation continued.

T.0.: "You know, since I am beginning like the introduction to puberty, does this mean I am going to have to take any pills for it, once it gets bad and all."

O.L.P.: "No, guys don't have to take pills, just women."

T.O.: "Not even when they get old, like Old Man Puberty."

O.L.P.: "No, they just buy a sports car."

T.O.: "Sounds a lot better than the pills, Mom."

O.L.P.: "Huh."

I thought about that later, the whole "what we do when we get to menopause (male or female), and I think women have their priorities all off. We should be asking for a Lamborghini (okay, a Miata?), not estrogen. Once again, men are getting the bigger locker room -- or something like that.

Now I understand why I have been lusting after Vespas lately. I wonder, if I come home with one, do you think I can just say it's for my menopause?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Web I Am Just Barely Weaving

Okay, so now that I am getting more stained glass commissions -- and would like to get even more -- I need a website. At least that's what everyone tells me. "Do you have a website?" is the first question I hear when I mention I make stained glass windows. They will ask this even as they are looking at real, live examples of my stained glass. "Oh yeah. Well, I'm just getting one up right now," I answer, mixing fact and fiction as artfully as I can. "Probably next week."

As anyone knows who has thrown up their own homegrown website, "next week" can stretch out into "next month" and, in some cases, "next year." Even for a savvy pedestrian on the Internet highway, creating a website is daunting.

The frustration all starts with the easy, anyone-can-do-it website software. The lies, people! Sure, in the tutorial it all looks easy. A template here, a masthead there, and voila! You are in business. But then, there you are, up a 2 AM, crouched over your keyboard, with only an "About Me" and "Coming Up Next" section to show for 6 hours of work, and you are only a push button away from calling a shrink -- or a website professional. In fact, I'm thinking that it had to be some sadistic website professional who designed the do-it-yourself software in the first place. What a great way to drive business to THEIR WEBSITE.

Still, I am putting in another few late nights in pursuit of my teen-weeny website. Until I sink into a catatonic state of desperation, I will not go begging to any website professionals, because I need to save cash in this mom-and-not-even-pop business of mine. In the meantime, I will stay away from the sharp glass. And pray to the cyber gods and anyone else listening for all the help I can get.

And assuming I can also channel Bill Gates and Mahatma Ghandi-- and if you'd like to take a look - you will be able to find me at

Sometime next week.