Friday, November 12, 2010

Crown Point Bridge Construction

About a year ago the old Crown Point Bridge was demolished after being deemed unsafe and in danger of collapsing into the lake along with whatever cars and passengers happened to be on the bridge at the time (Click here for video of the demolition explosion - yes, you will have to suffer through an ad). The loss of the Bridge has caused tremendous stress for thousands of people living on both sides of Lake Champlain. Many businesses are dependent on free flowing traffic across the Lake between Vermont and New York. The closest Specialized Life Saving Medical Care, Jobs, Entertainment, Major Sources for Consumer Products - cars, appliances, groceries, etc. lay across the lake for many in the towns and villages near the bridgehead in New York. Soon after the destruction, clean up and construction of a new bridge was started.
Above is an artist rendering of the new bridge. It is slated to be completed by Oct. of 2011 and is reportedly on schedule.

Yesterday, Naomi and I took a drive down to the construction site to see how the new bridge is coming along. We took the opportunity to have lunch at the Bridge Restaurant - now renamed the "NO" Bridge Restaurant. Here are some photos of the project.

Two new pedestals for the approach to the bridge from the Vermont side. One of the cranes involved in the construction is positioned beween the two.

A Tug pushes a barge with two cement trucks into position to pump cement into the footing for a pier for the new bridge. This gives some idea of the size and scope or the $70 million effort to reconnect people with jobs and services.

One of the two ferries providing year round free 24 hour service across the lake at Crown Point until the new bridge is finished.

The Daily Special for Veterans Day at the rechristened restaurant on the Vermont side of the bridge. Great food! The cheerful waitress lives on the New York side and commutes via the ferry every day.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Cleaning the flue 10/30/10

Dreary fall day with drizzle of rain all day and highs in the mid 40s. Doing a few outdoor chores around the place to get ready for winter and before I'm laid up because of upcoming toe surgery. Protecting woody stemmed perennials from mice girdling their bark by wrapping them in cloth. Picking some late season broccoli - it is so amazingly sweet after first frosts. Generally getting cold and wet. Then, this afternoon I was inspired to clean the flue to the wood stove in the bedroom with the flue brush. Seems a fitting task for Halloween eve with the associated soot and blackness and black top hat and perching precariously on a roof top - a wet and slick one at that. Naomi freaks out (a little hyperbole on my part here) because she is afraid I'll fall off and kill myself - especially with my bad hip and all. So, she is torn between hiding somewhere down in the house where she can't see or hear (except maybe the thud of me falling off the roof), and keeping an eye on me and offering cautionary admonitions, etc. I help her out of the quandary by calling to her to hand me some additional equipment I need to do the job. Anyway, the job is well done and I'm no worse for wear. Pushing back by another year the time when I'll no longer be able to do the chores and have to hire someone to take care of us.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

North Truro October, '10

Gray fog, water, and still air
Indeterminate distant sounds and the
Tide stealthily sidles up the tan sand

Gulls, nonchalant, grooming, pretending
Others don't exist
Yet each guards with quickened eye
it's own space

Watching, hoping --

That from the enveloping gray
where there is no defined form and
where disembodied light and sound
come from everywhere

--- Something will come from somewhere.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

First Frost

Today was the first killing frost of the season in our valley. It has been a very long and productive summer in the garden. In picture at the left from earlier in the summer, Naomi picks some Zinnias for the table.

Below are some sunflowers with purple kale in front.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Family reunion summer '10

Family reunion August 2010

Happy and Grandpa Joe with the Grandchildren on our bed dressed is hats!

Maria and Tovah shooing a fly and singing 'Shoofly don't bother me' while getting ready to pick in the garden.
Tovah and Maria holding beets in the shadow of the sunflowers.

Mugging for the camera at De Cesare's Pizza! Samson, Lauren, Esther.

At the Lake House!

Attitude on the head of a caterpillar at Schroon Lake

Bridging the back of the caterpillar

Tovah and Maria at the head of the caterpillar!

Mitch, Bekah, and Tovah on the deck at Highland

Samson, Micah, Esther

Samson and Esther.

Parental abuse!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Sukkot is one of the most amazing holidays in the Jewish calendar. It celebrates the fertility of the land. It makes clear our dependence on forces beyond our control. It gets us outdoors during one of the most spectacular times of the year. It makes us a participant in the changing of the seasons and the continuity of life. We don't just decorate a tree, we entwine a vine of the fruitfulness of life around our soul.
Ufros aleinu, sukkat schlomecha is baked on the tiles above our kitchen and hangs as a sign in our sukkah. Spread over us the shelter of your peace.

This year the main decorative motif of our sukkah is corn. One of the oldest food plants modified by humans and a mainstay of sustenance for modern human life. Given to us by Native Americans working with the Wondrous Heritage of the Earth.

Relaxing under the shelter of the Sukkah with the motif of the exodus from Egypt and the entry into the wilderness with confidence in the continuity of life with our efforts and the presence of What Is Given to us.
The Sukkah in context even in the Adirondacks!

Great holiday!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Esther butchers a chicken summer of '10

Esther arrived a few days early for the summer family reunion. This allowed for some special time and special activities with her. One of these activities was butchering some of our home raised chickens. Esther was very interested in participating in the harvest of our summer's work raising chickens for our own consumption. We really believe in 'Knowing who we eat'. It was moving to introduce Esther to a way of living that she otherwise would not have exposure to - living in Santa Cruz in an academic community. It was fulfilling for me to pass on a tradition that I learned from my parents to my grandchild. I am grateful for this kind of opportunity.Esther brings the chicken up from the henhouse for slaughter!

Esther plucks the chicken of it's feathers

Esther pulls the innards from the chicken

Esther preparing the gizzard - chicken's stomach for cleaning

She does an excellent job and is not at all squeamish. Congratulations!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Visit to the Orchard with Tovah

This last week we spent a few days in Northampton with Mitch, Bekah, and Tovah. One of the things Happy and I did was spend a couple of hours with Tovah picking apples and eating Whoopi Pies at an orchard in Westhampton. Happy thinks that Grandpa Joe might be a bad influence on Tovah, but I think I'm fighting an uphill battle. There are too many people working on the other side for my influence to run very deep. Here are some pictures and a short video.

Tovah was an energetic picker and bag stuffer

Winsome, anyone?

But the Whoopie Pie after all that hard outdoor work was best of all!

Friday, September 10, 2010

More pictures from Esther's Bat Mitzvah in June

The last post covered the basic Bat Mitzvah ceremony. Here are additional pictures of friends and family.
Juan and Mom
Aunt Deborah sitting between Uncle Michael and Grandpa Joe.

Uncle Michael in discussion with Tovah.

Mitch, Bekah, and Tovah

Maria and Tovah.

Jenna and Maria

Aunt Miriam and Uncle Bruce

Bracha and Esther

Dad, Orkida, and Raphael


Happy and Grandpa Joe

Hiatus performing the night before the Bat Mitzvah - Miguel and Samson

Miguel and his Fans

Lunch on the Wharf - Maria and Jenna

The Tannen sisters with Bracha on the wharf with the amusement park in the background

Juan reads to Esther as part of the ceremony

Aunt Deborah and Uncle Michael