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Photo: The Torontoist.com

There are some people who embrace a lack of technology – when we are overwhelmed with our phones, ipods, laptops and gadgets, some people just chuck it all. A new game cafe with a great name, Snakes and Lattes (get the play on words with that childhood board game we all played) is opening up in Toronto. Owner Ben Castanie and his partner and girlfriend Aurelia Peynet are opening up a cafe equipped with 1,500 plus board games. The cafe is the first of its kind in Toronto, although these types of cafes are popular overseas.

For a $5 fee, a customer receives unlimited use of the board game collection during their visit at the cafe, which also serves coffee products and snacks and is awaiting a liquor license. We’ve had our fair share of rounds of Pictionary and Taboo a’la alcohol and it can be quite fun, should be interesting to see how their business works out. They offer to hook groups of people up for games where groups or teams are required. Who knows, they could be onto game dating.

In any event it should be interesting to see how long customers can last being ‘unplugged’. Not a WiFi hotspot to be found evidently.

For the entire article that ran in the Torontoist check here.

I am not talking Buster Poindexter or The Cure lyrics – depending upon your musical taste — I’m talking the weather. Looks like summer is making a comeback and going out on Labor Day with a bang.

Despite getting a late start, the garden is doing great. The past few nights we’ve enjoyed fresh lettuce, cucumbers, broccoli and snow peas.

This head of broccoli measured at least 8 inches across – one head was enough for all of us for dinner. Chicken and goat poop are good for the garden evidently.

So much for that fall weather – the tomatoes must have a leg up with Mother Nature. The forecast here is calling for record breaking temperatures mid week in the 90s. Add watering to the list of things to do during the week.

Everyone seemed to survive their first week back at school. “Hell week” at soccer came to a close about an hour and a half ago and there are survivors. Driving around it’s hard to sometimes remember that it isn’t fall – that for a lot of people school is still a distant memory. People are still on vacation and Labor Day (the “official” end of summer) isn’t for another week. The weather this week has felt autumn-y and with everyone being back on a school schedule, it’s just easy to forget about summer and start thinking, crisp nights, fires in the woodstove, apples and pumpkins.

Today was an absolutely beautiful day and from what I see, tomorrow is supposed to remind us that summer hasn’t left just yet. The tomatoes will be happy for some heat and maybe they will react by starting to ripen a little. Tomatoes like heat and this week just hasn’t delivered.

Today is Kiss and Make Up day. Seriously. I really wish I knew where some of these holidays came from, but I checked several different sites and it’s official. What the heck though whether or not you’ve got anything to make up for, I’m a fan of kissing – so why not give it a whirl.

It’s also a National Banana Split Day – not much of a banana split fan. I prefer my ice cream in small batches and no fruit needs to be involved or injured to make me happy – just lots of chocolate and nuts. I am however a fan of The Banana Splits -remember them?

It’s also the start of school for us here in the upper reaches of the country. Two thirds of the children left the house this morning before 7 a.m. — everyone leaves tomorrow. Normalcy (haha) returns to the house – like that will ever happen.

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This afternoon we attended a party/fundraiser for our dear friend and neighbor, Tom French who suffered a stroke a few months ago. The party was a welcome back to Vermont party and a fundraiser to help offset some of his medical expenses.

All I can say is if I have 1/50th of the number of people that care about me as Tom had there today, I would consider myself a very, very, very lucky woman. It was pouring rain today yet the party held at the beautiful home of The Johnsons in Clarendon in their pavilion (which was absolutely gorgeous) had at least 500 people purchase tickets to attend. There were people everywhere and so many, many familiar faces.

The parking lot looked like we were at the fair or a concert with all the cars parked everywhere.

Tom was happily greeting all his well-wishers and was totally enjoying himself. It was so nice to see him back in his element. If love and well wishes could provide energy then Tom could have easily been propelled to the moon and back, many times over this afternoon.

We spent our Saturday painting the Scout House in Chippenhook. The boys all cooperated and us parents pitched in -truly giving the phrase “may hands make light work” come alive. After about 3 1/2 hours, some paint, some refreshments and some elbow grease, here is the finished product.

The rest of Saturday was pretty good. Home to lunch, grocery shopping (okay, no one said it was exciting) and weeding the garden. Then dinner, thanks to the pressure cooker. Relaxing now.

The best place for foliage in Vermont as voted by Yankee Magazine has also been recently voted (by none other than The Ts themselves) to be the place to avoid the most come foliage season. Yankee Magazine has voted Manchester, Vermont, the #1 place in Vermont for fall foliage. Manchester came in #3 overall behind Connecticut and Maine (which has some people in Vermont scratching their heads- but that’s another story).

Manchester is a nice town, great shopping, great restaurants, an awesome bookstore – but it is always filled with people. Now, come foliage season, I am sure that it will be EVEN MORE filled with people (if that is even possible) They will come, from far and wide, to see the foliage and shop and eat. All of this is a very good reason to completely avoid Manchester (or avoid it as much as humanly possible) for anyone who actually lives around here. We have trees here, we have foliage – I certainly do not need to jump in the car and drive about 1/2 hour south of us to Manchester to see their foliage. And anyone who knows me personally knows that outlet shopping is not even on my list, much less my top ten list, so that too I can forego. The only thing that will make me sad is avoiding Northshire Bookstore, which is my favorite bookstore ever. Lucky for them (unlucky for us local folk) Yankee Magazine mentions them by name as a “must see” while you’re in Manchester checking out all those trees and shopping. Therefore, that means that even the bookstore will be off-limits due to throngs of those people (as the Maine folk would say – “from away”) that will be invading the town and the bookstore during foliage season.

Well, I guess that between now and then we’ll have to get our fill in order to last us through that season affectionately called Leaf Peeper season.

FYI, the photo is our own fall foliage from last year.

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There are those (and you know who you are) who say I take too many pictures of food reminding us all of a mutual friend who photographed everything he cooked and ate for weeks when he first started cooking on his own, but I couldn’t resist. Food is so easy to photograph, much easier than teenagers who have this very annoying habit of putting their hands up over their faces when I show up with a camera and who have the actual knowledge to take the camera and delete any pictures of themselves. (You’ll regret it one day, I’m telling you!)

Food doesn’t move, it doesn’t complain that I’m taking too long or I just want one more picture…so lately I like photographing food – plus I have this great camera that actually takes fantastic food pictures. You’d take lots of photos of food also if you were me.

These are freshly sliced cucumbers from the garden. They were sitting there on the cutting board just begging me to take their pictures. So I do apologize but in the weeks ahead, you’re going to have to put up with pictures of my garden accomplishments. 🙂

I am sorry, I can’t help it but there are certain things that are ingrained in us from our parents and grandparents. Superstition or not, dread often accompanies this one – Death comes in Threes. I am a rational, well educated, professional. Yet when I hear that someone I know has died, I hear my grandmother – in fact I hear both my grandmothers’ voices –Death comes in Threes. Now I know that logically if you wait long enough or think hard enough you can link together three deaths that you know, either directly or through acquaintances. But this one somehow fills me with dread and makes my skin crawl. In the past few weeks I learned of three rather unexpected deaths that were all people that I know.

First came the totally unexpected death of my former employer and mentor. He was a man that was like a father to me and quite honestly I knew him almost as long as I knew my own father. His family grew up around me, while I was growing up myself. My children knew him and his family. Our lives were intertwined through the years. He died suddenly and I felt almost like I had lost my own Dad all over again. Next came the death of the father of our good friend and my brother-in-law. A complication from a procedure caused internal bleeding that resulted in his untimely and unexpected death. A man with a heart of gold, a smile for everyone and again, someone that I have know for the better part of 20 plus years. My heart goes out to my brother-in-law and our friend and their entire family – I know too well that no matter how old you are, losing a parent is like losing a part of yourself.

Today, we learned that a very old friend of my husband’s had died. Initially, it was shocking because it struck a little too close to home – he was our exact age with a wife and beautiful daughters, children whose ages almost mirrored our own. The circumstances of his death came later and were, to say the least, even more disturbing. Our hearts and prayers go out to his wife and daughters – may they have some comfort to carry them through their grief.

So, I must side with Grandma and Nanny – it certainly does appear that death comes in threes.

There is a Dave Matthews’ song “Where Are You Going” that was playing on the radio today while I was driving. One of the lines is “where you are is where I belong” and it is particularly fitting in light of a conversation we had just yesterday. There is a neighbor’s house that has been the subject of some speculation. We know the people that live there, not that well, but well enough to know that the husband was being relocated out of the country and the wife and children were to follow at the end of the school year. The house went up for sale and then the sign was gone and the house appeared empty. We assumed that they had in fact moved since one of the neighbors said they saw a moving van. Suddenly, just the other day, we saw the woman out running and the house suddenly has activity again. Tom’s comment was maybe the women went over, didn’t like it and came back. I thought that it was an odd comment since I can’t imagine that scenario in my life. He asked me if he was forced to relocate for work to a place that I didn’t particularly like would I move. Without blinking an eye, I answered that of course I would. He is where I belong. Home is not so much about a place, but the people that make it cozy, familiar, safe and fun. Where I belong is with him, no doubt in my mind, that is where home is -wherever in the world that might be.

We returned from vacation to find one of the hallmark signs of autumn – the leaves are changing. One of our maple trees is always the first to show the telltale signs of autumn – a bunch of its leaves are already turning a beautiful golden orange.

I love the ocean but probably not for the same reasons that other people love the ocean. I think that it is relaxing and mesmerizing. I love the sound of the waves connecting with the beach. Looking out over the ocean it is very hard to feel full of yourself or sorry for yourself, because you are so insignificant in the great scheme of things. The ocean is humbling. Looking out over the vast expanse of the ocean it is hard to imagine that I count much and that my problems or worries or concerns are all that important to anyone but me. It reminds me not to take myself too seriously or to stress too much over things which are really not that important. The ocean is powerful; it doesn’t care who you are or where you fit into this world. All the money and power in the world cannot save someone who is caught in its fury or is disrespectful to its power. The ocean is a reminder that life is precious and short and can be swept away in the blink of an eye.  Life is something to be cherished and enjoyed.

Evilwife on the move

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