It's that time of year. Happy birthday, Deb and Paula and Barrett and Donna. Happy graduation, Woo and Samantha. Happy Memorial Day, everybody!


open season

Today the Season officially opens. Tourist season, that is. The people on the island hate the tourists, but after the Season of Scandals they're equally sick of one another. I can't repeat what this year's gossip is. One friend tells me that you can always tell if a woman on Block Island is having an affair because she loses weight and starts exercising.
My exercise consists of making beds. As I was running from one house to another with a Cosco-sized bale of toilet paper, I recollected one summer after my freshman year of college. I went to the coast of Maine and took a job as a chambermaid. But when I was supposed to show up for work the next day, I realized I just couldn't and hitchhiked outta there on the back of a motorcycle. I am making up for that dereliction of duty now in my current job. My visitors just informed me that they lack soap. Oops.
So there will be no more Islander scandals til next winter—everybody is too tired for sex. And, as Ed points out, all the places to have it are rented out.


point pictures

These are what is known as point pictures. That means that, while we know they are no great artistic creations, they are telling a part of a story.
(Back story) The refrigerator at Hannah's went on the fritz after fewer than four years. The compressor was shot. I could send the whole refrigerator off island to have it replaced being charged only for shipping and labor. Thank you Amana and Sears.
(Point 1) Having ordered a new refrigerator (the cheapest one now costs about $800), I picked it up at the ferry in full beautiful sunny daylight.
(Point 2) The weather report said there was a slight chance of thunderstorms last night. I bet against myself. In the middle of the night, when the full moon tides sounded as if they were surging across the dunes and into the front yard, the skies were rent asunder by thunder. It rained. Hard.
There ought to be a third point picture, showing the newly installed refrigerator as the old one is carted away to the dump, but alas, this picture does not yet exist. I await The Man. Will he or the houseguests arrive first? Always a race to the finish line on good old Block Island. Or, as people from Greenwich, Ct., and Westchester County, N.Y., annoyingly call it: The Block.


kitchen before/after

Maybe it doesn't look like much to you, but moving all dishes, refrigerator, furniture and then painting walls and urethaning floors took some doing, trust me. I had to grab whoever was around to help me move stuff or risk damaging floors further.
Well, I did that anyway. After painting half with qwikdri Minwax semi-gloss, I finished the rest with high-build Minwax semi-gloss. Both oil based. I didn't know there were so many kinds. I knew something was wrong when the first can looked orange inside and the second can looked green. Now half the floor gleams gently and the other half looks like a freshly waxed bowling alley (do they wax bowling alleys?). I am assuming that with enough sand and dogs it will mellow. If I don't go blind first.
We are liking the couch in the kitchen, however.



Yeah, yeah, I know, but I'm real busy already so look at the nice picture why don't you.


not the last supper

We gathered together en mass (but not at one) to celebrate the springtime with fiddlehead ferns (and a certain amount of fiddlefaddle). I was not suggesting that I was moved by the spirit (actually, maybe I was): This photo was posed by another.
No transubstantiation occurred. That I know of. And a week or so later, I'm planning more suppers. Pardon my profanity (aka blasphemy).


wedding day

At two o'clock yesterday, I was invited to be a witness at a four o'clock wedding. Other attendees included the judge, the photographer and the children, one of whom played the violin. It was a perfect day on the bluffs.


grass shack

There have been complaints that I am not putting enough energy into this blog and that it is a mere shadow of its former self. I will try to do better next week, at which point I will also reveal what I have been putting my energy into.
Meanwhile, do it yourself, wise guys.


between the storms

This is a picture of this morning. A peace piece of it anyway. You can't see the rest—kitchen pulled apart, sand and dog hair on every piece of furniture, mounds of laundry. But by Memorial Day weekend, it will all look like this. Well, I can't promise that the weather will be as perfect.


home fires

Thought you might like to see the orange couch in situ. Yes, here it is: at Hannah's with Hannah. And yes, it's napping/fireplace weather again. We've had a couple of sensational storms including a nor'easter last night that kicked up the ocean pretty good but also watered the garden.


gather ye rosebuds

The jolly gardeners departed yesterday, off on their separate growing ad- ventures. They keep waiting to be grown up and know what to do with their lives.
Me too. But I know one thing I have to do with my life today: I have to buy a new refrigerator to replace the one that seized up after four years.


sunday afternoon

"I don't know about you, Ruca, but to me there just seems a sameness to the news lately."


grab shot

This was under the freeway in Providence. I am now in Block Island. More scenic shots to follow.


has she ever watched flipper?

Should my talented niece do cetaceans translations?



We cling to them. Some of them are good for us, some not so much. I have written more consistently about the not. So here, from a session on the crosstrainer, I photograph the daily pregnancy yoga session. Who woulda thunk it.


make hay for ducklings

In a New York City penthouse, somewhere in Manhattan, a nest of newly hatched ducklings growing fluffier by the day hides in a bathroom shower stall. I was surprised when my hostess showed them to me—didn't expect a poultry yard in a high rise. Or maybe just impressed that they had an extra bathroom to devote to rearing ducks.
I was trying to think of some puns about this, but will have to leave them to my anonymous friends.
Possible words:
Peking Duck
Love nest
Aw, hell, I dunno.


farewell to new york

Now playing in Woonsocket for a day or so.



From all over the East Coast, supplies for the summer make their way to Block Island. . .


better late

Happy belated Cinco de Mayo!
In Block Island news, Rosalee's former and totally renovated B & B is for sale by the new owner. Virtual tour here.


open house

Season is dawning on Block Island. The Rio de Janeiro harbinger has just arrived in New York, touching down en route to Ernie's, the breakfast place overlooking the harbor, which opens this weekend. Lina asked if her son could stay in New York a few extra days. "You always say yes," she said. "Not everybody. My son, he say six times no, one time yes. Claudia always say yes."


in lieu of flowers

Supposedly, there was "stunned silence" from the staff of Newsweek when they were told that the newsmagazine was for sale.
No doubt. I heard that same stunned silence when TV-Cable Week, a magazine Time Inc. was still building office space for, was jettisoned. I heard it when LIFE was folded for the zillionth time—but during the first time in years when it was in the black. I daresay the folks at Time magazine will be hearing it before too long as well. We have search engines to search for our news; what is Time, says one of my friends who used to work there, but a search engine?
Once again, a boatload of journalists will be out of work. They can't all run bed and breakfasts or become professors. Donate to their favorite charity: send work.


about plumbing

There is a lot of plumbing in a house. A friend of mine who maintains summer cottages once told me about a unit that was trashed because the automatic ice maker in the refrigerator broke. The water for those things has to be plumbed in. I didn't get one of those refrigerators.
But I do have six bathrooms, two dishwashers and kitchen sinks, two outdoor showers and two hi-tech septic systems to worry about on Block Island. And town water, ironically, costs a lot there. A drip equals big bucks.
Let me just say this: Toto. Very good toilets. No problem.
However, there's the hot tub I bought over the web that has to be unplumbed to change a light bulb.
And the chrome-plated mixing valve (that cost as much as the hot tub) for the antique tub that has always leaked.
The septic system that needed a pump fixed.
The septic system with the computer that sets off an alarm in the middle of the night.
The leaky shower stall.
The leaking faucet that needs to be switched out (again, a very high end one).
There are a couple of plumbers on the island. Neither one will show up in an emergency.
Two options are left: a) Import talent. What with the hours on the ferry and the truck reservations you're heading towards a thousand dollar day for a couple leaks. b) Fix it yourself.
Don't forget to buy everything you need while you're on the mainland.


more real estate

A dear friend has decided she no longer has the energy to keep her country place in Hillsdale, NY. It's the travel, the cost of garaging in New York, the maintenance, the isolation. It's just not her thing any more. She's ten years older than I am and has always been my canary in the coal mine of age.
Following is what she says in her ad. What she doesn't say is that this property started out as part of a colony of prominent New York lefties next to where the Falcon Ridge folk festival takes place! (Or that I gave her the giant rag rug.)

Cozy two story contemporary with loads of light, quiet gentle hillside setting with great amenities. This lovely country getaway is privately set on two wooded acres with an additional 80+ acres for your use. Set in a small community of 10 other homes you share the privileges of a huge swim spring fed pond, tennis court and open fields. The home has 2+ bedrooms, 2 baths, large living room with fireplace and a wall of glass doors onto a deck, large country kitchen. $295,000.00