Friday, August 12, 2011

Lieutenant Island

I have spent the past four+ days letting nothing rule me but the tides and my stomach.

Though I understand the concept of the tides here on the Cape, I have never had to live by them. If they were low you could walk for miles on the beach. If they were high, you had plenty to swim in. I knew better than to get myself in a bad situation in the marshes by being too far out when the tide was coming in. 

A few people upon hearing that we were renting on Lieutenant Island, commented that we had to be aware of the tides, that the one road in/out with the one lane bridge flooded, making travel impossible on and off the island.  But someone else told us: "oh it only happens when it is an unusually high tide".  So with that information I headed to the Island.

We arrived at five, only to see the road in under water.  Larry and I looked at each other with a "it was too good to be true" look. The tide was not at its peak and it was clear that we were not getting over the bridge for at least an hour. We looked at each other, and said "wine"?

Nearby was a new restaurant which was not here the last time we stayed in Wellfleet,  the PB Boulangerie Bistro. (for their recipe for croissants, visit the NY Times article on the place) .  A glass of wine, a watermelon gazpacho, and salmon with toast later, we did not care if the tide was high; we were here.

Since then we have had to pay strict attention to high and low tides.  High tide means we have to plan as to whether we stay on the island for the three hours the road is under water, or venture out to the other side for that time.  Low tide means we can't swim on some of the beaches we can walk to on the bay, and also means you have to plan your kayaking unless you want to walk REALLY far to find water deep enough to paddle in. (that was Lesson #1). As the days go by, we have settled into the ebb and flow of water and how it affects the day's activities.

Right now, tide's up, and I am going for my second kayak lesson.  This time the tide's up and we will actually get the kayak IN the water! 

Patti O

Monday, August 08, 2011

Ethel's Farm Stand in Milan, NY

Ethel’s Farm Stand

Before leaving for Cape Cod, Karen and I had discussed what easy-to prepare, healthy, organic foods each one of us could bring.  Tuna, (ok, tuna is not that healthy but I love it) tomatoes, potatoes, rice, pasta, beans, mayo , olive oil and vinegar , red wine, white wine. There were foods from our garden;  zucchini, peppers, shallots, cucumbers, my favorite cooking seasonings: organic salt/garlic/parsley mixture, fresh lemons and limes, dill, and Italian herbs.  With these items I can make a wondrous marinara, or some mean black beans over rice,  savory eggs, and so much more.

I had all that I needed.  But then it hit me about 25 miles from home:  SHIT: THERE WAS NO GARLIC. 

I knew we would find some somewhere on our journey.  About five minutes after I said to Larry that I was going to be culinary handicapped if I did not have garlic, and were about to get onto the Taconic Parkway, we saw a simple home made road side road sign, its black letters unevenly printed: GARLIC. 

It was magic. One simple word turned our trip into an adventure.  A mile or so down the road there was another sign  <-GARLIC.  We turned, and went for another mile or so, and found the last sign, GARLIC ^.  A few miles back into the country and from the first sign, was a wonderful piece of real estate run by a garden goddess named Ethel.

Ethel has a prime piece of real estate in the countryside replete with chickens, small out buildings, and her garden.  Out of her garden came a few kinds of garlic, potatoes the size of my head, blemish free tomatoes, home made pickles, fresh eggs, many kinds of onions, green beans that were 8” or more long, that were tender and had no strings.  She had greens and more…and willingly shared her knowledge of organic gardening and varieties that do well in the Hudson Valley.

Her produce is excellent, beautiful and impressive, grown with love and without chemicals that will hurt you.  I cooked her tomatoes in an omelet yesterday, and used the garlic for a zucchini saute that was served over angel hair pasta for dinner.  You know I will be back for more when I travel to the “other side o’ the ribber” to support Ethel.

And me…I look forward to my “next life”, farming my little piece of land and making art.  Maybe I too will open up a stand.  And put signs on the road that say “FART STAND”. And they will come-if for nothing else, out of curiosity - like we did.

Patti O

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

New Printed Greeting Cards

I just got back a first run of my greeting cards on Zazzle.  Their print quality is very good and the cards look great.

But wait, how to market them? I did not think of it when I listed the name of my store on Zazzle on the back.  Not a good idea if I am going to list these cards on Etsy, which does not want the buyers to be able to find me there and order from Zazzle instead of on Etsy. Understandable, and now I have to rethink the designs of the card,  or how I am going to market them.  These are fine for my craft fairs as I can sell them the way they are.   It's a little nerve wracking that everyone wants their piece of the pie. After all, I sell lots on Etsy, and give them plenty of money, so if a scattered person or two happen to find their way over to Zazzle,  and buy a card or two from the site, what's the big deal?  

I have 10 of each design for now, and if anyone is interested you can buy directly from me at 4.00 a card plus shipping. And I don't gouge on shipping like many others do. I take paypal, and do take checks; probably one of the last people taking checks still these days.  Send me a message; I think my email is on my profile page here at Blogger.

As an aside, I just printed my first order of Wedding Invites for my WE DO same sex wedding/love/anniversary cards on Zazzle.  The nice thing about the shop is that you can go pick out a card, and then customize it yourself, saving tons of money over going to a printer. You do have to be somewhat computer savvy, but if you are computer and design literate,  it is not all that difficult to do. Or, you hire me to take care of that part....

Hope you enjoy the designs. I had a blast making them using Victorian paper and text.