Friday, May 06, 2005

Friday, May 6, 2005
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Cloudy and cool

Three issues of Tapestry done yesterday morning, and more work on the mailing.

We drove up the Hudson River Valley to Boscobel, which is a restored mansion outside of Cold Spring. We took the Taconic Parkway up – which would have been beautiful, except for all the construction. Of course, they’ve been “constructing” on it since my family moved to New York – in 1968. That’s all I’m going to say about it.

It was a beautiful, sunny day and the chance to walk around the mansion, which was restored with such love and attention to detail, was delightful. The view over the Hudson River is stunning – I took lots of photos. If and when my scanner ever works, I’ll be able to post them. Something was going on at West Point – military helicopters were taking off and landing every few minutes. But, other than that, it was a lovely, quiet way to spend the day.

I like the simplicity of the Federal style – that quiet elegance. Hepplewaite, in particular, is a furniture design I enjoy. There were some beautiful quilts – not patchwork, like in Amish country, but the tone-on-tone – the coverlet is a single colour and the artistry comes in the hand stitching in a thread close to the hue of the fabric. The intricate detail of the stitching is astonishing. The plaster and porcelain-faced dolls were also lovely.

At one point in time, the Lady of the House had two apprentices living with her – daughters of local wealthy landowners who lived in the house, not quite family but definitely not servants – learning how to manage a household. This way, when they married, they would have a clue as to what they were doing!

There’s a story idea in that.

The whale oil lamps were quite fascinating, and there are several wonderful and intricate clocks in the place.

The three of us had our own private tour, which was lovely, because we could concentrate on the details of each room and explore whatever caught our interest. Since almost everything in every room caught our interest . . .and we had a lovely guide, who adores the house and knows it well.

The apple orchard was in full bloom, which was both beautiful and fragrant. There were masses of tulips and pansies dancing around a burbling fountain, and the herb garden was just starting to come into its own. They also have beehives there – the bees left me alone, fortunately (I am deathly allergic).

Initially, it was difficult to raise funds for Boscobel, because its original owners were Tory sympathizers instead of Patriots. The materials inside, however, offer a fascinating point of view at the other side of the American Revolution.

We had lunch in Cold Spring, at the Cold Spring Depot, which used to be the old train station and is situated near the current one. The food is terrific and reasonably priced, and the service good.

Supposedly, the depot is haunted by the ghost of a woman who was murdered there. She overheard her husband plotting to kill her and ran to the station, planning to escape on a train. He followed her and stabbed her there at the station. The townspeople caught him and hung him in the park, and her ghost is said to haunt the depot.

Wouldn’t it have made more sense for these “concerned” townsfolk to step in before the woman was murdered?

In the printed materials, they call the murdered woman a “widow”. How can she be a widow if she died before her husband?

In any case, for more information on this lovely area, visit:

It has some lovely pictures of the restaurant and information on the town.

We drove back on Route 9, which has less construction and is also quite pretty.

The terror alert in New York has been raised again, thanks to yesterday’s bomb blast. I’m not looking forward to going in today. But the quicker I get in , the quicker I can get back out.

I promised to take my guests shopping in White Plains this afternoon when I get back.

And I want to catch some of the races at Churchill to see how my picks do.

I’ll have two “Derby Ink” entries today – one for tomorrow’s under card, and one to wrap up today’s races.

Brother Joseph insists that his is the first of the novellas to be written – so I guess I better do it. 100 pages isn’t that much, after all, is it? It’s just balancing it with everything else. And Cletus and Elwood are sulking.

The story of Daniel’s grandfather and his crush on Dolly Madison intrigues me and I’ll have to do some research for it. I don’t have much information on the war of 1812, but the project for the Maryland residency might have something to do with the same time period, so maybe I can research both projects together.

Elsa got in the garbage last night – managed to untie it. I heard rustling and came into the kitchen to catch her gnawing on a chicken bone she’d unearthed. I yelled at her. She ran, then paused to turn back and retrieve the bone, and I had to chase her around the apartment, chicken bone and all to get it back. I have to get a better garbage can. Of course, with the tall, standing can, she falls in and then panics and one wakes up in the middle of the night to the garbage can rolling around on the floor trying. And the kind you have to step on to open? The twins sit on the pedal to open it so Elsa can get in and root around.

And then Violet, the other day when my back was turned, sneaked up on a chair and yanked a slice of ham right off the platter on the table! This is the “good” cat, who never gets in trouble!

And Iris just struts around amongst the company, demanding to be adored.

All three of my cats are well aware that cats were worshipped in Egypt and they see no reason for that to change anywhere in the world.

For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.


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