I'm not sure when I first heard about the madness that is the Brimfield antique show, but it's been mentioned to me several times since I moved to Massachusetts. The show is held three times a year, in May, July, and September. Finally, this month, I got a chance to go with Stephen and his parents.

Wow.  So much stuff!  Great old pine cupboards, pie safes, woodworking tools, luggage, boats, lanterns, jewelry, snowshoes, quilts, toys, butter churns, candle molds, fur coats--everything your grandparents and my grandparents and some of the stuff that their grandparents had.  Literal acres of stuff.  I'm glad I didn't have much money to spend, because that helped me filter out a lot of what we passed.  My only regret was not being able to afford a few yards of the vintage French ticking fabric we saw midway through the afternoon.  Like I need more fabric. 

I did get these great old shoes in one of the clothing tents for $5.  The proprietor had been carrying them around to show after show and couldn't find anyone they fit, so she threw them on the sale table.  Yahoo!

Such bargains are dangerous, though. I have trouble passing up any clothing that fits and is on sale, and I've got overburdened dresser drawers and several bulging boxes of shoes to show for it. I'm trying to pare things down a little. I took a bag full of underused stuff to a clothing swap last week and managed to walk away with just two new shirts. I've got a few nice things left that I don't wear much, so I made an appointment to consign them at a local second-hand store next month. The store offer consignors a discount if they spend their earnings there, which sounds like a recipe for disaster (of the not-making-any-money-and-buying-more-stuff variety), but my intention going into this venture is to put more thought and care into buying fewer, nicer things.  We'll see how that goes. 

I do like these shoes, though.



We had a breakfast-for-dinner party before school started this month.  The impetus for this celebration was a package of bacon that my sister and brother-in-law got us from a farm near their house.  I've been a semi-vegetarian for eight years (vegetarian from 2001 to 2008, pescetarian for the last year), but I decided that this gift of very special meat--local, cruelty-free, organic, reputedly delicious-- constituted an exceptional circumstance.  There was far too much of it for Stephen and me to eat on our own in a single meal, though, so we invited a few people over and made a local food feast with sliced cantaloupe and roasted onions and red potatoes from our farm share.  The waffles weren't local, but they were heart-shaped and delicious, thanks to Stephen's waffle iron and the apple pie spice our friends brought for the batter.

The drinks weren't local, either, although the limoncello was organic.  This is one my favorite warm-weather drinks: limoncello with cranberry juice, lemonade, and soda water.  Something with coffee might have been more thematically appropriate, but the menu was thrown together with what we had in the kitchen an hour before dinner, so we didn't have time for too many artistic flourishes.  We covered the table with butcher paper and lit beeswax candles in jelly jars for atmosphere.  I love the smell of beeswax.

I'm surprised to see us eating different foods out of our farm share this year.  Last year, we tried (though didn't particularly like) the kohlrabi and fennel, but ignored a lot of the boring staples.  This year, we've given away a lot of our weirder veggies (yes, I do think fennel is weird--that licorice smell!) and feasted on the everyday stuff: carrots and carrots and more carrots, eggplant, kale, garlic, potatoes and onions.  Mark Bittman has helped us out enormously with thinking of new ways to cook the same old stuff.  We've had fried brown rice with bok choy, stuffed kale leaves with fresh mozzarella, baked quinoa with potatoes and whole cloves of garlic.  We're definitely not true locavores, but we're doing what we can here and there.  I'm glad that the modern sustainability movement is becoming more moderate in its demands: eat less meat, eat local more often, buy organic when you can.  It's a lot easier to adhere to guidelines like those than to cut whole swaths of the supermarket out of your life.  I do try to avoid the Cheetos aisle, though.


Nap Time

I spent 24 of the last 48 hours sleeping.  What I thought was some weird new autumn allergy last week turned into a full-blown cold on Saturday evening.  I’d initially hoped to have recovered in time for work today, but ultimately spent the morning (and a good chunk of the afternoon) snoozing. Luckily, I don't have a fever, so I think I can safely assume that it's not the dreaded H1N1.  Iggy seemed to enjoy the company, even though I slept through most of the day.  He sat at the foot of the bed until I woke up at 2pm, then retired to his new favorite hang-out, the box that our digital bathroom scale came in.

I broke my self-imposed quarantine to go see The Informant! last night with Stephen and his parents. (Sorry, fellow Somerville moviegoers—I hope I didn’t infect any of you.) I don’t usually take note of movie soundtracks, but I thought the music added so much comedy to the film. Matt Damon just amazes me. How can the same person play Jason Bourne and Mark Whitacre with equal plausibility? (Acting, I guess.)

On a side note, if I haven’t mentioned this before, I love the word “movie”. It’s so old-fashioned. “Remember when we used to go see those still pictures at the theater? But now they’ve got these new ones that move!” I’d like to bring back the term “talkie,” too.