Posts Tagged ‘vermont’

Some truly great news in the Free Press

July 15, 2009

I read yesterday that the state of Vermont is applying for $125.6 million dollars in federal aid to expand rail travel in the state.

Do you realize how fantastic this is?

They are going to try to make the Vermonter go faster — that’s the train that takes 10 hours to get to New York City.

They are also going to BRING RAIL SERVICE TO DOWNTOWN BURLINGTON and connect Burlington to Rutland, so that we can hop the super fast trains to New York and beyond.

Dudes, this is awesome!!!!!!!  Go for it, Vermont!!!!!

Is anything I can do to help make this happen?  Can you also add high speed service from downtown Burlington to Montreal?  It’s my dream!


Summer photo dump

June 17, 2009

I’ve been busy.

rock point


IMG_2706IMG_2801snake mountainFrom the top, my past three weeks:

Spring woods at Rock Point

Downtown Plattsburgh

Homemade sourdough

Camping coffee

David Byrne

Ladies of Addison summerfest

Addison county from Snake Mountain

Button Bay bike trip

June 10, 2009

These past few days, Dale and I took a little bicycle trip down to Button Bay State Park, which is about 7 (very long feeling) miles west of Vergennes — 35 or so miles from Burlington.  This was my first touring bike trip, and the thing about taking a longer than 10 mile bike trip, especially with a trailer and camping gear, is that you realize why people wear bike shorts, bike shoes, bright neon clothing, and bike gloves.  It’s a wild world out there, people!  It was also easy to realize why people have touring bikes, and don’t take long trips on fixed gears, like we did.  That was something I already knew, in my mind, but now my legs in general, and more specifically my knees, understand exactly why it is be desirable to have a choice of gear ratios, as well as the ability to not be pedaling 100% of the time for 30 miles.

It was beautiful out there!  I can definitively report back to you that it is SUMMERTIME — meaning everything is green, plants are just growing like crazy, and there one million wildflowers along the lovely roadsides of the Champlain Valley.  Prominently featured: daisies, buttercups, red clover, swamps full of yellow irises, and a TON of phlox hiding the woods.  I had no idea there was so much phlox in the woods around here, and if I had been traveling by car, I would likely still be ignorant of this wonderful reality.

It’s also very lovely to bike through the super agriculture of the Champlain Valley, the highlights of that, for me, being Ferrisburgh and Panton, two very farmy towns with the corn coming up, farmers out spreading shit, and belted, holstein, and jersey ladies all relaxing in their pastures. Many dairies of distinction!

Of course, part of the agricultural landscape in Vermont is abandonment.  Here’s the most interesting thing we came across, a crumbly old windmill just outside of Vergennes that we saw as a witch hat.

witch hat

Congratulations, Vermont

April 7, 2009
The Joint Chiefs of Bluegrass play the state house

The Joint Chiefs of Bluegrass play the state house

Well done!  You squeaked right in there with one extra to spare, but now it’s official — it’s in the New York Times.

Finally finished what we started in 2000.  Only this time hopefully there will be less Take Back Vermont signs.  While I think that the “take back Vermont” movement was a little bit more complex than just plain old homophobia, it was a major factor and the catalyst, and the remaining signs that are still up around the Northeast Kingdom make me sad.  Start articulating your many valid feelings about how Vermont is changing without connecting them to the struggle for equal rights of other people.

That time was also a catalyst for me, in a political way.  I was a high school student in the NEK and what I did to express my opinions about the bill, well, I’m still keeping it a secret.

If you want to read about this sort of two-Vermont divide, which is more recently dividing the Northeast Kingdom over wind-towers (arguably this issue is maybe even more complex), you can read Paul Searls’ book:


A hundred years ago, but about the same thing, which he calls “uphill” and “downhill” Vermonters, and how their identities were opposed in many ways on axes of modernity, political participation, land use, and culture.  It’s a good book, but I disagree with Searls — mostly because I don’t buy into the idea of using two opposing categories as a way to understand identity.  It doesn’t allow for people who don’t fit into either category to be included, and those people always exist — to begin with the Abenakis, African-Americans, and other immigrants in Vermont who don’t fit into those.  And I just think things are more complex than that.  Right now, in Vermont, things are certainly far more complex than that.  Though admittedly, when you look at the role-call for who voted today, it’s hard to resist a binary!

So for added complexity, I suppose you could also read this book by David Moats, who won a Pulitzer for his coverage of the Civil Unions fight in 2000 in the Rutland Herald.

Anyway, I’m just sitting here in Vermont, appropriately drinking some Celebration Love tea from the VT Love & Tea Company.

It’s time for celebrating, and it just makes me so happy!!!!!!!!

Now we really, really need some instant runoff voting in our state elections to get Douglas out of office.

(Photo is from here, where he also refers to Hardwick as “Little Chicago”)

Bell ringing for the great emancipator

February 11, 2009

Tomorrow, February 12th, is Lincoln’s 200th birthday.

To celebrate, Vermonters will be ringing church and meetinghouse bells across the state for 10 minutes, starting at 2:12 pm. Nobody knows the actual time of day Lincoln was born.


If I had my druthers, I’d ring the bell (if there is one) here, in the Meeting House in South Strafford.  This may be one of the most beautiful buildings there is.

stannardOr just the bell in the Stannard Church, maybe with my dad.  Here it is in it’s pre-preserved, pre-re-painted, and low resolution form.

historyOr maybe here, at the meetinghouse in East Montpelier.  Then the snow would be gone, we’d put on our 60s glasses and have a luncheon.

coventrycongregationalchurch-3Or more realistically, up in Coventry?  Photo from this great blog.

250px-calais_town_hall_vermontOr just Calais…..and it’ll be summertime…..

And by the way, day 3 of no coffee is going better.  It helps that I slept in until 10:30, and I’ve been drinking expensive rooibus tea with expensive milk and honey and pretending that’s enough.  It’s not, but it still tastes good.  Apparently someone has developed and patented a rooibus expresso.  Sounds like i can’t believe it’s not butter to me.

Christmas is coming!

December 16, 2008

Christmas tree!

Our little apartment Christmas tree.

And in Montreal this weekend, a special family Christmas tradition!Clemetine

I kind of can’t believe I’m even giving away the secrets here.  I won’t give them all away….all I will say is that this fancy dessert involves:

A clementine for each person, the skin cut in half and turned up into a little cup

A sugar cube

A little bit of warmed up brandy

Black coffee


Best of all, then you get a cup of coffee with sugary-orangey brandy in it, alongside a clementine to eat.  Happy Christmas!

Burr oak

December 10, 2008

Last week, I traveled down to southern Vermont for a work conference.  It’s the part of Vermont that I’m not very familiar with — usually I make generalizations about it being overrun by second home owners from New York City and swanky outlet shopping, but while all those things are there, it’s also very beautiful.

Route 7

I stayed at the swanky conference hotel, and I do mean swanky — so much that I felt insecure.  I felt like someone was going to see me in the hallway, guess that my coat lining was ripped, and point.  “Hey, she doesn’t belong here!”  I was equally afraid that a valet was going to offer to bring my tiny rental car “around.”  The Equinox at night

On the drive back I took many pictures of the sky, while driving, which is sort of true photography — all about chance.  Probably also dangerous.

Route 7 sky

But I managed to take this picture of what I believe is a bur oak.  They don’t grow so much in the Northeast Kingdom, but you often see them out by themselves in the wide fields of the Champlain Valley.

Burr Oak

Which made me think of the song “Bur Oak,” by the Bowerbirds.  I guess they go for the single “r.”

Mavis Vintage!

December 9, 2008

Welcome!  This is my new blog that compliments my ebay and etsy Mavis Vintage stores (still only a twinkle in my eyes).  I’ll be posting about auctions and sales, new and wonderful clothing, as well as music, gardening, and other things about Vermont, my home state and current residence!

For now, I’ll keep posting as I get my stores up and running.  There’s some measuring and photographing, some store-policy writing, some logo designing, and some screen-printing of packaging, all to be done!

mavis-vintage-posterThis perfume poster is what you get when you google “Mavis Vintage.”  Beauty!  I’m not much for perfume, but I am much for posters!