Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Snakes. Are. Gross.

Now, I can't say that we killed the one we saw, because that would be against the law in Pennsylvania. But we did see one. A big one. A big discusting one. I almost stepped on it. Then I spent the next 30 minutes screaming.

Luckily Ernie was putting away the 20 foot long tree trimmer. So he cornered it. He held it down while I stood up on the front porch screaming "Don't Kill It!".

Ernie was like "What the hell do you want me to do with it?". I couldn't come up with an answer to that one. It was squirming it's way towards the house. This is not acceptable.

Against my will, I got the shovel from the back of the truck and took over the tree trimmer position. I closed my eyes and screamed while Ernie repeatedly told me "Don't look, don't look, don't look". Since I wasn't looking I have no idea what he actually did with that snake (*wink*). But when I opened my eyes it was gone.

My Hero!

I couldn't relax the remainder of the weekend. I had nightmares about snakes in the house. I was convinced there was one living in the plumbing, just waiting for one of us to be on the commode to strike. As far as I am concerned snakes are like roaches, if you see one there are a thousand more that you don't see. Just waiting to do their snake thing.

I decided that I didn't like the Country House anymore. I mean, I like having a house in the country, if only the Bears, Bobcats and Snakes would stay in the Woods. The cleared areas should be for people only. Maybe bunnies, racoons and opossums (thank you Anne for that spelling correction) can come out for a visit once in a while, turkeys too. But I didn't invite the scary animals over for tea. How rude of them to intrude on my voluntary seclusion? My in-laws have been informed that they can live at Adzentoivich Woods as long as they wish once they come back to PA. I will gladly limit my farm visits to once a month or so.

Now, I know I am over-reacting. Of course. But I am in way over my head here with this whole wilderness thing. I didn't realize I was so urbanized, but I have to admit that I am. There was nothing I wanted more than to run back to Brooklyn after the snake incident. But the telling part of the story is that I didn't. Instead, the next morning I donned my steel-toed Dairy Boots and went out to the Orchard to work. I did watch my step, but I didn't give into the fear.

Take THAT Snake-man!

Friday, May 13, 2005

Screaming Babies

Not mine of course, I don't have any. Other peoples. My downstairs neighbor's, for example.

There is nothing like being awoken at 2:30 am by the shrill screams of a 3 1/2 year old through the bedroom floor. I am talking about blood-curdling screams for more than 30 minutes. Screams determined to wake mommy and daddy that only intensify the longer it takes for them to run to the bedside to ensure you there are no monsters under the bed.

I don't mean to give the impression that I dislike my neighbors in any way. However, they recently moved from their 3-bedroom apartment on the 3rd floor to a one and 1/2 bedroom directly below me. They have sold their apartment and are waiting for the contractor to complete renovation on their new building in Bed-Sty. In the meantime they are renting the apartment on the 1st floor.

Usually they are lovely boys. Born two years apart to the day. That is right, boy number 2 was born on boy number 1's 2nd birthday. Mom actually went into labor at the birthday party. The entire family is typically quiet and reserved. Mom is British, if that means anything to you.

Last night, however, must have been the night for nightmares in Apartment 1C (I don't think anyone in my building reads this blog; if they do, I am sorry hard feelings, just ranting here...). One of the boys was extremely upset. I wanted to go down there and help him out. Not only would I be able to get back to sleep more quickly I would also feel much better for him.

I remember those nights as a child. I used to wake up screaming that I had a bad dream about a mummy (because I had watched Scooby-doo that day), the problem was I thought they were called Mommies not Mummies, so my dad could not understand why I was so terrified of dead Mommies... or there was the old standard fear that snakes were under my bed. As I got a little bit older I would lay in bed pondering what "forever" meant when they said it in church, and how could there possibly be something like forever? Or other nights it would be more along the lines of "What happens when you die" and "how do I know God is really there", good old Catholic terror. I would scream (usually for my dad, he always responded much sooner than my mom) until one of my parents came to my room. I would get myself so worked up I wouldn't be able to catch my breath long enough to tell them what was the matter. When I could finally speak I would argue with every sensible explanation they gave to me. I would make sure they sat at the edge of my bed until I fell back to sleep. If not, I would simply follow them back to their room and crawl into their bed. Being the oldest I did this more often than either my brother or my sister.

We all had our bad nights but I was the biggest victim. Afterall, being the oldest took a lot out of you during the day. Setting a good example was tough, even at 4 years old. At night my subconscious questioned whether or not I really did know everything. Usually I found that I didn't, which would prompt my downward spiral of 5-year old philosophical questioning leading to uncontrollable tears and screams of horror. The more deeply I thought about things the worse it was.

So I guess the downstairs neighbors believe in tough love or are just really, really sound sleepers because nobody ever went to help the little guy. He screamed himself asleep. I know because the screams and sobs would get fewer and farther apart until it all started back up again as loud as ever and then died down more quickly, repeat. I don't know who ended up falling asleep first, me or him. I do know I listened to him for at least 30 minutes.

I am sure his monsters went away somehow and he should be very proud of himself that he stood up to them alone and chased them away. I only hope he scared them enough so they don't come back tonight...

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Germano Hair

What you may be thinking, is Germano Hair? Well it sort of looks like this

Growing up, my mom and her 4 sisters always looked like the Sunmand Raisin lady to me. I actually thomght my mom was the Sunmaid Raisin Lady for several years of my young life.

Germano hair always seemed very mysterious to me. All of the Germano women had long brown wavy hair. Cut into layers, because it was the 70's, after all. My Aunts always looked like models or movie stars to me. And I still picture them this way today, even though most of them no longer have dark brown hair and only one or two have kept it below their shoulders. I always wanted Germano hair. Somehow my 13 year old hair couldn't achieve the same carefree curls or glossy length. No matter how many deep conditioners I bought from the local pharmacy for $0.50. No matter how much Alberto Vo5 I applied. I couldn't get it right.

Well, now I have discovered the secret. Age. Now that I have reached the age that my mom and Aunts were during their Sunmaid Raisin glory days, my hair has sort of morphed into Germano hair. Unfortunately, along with the Germano hair comes Germano hips and thighs. The Germano neuroses have begun to set in as well.

Oh well, at least my hair looks great! (as long as I remember to color it every few weeks to hide the Germano Greys)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Stupid Blogger

I wrote a witty post yesterday afternoon about the Giant Inflatable Santa Claus riding the Lobster...Blogger timed out for routine maintenance and my story was never posted. Let me just say you all missed out on one hell of a blog post - and you have no one but Blogger to blame.

And don't think I am going to sit here and attempt to regurgitate the whole thing....'cause I won't, I just won't I tell ya'...

But it was really bizarre the day I came up from the subway to see a giant inflatable Santa riding a lobster like a rodeo bull. Sitting in the middle of Canal Street and 6th Avenue. The middle of China Town. Right near the Holland Tunnel. IN MAY... had to be at least 3 stories tall

Monday, May 09, 2005

Lions and Tigers and Bears, OH MY!

Well, bobcats and bears at least.

Yes, it has been confirmed. We do actually have wild animals at Adzentoivich Woods. Now, of course I knew there were deer and fluffy little bunnies, cute little raccoons, apossums and loasd of frogs and duckies, but large black CATS!?!? Ferocious BEARS!? Hell No!

I mean, yes, I wanted a country house. And yes, I wanted it to be in the real country, not some suburbanized "country". But did I really think there would be life-threatening animals on my property? Nope. I am a city girl! If a bear came up to me while I was in the midst of sipping a margharita and swinging on my garden swing in my J.Crew floral halter dress and straw brimmed hat would I know what to say? I would not. Would I know what to do in order to keep form being eaten alive? Na-ah. What would I do exactly? I have no idea.

Big Cats
We spotted the Bobcat when we drove up the driveway Saturday afternoon. He was crouching in the tall grass like a lion in the Serengheti. He looked our Hyundia square in the grill and then sprung form the grass into the woods. We didn't see him again all weekend, but we did see a birds-worth of feathers in the orchard. No bird, just feathers. And I am talking big feathers, like from an Owl or a Teradactyl.

On the way out of town we stopped at our neighbor's, Frank and Rose Savitsky. They are part of the family that owned our property for the past 100 years. They told us all about the bears. What they said exactly was "Well, they only come around late at night or early in the morning, or sometimes in the middle of the afternoon. Like the time Frank was out in the yard and a bear walked right across the field to sit on our picnic table. Man, was he brazen. We called Robbie to come up with the truck. He drove right up the lawn in the truck and the bear didn't even budge. Then there was the time a 400 or 500 pounder came right up to the picture window. Oh yeah, you'll see bears. Don't leave food out." Lovely. How quickly can I get out of here? I just don't think I am cut out for this level of wilderness.

How am I suppsed to host lovely outdoor barbecues that carry on into the evening? I will spend my entire time scanning the parameters of the property so that I can spot any rustle at the edge of the woods that could possibly be a bear or some other flesh-eater that could somehow damage my guests.

I think I need to do some reading up on the subject before next weekend. How to escape a bear attack. And how to out run a bobcat.

You can rest assured that Ernie and I will not be doing midnight walks up the driveway any longer.

Gardening Supplies

Gardening Supplies
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
Yes, we drive our equipment down from the garden house to the Orchard.

You would think the Garden House would be near the such luck at Adzentoivich Woods.

Expect future photos of the NEW garden house residing within the orchard.

Planting in the Orchard...

Planting in the Orchard
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
...or "Call Me Martha".

Here I am planting azaleas in the orchard, wearing SPF 50.

I am definitely having way too much fun with this whole farm thing.

The Vegetable Garden After the First Till

Our push mower worked well to mow the vegetable garden area. We only ran out of gas once.

Ernie tilled almost the entire the space. The new tiller has already proved well worth the expense. Next week we finish tilling and get some plants in the ground.

The Orchard with Marked Walkways

The Orchard with Marked Walkways
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
Finally! Our hard work is beginning to pay off. The fruit trees have almost all sprouted leaves and the blueberries are growing strong. Next week's project is to buy and spread a ton of mulch. Fun!

We found the grapes and the raspberries were still very stick-like, unfortunately. I don't know how much it rained, if at all, since we planted them two weekends ago. Hopefully they will perk up by next weekend.

We marked the walkways (pink string) and planted some flowering bushes along the way. The vision is becoming a realty...

Hiking the Streambed

Hiking the Streambed
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
We hiked the stream on Sunday morning to find out why we had suddenly lost water at the house. There are so many beautiful places to hike on the farm.

Split in our Water Line

Split in our Water Line
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
We had no water again this weekend. We discovered part of the reason was a split in our water line. After a Sunday morning firedrill to Lowe's we found that most plumbing supply stores in PA are closed on Sundays.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

The Birthday Girl (center)

The Birthday Girl (center)
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
Happy 60th Birthday Mother!

A Man And His Roto-Tiller

A Man And His Roto-Tiller
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
The new toy. A counter rotating roto-tiller. We will get a lot of use out of this piece of equipment. Lot's of land to till.

The Orchard

The Orchard
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
Yes, the Orchard is almost complete.

We now have two pear trees, one cherry tree and five apple trees. Yes, they look like sticks, but some of those sticks have little leaves popping out.

We are currently reading up on pruning fruit trees. Who knew there was going to be so much work involved? We just thought it might be nice to make some pies and jams.

We have visions of someday having children walk through the orchard on their wedding day...can you imagine it?

Mrs. Jinx Tries To Escape

Mrs. Jinx Tries To Escape
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
Jinxie loves her farm and she loves to sit out on the porch. She also loves to practice her "precious" pose, displayed here, when others aren't looking.

Godzilla Running for Cover

Godzilla Running for Cover
Originally uploaded by nadzent.
Godzilla really doesn't like the farm and he hates being outdoors. Here he is running for the door to get back into the house while doing his best raccoon impersonation.

Monday, May 02, 2005


I don't know what to write about today. Some days I walk around composing blog entries in my head that never get written. I am sure I composed at least 25 blog entries besides Some Days Suck last week, I just never had the time to sit down and log in. Sad really. Some of them were really interesting.

Oh well.

In the meantime I will just sit here and write about nothing until something actualy comes to mind. Something always does, come to mind that is. Hardly ever am I faced with an empty mind - quite the opposite really. Too much stuff going on up there for one thing to rise to the surface and take precedence over all the rest of the clamor. You have to be a really, really strong thought in order to be heard over all of the other things going on in my brain. I guess this is it then. Too many things to think about. Having too many things to think about. It is a terrible plague really. Monkey Brain I like to call it. Ernie used to combat Monkey Brain by "Counting". He would stand in a martial arts pose and count to 100, if a thought came into his mind at any point during counting he would start over from the beginning. I think he made it through to the end a time or two.

Maybe I'll try that.