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Aug 28, 2011

Home again -- and the big storm that wasn't

Friends, I'm back, and arguably better than ever.  So much to tell!

Our vacation, to historic Woodstock in the Catskill mountains, was great fun -- lots of hiking, cooking, and relaxing.  And so much beautiful fungus!

I much prefer a mountain vacation to a beach vacation, don't you?  None of that nasty sand...

We returned to the city only to have to prepare for Hurricane Irene.  Irene didn't live up to expectations, however, at least not in New York City.  Even the Vinyls were underwhelmed.   But she did motivate us to straighten up a bit, which we did pretty much all day yesterday.  I found many long-lost sewing notions, which is always nice.

Remember The Big Purchase?  It arrived!

It's very, very big, and makes me wonder how I could have managed with just a 13" laptop for the last four years.  One's eyes adapt, I guess.  All of a sudden I see pores I never knew I had and I'm not thrilled about it.

The iMac is great to watch movies on -- we don't own a TV.  Unfortunately, last night's DVD, the Connie Stevens-Troy Donahue epic, Susan Slade, is just as awful on the big computer screen as on the small.  Campy fun the first time, pure tedium the second.  (The library was closed, obviously.)

I haven't really thought about sewing; I'm saving that for tomorrow.  What's new in Sewing Land?  I'm relying on you for important updates.

What was your week like?  Any Irene-related devastation to share?

Happy Sunday, everybody!

More vacation pics here.


  1. Glad you're back, Peter! We've missed you! I'm working on my first smocked dress for the Bit. And lucky me, I just had to choose something outside the norm--it's a kind of American smocking known as "Honeycomb smocking". Silly me, I also had to decide to do it not on cotton, but on fully-lined organza and smock the lining right along with the organza!

  2. Great photos. Looks like the whole family had a great time, and managed to elude the rattlesnakes.

    At this time I will remain neutral on the mountain v. beach controversy.

  3. Welcome Back, I missed reading your blog with my regular sewing blog reads and morning coffee! Glad to read that the vacation was relaxing. Congrats on the new computer.

    Since you asked... I'm busy working on a muslin for a winter coat, I'm making Vintage Vogue 1083. Fingers crossed, it is my first winter coat. Lots of pattern adjustments to fit my 5' 1" height! How tall is a Vogue Pattern ideal consumer anyway?

  4. Great pics! You have some real art in that group.

    I was wondering if you'd make it back into the city w/o trouble, but it looks like you are just fine.

    Missed you!

  5. The dry spell is over Peter is back and we can restart boldness. The views and food looked terrific and everyone looked relaxed. How did you find the cottage? How big? Expensive?

  6. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful vacation photos with us. I could just smell the woodsy scents and the country breakfasts!

  7. That would be my choice for a vacation too! Lake swimming beats ocean, big time!
    Glad the hurricane deflated before it got to NY. Nice that one can prepare for a hurricane, earthquakes, on the other hand.....(I live in the Bay Area.<:~)

  8. Awesome beautiful it is there. I Honey Mooned 25 years ago at the Mohonk Mountain house in New Paltz. We walked some of those same trails and have been planning to go back ever since, but haven't made it yet (sigh). Thanks for letting me enjoy a return trip vicariously through you :)

  9. Glad you guys had a good time in the Catskills - Margaretville (which is at the border of the Catskill Park) is waist-deep in flood waters. So even though some people might think that Irene was sort of over-hyped, I'm sure the folks in Margaretville are feeling like they got their hurricane money's worth today.

  10. Wonderful to see you are safe.

    Yup, mountains for me, too!

    I am working on a baton twirling outfit for my granddaughter. It is only my second one but my goodness how quick and easy they go together. And to think they sell for $200 to $800 a piece, if not more! Of course, some of that cost is the swarovski crystals that adorn them. I was initially concerned about putting a zipper into 4-way stretch fabric but a little interfacing and no problem.

    I missed you, too.

  11. Welcome home! And I'm delighted to see that the pooches got to travel with you :) Vacation destination? I'll take mountains, beaches, foreign cities, a steam train trip, someplace I've not been before....anything. Really. Anything! I'm SO due.....

  12. Glad to see you're back and that the hurricane has not lived up to it's expectations in the city.

    I finally started working on a dress after about a month of having no desire to sew. I blame it on the heat.

    Can't wait to see what project you're going to work on next. Perhaps conquering that suit for Michael?

  13. Look at the cute and tired doggies on a family vacation! :) Love the sailor hat, Peter! ;)

    Glad to hear you, Michael and said pooches are safe and sound. It's always great to uncover lost sewing notions. I've just lost my seam ripper - argh!

    Looking forward to reading your posts again - it was a long wait for us here in blogland for you to come back!

  14. Please forgive the deleted post-too many typos.

    I am very glad to hear that my favorite New York family is fine. I missed you all, even though Michael hasn't posted in months (hint).

    On the mountain versus beach vacation, tropical beach wins every time. I spent the first five years of my life on the wet/west coast of British Columbia in logging camps and I am certain I have seen more than my life time quotient of trees and mountains. Besides mountains get in the way of the view. Give me a beach with a cabana with Hector bringing me fruity tropical drinks with the trade winds blowing and a embarrassing trashy novel and I am happy.

  15. I've been lurking for a while now, but had to come out of the shadows to congratulate you on your new computer. We have the same one and also use it for movies/tv shows (having no tv either).. Isn't it awesome? Now all we need is an HBO app.

    When can we look forward to the MPB book? ;)

  16. Would you settle for a YouTube video?

  17. Mountains are better, except out where my best friend lives (Washington state) where the waves give you a pedicure, and you only have to go a few hours to get to mountains anyway.
    Could you keep the pups in the train with you, or were they stuck away in a baggage car somewhere?
    And what wonderful people name their cabin Dancing Angel? It sounds like it was a wonderful trip.


  18. Loved the beautiful photos especially the scenery and the old hotel-very ghostly looking. I know the dogs loved the hiking-so happy they got to go as well. I have never been in that area so it was a treat to be able to sit in the computer chair and enjoy taking a trip. Is that weird to prefer other people's vacations online as opposed to packing up and actually making the effort to travel those? Nice that you are back to blogging and sewing to share with the fans. mssewcrazy

  19. Ha! Touché. (but I still think it would sell..)

  20. Welcome back! Looks like you both had a great holiday. Is Michael planning to post any recipes using that very pretty purple cauliflower (which I think we in Oz call purple broccoli)?

    I finished a jacket in a black and white tweedy silk and I'm rather pleased with it. The pattern is a cut down and tweaked coat (S4403). The rest of my week went on researching ways to clean a very grubby suede jacket which is to be cannibalised for a vest.

  21. Now I understand how you can get so much done. You don't own a TV *slaps forehead* it makes so much sense now!

  22. The sewing universe was hollow in your absence.

    Hollow I tell you.

  23. Love those mountain trips and it looks like it was a wonderful time. I was able to finish my natural disaster jacket...started when we had the earthquake earlier in the week and finished after Irene came through....but she kindly left power on in our house. Too bad that's not true for many of our neighbors.

  24. Glad Irene was unimpressive! We had a lot of wind and rain in central NC, but ironically, the worst problem was a power outage while I was getting groceries when the first band of the storm came over us. It was like playing The price is Right at the register...

    Can't wait to see what you sew next!

  25. Welcome back and glad you had a great holiday, and glad too that your windows didn't blow in, might have damaged the sewing machine, he he!
    I prefer the mountains too - hey you should try our Southern Alps next time :)
    And I'm nearly finished my cape, just figuring out where to put my hands - it takes a bit of getting used to!

  26. Welcome back! Looks like you and the fam had a great vacation. Irene was really a bust here on the coast of Maine. I feel sorry for all the people who yanked their boats out of the water in a panic on Friday and Saturday. I'm making great progress on my Japanese trench coat. All that remains is making the belt, some topstitching here and there, button holes galore and hemming.

  27. I live on a narrow coastal strip between mountains and tropical beaches, so my ideal holiday destination is NYC. Looks like you all enjoyed your holiday, loved the photos of dogs and Michael. Hi Michael! Miss your blog!

  28. Good to hear Irene was underwhelming!
    And even though I had a wonderful vacation this year that had more to do with beaches than mountains - no mountains in the Baltic countries - generally I agree with you.

    Sewing news from me - well, just dabbling here and there, slowly finishing some things that have been in the works for some time. That's the way I often work.

  29. Glad that your vacation went well, and glad to have you back!

  30. No devastation, although none was predicted this far inland, really. I live about 50 miles west of the Pocono Mtns. of PA. We did get much more rain than predicted for here (about 6 "), and the wind was howling so bad my kitty spent the day hiding under the couch.

    Was hoping to spend the day online and sewing, but my satellite internet was out, and my migraine made sewing impossible. All in all, a wasted day! Glad to hear yours was better!

  31. OMG you were in my backyard and were lucky to get home before Irene hit because we were hit hard. Phoenicia is devastated and was totally under water and you couldn't get into or out of the town till yesterday afternoon. All roads blocked by fallen trees and wires or flooded and in some cases the roads were washed away in spots (Rt 212 going into Phoenicia). Woodstock and surrounding towns still have no electric. Our neighbors lost their homes and cars to the Esopus. We live on the Esopus but our home is high above the water with flat state land on the other side but the creek rose to the point where there was concern it was going to crest our bank. We were very lucky. I still don’t know the total extent of all the damage in our area.

    Well on a nicer note, we hiked up Overlook after work on the 23rd. then we went to Yum Yum’s in Woodstock for a light dinner. Several years ago my husband and I would hike Overlook in the winter and sled down the carriage trail from the Hotel - 45 mins up 15 minutes down - awesome! I can’t believe you took the pups up the fire tower! Next time you’re up our way check out Sweet Sue’s for breakfast/lunch in Phoenicia (hopefully will be back up and running. Glad you are back. Coleen

  32. And that particular beautiful fungus is Polyporus sulfureus, also known as "Chicken of the Woods." Delicious and meaty! There's a story of a mushroom hunter who invited friends to dinner and served chicken pot pie that she made with these mushrooms. After dinner, one of the guests confessed she was afraid of eating the wrong mushrooms, so she had "just picked out the chicken." The hostess replied "There wasn't any chicken in it." One of my favorite wild mushrooms!


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