Blueberry Haus on the last day of May

Last summer we discovered a treasure of Guilford Vermont by stopping at a place we'd passed many times, Blueberry Haus. I guess I'd always thought a place called "Blueberry Haus" must be kind of ridiculous (Haus! Really!). Clearly they had blueberries in season, and were pretty famous as a local ice cream stand. But when I finally stopped there last July, I learned the true awesomeness of Blueberry Haus. They serve up yummy grilled American food in a charming picnic atmosphere.

First, place your order at the cute little kiosk. Hot dogs, sausages, various types of burgers, and fries.

When your name is called, grab your order and park at one of the picnic tables. Lettuce & tomato cost $1 extra, but condiments are free. The fries are the excellent slightly floppy, slightly caramelized type that I treasure in your average pub.

There is a kid-friendly water feature with several real & noisy frogs, and lots of giant goldfish (or mini koi?).

Definitely the most child friendly feature of Blueberry Haus, the feature that will get children to use the bathroom and wash their hands and get right into the car when you ask, would be the ice cream stand. They offer the usual chocolate, vanilla, plus sorbets, blue Dinosaur ice cream and great chocolate options. Tonight I requested a combo of Ye Olde Chocolate Salty (chocolate with a salty-caramel ripple), and Moose Tracks.

When we got home the westering sun was just picking out some of the latest May flowers. I bought these violas (above) on my annual Memorial Day trip to Walker Farm in Putney. I love violas, and these are called "Bilbo Baggins" so of course I couldn't resist.

Also, the lupine is blooming!

Did May seem long to you?

Radio playlists for May 2013

...Blackbeard's Delight?

My radio show on WVEW is going OK! A particularly fun show in May was the 90s flashback show. I can't believe I didn't own Set Adrift on Memory Bliss before this, such a good song.

May 9, 2013
  • Harborcoat: REM
  • Lenslife: Fanfarlo
  • El Guincho: Bombay
  • Hackensack: Fountains of Wayne
  • Moneymaker: Rilo Kiley
  • Gamma Ray: Beck
  • Virginia Plain: Bryan Ferry
  • Walking in Your Footsteps: The Police
  • Be Good to Me: Apollo's Apaches
  • Churches Under the Stairs: Brendan Canning
  • Was a Sunny Day: Paul Simon
  • Ya Hey: Vampire Weekend
  • Batteries (Can't Help Me Now): Figurine
  • Faster Horses: MNDR
  • Think I Wanna Die: Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin
  • Trem Two: Mission of Burma

May 16, 2013
  • Sleepyhead: Passion Pit
  • In the Sun: She & Him
  • Don't Leave Me this Way: The Communards
  • Taxi from the Airport: Grosvenor
  • My Man My Moon: Feist
  • I Want You to Keep Everything: These United States
  • 27,000,000 de Mecs (Ne Peuvent Se Tromper): Lina
  • La Danse du Bonheur: Shakti with John McLaughlin
  • Triveni: Rodrigo y Gabriela
  • Tammie: The Dø
  • Everybody Knows this is Nowhere: Neil Young
  • Plants & Animals: Tom Cruz
  • Not the Kid: Communist Daughter
  • Word Up: Cameo

May 23, 2013: Remembering the Nineties

  • Slow Emotion Replay: The The 1993
  • Born Slippy: Underworld (Trainspotting s/t) 1995
  • Army of Me: Björk 1995
  • Wonderwall: Oasis 1995
  • The New Pollution: Beck 1996
  • Set Adrift on Memory Bliss: PM Dawn 1991
  • Mind Riot: Soundgarden 1991
  • Gratitude: Beastie Boys 1992
  • Enter Sandman: Metallica 1991
  • Girls & Boys: Blur 1994
  • Grey Cell Green: Ned's Atomic Dustbin 1991
  • Jerry Was a Racecar Driver: Primus  1991

May 30, 2013

  • Ain't No Reason/Green & Yellow Daughter: Tal Ross
  • Heads Will Roll (A-Trak remix): Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • Heavy Metal Drummer: Wilco
  • Kiss Me Deadly: Lita Ford
  • Electric Feel: MGMT
  • Western Hospitality: Club 8
  • Better Be Good to Me: Tina Turner
  • Seven Nation Army: White Stripes
  • Open Your Heart: Madonna
  • Fancy Dancer: The Commodores
  • Aht Uh Mi Hed: Shuggie Otis
  • St. Thomas: Sonny Rollins

Anatomy of a Long Run

Part of my training plan this year is to increase my mileage and endurance with the traditional Sunday Long Run. I figured if I'm working up to a half marathon in September (13.1 miles), then if I started in January, I could add a mile to my LR every month to work up to 13 by race day. So January would be 5 miles, February 6, March 7, April 8, May 9, June 10, July 11, and August 12. (Did I have to write that down? Yes, I did.) I figure momentum will get me through that 13th mile in September, though I may try to squeeze in a practice 13-miler.

This plan has been working so far, and in the past 2 weeks I've pulled off my very first 9-milers. One of them also had an average pace of 8:10, which seems kind of crazy. I have no idea what I was on that day! And being "on" something, specifically food, is a big part of what I'm trying to learn. If I can come up with a good fueling system now, then I can rely on it come race day. I'm also just trying to keep track of what to bring along on a Long Run. It's a significant time investment, and if I mess something up it's kind of a waste. Here are my notes as I try to get it right.

Night before: Drink lots of water. Then drink a bit more. Try carb-loading with pizza or pasta or bread, just in case that's a real thing. I occasionally have a drink or two (it's Saturday!), but try to keep it mellow.

Morning of, at least an hour before start: Drink coffee. Eat waffles. Check outside temps carefully and follow these rules: if it's under 32, wear gloves. If it's under 52, wear a jacket layer. If it's over 52, do NOT wear a jacket. If it's over 60, wear short sleeves and short pants. Also, I'm trying to remember to wear knee-high compression socks to promote good circulation.

15 minutes before: Use the potty. Apply sunscreen. Eat 100 calories or so of something sugary. Drink some water.

For my pre-run fueling this week I tried some Honey Stinger energy chews that came in my last Stridebox. They're tasty and soft, with recognizable ingredients like fruit juice, cane juice, and color from carrots.

Load up the waistpack: 100 calories of something for miles 3 and 6. Phone. Water bottle. I also wear a hat, my garmin 410 GPS watch with heart monitor, and a pink Road ID wristband with my name and emergency phone numbers on it.

For this run, I tried a Vi Fuel chocolate gel at mile 3, which also came in my Stridebox. For the past few weeks I've been using Razz Clif gels only, and while they actually taste OK, the texture is so thick that I feel like I'm suffocating when I swallow them. It's hard to breathe! The Vi Fuel did have a lighter, more liquid consistency. And it tasted a lot like chocolate syrup (which is good). It was made with maltodextrin, dextrose, caffeine, and things like taurine amino acid. It tasted a tiny bit of chemicals. Apparently they have recently changed their name to VFuel for simplicity's sake. In general, based on past performance, I'm trying to take in easy-to-utilize fuel every 3 miles. I don't necessarily want caffeine every time, so I like to mix it up. I also drink a bit of water every mile (my watch beeps then anyway, so it's easy).

Shoes are a very important piece of equipment! Recently I got a second pair so I can trade off! (I also have two older pairs that I use for rainy days or bootcamp/non-running workouts.)

I now have a gorgeous pair of purple Saucony Kinvara 4s. Purchased from Burrows Specialized Sports in downtown Brattleboro.

I compared them to my Brooks Pureflows just for fun.

Looking at the arch side, the Kinvaras seem to have more support tucked up into the arch. Both shoes have the same heel drop (the heel is 4mm higher than the toe).

Looking at the soles, the Brooks seems to have lots of support under the outside of the mid-foot (that white "knot" area). The Saucony is totally nipped in at the same point--they seem to be putting the support under the arch instead. Also the Brooks seems to have a wider sole/footprint in general.

The heels look totally different from behind. The Brooks is symmetrical and flat, while the Saucony seems to have some plan of its own, with different planes and types of sole material merging and overlapping.

Ah, love that color! I feel more supported in the Sauconys so plan to use them for longer runs. The Brooks are great for shorter jaunts and for the track workouts I've started doing with a local group every Tuesday  morning. Yes, I love to run.

Tell me about your routines! Is there something you try to do every Sunday rain or shine? If you run, do you have a checklist? Do you do "LRs" ?

Brattleboro Curbside Compost

An exciting development in our town is a new "Curbside Compost" program, I am loving it already! Here's the story:

We've had a black "Earth Machine" backyard compost container for years (above). We add weeds and garden trimmings plus kitchen compost, like coffee grounds, veggie & fruit trimmings, and old tea bags.

BUT, Curbside Compost now allows us to keep so much more out of the trash stream, and even the recycling stream. We can add just about any kind of food, including plate scrapings, meat and bones, old bits of bread, mouldering refrigerator finds. We can also add any paper products, like paper bags, boxes, tissues, cartons, and Q-tips. The program will even take pet waste, small wooden crates, and lawn trimmings (as long as they still fit in the container). This adorable green wheelie container cost only $7 and seems completely adequate for a week's worth of compost.

Above is an example of compost from the morning ready for the bin: a takeout container with metal handle removed, muffin papers, rejected muffin bits, some off-tasting broccoli, and some random herring that had been open for too long.

These got thrown in the bin on top of the various paper towels and an ice cream container already in there. Beautiful! (They say you can use compostable bags in your bin if it seems gross to just throw stuff in willy nilly. We haven't tried that yet.)

Now all we throw away as trash are things like non-recyclable plastics & non-recyclable metals & used diapers. I'm even thinking of getting a second trash basket for the bathroom so we can sort our tissues and other paper-y items into there for composting. And this compost program will be great for those halfway items that I could put in our own compost, such as citrus peels, egg shells, and avocado seeds, but choose not to because they never seem to decompose.

A side benefit of this program is that our town is now picking up recycling weekly instead of every other week, because they use the same truck for recycling & compost. I believe this will encourage people to recycle more, since they don't have to save things up or remember if it's the right week. (Also our town has a rule that if the trash collector sees recycling items in the trash, it won't get picked up.)

If you live in Brattleboro and aren't yet participating, please sign up for Curbside Compost! If you are my mother, I will even help you get the bins you need to make it happen. If you aren't in Brattleboro, do you have a compost program where you live? Do you compost on your own at all? I love the idea of recycling biodegradables back into muck. Let's keep those landfills as empty as we can!

About May

About May

I created this doodle using my iPad's Paper app. I've been enjoying spring flowers and greens, Mother's Day, more sunshine, and getting outdoors!

We've been very busy this month--an afternoon in Boston for a Red Sox game, started our front room remodel (it wasn't lead paint by the way, more later!), and just maintaining daily life, which seems to come up so often.

How has your May been going?

Please tune in tonight! Recent playlists...

I think I'm getting into the swing with my new radio show, "Blackbeard's Delight." After several weeks of occasional and minor technical difficulties, I've had some shows that felt just right... In fact the most recent show had no wincing errors at all. Highlights have included debuting the new Daft Punk single "Get Lucky," playing Ella Fitzgerald to herald that lady's 96th birthday, and announcing the upcoming dedication of Adam Yauch Park in Brooklyn on MCA Day, aka May 4th. 

Please tune in each Thursday at 8pm Eastern, either at 107.7 fm in Brattleboro or online at If you'd like a taste of the kinds of prrrrecious treasures you might hear in Blackbeard's Delight, here are some playlists to peruse:

April 11, 2013
  • The Driving of the Year Nail: Leo Kottke
  • I Feel for You: Chaka Khan
  • Over and Over: Hot Chip
  • Gumboots: Paul Simon
  • A Million Miles: Don Diablo
  • The Stars Are Out Tonight: David Bowie
  • Big Time Sensuality: Bjork
  • Human Nature: Michael Jackson
  • S'vive: Bibio
  • Let the Music Play: Shannon
  • True Stories: Datarock
  • You've Changed: Sia
  • Jerkin' Back and Forth: Devo
  • Brother Sport: Animal Collective

April 18, 2013
  • Fiesta: The Pogues
  • I Didn't Mean to Turn You On: Robert Palmer
  • The Well (We Will Change It All): Sandra Kolstad
  • Lose It In the End: Mark Ronson & the Business International
  • A-Punk: Vampire Weekend
  • Wildcat: Ratatat
  • We Got The: Beastie Boys
  • Let Me Know: Roisin Murphy
  • Dancehall Days: Wang Chung
  • How I Write Such Good Songs: Kleenex Girl Wonder
  • Don't Stop: The Dodos
  • The Last Living Souls: Gorillaz
  • Heavenly Pop Hit: The Chills
  • Justified & Ancient: KLF with Tammy Wynette
  • The Devil is in the Details: Boards of Canada

April 25, 2013
  • The Great Defector: Bell X1
  • Dream World: Midnight Oil
  • Happy Up Here: Royksopp
  • Starman (Atom's Space Funk Journey): David Bowie
  • Sweet Nothing: Calvin Harris f. Florence Welch
  • Yo Skridlow (Dr. Detroit s/t): TK Carter & Dan Aykroyd
  • Sunny Side of the Street: Ella Fitzgerald & Count Basie
  • I Can't Give You Anything But Love: Ella Fitzgerald
  • Get Lucky: Daft Punk
  • Automatic: The Pointer Sisters
  • Hijo de Africa: MC Solaar
  • Two Dots: Lusine
  • Fever: Dick Dale

May 2, 2013
  • The Only Man in Town: Moose
  • Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go: WHAM
  • 2080: Yeasayer
  • Ask: The Smiths
  • Destination Unknown: Missing Persons
  • The Party's Crashing Us: Of Montreal
  • Star Sign: Teenage Fanclub
  • White Sky: Vampire Weekend
  • Listed: The Annuals
  • In 3's: Beastie Boys
  • Neighborhoods: Olu Dara
  • Nobody Told Me: John Lennon & Yoko Ono
  • All Yr Songs: Diamond Rings

May Flowers (Wordless Wednesday)

Coltsfoot growing by the roadside

Violets everywhere

Dutchman's Breeches

Dutchman's Breeches, Close up
Wild Ginger, see brownish 3-petaled flower at base

Yellow Downy Violet

Carolina Spring Beauty

White Trillium

Red Trillium


Trout Lily

This isn't exactly wordless, but more so than usual. I adore wildflowers, don't you? These ones are so typical of May in Vermont. What do you look forward to in May where you live?