I got the saddest news this weekend — Camp Osoha, the place that saved my life, is closing it’s doors after 89 years.
I went to Osoha for five years, during which, I moved twice and switched custodial parents. To say that Camp was the only stable point in my life for many years is an understatement. And Linda Porter, the camp director, has been a touchstone throughout all these decades — someone I could go back to years later for advice.
Maybe it’s a western thing, but as an adult I don’t meet very many people who went to these kinds of all-summer sleepaway camps. Osoha, and my brother’s camp, Red Arrow, had seven week sessions, and we all came back year after year. You tell people that and they look at you like you like it was child abuse. Seven weeks? Who would send their kid away all summer?
All I can say is thank goodness my parents managed to scrape it together each summer to send us back to camp. Camp was where I learned how to get along with other people, how to be a team, and how to work really hard to achieve a goal. And it was always the same. For me, who had one of those childhoods where nothing was ever the same, the fact that I could come back year after year and nothing changed, the kids in my cabin were the same, the counselors were the same, the songs and activities and rituals were the same. It’s where I learned that things really could be okay.
It’s very sad. The end of an era and I can understand why Linda is giving up the struggle to keep camp open and going. She took over Camp Osoha in 1975, and I suppose there just isn’t anyone to hand it off to. I think the perfect solution is to make it a B&B, where all of us geezers can come back, sleep in our old bunks, go canoeing, and maybe play a little tennis. We can have a council fire and sing all the goofy old songs … the bunch of old ladies that we are now …
Just about Halloween I had a stupid stupid accident and killed my laptop. I made the error of putting my unprotected laptop in a messenger bag with a re-corked bottle of wine before driving down to the cabin for the night. As I walked in the door I noticed wine dripping from the bag. The bottle had tipped over and opened and had absolutely SOAKED my laptop.
And then I made the fatal error. I tried to turn it on.
Nothing. And then I came to my senses and remembered that electricity and wetness inside a laptop is a bad bad combo.
I ripped out the battery and tipped it on edge to drain the red wine out of the CD-slot and left it in the warm laundry room all night hoping it would dry out and come back to life. Nope.
Then I took it apart. I’d already ordered a new one, and I figured since it was probably dead, I should open it up and see if it looked like it could be cleaned. That was an exciting experiment, but even though we got all the way in (there are a LOT of tiny screws on a Mac laptop), it was hopeless.
So, I put it on a shelf and forgot about it until last night when I was heading out. I put the dead laptop on my desk and stuck the power cord in, just because, and what do you know? It came back to life!
It was back. Three months later. It booted up just fine. The keys are still sort of sticky, so I have to do some cleanup, but it makes me feel much better to know I have a backup if I need it.
I guess the moral of the story is, don’t throw out “dead” laptops. Who knows? They could come back to life! Reduce, reuse, recycle indeed …
Still trying to figure out how to balance blog, freelance deadlines, family stuff, chickens, and my own writing. So, I’m the lame blogger. I promise I’ll be back soon. In the meantime, all is well, I’m just a little swamped.
Well, that was unexpected. I had a girlfriend in town last week, hence dropping off the blog, and then just as I was about to get back to it, I accidentally drowned my computer when a re-corked bottle of red wine came uncorked in my messenger bag. Dead. Dead dead dead.
And if your laptop dies on a Friday, in Montana, you can’t really get a replacement until, well, Tuesday afternoon at nearly four. However, I’m now a HUGE fan of Time Machine. I plugged in the new laptop (which is very shiny and aluminum and pretty), it asked if I wanted to migrate from Time Machine, I said yes, and 40 minutes later my desktop looks just like it did before. Restored! Really restored! I’m sort of shocked but quite pleased.
So, I’ll be back tomorrow. Now, I’m signing off, heading up to the cabin which is blissfully free of an internet connection, to enjoy a beautiful beautiful clear evening in the Paradise Valley. And then tomorrow I have to really get my act together — I’ve got some deadlines looming.
So I realize I’m the last person in America to experience this, but I just got a new-to-me used iPod and well, I’m besotted. Many years ago, my Beloved Stepmother gave me an original 10GB iPod as a delightfully extravagent birthday present, and I’d been pretty happy with it, although I was always running out of room. Then when she was here a few weeks ago, she traded me the iPod Touch she’d replaced with an iPhone for an older MacBook — she’d never really used a Mac so I gave her an old one of mine to see whether she liked it before switching from a PC. Anyhow, the iPod Touch was cool, but it didn’t have any memory at all — I couldn’t get it to load podcasts or my new music and I grew increasingly frustrated, especially now that I’m working at home on the kinds of tasks that I really need music to concentrate on.
So I finally took the plunge and upgraded to a 120GB used iPod I found on Amazon. It was about half the price of a new one and the seller was great and sent it to me right away, in the box and everything.
This is where I sound like a geezer because 120 GB!? That’s more memory than I think every computer combined that I owned for the first 20 years of my working life. That’s a LOT of memory.
And so I’ve been loading CDs onto it since it arrived. CDs that I haven’t listened to in a long time. CDs that I missed. I’m a huge fan of Shuffle, and the idea that I can have all my music in one place, and set it going, and it’ll just shuffle around for hours. Love it. Plus, Apple finally fixed the problem with classical music — for a long time the albums didn’t sort right — the movements were all out of order. It was a gigantic pain in the neck.
So here I am, with my shiny new toy, that was kind of extravagant, but sometimes, even when money is tight, it’s worth it for something that will make your everyday life so much more pleasant.
Well, not a tub exactly, but the top half of a composter that didn’t work very well. Since I’m dating a man who doesn’t eat vegetables, except for, as he puts it “the noble root crop” I’m growing spuds this year. I tried them once before and they didn’t work particularly well — mostly because I don’t think I watered them enough. Also, they take up a lot of space — so this year I thought I’d try containment spuds — the bottom of this thing is open, so perhaps they’re rooting their way down into the stony ground (this is a kind of no-mans land part of the garden). These are some Carolas and German Butterballs that I got from my milk lady last year and that sprouted before I could eat them — so I stuck them in a paper bag and waited for spring. This really couldn’t have been easier. I put about a wheelbarrowful of compost in the bottom, stuck the spuds in, and covered them with old straw. And voila! They’re going great gangbusters (as my grandmother would say). I looked at them yesterday and they’re flowering, so here’s hoping that in another few weeks we’ll have delicous new potatoes …
My ancient Olympus digital point-and-shoot finally died. It was seven or eight years old, one of the things I wound up with after Patrick died, which is part of the issue. I hate hate hate shopping for things like digital cameras. There are so many, and the variations are so small, and I don’t really want to spend the money, and there are so many models and who can tell them apart?
So here’s where I need you dear readers — do you have a digital camera that you like? I’m looking for a reasonably-inexpensive camera that takes decent photos that I can post on the blog. I don’t want lots of bells and whistles, I want something simple —
Fire away in the comments. Help me out here so I can get back to blogging!
I’ve got a few new projects in the works, but this transitional period has gotten so busy that I have been neglecting not only the blog, but the garden, and my housecleaning.
I’ll be back as soon as I can dig my way to freedom — keep your fingers crossed that it’s soon!
So, my new sweetheart (who needs a blog name, the Carpenter?) hasn’t had cable these past few years, and isn’t really a tv person. But because he tends to work late, and we eat dinner late, neither of us has the energy for a whole movie. But it’s too early to go to bed, and so I’ve discovered the wonderful world of TV series on DVD. The Carpenter has never seen the Sopranos, or Deadwood, or Rome, or even Planet Earth — all of which are now rotating through my Netflix queue.
Can I tell you how much fun it is to start all over again and with someone who has no idea what’s coming? While it’s very hard for me not to keep jumping in with things like “oh, that’s Livia — the meanest mother ever,” or “that’s Calamity Jane, she gets much more interesting,” it’s still really cool to start over from the beginning.
We watched the first episode of The Sopranos last night — and wow. The ducks! Tony is so thin! Dr. Melfi’s office is all different! The priest — I’d forgotten about the annoying priest! Meadow was so young, and not having eating disorder issues yet!
My theory is that these long-arc narrative series are the Dickensian novels of our time — big sprawling episodic dramas in which there’s plenty of room for characters to unspool and develop (especially for the Sopranos which went for so many seasons). And watching these first few episodes have been really fun because it’s clear that characters I thought were minor the first time through, were already designated for development in ways I didn’t anticipate. Like re-reading a favorite novel, the pleasure this time around comes not so much from finding out what happens, but from watching how it happens (and of course, from getting to share it with someone new).
The cold frame is full of tomato, zucchini, and leek seedlings — I checked this afternoon and although it was only 42 outside, it was 65 inside the cold frame.
It’s still snow/raining, although everything is that bright saturated green that comes with spring in the mountains. The apple trees are just starting to leaf out, and we’re on the look for morels, although no one I’ve talked to has found any of them yet.
The chickens are just waiting for the finishing touches to move outside — they need a fence, and a door to the coop, and a walkway. But we’re getting there. Should have pictures soon.