This + That: Tue, June 6th

Tuesday, June 6th 2017.

Morning coffee service. I am SO INTO the second shelf we put up last week, not to mention the new kegerator we got to fill with West Kill Brewing beer. Now, if only I could drink the beer...

I am less into the whole it's 49 degrees and rainy in June thing, but what can ya do. I hear it's good for the flowers. 

Got some routine blood work done. (Pregnancy = 9,000 doctor visits.) Saw a college friend on TV in the waiting room! On Cops! No, I'm kidding. Michael is a surely upstanding citizen who works for the Late Late Show and was in a publicity bit for it. Still, kinda exciting in an otherwise hellaciously unexciting place. 

Words of #inspiration as your blood is drawn. I wish this photo did justice to how blurry they all were. Blurry display photos unnerve me almost as much as random apostrophes do. 

Continued the fun fest by heading to Kingston to buy a few more towels. STOP MURDERING MY TOWELS PEOPLE. I mean fine, you're on vacation, do whatever you want. 

A walk in the woods. 


Afternoon bar service for the overnight guests. 

One room wanted to go out for dinner. On a Tuesday! BAHAHAHAHAH! I'm laughing because absolutely nothing is open on Tuesday out here except for Brio's where they commit all kinds of apostrophe crimes across their menu. Calzone's anyone?

It might feel wintry, but at least it's light past 8pm these days. 

Had my folks over for dinner since they've been renting a cabin down the road. Steven roasted up some trout he'd caught with my dad-- the first of the season that we've eaten! My mom was fucking horrified we presented it with the head on. Ooops! Sorry Mom. 

This + That: Thurs, May 11

Thursday, May 11th, 2017.

1. A guest who works in publishing sent us a box of books including this one: Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage by Dani Shapiro. Paired it with today's NY Times article on open marriages this morning which made for an obviously odd juxtaposition. / 2. Was never a breakfast person before this, but pregnancy has finally converted me. / 3. So grateful there are all these trails right in our backyard. I think back on how little time we spent in nature when living in Brooklyn, and frankly, how little I cared; I was plenty happy living in our concrete jungle. Now? Total nature convert! Yes I know, I'M INCREDIBLY LATE TO THE GAME. / 4. Finished Hourglass. Wrote for a bit. Same box of books included The Sun in Your Eyes by Danielle Shapiro which I began under the mistaken impression it was one of Dani Shapiro's novels. Saw the photograph on the back and was like whaaat? Ooops. Still enjoying it. / 5. Walked away from the toaster when this bread was in there. Came back and it was sitting on the counter just like this, apparently having flown out when it was done, old school Eggo commercial style, ya know? / 6. More Waldo walking with Steven. I love this canopy of maples. / 7. And blue skies. / 8. Splurged on a new Turkish linen robe that arrived today. I WANT TO WEAR IT FOREVER. Also, trimmed my bangs. / 9. Read some more. Wrote some more. (Can you guess my favorite thing to do on my days off??) Turned my chair so I could a) put my feet up on the day bed and b) sneak peeks at our kitchen that I'm still totally in love with. / 10. Watched the NBC nightly news before dinner. Wtf Trump? Wtf.

This + That: Thurs, January 12

Thursday, January 12th

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1. Had a slumber party staycation at Brushland Eating House last night. Ate our faces off and Sohail surprised us with some hilarious and delicious off-menu items between courses. / 2. Drove home in the misty rain. / 3. Walked the dog around the property. / 4. Pulled out some vintage maps that were part of my original visual inspiration for the Inn's logo. Time for some little updates here and there. / 5. Transferred some scans from my old computer to my new, like all the old post cards that former owner Karl Schwarzenegger brought by before we opened. / 6. Frozen Chinatown dumplings for a lazy lunch. We've been trying to save these so we can eat them during our kitchen renovation WHICH IS STARTING IN JUST A FEW WEEKS (!!) but they're too delicious to hoard. / 7. Rain let up a bit so we hit the trail. / 8. Rain picked up again and melted aaaaaall the snow. / 9. Finished The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore. Enjoyed learning about her early feminist roots and the untraditional family structure of her creators. / 10. Put in a scary movie but it was kind of slow, and we had a screener's copy of Moonlight calling... so we watched that instead which was of course absolutely heart wrenching and wonderful like everyone's been saying. 

This + That: Wed, Nov 16

Wednesday, November 16. 


1. I first read Mary Karr's The Liar's Club when I was 12. Reads so differently all these years later. / 2. It poured rain yesterday aaaaall day and night so the creek is finally looking healthy again. / 3. Not to mention the waterfalls! / 4. Time for our quarterly deep clean where we scrub every goddamn inch of every room to keep it looking brand spankin' new. I listened to the end of Book One of Harry Potter as I did one room. Loving that I've come so late to the HP game and now have so many books and movies to look forward to! / 5. Called some local representatives to express my extreme discomfort with Stephen Bannon as the president elect's choice. I was surprisingly nervous to do it. But my friend Ariel posted this great script document on Facebook that really was helpful. Glad I did it. Going to make myself call more folks this week. / 6. This is what it looks like at 5pm now. / 7. Headed over to our friends Tracy and Jamie's house for a slumber party. (Btw, they're the fabulous duo behind Brunette Wine Bar.) Tracy is a sartorial queen and so I always have to bring my fashion A game-- / 8. Even for just a night of dumplings and ramen! / 9. Slept like a baby. / 10. And woke up to an adorable puppy party downstairs. 

This + That: Mon, Oct 24

Monday, October 24. 

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1. It SNOWED this weekend (?!) then we had a wind storm soooo bye-bye leaves. / 2. Coffee service for guests. Chatted with a former social worker now psychotherapist who specializes in mindfulness training about a new device that tracks your brainwaves when you meditate and gives you realtime feedback about it via weather system noises. Aka, it sounds stormy when your brain is really active, you hear calm waves and you calm down etc. / 3. Went through the checked out rooms to turn off the heat, take out the trash. The little things that need to be done before someone else cleans 'em later. / 4. Read some of Arguments Against Everything. Such a different style of writing than I normally read. I think I'm enjoying it...? / 5. Every single guest we had this weekend went to the Phoenicia Diner so I was jealous and had to go for lunch myself. Jessi Klein's You'll Grow Out Of It was my companion. (Hilarious!) As were the sweet waitresses who know me by now. / 6. Came home to a world of the most boring and tedious bookkeeping work. So many fucking usernames and passwords and tech crap. Stuff that's supposed to make your life easier and all together, on some days, just absolutely doesn't. / 6. The heater in my home office is broken so I went downstairs to warm up in front of the wood stove for a bit. Stormy looking outside. / 7. Chairs and branches were blown all over the place from that wind storm so I put 'em back. The chairs that is. Branches were down for the count. /  8. Yes, that's a big bowl of popcorn for dinner to go with a few episodes of Narcos. Steven and I keep reminiscing about our trip to Colombia five or so years ago. (SO much fun.) Makes total sense why their new tourism slogan at the time was, "The only danger is in wanting to stay." / 9. Waldo waits anxiously for Steven to come upstairs to bed. It's adorable how much Waldo is enamored with Steven and vice versa. We often joke that Steven is Waldo's "spirit animal". No, I did not accidentally reverse that.

This + That: Wed, June 8

Wednesday, June 8th.

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1. Didn't sleep a wink. One of those nights full of ten thousand ideas. So at 4:45am I surrendered and got up with the sun. / 2. Then went straight to the barn where Steven (and Waldo) and I got to work. / 3. We ordered a dumpster the other day so we could-- / 4. --remove all the crazy wood shaving filled drop ceilings in the barn. Part of the process of slowly restoring it back to its original 1860s, post and beam loveliness. / 5. HOLY CRAP WAS THAT A LOT OF WOOD SHAVINGS. / 6. Went into town. Stopped at the Pharmacy which is going out of business :( / 7. And got pizza for lunch. / 8. Took a break to read more of the oh-so-readable Modern Lovers and nap. / 9. Work up rested and ready to finish this phase. Got the place "broom clean". / 10. Hung some lights, set up the world's most rustic epic long table and-- / 11. --had two well earned beers at it. / 12. The temperature dropped to the 40s, so we snuggled up with some soup and a DVD of "Carol" before tucking it in and sleeping like logs.

This + That: Mon, May 2

Monday, May 2nd.

1. Reading A Dirty Life. So glad I only deal with 18 strangers' needs any given day, not a couple hundred acres of farm plus dozens of chickens and horses and cows. PS Good book.  / 2. Rainy spring. Aforementioned book is making me feel like it's a "blessing". You know, nature and all / 3. Laundry money. Aka money that appears at the bottom of our clean laundry pile sometimes. / 4. ERRANDS. / 5. To so many places that when driving the Subaru you can literally feel how heavy it is when you turn or stop. / 6. We've taken this road in Kingston several times and never before has it looked so San Francisco or "establishing shot". / 7. Coming home down "The Notch". People used to drive wagons down this to get to our valley. (?!) / 8. When the post-lady delivers you handmade spoons from Japan from a lovely friend (shout out Victoria! thank you!) and you look at your snack and are like, "I'm gonna make this work." / 9. Finished A Dirty Life. Cried, because I love a good cry when reading, then snuggled the dog. / 10. Birthday party at the Peekamoose, (Happy Birthday Erik!) / 11. Gotta keep a look out for the coyotes there. / 12. And the fire breathing cakes. 

This + That: Wed, February 24

Wednesday, February 24.

1. Waldo snuggles. / 2. Steven was extra amused by his morning ensemble and wanted it documented. / 3. It snowed yesterday then rained all night. Winter, what's up?  / 4. Mail came. Wrapped in the usual rubber band which for whatever reason drives me nuts. The reason most likely being that said rubber bands somehow end up all over the house. / 5. Trying to be strict about not checking my work email on my "weekends", so morning time was spent reading a book instead. Finally getting around to this one! / 6. "I should sweep" somehow became "I should tear apart the entire living room and hand clean every inch of floor with vinegar and olive oil while listening to The Weekend". / 7. "And I should definitely remove the contents of the living room cabinets while I'm at it." / 8. So. Much. Rain. / 9. Got another Snake Plant at the grocery store yesterday. Repotted it immediately knowing otherwise it would live in its sad plastic one til, oh, 2026. / 10. I'm not sure Waldo fully appreciated all the floor buffing, but he definitely enjoyed the benefits of pillow and furniture fluffing. / 11. Up to Steven's studio to talk about his latest manuscript. / 12. Drove to a nearby bar to meet friends. Passed the most adorable baby lambs that yes, in this photo are just little white blurs but TRUST ME. So freaking cute. / 13. The bar. Catskill Brewery Devil's Path IPAs on tap. / 14. Made cumin lamb chops for dinner and gave Waldo some leftovers. This dog never finishes his bowl but he came thiiiiiiiis close tonight. He left just one dry food pebble. You know, just in case he gets hungry later.

This + That: Wed, January 20

Wednesday, January 20.

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1. Lazed about in bed with coffee, talking about Hillary vs. Bernie's campaigns. / 2. I don't dislike doing laundry. I dislike folding laundry. This was laying in a pile on our bedroom floor for a week. Still "clean", right? / 3. Went to the post office down the road. Open 8am-12pm only, super small-town-y and casual. Paul the Postmaster always make fun of me rushing around in there but I think I have NYC Post Office PTSD where I get all nervous that an enormous line is going to form behind me and everyone in it will want to kill me for not having everything properly packaged and addressed before arriving. / 4. Passed Smokey the horse on the way home. Had to stop and say hi. / 5. Got this book in the mail. Knew I'd have to read it all in one day, so I did. *Tears everywhere* / 6. Took a break to go walking in the woods with Steven (and Waldo). / 7. It was fun to go bush-wacking off-trail through the snow. / 8. Afternoon snack. Btw, I think Not Your Father's Rootbeer is better than the Gingerale. / 9. Made a butternut squash, mushroom, kale soup for dinner. / 10. Dog walks in the moonlight. / 11. Watched "Spotlight". Just lots of eeeeeeasy, lighthearted media consumed today...! Wishing we had another episode left of "Last Man On Earth" to lighten things up!

This + That: Wed, November 18

Wednesday, November 18.

1. An administrative day. Tidying up lots of odds and ends before our TRIP TO MEXICO next week!! / 2. A neighbor knocked on our door to tell us there were two bald eagles hanging out on our property. So. Bad. Ass. / 3. Generators running their weekly tests. This one's got a "I'm working but not 100% happy" yellow light. Sigh. Always something. / 4. Checking on vacant rooms, making sure the heat's turned off. / 5. Made couscous with leftover beef stew, chickpeas, and uhhhh, couscous of course. We're trying to work our way through everything perishable in the house before our trip. / 6. Moody, moody weather. I'm glad we have Waldo for a thousand reasons, but one them is that it gets me out of the house even when it's not particularly welcoming out. / 7. No more leaves. Well, plenty of leaves! They're just all on the ground. / 8. Waldo. Lovingly looking at Steven. Seriously. / 9. So. Much. Desk. Work. / 10. A welcome interruption from Steven has he runs his latest children's book revision by me. / 11. When it gets dark at 4:30pm, working til 5:30pm feels so late. / 12. Chinese for dinner courtesy of chef Steven.

This + That: Wed, September 9

Wednesday, September 9.

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1. Day off = sleeping in. / 2. Waldo makes use of the vacant bed once we're up. We wiped him out with a 4 mile river walk yesterday.  / 3. Iced coffee and words on words on words. / 4. Steven oh so gallantly sorts out our wild web of domains and hosting etc that all need to be consolidated... / 5. A walk down the road past our neighbors' garden. / 6. I've been "drying out" a bit lately (aka, not boozing) and have been reeeeeeeally into seltzer with raspberries or lemon or mint. / 7. Swapped out everything on my home office cork board. Yea, it's like a real life Pinterest board, remember those? / 8. Stacked wood. / 9. Played piano without my pants on because it's been that hot. / 10. A (much needed) storm is coming. / 11. And here it is. / 12. And there it went. / 13. An open kitchen door so we could smell the rain. / 14. Our friend Craig was in the area doing some location scouting and came over for dinner. Honey roasted carrots with cumin on parsley and almonds, roasted green peppers, hummous with toast, steaks, olives, and a fig + date almond cornbread for dessert. Morocco was calling. 

This + That: Wed, June 3

Wednesday, June 3.

1. So many flowers left over from last week's wedding. / 2. Boiler troubles. / 3. Still haven't found that new cleaning staff member so I'm doing all the rooms myself...! / 4. Going into town = excuse to use my new clutch. / 5. The grocery store. / 6. Tried the new Mama's Boy Burgers in Tannersville and it's DELICIOUS. An insane amount of soft serve flavors as well. Like forty. / 7. Picked up beef for the Inn's BBQs at JJF Farms over the mountain. / 8. Cleaned some more but made sure to poke my head out at the sunset. / 9. Had a go at my studio which had been a bit of a pit lately. Good to have that sanctuary back.

This + That: Mon, April 27

1. Set up coffee for guests then did some trouble shooting for a malfunctioning heating unit. / 2. Cleaned a room as quickly as possible so I could move the guest from that room to one where they'll be warm. / 3. Disposed of a dead bird that came to its ultimate rest right outside of Room Ten's window. / 4. Put on bright lipstick to distract everyone from my dirty hair. (After a busy weekend I prioritized sleep over showering.) / 5. Propane delivery. / 6. Hired a new full time cleaning staff member! HOORAY! Oh my GOD hooray. / 7. Dog run. / 8. Calculating distances and whatnot for a split rail fence for the bar patio. / 9. Setting up for happy hour. / 10. Kept the bar open an hour and half later than usual because I couldn't stop talking art/family/life/EVERYTHING with two of our Resident Artists. I feel so happily fueled by interactions like this. / 11. Chef Steven, who is way too tall for this kitchen island but kicks kitchen ass anyway.

(What is “This + That”This is “This + That”.)

This + That: Sun, April 5

1. Cookies for breakfast. (Hey, the've got oatmeal in them.) / 2. The snow melted. Then it snowed again last night. Sigh. / 3. Coffee at the Front Desk all morning. Checking folks out or sending them on more adventures. I closed that bar at 2am last night so I'm a liiiiiiitle sleepy. / 4. Steven and Waldo swing by to say hi. / 5. Housekeeping is a no-show so I spend most of the afternoon cleaning rooms. / 6. Still snowing. But at least it's melting! / 7. Sneak over to Steven's studio to read the latest version of a manuscript he's working on. / 8. Our neighbor brought us tulips for our anniversary the other day. (So sweet!) Next to our books on fly fishing it's like a little shrine to spring. / 9. Turn on the exterior lights and lock up the bar at 7pm after a visit with someone who wants to get married here and a few drinks with guests before they head off to dinner. / 10. Computer closed! Time to read more of Peter Heller's "The Painter" and watch Jeremy Wade's "River Monsters"! Yup. Got some serious fishing on the mind apparently.

(What is “This + That”This is “This + That”.)

This + That: Tue, March 17th

1. Can finally see our stairs again after the big melt. / 2. Dropped a friend off for the bus in Phoenicia. / 3. Got a latte while waiting for a prescription to be filled and overheard lots of weather talk. / 4. Pooping dog juuuust out of the frame. / 5. Decided to listen to the entire "Idler Wheel" Fiona Apple album while doing nothing else but laying on the floor-- wanted to treat her lyrics like reading a book. This might have to be a new thing I enjoyed it so much. / 6. Leftover cornbread for lunch. / 7. Had some trouble getting the wood stove going. Always makes me feel incompetent. / 8. Warmer weather = cluster flies. / 9. Getting my snob on aka practicing French by reading Camus. / 10. Was interrupted by a flash in the window-- part of a box that covers some exterior pipes flew off. Struggled to get that back on in the terrible wind. / 11. So THAT's where the swing went. / 12. Took Waldo in the pine trees after swinging by the front desk to chat with our assistant Colleen. / 13. Happy hour.

(What is "This + That"? This is "This + That".)

Introducing "This + That"

Along with "So how'd you guys find this place?" and "Have you always wanted to open an inn?", the Number One question I'm asked is: "What do you guys DO out here?"

Depending on the guest and how they imagine they themselves would cope living in the country, the tone can range from curious to accusatory to dreamy...

Overall, most folks who visit us from NYC have a very hard time imagining how we could possibly fill our days without office jobs, restaurants, bars, museums, concerts, and time spent on the subway.

So I figured I'd show you!

"This + That" will be a reoccurring column that shows, in photos, moments throughout a day in the country. Some beautiful, some mundane. I'll do my best to give you a little window into rural life. Sometimes we'll be working, sometimes it'll be one of our days off. You'll see, it's very much the same and yet... totally different.

First up: today!

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11th, 2015.

1. Plants I should water. / 2. A walk down Spruceton Road with the dog. / 3. And up Rusk Mountain Road because it's finally above freezing today. / 4. Forgot to wipe down Waldo's paws and close the door to the bedroom. / 5. Doing some closet organizing and dreaming of summer. / 6. A quick snuggle in front of the wood stove. / 7. Another walk down the road, this time in the opposite direction. / 8. Catching the sunset through the trees. / 9. Collecting our change piles. / 10. Having scotch and grapefruit juice while making cookie dough before dinner. / 11. Washing those muddy sheets. / 12. Watching hockey.