Sunday was an excellent day. Breakfast at South Face Farm, which is another sugarhouse in Ashfield, but they have a restaurant as well as the sugarhouse. My MIL Marian's treat, for my b-day. Blueberry pancakes, among other things. Marian wanted french toast and came prepared, bringing a type of bread with her that she's allowed to have -- regular wheat being a no-no. They were great and took the bread and did it up nicely.
Home again for a short bit, then off again with gwynt_y_storm
and Jeni and Tali, who took me up to Shelburne Falls. We met up with the Cat clan there, and hit Wandering Moon first. By far one of the best book stores in the area, in large part because they're focused on particular types of books, many of them being the kind we're all looking for... herbal, brewing, nature (general), nature (New England), various home crafts and homesteading interests, books on different types of building construction, carpentry and woodcraft, stone craft, etc. Also some esoteric books, children/youth books of a useful/entertaining sort, and so on. Wandering Moon also has all sorts of lovely handcrafted items and some gorgeous jewelry -- alas, my tastes run on the expensive side... but I did put two books aside, and may have a third one if it comes in before Alfdis comes over to return the demo items. The card reader was down and I'd neglected to bring the check book... The others came away with many books, so there was much happiness. Definitely a win-win shopping trip, since with the harsh winter weather and the fire that happened down the block from them (street was closed during the building removal), it's been a poor winter for these good folks.
Then we went wandering down the street, stopped in at a yarn shop where we ran into an old SCAdian friend, Gudrun, and her sister Bing. Haven't seen them in maybe 20 years.... she'd gone out of state, but is back now, in the Boston area. Some lovely yarns there, and they have a gathering on Wednesday nights (spinning? knitting? both?) that may be worth considering down the line. Also went to the glassblowers gallery (same street), but no glassblowing -- one of the guys injured himself snowblowing, and they work as a team. Still, some lovely things there as well. Then outside and to the end of the street to look at the dam, falls, and all the water roiling and pouring over the boulders and potholes -- the water level is high this time of year of course, so only one pothole was really visible.
Then over the bridge, where Jeni spotted Mo's Factor, and so of course we had to go in there and be treated to the young man's sardonic humor. He was actually quite friendly and helpful, and we all came away with various treats. I bought some black forest truffles, some 70% dark chocolate truffles, and a handful of dark chocolate peppermint patties. Believe it or not, aside from the sample piece I had in the store, I didn't eat any of it! Since I'd had the pancakes and also some hazelnut coffee at breakfast (and coffee means sugar!), and no real food since, abstinence was the better part of valor.
We then went to check out a pottery gallery, but it wasn't to anyone's liking -- still, it got us close enough to see the Tregellys Farm Fair Trade store, and that was definitely worth seeing. I only acquired a couple pair of clipback earring findings for converting some earrings I have that are for pierced ears, but they have a lot of lovely Tibetan, Nepalese and African items there, including pashmina shawls for $60. I was rather enamoured actually of the hooded, lined, pullovers, with pouch pockets -- 100% cotton and a classic multi-colored narrow-striped weave. Possibly might get one in the different shades of green at some point...
Then back across the bridge, where we tried to see the Vav Stuga, but it was closed. Then gwynt_y_storm
spotted a store a little further down the street, the Goose and Boot, which had all sorts of interesting odds and ends. I got some 6" Mole Hollow candles there for less than at the store, etainmbw
picked up some cast iron cooking dishes among other things, and Jeni also found some candles and a couple of lovely ceramic flower pots.
Then home again, home again, jiggity-jig! The Cat clan had other business, but gwynt_y_storm
et al stayed for a little chat, before going home themselves. We then went off to East Heaven in Northampton, a lovely hot tub establishment, having a couple of granola bars on the way. fitzw
had arranged for one of the wood tubs, of course. These are quite deep, with benches around the sides, and you can have the jets on or off. If you go on your birthday (and provide proof of course), you get a very nice discount on your hot tub.
We stayed for an hour, listening to a CD by Enigma (who I didn't know I'd already heard some of, before -- they're very good). It was an absolutely marvelous time, and many sore/tight muscles were soothed. Plus, my skin seems to be much healthier now - yay!
So... by now the observant may have noticed I hadn't really eaten much this day.... we stopped at a Friendly's on the way home; it being rather late on a Sunday night, not much else is open. The steak tips are pretty tasty though, so one can have some decent food there if one is careful. We did give in and have a bit of the ice cream -- which, while tasty, is perhaps something I should give up...
I did finish up doing most of my PT exercises when I got home. Usually when I've been on the road all day I give most of it a pass, but I consider getting in better shape a gift, so that's one I'm giving to myself!
All told, a most excellent birthday day indeed. Probably one of the best I've had in a while! (Sugaring season doesn't lend itself to being a good time for birthdays)
Today is going to be fairly warm, so L will be going back up on the hill to clear more pipeline. I've decided to go up as well, although likely not for as long as he'll be up there. Still don't have the stamina, but most of the work on healing the shoulder is done, so I'm into the strength- and endurance-building phase.
Also bookkeeping and typing to do today, and then the business meeting tonight.
Freezing rain and sleet to come, Tuesday/Wednesday. L says tapping will be waiting until Thursday now.
Hrim Schola on Saturday!