Cabin Sweet Cabin

September 25th, 2018 by Magdalena Tabor

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Fall is upon us, in case you haven’t heard, or felt its cold shoulder. The onset of cooler weather gently draws us indoors, however reluctantly. I embrace this comfort myself with tentative arms as our cabin is not yet finished.
An oversized cabin, perhaps, but most certainly an understated house by today’s standards. No cookie cutter McMansion for me, thank you, having always retreated from the norm preferring to live life more simply. A log house, ranch style, tucked into the woods just so, a swirl of blue gray smoke emanating from its chimney, a loaf of good brown bread in the oven. An enormous stack of firewood patiently awaits the harsh Catskill winter. I eye these riches with a satisfying sigh which is seemingly kept at breath’s length.
When will the day come? When will I, at long last, morph into a more civilized version of Anne LaBastille with all the creature comforts of log house living. When?
As I ponder these things on a raw and rainy afternoon just on the cusp of October, I was delighted to learn that Anne’s cabin “West of the Wind” was carefully dismantled just last year, reassembled and lodged within the confines of a museum. I had always had the uncomfortable notion of it rotting away, or worse, vandalized after her death in 2011. Although, it seems somewhat odd to think of it existing anywhere other than in its chosen location, hand picked and hand built by Anne herself, the alternative is anything but the happy outcome we have today.
So while I rely on the two sets of hands, apart from my own, that are in the process of building this amazing stick by stick dwelling, we are at the mercy of human limitations, weather, and the general inconsistencies life inserts into our agenda without care or concern for our impatience. In short, it just doesn’t give a hoot (spoken by the wide eyed owl curiously eyeing my nest).
When next I take ink to paper (or keyboard to computer) it may well be inside the cozy comfort of a log home that will hopefully remain where it is for all time. Alas, I am not the celebrated author anyone would interest themselves into preserving what I have not built for myself. But with a pot of tea at the ready and oh yes, that bit of brown bread that should have been eaten long since, I am content to be as I am. Until then….

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Dog Days Of Autumn

November 17th, 2014 by Magdalena Tabor

What is it about autumn that resonates like a cigar box banjo? There’s something so inherently “down home” about this particular season that invariably invites one to burrow into a nest dogdaysof woolen blankets with a cup of spiced cider from the local mill and an out of date movie. Seeking solace in the familiar, cinematic legendary heroes dramatize the ordinary and we settle in to enjoy an afternoon of what can only be described as sheer comfort while the wind howls outside. (Or was that Old Yeller?)
When legs have gone numb and require one to mobilize, what could be more enjoyable than pulling on a well worn pair of boots (and houndstooth jacket) to step out into the crisp clean air? Crunchy acorns underfoot and a whiff of wood smoke from a neighboring house revive the senses as our tracks bear down into earth softened with decomposing leaves. (This time of year always makes me wish there was a dog alongside for a romp through the woods.) It won’t be long before we hasten back to our own hearths spurred by the thought of another cup of steaming cider with something freshly baked. Or some of that chili made earlier in the day with a hearty chunk of bread. (Here, boy! Now where’d he go?)
As the day dims and the horizon bruises with purples and pinks, we turn our reflective gazes from the window and flick on a lamp. Darkness descends all too soon these days but the clock’s insistence that it’s early enough offers a browse through a favorite book. Lost in reverie, we dog ear a page or excuse our absence in our dog tiredness with a brief nap relishing these days spent at home. With those we love. And cherish. In this space of time we call “fall”. (Now where’s that dog to curl up on the rug next to the fire? And can you make sure you walk him before bed?)

So……………….whadayathink? As we come full circle to another year spent, what endears you to this apple crisp season? Perhaps a slice of the well loved pie itself. Or, as the English are wont to ask, “Would you fancy a biscuit?” (You old tail wagger).

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Chicken Dinner

August 2nd, 2014 by Magdalena Tabor

Who doesn’t love chicken dinner? Why, it’s made a thousand different ways……..grilled, sauteed, baked, fried, roasted, raw…….Raw??? chicken dinnerThe human animal isn’t the only one fond of this delectable dish. Take for instance our neighbors, the bears…….or was it the coyotes? The little hen house (aka the maternity ward) which housed mama hen and her three adolescent chicks, were all safely ensconced, apart from their rivals in the barn….or so they thought.
One Saturday morning several weeks ago, what awaited was appalling beyond description! The little green hen house was torn asunder with no sign of mama or chicks, only remnants of their sad little lives. Feathers and ( dare I say it for the faint of heart? ) chicken heads were all that was left of them! And the chicken wire fence around the vegetable garden was squashed FLAT. This was a job for our inside investigating team.
A quick jaunt up the mountain behind the house revealed several exposures taken at 10 pm by the automatic camera lens. It was just as we had suspected. Two out of three pictures were of bear cubs and the other was of a deer. Well, one thing was for certain. It wasn’t Bambi licking his chops with the toothpick in his mouth.
However, so as not to jump to any wrong conclusions, what about that pile of coyote crap left on the doorstep last week? (What a thoughtful welcome). Everyone knows they hunt in packs and could have dismantled the hen house quicker than the barn dance going on inside at the dim prospect of being eaten alive. Yeah…but there’s still the garden fence that was stomped on by paws bigger than Charlie Brown’s head.
This clinches it. No court of law could circumvent the evidence. Cousin Lisa was driving up the road just the other day. And what do you think crossed her path from the river side of the road towards the house in broad radiant sunlight? Why, it was little baby bear! On his merry meandering way to the barn to take a sniff around and see if there might not be some leftovers. Oh, never mind the BBQ sauce and baked potato. I’ll take mine as is, he was heard to say in passing.

So……….whadayathink? How do you prefer your chicken dinner? With or without bones? Are you fussy about a few fluffy tail feathers on the side? Would you prefer a wing or a leg? It’s okay. We can always grill it.

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A Morning Rankle Through The Massapequa Preserve

June 23rd, 2014 by Magdalena Tabor

As I’ve oftentimes mentioned, I cannot stress enough the healing powers of nature. It seems that whenever I’m out of sorts, I seek some quiet wooded glen for solace and comfort. It never fails to bring me to myself. Ideally, the best places for this are not always within easy access of suburban Long Island, at least not within walking or biking distance and so we utilize what we have. Trouble is, so does the rest of the populace which defeats the whole purpose.
I set out at 9:40 am on a Monday morning but to my utter dismay, it still wasn’t early enough. Already, there was the usual gamut of characters that should have been at work today but, like me, decided otherwise.
The Massapequa Preserve is a stunningly beautiful natural habitat placed smack dab in the middle of a densely populated neighborhood, but you wouldn’t know it once ensconced inside its wild array of canopied overgrowth, streams, ponds, bogs and wetlands, hidden pockets of abundant wildlife with only a narrow 2 lane bike path separating you from it. There are dirt trails that lace through it as well,massapequa preserve but for the most part, it seems people take to the black top.
My morning began with a sweet little duck family at the fishing bridge. Up a little further, 3 pairs of lovely snow white swans were grooming themselves at the creek’s edge, close enough to reach out and touch. One of them executed a very nice backwards leg stretch. (I must remember to ask the name of his Yoga instructor on my way back when he’s not so busy.) Not long into my trip, a duo of loud mouth New Yawkahs broke the silence with aimless chatter in their brisk walk to tight buns. It was apparent that this was their ultimate goal in life, oblivious to all else with specially devised outfits to heighten the effect. Thankfully, they soon dissolved into a bend in the road and left me to examine the inhabitants of the pond; another stark white swan and a red winged blackbird that darted into the bushes. It might have been at the strange appearance of a man jogging with a baby stroller while yelling “Bam, da Bam, Bam! Bam da Bam Bam!” I had to crane my neck to make sure there was actually a baby in the stroller to assess the mental stability of the one producing this most unusual sound. There was. Poor kid.
I spied a small brown bunny hopping alongside the path and watched as he (she?) darted into the brush. At a certain distance I about-faced for my return trip and opted to walk with the bike for a change of pace. (Actually my butt hurt.) Apparently, this was considered odd behavior for some, as I was asked by a kindly fellow if I didn’t need asistance with the bike. I politely refused and thanked him. I don’t know why this rankled me, but is there no where in this suburban conglomerate one can disappear and not have to interact with anyone and everyone? I just want to be invisible sometimes. God bless them, Long Islanders are extremely friendly, but must one always feel obligated to greet each passer by with “hello. hi. good morning. hey” or a smile? Then if you don’t look at them you get the feeling they may be offended, snubbed, or slighted and spoil the rest of their day. All right, already…… “Hi.”
I glimpsed the same little brown bunny coming back, although I can’t be entirely certain it wasn’t a different one this time. It wasn’t wearing a name tag, but then again, neither was the other one. It did, however, possess the same spirited hop. Of the same grouping of swans I was absolutely sure; they made slow progress up the creek without a paddle. (They didn’t have one last time.) Strangely, there were no chipmunks in sight. I’m convinced they all took to the mountains some 200 miles away as there were thousands of them frolicking during our last visit there. I can’t say that I blame them…….Bam, da Bam, Bam!

So……….whadayathink? Where do you go to seek solace and seclusion when you want to get close to nature without rubbing elbows with the human species?

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Eastern Wisdom

March 30th, 2014 by Michael Tabor

A LinkedIn friend (Richard Gere – lol … just kidding) just sent me this and I felt compelled to throw this up on our blog. Even dalailamaif you are an out and out atheist, you must admit that the wisdom from the east rings of truth; indeed Sam Harris, one of the so – called “four horsemen of the apocalypse” has publically stated that he has spent many years studying eastern philosophy… for which he still has the utmost respect.

        “The tighter you squeeze the less you have.”

        “Do not seek the truth, only cease to cherish (your) opinions.”

        “There’s no meaning to a flower unless it blooms.”

         “If you understand, things are just as they are; if you do not understand, things are just as they are.”

         “Though the bamboo forest is dense, water flows through it freely.”



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The Joe Rogan Podcast !!!

November 10th, 2013 by Michael Tabor


Bar none, the greatest, most interesting, entertaining, educational, eclectic, thought – provoking radio talk show (terrestrial or satellite) is and has been for decades, The Leonard Lopate show formerly New York and Company on WNYC and NPR. There is simply not a talk show host, nor has there ever been a host for decades now that could even come remotely close in terms of the aforementioned superlatives (except for Brian Leher, Lopate’s colleague, who has his own show on WNYC from 10 am – noon, just before Leonard’s show) than the masterful  – Leonard Lopate. The only criticism some people may have about Lopate’s show , is that it is prodigiously “brainy” and yes that is awesome, but sometimes we just want to kick back and take in some good old entertainment, educational or not & take it easy; after all learning is essentially work (though I personally don’t see it as such).

However, I am not blogging about Leonard Lopate today. I am here to spread the word about a podcast that is so interesting and an absolute gem … I could listen to it all day and never, ever get bored and unlike listening to Leonard’s show – perhaps a lecture of sorts (admittedly, you do feel like you are in graduate school when you tune into Leonard). Joe Rogan (BTW, yes it is the same Joe Rogan who did that insanely dumb show ‘Fear Factor’ but obviously this is not “that Joe Rogan” – hey we all have to eat, so….) is relaxed, unpretentious, comfortable, extremely intelligent and informal as one can be (Joe curses a lot & I mean a lot) and he talks about the most interesting stuff imaginable & has great guests. Even if the guests aren’t great, Joe Rogan makes them sound great. As a matter of fact, Joe Rogan is such an awesome entertainer, he even makes the commercials fun.

For example, I just finished listening to one of the latest Joe Rogan podcasts with the lead singer of the band – Tool (incidentally a band I don’t even care about in the least), Maynard James Keenan, and I, quite frankly, can’t imagine having had been more glued, entertained, and more fun … well !!!

In a nutshell, here is a list of topics they talked about: Holy moly it’s a lot in 2 hrs. mind you:

The very weird music of Tool (BTW, it’s for the most part heavy metal music, but the lead singer is a genius – really, there is a lot of tongue in cheek & satire)

The meaning of life.

Jaguars migrating to the U.S. (yikes, how scary is that folks ???) You think a pit bull or a Wolf is frightening, just youTube a jaguar, it’s not even close.

Winemaking – I didn’t think I would enjoy this portion of the show, because I don’t drink wine, but WOW!!! What an interesting and fascinating process the making of wine is  – wow !!!

Jiu – Jitsu  & Mixed Martial Arts

The unfathomable mystery of why we become so immersed in a particular hobby.

The absolute drudgery and loneliness of being on the road & having to stay in motels/hotels if you’re a musician, comedian, entertainer, etc.  

Getting old

Getting sick

The creeps in N. Arizona, specifically in Sedona.

Sedona, AZ has more new – agey people who are into their crystals, chakras, & energy pathways than anywhere else in the country….weird!!! 

The cult hangouts in Los Angeles  

Those idiots who knocked over 100 million + yr. old rocks for s**ts & giggles …almost like knocking over Stonehenge  

Dumb people

The incredible wonderment of the desert.

  Just taking stock of the incredible rocks and weird formations out west in the desert e.g. wind and sand erosion structures that look like unimaginable forms.

Fascinating landscapes in the U.S.A.

Running out of gas in the desert (good luck – lol)

Following your bliss

Life is too short to not create with every breath you take.

Artists and motivated people.

Work ethic

Reality food shows                

The underrated sense of smell.

Evan Tanner – MMA fighter who died in the desert.

Self – discovery journeys.

Constantly testing yourself and pushing yourself to the limit.

Nature and living off the land.

Nature does not care about you – respect that !!!

The 10 – 80 – 10 rule: 10% of any given community is kind, caring, giving, and productive. 80% are mindless knuckleheads who are neither good nor bad and 10% are slime who firstly ought to be tarred and feathered and then be summarily run over by a heavy vehicle. 

Exotic meat restaurants e.g. lions, javelinas, etc.

The meanest, most conservative sheriff in the nation – Sheriff Arpaio who insists that all the county inmates wear pink underwear in order to humiliate them – lol.

Jan Brewer: The dumbest governor in the country – even stupider than our former president – George W. Bush.


Bad movies/Good movies

Gender identity and transvestites

Stupid TV

Actors unraveling   

Art for art’s sake … doing something without any thought of being compensated.

Opiates/painkillers and the epidemic we have on our hands.

Kids and the internet.

If you live on the east coast and you’re a kid, there is nothing BETTER than a snow day …..YAY !!! NO SCHOOL – MAGICAL !!!

Being born rich is perhaps the worst curse in life.

Los Angeles is without question the most fake & unreal city in the country and perfect for movies and TV.

Psychedelic drugs e.g. peyote, mushrooms





Samurai swords … the tradition, the process of manufacturing them with honor, etc.

Indigenous tribes that still exist

Soft life=soft people …answer, we must reset or reboot

The earth is a living entity.

We’re now dependent on everything either digital (0’s & 1’s) and electrical.

How about not even having a hard drive, just clouds….life in the near future is truly spooky !!!

We’re living in unfathomably strange times.

Does anything we do really mean anything in terms of the larger picture???

Microcosm vs. macrocosm ….we are all in our little universes e.g. making money, martial arts, the gun range, cooking, etc.

Seeking a higher truth from the seemingly trivial.

Vinyl records, books, etc …can we retrieve them if there is some sort of digital disaster???  

Edward Snowden – it’s so funny that we make fun of him for not having an advanced degree, yet we hear him in the news everyday & the NSA allowed him to have access to all this incredibly top – secret info.

Privacy issues.


Tattoos …who would have guessed what an incredible industry it has become now???

Japanese tattoos  

The military today.

Liberals and conservatives.

WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? Joe Rogan is simply off the charts great!!! The topics I brought up are unbelievably from just one show!!!

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Purple Skies

July 30th, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor

Let’s take Alhambra Drivepurple skies

That dead ends to the sea,

Watch as the dripping sun recedes.

Sleepy boats put to bed

Rock hypnotically

To fishing tales no one else believes.

Let’s take Alhambra

To paint Picasso’s lies,

Watch as the dripping sun runs dry.

Oranges and yellows

Scarlet as she dies,

Ankle deep in shallows

Dragging purple skies.

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Bearing Up

June 30th, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor

All right, Lisa. You’ve really surpassed my original opinion regarding your brave and adventurous spirit. Your curiosity, it seems, knows no bounds.

Last week , my sweet younger cousin Lisa called to tell me about her experience at her cabin in the woods which is just up the road from our mountain hide-away in the northwestern Catskills. Lisa often drives the 3 plus hours (4 from where we live) to seek seclusion from city life. Besides us for neighbors (when we’re there) about a quarter mile off, there’s another house in close proximity but he isn’t always there either, these being just vacation homes. Lisa’s on her own and just the way she likes it. Mom and Dad, retired now, are directly over the mountain, but instead of hopping in the car and driving around the mountain, Lisa sometimes chooses to hike through the woods to get there for supper. Oh, it’s still light enough by the time she makes her way back, she consoles me.

This is the kid who used to grab her sleeping bag and head for the woods at dusk for  “privacy”, camping at “the beach” no short distance away. The beach, as we call it, is a tiny area strewn with smooth stones alongside the river accessed by an old logging road through the forest. Like me, Lisa is a huge nature lover but so much braver. I simply wimp in comparison. I’ll never know where she taps into her sense of fearlessness. She’s also a bit of a globe trotter, thinking nothing of taking in a foreign country on her own. This year it’s Peru.

Now for Lisa’s latest adventure. A couple of weeks ago, just outside her cabin, she heard “sticks breaking” off into the woods. While my normal reaction would be to rush inside to the safety of the indoors and peer anxiously from a window, what does Lisa do? She goes to investigate the source of the sound, but (thankfully) finds nothing. Days later, she hears it again, “sticks breaking”. Whatever’s making that sound has to be heavy enough, she says, and we’re both thinking the same thing. But Lisa is undeterred. Once more she resolves to find out, and once more there is nothing. The following week she is obligated to babysit the family dog and brings him to her place. “Foxy”, a large elegant hunting dog, is a breed called Vizsla. No sooner does she let him out of the car, than he begins sniffing around and barks threateningly into the direction of the woods where she has heard the sound of “sticks breaking”. I knew it! she exclaims and heads off into the woods by way of that old logging road.

This time she sees it!

About forty yards away, excitedly reporting “It’s a big one”. Does she run? Not Lisa. They regard one another until she sees a smaller “kid bear” leap across the way in apparent play. Knowing the fierce protective nature of mothers, Lisa retreats, turning away and sprinting towards home.

“It was beautiful!”

is how she sums up the experience. Lisa, oh Lisa. Whatever shall we do with you? Don’t worry, I’m buying some pepper spray, she assures me, and never going outside without a stick. But she suddenly remembers that Grizzlies, while fiercer than the Black Bear, are aggravated by pepper spray, she wonders if it might have the same reaction on the bear with the milder temperament. Well, I sure as hell don’t want to find out! To think I walked all the way down to Lisa’s cabin the last time, only to find no one around and walked all the way back by myself is enough to give me the willies. Armed with only a stick and my cell phone. Hello, nine one one??? I’m at the corner of an Oak tree and a berry bush with prickly thorns! On the other side of that are a huge set of carnivorous teeth!!!! The line suddenly goes dead. Despite what they tell you (don’t run) I AM FLYING UP THE ROAD SCREAMING AT THE TOP OF MY LUNGS!

If I only had a thimble full of Lisa’s courage. I could at least sit on my deck without looking over my shoulder. By the way, think they’re only at eye level? Don’t forget to look up!

So…………………whadayathink? What’s your biggest fear? You know mine……bear1

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Amazing Species !!!

June 8th, 2013 by Michael Tabor
Isn’t it just absolutely awe – inspiring to contemplate the diversity and vast array of all of the different species living on land and sea? The intricately complex, fascinating, beautiful, ugly and startlingly strange creatures evolution produces never ceases to amaze to me.
First of all, just take a look at the critter  – look how awesomely colorful and creepily mysterious the creature, it’s a Mantis Shrimp, looks ???  But its unusual appearance is not what makes the Mantis Shrimp such a special species, but it’s rather what it can do. This little guy is the most powerful boxer, pound for pound (or more appropriately ounce for ounce) on the planet by far; Mike Tyson nor Rocky Marciano do not even come remotely close to the vicious knockout power of  the Mantis shrimp. Scientists estimate that it can fire blows at the speed of a .22 caliber bullet – literally capable of cracking open crab shells, knocking out fish and octopuses; This is after all how it kills its prey and survives.

But if you think it’s punching power is amazing, the Mantis Shrimp’s vision is even more spectacular; experts say it can see in both infrared and ultraviolet spectra and uses 16 receptor cones (as compared to a mere 3 as we humans possess) which allows it to see in all directions at all times and not only that, it has the greatest and most profound depth perception of any creature on the planet.

Well, WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? We humans think we’re so remarkable (which we are but …) because we have a large brain and a well – developed cerebral cortex but there are a plethora of creatures, such as the Mantis Shrimp, which have far superior physical capabilities.  Check out this video and enjoy

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Why Reject Sanctions For Polar Bears?

March 11th, 2013 by Magdalena Tabor

I’m sorry I didn’t get to write about this sooner because time is always of the utmost importance on actions that have already been too long delayed. But on Thursday, the US sought to protect the killing and distribution of Polar Bear parts at a world conference but was voted down by Canada, Norway and Greenland. This is a huge blow for those who advocate this magnificent species.
The Unites States argues that shrinking Arctic ice habitat due to climate change, places the Polar Bear at risk for extinction and demands for its protection were argued against. Canada, which holds the largest poplulation of Polar Bears, claims that there is no indication of the bears’ marked decline and is not threatened.
Prices for Polar Bear pelts have increased dramatically and are traded among 70 countries with every indication of its continued escalation. So it all comes down to money. This barbaric practice has to stop! Restrictions on its trade must be met head on. I won’t go into the particulars but did want to make quick mention of it. Please be so interested as to read the editorial on and then contact your congressman.
We need to be the spokesmen for those that cannot speak for themselves.
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