Thursday, June 30, 2011

Here Leah, It seems normal to me, Doing whatever

1. She assumes that babies are like puppies, if you give them food they will like you.
2. My mom asks me if I've heard from Claire in Alaska. "As a matter-of-fact, yes", I say. "She emailed me for a recipe." Mom thinks this is hysterical.
3. The two of us are on our own again with the kids gone out. We're not an empty nest yet, but it is creeping up on us. We eat french fries and I have a banana milkshake for dinner, then we set a time of 7:00 to go outside. I like not having an agenda.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

As close to Hawaii as I'll probably ever get, Downright chilly, Dinner for two

1. Fresh pineapple, tender and sweet. Every Dole (oops! I mean Chiquita) pineapple that I've purchased with the "Gold" label has been perfect.
2. Another cold front tempers the heat with a cool, evening breeze.
3. I scrounged the fridge to find dinner for two since the girls would both be out. I came up with eggs, bacon, cheese and English muffins and we had our own version of the Egg McMuffin. Very satisfying!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Hot and humid, They're here!, Blackberry sauce

1. I assumed we would be drinking coffee, but she served iced coffee instead. We chatted over swirling ice cubes.
2. I ate the first garden tomato! There were two ripe, the yellow kind, and I saved the second one for someone else.
3. I made an excellent blackberry sauce to pour over grilled pork tenderloin.

Saute 3 diced shallots in 2 tablespoons butter for 5 minutes. Add 2/3 cup dry white wine and simmer on low until reduced, about 13 minutes. Whisk in 3 tablespoons all-fruit blackberry jam (I used Smuckers), 2 tablespoons additional butter, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer 2 more minutes until slightly thickened. Garnish with fresh blackberries.

4. How could I forget our rousing game of scrabble. Steve won with a 72 point word, "garblers". Spell-check says that's not even a real word?? Tess came in second and that left me last. (I let him win.)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

In my charge, No obligations, Game night

1. It was my turn for the church nursery today. The little four-month old baby girl that fell asleep in my arms made my day. Pure sweetness.
2. We ate leftovers and I read a book all afternoon.
3. Good and hearty laughter with friends during a game of Scattergories. It's so interesting to see the way people think...I'm sure a psychiatrist could have a field day with the answers we gave.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Manipulating my surroundings, In which Steve buys a grater, Favorite meal (one of)

1. A cool breeze kept me company in the garden and every so often I would stand upright to relish it. The Beebalm was looking scraggly so I found a better spot for it to thrive. It's not the best time to move it, but at least I don't have to see its scragginess from my window anymore.
2. I used the morning for gardening and cooking and the afternoon with Steve and Tess for book stores and fabric stores. A perfect sort of day.
3. I love pies! Meat pies, hand pies, dessert pies, turnovers and especially this Alsatian Potato Pie. It's from a back issue of Martha Stewart Living and uses puff pastry, potatoes, leeks, Gruyere, and cream. This was our dinner today. I'll have leftovers for breakfast.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Earthy harvest, Moving on, Perfect summer time spread

1. Today I harvested basil and made pesto. Its fragrance combined with that of olive oil, garlic, pine nuts, and Parmesan filled the kitchen with goodness.
2. The first book I chose to read just isn't what I want. I'm usually stubborn and keep at it because I hate to quit. But I toss it aside anyway and happily pick up the next one I have waiting.
3. Fresh pesto is spread on bakery white bread, filled with slices of fresh mozzarella and tomatoes, buttered on the outside, then grilled in a panini pan. Compliments of Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa. The flavorful, gooey inside with the crisp, buttery outside is a texture sensation.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Golds, reds and blacks, Bombs away!, Antique tawny

1. Origami paper in prints so beautiful it is hard to chose. Each pattern is a work of art and I would be happy to simply hold the paper at arms length and admire it without ever using it to create something else.
2. Swallows dart and dive at me while I'm mowing. They must have a nest nearby and their dive-bombing scare tactics are startling. After a while I begin to trust that they won't actually hit me and I stop flinching each time they pass.
3. B. sent over a bottle of Yalumba Antique Tawny port. I savor my small glass while Steve and I close out the day on the porch.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Glad that's over, Is he for real?, Summoned, I can feel my brain relax

1. I'm anxious for the appointed time when I can retrieve my puffy-faced, groggy, less-four-wisdom-teeth daughter. She looks up at me with glazed eyes and I am so glad to see her.
2. Funny hummingbird put his entire body into the trumpet flower, leaving only his little derriere sticking out.
3. The use of bells for invalids must have gone out the window with the invention of the cell phone. She uses it to call me from her bedroom when she needs assistance.
4. The house is so peaceful and quiet. No TV, no music, no barking dog, no lawnmowers or ringing phone. Not even any voices. Just stillness...

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Necessary accessory, And if that's not enough, you wanna hear my maiden name?, Evening's entertainment

1. Trying on frames without the benefit of clear vision makes the task a bit tricky. I'm depending on the assistant to help me choose a fashion statement. In order not to carry this burden alone, she calls over two more assistants. I model pair #1 and pair #2 with the instruction, "I want to look younger without coloring my hair." All three blurt out, "PAIR #1!!"
2. The guy likes to talk a lot. Loads of stories about other people, acquaintances, the war (Vietnam I assume). Every story has a slight racial edge. I cringe inside, not knowing what I might hear next. He says, "Yankee", a lot. It all began over my ethnic-sounding last name. I am pleased when he asks me where I'm from and I get to say, "New York." Somehow, I feel as though I have the last word even though I've spoken very little.
3. A swelling, black storm with jagged lightening crept over us this evening. I watched from the porch until it felt safer to watch from a window.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Just do it, Curiousity, Night sounds

1. In one of those slumps. Thankfully, life goes on with or without me and I hate to not participate.
2. A family of eight is next door, looking over the rental property. The children happily scatter like baby bunnies, running this way and that, exploring every nook and cranny of the outdoors.
3. We sit on the screen porch after dark and listen to the night.

Poor Claire phoned to say that she broke her wrist. I'm relieved to know that her pain is nominal and she received good medical care in Fairbanks. They are staying with Daniel's family for the next three weeks, so she has plenty of care and help. She says it shouldn't hinder their plans much.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Tempest, 50th for a friend, Goodnight

1. We had a heavy downpour that lasted long enough to give everything a deep watering. We really needed this. Henri and I sat with our faces in the open window, sniffing the warm, rainy earth.
2. Claire phoned to say they safely made it to Alaska.
3. The trees sparkle from underneath with patio lights. A canopy, also strung with lights, covers food and drinks. It's a lovely evening for a garden party at our friend's home.
4. I fell into bed and immediately went off to sleep.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Long ago, Big on personality, Grilling

1. Today's music to drive by is Stephane Grappelli and Shades of Django. Souvenir De Villingen has all the sorrows of the world poured into it. Django Reinhardt played rhythm guitar with the use of only two fingers on his left hand. My dad played rhythm guitar in this style and I think of him as I drive along.
2. A yellow Lab joy rides with his head and neck stretched out the back window of the car. He's wearing a bright red collar and his silky ears flap in the breeze. The expression on his face is Happy! Happy! Happy!
3. I marinated the rib eye steaks in the following and Steve grilled them:
1/2 cup Soy sauce
1/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sliced green onions
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tea. ground ginger
1/4 tea. pepper

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Sunday's child, White chocolate caramel turtle with pecans, For me!, Dressed in white

1. Our eldest daughter, Claire, celebrates her birthday today. Twenty-six years ago this day is vividly clear in my mind with memories of blue skies, fluffy clouds and peonies. A sweet baby she was, and still is.
2. Trying to choose delicacies from the candy counter at Chocolate Paper is nerve wracking. Everything looks delicious. The servers must be experienced with our type of behavior because they are very patient as we make up our minds.
3. We happen across a sale that is too good to be real. As I exclaim what a deal this is, she grabs it from my hands and runs to the cashier with it, glancing over her shoulder with a smile. Audrey bought it for me!
4. This evening we attend the pinning ceremony for radiography students. Chelsea is among them. She has found her niche and we share her joy. Her future patients will be in good and kind hands.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wish it could last, Pretty again, Al Fresco

1. I'm still on an energy boost with the cooler weather.
2. I didn't think the lawn needed mowing because the grass stopped growing for lack of rain. But I wanted to be outside so I mowed anyway. It looks much nicer now that the weeds are cut down to grass level.
3. I take my dinner out to the porch

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Vanity, Never quiet, We take a stroll

1. Knee-length Bermuda shorts hide what needs to be hidden.
2. Mockingbird chicks have left the nest and skitter around the patio area. Their raucous cheeps keep mama bird frantically filling their beaks all day long. Whenever we walk by, they quickly dart into the bushes.
3. Henri and I take a quick little jaunt up the road. We say hello to the vineyard man and the Chirstmas tree man, admire Mrs. Cahoon's hydrangeas, check the tree for cherries, scan the roadside for wine berries, look out for wild cats, and give thanks for cool breezes.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Want to see Grandma?, Energy boost, Playing in the sandbox

1. He hands me a cuddly baby, fresh upon waking.
2. A true cold front moves through and it's glorious! I quickly change into gardening clothes and get out there to play.
3. We discuss lunch options for her summer job. She says it can't involve baby Gouda or dainty little lunches like the ones she took to school. She needs manwiches because she's driving a skid steer and eating with men.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Just like the old days, Shows I like, My reward

1. On the road with my traveling buddy, Tess. We're going to see that sweet baby Mari of ours.
2. The radio provides enough entertainment to help the miles click by. We listen to, "Wait, Wait, don't Tell Me", "Car Talk", and "Prairie Home Companion" and then we're there.
3. She doesn't recognize me, but smiles anyway just because I'm smiling at her. I'll take it!

Friday, June 10, 2011

A fox?, The auctioneer's song, End of the day

1. The mystery animal has the entire household awake at 4 am. Its screeching scream has us peering out different windows, straining our eyes to see something, anything in the blackness. Our search is met with total silence.
2. Tess and I drive over beautiful back roads to a three-day estate auction of our friend's family farm. Pleasant breezes, a tent with chairs, shady lawn and a festive air make a fun morning. Our "winnings" include a large cardboard box full of sheet music for Tess and several pieces of white ironstone for me.
3. After a stifling hot afternoon, the evening cools enough so that I can read on the porch.
4. Matt, in his effort to help us with #1, brings over his trail camera and installs it out back. Any movement will trigger it to snap a photo. For some silly reason, all I can think of are leprechauns or elves being caught with surprised looks on their faces.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I'm just a sappy mess today

1. An assembly is held to recognize many eighth grade students for their academic achievements. I am proud to hear Tess' name called up for a few. But it is the nomination for the Golden Heart award that fills my eyes with tears. It is an award given in memory of Bertha Anne Williamson, who was a teacher at the school when she passed away, for showing kindness and compassion to others and Tess has been nominated for this.
2. More tears as we see Audrey graduate from high school. I'm on an emotional overload, but it's all good.
3. My heart overflows today with thoughts of my daughters. It's bittersweet- the years are going too fast.

1 Corinthians 3:1-3

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wandering, A good year, Out of the mouths of ladies

1. A spark of recognition flashes across her face when she sees her husband.
2. Bittersweet excitement fills the air as both girls approach milestones in their school careers.
3. A hilarious combination: A bunch of ladies mostly over the age of 40, a glass or two of Sangria, and the game, Scattergories. Oh the things that pop into one's mind!

#1 has a bit of a story to tell over here.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Heartburn, Summer flavor, Mysterious cat

1. Because my husband asked, I took Double Stuff Oreo cookies, wrapped them in chocolate chip cookie dough and baked them. I took the recipe as a joke, but I wanted to humor my husband. The "delicacies" are practically the size of a baseball and they look cool when you cut them in half. One time and one time only...
2. Plucking sage leaves for dinner from the herb garden right out the back door.
3. I walk through the field and up to higher ground, scanning the tree line where he points. Dusk prevents me from seeing clearly, but there is a dark form there, taller than the tall grass. They are sure it is some sort of large cat. Based on the screeching we've heard during the night and the glimpse he had of it near our horses earlier this week, we thought it was a bobcat. Now it appears bigger. Time to round up the women and children and circle the wagons!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

A celebration for a job well done, Only temporary, Cherry juice on our chins

1. Today we celebrate Audrey's high school graduation! Even though it is an intimate gathering of just "us", we have marked it as special and so it is.
2. Afternoon storms blow in and we migrate to the screen porch to catch the cool breezes.
3. Several of us march in procession to the cherry tree, buckets, ladder and lawnmower in tow.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The girls and me, White turtle, Very black

1. I enjoyed shopping with Audrey and Tess. We three don't spend that much time together, so it was a rare trip that turned out to be fun. (Audrey found the cutest pair of shoes for graduation.)
2. I convinced them that we get Breuster's ice cream for lunch.
3. We spot a large black bear in a field on our way home. It has a most beautiful fur coat, deep black and velvety.

Friday, June 3, 2011

It's OK to linger over coffee, Hot and hotter, Handmade

1. Knowing that no one is waiting for me, I'm not being timed nor will the world end if I'm home at three instead of two. The schedule is mine to make up as I go along.
2. The big treat for dinner (since there are only two of us eating), is fried Buffalo wings. Despite the huge, oily mess that splattered everywhere, they are delicious.
3. Audrey has built an Adirondack chair. We place it under the shade of the Maple tree and take turns trying it out. The tilt of the seat feels just right to me.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Change of plans, Watching the day roll by, End of the year performance

1. The cool morning held a nice breeze so I put it to good use out in the garden.
2. I sat in the grass while I watered each tree in the row. It reminded me of childhood when I could afford to spend aimless hours watching ants and doing nothing.
3. The piano recital was composed entirely of ensemble pieces. It wasn't easy to facilitate over forty students each rehearsing with three different partners, but they pulled it off with great success.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

She drank a lot, There's a change in the air, At the end of the day

1. Two-year old + tubs of water = hours of play on the porch.
2. Cooler air breezes through for the evening. I turn off the air conditioner and open the windows for a good night's sleep.
3. Tess and I picked cherries.