Saturday, February 28, 2009

Kids at Home, Cheesecloth, Coffee and Spice

1. Claire and Daniel are visiting, so we had a nice Saturday morning breakfast to catch up on the latest news in person rather then by phone.
2. Tied spices in cheesecloth for the stew and hung it in the pot. It had the effect of an ancient ritual.
3. It's a damp, rainy day and the kitchen smells of brewing coffee and warm apple crisp.
Oh my gosh, it's always about the food.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Shopping, Puppies and Babies

1. An afternoon at the mall with Tess and her friend. No agenda, no pressure, just stroll and browse.
2. It's always a treat to see the cutest puppies in the shop. Today, two little pugs lick each others noses and romp in the sawdust. They were oblivious to the people watching them.
3. 15-month old Arianna comes for a few hours. She puts the dolly in the stroller and takes her out again a dozen times. She decides the dolly is best without clothes.

Hmmm, puppies and babies today. Does it get much better than that!

by Emily Dickenson

The Bustle in a house
The morning after death
Is solemnest of industries
Enacted upon earth, -

The sweeping up the heart,
And putting love away
We shall not want to use again
Until eternity.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Daffodils, Road Salt, Baby Steps

1. I felt sorry for these sweet little daffodils last week when it was so cold. This week they have it much better and I am able to enjoy them without feeling pity.
2. I washed all the salt and road grime off the car at the do-it-yourself car wash.
3. I finally had Steve show me how to put photos from the camera onto the computer. I wrote it down so I should be able to do it alone next time. Baby steps!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Brave Little Pansy At the Back Steps

St. John's, Pines, Hay

1. Spoke on the phone with a very kind woman at St.John's rectory. She recognized my sister's name and told me the church had been praying for her.
2. I caught the sweet smell of the pines on my walk and it sent me whirling back in time to a childhood picnic in Saratoga. I chose to leave the road and walk through a field. It wasn't as good exercise for my legs, but well worth the exercise for my senses.
3. The farmers are fertilizing the fields, preparing for the promise of a new crop of hay.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Sleeping Horse, No Wind, Sweet Grapes

1. I watched one of the horses sleep. I challenged myself to watch out the window long enough to see it wake up, but something needed my attention inside.
2. The wind was calm today, allowing the sun's rays to reach my skin on the way to the mailbox.
3. The green grapes were extra large and very sweet.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Cider, Sunshine, Food

1. Warm, mulled apple cider sipped from a mug. It smelled and tasted just like autumn while I was wishing for spring.
2. I sat in the sun's rays streaming through the window right alongside Gunner and Henri, we three dogs.
3. Mom praises me for the delicious dinners I prepared for us in NY. I've learned from her how to show love with food. I guess my love language is mangia.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Six Days in N.Y.

1. Mom greeted us after our 10 hour drive with a delicious beef stew. She knows it's my favorite dish. Hers still tastes better than mine even though I've used her recipe for years.
2. Falling asleep to the sounds of hot water trickling and ticking through the radiators at night.
3. Greetings, hugs and kisses from the cousins Susie, Kathy, Angela and Jessie.
4. A trip to Krause's candy shop where the sweet smell of chocolate knocks us over at the door. What to choose?!
5. An afternoon of scrubbing, cleaning and organizing at Charlette's place. The satisfaction of a job well done while working alongside Tess. We keep stepping back to admire our work. I'm very thankful for the dust mask I decided to buy.
6. A visit with Pete, Jane and Veronica. One of Pete's delicious apple pies with coffee and conversation.
7. Helping Mom shop, cooking for her and pouring her coffee in the morning.
8. A drive through Kinderhook, Valatie and Chatham. Tess and I stop in some of our favorite shops. We buy a bushel of apples and linger in the store to absorb the smell of spicy sweet apples. A cider donut and hot, mulled cider for the drive back to Mom's.
9. Packing everything back into the car. Getting it all to fit because we're going home with more than we came with.
10. Time to sit alone in Charlette's empty house and remember...
11. The bushel of apples sits behind my driver's seat and I smell them all day while driving home.
12. Finally coming upon the mountains in Virginia. It's beautiful every time I make this drive.
13. Greetings from Henri. He's the best little greeter in the world. Home, Home, Home!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Home to New York

Tess and I are off to N.Y. this week. It is always bittersweet to go home. Fond childhood memories and favorite places draw me in. I look forward to the memories, old and new, as we visit with family and friends. We'll see what the week brings!

Cards, Flowers, Ladies

1. A sweet, hand made card from Tess, professing that Steve and I are the best parents in the whole world.
2. Flowers from an admirer.
3. Helped prepare dinner for 40 at the firehouse with friends from church. (The firehouse is the place to hold a function in our small town.) A good time was had by all!

Friday, February 13, 2009

BeBop, Salamanders, A Package in the Mail

1. Listened to BeBop Deluxe, turned up nice & loud, in the car on the way to the market.
2. Tess and Hannah headed out to the spring with nets and containers to catch salamanders.
3. Chocolate covered cherries arrived in the mail, sent by Claire and Daniel.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tarts, Sugar Cubes, A Magic Trick

1. Contemplating the name for a bakery, Barbara suggests "Tarts by Tarts". I have been laughing about it all day.
2. Watching 20 little girls with their mothers come in for a special tea. Many wear dress-up gowns, hats and gloves. They loved the sugar cubes, and I got to ask, "One lump or two?"
3. It gave me great pleasure to put together a dinner out of nothing. I love it when I can pull that trick out of my hat.

Joy and Sorrow by Khalil Gibran

Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.

And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.

And how else can it be?

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.

Is not the cup that hold your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?

And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.

When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, "Joy is greater than sorrow," and others say, "Nay, sorrow is the greater."

But I say unto you, they are inseparable.

Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.

Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.

When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Breakfast, Wind, Rubber Soul

1. Breakfast out to celebrate two friends' birthdays this morning.
2. The wind blew my hair straight back from my face while walking across the parking lot. A much more dignified occurrence than if it had blown it every which way.
3. Tess and I listened to The Beatles, Rubber Soul (nice and loud) while I washed the dishes. "Baby you can drive my car. Yes, I'm gonna be a star. Baby you can drive my car, and baby I love you. Beep beep, Beep beep, yeah."

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chocolates, Freshly Bathed, A Pulley

1. Carefully choosing truffles and candy from the display in "Chocolate Paper". I wish I could have said, "One of each, please!"
2. A freshly bathed and groomed Henri. Soft as velvet to cuddle with now.
3. Tess and I rigged a pulley to a basket today on her tree house. I imagine all the treasures that will be hoisted up in it.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Crisp Sheets, Kettle Corn, Sunshine

1. Clean, crisp sheets on the bed for Monday.
2. A surprise find at Sam's Club. Our favorite Kettlecorn (aside form the fresh kettle corn at the farmer's market) "Popcorn Indiana" Authentic*All-Natural Gourmet Kettlecorn. "Crispy & Crunchy" "Sweet & Salty".
3. Rays of sunshine breaking through an opening in the clouds and streaming down on the Peaks of Otter to the east.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Breeze, Footprints, Henri

1. The balmy breeze this morning. It was so mild, even before sunrise.
2. Two perfect footprints on the bath mat after stepping out of the shower.
3. Henri-the- Schnoodle pumping his little legs as we went for a walk.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Leeks, Potato Pie, Claire

1. Slicing leeks, I realize how beautiful they are. Striations of greens and white, I wish I were an artist
so I could paint them.
2. Eating above mentioned leeks in the Alsatian Potato Pie I baked for dinner. True comfort food.
3. Hearing the excitement in Claire's voice as she and Daniel prepare to buy their first home.