Thursday, January 30, 2014

Meeting of the Mind and Tongue, Finis!, Not Soon Enough, A Project

1. I lunched with a fellow Northerner today. It was refreshing to be around someone as 'to-the-point' as myself. 
2. We watched the final episodes of 'Fringe". It was an incredible letdown to learn it was over, but the ride was extremely fun while it lasted.
3. Daughter #2 phoned and her hike will have her at home right around Easter. Oh how I cannot wait!!
4. A poem for Daughter #1 and husband whose offer was accepted on a pretty (but in need of TLC) house:
He who loves an old house
Never loves in vain,
How can an old house
Used to sun and rain,
To lilac and larkspur,
And an elm above,
Ever fail to answer
The heart that gives it love?

Isabel Fiske Conant  Old House

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

More Snow, At the Machine, Falling

1. I saw the snow falling heavily outside when I walked past the window on my way to bed. As I drifted off to sleep, I imagined the quiet sound of it piling deeper and deeper.
2. Another snow day from school!
2a. I sewed new pillow covers with a deep, purple-colored linen. This little touch of something new is a boost for the whole room.
3. Snowdust filters down from the cedars, falling over us like glitter. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Gifts for the Eyes, Tastebuds, and Someone Else

1. Nature paints the most beautiful color combinations in the landscape. Today was a purple and brown day. They would have been perfect to knit into a sweater.
2. B. sent over a freshly baked loaf of bread.
3. I like dropping stuff off at Goodwill. It lightens our load, which feels fantastic, and at the same time provides treasure for someone else.
4. Photos and stories of the grandchildren make me smile.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Nothing New Under the Sun, Something Tropical, Renewed and Refreshed

1. I'm slowly reading The Rim of the Prairie by Bess Streeter Aldrich, copyright 1925. I read a timeless passage with which I agree wholeheartedly. Two hard working, mid-west men are casually talking of "modern times" and the types of stories published in newspapers. The older gentleman says, "No, If you've lived life deeply...touched bottom as it takes away any inclination to sit and wade through pages of sex stuff or even wearily follow somebody's ponderous mental reactions. They call it real life. At least if it's a sordid thing they say it's real life. If it's decent, it's bunk. Are indecency and slime all that constitute real life?"
2. We crave fruit more on these cold, winter days. We had a fruit salsa for lunch with crispy, baked, cinnamon-sugar tortillas. It made all of us happy. : )
3. Sundays have once again become a high point of the week and it does my heart good.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Perfect Beginning to the Day, We Waited a Long Time, Sharing

1. There was a glorious sunrise today! 
2. The salesman asked what type of system we were upgrading. We were speechless for a moment because we're upgrading from...nothing? "No upgrade. We're starting from scratch." The guy smiled at that.
2a. Steve said we're buying it for the kids.
3. We shared it with the "kids" and I even made popcorn for them.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Today's Normal, Heckel and Jeckel, Do I Know You?

1. Wow! 8° was a cold way to start the day. The school buses were running but the bus garage called to tell us they wouldn't be able to come all the way up our road. Tess had to meet the bus two miles down. We were forced to get out and function and be hardy, scraping windshields, preheating cars, and covering exposed skin. Normal things have become rather exciting and death-defying : )
2. Today was the second day that I saw these two black crows sitting together on the same guardrail. The sun glints on their beaks and shines on their feathers. I think they're having a nice little chat.
3. Lesson learned today: Always enter a name with someone's cell phone number into your contacts. Otherwise you won't recognize who has sent the long, cryptic text and you'll feel like a dope when you reply that you don't know them. It gave us a good laugh, anyway.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Cabin Fever, Wake Up!, Breakfast for Dinner

1. Make that seven. Tomorrow will be eight. Eight days of free "vacation". This is what happens when it snows four inches in Virginia.
1a. As long as I'm home...I got all the tax work done for the church. Yay! That was a big item to check off my imaginary list.
2. I bundled up and walked across the field with the excuse of checking the horses' hay. It was cold and the air felt good and invigorating. I stood around filling the water trough because it was too nice to go back in so soon.
3. I made B.'s recipe for Bacon and Cheddar Scones. These scones are a real treat and they made an excellent dinner with eggs. Recipe here.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Not Quite Cabin Fever, The Old Days, More Long Ago Days

1. Today marked the sixth day in a row of no school, hence no work. Teacher conferences, the weekend, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, and today, A SNOW DAY! Three or four inches of very wet snow made a pretty landscape and created a mood of hibernation.
2. I made a wonderful recipe of French Onion Soup for dinner. My favorite part of this soup is the toasted French bread croutons, rubbed with garlic and melted with Gruyere, then set afloat on the soup to get all soggy and chewy. It reminded me of our college days when Steve and I would go to Holmes and Watson (Troy, NY) for the best French Onion Soup ever.

3. Being snowed in, I decided to box up the rest of Daughter #3's things and clean her bedroom. It was a bittersweet task to handle 4H ribbons, photographs, books, and a multitude of animals and horses that still resided in her room.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Old Fashioned Way, Company, Catching Up

1. Years ago I bought a bean pot at a yard sale, complete with lid. I finally put it to use today and cooked a pot of authentic baked beans. They take an entire day to bake and the house smelled of molasses and brown sugar throughout. The brown, clay bean pot was the perfect vessel in which to bake them. The syrup bubbled up and dripped over the edges. Near the end, little pieces of salt pork and onion were stirred up from the bottom to brown at the top. I halved the recipe and it still made a lot.
2. I was alone all day so it was nice when Daughter #3 stopped in. She took a nap in her old room. : )
3. I caught up on lots of year-end reporting and now I don't feel behind (so much). 

Before baking. They cooked up dark and syrupy.

Friday, January 17, 2014

That's Me!, Kopher Wood, Snowscape

1. Three year old granddaughter has named one of her stuffed animals, "The Little Nonnie".
2. Steve referred a great article to me. I love history. I only wish it wasn't so far away for a field trip.

 3. After dark, the snowfall came as a surprise. I took Henri out for one last run and stood admiring the snow. Calm and quiet; wet, fluffy snowflakes hiss to the ground.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Passing Through, Not the Colonel's, Thank You Sheldon for Making Me Laugh

1. Someone's burning really nice wood and it's a pleasure to drive through the smoke from their wood stove.
2. I make a little splurge and prepare buttermilk fried chicken for dinner. Some old-fashioned comfort foods never go out of style.
3. When Sheldon makes the emoticon, ; D with his body on The Big Bang Theory.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Moody Roads, Craziness, Another Year Counted

1. It's another wet, foggy morning. I drive on back roads to work and the eerie effect of the fog on desolate roads is kind of nice.
2. The tiniest kink in the school schedule sends the office phones ringing off the hook. Multitasking challenges my brain but wow, does it ever make the time fly!
3. Daughter #2 was born this day, twenty-seven years ago in Maine. I think of her throughout the day and lift up prayers for God's blessing upon her. She's our little firecracker from day one and I miss her a lot. Six more weeks until I see her!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

An Oriole Perhaps, Sunday's Theme, I Need to Bake Another

1. High up in the bare Maple tree I spot a tidy, little hanging nest. It's a perfectly shaped, round little cup hanging from pencil-thin branches. I do believe there's horse hair woven into it : )
2. There were so many encouraging thoughts in the sermon today. Referencing Mark 4 and the familiar story of Jesus calming the storm, Pastor L. asks, "How much would Peter have missed if he hadn't gone after Jesus?!" The main point being how we respond to fear and crises in our lives.
2a. To bless the Lord in times of abundance and in times of want.

3. I haven't baked a lemon meringue pie in ages. This one came out exceptionally good and I attribute it to the My*T*Fine pie filling my mom sent from New York. You'd think pudding is pudding, but nope.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Rainy Secrets at Sunset

1. Raining, raining, raining. The ground gives underfoot like a sodden sponge and the fields are that wet, yellow color that comes right before spring. Not yet, but soon enough.
2. I love walking around old fashioned hardware stores. They're full of so many secrets and surprises.
3. It's one of those sunsets that takes your breath away.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Through Damp and Dreariness, Reminders, Fruity Salad

1. An icy morning gives us another unexpected day off. Once the ice melts to rain and it's safe to drive, it's a treat to have Tess' company on my errands.
2. We finally buy 2014 calendars.  Who doesn't love organizing a new calendar?! There's not much for me to write onto it yet and when I read "August, September, October..." I realize how wide open the year is and who knows what will happen.

3. Our salads have thin slices of orange, kiwi, and avocado arranged on a bed of greens and drizzled with an orange-lime dressing.Fruits and greens are one of my favorite combinations.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Is anyone having problems uploading photos? When I open the window to add a photo or video, it no longer has an upload button and will only let me choose from previously used google documents, spreadsheets, forms, etc.

*I discovered it will give me the normal upload box if I use IE. How odd...and frustrating.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

The Only Sound, Heat Wave, No Shopping or Baking

1. I walk Henri just before sunrise in a frigid and silent world. An owl softly hoots right above my head. It's the only sound in a dark void, loud and clear.
2. It's amazing how balmy 30° feels when compared to 7°.
3. Without the holidays to prepare for, it feels like I have an abundance of free time after work.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Making It Through the Night, Treat Delivered, Cabin Fever

1. One of the water troughs is heated, but this horse insists on licking at the ice in the other trough that is frozen. I watch Steve take a sledgehammer to the ice just to make the horse happy.
2. He hands me a roasted marshmallow on a stick. He carried it all the way upstairs from the wood stove.
3. We all stayed home today, from school and work, due to the frigid temperatures. "Fringe" marathon!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

A Busy Day, Lots of Talking, Far Fetched Science

1. I met up with friends very early for coffee, which is always a pleasure. But before that, we stopped at our mutual friend's house for their garage sale. These dear friends have retired, sold their beautiful home and are becoming unencumbered.
2. I took time between errands to stop at a couple of thrift stores. I found nothing to my liking, but it's extremely fun to browse. You just never know...
2a. I was on the road a lot today and talked to my mom, my sister, and three daughters during the course of it. I'm sure I surpassed the normal amount of talking in an average woman's day.
3. Tess started a new, large, charcoal drawing. We watch it materialize on the paper over several hours. Very cool.
4. Steve found a new (to us) series to watch on Netflix called "Fringe". It's creepy-good, science fiction drama for us to enjoy together : )

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A Beauty, Lost in Time, A Long Day

1. We took the ornaments off the tree and sighed at its beauty, even undressed.
2. If you take the ornaments off the tree, you will need to retrieve boxes from the storeroom. If you retrieve boxes from the storeroom, you will need to tidy the storeroom, When you tidy the storeroom, you will need to organize the contents in other boxes...Yes, I expected this. What is there to do but embrace it?
2a. One Rubbermaid tote contains all our winter mittens, hats, and scarves from the past twenty-five years. There's a little white scarf I crocheted when Claire was a baby, and the two that Aunt Sue knit when the girls were toddlers. We have mittens that patted snowmen and tugged sleds up hills, scarves that wrapped ruddy cheeks and hats that slid down over wet tendrils of blond hair. They've all been worn so little since we left New York. I launder everything just to freshen them and then carefully repack them. A time capsule from another time...
3. Steve makes it safely home, off the highway and out of the nasty weather.