November 30, 2008

A Few of My Favorite Things...

Dear Readers:
I have decided to start a house diary. It will indeed be a work in progress. I want to document things about our house that I like for prosperity. I will continue to come back to this particular blog after I take more pictures. Currently, our house is in the midst of how it looks on a regular basis, and Christmas decorations. Whatever, suits my fancy, is what I will document.

Our winter kitchen curtains. In the summer, it's yellow and blue Provence.

Leo is our very handsome cat; I love him, love him, love him!

This is our favorite Grand-father clock. And it works too!

I love this quote high on the wall.

This is perhaps my favorite item. It's a statue of Degas' Ballerina. The photo doesn't do her justice. She's detailed and utterly gorgeous, just the way a ballerina stands with perfect posture. She's cast in bronze, and her tutu is a subtle shade of turquoise, while her bodice is another subtle shade, but of gold. The swirls of hair on the back of her head shape into a gorgeous bun. Sometimes, I put my hand on her hair, just to feel the beautiful swirl-like texture. Her legs and slippers are detailed in ways my description won't do justice. We've named her Isabella, and she poses for us in our living room.

November 29, 2008

Smiles that speak volumes

As mentioned in the blog below (Nov. 25th), Hubby and I travelled to NH to be with his brother and family for Thanksgiving. The photos below are just some of the fun and laughter we shared as a family! Happily, I was behind the lens instead of in front of it! ;)

November 25, 2008

Road Trip

Early Wednesday morning, Hubby and I will be on the road to New Hampshire to partake in a Thanksgiving meal on Thursday, with his brother Chip, sister-in-law Lisa, and their three teriffic kids. His older sister Anne, who is flying in from Chicago will be very surprised when she sees Hubby and I, because we've kept it on the QT. Our drive will be approximately five hours; that is alot of car time. I have already selected some CDs and will pack sandwiches and beverages tomorrow morning. We are also bringing fixings for homemade cornbread that I will make either Wed. night or early Thurs. morning. It is a delicious William-Sonoma recipe. We will also bring crusty rolls, and Best Brownies Ever for just having around the kitchen (not for the dessert table), and a few bottles of the bubbly.

I am looking forward to getting away for a few days. I think it is nice to freshen up one's eyes. Family time will be fun; I'm looking forward to hearing about the new job world from Stephanie, now living in Boston. Theatre and college life will be a hot topic from Andrea, and first semester boarding school from Ethan will be interesting and humorous in the way he tells a story.

I believe Thanksgiving is a time to STOP the traffic and give thanks for what is important in our lives. I believe we give thanks all year long. However, I find it interesting to hear people's thoughts and feelings as we go around the table, telling each other what we are truly thankful for.

Dear Readers: I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. I look forward to seeing you again.
Thank you for stopping by.

November 23, 2008

A Path

I took this photograph of a wooded path in a park called Loantaka, near where I live. I have spent many years riding my bicycle, walking and horse-back riding on this very path. One day, I had my camera looking for subjects to photograph. When I started walking around, I realized this particular path was like an old friend. It is a very serene and safe place to be. The leaves rustle on the tree tops, and the dirt path is patted down. Even now, it seems to draw me in. On a sunny day, the sun dapples its rays through the trees, and all is well with the world for that moment in time. It's a home for small animals such as chipmunks, squirrels and lots and lots of birds.

At this time of year, the leaves are down, which makes crunching just teriffic! What I enjoy is seeing the trees without the leaves. They show their true and interesting forms. Have you ever noticed that?
My Grandmother had a saying "When the trees undress, we dress. When the trees dress, we undress."

I like this path; it has a beautiful quiet sound. I wonder what Robert Frost would say about it...

November 21, 2008

The Seasons

The Seasons
"Spring is a time of dancing feet..and rivulets on city streets...of laughing kisses, hair unfurled...Spring is the time when boy meets girl.

Summer is the time of beach and pool...shady forests, dark and cool...strawberries topped with fluffy cream...Summer is the time to sit and dream.

Fall is the time when canning's done...cooler the eye of the noonday sun...bright is the leaf on every tree...gone is the sound of the honey bee.

Winter is the time for woody smoke...naked the branch of every oak...white is the snow for miles around...winter is the time for quiet sound."

Author: Martin Buxbaum

November 16, 2008

Georgia O'Keefe November 15, 1887 - March 6, 1986

What delights us in visible
Beauty is the invisible

Georgia O'Keefe had the talent of keen observation. As an Artist, she travelled to the US Southwest (primarily New Mexico) very often in her young adult life (eventually taking up permanent residency). She saw the beauty in the desert landscape, and painted it. Of course, let's not forget the large flower paintings, which to this day keeps her name very much alive in the art world. Could she have stayed in upstate New York, and continued to paint farm barns, or New York cityscapes? Maybe. However, she had a calling, a yearning to do something different, and that was to follow her heart.

November 15, 2008

Grits Anyone?

Today, Hubby made his Mothers' recipe for homemade Grits. This recipe was given to her by a friend on Sanibel Island. It is one of the most delicious, mouth-watering and comforting foods you will probably ever taste. Hubby made this dish for my Mother this afternoon. Recipe as follows:
Ingredients for Step 1:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
1 c. water
1 t. salt
3/4 c. NON INSTANT Grits
Boil water in double boiler TOP over direct heat. Add salt; slowly stir in grits, stirring all the while. Put over hot water in double boiler BOTTOM (low-med. heat). Stir in 1 c milk. Cover and cook until liquid is absorbed, stirring a couple of times. This may take anywhere between 15 - 30 mins.
Step 2:
1 stick butter
1 c milk
1 beaten egg
1 T. sugar
Add butter and melt - off the heat. Add 1 c milk mixed with egg, and the stir in the sugar. Pour into buttered 9" pan. Bake for 50-60 mins, until nicely browned.
Serves 4-6 Enjoy!

November 11, 2008

A Thank you on Veteran's Day and Everyday

A Surprise

I have received a nice surprise; I am a recipient of the Superior Scribbler Award! It means I write well, I guess. Thanks to Midnight Madras
for presenting this award to me. The good news is that I get to pass it on to four or five more deserving blogs.
The rules of the award are as follows:
1. Post the award on your blog
2. Link me for presenting it to you leohaven
3. Link the originating post here scholastic-scribe
3a. At the bottom of that linked page, add your name to Mr. Linky's list.
4. Pass the award on to five more deserving people.
5. Post these rules for your recipients.
And now the following are my picks for the Superior Scribbler Award
(Drum roll please)

- your writing is soulful. Whether you know it or not, you have a book in you.
2.Impoverished Preppy
- I always enjoy reading your blog. You have a gift for the written word.
3.Dessert First
I am well aware of your newly published cookie book "Fieldguide to Cookies" :) I can imagine how extremely busy you must be at this time, however, I believe your talented writing skills deserves an award.
- your writing and photography is sheer poetry. Thank you for sharing it.

You've been officially awarded - Congratulations!

Isn't it Romantic?

I love this painting for one Big reason:
It is the way in which the man looks at the woman with such intensity and love. It appears to him there isn't anyone else around except the woman with the red hat. The tilt of his head is of wonderful interpretations. I never get tired of looking at them. The Artist is Pierre Auguste Renoir. The title is "Dance at Bougival"
Whenever I come across this painting, I always get a slight butterfly-like feeling. I think Renoir was in love when he was painting them, perhaps a reflection of his own life.

November 8, 2008

A Longtime and Long Distance Friendship

My very dear girlfriend Nancy and her daughter Abbie live in CA. It is a beautiful place, with lots of trees and outdoor activities for Abbie. I was elated to hear that Abbie has been taking guitar lessons. She recently played guitar and sang before the School Board (while Nancy sat in the back 'quietly' crying with pride and happiness). I hope to get a picture of Abbie playing guitar, and will post it. She is such a great kid!

Nancy and I have been friends since Junior High School. Yes, you read correctly; I was in the 7th grade and she was in the 8th grade. We lived down the street from each other, and I would help her work on science projects, (knowing that I would probably be working on the same projects the following year in Mr. Church's science lab). The projects entailed learning the human bone structure. I specifically remember helping her to memorize all the bones in the body, along with laughing and more laughing. Two teenage girls really have the art of laughing down pat. We also had a ritual of baking a cake in her Mother's kitchen every Sunday in the wintertime. I guess the summer was for swimming and no cake. Much later on those Sunday afternoons, we would walk to my house, and test out my Mother's famous meatballs and sauce with Italian bread. Those were yummy days with lots of laughter, talks till midnight, Carly Simon music, and now - great memories.

Currently, Nancy lives far away from where she grew up, and it's a wonderful place for her and Abbie to be. The last time they visited Hubby and I, Abbie had a blast going through our toy box and playing with everything she could find. She also introduced herself to "Wormie" - in the strawberry patch. He is made of felt and rides up and down on a dowl. As you push up, his face comes out of a strawberry patch, and he is just ever so cute. I love him, and I am a long way away from being 10years old. But that goes to show you, sometimes there's not much difference between a 10 year old and a 50 year old, and in this case I am thankful for that!

Nancy, I'll always hold our friendship dear to my heart, and now I have Abbie to love as well! :)

November 6, 2008


"Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. and the third is to be kind."
Author: Henry James

November 1, 2008

A Tribute to my Father

As the holiday seasons approach, my mind wanders to the time when my Father was alive, and here for the festivities. Halloween through Christmas; he loved it all. There are no words that can adequately describe the depth of my feelings. They sit deep inside me, and then will spring upward when I sometimes don't expect it. The following is my tribute to a great man, who loved people and life itself - my Father.

A Tribute to my Father
It seems like only yesterday my Father and I were discussing current events or the neighbor’s dog. Then it happened. He told us he was going into the hospital for a minor bladder procedure. He had seen blood in his urine, and the Urologist told him small tumors needed to be removed. He would be a few days in the hospital, and then home. I was filtering out the words I wanted to hear: small tumors and a few days. I think my Father wanted to believe that was all there was to it. Looking back, my entire family lived under this cloud of denial.

My Dad made it through the surgical procedure, and as the Urologist predicted, he came home within a week’s time. With some rest and my Mother’s loving care, he then brushed the dust from his boots, and continued living his retired lifestyle with my Mother. Everyday was another place for him to visit, whether it was the County Library where he so kindly brought the Librarians’ candy, or to the country club to hit a few rounds, and joke with his golf associates. It was obvious to us he was glad to have his family around him, and it was priceless to have him with us.

It wasn’t long before the tumors grew back, and this time with a vengeance. No one could deny the inevitable. My Father’s time was coming to a close. How do you deal with that ocean of truth staring at you?

In retrospect, I can vividly remember my Father raising the training wheels on my green bicycle, and pushing me to go forward. I was happily screaming, and could hear him laughing behind me. What seemed like the next minute, I was looking at a man who aged overnight, lost weight, and knew full well that when he looked in the mirror, he saw himself dying, and he felt very sad.

I do not know all the corners of my Father’s life. He was a young single man during the swing-time of the early 1940’s. He was handsome with a full head of dark wavy hair, and a winning smile. When he told stories of hearing the big bands of the day, his hazel eyes lit up, just like a kid on Christmas morning. And it was only when I was an adult, I found out that before he married my Mother, he owned a horse named “Peaches” and loved to horseback ride. I think about how much information we are not privy to about our parents. Take them out of the “parental role” and they are men and women, who had childhoods, teenage years and young adult years, long before they had children. Once, when I was reminiscing about being the best ping-pong player in the neighborhood as a kid, my Father told me he was a ping-pong champ in his younger days. It was only by coincidence that I found out we shared the same feather in our caps.

One day, when I was driving my Father home from one of his hospital visits, he said to me “I love the quote on that car’s bumper-sticker…when words fail, music speaks.” At that moment, he was reading poetry. He did not have many words to say thereafter. The cancer was draining his body, and he was slowly slipping away. I held his hand whenever possible, and thanked him for being such a great Father, and for giving us a wonderful home life. I never left his bedside without kissing his cheeks and forehead. I wanted him to feel my love.
Early one morning when he was ready, he stepped out of his body, and moved onto his new path. I believe the warm light he must have seen and felt was the love of God, and that of his Mother and other loved ones already on the other side.

Although I miss my Father with words I can’t accurately describe, I also understand it was his time to die. There are days when I am drained with grief so deeply that I wonder how and if I can go on. Other times, I hear his voice or see his smile while in a sleepy dream, and I can actually feel happy again, knowing he is “somewhere” around me. It soothes the ache in my heart.

Here I stand at the age of fifty, and have come to the realization that our lives consist of many chapters. The sun may shine in some of the chapters, and hide behind clouds in other chapters. All in all, it is part of life’s journey. It is the love for my Father to keep his legacy alive by sharing his stories with others, and letting the world know that a very kind and wonderful man once lived here.