January 5, 2013 § 8 Comments
Putting away all the holiday decorations should go quickly.
Yes, many decoration are still up because we traditionally wait ’til Little Christmas.
Most things have been moved to one table to next be tissue-wrapped and put back into the Christmas boxes.
One by one, surfaces are cleared and returned to Pottery Barn-type minimalism. (No, we do not have Pottery Barn decor. We’re still on the “this-and-that” plan – we like this and we like that, including old pieces from our families.)
But I’m leaving the greenery (not pictured) along the back fence. The critters like it, and so do I when I’m in the kitchen and look out into the back yard.
Below, before and after on the piano.
But the “after” is gonna get even more uncluttered. (You know what I mean; it’s something about this time of year. Form and Function, those things combining both, are put at the top of the list and remain, while anything considered “clutter” gets relegated to a closet…or a waste bin.)
December 30, 2012 § 7 Comments
Short prep time, long enjoyment time…take a bag o’ organic cranberries from Whole Foods, stir into 4 Cs boiling water to which 1/2 C sugar has been added and reduce after a minute’s boil to cook for 8-10 minutes… or just follow your intuition. While northeast coasters may be more savvy about cranberry sauce, all will enjoy the value, compliment and use thereof regarding the charismatic cranberry.
They’re great spooned alongside holiday roasts, they’re pretty on the table and the cran sauce also makes an excellent sandwich condiment!
Note: The uncooked crans look great on a tray surrounding any larger food presentation (sorry, no picture – just trust me…we spread them around on the white turkey platter…looks yum….)
December 29, 2012 § 6 Comments
It snowed last night. We all came out of a restaurant and into a transformation of the trees, the holiday lights, the shop windows and the ground underfoot! Nor took off her shoes to get to the car but HM hurried ahead and charged through the lot to get the car to rescue all of us from the slippery slopes that normally would be nothing more than easy pavement.
With no camera at hand, there was nothing more than memory to capture the moments of the snow: the delight as though we were in a huge carriage; the gladness for a warm coat; the reflections from fogged home-y windows sporting wreaths and lit garlands; the silence of the snow as tho’ all were paused, listening for the sound of snowflake on trees; the quick memory of snow as a child and the wish to rush off and find a sled; the way laughter sounds in the thick white air; the “hush” that comes with holiday giving us time, giving us some sort of shelter in which to ponder all that is good and all that can be good.
This picture, taken from our front porch, doesn’t capture the tiny flakes and swirl. Imagine.
December 28, 2012 § 7 Comments
Christmas day “gifts” (chestnuts under the tree) for the little Archies (squirrels) that come around to eat underneath the bird feeder.
They did find these and went leaping joyfully into the backyard woods to stash them. (sorry, no pictures of their “shopping”and ultimate delight).
While yesterday it seemed a good idea to start de-decorating the house, today it has become impossible. In fact, instead, I’ve walked through the house, turning on all the holiday lights and candles to ramp up the “cheer”on this cold gloomy day.
And the question will soon become (after cleaning up the kitchen and a few other bits of chores), what to read? Pippa Middleton’s cookbook? Laurie R King’s 3rd book in the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series? the current New Yorker magazine? more of Anna Karenina? The Discovery of Witches? or, more of Cloud Atlas?
The reading list gets curiouser and curiouser.
December 26, 2012 § 8 Comments
While “spread”might refer to one’s waistline, herein it does not! Rather it refers to those days around Christmas as we hover in the magic and meaning…
So while the birds are drinking from the nearly frozen birdbath and the squirrels are fiddling with the nuts I threw out there, deciding which ones they like best (and actually spurn some in favor of others – walnuts being the favorite), Christmas music plays very very softly in the background and staring into the winter fire brings some peaceful moments as the world rages on. To all, everywhere, a hug and wishes for peace.
December 22, 2012 § 4 Comments
There’s a bright cardinal in the bamboo forest just behind our house. He’s so like an ornament on a holiday tree.
I have a funny little fake tree and an extra red bow so today, I’ll put it outside on the back patio for the critters with some fruit and nuts and their beloved seeds in a bowl next to it.
Archie popped in earlier looking for a drink out of the little iron birdbath, but the water was frozen. I wondered if his tongue would get stuck to the ice as he tried to drink – it did not. He was delighted with the chestnuts I had tossed out there earlier while cleaning up the Christmasy kitchen counter.
There’s much to be done. And there’s no schedule! Here’s to celebrating the season.
April 7, 2012 § 9 Comments
April 6, 2012 § 13 Comments
Mowers out early. (but not us)
Pollen. (but took allegra)
Holiday. (so lots of traffic, but who cares? no clocks.)
Headed out on a tour of errands and stop-offs.
HM actually DID pull over at Starbucks (no line!) and had my first ever cherry tart from there (along with main-line coffee) and I’ve been eyeing those mini things for weeks. Not bad! Taste even better when you’re flying off-schedule!
Then, to the Hill.
For our annual pilgrimage.
First stop, Steve’s.
It’s a hot doggery run by singer-rocker Steve Ewing. Having interviewed him for foodie mag, I was curious about the “dog” menu and HM was hungry and so in we went, and there he was and order we did…
HM got the “mac n’ cheese.” I got the “Madeline.”
Yum. These aren’t just any old dogs. These are smoked and babied and wrapped in fresh made rolls from right across the street. Really. You gotta go there. Ewing started this business a few years back as a food truck after his concerts. Now he rocks the place in the daylight, closes it up by 5 pm and heads out to play a gig 5 nights a week. Meanwhile, he’s in the studio with The Urge, getting a ready to put out a record at the start of summer.
Then to St. Ambrose.
and HM and Nor’s fave pizzeria on the Hill… ( we didn’t stop there today; HM will not resume eating pizza ’til Easter Sunday!)
and then off to an urban flower shop, where I asked the owner if deer would eat the marigolds we were thinking of buying. She smiled and said “I have no idea.”
to be continued….Must go mop the floor and tidy up the rooms – kids are coming home!
and you KNOW I”m going to insert a bunch of flower pictures in the next post!!!! (as I do every year…at least I didn’t make you sit through pictures from MoBot’s orchid show. We didn’t get there!)
And rather than getting bogged down in a book (and happily so, may I suggest a look at one of the season’s flower and garden magazines? guaranteed not to make you sneeze and guaranteed to give you some ideas!)