Monday, November 29, 2010

A Wedding Toast, Cyber Monday, Chanukah & More...

Thanksgiving definitely marks the Gateway to the Winter Holiday Season--

We received our very first Chanukah card over the weekend, wow, the season is upon us fast. Just two days after Thanksgiving we also attended our dear friend's-- son & new daughter in law- S & R's "East Coast Wedding Reception". It was a most darling & wonderful event, as toasting a new life commitment together, is one of the most joyous of all occasions! We have known S since his, & our son T's young toddler days. Our Family's Tree, branched & rooted in so many diverse ways.

I have had the luxury today, to get our family's Chanukah cards completed. So, in an hour or so, it will be off to the snail mail Post Office to send out our first batch of holiday greetings. Being we are an interfaith family & Chanukah this year is a bit early, the Chanukah cards will go out first, & the Christmas ones of course, will be due to follow.

Happy cyber Monday one & all, & to all a good day, & good night too!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Blue Skies Countryside, This Thanksgiving Weekend

Above is the beginning of a new Audubon Center for our neck of the woods. We are so looking forward to what will prove to be a very exciting & stimulating mecca, for the nature lover in all of us.

When we got home this afternoon, who should be there to greet us, but our pup Dolly. She's come a long, long way & continues to be a loyal & loving pet.
"Woof, Woof," to all you dog lovers out there!

I'm really fortunate. My husband & I are such complete opposites. He's one of those; go, go, go, go, go types. And me, well, not as much so. He's quick, & always on the move. And for me, all I can say is that my nature tends to lend me to being a bit too sedentary, mulling over this & that. All right already. Yes, today I finally did it, I busted a move- early this afternoon we went on one of our Audubon walks. One of our favorites, that we love so very much. We even met up with some friends of ole'. These friends go way back to when our youngest son, & their oldest son were in grade school together. It was a nice serendipitous surprise & one of the nicest things of all, about our living in a small, quaint town.

The photos above, are just a tiny microcosm of the day, beginning of course with the pure & simplistic view of just one of many tacks of land that has been put into a nature preserve, protected from all future development, for all of time. Just one of life's miracles, the beauty of nature, of which this gal, from the Bronx, is so truly thankful.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

Our Super Heroes Are Everywhere

There's still so much to get done. Pacing myself is the way, as we'll be traveling out of town. The car above must belong to Robin. Looks like the dynamic duo may have been out there shopping, & just before Thanksgiving too. Don't ya just love a Batman episode. So fresh, so colorful, & working so very hard to protect the American way...
"Golly gee, Batman,we better watch our calories, yipe!"

Friday, November 26, 2010

Precious Thoughts, Memories & Prayers

Before leaving this evening the Nana & Poppy hosting this "TG" Day event, [which was us] quickly helped the grandchildren put together this rather lovely, yet goofy Thanksgiving Day Turkey.
The two handmade candlesticks made of pottery were given to us twenty years ago for an anniversary gift from my brother & sister in law. Time does fly. This year I added a candle in the center of the table, lit in memory of our loved ones, with special thoughts of our dear friend, who had so recently passed on.

Hope your Thanksgiving day was a good one. Our small family gathering of eight, from four generations was "just right", truly- & "talking turkey", is what we did. My Aunt called from Florida early in the afternoon, during our "what color table cloth", discussion, of-- "ivory or burgundy"? Burgundy won out, & it was the right color for the day. It was really great to talk to my Aunt "R", sharing our updates, including the topic of her mother's/my grandmother's Rugulla cookies.

My brother called late in the afternoon with holiday wishes, & our son called too. Our son and his "gf" traveled to Nebraska to be with her relatives for this holiday. He updated us on their airport experience, which he said was good, which of course we were very glad to hear. They are going to the; Nebraska vs Colorado football game today. So I requested a photo or two of an interesting, or goofy looking team mascot. He said they'd try. So if they send me a good pic, perhaps I'll be able to find a way to share it with the Peace Garden.

The day certainly generated a lot of work, but I've learned to pace myself. Ultimately the goal is to enjoy the time we have with one another. Nothing more, & nothing less will ever do in that department. Always toasting our hopes & prayers for what has past, what we are, & have, & for the future. Forever remembering & honoring those who have helped to bring us to this place, the family & friends that were given to us, by God's Grace. The every day miracles, that present themselves to us, moment, by moment, on holidays & ordinary days, they are truly, extraordinary.

Living a life, here in our beautiful & diverse country is a true blessing. Certainly there is room for improvement, of which we'll never stop working towards, as that is what keeps democracy healthy & well. If we don't "use it, we'll loose it". No matter how different our opinions are from one another, discussion, & the sharing of ideas, will always help to create better understanding, & with that, "all things are possible".

Please help us God.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Peace For Korea, Her People, & All The World

In a few hours my day's outward orbit will begin-- The Post Office is my first stop, next the Train Station, as our son is coming in for the holiday weekend. Also a few errands are in the works, & whatever else needs to be included for this pre Thanksgiving "To Do List". Tonight we are hosting an Interfaith Service, of which there will be music & prayers for peace, good will, tolerance, support & acceptance among the faith communities.

Definitely a small microcosm of the world. One can continue to hope that one day, Nations will conduct themselves, in a manner of the finest level. These are modern times, & even with what is presently going on in Korea, & the seas off her coast, our hopes, & prayers for peace will remain true, like the constant tide. People are just that, people. True some apples are not the best, yet war is never the answer.

Truly, peace be with you.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Domestic State Of Mind-

So much to get done, as items for this day present themselves-
How many of us today, see a glimpse of ourselves in the above portrait displayed, by the Chicago Art Institute?

There was a time in our society when we, the woman of our American culture were very much put in our place. Now are place is wherever we choose to make it, & those of us not born of the silver spoon, due to many a determined & brave foremother who held a vision, have enabled many generations, to truly be "all that we can be".

It seems since my young childhood days, there has always been that inner conflict in regards to how I was raised & domesticated, as the only girl, the eldest, in a family which included two sons. So just about every year, when we enter that long stretch in the holiday season, it does
take a good bit of effort to get my engine stoked, to the point that I really am chugging along & getting a lot done. I really do enjoy the planning, cooking & baking. It's my own imposed stubbornness in getting organized enough to really get into the cleaning prep aspect of it all.

I know, just grow up, & just "do it". Ok, I think I get it. It's time to put a stop to this ridiculous saga. Or as my father would say-- "enough already".
He's right of course, the only limitations that are put upon us are the ones we choose to accept. Being all that we can be, in part is about making well thought out decisions, & living in the moments given to us each & every day. Caring well for ourselves, & others, & our helping to create & share mutually good memories- as our beloved, Maya Angelou has been known to allude.

So if it means I wrangle with those old childhood issues when a massive holiday season is embarking, so be it. Those former domestic issues, are just that, shadows of my former self. Making & sharing homemade applesauce will always be far superior to any out of a jar.

Eve's apple, so very beautiful- tasty, tart, sweet, & versatile- "being all that it can be", & so much more.

Our Muses Have "It"

Today I listened to Leonard Cohen's music. His music always has the ability to take me to a very good, yet contemplative place. This mural of Sol Lewitt shown above also transports me, but in a different way. Here we have a large, bright & bold public work of art, in a very opposite tone when comparing it to Leonard Cohen's music. Yet I like them both, which is of course for different reasons. For me this geometric mural is a reminder of how to take what we see, no longer for granted, & pop it out, wake it up, & spread it out there, griding it along the way with black bold lines, again reinforcing a message that what we are viewing "is" very bold indeed.

That's my view today, which of course is subject to change, just like the New England weather we live & breathe, in our corner of the world. Until another day.
All of the Arts, so expressive, & so, so, very "us". Indeed.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Spark A Light Shinning On, As This Day Ends In Sadness

Our dear friend passed away this evening. He was born & raised in England, of the Boomer Generation after WWII. He was always such fun to be with, an incredibly smart, kind, generous & talented man. Married to our friend, who together raised two very smart, kind & talented daughters. So like the trees they came from.

Our dear friend Glen *9/27/49-11/21/10*, may God keep you in God's loving care, & may you eternally have rest, & peace.


The Comfort Of Comfort Food & More--

I have been hesitant up until this time, trying ever so hard not to include anything that may be too, too sad. I think I have made it up until this point in time--

We have a very dear friend who for years has lived so very far away from where we reside. We met our friend "G" through his wife, "N". She & I became good friends some twenty years ago, when are then, both youngest children were attending a preschool program together. Their family had moved several times since living in our neck of the woods. The latest & most recent of locations is Philadelphia, which is the hometown of where my friend "N" grew up. "G" on the other hand was born & raised in England, & lived in the region of where James Herriot's stories took place.

"G & N" met so many years ago in England when my friend was spending some time there after her trip to Israel. It truly is a romantic story which I absolutely loved hearing during the time "N" allowed me to interview her for a Psychology class assignment, back in the day.

And now our dear friend "G" who for a very long time has been battling a very aggressive illness, for so very long, of which those of us in the wide, wide circle, who are honored to be among that circle of friends, are troubled & saddened, for we know that his condition is changing rapidly.

I am consciously including these thoughts today, in the Peace Garden. For though life, is dear, beautiful & precious, we all know that our days are numbered, & it is the choices we make each & every day, ultimately that affects the quality of our own, & mutual precious gardens. I am very saddened & contemplative at this time, for it is my way. I am baking a creation that is both "sour & sweet", is that not life. The sour with the sweet, the good with the bad, the yin & the yang, the agony & the ecstasy.

When I would discuss authors with our friend "G" so many years ago, at the beginning of this unbelievable medical journey he is traveling I mentioned Solzhenitsyn. It gladdened my heart to know we shared such an author as one of our favorites. As our friend "G" is also a favorite, & in our hearts we journey with him. This baking of a simple yet in depth comfort food, does in some ways help. As my friend "S" who lives in Israel said many years ago, "Food is a prop.", of which we can all agree, as it fills all the senses, & "food is also sustenance & love".

Today is also my brother in law's 65th Birthday, & my brother's 51st.

Please, "so help us God"; fathom, the bitter & the sweet.


Thankfulness & Gratitude, Tis' The Season*

Ok, the Thanksgiving Day countdown is upon us. Just five days including today to get our home cleaned & spruced up, plan the details of our meal, & get all the advance food prep done that benefits from being prepared in advance. The desserts usually are a good one for this category.

We got a lot done yesterday in the raking department, & for Dolly it was one of her best days. Romping around the yard with her humans out there to show off to, & for her to watch over us. Which she just loves to do. Participating in the usual go fetch games, of which she's good at, but doesn't always return the item. When we're out there in the yard, my husband usually finds bits & pieces, the remnants of various chewed items, such as a plastic pipe, a piece of wire.... You name it, she really is the goat I never had. She'll chew absolutely anything.

So for this part of my "Thankfulness List", I can honestly say that I truly am thankful that Dolly's placement with us, has finally worked out. She's adjusted very well to the electronic perimeters of her assigned acre, & though she's still a very high energy critter, she remains true to her core of being a very sweet & loyal companion. Her one main assignment of keeping the deer out of our gardens has proved immensely successful. Dolly will definitely enjoy her second Thanksgiving here with us, & our fam.*, [I just know] will recommend many a treat from the leftover platter of scraps. For me that's the fun part, sharing this upcoming meal with my unusual quirky dog, who really did, pick me out of a crowd, by knowing just how to win my heart. Yes, it's "wuff, wuff" Dolly to you too, when she barks that is, for she is very, very quite, which is just her style.


As we speak I'm preheating the oven--
I've had a batch of dried cherries, soaking in the fridge, with plans on pureeing them into a fruit butter of sorts. Viola' , success, & am now in the process of doing one of my baking/experimental projects. I added some local wildflower honey to the cherry butter batch, & the muffin batter is loaded with all sorts of earthy crunchy ingredients including two kinds of cinnamon. One variety just a generic, with no origin labeling & the other is a real hefty flavor from Viet Nam. I decided to mix the two, as one is a bit too light, & he other a bit too heavy. Well the buzzer to my oven just went off, & the pre prep aspects are all in place. This will be a triple batch as I'm in hopes of being able to send some as far away as Israel. It has been a problemo since many of us went "E" in our routines of communications, as I now longer can get my hands on some of the snail mail addresses I need, including one as far away as New Zealand.

These muffins should have a good flavor, hopefuly not too sweet, but sweet enough, or as Goldy Locks used to say-- "Just right.", & of course I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Before Food Shopping, Or Turkey Day Planning, Must Get Out There & Rake Those Leaves--

Carl Sagan said it best, "Billions & Billions..." Yes it's an entire universe out there of all sorts of organisms. In our yard, the leaves have it ! And why not, that's what makes New England, New England. We simply adore our trees, they are such a large part of our region's natural charm. When we play we pay, & now its clean up time, & probably most of the day too.

Hello Dolly, my husband & moi', we truly do, love it !

Friday, November 12, 2010

Like A River, Autumn On The Connecticut

Autumn along the Connecticut River, is quite the site. To think fifty years ago this river was considered a cesspool of sorts. The river bottom probably has some contaminants that may or may not be resolved, but at least this waterway is no longer considered a polluted ecosystem. On a beautiful day such as it has been yesterday, & today there's nary a complaint of the New England weather.

You, me & good ole Mark Twain, nothing like a meandering along this majestic river.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Honoring Our Veterans, Those We Know & The Unknown

Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia
In honor of Veterans Day
November 11, 2010

Peace Be With You



Our family has the history of WWII Veterans. My father & uncles served then in the Army, & my father in law served in the Navy. During the Viet Nam War I had cousins & friends serving in the Army, Navy, & the Marines. My husband, a Viet Nam era service person in the Army, was trained for combat, & was assigned to what was referred to as the European Theatre. He was serving there when the Soviet Union marched into Czechoslovakia.

We are a family most sensitive to honoring & respecting our American Veterans, appreciating all that they have contributed & sacrificed, as we continue to Pray & Vote for Peace.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Seizing The Day

Today's not totally jelled, but I'm considering a short out of town jaunt to the Aveda Store, as my tube of o3/sweet tea is just about gone. I've tried Almay's brand of liquid makeup, & just can't talk myself into thinking it's just as good, for the tone is slightly flat in the light, & hence, not as much fun to wear. I want to refurbish my makeup, as I am planning a trip out to Philly the end of the week, to spend time with some dear friends. One of our friends has been battling an illness for some years now, & I just want to go out their way to extend an extra set of hands. We live hundreds of miles away, & miss them very much. I hardly ever travel out of New England alone, & this is of course one of those situations of which I am choosing to step outside of my comfort zone for a few days to make this heartfelt visit. The train is the way to go for me, as it has always been my very first mode of transportation.

For today, of where I'm at now, my husband suggested-- "Get outside, take a walk in the woods. Write again after that, & compare your tone after being outside."

That's a good idea for no matter what it is I may be trying to solve, [extended family related topics of the general Thanksgiving Day stuff] which has been ongoing, or connecting the dots for living a life-- "Rome wasn't built in a day."
Dolly & I will just have to go outside, & catch some rays. Who knows how long this fleeting sun will last, but she's always game, & why not. Nothing like sharing time with a sweet pup, who every day in every way reminds her human to-- live in the moment & "seize the day".


End Of The Day Thoughts:

All in all, things worked out quite well today. I couldn't find an Aveda Shop for the makeup, but a really nice salesperson at the Maul's bookstore did an online search for me, & it seems the economy took it's toll on my brand of makeup, & I'll either have to travel farther, or just do an online purchase.

Our friends in Philly seem to have reached a good plateau in the health crisis which was relayed over the weekend. And we were able to postpone a visit out that way, for until when my husband & I could travel together. Ultimately that makes it better for all of us, especially our Philly friends who are dealing with oh so very much, & of whom we remain prayerfully hopeful.

This morning a young hawk flew by my kitchen window, & then perched himself out on the deck for a few minutes. He was perched facing away from me, looking straight out into the woods. He then took his head & did a 180 degree turn, & looked me straight in the eyes, & after a few minutes, did another 180, back to the view in the woods. The bird life & the wild life that inhabit our corner of the world is truly a presentation of nature in all her glory. It was an ordinary day today, but no day is really ordinary. We make plans, we change plans, we forge, we gather, we reach out, we connect. "All's well that ends well."

Amen, Amen, Amen


Monday, November 8, 2010

Way Too Soon For Winter, "Not"

True these photos are a bit dark, as there's not much sun this morning, & no, my snow tires aren't on yet. But it's 40 degrees outside, so it will melt. Yes, this New England weather, we'll definitely listen to Mark Twain on this one & , "wait a minute".

{Additional Note:
Hay Everyone Out There, Yes there is "hope", it's 12:20pm, & the sun has come out, we'll see for how many minutes.....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Coffee, Coffee, Coffee- "What's The Buzz"--

All I can say, most honestly & true--

"Just plain--
Love it, love it, love it!"

What would you expect from a sugar-acholic. Sugar's candies, chocolate & sweets. Which do I like better? Well they both bring forth a buzz, but if I had to choose, & if there was only one I could put on the shelf, it would certainly be --





I'm enjoying a cup right now,

Care to join me....


I have in my coffee collection a bag of Caribou, which says it perfectly--

"Life is short. Stay awake for it."

This quote is on the bag of "Amy's Blend", named in honor of "the bright spirit" of, Caribou Coffee's roastmaster- Amy Erickson. A slight fruit infused, smooth & silky, blend developed as a fund raiser in honor of Amy, with one dollar of each bag of coffee sold, donated to the Susan G. Komen for the cure foundation.

I like Caribou Coffee, it's a premium flavor, as I do love a good bean; but it was the message that I love even more that-- "Love never dies." No matter the blend.

For so many years when my father was alive, one of the really fine ways we would visit, catch up & just schmooze, would be to have coffee together. When he passed away in 1994, coffee time, never quite seemed the same. As time went by that autumn I began to light a small candle in the kitchen with strong feelings of prayerful gratitude, of all those years we had together, & to sooth my sadness. My main thought & message as I slowly became more & more accustomed to him no longer sharing a cup, & being physically with me; what I said to myself then, with that "quiet still voice"--

"Have a cup of coffee with God." Which I do to this day, as it is quite nice.


{For those that are interested in contacting Caribou Coffee, they can be reached
by "clicking" or calling; /1-888-227-4268 }

Saturday, November 6, 2010

When The Leaves Of Grass Meet The Wind

None of us have all the answers, we're only human, it's just our way. What we do have are individuals in our society who are kind & generous in sharing their knowledge & wisdom with us. Walt Whitman was one, Deepak Chopra is another. Deepak is one of those people who seems to be in fine tune with all that we need to get by with. Quite frequently I click onto his website, & am never, ever disappointed with the deep wisdom he so generously shares.

I was up into the wee hours of the morning last night, & did a click, this is what I relearned, & of course I was sure to bookmark it at the time, under Peace Topics. After rereading it again I decided it would be best to just go ahead & share it, as it speaks plainly & simply to our very core, & if it were to inspire anyone to seek Deepak out, to visit his website, read one of his books, or even attend one of his speaking presentations, I must say that you will not be disappointed. He is very human, indeed.

Deepak Chopra's Daily Meditation of 11/05/10, as follows:

"The most good you can do for yourself spiritually is to live your life with total love, conviction & purpose."

*To further your acquaintance with Deepak Chopra MD
visit him at []

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Prisms Mind's View

It certainly was a very busy week, & now that we're home on the range, perhaps the sun will come out tomorrow. You never know with our New England weather, but the forecast looks promising. On Monday our 27 year old son, was officially sworn in as an Attorney in the Connecticut Supreme Court. It was one of those days when as parents we truly felt a deep appreciation, knowing that as a family we have been able to support one another in attaining our various hopes & dreams. Those were my thoughts, intertwining with the present, thinking back to when our family was growing up. It was best described by my husband as we walked down those mighty Supreme Court steps just four days ago, in Hartford. "It is really something, to think, that my own father, sold pies from the back of a truck, & our sons, all now, have their college educations.". It was those words, that he had expressed, on those very steps, that truly brought the experience, right home, straight to the heart.
On the next day we voted, & for us, most truly, an American experience, as we live & breathe.


On a much lighter note, this evening my husband & I went to see Bruce Willis's, all star cast movie "Red". We give it a solid "good", nothing great, but a real good, over the top, satire. Not necessarily worth a trip to the movies, but a good future Net Flicks or rental choice to keep in mind.

Tomorrow may be a good day to get out & rake, & to also get Dolly some more bones, as she's pretty much chewed her last for now, & it would be good for me to remember to restock for her, on a more regular basis.

We have plans in the works for this weekend & eventually I hope to get myself motivated to pull together some of the loose ended projects I've had my mind on getting done before this year comes to an end. Now that Dolly's pretty much acclimated & settled in & now that I have some of my outstanding commitments & projects somewhat done, it's time to go forward with further completions & bring in the color. It is autumn after all, & with a bit of sunshine all things are possible.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Deed Is Done & Election Results Are In

Election Day 2010 is now history, & what an event. Some of it of course became over the top, with the on & on, of campaign advertisements, & signs, all of it, so littering the natural landscape, & of our minds too, nonetheless , we have arrived !

It has been said that, "the people get the government that they deserve". I personally know of an individual who is a politician, have known him since high school, & can honestly say he is an upstanding & honest person. His name is John Larson. John has been reelected to the United States Congress for the 7th time. Many years of my growing up time was in the working class town of, East Hartford, Ct., from where John is from. He makes it a point to stay in touch with his constituency. His excellent work in Congress is for the "average American", for Connecticut & beyond.

This new session will be different & challenging, & I will remain hopeful that each individual who is part of our Government, will allow themselves to remember that we can achieve what it is we need to do, but first & foremost, political parties aside, it must be for the "greater good", of every American.

Yes, it will take hard work, determination & much more than luck. What we also need is for Americans to stay awake in the process of helping one another walk the path. Democracy is a living & breathing process, all of us have this "great responsibility", to make it work.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Election Day 2010

To keep democracy healthy & well, & to protect our liberty-- We must be sure to exercise our right to Vote.

No matter the outcome of this election we must be sure to log in & Vote, & use our voice to keep this country great.

See you at the voting booth, near & far--