A beautiful day, as it came to an end, Monday, Monday...
Monday, November 28, 2011
A beautiful day, as it came to an end, Monday, Monday...
My friends & I attend a very innovating oil painting class, most Mondays, & today we were all in attendance in post turkey form. Our teacher Laureen who is a most gifted artist takes time out of her busy life to work with us novices in the exciting medium of oil. Each, & every time we have the chance to paint together we always come away with a renewed desire to give it our best strokes ever.
On leaving Loreen's yard after packing up the car with our easels, paints, canvases, & other miscellaneous supplies the buzz was to take a look up at the western sky, which we did, as the landscape was changing fast. There it was nothing quite like a sunset, each one an entirely new experience, a reflection of the colors that serenade the very soul.
Thank you Laureen, it really was oh, so much fun!
Saturday, November 26, 2011
Dolly my faithful companion, home on the range here, has enjoyed her fair share of Thanksgiving treats, which is really good, as she'll need all the strength she can muster, as she's about to continue with her embarkment in her literary career.
Wrote an essay today, which for some reason won't allow me to cut & paste to transfer it, & now that several hours have gone by, since I've gotten started here, I'll be sure to include it another time.
Two small views of this late November~
Above is a bit of the old with a bit of the new, green from summer, & the brown which is now autumn.
Below is one of the tragedies of the recent 10/30/11, snowtober snow & ice storm. Our magnolia tree took a severe hit, & a main branch running from the central part of the tree, a continuum of the main trunk, the upper spine of this tree has been in recovery since that eventful night. Today with the weather being so very perfect, & my time truly my own, I pushed myself, finally to get out there, & use the black messy tarry substance which is one of the best ways to seal a tree's open wounds, but not without having to further clip back some branches, as winter is coming, & it would really be quite thoughtless, to just patch, & not to prune. So I did it, & got it all done within an hour, but it was sad, & this sweet magnolia will never be the same again. But it would never be so any way, as it, as us, we're all constantly changing, nothing, truly is ever permanent. And no matter how perfect something may seem, it is never, ever totally, what it appears to be.
There is beauty in everything, & we must remain forever open to change,
and I'm only human, & therefore, continuing to work on it.
Friday, November 25, 2011
That's my brother Dave, he gladly gave his permission to be included in this Peace Garden episode. He's the sibling of whom I had shared a very heartfelt poem, reguarding a plight which I'm sure is not totaly unique, regarding families growing up, & sometimes apart not only due to miles, but also due to the childhood histories & personal narratives.
My brother David came by for desert last night, which was a sweet delight, as he arrived at the precise moment when I was on the phone with our youngest sibling. It was truly the first time ever that all three of us had the opportunity to discuss an ongoing situation concerning our elderly mother.
Above we have my first every Smoky Pumpkin Pie, the little coal-like face in the left hand corner below the pies, are the charred remains of whatever it was that went up in voracious flames in the oven when it was in it's preheating phase of 425 degrees, making it necessary to use up what ever salt I had left in it's cardboard cylinder in order to put out the, yes fire, as it just kept burning, & burning,.. & burning,... smoking up the kitchen, & then the whole house.
Oye, I thought, & then of course yelled, I need some help here, there's a fire in the oven, & I can't get it to go out, but I did get it to go out, eventually, & afterward getting the fan going, & a window or two open, my husband cleaning up the oven, & the sweeping, & dust busting, to get all the salt off the floor, then only then, we were finally, back in business!
This recent episode sort of reminded me of when a dear friend of mine was preparing to enter a local baking contest. She had gotten all of her ingredients together to make her outstanding Blueberry Cake, which is of course a true favorite of all her fam, & friends alike. So there she was, in the midst of gathering everything so her ingredients would be of the finest quality~
"I always use fresh ingredients whenever possible, that gives you the best flavor.", she would often say, & then
a major aspect of her water system failed. Water, most essential, to run not only a kitchen, but an entire household right in the midst of entering her first ever, cooking contest, & she is an exacting gourmet cook, I must add, of cooking, baking, all sorts of food prep. It is her passion, & now right in the middle of all this she had to bring in bottled water to wash everything.
She's right of course, in her pursuit of the finest & freshest ingredients, & sticking to her standards, & would you believe, she was one of the winners in this, her first contest ever!
On the way home from our drive back from Philly to attend the beautiful Memorial Concert in our friend Glen Douglas' memory last weekend, we stoped for a light lunch in the town of Old Greenwich, Ct.
We've lived in Connecticut a good part of our lives, but my husband & I have never been to Greenwich, never, ever, until...
we finally did make the stop, which really was quite nice, just outside of NYC. I can see why Meryl, Letterman, & does Martha live there too...?
For us it was just right, we stopped at a well established deli right on Sound Beach Ave., walked arround just a little before heading back to the highway, for the last leg of our trek, but not without giving into a very prominent crave for the very best chocolate chip icecream I ever had in my entire life, at~
Darlene's Heavenly Desires
185 Sound Beach Ave., Old Greenwhich, Ct. 06870
203-698-9441 & also on facebook
It was at Darlene's, in the photo above, where I got the two foil colored chocolate turkeys for our grand kids, as this Nana was now living in the sugared moment!
A new tradition, our Apple Crisp Pies..
and of course the main dish, which really did come out of our cleaned up oven perfect, a few minutes after my husband had set our table, awaiting the last of our traveling family members to arrive.
Beyond the 18 hours compilation of food gathering, & prep, & the much lesser amount of time spent in the actual consumption mode, it truly was priceless...
Our extended family traveled in from the various directional points of~ north, south & east, we're the west. Not being a foodie the menu this year was pretty much traditional, yet quite good; and this time making a true effort to not go overboard with the extended baking projects I usually set my mind on doing. I made a couple of traditional pumpkins, but tweaked the apple, & on my husbands request, I gave the apple a crumb topping instead of my traditional top crust, but this time I elevated the crumb topping to the best part of an apple crisp & voila my apple crisp pie, which I was told by far, is the best I ever made! Who ever would have figured, the simplest of all, turned out to be the best of the best. I never would have guessed.
We're still in the cleaning up mode, as we speak, we're running the second batch of dishes through the dishwasher, & the family china & crystal are still sitting patiently on the counter, awaiting a one on one hand washing, which has kept everything pristine over these numerous decades.
As far back as my teenage years I've had conflicting thoughts, & feelings regarding Thanksgiving; but have worked most of the issues through, as for several decades now our feast has become a compilation of everyone pitching in, preparing, & contributing helping hands, in a much more helpful & enduring way, then it had been in the first few decades of my life from the embedded role of childhood. Voila~ again as time does heal, & can be it's own reward, practice does make better, in our attempts to be real with ourselves, & therefor enabling us to be so with one another,~ moment by moment, one day at a time.
Enjoy the left overs, for it's true that this part is, the best of the best, & a continuation of a wonderful season, even though at times, it is a lot of work; speak up communicate, for in the long run, by helping one another we ultimately help ourselves, as this too helps to create a more peaceful world, one realization, & one encounter at a time. So with that said, I'll be sure to navigate myself most judicially around the deserts that continue to present the greatest of temptations for me, a realization of knowing will power is often my only way, away from the various sweet treats that still lurk in the fridge.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
I would be amiss if I didn't share some quick highlights of this past evening's wonderful Interfaith Thanksgiving Dinner & Service, as we all did~ "gather together to ask the lord's blessings..."
The Interfaith event, we returned home from several hours ago was sponsored by~
Putnam Science Academy
Greater Putnam Interfaith Council
The Interfaith Prayers
shared this evening were~
We were all welcomed by the very outgoing Putnam Science Academy Board President. Our GPIC Program Director, Pam Rosenlund gave this evening's Thanksgiving Invocation.
John Etheridge shared a work entitled The Meaning of Thanksgiving, & also accompanied some of our singing with the talent of his guitar. Our most special musical talent for this evening's
event, Joy Richman sang ever so beautifully, Johnnie Mathis' song~
One God, of which she did amidst a few teared eyed individuals, in the audience, [of who I won't let on].
The service concluded with us all singing our favorite~
Let There Be Peace on Earth
Our annual Thanksgiving Eve Service, has been a mainstay of our community for over 25 years. This year's event was most special & unique, as the Putnam Science Academy graciously invited the people of the community to a most delectable, & fun filled dinner, prepared by their most talented chef, of whom we say~ Thank you, thank you, thank you, with wishes & prayers,
for a wonderful Thanksgiving to all~
Monday, November 21, 2011
We all learned it when we were kids, first Sunday, & then comes Monday, & in all actuality it's almost Tuesday, oh my~
What can I say, some days it seems it takes forever, just to leave the house, thinking of this, & thinking of that, not that it really makes any difference, they're just thoughts, of this & that, & the getting on the phone, making appointments, add that to a Thanksgiving Week's ongoing To Do List, & what we end up with, well I guess there's never quite enough time. Just the true nature of what is.
This morning I was talking to a friend who is with our Conservation Commission, she reminded me of a report I had heard on the news about an hour earlier, of how it's been documented that this year had the highest level of environmentally warming global gasses that have been emitted, & recorded, since the time of the Industrial Revolution.
No, definitely not the best of thoughts, but true, yes true.
We all do what it is we can, it's the land, air & water, of which we need to rescue, & protect, of which I must ask this question, "Are we doing our best?" Probably not. Sad but true.
It is a fine, & delicate balance every human being juggles with, taking in the snippets of happiness & contentment along the way on life's path, knowing that in the background Rome continues to burn, as it creeps closer, & closer, & because of this many an upstanding individual refuses to sleepwalk their way through life. How does one do that, the sleepwalking through life thing?
What continues to baffle me, many of us wonder, is it just plain & simple selfishness,.. perhaps they'll find a selfish gene.
So today I did make it to our Oil Painting Lesson, & all I can say~
It was one of those snippets of fun, fun, fun, with renewed self discovery too I must add, as my thoughts, & contemplations, never go away, they just come out in different, & more colorful form!
Today is Birthday Season in our family for my brother & brother-in-law,
Happy Birthday, Bros
Wishing you both a season of,~
Health, & Happiness, of whom you have our love!
Post Script to this posting~ It's 12:35 AM, & I just read an essay which totally relates to the above Peace Garden entry. The essay is a little long, but in all honesty I just couldn't pull myself away, as it rang so true, & thought you'd enjoy it too~
Thank you Don Miguel Ruiz & Don Jose Ruiz, what a wonderful essay!
Yesterday we just got back from a whirlwind trip to Philadelphia, as our dear friend Glen had passed away one year ago today, & on Saturday 11/19/11, his loving family hosted a beautiful Memorial Concert, which featured works by, Beethoven, Mozart, & Brahms.
One needs only to experience the beauty of autumn to be reminded of just how fleeting our time here is. It is often said that life is short, & yet, though autumn, this delicately beautiful season, is also strong & cold, yes we love her, we love her, still.
To all of us, as it truly is, all of us, who continue to go on, after a loved one, or a dear friend has passed, what better way is there to honor their memory, then to share the very best of what that person has meant to us with others, to help to make this world, truly, a better place.
Friday, November 18, 2011
We'll be heading down to Philly tomorrow, as our dear friend, who passed away last year at this time, his family is hosting a memorial concert. As I click away to even mention this, I can't help but to feel the goose bumps that come over me, as this is such a bittersweet time, of having lost a dear friend, ever too soon, but knowing so very well that he was a true good friend, who was admired & loved by everyone who ever had the opportunity to get to know him.
So on this note, I will leave behind, a different message of sorts, though natural, yet contrived of the eclectic photos chosen, in regards to the things we do here on planet earth, to express, & to amuse the mindfulness of the heart. No matter how silly, artfully executed, & no matter the age or stage of life that the individual is or was that created it, it's all worth it, for, for many of us, it gets us through,~ one day at time.
Have a good weekend, one & all, & enjoy this season of Thanksgiving, for no matter how transient our time is here, we are, all humankind, most blessed to be upon this earth.
Thursday, November 17, 2011
Rain, rain rain, that's been pretty much it for today, but on the inside, though it gets dark outside early, it was most definitely~
sunny, bright & warm~
Today I was booked for a Peace & Harmony Flag Making Project, at the Pomfret Public Library, & truly what wasn't to love! We had approximately twenty school children on this rainy afternoon, from third grade on. So after the kids arrived at the library directly from school, our Children's Librarian Kristin had a cheery snack awaiting of; popcorn, cookies, raisins, & a juice drink. The mix of kids was just perfect for the project at hand, but not before being read two books, by Kristin; a most gifted & talented Children's Librarian who so kindly invited this Peace Garden turtle, as I wore the turtle hat, that my grandchildren had given me for today's project, as it suited the day, & helped to set the theme, & what was not to love~ a tasty snack, good books, & a craft project that I really must say~ who enjoys more, the participants, or the facilitators, yes us!
It truly was a great time, of which I will return to the Peace Garden with some additional photos of the event, as the flags are still drying, but in a day or so, when I go back to the library, I'll most definitely take some more photos to share with you all!
Thank you Kristen, & everyone at the~ Pomfret Public Library, as it was certainly a fun way to spend a rainy afternoon, no doubt about that!