Friday, November 30, 2007

Wicked Was Wicked Good!

Oh, I know that’s a lame title, but it is entirely accurate. We just returned home from the Bushnell Center in Hartford, Connecticut. We saw the touring company performance of Stephen Schwartz’ "Wicked" and it was marvelous!

A few weeks ago, Chuck and I went to see the revival and contemporary re-staging of Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeney Todd” at the Colonial Theater in Boston, Massachusetts. It was dreadful; poorly miked, self conscious and, most improbably, lacking passion. I was so disappointed that I didn’t even bother to mention it here on my blog. So I admit to having a touch of trepidation that the touring company of “Wicked” couldn’t live up to the Original Broadway Cast Recording starring Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel. But Katie Rose Clarke as “Glinda” and Carmen Cusack as “Elphaba” easily gave those other Broadway gals a run for their money with their excellent voices! The rest of the cast was quite fine. The staging was very high calibre. The lighting and sound did exactly what they were supposed to do and did it well in the exceptionally long, exquisitely decorated, art deco Mortensen Hall.

“Wicked” is based on the 1995 novel of the same name by Gregory Maguire. It explores how the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good came to be, before author L. Frank Baum, in 1900 and Hollywood, in 1939, brought them to life in the "Wizard of Oz". The dark themes of oppression and suppression of free speech and individual rights, resonate powerfully whether you look to today’s headlines or Europe in the 1930’s or any other moment in history when a few in power rule by whim and calumny. This tension is offset by the bright and witty lyrics of the lighter musical numbers, but never jarringly so.

After tonight’s finale, the audience at the Bushnell rose to their feet, cheering the cast at the curtain call and left the theater chatting brightly, humming and singing snatches from the score. That’s a collective review any cast member would be proud to lay claim to!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

We’re Off To See The Wizard...

...and so much more!

Details to follow!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

No Crash

In just a couple of days, it will be one year since we were in that minor traffic accident, which turned into a major headache. Yesterday, we were out running errands and went for an early dinner at Ixtapa. Then we drove right past the spot where our reliable Subaru was hit. It was sort of like deja vu, only in reverse, and thankfully, without the crash!

We’ve driven past the fateful spot many times in the intervening months. But yesterday, I couldn’t help but hold my breath just a little bit, as we were driving along the same stretch of road where that young gal ran into us. Looking back, I’m still grateful for all the good things that flowed out of that instant of metal crunching metal. But I could feel equally grateful if that afternoon one year ago, had been just as uneventful as yesterday!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Opposites Attract - Like Moths To A Flame

I know I have a blog, but I am actually a very private person. I used to be excruciatingly shy, but I’ve learned to overcome it in most (most) situations. My husband Chuck (Wonder Hubby/BFF/Hero) is exceptionally outgoing and at ease in nearly any social situation. It’s not so much a case of opposites attracting, as it is we complement each other. We have an enormous amount in common (most happily, a shared sense of humor) and really only one taboo topic - taxes, of all things.

But Chuck has one less than charming, occasionally startling reflex, which comes smack dab up against my preference for privacy. He has described it as “Self-Disclosure Tourette’s”! We mean no disrespect to folks who suffer from the actual Tourette’s Syndrome, but there’s no other way to capture the nearly uncontrollable reflex Chuck has to share! Sometimes I can see or, more accurately, sense it coming on - kind of like how animals know when earthquakes are coming. If I’m within nudging distance, I can often give him a little warning signal. But occasionally I find myself flailing about like The Robot on television’s Lost In Space: “Danger! Danger Will Robinson!!!” Sometimes not even frantic robot waving or an elbow to the ribs can halt Chuck’s progress and my subsequent desire for the earth to swallow me up, as the embarrassing personal tidbit tumbles from his lips!

Ironically, I have managed to embarrass him only once - and I wasn’t even trying. It was silly. It was ages ago, long before we were married. We were driving around Harvard Square in Cambridge one evening, Chuck at the wheel. For some reason (which made perfect, logical sense at the time) I pretended to be a moth clinging onto the passenger window. We were driving by folks crowded onto sidewalks and at crosswalks, but I swear no one even noticed me! Chuck was somewhere between mortified and appalled. I still don’t know what it was about my moth imitation that left him aghast. And I have to admit it took me awhile to stop doing it. His response was just so much fun.

Uh oh...

Maybe my throat clearing, high-signing and shin kicking contributes to Chuck’s “Self-Disclosure Tourette’s”. Does this mean I should develop nerves of steel? Or maybe I need to fight fire with fire? I believe I’m beginning to feel the need to channel a moth...

Monday, November 26, 2007

Two Questions

Has anyone used one of the wide variety of Wacom Tablets (Graphire, Intuos, the new Bamboo or, bestill my heart, the Cintiq...)? If so, how do you like it? For what applications have you found it most useful?
I have lust in my heart for a Wacom (but not unlimited resources) and I need to know if my desire is misplaced or if it will lead to fulfillment!

If you could only load one (O.K. maybe two...) Chanukah/Holiday/Christmas CDs onto your iPod, which ones would you choose?
‘Tis just about that time of year and I’m cranking up my old favorites. But I’m always interested in something new and fabulous.

Thanks in advance for your input!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

One Year!

Happy Anniversary to Pink Granite! Today is its one year anniversary!

As chief cook, bottle washer and blogger, I must say it’s been a terrific year. Back in January, I wrote about how I came to have a blog and why. But a year into this adventure it’s a little different and much better. The most wonderful thing that has happened is that I have “met” so many warm, kind, funny, intelligent and well intentioned people from all around the world. It has been tremendously reassuring and exciting. I have also noticed that I feel more at ease in my everyday world, having found such great people through Pink Granite.

So this post is a thank you to my family and old friends who were my first readers. It’s also a thank you to all the folks I didn’t know a year ago, who stopped by, stayed awhile and continue to come back. Special thanks to all those who left comments, enriched the conversation and most especially livened up the joint quite a bit! Lastly, it’s an invitation to the readers who stop by and have yet to leave a comment: keep stopping by and feel free to say hi anytime.

: : Thanks for everything! Pink Granite readers rock!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

That Which Shall Not Be Named

As you can tell from the title of this post I don’t even like the word m*n*p**s*. Mind you, I’m not even there yet. But as a woman approaches the half century mark, it’s definitely on the radar. So I went to look up the word m*n*p**s* in other languages. I was hoping m*n*p**s* in French would have a certain je ne sais quoi about it. No such luck. M*n*p**s* in French is m*n*p**s*. I moved on and checked out a half dozen more languages. Hungarian had an interesting translation: klimax. That holds a certain amount of promise, don’t cha think? But it turns out that in most languages m*n*p**s* sounds almost exactly like m*n*p**s*. Which brings me to the German translation: wechseljahre. Now to my ear that sounds an awful lot a like a vexing year. That’ll do. So when my doctor asks me questions about that which shall not be named, I think I’ll say: “Oh, you mean wechseljahre? I’ll let you know when I get there.” But privately, maybe I’ll think about it in Hungarian...

My research:
In Dutch: menopause
In French: menopause
In German: wechseljahre
In Hungarian: klimax
In Italian: menopausa
In Portugese: menopause
In Spanish: menopausia

Friday, November 23, 2007

Three Seasons, One Photo

Summer green, brown autumn leaves and white winter snow - we’ve had it all this week. Temperatures have ranged from balmy 60s (19 C) to frigid teens (-9 C). The race to get ready for Thanksgiving came to a happy conclusion. Now there is a brief lull before the next cascade of holidays. Then the slow, cold months of the beginning of the new year bring us the chance to recharge, a bit of hibernation, before our thoughts turn to spring planting and summer trips. The four seasons we have here in New England bring such rich rhythm to our lives.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Official Day

Happy Thanksgiving!

We may have celebrated Thanksgiving last Sunday, but today is the official day here in the U.S. Whether or not Thanksgiving is celebrated where you live, it might be a good time to take a moment to focus on what you have to be grateful for. Big or small, mundane or spectacular, I’ve found a sense of gratitude can have a buoyant effect on my spirit.

More Than Just The End Of Camelot

Forty-four years ago today, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

”With a good conscience our only sure reward,
with history the final judge of our deeds,
let us go forth to lead the land we love,
asking His blessing and His help,
but knowing that here on earth
God's work must truly be our own.”

- From the Inaugural Address of President John F. Kennedy
Washington, D.C.
January 20, 1961

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

A Referral

George Geder tagged me for an interesting meme over on his blog. I’m not going to tag anyone, but I invite you to go play over at his post.

All I have to say on the subject is:

"It's a quick decision by the packer," Dave says.

All will become clear when you read the comments over at George’s blog...
Have fun!

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Family Is Funny

Wait a minute. I’m not sure I phrased that correctly!

My family has an excellent sense of humor and when we get together we laugh a lot - um - and not at each other!

Our early Thanksgiving was terrific. And despite the lack of assistance from any elves, Chuck and I managed to get the house ship shape. (I tried to get our cats Abby and Cassie to strap on dust cloths and pitch in, but no luck.) We also managed to get dinner served pretty close to on time. But that was truly a group effort. My Mom (A.K.A. The Birthday Girl) tweaked my gravy. Gail ground the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle after I dropped and destroyed the pepper mill. Carrie and Kate anticipated whatever was needed next and delivered. Likewise, Phil and Al lent willing hands to every task. And everyone brought a dish to share. Through it all, we talked and laughed and laughed and talked! There was a certain amount of iPod jockeying, singing, dancing, wedding planning, reminiscing and photo sharing. The afternoon flew by impossibly fast. The only thing that could have made it better, would have been to have even more members of the far flung family gathered ‘round the table. (Get well soon Lorrie!)

Today, still no elves, but the house is mostly put to rights. Gail is safe and sound back home in Georgia. Mom was off to another well deserved birthday celebration. And I hear there were turkey sandwiches in more than one lunch bag today.

Thankful? You bet I am.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

I'll Be Darned...

The elves did not miraculously appear overnight to clean the house!
They did not vacuum or dust or polish or dry mop.
They did not seek out and remove any stray cobwebs or dust bunnies.
Good elves are so hard to find.
Guess you can imagine what we'll be doing today!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!

”Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Mom
Happy Birthday to you -
and many more!

My Mom, Dorothy, is celebrating her birthday today. While she has just barely turned 84, she is already proudly proclaiming that she is now in her 85th year! I hope to be as happy, healthy, resilient and full of zest as she is, when I am her age!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Grandma Jenny’s Rolls, As Promised!

Jenny was my nieces Carrie and Kate’s late grandmother. Jenny was a doll - vivacious, spunky, warm, loving, funny and a force of nature. She was a good cook and started making recipes out of her parish cookbook. She rightly called it “The Holy Angels Cookbook”, but it got renamed within the family as “the Hell’s Angels Cookbook”! (Now you understand my extended family’s sense of humor a little better!) One of the recipes from the cookbook was called “Two Day Rolls”. Jenny made them often for family celebrations and they knocked our socks off! At some point I tried making them and found the recipe to be super easy. Since Jenny passed away, we never call them anything but Grandma Jenny’s Rolls. Slathered with butter, when they are warm from the oven, they are like a little toast to her memory.

The original recipe by Carol Finnegan was found in “Angels In The Kitchen” by The Holy Angels’ Church of Barrington Rhode Island, 75th Anniversary Cookbook.

Grandma Jenny’s Two Day Rolls

1 pkg. regular dry yeast
1/4 Cup warm water
3/4 Cup milk
1/2 Cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 Cup melted butter
1/2 tsp. salt
4 Cups Flour (I like 3 Cups white + 1 Cup white whole wheat)

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in milk and sugar. Add one tablespoon of the flour. Let stand at room temperature for one hour.

Beat in eggs, remaining flour, butter and salt. Cover and let stand overnight, NOT refrigerated. (I leave mine in the microwave.)

The next day, divide the dough into 2 balls. On a floured board roll each ball into a circle, of 1/2 inch thickness. Cut each circle into 12 wedges. Roll up, starting at the outer, wide end. Place on greased baking sheets, seam side down. (I place mine onto parchment paper on air bake cookie sheets.) Cover with a clean towel and let stand at room temperature until doubled or time to bake (up to 12 hours!).

Bake in preheated 400 degree (F) oven for 10 minutes. They should be a golden brown and sound a bit hollow when tapped.
Makes two dozen.

Note: These are an excellent do ahead recipe for holidays and dinner parties. But they must be started the day before.

These really are scrumptious and travel quite well. I’ve made them at home, put them on the baking sheets and then driven a couple of hours by car. Once at our destination, they continue to sit until they are baked just before dinner.

I'm sorry I don't have this recipe written with conversions. I hope this link or this one will prove helpful.

:: Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

A Plea & Grace

Help! Somebody please make this recipe!

We don’t usually bake biscuits, rolls or even the little Pillsbury Poppin’ Fresh right-out-of-the-tube crescents for Thanksgiving anymore. What with the dressing and the potatoes, we are already fairly starchy. Plus there were a few years when the rolls either got burned, because we were too distracted by all the other delicacies on our groaning board. Or we completely forgot to bake them at all and discovered them when we were packing up the leftovers! But I just read this recipe for “Touch-of-Grace Biscuits” over at Orangette’s blog and they look delicious! And you can’t beat the name! So even though it won’t be on our menu this Sunday, somebody should benefit! They require a special flour, preferably a southern U.S. style. So Tonya in Tennessee, this one might be right up your alley.

I have a surefire, dead easy Two Day Roll recipe, which we now know as Grandma Jenny’s Rolls. I’ll post that tomorrow. You’ll thank me. Now go bake graceful/grace-filled biscuits. Shoo! And don’t forget to let me know how they turned out!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Thankful - With A Capital T

We are in full Thanksgiving preparation mode around here. You might think that we’re well ahead of schedule, but not really. This year we are celebrating Thanksgiving on Sunday, the 18th, before the scheduled holiday on Thursday, the 22nd. There are a lot of good reasons to do this and it turns out there are some side benefits. For instance, I shouldn’t need to be in the store the day before Thanksgiving, trying to find just the right size fresh turkey, from of field of three lonely plastic wrapped carcasses! Also, it means that all the family members who usually have to try to make it to multiple homes for multiple dinners on Turkey Day, will have a much more relaxing time of it.

Years ago, my family started celebrating Christmas Eve on different days. We’re independent folk. It grew out of similar reasons. We all wanted our old Christmas Eve festivities of long standing. But those just starting out with young families of their own, wanted to build new traditions. So having a “you can have your cake and eat it too” collective mentality, Christmas Eve became a floating holiday. We’ve opened presents and eaten chicken salad rolls together, anytime from a week or two after Thanksgiving, all the way to the end of February. It works for us.

Which might make you think that we’re not wedded to routine. But you’d be wrong. I’ve hosted a goodly number of Thanksgivings for a couple of decades. Sometimes I tire of wrestling a cold dead bird, just past dawn, on that particular Thursday morning. Once, I decided to break out of the mold. No turkey. Instead, a Middle Eastern Feast! I planned. I cooked... Oh Lord, I should have listened to the lack of enthusiasm from my family as they received the news of the menu change. Nope. I was undeterred. Hummus, baba ganoush, dolmas, la maejun, chicken, rice pilaf, salad... Those poor beloved family members, all they wanted was turkey and gravy and my knock-your-socks-off dressing. They wanted Thanksgiving - with a capital T, which stands for turkey.

Bless their hearts, they let me pull another non-turkey Thanksgiving a couple of years ago. Yup. They’re saints. I served beef stew. I hear you! I really do. But I make a wicked good beef stew! But it was no darn roast turkey. No dressing, which my niece Kate complimented me by calling it “Holiday Crack Cocaine”. (She has a way with words that one!) So this year I am straightening up and flying right: turkey with all the trimmings, as we say around here. They’ll be thankful. I’ll be thankful. Sounds like Thanksgiving, doesn’t it?

Monday, November 12, 2007

Five Random Things...

As memes go, this one is ubiquitous. But I haven’t done it, so here goes.

Five random things you might not know about me.

1. The poorest I ever got was when I had twelve dollars to my name. I was working full time, paying rent, buying groceries - the whole nine yards. But it got down to those twelve bucks and pay day was way too many days off.

2. I once went to a Mary Kay Cosmetics pep rally/recruitment meeting thinking that I might want to sell their products. It struck me as oddly cult-like, yet very seductive.

3. I rarely, if ever anymore, wear make up. A long time ago I would feel a little naked without it. Now, I feel strange with any on.

4. My proudest teaching moment was when I covered Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and the Book of Genesis in the same C.C.D. class. As far as I know, all the kids turned out just fine, thank you!

5. After I learned how to throw a football with a mean spiral, my folks gave me one for Christmas. I had learned how to throw a football at a religious retreat.

: : Care to share any of your own random things?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Veterans Day

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month...

“On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us re-consecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.”
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Presidential Proclamation

Honoring all who served...

Hoping for, working for peace...

Saturday, November 10, 2007

A Completely Different Quest

Call me paranoid, but Chuck and I are the kiss of death. It seems that whenever we find a product we really like and we come to rely on said product, the manufacturer either discontinues it or often (and worse still) improves it. Or the product continues to be made in the same old wonderful way, but it suddenly becomes as scarce as hen’s teeth to find it in a local store. This seems to happen so often, that we sometimes get a niggling fear as soon as we come to use something on a regular basis. Mind you, we really do like to try new things, but we hate to have our old faithfuls disappear.

Most recent case in point: Cento Caponata. Let me head you off. I know I can make my own caponata. I have. It’s very good. And I know we need to eat increasingly locally. But I love the convenience of the little yellow 7.5 ounce can of Cento. Their caponata is chunky and very consistent batch to batch. And did I mention it sits quietly on my pantry shelf, just waiting to be incorporated into an omelette, a pasta sauce or (my favorite) as a tasty side dish for grilled chicken?

One day we put Cento Caponata on the grocery list and it was no longer available in any of our grocery stores. At first, the location on the shelf was empty just above the appropriate shelf tag. Next trip, the shelf tags were gone. We immediately went into red alert mode. Futile trips to countless customer service desks ensued. Then we turned to the internet. Happy days! Cento is still making Caponata and we can order it if need be. Breathing easier, but still hunting. Yesterday, we went into a Shaw’s supermarket and reflexively looked for the little yellow can. Eureka! Now there are six perfect cans sitting in our pantry. Big, happy sigh of relief...

Friday, November 9, 2007

Lyrics In The Heart

If you are a regular reader, you know I love words. Love is not too strong a word to use either. I delight in finding just the right word to describe a situation, experience and most especially an emotion. When Chuck and I married, we went through our truly eclectic CD collection to find the songs that spoke to us. We chose songs that sparked memories or described some aspect of our relationship or that made us smile. Chuck took the time to make a mix tape (Listen to us: a mix tape! How old are we?) which we played during our wedding reception. I typed up excerpts of the lyrics and printed them out on the micro-perfed reams of paper that used to stream through our old reliable dot matrix printer. (Oh dear!) Before our wedding we spoke to the family and friends gathered in our living room and talked about our “lust for lyrics”. Then we unfurled the scroll of lyrics which was so long it could have done double duty as carpet runner.

You also most likely recall that despite Chuck’s knowledge and love of classical music and our annual trips to Tanglewood, classical music rarely stirs me.

All that is written by way of background as to how unusual this next topic is. I am now quite taken with the non-vocal, purely instrumental performances of Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas. Alasdair is a Scottish fiddler and Natalie an American cellist. Their music is hauntingly beautiful, stirring, toe-tapping, ancient, modern, aurally mesmerizing and achingly bittersweet. All that comes from two musical instruments and enough talent between Fraser and Haas to fill an entire orchestra.

Chuck discovered Fraser and Haas by following a typically circuitous and serendipitous route, which only seems possible in cyberspace. The trail of bread crumbs led to the L.L. Bean website and their streaming audio for their Freeport Maine summer concert series. That concert series was recorded and broadcast by Martha’s Vineyard Radio. If you have a rough map in your head of the northeastern U.S., you know that Freeport and Martha’s Vineyard are not geographically connected except hemispherically. No matter, we are grateful they did record Fraser and Haas’ stunning performance. Here’s the most direct link I could find for you to listen their July 28, 2007 concert. Or go to the L.L. Bean website and click on the “Listen to our Concert Series” musical notes on the lower right.

Here are a few more useful locations:
Alasdair Fraser’s website
Natalie Haas’ website

Their albums (”Fire & Grace”, 2004 and “In The Moment”, 2007 - not yet released in the U.S.) are available from from Culburnie Records, from Amazon, from Amazon UK, and from Apple iTunes.

: : Enjoy!

Thursday, November 8, 2007


I returned home tonight to find a happy surprise. My friend Gale, who has been faithfully reading this blog since Day One, left her first comment! (Yay Gale!) As I read the comment she left on yesterday’s post, I realized that I had never uploaded any photos of Bar Harbor, Maine. I had been so caught up in the foliage and Acadia and sunsets and the beach and the ocean ---- that I neglected the town. So these photos are for lifelong islanders Gale and Tom and for their son Bodie who is living far from Maine these days. Thank you for making M.D.I, Acadia and Bar Harbor all the more special for us!

Looking down from the top of Cadillac Mountain onto Bar Harbor, Bar Island, the Porcupines and a visiting cruise ship. (Note the Red Sox sticker on our car!) Do click on this photo to view it as a larger image.

Looking over toward the shops and restaurants on Main Street from the Town Pier.

Looking across at Sherman’s (a wonderful bookstore and so much more) on Main Street, from Cottage Street. You can catch a glimpse of Frenchman’s Bay on the left.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The Party’s Nearly Over

The colors have peaked. The leaves are falling and blowing about. We are entering that blustery period of adjustment, which leads us gently into winter - or, perhaps not so gently. Instead of looking up, we look down. Chuck took this photo up in Maine, but it captures the confetti of autumn perfectly.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A Very Good Finish

Hi Ho! It really is November. November in the Northern Hemisphere that is and that means things are getting downright nippy! This morning started out with wind and rain, very raw - the kind of day you wrap both hands around your mug of tea or coffee. Indoor projects ruled the day. By late afternoon the sky had cleared and we realized that daylight was fading fast. As we got ready to go for our walk, the heavens opened up with rain and sleet. Being firmly entrenched in the 21st century, we went directly to the computer to view the latest radar. Sure enough, there was a big dark green blob rolling right over us. But about an hour later, all was calm, all was dark and a little foggy. After the green blob had passed, the temperature had dropped several more degrees and was hovering just above freezing. As we walked through the ground fog the sky above was black and studded with stars. It was so clear, the Pleiades were especially enchanting.

When we returned home, cheeks rosy, eyeglasses all steamed up, I made an eggplant pasta sauce inspired by Ilva over at Lucullian Delights. Until I read that recipe, I had never thought to use eggplant as the core of a pasta sauce. Now I’ve done it many times! I grill the eggplant first to get a smoky flavor and leave it chunky, rather than blending it. I also add whatever strikes my fancy. Tonight it was garlic, onion and some fire roasted tomatoes. I served it over Trader Joe’s Artichoke Ravioli. (Man, I love that store!)

I’m so glad that little green blob of a storm blew up and delayed our plans.

Monday, November 5, 2007

This Is Only A Test

When we were up in Maine, my sister Gail, asked me a question about the sizes of the photos I upload to Pink Granite, via Blogger. We e-mailed back and forth and she told me not to fuss with anything until we returned home. I did play around with the photos a little bit while on vacation, but not to any great degree of satisfaction.

So, using Gail’s recommendations, here are three versions of the same photo taken at Schoodic Point:

This is the full sized, full resolution image

This is the smaller dimensioned, full resolution image

This is the smaller dimensioned, lower resolution image.

I don’t see any appreciable differences in the images while viewing this page on my laptop’s monitor; nor when I click on them to view them full screen.
Thanks for the suggestions Gail. Let me know which one (if any) fits the bill! There are still more variables I can try in this controlled experiment!

: : OOOPS!!!
Updated Tuesday, November 6, 2007

So sorry about the image glitches which have apparently been here much of the day. I received my sister Gail’s comment alerting me to the problem, but on my computer all was well. It wasn’t until I cleared my cache, that I also saw two photos missing! Hopefully all is well now. As I said, this is only a test... ;o)

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Where Did Today Go?

It went into cleaning, changing sheets, cooking, eating, walking, talking, listening, washing, drying and half watching the Patriots Football Game. (They are so not the Red Sox. Football is so not baseball.) Then suddenly or so it seemed (even with the “extra” hour), the day was winding down. Poof. Just like that: “snap” - Monday was looming, with all the things Monday will insist be part of its very own day.

When we were on vacation up in Maine, just two short weeks ago, our days were filled with almost all “want to dos” and only the most basic of “need to dos”. It was liberating, exhilarating and relaxing. Vacation was an indulgence of the senses. What structure there was came from our hearts, a delightfully unstructured place. Here at home, the structure is of the mind; order designed to tame chaos, to bring rhythm to our days.

Yet already something is chafing. It’s more than the time change which has left me cranky. I believe it has to do with balance or more pointedly, the lack thereof. I think our days at home need to be structured to include a daily dose of “want to dos”. And by structured I mean not to leave those wants and wishes ‘till after all the needs and musts are crossed off the list.

Balance. Right at the top of Monday’s every single day’s list...

“Live a balanced life - learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.”
- Robert Fulghum

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Autumn Thoughts

I’m not sure if I had a residual taco hangover from Tuesday or if it was the influenza vaccination I got yesterday afternoon, but last night I was asleep on my feet! Today, we are feeling the effects of the remnants of Hurricane Noel. (Thanks to Ben the roofer, we remain warm and dry.) Here in Central Massachusetts, we aren’t getting the pounding that coastal New England is feeling, but we are grateful to have our aquifers recharged. I wish we could share the wealth of Noel with the Southeastern and the Southwestern U.S. Both areas are hungry for rain and the situations remain desperate.

The unseasonably warm weather seems to have passed and now we are feeling as if this is autumn in earnest. We even had to turn the heat on. But since this is. after all, November that seems reasonable! With a nip in the air, planning for Thanksgiving also seems a reasonable thing to do. But the Christmas carols playing in the stores while the Halloween costumes and candy are still in their markdown bins, strikes me as aggressive or crazy or both! Please let us get through Thanksgiving first, O.K.?

And, as long as I’m on a topic that makes me feel a bit disgruntled, it’s time for my bi-annual complaint about moving the clocks backwards and forwards. Tomorrow morning at 2:00 a.m., we have to “fall back” an hour. I say, let’s pick a time. Let’s set a time and then let it be. A gentle, daily change is so easy and natural - no jarring lurch in either direction, nor abrupt disruption to our delicate internal clocks.

Tomorrow, the winds will have died down, the rain will be long gone. The clocks will have fallen back and I/we will adjust. As the cooler weather becomes the norm, culinary thoughts will turn slow baked, slow roasted meals that will fill the house with tempting aromas. Recipes for soups and stews will be reviewed or reinvented as the windows begin to steam up and the leaves fall down. I love autumn - no matter what time the sun sets.

Thursday, November 1, 2007


After the rain showers, there were streaks of pale pink, which turned to salmon. Then the sky began to glow and become more brilliant. Suddenly the western slope of the hillside to the east burst into a vibrant orange glow, each tree illuminated in the waning rays of the sun. Now the salmon streaks were deepening to raspberry, approaching what we wish neon lights could replicate. Then blue gray strips of clouds began to race more quickly, spurred on by the cold front, compressing, colliding and falling down like a curtain on a stage. The raspberry, now tinged with yellow, was just a shimmer on the horizon. The show was over; my camera still in its case. I hadn’t dared to take my eyes away from the sky. How could I ever have captured the grandeur?