Monday, December 21, 2009
My favorite light during winter is the golden glow radiating from the windows of houses and shops at night. I feel a welcoming, as if each window is an invitation, a call for camaraderie. I'm taking my usual holiday blog break to spend time with my family and friends, to laugh and love in warm corners by frosted windows. If I see you pass by and peek in, I'll wave and invite you in.
Until next week, be well, be merry, eat cake.
Lemon Cake (pithy directions)
*Cream together 1 cup sweet butter and 2 cups sugar.
*Beat in 3 eggs, one at a time.
*Mix together 3 cups flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, 1/4 tsp salt.
*Incorporate alternately with 1 cup buttermilk into butter mixture (begin and end with flour).
*Add 3 Tablespoons of lemon juice and lemon zest. Bake @ 300 for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. (I use loaf pans and make 2 cakes with this recipe.)
*After cake completely cools, glaze with mix of 1/4 cup softened butter, 1.5 cups powdered (confectioner's) sugar and 3 T lemon juice.
*Let glaze thicken and set before wrapping or just eat it right away like you know you want to. Makes for an excellent breakfast.
Friday, December 18, 2009
Yesterday, in the middle of the crazy, I bought a bag of lemons on a whim. Today I'll make lemon pound cakes because I can, not because I have to. Unobligative cake tastes best. That is one thing worth remembering.
Monday, December 7, 2009
Monday, November 30, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I had forgotten how much I like horses and how much they like me.
Maybe it's my disposition that attracts them. Or maybe I smell like a root vegetable.
He was so handsome my inner Southerner broke free and I declared him "right purty." He didn't seem to mind.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Sunday, November 1, 2009
The leaves are falling slowly here, reluctantly, dancing on the sun warmed air, slipping out of our grasp at the very last second when we exclaim Ah!, our traitorous breath launching the burnished treasures skyward again.
My need to be still, quiet, and reflective is strong now, but only because these desires are the opposite of what the fractious energies of the season promise. Life only gets busier, louder, spread out across town and country, often expecting me to be in two places at once; everyone needs something from me. In keeping with my contrary nature my response to busy weeks is to want to hide even if it has to be in plain sight. I want to pull in and float along, observing the revelry, but not fully participating. This loner behavior serves in letting me see the world around me but isn't fulfilling in a way I want right now. Maybe this year I'll participate with my whole self and allow the world to know me. Hopefully I won't be tempted to fly away on the first breath of 'Ah! There you are; now we have you!' like a leaf reluctant to end its independent adventure.
Saturday, October 31, 2009
A house is never still in darkness to those who listen intently; there is a whispering in distant chambers, an unearthly hand presses the snib of the window, the latch rises. Ghosts were created when the first man awoke in the night.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
While my friend Nicole reads my first draft, I am writing short stories. Some real, most imagined, one a combination of the two. I find that of all my passions, and my regular readers know I have more than a few, writing makes me feel most fulfilled. Even when I reread the hours worth of words I've sacrificed sleep to create, only to delete them all, I am never disappointed in myself for having done so. Inspiration rarely alludes me, especially when crafting a short story. I tend to collect them in my mind and recall them later like half remembered conversations with old friends. I simply have to fill in the details.
On a completely different note, I have dreamt, vividly, in French for the past few nights. Problem is, I don't speak French (other than a few phrases). Apparently I understand it in my dreams though. How random is that? Maybe I need to stop perusing so many Canadian knitting blogs before bed. My subconscious self is exponentially more interesting than my waking self and that, my friends, is just sad. I wonder what Foucault would have to say about this phenomenon? I'm going to sleep on that thought and I'll give you his theory in the morning.
Monday, October 12, 2009
One of my favorite events surrounding Hermione Granger, cleverest witch of her age, in the Harry Potter series, was the tongue-tied, hapless attentions she received from Viktor Krum, the surly Bulgarian Quidditch champion. (That was a comma-splosion sentence, sorry.) Anyway, Viktor could never pronounce her name no matter how hard he tried, usually addressing her as Hermy-own-ninny or something close. I felt for the man. I have the same problem when introduced to people who speak a language other than English and children. "Edda" is usually what I answer to in these situations.
No matter, a name is just a name and sometimes, despite best intentions, you can't seem to get a thing to come out right, or out at all. So has it been with these socks. Life blocked my every intention of finishing them in my usual two week window. I think I cast on for these three months ago. Alas, my friends, they are finally finished, and all without the help of a time turner or charm. Now who's the cleverest witch?
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Walking to the bus stop this morning I breathed it in, the turn of the season, each chill lung full of air an awakening. This is the true beginning to my year; the autumnal stripping off the lethargy and sloth of humid days. I am invigorated and inspired by the coming cold, the burning colors, the instinct to wrap oneself inward under layers of early darkness. When the world herself goes stumbling towards a long nap, I awake, drowsy from my summer stupor. This is my season.
Jacob and Wilhelm, the brother hawks, watched me from their usual perch in the bare tree top across from my house. I named them this year after the Brothers Grimm. I wonder if that means we are connected in some way since I've named them. They would surely scoff if they could and remind me we are all connected regardless of words. I was grateful to see them hulking there, silhouetted against the indigo line between night and dawn.
Now is the time for cassoulets and thin sweaters. Knitting and Romantic classics. Perhaps a Gothic horror. Maybe Jane Eyre? Long rambles in the piney woods, a glass of wine before bed, school parties. And curling in, looking in, summing up the year's bounties and debts. This is my harvest.
Monday, September 21, 2009
I've received an incredibly thoughtful award for (k)creative blogging from the always inspiring and entertaining Left-Handed Housewife. Thank you again, Frances, I've taken your description of me to heart. Honestly, I don't usually blog these awards out of sheer laziness, but when I realized the majority of you are going to jump ship over the fact I haven't finished the socks yet, I thought I'd play along. Accepting this award means I am beholden to share seven facts about myself, which is difficult because people I know read this and I can't get away with telling you I am a secret agent working on an international cashmere goat poaching case. Good thing since that kind of sharing would surely upset Ms. Thin Mint, my super secret super spy boss.
The fine print: (which I am only posting for informational purposes and only following four steps. I'm a rebel, Dottie.)
1.Thank the person who nominated you.
2.Copy the logo to your blog (or at least into the acceptance post...).
3.Link to the person who nominated you.
4.List 7 thing about yourself people may find interesting.
5.Make your own 7 Nominations.
6.Post links to those 7.
7.Leave them all a comment to let them know you nominated them.
1) I never graduated college. I took a couple of years worth of core classes, couldn't bear the boredom and hated every minute of it. I wimped out and have never looked back.The final straw in my school career was when my philosophy 101 professor accused me of cheating because "no one had ever aced his tests before". The exams were multiple choice. What a prat.
2) I tend to be overly honest, sticking my foot in my mouth more often than not, but I have come to realize people turn to me when they need help because they trust my sincerity.
3) I wish I could speak Italian. I love the poetry of it. I completed four years of French and can only curse and ask the time fluently. I guess that means I could navigate a French train station pretty well.
4) When I lived in downtown Atlanta, a drunk homeless man ran into the road and fell against the side of my moving car. He landed on his butt and then stumbled away but I was too scared to get out and help him. The witnesses just kept walking. The whole scene still haunts me.
5) I am the soccer equivalent of Bobby Knight. I actually balled my hands into fists at my son's game and shocked myself by telling him to "Just kick her and get the ball !" I should be banned from spectating for the rest of the season. It is a league of four year olds by the way.
6) I love randomly complimenting people. It surprises them and makes them think which is always a good thing.
7) I have a restless soul. I question, analyze, seek knowledge, teach myself something new every day, and still I dream of wandering the world to figure it all out. The reality is I live a small life and love it, so this restlessness pools in my imagination, and I burst at the seams with creativity because of it.
Thanks for sticking around; you all mean the world to me. Consider yourself nominated.
Monday, September 14, 2009
"She's going to write about change again. Always with the change, this one. Transition this, acceptance that. Yada yada yada."
Not today. Today I'm wondering what happens after the change? What do you do then, if it's what you waited for or never saw coming, where do go from the new first step? I guess the answer to that is different for everyone. For this butterfly, the answer was to hang out on my window for an hour and watch me. I watched him too, wondering what he saw to keep him riveted. Eventually he flew off and I stepped outside to peer into the window out of curiosity. I saw me, reflected, with the clouds behind my head.
Butterfly was watching himself float on the clouds, not seeing into my house at all. I sat there for a spell, doing the same, taking in my reflection framed by clouds. I think we both liked what we saw and took the time to appreciate the wonder of it. That, in itself, should be a first step everyday, don't you think?
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
by Pablo Neruda
Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
Write, for example, 'The night is starry
and the stars are blue and shiver in the distance.'
The night wind revolves in the sky and sings.
Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.
Through nights like this one I held her in my arms.
I kissed her again and again under the endless sky.
She loved me, sometimes I loved her too.
How could one not have loved her great still eyes.
Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
To think that I do not have her. To feel that I have lost her.
To hear the immense night, still more immense without her.
And the verse falls to the soul like dew to the pasture.
What does it matter that my love could not keep her.
The night is starry and she is not with me.
This is all. In the distance someone is singing. In the distance.
My soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.
My sight tries to find her as though to bring her closer.
My heart looks for her, and she is not with me.
The same night whitening the same trees.
We, of that time, are no longer the same.
I no longer love her, that's certain, but how I loved her.
My voice tried to find the wind to touch her hearing.
Another's. She will be another's. As she was before my kisses.
Her voice, her bright body. Her infinite eyes.
I no longer love her, that's certain, but maybe I love her.
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.
Because through nights like this one I held her in my arms
my soul is not satisfied that it has lost her.
Though this be the last pain that she makes me suffer
and these the last verses that I write for her.
*maybe it is the glass of wine or the moon and Jupiter dancing outside the window now, but these simple words are calling my name and I'm not sure why. Just thought I'd share the moment.
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
You know that squirmy feeling you get when you've worked really hard on creating something? When you pour all of your passion and heart into it, drowning in your own enthusiasm whenever you (not so casually) mention the project to friends (or complete strangers) who invariably give you the stink eye after ten minutes of your gushing? I've got that squirmy feeling- I think it is happiness*, but as I near the end of the first draft process, and prepare myself for someone to read this, I get another feeling altogether. I want to throw up.
* I think there should be a happiness test, like a pregnancy test:
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
So, last night, I paced, literally paced, the floor trying to convince myself not to write the really painful scene between my characters. I kept thinking up increasingly ludicrous possibilities to spare them this confrontation, but life is confrontation, right? I mean we don't just all float around in bubbles of foamy bliss all day. I realized at some point, well into the night, that I was breaking my own heart for these imaginary folks. Is that normal? So I did what I do whenever I feel sad or frustrated or restless: I quoted all of my favorite lines from Lost in Translation and stopped when Bob says quietly, "You're not hopeless."
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Change is life. Whether you are a determined or wayward tendril, life will change and you will be forced to change with it. Let's resolve to accept our transitions gracefully, twined together by the knowledge that how we choose to live our life effects the souls of those we briefly connect with. For everyone out there losing their hold and for everyone grasping tightly to something new, I wish you peace. I've done both and will again and again. Happy first day of 1st grade, sweetie.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
I am writing a post I try not to write. The kind that you feel obligated to send out since you have been quiet for a week. Have you ever received a phone call from a friend and after you say the hellos, you both just hold the phone in silence, interrupting occasionally with half - hearted
"Well, (long pause) I've got no news" answered with " Yeah, (sigh), me neither." but neither of you hang up? It is a comfort call, a need to feel connected, and to know we are real to someone and not forgotten. This is my comfort call to you.
Well. I've got no news. (Sigh) But I have been busy. Daughter had a Fairy Tea Party that was a sugar high best fest. I am on the foot of a sock, for me, that has taken me longer than any other sock ever knit. I keep getting distracted by Per Petterson and Haruki Murakami novels. And I have slept less than 5 hours a night for the past three nights trying to write the story of the two characters that are constantly buzzing in my ear and won't leave me alone. I like them, these two made up people, but they are insistent I write it all down and I am becoming a bit obsessed in a sleep deprived sort of way. I am getting prepared for another school year, which begins a week from Thursday. I also am chomping at the bit over the many fabulous knit magazines coming out this fall. And Brooklyn Tweed has a book?! Somebody hide my credit card. Well,(yawn), other than that, I've got nothing. I think that is everything. 'Mkay, talk to you later . Bye. (click)
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
We rode around on jacked up golf carts, sometimes going so off road that my backside only touched the seat intermittently, and went on a dusk search for deer. I was foolish enough to think this land was too beautiful to describe during the day, but then the sun began to set and the long shadows stretched out to chase us back to the house. The beauty of the night's silhouettes under the quarter Buck moon was humbling. We were in town to celebrate my mom's 60th birthday and my daughter's 6th. Both exclaimed this was the best day of their life at different points. That is a better gift than anything we could have put in a box. Thank you, Gary and Stacey!
Monday, July 20, 2009
New photographs are available in my shop. Grab a coffee and come visit.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Tuesday, July 7, 2009
For anyone who has suffered an unfortunate shock at the hand of another, this pattern is for you. Bad feelings instantly vanish on sight of these wee hedgies, who are the epitome of approachable.