Saturday, November 26, 2016

Peeling a kiwi

I've begun adding a chopped kiwi to my blueberries and yogurt smoothie everyday. Here is a fantastic tip I saw online which makes the peeling quick and easy and even fun.

Cut the ends off the kiwi.

Insert a spoon under the skin and go all the way around.

Pop out the kiwi. 

Please visit Weekend Cooking for links to more food related postings.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Quote du jour/ Jan Karon

Cynthia came in quietly and set a cup of tea before him. He kissed 
her hand, inexpressibly grateful, and she went back into the kitchen. 
When we view the little things with thanksgiving, even they become 
big things. 

   Jan Karon, These High, Green Hills

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A decade

Ten years ago today when I began this blog, I wrote: 
Actually, I am a big fan of November. This is the month when the landscape opens up. We can see lights in the distance which were hidden throughout the summer. I’m sure that in past times, the families who lived on these isolated hill farms were happy to see the neighboring lights. When there wasn’t easy communication between people even a mile away, they must have brought great comfort in the winter season.
And now the lights I see down the hill, that I haven’t seen all summer belong to my daughter and her family. 

This is the photo I posted that day

Here is the same view of the house today

It isn't really slanted. ;<))  The old maple is gone, and the small trees have grown up. There is one young dog living in the house, not the three that were here in 2006. 

The ‘folks who live on the hill’ - see this post - are still going along. Older, yes. Slower, yes. Happier, yes. Our daughter living so close, our son only an hour away, and their partners, and the grandchildren give us life and hope and such joy. 

I am very grateful to the readers of my blog, both old and new. I am especially thankful that you drop by and take the time to leave a note even when I haven’t had a chance to visit your blogs in a while. There is such generosity of spirit among bloggers.

And so, I celebrate ten years of blogging.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Quote du jour/from Peak Practice

From an old British television show called Peak Practice. A character says,
"I like the cold. It lets you know you're alive."

This is exactly how I am feeling this evening of our first real snow of the season. I stand in the open doorway just breathing in the fresh, fresh air.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016




Ice cream tasters

Donkey riders

You Tube watchers


Four wheeler riders 

All in a day full of fun and great joy and oh, so much love!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Death of Leon Russell

I feel so lucky that I saw Leon from the third row in a small, intimate venue in August 2014. He has been one of my musical loves for a long, long time. He was supposed to be there again last month but he'd had a heart attack this summer. I thought he must be better because he had rescheduled for February. But it was not to be. Sadly for us, happily for him, he died in his sleep today.

We were in the presence of greatness. That voice, that piano playing, those songs.

He was completely unique in the music world, and his death is a deep loss. There is an excellent obituary in The New York Times here.

It was hard for me to choose one song to put up in honor of Leon Russell, but I think this one is the most meaningful to me as a parent, and now grandparent. I wish there were a video of this song, but there are some nice photos that are shown.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Saturday Sally/November 12

Sally: A brief journey; an excursion or trip.

For this week’s Saturday Sally, I am doing a couple follow-ups to my own letters. The first thing is that I tried a tip I wrote about in a What I Learned from TV post. I tried putting salt in a candle to see if the candle burned longer. I put two identical Vance Kitira candles side by side and burned them for four evenings. 

And the result is that the salt made not one bit of difference, and in fact, the salted candle was worse looking today than it was on Tuesday when I began my experiment. 

Did I do it wrong? I sprinkled salt right in the wick area, and outside it for good measure. Anyhow, I just wanted to give you an honest report.

A year ago July I wrote about Roz Chast’s book Can’t we talk about something more PLEASANT? She wrote an epilogue to the book in The New Yorker a few months ago. You may find it here. It is quite wonderful, and a fitting end to her book.  

Friday, November 11, 2016

Today's picture and today's video/Hazel Nina, and Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats

Hazel Nina had so much fun today watching Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats. She was singing along, 'time, time, time.'

I thought you might enjoy the video as well.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Death of Leonard Cohen

I just read on my blogging friend Robin's Instagram that Leonard Cohen has died. I feel so very sad about this. He has been a musical fixture in my life for nearly fifty years. I can't believe he is gone.

Last month I posted a photo of Hazel Nina and I walking and I quoted a line from Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye. I planned to put up a video of he and Judy Collins singing it. This was a meaningful song to Tom and I when we were kids because we were always being separated by school schedules and family responsibilities.

So now I shall post it in memory of, and in honor of, the wonderful Leonard Cohen.

You may read a very recent article in The New Yorker here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Today's song/All Your Favorite Bands by Dawes

I love the sweet message in this song.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Election day around here

Since Hazel Nina was about 6 months old, we've been taking care of her while her mother and father worked. For a year it was four days a week, and now it is two, but Tuesday has always been one of the days. And because Tuesday is voting day, Hazel has now been to the polls three times!

Here she is on November 4, 2014.

And the sticker from February 9, 2016 (don't know why we didn't take an inside pic).

Today she walked in and came upon a bake sale. Now she knows that voting means eating cookies!

Here she is waiting for the elevator to take us upstairs, cookie in hand.

Inside the booth with Pop. The woman told us 950 people had already voted and we were there around one o'clock. According to the 2010 census we only have about 2500 people in the whole town!

Afterwards we went to the playground next door.

Then she fell asleep. Voting takes it out of you!

And meanwhile, the animals say, "what's an election?"

Monday, November 7, 2016

Feeding the birds again

Three years ago next month I wrote a post about our decision to stop feeding the birds. You may read it here.

Since then we have greeted two falls and two winters without bird feeders. In the meantime the big maple out front was cut down, and we had extensive logging done in the woods. Our old dog Sadie died, and we got a new pup Lucy. These things all changed the bird and animal population at Windy Poplars Farm. The deer haven't been close to the house, nor have moose or bear. We've heard coyotes less frequently. The birds have been around in the summertime, but the winters have been very quiet.

This fall we thought that we might begin feeding again. Lucy is a loveable Labrador without a mean bone in her body, but she does her fair share of barking when she smells something in the air. We think her presence may be enough to keep the wild animals away.

So, we put up the feeders about three weeks ago, and what a joy it is to have the birds back. The sweet voices of the finches, both red and yellow, the cheerful chickadees, the pretty juncos, the colorful woodpeckers, and even the raucous bluejays are so very welcome. We put up two feeders, and two suet holders on the clothesline poles.

We see the birds out the kitchen window. It has been especially fun watching with Hazel.