Thursday, November 20, 2008

Storm to Awaken the Senses

Cassie, Caroline, and I sat looking at one another last evening. We all felt overwhelming sleepiness.

"I feel like I could go to bed now and sleep all night."

All three of us echoed that sentiment.

It was six o'clock.

The dog looked up at me with luminous brown eyes waiting for me put on shoes and grab his walking leash.

"We've got to fight this hibernation instinct or we are going to have too long a winter, girls," I said with all the strength of voice I could muster.

Resistance. And more resistance.

But I can ramrod notions.

Two grumbly teens changed out of warm flannel pants and into jeans, grabbed hoodies and a flashlight. I leashed up the now-exuberant pup, and we plodded outside.

And it felt good. Sleep stalled for a few hours, we ended up working out on the Wii Fit, the girls practiced their guitars, night fell, and we slept - soundly.

A storm whipped up overnight - probably the reason for the instinct to curl up and doze - leaving rain, wind, and bulbous clouds this morning, with the sun curiously peeking through the gray now and then.

Perky girls once again.

Invigorated family.

How I love a storm!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Out of the Blue

Without naming any names, an acquaintance of ours was hit by a car while she was pushing her two year old in a stroller. The child is fine and home with her family. Our friend has a broken pelvis, scrapes, bumps, bruises, and I imagine is in a bit of shock.

I just happened to catch her name on the news this morning as I was walking through the living room. It's always stunning when the name in the news is familiar.

My heart goes out to M. and her family. Besides her husband, children, and extended family she has many friends who will be supporting her in the days to come. From what I know of M. she is a joyful, effervescent woman. I know she is creative, with a marvelous eye for beauty for she creates art that stirs my soul. She loves her husband, her kids, her friends, and it's a shame that this has happened to her.

The driver of the Yukon crossed over the busy street and was driving on the wrong side of the road. He hit her, crashed the SUV, got out, and ran away. Coward. The police know who he is, a man-hunt is on-going.

I say it over and over again, life is fragile and fleeting. Cherish, cherish, cherish the life around and within.

(Here is a link to M.'s husband's note of thanks on her blog where he describes the accident and the aftermath, along with his personal thoughts which are inspirational.)

UPDATE: Tom said he heard on the news that driver of the Yukon turned himself in tonight.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


"Joy is an inward singing that cannot be silenced by outward negative circumstances. Yes, even when life seemingly is falling apart."

~~ Robert D. Foster

Friday, November 7, 2008

Spaces Between the Drips

Warm temperatures and dry skies called us outside today. So much to do.

After rain smashes into flowers, squishes dirt into mud, and blows leaves off trees a garden droops like a hobo's hair in a rain storm. But that's okay. Rain is good.

And so is getting outside under a bright low sun for an afternoon.

We didn't get it all done. The mums were dead-headed so that new buds could meet the sun. The patio was washed of leaves and mud. Lavender pruned. Wilted summer plants snipped back. Weeds pulled.

And Cassie pulled up the last of the tomato plants and began the work of putting the once bountiful vegetable garden to bed.

She had fun playing in the mud, can you tell?

Tomorrow we tackle - the carpet of leaves!

Before the rains return.

Like a game of cat and mouse.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Light

One week of gray and rain and my mind turns to darker days ahead when S.A.D. will plague some of us who live out winter in sunless semi-darkness.

Some of you advised me last year to buy happy light bulbs, so I did.

Now I lie on my sofa, eyes closed, visualizing afternoons only weeks ago when I'd sit on my sunny porch in shorts and tank top, feet resting on a cushy chair, dark glasses on my nose, body soaking sunshine.

One does what one must to keep her spirits up.

It's never too early to begin preventative measures, no?

How I am enjoying the challenge of living season-consciously during months that normally sap my energy, crabbyizing me until spring returns bright new life.
Decades of 'doing it wrong' have instilled crusty, moldy habits - habits that feel as instinctual as breathing and eating. I'll root 'em out.

As Bob Dylan says, "He not busy being born is busy dying." Busy being born here - anticipate the unexpected!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Triple Chocolate Caramel Apples

Caroline didn't feel like Trick-or-Treating this year. All four of our kids found their moment when dressing up and walking the neighborhood lost its appeal.

She handed out candy to all the little kids instead. "It was really fun! They're so cute."

The little girl who commented, "I like your house. It's pretty!" received two large Reese's Peanut Butter Cups.

While the front door was busy opening and closing to little bumblebees, princesses, and military boys the kitchen was busy, too. I made homemade caramel with fresh milk, cream, dark corn syrup, and more. Then, I coated a bunch of apples.

After they hardened I coated two-thirds of the apples with melted milk chocolate. Back to the fridge for cooling. (First photo is after milk chocolate dip.)

Tom and Cassie added a coat of semi-sweet chocolate to all of the milk chocolate and/or caramel apples. (Second photo, Tom and Cassie melting white chocolate)

Once the goodies had chilled, Caroline watched as Tom and Cassie drizzled the ever-expanding apples with melted white chocolate.

More refrigeration. Thirty minutes. It's all we could stand.

We sliced an apple in half then into quarters, slicing out the core, and we each enjoyed a hunk.

The remaining treats? Noooo, we won't eat them all. There were over a dozen. Joe and Sam, Joe's friend, will be gifted with a couple. We shall present a couple more to the kind friends who came over to console the girls during the Sammy/pit bull ordeal. I'm sure the leftover coated fruit will find bellies to sweeten.

Hope your Halloween was safe and fun!

I'd write more but I think I need a little snack - say, an apple?