Friday, October 31, 2014

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

Halloween.  I have the Halloween spirit.  It has been a hard holiday for me on more than a few of the last 6 years because my mom was the source of much of my love for this holiday.  I miss her a lot especially since her Halloween scarf and hat still faintly smell of her, and although it is hard, I am grateful for the memories. 

Pumpkin bran muffins.  I came across a recipe I tweaked this week that is what I believe to be the perfect marriage of nutty bran and silky pumpkin.  Not to mention that said muffin is the perfect companion for a cup of cinnamon coffee.

Ina's new cookbook is out.  I'm putting  Make it Ahead on my Christmas list.


Andy Cohen's book.  I lol through my miles. He slays me!

Coach and I are going away for our anniversary this weekend to one of our favorite places. We can only steal away for 24 hours, but I am all about quality not quantity.

The kids will get to spend time with their grandparents and cousins. It's a win win.

Signs, harbingers, foretokens and such.

An invitation to see James Taylor next week.  The last and only time I saw him was in the aire libre on a quintessential July night.  I didn't want to ruin that perfect memory, but a free ticket is a free ticket!

November.  October is hands down my most beloved month of the year, but November is a close second runner.


My ovens died last night.  Yes, ovenS...plural.  The last supper was a perfectly roasted chicken stuffed with stinky garlic, fresh rosemary and bright, juicy lemons.  It was beautiful and delicious.  I suppose I should be thankful that the bird was cooked through before the ovens decided to conk out, but I'm having a tough time seeing that silver lining.

The truth is that most everything in this kitchen is on borrowed time, and I've known it.  Most everything is on, has been on or is mysteriously recovered from the fritz.  I'm always saying a little prayer before I turn appliances on and then a little ode when they comply.  Last night's turn of events has forced my losing hand.  Who can go into the holiday season down not one, but two ovens?

I had to dash plans to make biscuits, and instead quick thought to heat naan in the toaster.  The kids laughed because our American toaster is not configured for our favorite Indian flat bread.  I could only toast half the bread at a time.  Luckily 2 1/2 burners on our stove top still work so I was able to steam the broccoli.  Last night the ice maker was working and the sink was only dripping a little just for the sake of full disclosure.

I must admit that I prayed to the Whirlpool Gods before bed and  hoped to wake up this morning to see the lights on in the control board.  My pleas went unanswered: it was still lifeless.

I called the repairman first thing this morning.  When I described the situation sound effects and all, I could hear him shaking his head through the receiver.  "That DOES NOT sound good," he agreed.  In fact, it sounded so bad that he shied away from a service call not wanting to charge me for units he was pretty convinced were unserviceable.

I surmise, it's time to giddy up on this elusive kitchen redo that we've been dreaming about for a decade and putting on the back burner for a good five.  What has happened is just what had to happen.  Apparently, nothing lights a fire under me in quite the effective way ovens without fire do.

Soon we are headed out to buy a countertop convection oven because even if we start this process tomorrow, it will be many months before we complete the project.  I think it's optimistic to say that I'll be most grateful if we are christening our new ovens on Thanksgiving 2015.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

two day pass

1. sunset on the farm. it was beautiful just like all of the almost summer weekend.

2. this friday she rode so hard she came home with blisters, and more confidence.

3. a lone bloom in the bramble reminding me that there is beauty everywhere and always.

4. evidence: i am the chicken whisperer.

5. sit upright, heels in, arms steady.

6. my little sous chef this weekend. she chopped, stirred, cooked, baked and tasted with complete joy.

7. these little owls were one of her creations.

8. coach and i cheffed up for our halloween bowling night. i love costuming. it was a fun night with old and new friends and lots of creativity.

9. the girls were ready to trick or treat at 12:59 sharp!

10. lily was a nerd and her friend was a scary clown. they were the most lovable looking geek and goof I've ever seen.

11. "kick me."

12. they were also our first trick or treaters. lily picked out our candy to her liking just sayin'.

13. mike was a good sport and an excellent guy fieri for a night. most of our friends didn't recognize him at first.

14. guy got a great deal of mileage the next day too. my brother couldn't resist.

15. reluctantly t. bone guyed up, but for trick or treat he went as a golfer, which is to say he put on the clothes he wore the day before to the course. all of his soccer playing friends went as soccer players.  i guess about as inspired as one would expect teenage boys to be.

16. we had a fun and delicious family dinner sunday that included: perfectly grilled steaks, jaleo spinach, wedge salads and an entertaining game of speak in this accent/language. my brother made us laugh speaking jive, coach was the only one who could speak pig latin. lily is still speaking what she calls british, and t. bone has pretty much mastered the australian accent as he hopes to live there some day.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...

A 19 year! long and loving marriage, and a husband who not only puts up with all my quirks but maybe even loves them. 

Two amazing kids.  Conferences were this week and there was not a single negative shared about either one of them.  Both their teachers gushed and praised.  Lily came home exalting how happy she was, and Ted didn't say anything, but I could tell.

Dedicated teaching teams and a school community that is strong and supportive.
I'm beyond grateful to have them in the same school again too.

The Judge.  Despite less than stellar reviews, Coach and I both enjoyed the film.  I think the cast was brilliant, and I appreciate a good family drama that isn't all happily ever after since rarely is it so irl.

Books.  Still have my nose in The Goldfinch, and still a fan of Theo Decker.

Pumpkin seeds just a tad burnt and for breakfast.

A glorious weekend forecast.  This fall has been perfectly perfect.
Tonight's spectacular sunset on the farm.

The way her instructor is amazed at what she is already doing.

Getting up a half hour early this morning to put the banana bread in the oven just because I know the way they like it best is fresh baked and hot.
Our costumes are ready for the weekend all except for T. Bone. 
Halloween spirit.
Long midday autumn walks.  Slightly cloudy and somewhat cool days.  Tree lined paths and geese lined ponds.
Also known as gratitude.
Knowing life is not perfect, but it is good and full and meaningful.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A little LOVE Story

Once upon a time there was a boy named Mike and...

a girl named Kristin.

They grew up and then went to college in Madison where they met although not on the train tracks as it appears in this photo.
They travelled to Hawaii for graduation and fell in love in island paradise.
Mike asked Kristin to marry him in beautiful Mexico on the beach although at sunset and not the heat of the day as the photo below intimates.  Despite the fact that two of her friends strongly suggested Mike's matrimonial intentions, she was surprised.  And overjoyed.  And she said YES!
The two of them...

became one on October 21, 1995.
Then they had two beautiful children.  Theodore Michael was born December 27, 2000, and Lily Kathleen joined the family August 7, 2004. 

And then they all lived happily ever after.
 The end, but really only the middle.
Happy Anniversary Love!  Obviously, without you none of this would be possible.  Wink Wink!

Monday, October 20, 2014

two day pass

it was a long weekend.
we had an extra day which we made sure to put to good use.
thursday night was what has become a biannual gathering of kathy's Gals, and just what I needed to get the weekend off to a happy start.
i love each one of these friends individually, but there is something bigger and better when we are all together.
friday i woke to a quintessential fall day.
the sun was shining, the breeze was warm and colors were peak.
i started my day off in the best possible way logging miles in the park.
t. bone spent the day with buddies playing football.
i took miss bit and her friend shopping and out for lunch.
then the girls carved pumpkins.
they are at the age where that can be a mostly independent venture.
mature enough to handle carving tools and immature enough to like the slimy pumpkin guts.
at the end of the day we made our friday trek to the farm.
ellie came to watch and jess too.
my brother and sil were waiting for us in the horse barn.
they had already met winston.
and admiral.
we savored happy hour on the farm.
 the critters too because i came with more than cold ipas.
i had a bag stocked with apples and kibble.
miss bit put on quite a show for her audience cantering around the ring like a pro.
on the way home, the girls decided it was not time to yet part.
so we had a girl's night in.
i ordered Chinese, opened a bottle of wine (for the big girls), and roasted the pumpkin seeds they gathered earlier.
ellie's mom came to get her, and joined us too.
the word for the day was spontaneity.
saturday the sky was saturated and the air cold.
t. bone had a soggy football game and miss bit had acting class.
then they spent the day with their cousins at another farm.
they did a corn maze and spent some time in a petting zoo.
miss bit was smitten with the baby chicks she got to cuddle.
ted had the attention of an angry, not amorous alpaca.
we came together for family dinner at my in laws.
sunday we decided to go back to sleep after a 7 o'clock sharp wake up call.
sunday school was cancelled.
that sort of set the tone for the day.
lily and i intended to see a performance of alice in wonderland, but we decided that we would rather have a lazy, cozy day.
shamelessly, we did just that.
we read, raked a ridiculous number of leaves, watched football and carved more pumpkins.
then i set the dining room table, lit candles, cued up frank and served chicken caprese with garlic bread for dinner.
the kids each confessed that they wanted just one more day.
if only.


Tuesday, October 14, 2014


The kids were out the door by 7:15.  I was ready to get out for a walk by 7:30, but the sky was spitting.  Still is.  The day is dark, dreary and tinged with notes of nostalgia, and I'm just not sure I'm up for weathering the weather today.  Pandora is on in the background, but it keeps becoming my foreground.  I'm easily sidetracked today by one song or another.  Some I have to sing along with like Fast Car or Hallelujah, and others like Helplessly Hoping and Dust in the Wind  I have to cry through.  Blackbird  plays. I find myself dusting off my guitar only to put it back in its case completely discouraged before the song is over.  Who am I kidding? 

This is what can happen to a day when best laid plans don't pan out.  This is what can happen to coveted free time when I get in my own way.  I want to do everything and so I do nothing.  I want to write, but I am going in one hundred directions and the words are firing faster than I can even make sense of them.  I want to create, capture and express, but I have zero focus and only building stores of frustration.  That little naysaying voice in my head is no longer faint or distant.  It has a bullhorn.  It broadcasts all my failures and shortcomings.  It harps on my weaknesses and deficiencies on repeat, and it sure knows how to strip me naked of all my defenses and armor.  I am exposed as a fraud.  Who do I think I am?

The thing is: I know who I am. I 'm stronger than this voice in my head.  Just as resilient too.  I know how to turn it down until it's only annoying background noise again.  I quiet it by doing the very thing it accuses of me of not being able to do.  If I just start writing, the words eventually flow and come together to tell this story that lives inside me because I am a writer not a fraud.  I am a writer because I write.  It's all up to me.  I'm only kidding myself.

Monday, October 13, 2014

On My Mind Monday

I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me. I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.

Meryl Streep

She took the thoughts right out of my head right down to her sentiments on animals, and that's exactly why I would love to have coffee with Meryl. 

2 day pass

when i come here to catalog our time together,
i find that these fall weekends contain so many of the same elements...
farm, football field, stage, pew, park, path or trail.
i begin to feel like a broken record and for a brief moment i consider skipping this part of the story.
but brief it be.
because in putting the pictures together and finding the right words to accompany the images,
i quickly realize what i have known all along...
there is plenty of extraordinary in the ordinary.
even what seems like just another saturday or sunday is anything but.
and that's one of the things i love about the ritual of showing up here:
it encourages me to celebrate the small stuff that is so easily overlooked.
the bagel date, shopping date and movie date with my girl all in the same day.
saying yes to an impromptu stop at the park because why on earth not?
snapping a selfie with my partner in crime.
picking up a porch full of pumpkins because she feels strongly that they all need a home and especially the odd and imperfect.
loving her even more for her endless empathy and kindness...for her constant championing of the underdog.
picking him up from his bar mitzvah party and chatting all the way talk is the best with a teenage boy.
he waited all day and night long to tell me he threw an interception in his morning game.
i love him even more for his vulnerability.
walking along the river and up on brewer's hill with coach.
he was gone all day saturday in madison for the badger game, but he still got up to walk beside me.
he did leaves and took the kids to a party i was not in the right spirit for too.
 watching an entire episode of homeland for a second time with me because i fell asleep the first.
i love him most for the way he always takes care of us...puts us first.
the way that it doesn't matter where i am or what i'm doing so long as i'm with one or all of them.
and this message...
it never gets old or overused.
and that's why i come here every week...
to remind myself that life is good and we are blessed beyond measure...
as long as we are together.

Saturday, October 11, 2014


Reading The Goldfinch and finding myself captivated right away.  I think it's smartly written.  Sometimes a bit wordy too, but I'll take my time and take them all in.  Also Paradise in Plain Sight for my daily dose of Zen.

Wondering when the Ebola virus will mutate to become airborne.  It is a virus and that's what they do.

Noticing the way that night is falling earlier every day.

Watching Homeland Season III with Mike, How to Get Away With Murder with lots of fast forwards with Ted, The Middle and Modern Family with Lily, and The Walking Dead when I work out.  I saw Gone Girl with my SIL this week.  It was sorta lackluster and long.  Ben Affleck was flat.  The book was better, which, of course, usually is the case.

Listening to the Stevie Wonder station on Pandora.  Somehow his music fits no matter my mood.  Also The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks when I walk.  I am far from a Sparks fan, but my Dad spoke highly of this title and he is less likely to turn to Sparks than I am.  Jury's still out.

Eating pot stickers better than any Chinese restaurant, and the best beef stew the recipe for which I finally mastered.  The tricks are balsamic vinegar, tomato paste and deglazing the pan with a glug of good red wine.  Still eating an apple a day from our orchard stash.

Drinking not nearly enough water now that the heat and humidity have headed south.

Dreaming about a month on an island to do nothing but read.  I have a stack of books I need to read, and like so many other bibliophiles, I add more titles than I take away.  It's a constant nagging fear of mine to die with books in cue, or to lose my eye sight, which might be worse.

Feeling like everything is going just a little too fast.  Soon October will be over.  The holidays are quickly approaching.  Next year T. Bone will be in high school. 

Wanting to be less indecisive.  I have been unable to pull the trigger on several big decisions.  I know it is fear that keeps me from making a choice, but not doing so leaves me with a soaring level of anxiety.

Wearing slippers again in the morning.  Brrrr.

Hoping I get to spend some time with my friend who is coming to town next weekend.  It's impromptu and for family matters, but I'd settle for even an hour or two.

Thinking that today is going to be a 3 caffeine day.  I was up before the sun on this chilly Saturday morning to see T. Bone off for football.  I thought maybe I'd go back to bed until Lily's acting class, but the heat kicked on and the coffee kicked in and the sun came up so now it seems rather pointless.

Enjoying the extra hour I have to myself now that Coach takes both kids to school in the morning.  I meditate or fold laundry or a read chapter or two...or all three.  Sometimes I even just get into work early, but I start the day so much more relaxed thanks to those 60 minutes.

Loving fontina cheese in a frittata, cat cuddles, the fact that Lily bought her BFF the same leggings she owns and a best friends necklace to share, getting organized, Pinterest again and Instagram still.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...
Another serendipitous night on the farm.  It's so welcoming.  I truly feel like I'm in another faraway place...a simpler place... and there is something restorative about that at the end of a rat race of a week.

It was lovely again tonight so Miss Bit rode outside as the sun shrank behind the auburn trees.  I watched the sun literally get swallowed up.  The sky has been showy all week long. I'm thankful for that too.
My Lily.  She is really such a joy.  And a stitch.  Sometimes she says things and I am absolutely sure she is channeling my Mom.  She's surprising me with how seamlessly she's adjusted to middle school.  She has been on top of all of her assignments, studying for tests, and getting out of bed in the morning with minimal coaxing.  Right now she's excited about riding Admiral, side pony tails, Modern Family and The Middle, running the mile in 8 minutes, acting class, school dances (she's at one right now), putting together her nerd Halloween costume, playing outside and meatball subs in no particular order.
My Teddy.  He is so dedicated and good natured especially for a teenager.  He is all about football right now even when he doesn't want to be because it seriously cuts into his social life.  He cannot wait for ski season.  He got his skis last night and keeps inquiring whether or not he's signed up for Snow Star. Yet he was excited to golf last Sunday and hopes to again before the season really ends.  He is a teacher's dream because he just gets things and then does what he needs to do.  A parent's dream too because he is organized and self-motivated.  Right now he's into crime shows, baggy sweatshirts without hoods that he insists are sweaters,  running a 6 minute mile, bar mitzvahs and waiting until the last minute to come up with a Halloween costume.
My guy.  He is whatever we need him to be.  Right now he's football coach, math tutor, pot sticker steamer, chauffer, confidante, cheerleader, groundskeeper, best dad, better half.  That's a lot of shoes to fill, and he does so well...happily.  We are so lucky.
These boys.  I have only one word... love...unconditional love times two!  I love them even though Tigger wakes me up in the middle of the night for pets, and Peanut meows all day long begging to go outside.
The rush that comes from writing especially from writing fiction.  I'm on a roll with this story I've started and stopped many times.  This time it feels like I have no choice, but to plow through.  That both delights and terrifies me, and I wouldn't want it any other way.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014


I don't read Vogue, but I was inspired by Lindsey at A Design So Vast to answer these questions posed to Anna Wintour in a recent interview.

1. How long have you been in the area?

All my life I have lived within walking distance from the Milwaukee River with the exception of four years in Madison and several summers out east.

2. What’s your favorite season in Milwaukee?

Fall is perfect here.

3. What’s your favorite activity in Milwaukee?

Spending time on the shores of Lake Michigan.

4. Would you ever leave Milwaukee?

It's unlikely at this point that I'd leave Wisconsin, but perhaps Milwaukee.

5. What are three words to describe living in Milwaukee?

Easy, accessible, entertaining

6. What’s your favorite movie?

Just one?  Moonstruck, Cousins, E.T., The Graduate, Good Will Hunting, Godfather I and II, Terms of Endearment, The Shining, Four Seasons, Polar Express, Toy Story (all), A Christmas Story, Casablanca, Titanic, Usual Suspects, I Love You Man.

7. Favorite movie in past five years?

Silver Linings Playbook

8. Favorite Hitchcock film?

The Birds because it was the first I saw.

9. Favorite TV show that’s currently on?

Homeland, Parenthood. Modern Family

10. What’s a book you plan on reading?

Anna Karenina

11. A book you read in school that positively shaped you?

Toni Morrison's Beloved

12. A book you read in school that you never think of?

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

13. On a scale of one to ten how excited are you about life right now?


14. iPhone or Android?


15. Twitter or Instagram?


16. Vine or Snapchat?


17. Who should EVERYONE be following right now?


18. What’s the coolest thing in this room?

My twin tabbies.

19. What’s your favorite Milwaukee restaurant?

We don't do much fine dining these days, but I'd go to Sala for a nice meal.  I love Hooligans for sandwiches,  Lisa's, Zaffiro's and Transfer for pizza, and La Merenda for small plates.

20. What’s your favorite food?

cheese and crackers, chicken cordon bleu, poached eggs, popcorn, pineapple

21. Least favorite food?

Gamey meats like venison.

22. What do you love on your pizza?

Lately, pepperoni, black olive, onions and Parmesan.

23. Favorite drink?

Coffee in the morning, water throughout the day and wine at night.

24. Favorite dessert?

Although I'm a baker, I'm not a big dessert person, but a piece of chocolate cake with ganache is something I can never deny.

25. Dark chocolate or milk chocolate?


26. Weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

A live goldfish.  Actually, I technically drank it at a frat party.

27. What’s the hardest part about being a mom?

Simultaneously giving my kids roots and wings.

28. What’s your favorite band?


29. Favorite solo artist?

Rickie Lee Jones and Jack Johnson

30. Favorite lyrics?

It's not that it goes too fast, it's just that it goes at all.   Jack Johnson/Turn Your Love and also Paula Fuga's Country Road...What's meant to be will always be though I control my destiny.

31. If your life were a song, what would the title be?

If you want to be happy BE

32. If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be?

Michael Buble or Jimmy Fallon.

33. If you could master one instrument, what would it be?'s still on my list.

34. If you had a tattoo, where would it be?

I have two.

35. To be or not to be?

To be

36. What’s Oprah like in person?

Electric.  I was in her audience once.

37. What number of question was this?


38. Dogs or cats?


39. Kittens or puppies?


40. Dolphins or koalas?

Dolphins in the surf as I walk along the shore.

41. Bird-watching or whale-watching?

whale-watching unless it's owl-watching

42. What’s your spirit animal?

The owl and the coyote.

43. Best gift you’ve ever received?

My son and then my daughter.

44. Last gift you gave a friend?

A book.  Karen Maezen Miller's Paradise Now.  She texted me minutes ago upon finishing it to tell me again what a gift it was.

45. A person you want to have coffee with?

Joan Didion or Merryl Streep

46. A historical figure you’d love to have coffee with?

Ernest Hemmingway although he'd probably have a cocktail.

47. How do you like your coffee?

With sweet cream.

48. Can I play a note on this piano?


49. What’s your favorite curse word?

Frickin' and jack#*!

50. What’s your favorite board game?


51. What’s your favorite country to visit?


52. What’s the last country you visited?


53. What country do you wish to visit?

Ireland, Spain and Italy

54. What do you see in this image right here?


55. Can you write down your favorite word that starts and ends with the same vowel?


56. What’s your favorite color?

mossy green

57. Least favorite color?


58. What color dress did you wear to your prom?

Bubble gum pink

59. Diamonds or pearls?

Depends on the day

60. Cheap shampoo or expensive?


61. Blow-dry or air-dry?

air-dry whenever at all possible

62. Heels or flats?

Dansko clogs

63. Can you give an impersonation of someone?

Not well

64. Can you do the same impersonation with a British accent?


65. My friend outside this window would love to ask you a question?


66. [Holding two different colored dresses] Which should I give my girlfriend?


67. Pilates or yoga?

Yoga once in awhile.

68. Jogging or swimming?

Brisk walking.

69. Best way to decompress?

Read, write, cook or hike.

70. If you had one superpower, what would it be?


71. Can you describe an experience you felt most nervous?

Last winter when I hit the slopes for the first time in twenty+ years.

72. What’s the weirdest word in the English language?

Weird...I never trust myself to spell it correctly.  I also think irregardless because although it isn't "a word," it is so often used, hence misused.

73. Last question: Is this the strangest interview you’ve ever had?


Monday, October 6, 2014

2 day pass

another friday night on the farm.
or the field (for the boys).
this week brisk and even more colorful.
she spent most of the hour trotting and posting...
with a perma smile on her face that has the same effect on me.
saturday morning was another effort at the good ole parental divide and conquer.
coach took him to football cuz'
i took her to acting class although so not stage mom.
there was some shopping for a bff's birthday present with her and non-flood pants for him...again.
29/32 now...with a belt!
my brother and sil stopped by for a visit after the badger loss bearing charcuterie and bottles (yes bottles) of sea smoke.
we wowed them with a batch of perfect was my week's mission.
it was a fun impromptu gathering that left us all moving slowly come sunday morning.
but it was another full and glorious day all around.
the boys golfed with my brother and sil, lily had a birthday party and i met jess for a walk along the lake front.
then we all came together for sunday dinner.
this week's much loved by all menu:
baked ham, homemade mac and cheese, sweet potatoes and salad with homemade buttermilk ranch.
oh and more sea smoke...southing this time, which was better than ten.
(i sorta value the word homemade.)
nanny's family favorite pumpkin bars became this morning's breakfast.
we were all tucked in early spent after a good and full perfect fall weekend.
blessed, sun kissed and content.

On My Mind Monday

It seems to me that the big memories, the ones that become sacred, all have two things in common.  First, they were created.  They were moments that, as a family, we had a hand in making.  And also, it seems that the strongest memories all have an element of pain or discomfort that is worked through somewhere along the way.  Whether it's a kick in the groin in the redwoods, or the melancholy of that first kindergarten drop-off, a memory's potency seems to have a direct correlation to the amount of conflicting emotions it contains.

Love Life
Rob Lowe

I finally finished Lowe's second memoir over the weekend.  I'd been hauling it around with me for weeks unable to plow through the final few chapters, which I ultimately found to be the most enjoyable and rewarding of all.  It struck me as rather fitting that I finished the book while waiting for Lily's acting class to wrap.  I dog eared several of those last pages, laughed out loud in a quiet sitting area beside total strangers, and also wiped away a tear or two.  In his closing chapters, Rob Lowe humbly bares his soul.  I find him most likable when he is waxing poetic on marriage and parenthood and the inevitable passage of time because those are the common threads between his very public life and my private one.  The memoir is composed of his stories, little nuggets from his past, that all support the importance of living our lives like we love them.  And who am I to argue with that?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Grateful Friday

Today I give thanks for...
Few words this week, but quite a few pictures.
The cat's had my tongue and I'm OK with that.  Sometimes I have to get still and quiet to hear my voice and find my words.
 This little barn cat is quickly getting my heart.  It's mostly owing to that mauled ear, but his sweet persistence is worth much too.
October.  Thirty-one days of the saddest happy days of the year.  Sad only because there are so few and they are so soulfully resounding.
A pain free week. Feeling good is really the best gift of all.  It sets the tone for everything.
Jess...constant and true and bearer of beautiful bouquets.
Egg yolk ravioli.  On a whim, I prepared them for lunch the other day.  They were delicious and decadent especially just for little old me in the middle of the week.  Oh, and they were anyone can boil an egg (or a noodle wonton) easy.
When rotten bananas become banana bread.  I don't like to waste things.  It's one of the strong tendencies I inherited from my Grandma Rose.  I'm rather proud of my providence in our piggy society.  I'm especially proud knowing she would be too.
BLTs made with tomatoes that actually taste like something good...likely the last tasty tomatoes of the season.


I think I'm becoming the chicken whisperer.  They follow me around the farm on Fridays and I find myself talking to them the way I talk to my cats.  As far as I know, no one has heard me.

The way I could take pictures of the horses all gloaming long.  There are endless photo opportunities on the farm, but I love this window in the old barn best of all.  Next week I am taking my "real" camera.

And pictures of her on horseback too. 

 A beautiful day Sunday spent with the best people and  the juiciest sun-kissed apples fresh off the tree.

This selfie of Lily and I taken at the orchard on Sunday.  You can see that Nanny was with us too.  Shining down on us from heaven on her heaven day. 
An apple a day.  My new favorite is the Ginger Gold - not pictured because, of course these apples are red. 
Pumpkin patches. Lily took this beaut of a photo.  She's got an eye.

Gourds. Warped yet whimsical.

Ancient tortoises.  I think I might go to the pet store to buy my lettuce from now on.  Just sayin' it's way better than the romaine I've been getting from Costco of late.

A thunder storm in the middle of the night this week.  It's kind of a lullaby as far as I can hear.
This bond they are sharing.  Apples after the lesson help, but only just a wee small bit.  And the truth is, this girl would bring our whole recently picked peck for the horses if...IF...I would allow it.
And I get it.  While she walked him out to his paddock, I made the rounds in the barn to hand out a few more.  I felt like Santa Claus and not only because the northwest wind felt arctic.