Sunday, October 25, 2009

Yes, it Really Was That Kind of Fall Day


These are the kind of days to that you want to last forever.   I think this color blue only exists in the Fall.  Of course, it is made that much more brilliant from the contrast of the yellow and orange of the leaves.

Even the delphinium leaves are turning.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I'm trying a new gadget - a post from a text from my phone. May e it's my age, but typing with my thumbs, even with the super technologiclly ad vanced keypad on this thing, is not as easy as a keyboard. Note the typos.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

First Snow

This was Sunday.  The first snow of the season.  Always a noteable event.   It gathered on the grass for a bit, then quietly melted.  It still is resoundingly Fall, with half the leaves on the trees and half off, so that you are surrounded by an orange glow as you walk through the woods.  And the smell!  The wonderful unique dusky dead leaf smell.  Dry.  Woody.  Earthy.  Swooshy.  Just makes you want to roll around onthe ground and bury yourself in a pile of leaves.

I wonder why no one has figured out how to record smell.  We can take photos of what we see, and recordings of what we hear, but there is no way to capture smell.  Mmmmmm.  Wouldn't that be wonderful?  What kind of smells would you record if you could?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thank You

Oh My Goddess has created a Goddess Award.  Each Friday, she chooses several posts from that week which she considers noteworthy.  Last week she chose my post about sailing.  Thank you OMG!  I am honored.  Everyone, please check out her blog and the other award winners - quite wonderful and worthy of reading.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Saturday Treat

I've already written about how much I love the promise of Saturday mornings.  This Saturday, I got to tickle my sweet tooth and heat up the oven to address a very frosty morning.  These scones were perfect - crispy, crumbly and moist.  The recipie is from Montana Cooking, by Greg Patent (a gift from my son out at MSU).

Huckleberry Scones

1 1/2 c fresh or frozen huckleberries
2 c all-purpose flour, plus more for shaping
1/2 c, plus 1Tblsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
Grated zest of 1 lemon
1/2 c very cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 c, plus 1 Tblsp heavy or whipping cream

1. Adjust oven rack to center position and preheat oven to 425.  Line large baking sheet with parchment or silicone baking pan liner.

2. Pick over the huckleberries and discard stems.  (I believe any berry would substitute - but I did not have any fresh berries on hand, so I used dried cherries.)

3. In large bowl whisk together flour, 1/2 c sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and lemon zest.  Add the butter, and work into flour rapidly with your fingertips (I used a pastry blender.  Don't work too much.  Add the berries (or dried cherries), and toss to coat with dry material.  Pour in 1 c. cream and fold until just barely combined.

4. Dust a work surface with flour, and scrape out the dough onto it.  Knead the dough a few times just until it holds together (I did not - I believe this sort of batter is better the less you mix it up.  I just shaped it).  Shape dough into a disk about 7 inches in diameter and about 1 inch thick.  Brush top of dough with remaining cream, and dust with remaining sugar.  Cut dough into 8 wedges.  With wide metal spatula, transfer dough wedges onto baking sheet, about 2 inches apart.

5. Bake for 18 to 23 minutes, until tops and bottoms of scones are golden brown.  Cool 10 minutes before serving. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

First frost of the year last night.
Not so hard that the flowers winced,
They still bravely hold open their petals,

The leaves fell, though,
And now the wind is herding them into drifts.
I hope they pile onto the the trusting blossoms,
And shield them from tonight's unsympathetic freeze.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Columbus Day Tribute

You could see the wind approaching  by the patches of darkened ripples and tiny whitecaps on the lake surface. When it hit, the spray hit our faces and the boat heeled over until the whitecaps splashed into the cockpit.  We flew across the water, seemingly in pace with the skittering clouds overhead.  The dogs slid against the sides of the cockpit.  The sound of scrabbling played a duet with the windsounds.  There was no purchase for their lenghty claws in the smooth fiberglass.  I took to bracing them with my legs and arms when I saw the wind approaching.  They shivered.

At the first strong heel, one of the dogs went overboard.  He was just behind my back, so I did not see what happened, though it felt he just decided to jump.  The dogs are good swimmers, so I was not too worried, but I did not want him to be frightened. 

We went into our first "man overboard" drill.  Circle back.  No, that doesn't work because the dog kept swimming towards a moving target and we both end up circling each other.   At last, the circling worked moderately well because the boat eventually slowed to stop as we were facing the wind.  We got the dog back into the boat wthin minutes.  We knew, though, that we need to get much better at the 'man overboard' maneuver.  We should  have simply turned to the wind and dropped the sails; one of us at the tiller and one scrambling foreward to untie the main halyard.  Just stoppped.  Forget circling back - that's how one retreives a downed waterskier.  Next time we'll do better, kowning of course, there will be a next time.  I put on my lifejacket.  For the first time ever I think, John put on his, too.  I am going to order two doggy life preservers.

We were the only sailboat we could see from this part of the lake.  Pity.  What a day for it!  The surrounding hills and mountains were vibrating with "peak" autumn display.  At Wiers Beach, hundreds of tourists lined up for the Mount Washington ("scenic boat tours") and the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad.  But few dared the lake on their own.  I guess the people who owned boats on the lake had already packed up for the season.  How shortsighted.  Though at an air tempurature high of 55 degrees F, and water tempurature at just under 60 degrees F at the surface, I would not go swimming for fun, the day was still a gift to experience.  Don't they realize that in a few short months this lake will be so frozen people will drive trucks across it?    Where is the lust for discovery and new challenges that stirred Christopher Columbus?

Friday, October 9, 2009

Something Else

I am supposed to be doing something else right now.  Late morning of the Friday before a long weekend.  Gray overcast, rain coming, but gorgeous sunny weather expected for my next three days off.  Orange, yellow and crimson hues are popping in the scenery, which just makes that sky look more blue (except today). 

The only way I earn money is if I work.  If I sit and tell my thoughts here, I am not earning.  That's what I am supposed to be doing.  But I just want to sit and have a cup of coffee and chat with you all.  I want to read your words, write back, talk things out.  I feel so full of unfinished thoughts of life, pursuit of happiness, meaning, beauty.  Things too big to capture in my small mind.  Talking helps sort it out.  Or not talking, and looking out the window at the colors.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Precious Daylight

I have been despairing at the shortening daylight.  I rush out the door at the end of work.  I make sure I am parked at the end of the driveway so no one is blocking me in.  When I get home, I run upstairs to get changed, and right back out the door with the dogs to get outside for a walk before the sun goes down.  My daughter suggested I flex my time - why not switch my hours around?  Great idea.

So, starting today until Daylight Savings Time ends at the end of the month, I shifted my day at least a half hour earlier.  Yippee, I was off to the fields to enjoy the sunshine and changing leaves.

I love the color
of these berries, and the ladybug.

The most
vivid red I've seen so far this Fall.

I loved the way
the setting sun made the ferns glow.  Thank you, Daughter, for the afternoon sunlit walk.

Monday, October 5, 2009

On Life

Precious Perfect Creation II appeared in my life September 16th at 10:45 am. Even now I cry. Maybe it's the sunset happening as I write. A few days after she was born, someone asked me how I was. I said only, "overwhelmed." My listeners seemed surprised. I think they thought I meant in the negative sense, as if I were tired. Oh my, no, not that.

I believe that life feels more beautiful and precious and fragile and fleeting as we get older. So the arrival of this new life feels intense. First, there is joy to the 4th power. I have two daughters who each now have a daughter. When one's daughter gives birth one feels the joy of your own child's experience, knowing that it is the happiest of her life. Your heart is full to bursting with joy for her. On top of that, one feels the joy of your own grandchild being born. That's cartwheeling joy for yourself. On top of that, there is the this new person experiencing the beginning of her life, seeing her mother's and father's face for the first time and being held in their arms. Multi-tiered x multi-person joy. You see what I mean?

Then there is the all the worry and excitement for each of their futures. From the perspective of age, I am achingly aware of the possible hardships, accomplishments, hurts, and laughter ... all that damn LIFE ahead of them. It's so big it hurts. I am overwhelmed.

Something About Sunsets

There is something about sunsets that always makes me melancholy.  Dylan Thomas whispers in my ears.  "Do not go gentle into that goo...