The more I wonder…the more I love.
May your holidays be filled with much wonder and love, my sweet blog friends. I’ll see you back here in the New Year.
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For a long stretch of time last year, I wanted to move to the country. I thought it would be nice to have quiet, to see the stars shine, and a bit more space between me and some of my neighbors, without a view of their varying, ahem, decorating styles (snob). I also thought raising my own livestock, like chickens and a pig, would be fulfilling. I’d know where everything came from, what it was fed, and that it had a good life. I have since changed my mind – loving the easy walk to Hawthorne, Woodstock, and downtown, the lure of the Academy Theater, and best of all, my dear friends who live nearby.
This, however, does not mean that I don’t like to occasionally wax poetic on the virtues of a hobby farm, and so I read about them in wonderful blogs and books like today’s. In Made from Scratch, Jenna Woginrich writes in simple, yet beautiful prose about her life as a homesteader: baking, raising animals, growing vegetables, keeping bees, even making music on a fiddle.
What I liked best about the book is her honesty. She’s never done any of this before, but is willing to “Research, Son” and ask questions (and for help) like nobody’s business. As she writes about her experiences, we learn that, while there are many, many joys to a more earth driven and sustainable life, homesteading isn’t always easy, poetic, or romantic. There are many hurdles and much to learn, like how to plant a sensible garden, keep bears from a bee hive, or to put down an animal in dire pain (the hardest part of all, I think).
It is a wonderfully rewarding journey, even if it was only vicarious. She’s also got a blog if you’d like to see what she’s up to at the moment. It’s pretty interesting: Cold Antler Farm.
Imagination is the highest kite one can fly.
When I was a kid, I loved spinning. Loved it. I would go out in our rather capacious yard, extend my arms and go like a top. I’d focus on the undulation of my fingers as I twirled, greens and browns streaking by. Then when I couldn’t take another second, I’d drop dramatically to the ground, look up at the sky and marvel in the sensation that, despite my stillness, my body was still spinning. Heaven. This was such a habit that my Mom told me I’d likely grow up to be a dervish. While I do love watching them, I’ve never actually become one, save, I suppose, for the occasional wild romp in the yard and cleaning.
Mondays are top to bottom cleaning days around here – laundry, vacuuming, mopping, dusting, toilet scrubbing – the whole kit and kaboodle. I used to do a little each day but then felt like that was all I was doing, and it left me kind of depressed. Now that it is condensed into one day, I get a pretty good workout and a gleaming, sweet smelling house at the end. By the way, is it wrong to be in love with the scent of Murphy’s Oil Soap? If it is, sign me up for the program to get me off the stuff. Gosh it smells gooood.
The only problem with my dervish style clean is that I am pretty tuckered out by the end of the day and not terribly keen on making dinner. Thankfully there are fast, make at home meals like this that are delicious without being at all taxing. Otherwise, I don’t know what we’d be eating; maybe chips and salsa?
Roasted Cauliflower Soup
1 head cauliflower
1/2 of one small onion
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup raw cashews
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Remove the stem and leaves from the cauliflower. Break up the head into florets. Place on a baking pan and roast for 15 minutes, until golden brown.
Meanwhile, roughly chop the onion and garlic. Saute with a bit of olive oil in a medium soup pot over medium heat until translucent. Add roasted cauliflower, cashews, and broth; bring to a boil. Turn the heat to low and puree with an immersion blender or process in a blender in batches until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Makes about four adult sized bowls (I know, so precise).
We had ours with a little cheese toast (with Dave’s Killer Bread! Good bread and an even better story) sprinkle with smoked paprika. It was delicious and warm. Warm is good, too.
One cannot divine nor forecast the conditions that will make happiness; one only stumbles upon them by chance, in a lucky hour, at the world’s end somewhere, and holds fast to the days…
As promised, evening photos of our sojourn to Seattle – beautiful, a little blurry, and very chilly, but no rain!
So much neon!
Like candy canes.
For one of our favorite little friends.
The name says it all.
The Harbor Steps.
Here’s the soundtrack.
I was certain the bright red Netflix envelope contained the final DVD of season two of Mad Men, so when I saw this film instead, I found myself a bit miffed. Thankfully, I am rather pleased to say that I got over my pout in a jiffy. This is one terrific movie!
Ralph, in many ways, is a typical teenager. He is a bit of an outcast, save his one friend Chester, frequently the butt of jokes and ill treatment by the boys at school, is mystified by girls, and despite knowing that he is committing a sin (venal or mortal?) he cannot help indulge in pleasures of the flesh (gulp!). When his mother, suffering from a serious mystery illness, falls into a coma, Ralph finds himself at a crossroads. Not wanting to become an orphan (his father died in the war – presumably Korea, as it is 1954), Ralph is in dire need of a miracle.
After hearing a lecture on saints and miracles in religion class, Ralph decides he will perform one himself and save his mother’s life by winning the Boston Marathon, despite the fact that he’s only just started to run (as punishment for a multitude of sins). What ensues is a touching and, at times, hilarious account of his path to Boston. A great story, full of wit, warmth, and humor – really quite fulfilling. Five stars!
Recognize that you are the truth.
Self reliance conquers any difficulty.
Recognize that the other person is you.
Share your strengths, not your weaknesses.