Wednesday, November 26, 2008


High Speed Internet
This day and the next.
I hope you find abundance too.
Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Recipes For 2 Small Eggs

Seems like most recipes call for 2 large eggs. So, if Betty gives us 3 in a row, I think we'll make something sweet and decadent for our drive to the mountains. And how honored are we by these generous, dear treasures she bestows? Max scooped her up when he came home from school and sat inside with her on the sofa... stroking her golden feathers and praising her, showering her with his admiration. I wonder what she thought of that!

When the hens are on the loose they run for the grass, then they high tail it over to a dusty place beneath the climbing rose and after they have bathed in dirt, they step over to the glass door and peer in. Beak to the window, they gaze and cluck softly. They see the TV and the dining table, the cat's food bowl, the long hall and tall ceilings... or maybe those are the things I would see. Maybe they see the housing inequity. Maybe they pine for plush cushions and slick floors. The cats sit on the other side of the door and stare out. The hens spend hours staring in. We cannot really know what they feel, but it's darn funny for us.

Delia is here. We've been catching up with hilarious Internet bits, and we've been listening to Maria tell princess stories at the dinner table, then dance between every mouthful of dinner. We've seen the elaborate and amazing creations Alex and William have displayed upstairs... like the fountain made of Lego bricks! We've sympathized with Max, still in school, and spending evenings with homework. And we've been checking our Thanksgiving lists, buying supplies, revising recipes and preparing to haul all necessities and other stuff up to the mountains... couldn't there be a simpler way to gather and have fun? I suppose not and I know I will not regret our plans, but it is a bit daunting.

We had to buy snow chains! I am in (almost) total denial about the prospect of there being snow and very cold temperatures. For one thing, I cannot remember where our winter clothes are... after Wisconsin, last March, what did I do with those thrift shop threads and dozens of gloves? Today will have to be a shopping day. Won't that make the numskull economists be proud... bunch of goons.

OKay. Don't let me go down that road. It's not that I don't think about the economic crisis or feel livid when I do, but Thanksgiving is on the near horizon and I want to fill my head and heart with gratitude and hope. It is not ignorance or denial. It is self preservation.

Yeah, so I'll be at a mall today and all I can think is: Meh.

I would rather be spinning my wheels some other place.

A game! Name 1 place you have to go this week and then list 5 places you would rather be! I'll go first.
I have to go shopping. I would rather be...
1. Highway 250 from Havi to Waimea
2. camping in Big Sur
3. Linden Hills, Minneapolis and Wild Rumpus
4. Wisconsin
5. Home

Alex is enjoying his break, as is William, but I think if they could go to a school, like this, where student art is science in motion and where there are workshops to teach computer assisted design and lessons on transmissions and drive trains... I think they would be extra happy Geeks.

Here comes a to do list... it has to be done.

1. make spaghetti sauce for first dinner in mountains
2. find winter clothes for 6 people
3. shop for whatever winter clothes I could not find
4. buy bouillon, celery, carrots, drinks, aluminum foil and something else
5. clean car and gas up
6. pack
7. pack
8. tie up all loose ends for Maria's princess birthday... now I call it Maria's Amazing Princess Glitter Extravaganza... she promised the grocery clerk that not only was he invited, but that there would be snow and swimming and monkeys in trees
9. hire monkeys... I kid.
10. Fill head and heart with gratitude and hope... so far so good.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunset, Salad, Soap and Cuckoos **An amazing Sunday Update Too... cluck-cluck

Oh. I missed getting a picture of the sunset. It was pretty. I almost said, "looking west..." lol. The sky had clouds on the horizon which turned pink and denim blue, then deepened to apricot and night blue. Even prettier, my Mommy. It's so nice to see her and hold her and hear her. To see her out of that neck contraption. I never posted pictures... too personal and sad, but I am sure you can imagine that seeing her out of the brace and healing so beautifully is an answer to our prayers. She's been staying with Hans, my brother, and his wife Gretchen, and later she'll honor us with a stay at Garage Mahal. And sometime in the middle of her stay, we are all going to be in the mountains! I need to make some more scarves! There may be snow! Gee, did this paragraph have a point? Pretty sunset. Pretty Mommy.

Tasty. Yes, I am devoting a paragraph to the salad. Gretchen made this salad and it confirms that I really should consider taking a salad making course. This is not me trying to be hard on myself. I can cook and I have good dishes in my repertoire, but salad is my weakest link. Gretchen's salad was a taste symphony and pretty. There's that word again. This is officially a *pretty* post. Gretchen is pretty and Gretchen's home is pretty and her salad is pretty. It had nuts and peppers and cheese and raisins and leaves and dressing... and it was just so darn tasty. And pretty.

The sun set and the light was a bit soft for pictures, but I still have to post this one. Pretty Tutu, coloring with Maria. Ruth and Hans and Gretchen are nearly neighbors now, just minutes away from each other. And Holly and her family are in the same area... and maybe we should seriously consider returning to the old neighborhood. Our Squaremont roots are strong. It was a good evening for Maria. She had 2 grandmas and a doting aunt, all ready to play with her.

It was great getting caught up with Gretchen and Hans. They always have adventures and amazing tales to share, and we enjoyed stories from the back trails of Colorado, to Europe and the Middle East, to in home opera concerts and chillin' with Lance Armstrong... nice guy btw. We even spent time rapt in sincere anticipation waiting for their cuckoo clock to cuckoo. Seriously, I love it when simple things are a pleasure, and friends and family gather to appreciate them.

Grill Master Hans... actually, I am not sure that is his real ranking... he may be like a rear admiral or a 5 star captain. Point is, and I may have one: He grilled us a mighty fine dinner. I am just sitting her and thinking of all the things I love and admire about my brother. What a nice reverie.

Didn't I say this is a *pretty* post? After dinner and before cuckoo time, Gretchen opened up her home salon for her exclusive and best customer. You may recall the last time Maria and Gretchen got together. Manicures are their thing. Gretchen is so patient and enthused. Maria is so patient and enthused! This time she got the 10 20 digit rainbow... ten colors on the fingers and ten colors on the toes! Tiny, tiny digits. It takes a steady hand and a stroke of artistic genius to paint those bitty nail beds. Maria stays perfectly still, and she kept her hands like that, poised and extended, for the rest of the evening.

Lets' see... 1. sunset 2. salad 3. Cuckoos...

Soap! Gretchen and her soap sister make lovely, fragrant, natural bars of pretty soap. I love the mild, light scents and Geoff does too. He made sure we didn't leave without replenishing our supplies. Gretchen and Joanne are selling at a craft fair next week and Delia is going to join them and sell jewelry. Hopefully we didn't deplete her stock too much when we took full advantage of the family price. Love the orange patchouli! Juniper berry! Rose garden! Enriched lavender!

Well, now it is sunrise. A new day. New adventures await. New pretties to enjoy. I hope you have a lovely day.

**Amazing Sunday Update**

Announcing the arrival of Lady Betty Orpington's very first egg!
Everyone sigh and cheer in unison!

Did I ever doubt her? Did I ever malign her? Did I ever question her gender, her femininity? Cast away all suspicion and acrimony. She is a hen and worthy of organic greens and broad sun filled meadows, babbling brooks. She has been a dear pullet all along. Was there something in her chickness that should have tipped us off? Perhaps.

Her tiny brown egg is like cream in coffee. It has a pointy end and is really well formed for a first egg. We are all so amused and delighted. And we are wondering... what do we make with the first egg?