Mary Oliver

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do

with your one wild and precious life?"

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Cooking with Gas

I got motivated to make some recipes out of the Smitten Kitchen cookbook I bought some time ago. I love to cook, but since I rarely get home before 5:30 and I don't own a dishwasher, we tend to either eat out or just throw quick things together, which get the job done but aren't very interesting. You know, cereal, popcorn, or salad. I used to cook pasta a lot because it's so quick, but since I've been on my 1200 calorie a day regimen, I haven't eaten that for awhile.

Before I went to the grocery on Wednesday, I picked out three recipes that looked good and bought the ingredients for them. Wild Rice Gratin with Kale, Caramelized Onions, and Baby Swiss; Harvest Roast Chicken, with Grapes, Olives, and Rosemary; and Pork Chops with Cider, Horseradish, and Dill. I made the rice casserole and the chicken today, and will make the pork chops tomorrow. Since Steve was working from home, we ate at one o'clock; he was pretty happy to enjoy the results of my efforts!

I didn't do much of anything else, other than read and take pictures of birds at the feeder, like this beautiful cardinal.

I really need to knit tomorrow, if I want to finish my sweater, and since we have yet another snow day, I'll definitely have the opportunity!


The Snow Days Continue

I took advantage of the snow day on Wednesday to meet some teacher friends for lunch. Since teachers never get to leave the building for lunch, it seems to be the first thing we all want to do whenever we have the chance. Afterwards, I went to the grocery store, along with almost every other area resident, to stock up on the essentials, like microwave popcorn and seltzer water. You know, the basics.

When I got home, I decided to take advantage of the sunshine to take a walk on the beach, in case we were snowbound for three or four days. Hard to believe it when looking at the blue skies.


This is what was predicted for our region,

and this is what we got:


Not only have we gotten at least six inches, it's still snowing big, fat flakes, so I guess the weather folks got it right. I'm home again today and will be tomorrow as well, so I'll cook some of the food I bought, read, knit, and grade some papers, so that when we do make it back to school, I'll be ready to roll.


I'm going on my first knitting retreat next weekend, assuming we aren't snowed out, and I'm hoping to finish my Edie sweater in time to wear it. I am at the point of joining the front and back in order to shape the shoulders and neck, and then I have two short sleeves to knit and attach. I know it's still quite a bit, but I have four days in front of me and if I focus, I can get it done. If I focus. Hmmm. Send good thoughts!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Snow Week

We are having an interesting month, weather-wise. We came home from New York on President's Day to falling snow, and as a result of the snow and below freezing temperatures, the schools in my area were closed until yesterday! The roads had become icy and as we don't normally have snow and ice issues, our cities do not have the resources to make traveling safe. People living north of us think it's funny we close for what seems like very little snow, but we just aren't equipped for it down here. So, we returned to school yesterday, refreshed by our surprise winter break, and got back to our curriculum.

It started snowing again this afternoon and although the weather folks were only calling for a dusting, it hasn't stopped yet, and the schools have already announced that we are closed again tomorrow. Not only that, but we are supposed to get another 6-10 inches of snow tomorrow night, which would close us down for the rest of the week. I love snow days, but it's going to get crazy trying to make up the time from this point on.


Here are a few photos from last week's snow. The biggest problem was that the snow had a frozen top layer, which froze everything in place. In order to open my front gate, I had to break up the ice/snow in tile-like chunks, rather than simply shoveling it out of the way.



See the sheen? This is solid ice that I had to break this up in order to move it off the car. Luckily, I didn't damage any of the paint.

And the footprints you see, stayed that way because the snow was ice instead of powder.

The view behind the fence is the road; difficult to see where the curbs are, isn't it?


Of course, we still don't have a lot of snow compared to New England; here is a photo of my daughter, Meredith, that she took on Saturday. New Yorkers keep on going when they have snow.


Regardless of what tomorrow brings us, I'm going to enjoy another snow day while I have the opportunity. Hoping to stay nice and cozy and get a little work done and even more knitting done!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

I Saved the Best for Last

In my last picture heavy post, I omitted one of the places we visited while in Brooklyn. We went to the new indoor location of the Brooklyn Flea. As usual, it was overwhelming and I saw so many interesting things.


I love all the wooden letters.

And the metal ones.

The keys were intriguing, but pricey.

This booth was awesome, but again, I didn't purchase anything.

Then, as we were leaving, I saw this:

A gorgeous Dale of Norway cardigan in beautiful condition. I took a couple of photos, then asked the man how much it would cost, and when he said $45, I couldn't get my cash to him fast enough.

I wore this beauty the rest of the trip and I swear, I almost didn't need my coat anymore! When I priced similar sweaters on the Internet, they were priced between $350 to $450!! I'll show you the details next time, but meanwhile, just know I'm in love with this sweater. What a fabulous birthday gift to myself!


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

My Birthday Weekend

What a wonderful weekend I had, and thanks to snow here at home, I don't have to work today and I'm probably off tomorrow as well.


We rented a studio apartment through AirBnB that was only one subway stop away from Meredith and Ryan; it was in a nice building but Steve was surprised how noisy radiator heat and the city is, so he had a hard time sleeping, but I loved it. This is the view of the street we were on:

We met Meredith and Ryan at Le Gamin, a French cafe, a couple of blocks from us, for a dinner of crepes and salad. The roses were on the bar, as an homage to Valentine's Day I assumed.

Snow in the city at night is so mesmerizing to me.

And of course, Ollie (Olivia) was dressed up for my visit!

Sunday, Meredith took us through Central Park in order to visit the Frick Museum, one of the places she works.

Strawberry Fields and the Imagine mosaic.

A view of The Dakota over the snowy fields.


If you look carefully, you can see a couple of ice hockey skaters.



The Frick doesn't allow any photography except in this atrium. Meredith said this is where their employee holiday party was held; I imagine it was even prettier, decorated for Christmas. We saw two Turners, a Renoir, and a Rembrandt, along with some gorgeous sculptures. A small but wonderful museum that Steve has been dying to visit. They are going to have a painting, Flaming June, there this summer that I am definitely going to return to see, as it is one of my favorites; I saw it many years ago in DC and fell in love with it. Meredith told me it doesn't travel very much, so I feel lucky to be able to see it a second time.

We got back home around six p.m. last night, after about two or three hours of snowfall, which made the roads slick but drive-able, although we saw quite a few fender-benders. Fortunately, we made it home with no problem, and both of us are home from work today, relaxing.

I only went outside once, and that was to knock the snow off the bird feeder and refill it.



Hope you are warm and dry, wherever you are.


Friday, February 13, 2015

Three Day Weekend

Steve and I are taking the train to New York City tomorrow morning, and driving back on Monday in the car he's buying from my son-in-law. I'm a little nervous about how the weather may affect the roads, but I'm thrilled to have a chance to visit Meredith! We are staying in an apartment in Brooklyn, that we booked through AirBnB, that's only one subway stop away from her. Needless to say, I'm pretty excited!

I'm taking my Edie sweater and hoping to make some serious progress on it during the train ride. I've hardly knit at all this week, due to committments almost every night this week, including Open House night on Wednesday. I teach 60 students but only had 2 parents show up. Frankly, I'm not sure why we still do it, but what do I know. My classes continue to be a lot of fun and I'm keeping my fingers crossed the semester continues to go as smoothly as the first three weeks have gone.

Although my cut flowers are still hanging on, I bought this little pot of daffodils to put on my desk. A small reminder that spring is coming.



Monday, February 9, 2015

A Great Way to Spend a Weekend

I had such a great weekend. Friday night, my mom celebrated her 75th birthday, and she still looks amazing.

On Saturday, I slept until 11:00, graded a set of tests, then ate lunch at the Farm Market Cafe with Steve. We came home and spent the rest of the day puttering around the house, until my friend, Lori, came over. She and I sat and knitted awhile, and after she left, Steve and I each had a bowl of popcorn for dinner, and spent the rest of the evening reading. All in all, a perfect Saturday.
Sunday, I did some yard work, then went over to my parents' house to help them with a few things, and when I got home, I did some more yard work. Why so much time outside? Because the weather was amazing! This is a picture my friend posted on Facebook:

Since the weather was so nice, I finally photographed my yarn sale purchases. These are just the highlights.

The Fibre Company Canopy:

Kidsilk Haze, at a 60% discount:

Berroco Linsey, also 60% off:


And several skeins of Misti Alpaca, 60% off:

Even though I didn't need any of it, the sale was just too good to resist.

And I wanted to share the two bulletin boards in my classroom; the one with peace signs is a goal setting activity I have my students do on the first day.


And this one uses a subliminal message, "Fight the power", which was my VCET/GMU group's motto. It reminds me of all the lessons I learned last summer. I switch out the quotes every other month, to keep it fresh.


And finally, I wanted to share a photo of Fern, my daughter's cat, who is visiting with us from January until April, when Melissa moves into a new place. Fern likes to hop in the tub after every bath or shower that's taken, which I think is a bit odd for a cat. But then, what do I know?