Tuesday, October 18, 2011

it's where the heart is

“Wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving.”
-Kahlil Gibran

my lifelong friend, patti, is one of those amazing people whose heart is so big you wonder how it even fits inside her body.   her enthusiasm for life is as contagious as her smile, she inspires me every day.  patti has indelible pride in her brother, alex, who serves in the army.  alex's wife, carrie, captured precious moments in her beautiful photographs.

baby jailyn

saying goodbye
Smile.  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday… and you will be.  
(from marc and angel hack life)

"Smile. This is not a drill. Please fasten your safety belts and restore your trays to their full upright and locked position. Dig into thoughts and memories until you've found power; that inner strength and the will to go on. Find the lingering smell that makes you think of that time... Look for the color that sparks the memory about... Show the world the person that can smile no matter what. Please keep all body parts away from the closing doors and prepare for take off. You know that in all darkness you will find a matching light. Conquer the fear of heights, spiders and ghosts. Take a shot of courage and march on through fire. Accomplish what you know you can do. It only takes a fraction of happiness and a moment of your time. Stride short and sweet with power in your footsteps. March to your own beat and rhythm. Excite the flip flops beneath you and fly on Hermes wings. Your time to shine is now, and aim that light at shadows below you. Light will stream out from you and catch others who will reflect it back. Your smile becomes their smile and show you every bit of comfortable strength it has to offer. Accept the offerings and be glad in this. This is a smile creeping across your face, and this is not a recording. Just don't forget to smile. You, this world and everyone in it is ALWAYS more beautiful when you smile."

alex returned home yesterday after his second deployment in iraq... 
into the arms of love

god bless our heroes and let us be grateful for the sacrifices they make while protecting our way of life, our freedom, and country.  
thank you, alex.

 thank you carrie, for sharing your snapshots of your loves and life.
alex and his son tyler

patti and her little brother

welcome home

Thursday, October 13, 2011

over the river and through the wind

happy autumn!  check out jess's heavy duty fall hiking boots hiding in the background....

tis the season for ants in the pants.  perhaps a drive to pick some apples, pumpkins, noses, and fresh donuts and cider.  we picked out some warm clothes and embarked on our journey to the walkway over the hudson (the world's tallest pedestrian bridge!  who knew?)
at the starting line....jeff was holding the camera because, of course, i had to check out the outhouse

vying for position to be the one to read the info signs first...fun, for some

moving right along...the wind cometh

quite the threatening sky, thank goodness there was just some random drops

making progress across the hudson, good times in the blustery wind

more good times in the wind tunnel

shann snapped this one

probably a neat place for a run on the water

"bridge" pose
the little boy wanted to test out the button, um, not a good idea

northern view
the never-ending train

southern view & the mid-hudson bridge

my favorite picture, jess would beg to differ

almost at the finish line, getting tired and hungry and of course i am only thinking of embarking on a journey to the lavatory...note to self, save the vat of coffee for after a two and a half mile walk
check out the flag painted in the street

the old train signal

there's the bridge from the ground

there's the little boy on the ground

the clouds decided to start making way for the beautiful blue underneath
ahhh, lunch
mr. football was the smart one to don a hat...  we girls had heads of wind-twisted, crazy autumny hair

as reported in the june 2011 issue of real simple mag
 tis the season for a little exploring and lots of walking with the happy little ants.   

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

embellishment for the palate

julia child i'm not.  but i can conjure up some tasty dishes.  over the weekend at our tiny place in the woods i put together german-style spaghetti and clams.  this only meaning that since it's oktoberfest time i drank a nice seasonal german beer while making dinner.  (and if not, i suppose i would have had to taste the wine for the making to make sure it was splendidly ready for others to drink.)
the bat phone is peeking in...
we took a drive to this most amazing food store (adams fairacre farms) where they have spectacularly fresh food, including locally baked bread, seafood, and items you just don't find in your ordinary suburban food store (like spaetzles and imported sauerkraut, we got that stuff for next time).    we picked up a few dozen little neck clams and then got crazy with ourselves and rather than spaghetti we found some hearty bucatini.  
now, although i am an embellishing chef who changes recipes at will, i will try to do justice to the details of this recipe....
bucatini & clams

~2 dozen clams, let them soak for a while in the clean sink filled with water and lotsa salt or cornmeal to get the sand out
~heat up some extra virgin olive oil (erl as my grandfather called it) in a big saucepan
~add 2 cloves or cubes of chopped gahlic, i use the frozen kind just bc it's snappier
~add 2 little cubes of the frozen basil
~some salt and pepper
~when it starts cookin up, add in some chicken broth, like half a carton or a little more depending on how many clams you have coming to the pond  (i use this bc the foodies who are going to eat this like lotsa sauce)

~open up some nice white wine if it isn't already open and in your glass...  take a whiff of those pretty white grapes and pour some into the pan (but don't tell your man that you are cooking with the good wine, don't ya know you should be using that cheap wine he bought in the 4 pack that you forgot to pack up?)

meanwhile,  the water should be heatin up in the pasta pot that you graced with some salt....

rinse up those little clams and start putting them in that fragrant little pond and cover it up so the steam helps the clams to surrender.

cook up the pasta and when the clams are just about ready, add the secret ingredient...
a little bitta buttah....buttah always makes it bettah.
bring it all together in a nice big bowl and voila....  pour yourself some of that white wine and i bet you will eat so much that you will ask yourself, "why did i eat so much?"
toasty bread to be eaten next to the toasty fire

hello clams
dig in...

exquisite outdoor dining

camping, clams, & carnage

we ate way too much (surprise) and cleaned up...we digested by the fire for a long while and then guess what???  it started to....that's right......RAIN... mother nature has been sharing drips, drops, and all out downpours for so long now...let's hope the animals don't start pairing up.
ms. julia child was onto somethin'