Sunday, October 19, 2014

October

It’s been another beautiful weekend and I spent it running errands, doing chores, reading, and cooking. I brought most of the outside plants in today, putting them into the mudroom to acclimate them before bringing them in completely. This week has been warm, but it’s slowly become colder and I believe tonight we may have our first frost.

I’ve spent a lot of time these past two days with George, who misses me much during the week when I’m away all day at work. He’s had several very good walks, many games of fetch, and lots of pets.

 

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I remember telling you in the last post that I would say more about going to Stockholm but then I realized there’s really not much else to say. I told you that my son is working there for a couple of months. H&M is building another new flagship store, this time at the World Trade Center, and he is in Stockholm working on the project with the Swedish team. When I first heard that he was going, all of my friends were telling me that I needed to go visit him, and I just laughed at them. There was no way I was going to get on a plane and go that far. For all that money.

And then I thought, why not? After checking the prices of different flights, I realized it was something I could actually do – and I had the go-ahead from my boss. And so, before I knew it, a big decision had been made. I’ll be gone over the Thanksgiving week and have every intention of writing and blogging while I’m there. It’s all very exciting (and a little scary - the traveling alone). But I’m really looking forward to it.

 

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The wind was strong today and blew many of the leaves off the trees, some which hadn’t even turned color yet. Our trees are just beginning to turn here in Maryland.

 

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He brings me giant branches, wanting me to toss them. I break off sticks and he seems to be content with that. Silly dog.

 

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Blackie, my little Halloween kitty, says hello.

 

From A Child’s Calendar, written by John Updike and illustrated by Trina Schart Hyman.

 

Hope your week is a good one, my friends ~

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Sunday, October 12, 2014

I love autumn

It’s a beautiful Sunday evening as I write this and it’s been a perfect autumn day. I got a lot of things done on this lovely day and took my time doing them. It felt good to savor it all.

I started by heading to the apple orchard in order to get some fresh Stayman Winesaps (my favorite apple) in order to bake a pie tonight. There were thousands of people at the orchard and I nearly drove away when I saw the parking situation. I followed other cars into one of the orchards and then we all parked (somewhat) neatly and exited our cars. Luckily, most of these cars were full of families intent on taking their kidlets to the famous pumpkin patch. This left the farm store not too horribly crowded so it was definitely worth the stop.

Over the weekend, I’ve done a little cleaning. I’ve cleaned out bureaus and closets of old clothes. I’ve done a little fall decorating. I’ve painted my front door red. I’ve just finished a wonderful roast chicken dinner, complete with roasted root vegetables. And I’ve booked a flight to Stockholm.

 

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Yes, you heard me correctly. Me – who can count on one hand the number of times I have flown in my entire life – has booked a flight to Stockholm, Sweden.

In November, no less.

I will tell you more about it tomorrow. But, in a nutshell, my eldest son will be working there for two months and I’m taking 10 days and going to visit him. My son works as an architect for H&M.

 

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Booking this flight, and doing so much traveling this fall, has empowered me a little bit. Normally, I would never have done something as daring as this. (Traveling alone to Europe). But after a friend added this line in an e-mail she sent me, “The Kate Young I know is fearless. The Kate Young I know can do anything” . . .

I don’t see myself that way, but if she does - I thought that maybe I could pretend to be fearless.

But back to my weekend ~

 

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Someone was so stinky that it was getting difficult to keep company with him. So off we went to the pet wash on Saturday. I had an audience for this, as a family was there telling me how cute and obedient my dog was. Plus they were taking photos. I didn’t want to tell them that George was famous in real life on my blog. Had my sisters been there, it would have been a different story. While we vacationed together this past June, they were telling everyone in Maine how famous my dog was in the blogging world.

As an aside, isn’t this bathing station the bomb? I love it. And it’s not a strain on my back.

 

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He is very clean today and enjoyed a nice long ride in the car.

 

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Speaking of dogs . . .

Some glass artwork on the outside of a building along Broad Street in Philadelphia. I thought it was really cool.

 

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The ‘Dream Scene Painting’ at Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, home of the Philadelphia Phillies. It depicts famed players, past and present.

For a panoramic view of it hanging on the wall at the stadium lobby, click here:

{Dream Scene Painting}

 

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Lastly, I leave you with my famous apple pie. People I know speak in hushed tones of this delicacy. I will warn you, baking this pie gives you much power. And with great power comes great responsibility.

Hahahaha. I’m cracking myself up here. Seriously though: This pie is freaking awesome. Make it. It’s not difficult.

Recipe here:

{The Apple Pie that wins hearts}

Last night, I watched an oldie but goodie on stream from Netflix: An Affair to Remember. On Friday night, I watched Sleepless in Seattle. The two sort of go hand-in-hand. If you’ve seen the latter, I think you’ll know what I mean.

And finally, I think it’s cool that Cadillac is playing an old Clash song on its newest commercial campaign. Unfortunately, it’s not being sun by The Clash. The original sounds so much better, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t know why I’m ending with this, other than the commercial just came on while I was writing.

And on that note, I’ll bid you adieu for the evening ~

 

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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

And so it goes

I have been so absent online lately. There are a number of blogs, some who I consider good friends, that I always visited on a daily basis. I need to visit them more . . .

I used to write in this space on an almost-daily basis, too. But things change. And my blogging habits have become quite lax, just like my visiting habits.

I am still here, though. Mostly I seem to be doing pretty well, but I will admit that there are still days that grief washes over me in waves and all I want to do is curl up under my covers and not come out. It always surprises me when this happens. And it never seems to happen when there’s an opportune time to hide under covers.

But let’s not dwell on that. I’ve been keeping busy since I last wrote.

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I went to my first ball game ever. It amazes me that I am 57 years old and had never been to a ball game. So when I was offered tickets to see the Phillies play their last game of the season and those tickets were to a posh suite, I emphatically agreed to use them.

 

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I took my Phillie Phanatic sister, Char, with me. And I wore the cap that she bought for my husband several years ago. The suite was fantastic, the food (all free) equally so, and a fun time was had all day. Char’s daughter and family live just a short subway ride away from the stadium, so I parked at their place and we rode in with tons of other fans.

 

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This sky-full-of-clouds made me smile one day.

I have been very lax in the picture-taking department but am including a few here that I’ve taken over the past couple of weeks. We’ve had some beautiful weather lately in Maryland and the leaves have begun to turn.

 

 

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George is waiting for me to come back to where I was sitting with my book. I miss my friend, Nancy, who gifted me this pair of chairs before she moved to North Carolina this June. I am planning a quick trip down there in a month, though. Should be fun!

 

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This dog.

He is a light in my life, in my heart. He is always waiting at the upstairs window when I pull up in the driveway from work. He cries out with such joy when I get out of the car and then bounds down the stairs to greet me when I get inside. I’ve been taking him for walks which is one of the things he loves the most. It takes so little to make him happy.

I’ve also been cooking and am sharing a couple of dishes here that I tried and liked.

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Photo credit: Yunhee Kim

This one I tweaked just a little bit, and really liked it. I added some thyme and some garlic salt. I was also lazy and bought mushrooms that were already cut.

Cottage Pie with Vegetable Mash

 

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I loved loved loved this soup. But don’t do what I did if you make it. I rarely ever cook with barley and had forgotten how a little bit of it goes a long way. So I added a little extra. Still excellent, however.

Creamy Mushroom Vegetable Soup

On another note, my eldest son is leaving the country for two months on a work-related trip. I am thrilled for him but at the same time am going to miss him so much – especially over Thanksgiving. He leaves Saturday ~

Hope all is well in your world. Thank you for continuing to visit me in mine.

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Friday, September 26, 2014

What I like best

It’s Friday night and it’s been a really busy week and I have a fun weekend planned. Before I start though, I’d like to apologize to my regular readers for my sporadic attempts at publishing this month. Last weekend . . . oh, hell. I don’t know. Sometimes I am just a puddle of mush. I can hold it together all week with the best of ease and then the weekend comes and if I don’t have plans other than cleaning and keeping to myself, it’s sometimes not very pretty.

I don’t mind being alone. It’s not that. I just get a little down sometimes.

But this weekend I have fun things planned. I’m going to my first-ever baseball game. I received two suite tickets from a vendor I use at school who’s trying to get on my good side and I’ve asked my sister, Char, to come with me and I’m sure we’ll have fun rain or shine. Because we’re in a suite, of course.

And I was invited to a party with some of my favorite people tomorrow night.

 

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Today, I went to the mailbox and found a new issue of Down East, a gift from dear Hilary, at Crazy As a Loom. I ordered sushi because I had a $20 off coupon and bought a bottle of wine – something recommended by a teacher at school.

19 Crimes

OMG – what a bargain. It’s a flavorful red blend at only 8.99 a bottle (here in Maryland). I bought an extra bottle to take to the party tomorrow. It will be game night and I’m bringing  my Cards Against Humanity card game. I just want to laugh, eat delicious food, enjoy good friends, and relax.

I have this thing about eating alone . . . I am trying to get used to it and find that if I’m reading something it helps. Sometimes I eat in front of the tv. Sometimes my son eats with me. Sometimes we have my son’s friend over and we all eat together on Friday nights. But the eating alone thing is an issue that I’m trying to overcome.

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I guess I do really have a flair for the creative – but lately I’m not feeling it so much. I think being creative comes and goes with me.

But I’m not going to cry into my sushi over it.

In my mailbox today, I found a movie from Netflix. I can never remember what’s in my dvd queue so it’s always a surprise when I open the package. Sometimes I wonder what in heaven’s name I was thinking when I put that dreadful movie into my queue, and sometimes it’s just such a nice surprise. Tonight’s offering is Lost in Translation with Bill Murray and Scarlet Johansson (2003). It was a good surprise.

 

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Today at school, we had one of our wonderful traditions. It’s called Senior Investiture. We invite the parents of the class that will be graduating next June, and hold an assembly in our fancy Alumni Room. We break out the china, the linen tablecloths, the good silver. The seniors’ blazers are on a rack at the front of the room and have all been adorned with hand-sewn patches that indicate their status as the leaders of the school. The Head of School says wonderful things about each senior, they then sign a plaque which will be framed and hung in the room, and they are given their blazer with the new patch and then a photo is taken (by me). Afterward there is a reception featuring excellent coffee and homemade baked goods that were donated by the families of the 9th grade class, and then the seniors leave the building to sell yearbook ads and spend a day away from school doing grown-up type things and going out to lunch. Sometimes I wish I had gone to this school. But it’s a lot of work and requires much effort to get good grades. I easily got A’s & B’s in public high school but when I see the things our students are learning, I wonder if I could have made the grade.

Anyway, that was today.  And it was so good. And everyone came back safe and sound. And now it’s the weekend. I do hope you all have a good one.

Until the next time, then ~

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"Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think. Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called. ~A.A. Milne

ps – if my blog looks a little different, I’m in the process of cleaning it up a bit. The clutter was getting on my nerves.