Sunday, October 26, 2014

You’re like fallen leaves in an autumn night

Hello, my friends. It’s been an absolutely stellar weekend here in Maryland, with mild temperatures and abundant sunshine. The nights have been just cool enough to close all the windows. It’s perfect October weather.

I elected to stay home this weekend and keep the home fires burning. I built a camp fire last night, and invited my son and his friend, L for dinner. I got a good fire going and they both took over tending it for the night. We roasted hot dogs on sticks, and then made s’mores for dessert. We used the ‘cheater’ method this time. (One roasted marshmallow between two Keebler fudge-striped graham cookies). Way yummy, too.


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I got lots of chores done, cleaned the yard up some, washed all of the bird feeders, and even carved a jack-o-lantern, and set out pumpkins and gourds for display. It was truly a nice, quiet time.

George has had several good walks this weekend, too, and he’s super glad about that.

Oh, and I heard this nice tune, as well:

Just hit play and keep reading ~

It’s just such a lovely melody. I could let the words make me feel sad, but I’m choosing not to. Sometimes you just have to make a choice.


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I went outside with the macro lens this afternoon and took all of the shots in this post.



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A glimpse of the old manor house in the early afternoon sunshine.



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The days may not be so bright and balmy—yet the quiet and melancholy that linger around them is fraught with glory. Over everything connected with autumn there lingers some golden spell—some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with its mysterious power. ~Northern Advocate



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Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons. ~Jim Bishop



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I shot everything on F 6.3 in manual mode, adjusting the speed and the ISO for each image. There was a time when I didn’t know how to work the camera, but I’ve finally figured out the basics, I guess.


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I sat outside today and this was my view to the front. George napping.



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My sitting chair.



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Looking up from my chair and hoping that I don’t get hit with a hickory nut.


So how are things in your neck of the woods?

Inquiring minds would like to know.

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Sunday, October 19, 2014


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.


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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