Monday, December 30, 2013

Snap out of it

Has it been that long since I’ve written? Apologies for that, especially for those of you who have been on the edge of their seats waiting to hear how I spend my days.

* snort *

On the day I wrote the last post, all I did was cry. I’m only telling you this for the sake of honesty but that was one of my worst days. It wasn’t just the fact that my husband is gone. I think it was a mix of holiday blues, things going on in my family, a gift I had given to my sons that I thought would have been more . . . oh, I don’t know . . . cherished. But then I took Cher’s advice to Nicolas Cage in Moonstruck.


And went to New York City.



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Met some friends at Rockefeller Plaza and did the NBC Studio Tour. It was great. Got to see Studio 8H where Saturday Night Live is filmed. Now I want to be there for a show. But it’s nearly impossible to get tickets . . .



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The wind was whipping these beautiful flags at the tree display into a frenzy.



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Walking around the Upper West Side on a beautiful sunny Saturday.



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Birds on a bench in Riverside Park.



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Taken from the High Line, an elevated park created on an historic railway line.




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Another image shot from the High Line.




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Sculpture along the High Line.



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I am so glad we went to this park. A huge section of it was terribly crowded but it was so interesting to hear so many different languages being spoken. We walked the entire length of the park before going to dinner. My friend, Daryl, is in the lead in the image above and she’s followed by our friend, Janice, and her two teenage children.



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We met my son for dinner at the Spice Market.





Shot this one along Riverside Drive using my camera phone.





Another image from my phone of a display in a bake shop window somewhere along Amsterdam Avenue at night.




80th Street near Riverside Drive. Shot with the camera phone.


:   :   :


As much as I love getting away, I adore coming home. I started to get a little blue thinking that there would be no one to come home to, but stupid me. There is George! I love my dog. My youngest son lives here too but he’s often not around, which is how it should be I guess. George was more than thrilled to see me again.

Just don’t tell him about this guy, ok?


This is Harry, Daryl’s cat. Oh, he is a love . . .


Until later, my friends ~

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

The morning after

I’m writing from my favorite seat in the house. It’s been snowing for the past several hours but the sun has since come out and all evidence of the white stuff is gone.

It’s good to see the sun.


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The crazy cardinal visits several times daily.

He is keeping Miss Blackie entertained.



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George says hello.

He had a Christmas bath on Monday.

He was a very good boy.

:   :   :


I’ve kept busy since school finished for the holiday break on the 18th. I’ve gone to dinner with friends, to a cocktail party, a Christmas party, hosted a dinner party, and just kept at it. Early tomorrow, I’m leaving on an adventure. I figured that if I just kept busy that I would have no time to be sad.

I was partly right.

But mostly wrong.


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I’ve spent some time in the kitchen this holiday. I made this soup for a small dinner party I had here and served it with garlic bruschetta. It’s called winter minestrone soup and I found the recipe on Pinterest. A lot of chopping prep involved, but so worth it. It was absolutely divine. (And now my friends think I am a good cook).

{Recipe here}

I also made a fabulous chicken pot pie that was a big hit with my sons. I don’t have a picture, sorry.

{Recipe here}



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Christmas Eve breakfast: Pain au chocolate

These are surprisingly simple to make, are best eaten warm, and are really delicious.

{Recipe here}

This morning, I set my alarm for 5:00 in order to get my son to the bus station for the ride back to the Big City. He returns to work today.

When I got home, I had some more coffee and then took my special guy for a little walk.


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Christmas was hard this year. And that’s all I have to say about that.



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Can you see George having a good roll?


I ran several errands this morning and am now watching a movie that came from Netflix: Dead Poets Society. It was filmed nearby at St. Andrew’s School, Delaware. Such a good movie, featuring Robin Williams at his finest.

I’ll say farewell for now, and hope that your days are merry and bright.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Holiday Break

I want to preface this post by saying that I thought I was doing so well, I really did. But then the holidays rolled around and suddenly, I felt like I was back in September and kept replaying everything back in my mind. Every moment that led up to it. All the doctor appointments and treatments, and all the pain and the suffering, and I felt like I was sinking deeper and deeper into depression. This is my first holiday since I was 19 years old that my husband won’t be a part of. But you know what? I am ok.

Well, at least today I am.

Today is always the best day of the school year: the last day before Christmas Break. Everyone is happy. There are children singing Christmas carols in the lobby, led by the Head of School and the senior class. There are presents. There are my co-workers, some of whom I truly love. Oh, hell. I like all of them but some of them . . . they are my true friends and I love them. We have been through so much together.


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Tonight I got sushi for dinner from my favorite Asian restaurant in nearby Newark, DE. I brought it home, poured a glass of wine, and shot this photo with my cell phone. The chopsticks are only in there for aesthetic purposes. I am inept with chopsticks and prefer to use a fork. Oh, the horror.

I don’t care if you think less of me right now. But I really do wish I could use chopsticks. I think there’s something wrong with my fingers . . .

I am watching The Truth About Cats and Dogs on TV. I bagged the national news for the second time this week after hearing all the bad news happening on my local Baltimore station and turned on this cute little movie.

Later, I plan on watching The Oranges, which just came from Netflix. It’s supposed to be a “comic tale of redefining happiness.” I don’t remember putting it in my queue and am hoping to be pleasantly surprised.

* insert snort of derision here *


Ok, I heard this on the way home from school today and was mesmerized by it. The tune, by Local Natives, just seemed to go so well with my happy heart and after reading up on the filming of the official video, I was even more intrigued.

This is what The Wild Honey Pie has to say about it:

One of our favorite bands, Local Natives, just posted their video for “Ceilings” made of patched clips shot entirely from their phones. Singer-guitarist, Taylor Rice, explains: ”This video was recorded between bus calls and soundchecks, truck stops and stage times over the last couple of months on tour, mostly in Europe. Whether shot in decades-closed german car factories, places of legendary spanish architecture, or on bikes in amsterdam it was filmed on our phones in the cracks between shows which make up 97% of our lives as touring musicians. The themes of surrealism in Ceilings work with the patchwork of days cultures and memories that stream by in a blur on a summer festival run. hope you enjoy the glimpse, most of which has already washed through.”

I recognized the Spanish architecture from photos my son took while visiting there last year and then realized that all of the videos looked like they were taken in Europe. But it’s the song itself that makes me feel good. The video was just the icing on the cake.


Speaking of which, I’m closing with this. I found it on, a site my son, Shaun, told me about and one that I check now and again just for cool stuff. I find that I’m mostly drawn to the bird videos.

I have a busy holiday planned. I figured if I kept active and made a lot of plans, that I’d get through it much easier. So far, so good. Today I planned to wash the car and visit a friend after work, then get sushi and watch a movie.


Tomorrow I have something even more exciting planned. Dinner with dear friends, and their daughter. We’ll celebrate her birthday.

:   :   :

Until next time, my friends ~

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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Weekend stuff

It’s Sunday night and I’m watching Disney’s A Christmas Carol. It’s a really good movie but I feel a little guilty that I’m not watching the national news. Sometimes, though, I really don’t want to know what’s going on in the world. Is that so wrong?

Got my decorating finished this weekend and it looks great.


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Nah, this isn’t my place. Fooled you, didn’t I? This is The Caldwell Library at the school where I work. We’ve never put a tree in there before. I think it looks simple and perfect.


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This is the tree in our school lobby. This was me fooling with the focus ring to get some blur. Wednesday is our last day before Christmas Break, and the lobby will be filled with children in two separate sessions, singing Christmas carols. It’s a beautiful thing.


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Coming up the driveway to work on Friday.



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Cornfield in the snow.



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We had a little snow yesterday but it was followed by sleet that turned to rain by morning. The skies were bright and sunny earlier, but by afternoon it began to cloud over quite thickly. At one point, I was sitting in the living room and suddenly the outside became very bright. It was a break in the clouds and I went to get the camera.


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Some other things I enjoyed this weekend were, in no particular order:

Jazz Holidays Radio on Pandora

Soupman tomato bisque with Grilled Cheese sandwiches on rosemary bread

The movie, Love Actually

{This post} by Kelly

Planning to make {these cookies}

Decorating my house

Thick, warm socks

A newsy e-mail from my son in NYC

{Peppermint Chocolate Tea}

Hairspray, at the {Tidewater Theatre} in Havre de Grace

An impromptu dinner on board someone’s boat

Decorating my little tree

{This song} from the Love Actually soundtrack


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I will honor Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. 

~Charles Dickens


Here’s to a good week to come.

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George says hi.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The road that leads home

I promised a reader of this blog that some day I would take pictures of my driveway. And after one of our snowfalls this week, I decided to do just that. I didn’t have my big camera with me, so these were all taken with my Samsung Galaxy S4. I love a good phone camera.


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This was taken upon pulling into the driveway and going forward about 30 feet. There is a house through the small stand of trees on the left (which is for sale).


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I went about 50 yards and took another shot.


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Another 50 yards. My, oh my – how I love this beautiful scene.


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And another. You can begin to see the opening of the woods into a paddock on the left.


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In the old days, when the former owners lived here, their daughter kept horses. They were in a big paddock on the right. Most of the fence line has deteriorated but the gate stands open.


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And you can begin to see the house in the distance.


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Directly to my left is another house that you can see through the trees. I call them the dirt bike people. I don’t even want to talk about them.


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It is always such a good feeling coming up this driveway. Hope you enjoyed the view with me today.

Until tomorrow, then . . .

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

When all the world is full of snow

I took some photos during my morning walk yesterday, in the hopes of sharing them here in this space. I had my camera in a plastic bag and took it out when I saw something of interest. But I had to cut the walk short because I was getting a little worried over the camera.

Here are a few images I captured yesterday (Tuesday).


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The reason I keep the feeders filled. This was shot through my kitchen window before I headed out.


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Back in February 2010, I took a similar photo which I’ve posted below. The fence line was still intact back then, as was the big tree limb on the right.



I sell this on my etsy site. It’s entitled ‘George at the Gate’.

I have it framed in my home and printed on a metallic paper.

It looks really cool in its white frame.


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I love trees.


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Wet snow sure is beautiful to behold, with the way it clings to everything it touches.

Difficult to shovel, though.



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White white white.



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I shot these using manual mode and they came out really bright. I’m not all that great at shooting in the snow.


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When All the World is Full of Snow
I never know
Just where to go,
When all the world
Is full of snow.
I do not want
To make a track,
Not even
To the shed and back.
I only want
To watch and wait,
While snow moths settle
On the gate,
And swarming frost flakes
Fill the trees
With billions
Of albino bees.

I only want
Myself to be
As silent as
A winter tree,
To hear the swirling
Stillness grow,
When all the world
Is full of snow.
~ N.M. Bodecker



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The odd thing about this day was that I was able to get out the driveway around 4 PM. The sun had come out and the accumulation wasn’t enough to have a plow in. So I made tracks down the driveway. They are still there, frozen over.

For those who don’t know, our driveway is a third of a mile long, most of it through woods. It is beautiful, but takes some getting used to, especially in the winter. Tomorrow I’ll share a few photos taken while driving up the driveway. A reader had asked if I could document the view. And so I will ~

Until tomorrow then . . .

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