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Showing posts from June, 2007

Whats New In My Life

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It is my humble opinion that one must try new things, read new books, look at something old in a new way, try a new food, listen to a new song, and memorize a new poem. This week I tried to do all of the above. I read a new book, Snowed Up by Rosalie Fry. About children in Wales snowed up in an old church. Its a childs book, but I liked it. For a new food, I had the best tortillas made with olive oil. New song....there were more than just one....I listened to some Thai popular music. It was actually kinda cute. Memorizing seems to be "less easy" as I age. It often feels like overloaded circuits in my brain, files full kind of thing, but I work at it and this week I set out to memorizing the poem I wrote myself and shared on my other blog. Tonight as the day was ending I actually played in the mud. An old thing, done in a new way. With crocks on my feet. Squishing out the holes, splashing up the back of my leg. Laughing and giggling with Emery about it. I also spent a lot …

Saturday Night Splendor

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These are some shots of tonight's sunset.... just a view of Saturday splendor on the way into town

Irish Soda Bread

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Irish Soda Bread is something that gets made quite often in this house. We love it, but love it best with some raisins added into the dough.
Here is the recipe I use most often...
Irish Soda Bread
ingredients
4 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp Baking Soda
1 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp lard, ( I use butter)
1 1/4 cups buttermilk
makes 1 loaf
Sift the flour, salt, baking soda and cream of tartar into a bowl.
Rub in the lard and add enough buttermilk to make soft dough.
Turn the mixture on to a lightly floured board and knead for a minute.
Shape into a round and place on a baking sheet. Mark with a cross,
cutting deep into the dough.
bake for 45-50 minutes in 425 degree oven, until lightly browned and
firm when tapped on the base. Cool the bread on a wire rack.

variations: you can use plain milk instead of buttermilk, but if you do, double the quantity of cream of tartar.
recipe is from the book by Ethel Minogue "Irish Cooking"

the first picture shows the dough before its baked an…

I've Been Tagged

I've been tagged by Paige over at http://paigeofabook.blogspot.com
Here are the rules: Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write their own blog post with their 7 things as well as these rules. You need to tag 7 others and list their names on your blog. Remember to leave a comment for them letting them know they have been tagged and to read your blog.
Random....I know lots of random things about myself : )
1. At times I can be very shy, o.k. it's not very often but it does happen
2. I am a Mayflower descendant
3. I was baptized in the River Jordan
4. I am petrified of thunder, but not lightning.
5. I wanted at least 12 children
6. For many years I have wanted a Volvo station wagon
7. I took ballet lessons for over a decade

those are pretty random facts... now I need to tag 7 other folks so here goes

Revee
Marci
Rondi
Sunny
Kelli
Rowan
Gullebarn

One More Post In Favor of Being Neighborly

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Across the Way Anne Tilley I'm gad you are my neighbor... It means so much to me To share our early gardens And a favorite recipe. The days seems so much brighter When you call to chat a bit And borrow a cup of sugar Or take turns to baby-sit. When there's little time to visit And we have few moments to share, There's a deep contentment in my heart Just to know that you are there. Just to see your red geraniums You have planted with loving care, And the glow of your candlelight Reflects the warmth of your presence there. You've made my life much richer, And I thank the Lord each day For my kind and thoughtful neighbor Who lives across the way.

the picture is of my cousins, sister and friends taken in the late 1970's. We used to meet together often just to chat and have coffee and always m&m peanuts !

Neighbors

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When I was just a little girl, maybe age 7 or so, I would walk down the street to the old folks home. I walked my dolls with me in the pram. The old ladies there had time to play dolls with me. One old lady, Mary was beautiful, I can remember everything about her so clearly to this day. Snow white hair, pinned up in a neat bun, eyes so blue they looked like the summer sky. She was Irish and had a brogue so clear and sweet and a voice much younger than her years. When I look back on my about daily visits with Mary, I am not sure if she had her mind or not, she pretended or thought my dolls were real babies, whichever, it was lovely for me to sit next to her on the giant porch, where she would rock my dolls, hold them up and make them do the jig while she sang Irish songs, one after another. Its no wonder I love Irish music. I am pretty sure she knew what was real and what wasn't if I think about it, she was just kind and played dolls with me. No doubt she was lonely. I was being ne…

Started out as a Comment, but grew into this

We live in a small town, people still walk places with a destination. I can go to the bank and the tellers all know me by name. I go to the post office and I know every single worker there by name and we chat. If something is marked with a wrong address, I still get my mail. The small health food market is about the same, but neighbors, neighborhood community wise, its fragmented. Cars take people to the bigger stores, people drive 50 miles to work etc. Now when Mei-Ling was in the hospital, their neighbors mowed for them, trimmed a tree that had growth spurting out of the trunk etc. But even with that, its not quite the community that many of us grew up with.I can walk the baby in the carriage safely in our town. You could even walk at night here without a problem. But still, folks are not likely to come sit with you on your porch and have some tea with you unless it was close to a formal invite.
Its something that has just evolved socially in our country, the closed off lif…

Blessings

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There are so many blessings in my life...here are a fewThat God puts up with all my questioningMy husband, who is truly a gentle man in every wayThat there is more love in my life than any other thingMy children and now a grandchildMy extended family and wonderful friendsThat today my husbands weekly check is the same as what I made in a year in 1973That I am surrounded by trees and beautyThat Emery and I have great healthI am blessed to have all that I needTo be able to prayTo be able to have music around me That I have learned that worry is often greater than reality.And around me right now there is sunshine to the east, rain in the west. I have music on that I love, Dervish CD "Playing with Fire", Barry's tea in a mug by my side. Bare feet, chickens clucking outside the window, the air smells so fresh, cicada's are "singing" in the trees along with so many birds. Butterflies and moths fluttering here and there, making me think of fairies.

Do You Know Your Neighbor ?

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Since starting my blog way back in 2005 I have commented on the lack of community most of us feel. We no longer have extended family close at hand, or know our neighbors. We seek to sooth the loss of community by having cyber friendships, which is not a bad thing, don't get me wrong, but cyber anything is just a bit short of the real thing.
Do you remember the days when new neighbors were greeted with a plate of cookies or a cake, along with a very important thing, an introduction ? How many of you knew your cousins, aunts and uncles as children growing up ? Now ask that of your own children ? How many of us can remember the small grocery store where you knew the name of the owner and he asked how you were doing while making your purchases ? Now we run into some big box store, feel agitated, they actually plan that in the design of the store I believe, and we are lucky if we see someone we know there. Its all very cold and unfriendly. There is no reward for going to such a store, no …

More of this Perfect Evening

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My knitting, the homespun yarn a gift for knitting something for Mei-Ling, a winter hat it will be, complete with bunny ears, to keep the tiny one warm when the cold winds blow

The evening sky
A spiders web
Crepe myrtle in bloom
Echinacea with visitors to the blooms
And finally, there is no place like home !

Perfect Evening

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The kittens romped and played all over the yard while Emery did some digging. I sat knitting in the chair until I felt the mosquito's might carry me away. If you look close you will see a mosquito attempting to bite the wee white kitten . The evening sounds are loud tonight, insects hum and buzz, frogs croak and evening birds sing in chorus. One can't help but feel connected to the land when it gives so much to us each day. Our food from the garden, our fruit from the trees and vines, our peace from just looking at the way the clouds float by without a care, or the way the branches bend in the breeze. The color of the grass, the scent of the air or a flower. Herbs rich earthy smells reaching up to me. How grateful I am for all that surrounds me. I feel quite sure I would wither up in the city surrounded by cement and bricks.

Steady Rain

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The tops of the trees bow in succession from the winds. Wet winged mockingbirds stop for a moment on the gateway pole of the garden. The sound of rain dripping off the roof blends in with the music playing on the stereo. The green of this wet summer are so bold, standing out even more in the rain. The early morning colors beg me to pass through the back door and explore in the gentle rains. No thunder sounds. Not far from where I live is land that was used for a native american camp. On days like today, when the grounds are so soaked and muddy, I go there and think about how life must have been for those folks when the weather turned dirty for long periods of time. We have had the windows open, my husbands well planned building on our additions allows us to have windows open when its raining without it coming in, but the dampness seeps in. The air is so heavy with it. Last night reminded me of camping in the rain, that same dampness was felt on my face and on the pillow. This mornin…

The Quiet of the Evening

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Emery and I choose to sit out on the front porch and pass the time away tonight. The rain couldn't reach us there. We watched the headlights of the few cars that went down the road shine brightly on the rain soaked road, and heard the frogs croaking in the creek. We talked and made plans for a few home improvements that have been waiting far too long to be done. We sat near each other, close enough that our voices seemed hushed, as if to whisper in the quiet of this evening and retain a mood of simplicity and quietude. We could hear the neighbors in their front yard enjoying this evening too. We can't see them but we heard their laughter and the voices of excited children as they ran around in the raindrops. It just feels so simple, so uncomplicated. No distractions, no interruptions.
We live within our means, we avoid the rat race and the mad rush for things. We want little and need so few things to keep us happy. The quiet of the evening reminded us of how wonder…

The Clancy Brothers - Tim Finnegans Wake

Planning My Own Wake

Strange title for a post but....you see from the time I was a child I have said that I wanted my wake to be a proper Irish wake, more of a party than anything else. Have the family all sitting around talking about the fun things in my life, the laughs, the good stories that make you smile. I have no fear of death, not one tiny bit, so planning my wake is not something scary to me and it never seemed morbid. I know just how I want it. There needs to be beer and whiskey, Jamison's, my favorite. Lots of Irish music, The Clancy Brothers and The Irish Rovers in particular. One song for sure and I will not be happy if its not played....as if I will know ; )
The song is in the video clip provided here. I want scones served and donuts, donuts are a family favorite, served every Sunday after church for decades with my family as aunts, uncles, cousins and a few friends gathered at my parents house just about every week. Maybe I should specify only chocolate donuts, as they wer…

Two Months Old Today

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Like the rest of us, the constant rain has made miss Mei-Ling a sleepy one. A long nap like she is taking sure sounds good to me. Every day for the next 10 days has rain in the forecast. It feels like some giant faucet was turned on in early spring and never turned off. After drought, this is nothing to complain about and it does keep the temperatures down.I just love the pouty expression in the last picture of her.... her mother had the same expression all through childhood ! Mei-Ling is now on her two medications and doing well with them.

Melanie is taking a nap too, Miss Mei-Ling is a night owl, keeping mom and dad up much of the night.

Chicken Games on the Farm

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First a game of hide and seek Then some fine high stepping game of chase A fine show of feather fashion show on the runway of grass (this is one of the new spring chicks) Getting ready for a hen picnic

Yellows

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It was an afternoon of yellow splendor splashed against the gray rainy sky. Yellow always makes me feel happy inside. Its cheery. Right now there are lots of yellow flowers in bloom, here is a sampling for you.

Morning Ramble in the Rain

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One of the real benefits to living in the country is being able to walk your land in your nightgown and mud boots in the gray of a rainy morning. I suspect my old grannie nightgown is much more than most folks wear to the store in summer. The ruffled bottom soaking up the water from the ground like a wick. There is a freedom to this behavior that can't be found any where near a city or a 9-5 job, so I count it a special moment each and every time I dance to my own drum beat. Its not marching to a drum beat for me, but dancing with childlike enthusiasm for life, yes for being alive.
Our trees have grown so much with all the rain this year. I was surprised to see how big the black walnut tree on the back fence has grown and was happy to find how well it sheltered me when a momentary down pour occurred. I stood under this natures version of an umbrella while surrounded by tall and short cedar trees, it had the feel of a childs hiding place. We planted a circle of oak trees in 2003, th…

In The Evening

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In the evening when the outside world feels so distant from where we sit, I count my blessings one by one....its easy to do this in the silent glow of the lamplight or of the candle burning in the window.Earlier tonight Emery took me out shopping to see if I wanted to buy a few new pieces of furniture for the living room. Sort of make things match a bit more. But we came home with just contented smiles on our faces, thinking about how just a year ago we purchased a new sofa and chair, our old ones were indeed old. 1988 or something like that was when we got them and raised 4 children with them. Now, just a year later, these new pieces don't seem new and so it would be in no time at all for something purchased today. I decided that it might just be better to buy something old and worn, with a bit of history whispered into it, rather than something new. So we will keep that in mind when we stop at a thrift store or an antique shop, or better yet, maybe Emery will make somethi…

Surrounded By Beauty

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When I have a busy day, its always so refreshing to sit down with a cup of tea, take a deep breath, maybe watch one of my favorite movies, (today was The Secret of Roan Inish, which I always watch on damp days) and then I take a long walk on our land. There are flowers in bloom all over. Picking some for the table always gives me something extra to smile about. Bringing some of the beauty inside and just surrounding myself with beauty. We have so many moths and butterflies this year that just walking around you can have several land on you. Patches of blue poked through the dark rain filled clouds a few times today, but the rainy gray sky felt familiar, like all the times growing up I would walk along the strand, cold gray sand between my toes, the salty air making my hair curl and frizz without me giving a care. Seagulls squawking overhead wondering if I had a treat for them. Waves lapping up on the shore, playing catch with the land.
Maybe there is a degree of comfort in…