Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Smile

You can't help but smile. Really, you can't.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thinks, They're Back

I'm resurrecting my Thinks on Thursday. Since I have been out of touch with the world much of the summer, about all I have to write about is my sometimes pathetic thoughts.

I think I have H-1 N-1, aka swine flu. This has not been like any cold I have had. Fortunately it is a mild case and I am slowly, but steadily recovering. It has knocked me off my feet.

I wonder sometimes if there is a hole in my bank account. How can money disappear so quickly? Last week it was reported that once food and fuel is taken out of the equation, there is not any inflation. Which is true. The cost of food and fuel is not due to inflation, but to speculation in the oil market. Food being directly impacted by fuel costs, follows the increase in in oil prices. Very few people will fully recover from last year's prices. 

The $684,531,187,470.00 spent on Iraq and the $227,329,346,642.00 spent on Afghanistan surely would have put us on a solid track to alternative energy sources and eliminated our need to meddle in the middle east in order to "protect our interests."

I would like to go to the park again this fall to ride. If I am only going to ride once a year I may as well make a production of it. I have promised Spenser that I will be more considerate of him this time.

I not only think, but know that my brain is a bit dull, woozy and fuzzy would perhaps better describe it, so I am not up to any interesting thinks. Some may say, so what's different! Alas, that may be true.

Enjoy the day good people.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Everything Comes To An End

The last of my bountiful garden was picked today. 

There may be a zucchini here and there, but everything else is picked and done.

It's been a good run. I have two entire shelves in the freezer packed with fresh frozen produce, as well as the memory of an entire summer of tasty vegetables on my table. I won't dwell upon the wasted years where I blithely shunned vegetable gardening. I'll let it pass as a time of un-enlightenment in my life.

And so, a day past the autumnal equinox I will put my garden to bed. The sense that fall is truly upon is is a physical expression. We northern people know it, we feel in our bones, no matter what the air temperature may be; we know it's here. Soon the combines will be crawling through the corn like giant prehistoric beasts, leaving a stripped earth behind. And an altered landscape outside my windows.

So we tip our cap to the past summer and open our arms in a joyful greeting to the next season. Now if only I could shake this cold........

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Do Good, Feel Great

ummm has a post on her blog about a contest involving homemade postcards using dogs or cats. These are my efforts........

This is dog wishes

This is dog advice

This is cat confession

This is not a contest that gives the participants anything, but rather it gives to shelter animals. If you have some time and want to spend it making a postcard and send it in to the address provided on her website, you would be doing a very good thing. All the instructions can be found on her site. Give it a try.

Feed a Cold

Sick but not dead, so I still need to eat. And unfortunately......cook.

I'm sticking to easy, so this is smoked sausage, tomatoes, garlic, onion and sweet peppers sauteed in kalamata olive oil. Since I am suffering from a cold which has taken up residence in my head and ears I added a habanero pepper. Opened up the passages well, although briefly.

The garden is nearly finished with the tomatoes. I have several hot peppers still needing to ripen and the zucchini plants are still producing, but the days are short so I believe the little garden that out-did itself is just about done for the season. My venture into a full-fledged vegetable garden can be labeled a success. All the vegetables in this came from my garden, including the onion and garlic, although I don't believe they are classed as vegetables.

Enjoy the day good people.

Monday, September 21, 2009

From My Vantage Point

Seems I've had this view too much over the past year. My feet propped up on a stool while I am recovering from one thing or the other.

So it's apparent I'm still in whining mode, but I am a bad patient. Even when I'm also acting as the care-giver. Or maybe because I am the care-giver. 

A dreary day in the neighborhood of southern MN. The weather is offering up its sympathy for my unhappy mind and body. Thank you Mother Nature. As long as you are bringing on the dreary, could you add a little rain to it? I'm just asking.......

Some people, when given the opportunity for solitude and introspection, use it to ponder life. I use it to ponder my feet. 

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A Very Fine Whine

So not so good today. The husband brought home a cold and it decided to give me the one/two punch. I schlepped myself down to the barn this morning, but Mark sent me packing after thirty minutes. I think my pathetic posture was too much for him to bear.

I get to sit in my chair with my feet on the footstool while I stare blankly at Lifetime movies and drink my tea. It would be a lovely way to spend a day if I felt well and could actually enjoy it.

My planned dinner of smoked sausage, tomatoes, peppers and onions I fear will be replaced with matzo ball soup. Too bad I have to make it, but the husband seriously cannot cook and I'm no where near the mood for pizza.

It's true misery loves company, so I was compelled to spread my good cheer onto anyone who reads this. I hope you are enjoying good health and if you are, tip your hat in my direction and smile just a little.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Catching Some Currents

Whilst Howard was doing this.....

and Zing this.......

they were doing this.

Click Image to Enlarge

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Little of This, Little of That & a Smattering of Something Else

I've been busy like this little guy, storing up food for the winter.

It all started with so many zucchini and tomatoes I was overwhelmed, so I started slicing zucchini and freezing it in quart bags. I found I can freeze tomatoes whole and then bag them for use over the winter. No canning! This led to plugging in my dinosaur of an upright freezer and deciding if I'm going to run the classic appliance I'm going to fill it.

I have spent three weeks following the circulars from the four grocery stores within ten miles. I have so much chicken in the freezer we will be clucking by mid-January! Today I finally accomplished my goal and have stuffed the freezer. There is still room for whatever tomatoes and zucchini I will have, but this squirrel has prepared for winter. For whatever reason, pasta has been on sale all over, so the cupboards are packed with every variety imaginable. I have become a hoarder.

My apple tree produced tiny apples, perhaps because most of the growing season was in drought. I think I will freeze them whole and deal with peeling and coring what I take out to use as I use them. I happen to know someone with a magic pumpkin plant and maybe I will be one of the anointed and get a pumpkin to cut up and freeze. Pumpkin pie!

Something else; I'm thinking about turning off the satellite TV. I think I'll get one of those boxes that gives you digital service and dump the satellite. It's expensive and I watch it so little, I'm just thinking........ It feels like I'm preparing to go out into the wilds.

See what an economic downturn does for a person, gets you to look at life a little different. Trim the fat, stock up on sales and hang on.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A Good Person, A Sad Loss

This is how I will remember Patrick Swayze.
Photo by Polly Knolls

A man who loved Arabian horses. He had the Straight Egyptian Stallion, Tammen until the horses death in 1999. I believe he did the top poster for charity. I know he was a successful actor, but to me he was Tammen's person. 

Fly Like An Eagle

I heard the screech and knew they were around somewhere. They like to perch on the electric poles and that's where I found them. 

Monday, September 14, 2009

Try It......You'll Like It!

I got this recipe from my blog friend Ashley over the winter. Ashley lives in Brazil, so it was summer for her. I planned to make it when we came into summer, but I forgot. It's unseasonably warm and my zucchini is still producing, so I made pizza for Sunday dinner. It is delicious and my tomatoes that I used were really tangy.

I used 2 medium zucchini, sliced thick.
Place zucchini on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil & a sprinkle of salt and roast for about 30 minutes.
I quartered a couple of tomatoes and put into the oven with the zucchini for the last 10 minutes.
I added some greek olives and fresh oregano
Ashley's recipe calls for mozzarella and parmesan. I only had parm and I think it was good without the mozzarella.

This is a raw sauce made in a blender or food processor:
 4 small quartered tomatoes
1/2 small onion
4 large cloves garlic
bunch of fresh basil
1/2 cup tomato puree
hefty drizzle of olive oil

Use whatever pizza crust you like. I make a thicker, Sicilian style crust.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sunday Morning

Quiet. Sunday mornings are quiet in the country during the between times. Between putting up the last crop of hay and the harvest. Everyone slows down, probably sitting at the kitchen table enjoying one more cup of coffee. Maybe some pancakes and bacon, surely taking for granted the peace around them. I know I usually do.

It's about as beautiful as a morning can get. The fields shrouded in wisps of light, airy fog. I see a flock of birds emerging from the grayness swooping into the field, hundreds of them disappearing into the corn. No sound, a silent descent to breakfast.

This is a quiet time. No planting to be done, too soon to harvest; sound is limited to chirruping crickets, the occasional caw of a crow, a lowing call from a cow that needs to be milked. 

I take my life for granted all too often. I focus on what's wrong, on what needs doing, all the while ignoring what is around me. Every now and again I notice. I can't say why I periodically look around and realize. I do notice that I realize more often. Perhaps it's the strange, ugly events that have sprung up around us that have caused me to come to ground in a way I was not accustomed. Perhaps when there is so much ugliness manifesting itself I feel a stronger urge toward what is quiet and beautiful.

What I do know is, the fog takes on a different grace, the flight of birds brings a sense of delight and the crickets bring me back in years to when I was a girl with no more worries than what I would do today. 

I am going to take pleasure in the day before me. I think that's going to be my only goal for the day. May you have the same.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Do You See It?

A lone bright red leaf. A leaf blowing the heralding horn of Fall. In Minnesota Fall requires a capital letter, as it is an important time of the year. Beautiful, crisp air devoid of humidity. Vibrant foliage, horses hooves crunching upon leaf strewn bridle paths in the park. Flocks of geese passing over as they leave Canada, masses of migrating song birds heading for more temperate climes. Crisp, tart apples fresh from the tree, pumpkins waiting to become pie, muffins and bread.

click to enlarge

A bustle of activity as we busy ourselves readying our homes, our gardens, ourselves for the next season. People seem more pleasant in the fall. There is something comforting about enjoying the shortening, waning days of mild weather, all the while anticipating the time when the earth pulls up its cover of snow and slumbers for the winter. In the meantime, we have Fall. Wood smoke scents the air, frost embraces our land on a softly lit morning, chilly but nice. 

Bonfires, fireplaces, bubbling stew, homemade bread. It's hard to see anything but good in the Fall. The horses begin to look like plush animals as they grow the coat that will keep them warm over the harsh winter. But we don't dwell on why they are so soft and fluffy. We simply bury our noses in the soft warmth of their bodies and breath in the wonderful smell that is them.

In Minnesota, we savor Fall like a fine, aged wine. We sip it, rolling it upon our tongue, swallowing slowly. If we savor, it may last just a wee bit longer. We may hold off the winds of winter one more day, perhaps one more week. We don't contemplate why, for that would mar the glory of Fall; it would bring to mind something we try to ignore, nor matter how long the years have repeated themselves; how many times we have been to this dance. We hug Fall to ourselves, attempting to keep it with us this time. Just this once, let us keep it.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Musing on Mothers, Faces and Saints

When do we become our mothers?
I have this photo on the sidebar of my other blog. I haven't actually looked at it, not really. But somehow my eye was drawn to it and I realized if I removed the glasses I would be looking into the face of my mother. 

I didn't look like my mother when I was young, not even when I was of middling age. But as I am creeping along the short side to sixty, low and behold; it's the face of Kate staring back at me. That same weary, bemused look. The same face. Is this some strange twist of fate that all women end up looking like their mothers?

I almost wrote saints preserve us. Now I'm going to start talking like her too.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Evening Sky

With all of the despair I feel, there is still beauty to be had in the world.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Teach Your Children Well

I listened to President Obama's speech to school children today.

Now I know why a certain sector of this country was so concerned. Study hard, don't give up and seek help when you need it. Oh my god, all of the young minds that were subjected to this will be turning out in the streets in their Mao caps. You upstanding true Americans certainly had it right. How ever could I have doubted your motives? I feel my own inner Mao emerging; I think it was the magic rays beaming from Obama's eyes.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Hm, Hm, Good!

Grilled Eggplant Sandwich For A Sunday Lunch.

This is absolutely delicious. It's eggplant brushed with an olive oil/garlic./salt/pepper/basil infusion. Grill the eggplant slices. Mix cream cheese or goat cheese with basil/salt/pepper and spread on flat bread. I grilled a couple of thick-sliced tomatoes and topped with spinach leaves.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Tale Of Zing & The Cavaletti, Or How The White Monster May Devour A Fine Steed

Howard watched with rapt interest as.....

Kristina and Zing approached the crouching beast laying in wait for the valiant young steed. Zing tentatively raised a foot, knowing he was entering a place filled with peril, but he could not falter in the presence of the lovely young maid.

We did it, two feet over the monster. And yet, still in one piece!

It's too dangerous to continue to risk the beloved Kristina, so the brave young steed crosses the monster alone. David was no more resolute as he faced down Goliath than the Arabian Warrior crossing the White Monster.

A new element added to the tale; the gentle maid places added danger upon our hero. Now he must carry her to safety.

Does she not know the monster is feigning peacefulness? The brave lad carries his beloved over the waiting beast of death, never faltering in his determination to protect her.

Finally, the maid has tired of tempting death and the handsome hero can carry her to safety.

He can show the monster the backside of himself whilst whisking her off.

He approaches the waiting army of White Monsters which play dead along the fence line, knowing they are likely to pounce at any minute. Fear not gentle maid.

A look about to ensure all is well.

Satisfied that the monster will not need to be slew today, our brave young stallion relaxes for a moment, contemplating the dangers he faced and overcame.

What treachery is this! A cold shower. The gentle maid knows our hero does not like his showers cold. Oh wicked lass.

A thought of retribution crosses his mind.

The young stallion got his revenge by not eating or drinking and worrying his people. This led to much attention and fussing over him (also led to some cold thing stuck in the fine steed's nether region!). After some fair amount of time where the wily young stallion was on the manicured lawn nibbling grass, he decided to let his personal assistant off the hook and drink his water and eat his hay. There was a sense of satisfaction that a price had been paid. Tribute as it were, and he is after all, a fair master of his people.

The End

Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Meme-ing We Will Go, Part Two

I have been tagged by Just Jules

The rules are simple; I need to tell 10 things about myself that are true. Since most of you don't know me, you'll have to trust me on this, they will be true!

1. I'm 5' 2" tall, which is often inconvenient.

2. I don't eat anything that squishes; i.e. mushrooms, mussels, oysters, etc.

3. I have developed an undercurrent of gnawing anxiety, something I never experienced before the past couple of years.

4. Although I have a 35 year old child, I will probably never be a grandmother.

5. It doesn't bother me that I will probably never be a grandmother.

6. Both of my parents are still living.

7. I am impatient with willful ignorance, making the current intellectual climate I find myself in a real test of my endurance.

8. I have been married twice. The second has stuck for 28 years.

9. I was not one of the popular kids in my youth.

10. I'm not one of the popular adults in my older age, proving I am consistent.

I tag anyone who reads this and wants to participate.

Friday, September 4, 2009

A Meme-ing We Will Go

I have been twice tagged for memes, so here is the first tag from Ahhh....The Cottage Life!

1) Open up you first photo album

2) Scroll down to the 10th picture.

3) Post that picture and write the story that goes with the picture.

This is my tenth photo, WF Top Impression, aka Bright. He is a son of my stallion WF Impressive (Topper) out of Tempered Steele (Babe). He was a weanling when this was taken by Shelley Paulson. I was placing a stallion ad in the Arabian Horse Times and needed photos. The ad was "He's heads and tails above the rest" and Bright was the 'tails'! I think this was 2004.

This is the resulting ad.

I am short on time, so I will complete the second tag tomorrow. Anyone who wants to play, let me know in the comments.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Fei, Fie, Foe, Fum.....My Tummy Was Undone

The belly rules the mind.  ~Spanish Proverb

If you read yesterday's post you know I had a fried food orgy at the fair. I did finish my gluttony with a Gyro, but there is a lot of fat in that wonderful gastronomic slice of heaven. So, appropriately my tummy did the Texas Two-Step that night. I'm not what I used to be.

Dinner last night was my mea culpa for my day of extravagance. My blogging friend Ashley gave me this recipe last year and I made it last night. It is fresh, light and delicious.

The tomatoes and the basil came from my garden. Fresh mozzarella, fettuccine and kalamata olive oil make up the balance of ingredients. 

My aging digestive system was grateful.