Tuesday, November 30, 2010

For Tigger

Hope that you'll be bouncing around very soon... you know, "The wonderful thing about tiggers..." Feel better. 
E-mail coming soon.

For Myra

Monday, November 29, 2010

Ah, Those Onions...

About halfway to crisp...
As promised, here is the calorie-adjusted recipe for Mom's fried onions, always a family favorite:

Slice large, sweet (I use Vidalia) onions into rings and then poke out each layer, for heaps of individual rings. Place them in a large baggie and add milk. You don't need too much milk, as you'll be able to seal it to give contents a good toss. 

On a large plate, mix together flour, paprika, ground pepper and garlic powder (use whatever you like). Dredge onions in flour and then spread in a layer on a large cookie sheet that has a thin coat of your best EVOO on it. Sprinkle with more paprika (for color) and pepper (for spice). Use your spritzer to lightly spray with more oil. Bake in a preheated, hot oven... about 425 degrees works for me. Give a turn about 15 minutes in. Remove to paper-towel lined serving bowl, when desired degree of crispness has been reached. 

These can be made ahead of time and reheated, as long as you again spread them out on a pan or foil, to do so. Be sure to serve fallen crumbs, too; they are the best.

Buon Appetito!

Post Holiday Whites

Some suffer from the post holiday blues. Not I, 'cause it's right back to the Monday-after whites. Joe is pretty good at separating them from the yolks. Aubrey is even learning... she loves to spill yolk into the bowl, so that she can then scoop it out with an eggshell cup. Cute. Now, scusimi... it's breakfast-time.
Hey, PV... this one's for you. :-)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Reflecting On Gratitude ♡

Do y'all know Tita from LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE? It is a fantastic book, in which her character is only able to express emotion through the food she prepares. In a magical way, it then becomes powerful in its effects on those who consume it. Whenever I cook "big" and consider the sensual attributes of food, I think of the (link) book and Phil, Joe's best friend in life. My friend, too, he was also one of my best book mentors; he recommended this very one. Segue to the holiday and Thanksgiving 1970... 

Brian was a tiny infant, and we were supposed to go to my parents' home on the Island. We awakened to two feet of fresh snow on Turkey Morn; the roads were impassable and a little disappointment did set in. Quick to rebound, we gave thanks for our own little branch of the family and began to thaw the turkey I had coincidentally purchased, the week prior. As soon as the plows went through, Phil came up to us and with Joe proceeded to fetch Joe's Grandparents, stranded by the storm. I cooked... and cooked... and cooked. Some things never change. Smile. Thus was Bri's first drumstick... an indelible and delicious memory. Honestly, I have so many wonderful Thanksgiving memories; but for now, it's 
back to the present...

We had a great holiday 2010. When I looked around my table, I was over-
whelmed by beautiful, happy faces. The Grands all kicked into high gear, the very second they reunited. Grandpa's hats appeared and the playroom was descended upon. A "show" was in the works - rehearsal mandatory. There was a Michaela Jackson and a 
thrice-chapeau'd character.
Visiting Fiona at 35 pounds was doing backflips over 130-pound Mambo.

 A sleepover for our long distance kids made for a no-pressure visit and afforded time for gingerbread house-building in the morning. We all missed Dawn, but knew that she was having fun, too.

For me, GivingThanks is for every day, but...
ThanksGiving is a wonderful holiday.
Departed loved ones are forever in my and
were never far from my thoughts.

Always, I say, "Grazie Dio."

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Birthday, Kim ♡

The Godfather and I 
love you... 
YES... we do!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Joe got me hooked on the show; but this is the first year that I really watched, from beginning to end. The drama! In the end, fabulous Derek and feisty Jennifer earned what was rightfully theirs, though I do feel that she came into the competition experienced. This brings me to say that I'd give my right pinky to see Patrick Swayze dance again. What charisma and charm that man possessed.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Figurative Forum Flatulence

"Skybird make your sail and
Every heart will know 
of the tale" ND 

Figuratively speaking and in my opinion, all forums are created equal in their flatulent tenor. There are always cynical, condescending participants who work hard at spoiling the interest of newcomers... as though Heavenly gifts are solely for their enjoyment. Hmmm. Scary when the "old-timers" actually refer to themselves as G-d. 
Recently, I joined a seemingly innocent and informative site. Something told me that I didn't belong there. 
After two weeks, I deleted myself, and an old 
New Year's Resolution was secured.

It is my choice to learn from Nature.
Born Free.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

The Shoot - His 'n' Hers

We're facing off. 
Joe? Well, he sits in a tree and looks through a scope, to ready himself for his version of "The Shoot". I'll spare you the success story that might possibly ensue. In fairness here, I have to say he's great with a camera, too; but for posting purposes...

Moi? I hang out on land and look through a view- finder. Success? It's when Baldy remains unfazed by the paparazzi, after a successful session.

This thread is a self-indulgent excuse to share yet one more result.

Illusion? Addiction? Gratification?

So, what do you think of technology, these days? Are you chained to a Crackberry? Have you succumbed to Facebook? Do you have young children or grands around? If so, do you consider them addicted to one or more techie tools? An article in today's (link) 
NEW YORK TIMES provides lots of food for thought. Be sure to check out the kids' audio comments, before clicking to the "related article". Each is quite honest in his or her consideration of potential "side effects".

Five A.M.

A Girl Can Dream!
After a relatively busy and physical day yesterday, I was exhausted. Rather than resist sleep, I crashed at 
nine p.m. You know, I don't think I've done that since the boys were in elementary school. My head hit
 the pillow, and... 

The problem is, I'm a six-hour-a-night Type A. Yep; three a.m. and I thought it to be morning. After a shallow attempt to fall back into dreamland, I caved and arose. Sooooo, in two hours, I've had my morning cup o', caught up with banking and correspondence of the land mail variety, and packaged two eBay items that sold overnight. I love making money when I'm 
(supposed to be) snoozin'. 

Why is it that I can sleep like a baby when by the sea, after a day of sitting in my beloved sand chair, staring at the waves and Jonathan, doing nothing? Ah, the soothing effects of salt air and crashing waves. 

Okay, please excuse me now; it's time to read. Maybe I'll doze off and awaken at, let's say, eight a.m. 
Sweet dreams, y'all. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Humor Me

Moi: "Aubs, dry each layer before adding paint, so that you don't turn your entire picture into mud."

Aubs: "Okay."
.......Photo Shoot.......
Aubs: "So, G'ma, WHAT are you going to say on your blog about drying the picture?? Giggle."

Moi: "Just humor me, Sugar."

C'est Moi

Joe likes my current profile picture; he thinks Mambo and I look cute - beachy and happy. He requested a larger version. So, indulge me, please. Before CMI goes to the printer, I'm obliging him; and I thank him for the compliment. This photo was taken at the Wellfleet harbor, last August, as we enjoyed a cup o' Joe.

And Where's Pat Boone?

G-d, do you remem-
ber "Love Letters In The Sand"? You know, "On a day like today, we passed the time away, writing love letters in the sand...." 

We lack sand around here; but I'll take a paper towel. Thanks, Honey.

So, Where The Heck Is Oscar?

We're great with canines... but, Fish Beware! I personally killed our Oscars, numbers 1 and 2.... something about keeping the water too clean? Sigh. Then, we fish-sat Oscar 3 for Aubs and Gavin; he expired shortly after his return home. They, in turn, were gifted Oscars 4 and 5. Don't ask. So, what to do with empty fishbowls? 

See all those pretty glass stones? They were sorted, piled, scattered and played with for an hour, before a few made it to a special planting A and G were creating. There are over two hundred pretties. 
Just ask the kids, 'cause they counted...
 "I'll do the reds; you do the blues."
Poor Oscar. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes♡

When our children were very young, a close friend and I concurred that no-school snow days were the best. We loved having them safely under wing, to enjoy blustery weather that dictated pajama days.

While not snowing, 'twas cold and cloudy today... a perfect no-agenda day to share with Baby Grands on a day off from school. My iPod provided a soundtrack comprised of music mostly new to them. Lego building, painting, planting, cooking, eating, tumbling, weaving, reading, dancing and tons of chit-chatting were accompanied by a plethora of my all-time favorites. 

At one point, amazing little Gavin looked up from an activity to say, "Wait, G'ma, that song is from 'Barry And The Bee'." George Harrison was singing "Here Comes The Sun". Aubs explained that Gavin meant "The Bee Movie". I've since learned that Sheryl Crow sang it for the film. About five minutes later...

Though seemingly quite engrossed in painting, Aubrey began to undulate her arms and hands in the air, saying, "G'ma this music makes me want to fly." ND fans, brace yourselves. The orchestration at the beginning of "Be" was playing.

I was astounded... I mean, goose-bump astounded. Joe and I exchanged incredulous glances. I asked Aubs if I'd ever explained the meaning of the score to her. "No, G'ma; never. I proceeded to tell her a bit about Jonathan Livingston Seagull, at the same time trying to impart just why we were so intrigued by her interpretation of the music.

Staring at the sea and listening to my standard JLS fare shall forever be redefined by today's memories - the ones that unfolded under our Jonathan-inspired light. Yep, here comes the Sun.
By Night And Day

Let The Midnight Hour....

....shine its ever-lovin' light on me....
and us....
and me....

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Best Of

The best of "rare birds" has finally ap-
peared in our markets. What's with the scarcity of fresh turkeys, of late? Are beef industry bigwigs still pissed at Oprah and running some sort of underground campaign to keep turkey... well... underground? Today, though, just in time for next week's Thanksgiving holiday, a flock of fresh Shady Brooks greeted me from the meat case. I called Joe to say, "Yippee! I scored. You can stop looking."  With obvious glee, he replied, "Really? Are you making soup? Y'know, I bought that little thermos to take into the woods on Saturday." Okay, okay; soup it is, even though we stand divided when it comes to hunting.

Out came Ronnie's first Christmas gift to us, as newlyweds. The best of vintage Dutch ovens now sits range-top, filled to the brim with the best ingredients. My kitchen smells divine, and I'm being serenaded...

G-d gifted them and they sing to me - the best of 
Elvis, Neil and Neil, Marc, Mary, Bruce, Don and Phil, Andrea, Rod, Barry-Maurice and Robin, Stevie and Lindsey, Billy, Bob, Annie, Sarah, Ricky, MJ, Lionel, Barbra, Willie, Dion, John-John-Johnny and Johnny, Paul, George, Elton... jeez, the list goes on and on. 
I'm feeling contented, blessed, thankful, inspired. 
Often, the simplest things in life are simply
The Best.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Whenever 'n' Wherever-You Count

Maks was eloquent in his concession speech, with regard to freedom of choice in the US of A. 
Of course, if one doesn't vote, his or her right to complain is forfeited.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Amazing Woman
If I didn't love her work so much, I might have to be extremely jealous of the roles she's played opposite incredible leading men. Robert Redford, Jeff Bridges, Kris Kristofferson, Nick Nolte... so who said 
life is fair?
Lovin' The Face In The Mirror
Ah, heartbreaking to hear that she wanted a sequel to "The Way We Were". R-R Superstar nixed it, way back when. I'm crushed; but not to worry, 'cause winter is
right around the corner. It's almost time for my annual fix, by way of Katie and Hubbell.

I've not watched "Oprah" in ages; but today's was a calendar-worthy show, not to be missed.
Hubbell Feeling Regret?

What's In A Page?

A book-ish mentor sent this link to a 
UK GUARDIAN article regarding an interesting concept to try out on your current read. Would you have chosen the book, had you first read the suggested page? Gotta luv it. I concur about BLEAK HOUSE; it awaits my commitment to get past 
Page 99.

Spread The Word

Please link. As always, they are offering incredible gifts and cards - something for everyone on your list. The stories behind the artwork always touch my

Do you have a special cause to share? 'Tis the season.
For Michelle...

Monday, November 15, 2010


Yesterday's Rondout sky was amazing... an ever-evolving work of art. Towards late afternoon, Joe and I commented in unison, as we noticed the view beyond Baldy's perfectly chosen vantage point. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010


By way of the Monticello Motor Club, our one-horse village had some company, today. Check out this TIMES-HERALD RECORD article to see how they arrived. Joe and I witnessed their departure from Route 17 ...
all one hundred - a sight to behold.

Empty Nester

Today, we thought to go check on our Feathered Friends Of The Rondout. Upon arrival, there was not a human soul gawking, and the big, old nest was empty. That quickly changed.

Off in the dis-
tance, way up in the clouds, our first bird appeared. He turned out to be a juvenile - one of our summer fledglings, for sure. We were quite engrossed in his display, when in sailed adult white - literally out of the blue.
Imagine our surprise when Big Baldy headed straight for the nest, stick in tow. Research tells me that such ginormous structures take months to construct and then require constant maintenance; e.g., the addition of new 'wood'. A nest continues to grow and solidify over many years, during which time the same parental pair will return to it for springtime breeding... a "home, sweet home", of sorts.
As soon as housekeeping was completed, off went our busy raptor... time to think about dinner. 
We experienced quite the ongoing air show. It was hard to wrench ourselves away from Nature's gifts. I just needed one more shot of a more expansive view. All pics can be enlarged by left double-clicking on them. After doing so, see if you can find Baldy on a tree branch, in this parting shot.
A great day!