Monday, September 30, 2013

Purple Prevails

Purple Asters are just beginning to bloom rather erratically in our gardens, in a continuation of strange happenings during this year's crazy weather patterns. Normally, they are abundant and in full bloom, by now. In their honor, I've got another shade of purple on the needles, in combination with some gorgeous gray. It's the first project to coincide with our favorite TV premiere shows. It must be Fall.

Through Rose-Colored Glasses

Painted Eldred
If you've never tried a pair of glasses with rose-colored lenses, you absolutely must. No joke. The world looks sunnier than it is, when viewed through them. Case in point:
iPhone Self-Portrait    OBX Spring '13
NY 'n' Maui Jim

We were driving to Eldred, yesterday, with Aubs and her long-time girlfriend in tow. Soccer Sunday. It was a magnificent day, as is today. The foliage has begun to change, and through my sunglasses, it looked amazing. Dazzling shades of yellow, lime, red and orange, along with a few unnamed colors on G-d's palette. When I removed my glasses, the same painted forest turned a tad duller. Yellow all but disappeared. Really. Still pretty, but not glowing. The girls and Joe were surprised, when they gave trusty Maui Jim a go.
Best Friends Shooting Hoops
We finally found the field, on our fourth attempt. This made us late. Along the way, we picked up another family who did not realize that Eldred meant Glen Spey, the location of the elementary school. They followed us to the correct destination, another four miles out of "town". The girls didn't seem to mind. They shot some hoops, as we researched all possibilities. 
Go, Aubs!
It was a very good game on a full field, since Aubs has gone to the next league. I miss the smaller grassy version, an asset to my photo ops. C'est la vie. The GrandLoves must grow. The gorgeous weather brought out lots of parents and grands, making it a lively atmosphere. And Monti won. What more can ya ask for? Aubs played well.
I'm clinging to these days. The return of Summer. Not quite time to put away the Yankee visor, in all its pink glory. 'Tis a shame we're not in the World Series, this year, spoiled brats that we are. But this little hat trick helps my messy curls and protects my aging face.
Not to worry. It's not the same one you've seen for years. I replace it on occasion. And I wash it. :-) In return, it speaks to me:

"New York. Home is where the ♥ is. Yankees. Our team. Pink for Michelle and her battle. Hope.
The beach. Sand. Waves. Jonathan. Be. Summertime."

Have a rosy day, y'all. xo

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Robert Redford on Both Sides Now - "The Company You Keep"

There shall always be naysayers, when it comes to R. R. Superstar. But I'll just say good things, as is evident by his multiple starring roles, here on CMI. So in searching for a movie, yesterday morning, it was a double punch of surprise and pleasure to find "The Company You Keep" on demand. I knew nothing of the film, so I gave my favorite source of reviews a quick hit. NY TIMES moviegoers gave it a decent rating... double the pleasure, 'cause I would have watched, regardless. I digress...

Mr. R. is on both sides of the camera, directing and acting in this political thriller about a past member of the Weather Underground (Redford) being revealed by a young reporter with something to prove (LaBeouf). The media aspect of the film is totally current. Here, the FBI is challenged to solve the "where 'n' why" before the story breaks in an Albany, NY, newspaper. 

We were amazed to see a score of old favorites. Sure, the "old" is literal, but what a thrill to see them on the big screen, once again: Sam Elliott (I want more!), Nick Nolte, Julie Christie, Susan Sarandon, Stanley Tucci, in no particular order.

We settled in for a fabulous two-hour chase, scoring Mr. R. at 77 years of age and his film with our top honors... 10's all around.

It's almost the time of year for another look at my all-time favorite film. Ahem.
"The Way We Were" is taking on new meaning, daily, as I age along with my favorite superstars.

This one's for (link) Mom and her secret pleasure. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The End of a Brilliant Era

Seasons Merge

Summer ferns look so pretty as a backdrop to Fall mums, on our portico. The weather has been positively gorgeous. 
Indian Summer.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

We Must Teach Our Children Well

This post from Suzi Noyes, Pilot.Online, is guaranteed to stop your heart.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Turkey-Turkey Soup 'n' All-Chocolate Cake

It's still Dad's birthday. I can feel him. I swear. He's waiting for me to have a piece of all-choco cake in his honor. And I plan to, thanks to Joe. No, I didn't bake. But I cooked. Heart healthy, to compensate for sinful.

Without a clue as to 'Why?', I thought of Italian Wedding Soup, today. So, to the batch of turkey-veggie soup that I whipped up yesterday, I added little turkey meatballs that were first baked in the oven. And pasta. Hey, don't knock it. There's tons of vitamins processed into the thick base. Escarole floating on top of it might damage Joe's psyche.
Maybe next time, though.

Dad ♥

Monday, September 23, 2013

Honeycrisp Apples*Plus Dessert Ramekins

While the Cuisinart was on the counter, I thought to toss in five peeled, quartered Honeycrisp apples, a large peeled, pitted ripened peach, about two tablespoons each coconut oil and pure maple syrup, one tablespoon cinnamon and a few squeezes of lemon juice. After processing till it resembled chunky applesauce, I shared it amongst five ramekins, each sprayed with Pam. Then, I topped with leftover fresh blueberry sauce from the freezer, oats, slivered ginger and a light hit of Pam. Into a 350-degree oven they went for about 35 minutes.
They'll bubble, so don't fill to the brim.

Tonight, we'll top with with 1/2-fat Breyer's vanilla... YUM!!

Roasted Red Pepper 'n' Fresh Ricotta Lasagna - Almost Instant!

The next time you're placing your hand on that frozen lasagna or Polly-O ricotta, think twice. With just a little effort and a few extra $$$'s, surely you can find fresh ricotta. Oh, and while you're in the Italian deli, find a nice fresh mozzarella, too. It's optional in this recipe, but I happened to find a small piece in my freezer. Once you've eaten unprocessed versions of the cheeses, you'll never go back to salty, flat, tasteless versions. Moving along...

By now, I'm sure you've tried Barilla no-cook lasagna noodles and my ever-touted Pomì tomatoes. I used the chopped variety for this recipe. Straight from the box, they give a garden-fresh, lighter touch to the dish; there's no need to make sauce.
Ready For The Oven
After blending about 1 1/4 cups ricotta, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon EVOO and 2 freshly roasted red peppers and their juices (char all sides under the broiler or on the grill; cool, seed and peel) in my Cuisinart, I layered twice with only 9 lasagna noodles. Topped with a bit of mozz, parsley, oregano and pepper, it's ready for the oven. This lasagna can be sliced between the noodles and across, for 6 perfect portions. Freeze the leftovers for another time.

It's officially Fall. Surely you can tell by the soup pot in the pic!

Almost Instant and sort of Less Is More!! Buon Appetito!

Yesterday - Soccer Sunday - Two Goals by our G-Man!

In yesterday's game at the Walnut Mountain Park in Liberty, Gav scored two goals to help his team win. Meanwhile, in Albany, Miss Chloe had an assist. Watch this space for updates, please.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Maison du Cafe?

We brought this framed photo from the OBX, a few years back. It adorns the wall next to the counter area where Tassimo resides. Whether near the current version of coffeemaker or ancestral Mr. Coffee's, French presses or electric pots, the sign accurately describes the essence of our ever-evolving kitchen. Well, till now, that is. We've gone from being the
Maison du Cafe to The House of Discipline and Better ZZZ's.
Seriously. It's true...

It all began with our recent visit to the Cape. We inadvertently reduced our daily intake to two or three cups. By the time we left the beach, afternoon became early evening - way too late to consider another hit. Well...

Joe has never experienced a sleep issue. But with less java in my system and a few nights of fresh turkey dinners... perhaps it was coincidence, perhaps not... you've all heard of tryptophan, right? Eight or nine hours per night!! Previously unheard of for 
Sleepless in New York, but it HAPPENED, repeatedly. And so...

We've both continued the "new way", finding multiple benefits to beating the addiction. Sure, there's still a slight four-o'clock-slump. But what a small sacrifice to consider, when zzz's have followed me home from the beach. It's amazing. 

Serenity now! Where's the turkey?

Robin Roberts, One Year Later


Congratulations, Cornell U.

Shame on the men's lacrosse team-members for hazing underclassmen by forcing their consumption of alcohol.

Congratulations to the supervisory panel of the university for suspending the culprits and canceling their fall schedule of play.

No punishment is too harsh, when it comes to bullying.
(Google for more, if you're interested.)

#No Filter

Yesterday's flawless sky and warm temps prompted me to ride along with Joe. Sure, I suffer the consequences of long-ish client calls.
Ah, but at the end of the road, there lies the magnificent river.
These photos represent the magnificence of the day and were taken with either my NIK, Joe's phone or my iPhone. Think you can make a connection between device and result?? 
The day was not perfect for others, though. As we approached 84, we were almost taken out by a large truck entering our lane. My heart had not yet stopped pounding when we were no sooner on the route and witnessed the results of what had been a horrible accident in the opposite lane. Traffic was tied up for miles and miles. In this morning's paper, we see that it never moved for four hours. One poor soul involved was airlifted to a major medical facility. This morning, we unite in spirit and pray for his recovery.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

The Fall Pall

Ah, 'tis the season of the highest of highs and lowest of lows, in our family. I start to feel it - don't even need the calendar. Sure, we try to focus on all the positives... but sometimes... well, you know.
I guess that's why they call it the blues.
It's good to have my Mom's Jade, a reminder of her love of plants. It resides inside, but nonetheless joins all of Dad's contributions to our gardens.

Mom kept the succulent in a small pot, thus its dwarfed growth. But I freed it. My pot of choice carries quite the story, one Mom loved to tell me, every time I admired it. She and her sister each carried one home to Jamaica, Queens, traveling by subway from The Big Apple and Macy's on 34th Street. Gotta love that tale. And Mr. Jade is lovin' his new space... spreading his wings, so to speak.

Dusting out the demons.
Sing it, Elton, and come back to (link) Bethel, please.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Soccer Sunday and More...

We awakened to 39 degrees, this morning. I thought to capture a few more garden beauties, before a nighttime frost destroys them. It is astounding to see the variety of blooms still brilliant, thanks to warming afternoon sunshine. It was sort of "toasty", by the time Gav showed his stuff on the soccer field.
Gavin has grown so much, since last soccer season. I swear, his legs are gazelle-likeHe's honing some pretty neat skills and manages to find lots of action. FunToday's game against Tri-Valley ended in a tie.
Our Town Park has also blossomed into something lovely. Thanks to a resident's gardening skills and lots of planned activities, it's clearly the "place to be" for Fall fun-in-the-sun.

Friday, September 13, 2013

CapeScapes - Be Careful What You Wish For

Beach Treat
Just make an offer and surely we'll pick the 90-degree beach day with no wind and cloudless blue skies. Well, come on! Isn't it a no-brainer, if the other option brings strong winds, temps in the 70's and occasional sun? BEEP. Wrong. We're here to tell you,
"Choose the latter!"

Wednesday, a throwback to August daze days, was crystal clear. Problem was that infamous Cape Cod sandflies thought it perfect, too. Minus a hazmat suit, the only way to avoid clusters of them on our ankles was to walk and keep on walkin', 'cause they're too slow-flying to keep up with even a moderate pace. But they wait - patiently - for the moment you sink back into your sand chair.
Wind Shield but No Flies!
Ah, but Thursday? Perfect. Nothing a windshield or car body couldn't help. Brilliant sweatshirt weather. And no flies. We'll take it.
Beach Beauty
Don't ya just love Mother Nature? One just never knows what she'll dish. Today? G-d's moving furniture. It seems we'll be experiencing some Cape-style boomers. We'll take that, too. Have we a choice?? Still, always there's beauty to be found. 
We'll Take It!
Even a sunset into the clouds can be brilliant. It's a mixed bag, on the beach.
Here's to surf, sand 'n' glorious sunsets.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

CapeScape - A Throwback

"Marconi Beach Dudes" NCS'12
A few friends of CMI heard about our dilemma. Tigger is off traveling the world, but she knew of Mambo's Tail Tale before setting sail.
Others with extra time on their hands :-) might wonder, though,
"Where's Mambo??" 

Y'all know of our (link) Dennis dilemma, last year. Reluctant to plunk down even more security $$$$'s, we opted to leave Mambo at Rock Ridge, this year. It was tough enough to make the decision. Then, when we brought him on Friday morning, it was mentioned that they'd just had two cases of kennel cough. Ahem. Excuse me? Why did we not have this info sooner?
Enter here Brian and Kelly.

In spite of a calendar full of events that included a concert, wedding, business trip for Kell and the beginning of school and sports for the kids, they rescued Big Dog. Their pooch, Miley, was not a happy camper, making this a difficult adjustment.
Thank you so much, Children.
"Sunning" by Kell'13
Now gratitude is one thing, but our Ms. Kelly is a true animal lover. She knows how we're missing our beach buddy. The first pic came in on the first day. Ah, such satisfaction to know that our pooch was sunning himself on their deck, instead of being cough-caged.
Then, last night we saw him sleeping on his big cushion in none other than Aubrey's room.
Have to laugh. 
"Good Night" by Kell'13
Tigger told me, "You'll probably miss him more than he'll miss you!"

Missing Mambo! And acknowledging the fact that our Family is awesome!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Peaceful CapeScapes to Remind Us...

We Can Never, Ever Forget
Enhanced appreciation was nonetheless tinged with tragic memories of the date.
Peaceful cohabitation seems so simple. Can we learn from Nature?
Beach gifts abound to demonstrate G-d's palette. A bouquet reaches to the sky.

Color Me

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

CapeScapes to Pause For

Race Point was gorgeous, yesterday. Well, for a while, that is. Man, did it get windy and cold, quickly separating the beach wimps from the true blues. 
 Off to Wellfleet Harbor, this morning. Cloudy days are costly. Don't ask. Still, some traditions need to be honored, such as a cuppa Dunkin', seaside. We thought to get a lobster roll, but hey... would you pay $24 for a few bites? Just for the record, it didn't happen.
Our next gray-day stop was Provincetown, where we headed to the wharf to see Khrista off. As irony would have it, the catch of the day was bountiful. The captain of this particular fishing boat told us that the popular red crustaceans were fetching a low market price, these days. I guess the fisherman in Wellfleet ignored the rules of supply and demand. Whatever! Get this: We could have purchased a hundred pounds of squiqqly ones for a mere $300. Of course, that didn't happen, either. But seriously, did ya ever see such a happy crewman?
 While we waited for the ferry, we captured these lovely ladies. They helped to create
the history this harbor holds dear. Squisito, we think.
Mads is so adorable and sweet. Period. She has a special way of making a day.
 We so enjoyed catching up with Khrista... we were long overdue, though Nic's wedding helped. She's blossomed into a fantastic
woman-of-the-world, with lots to contribute. We'll miss her, tomorrow, when we hit the sand.
 And our cousins already miss her!
That's the Cape for you... as diverse as the day is long. Just couldn't resist these two beauties. Their human was happy to grant me permission for a photo shoot. Missing Mambo.
That's all she wrote, for today. Old Sol is supposed shine once again, tomorrow, once again creating a brighter P-town. Till then...