Helllooooooo.....



I've been away for such a loooong, looooong time, it seems! But there's been a good reason for that! As a matter of fact - wow - do I have news!!

Um, but I don't have time, today. Today, I need to wish you a very happy Valentine's Day (coughweekinourhouse)!!

But, to do this properly, I need to lead you to where the rest of the chocolate is....

it's on my NEW SITE!!!

Oh, my GOODNESS!!!

I've been working tirelessly (well, alright, sometimes I was a melted lump of chocolate, weeping on the floor and unable to go on.... ;) )

but, well, alright...

I've been working on it almost nonstop since the middle of November!

So that's a big half of the news I have for you! =)

In the meantime, will you, pretty, pretty, PRETTY please come and visit me?! =)

I'm, now, here:


or, to go to my blog directly:


I would just be ecstatic to see you there!!

=)

xxo




Turn of the seasons....


"Autumn... the year's last, loveliest smile." ~ William Cullen Bryant


"She looked like autumn, when leaves turned and fruit ripened." ~ Sarah Addison Allen






“That country where it is always turning late in the year. That country where the hills are fog and the rivers are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks and twilights linger, and midnights stay. That country composed in the main of cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bins, closets, attics, and pantries faced away from the sun. That country whose people are autumn people, thinking only autumn thoughts. Whose people passing at night on the empty walks sound like rain.”
~ Ray Bradbury


I was enamored, this past November (like it usually happens), with the stark, chill, wild of the late autumnal world - all brown, snapping twigs, swirling paper leaves, true blue skies and low, wispy white puffs of clouds scudding past. It's such a fresh and simple world! This is the season when the pines come into their own. All of the other trees, having abandoned their frondescence, become very demure - being caught in only their lacy skeletons, while the pines, a deep, velvety green - wild, courtly and solitary - restlessly rustle the shadowy layers of their lush skirts.

Outside, everything was brisk and quiet - only the wind to fill one's ears with conversational company. Inside, everything was warm and quiet - except for the snapping of the logs in the fire, the snore of the dog and the ticking of the clock - and the wind - still always there - now howling and rattling and whispering at the edge of the windows.

And, then, there was the light - the low slant of the pale sunshine floating very, very slowly and quietly through the windows - the premature setting of the sun and the dark shadows in the corners of what should have been our afternoon rooms....

So, this is what I explored with my photos - the wild world outside and the comfort of the autumnal warmth that we make for ourselves, inside. Alas, sheer exhaustion has kept me from sharing them until now, at the cusp of the winter solstice - the last day of autumn - the ridiculously absolute deadline. Then, again, the tiredness and struggle with my health was what drove me to stay close and to focus, once again, quietly, on my family and home!! Such wonderful times and memories squirreled and stored away!!

 



"I saw old autumn in the misty morn stand shadowless like silence, listening to silence...."

~ Thomas Hood

 


"Listen! The wind is rising and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings, now for october eves!"

 ~ Humbert Wolfe



"One may have a blazing hearth in one's soul and yet no one ever came to sit by it. Passers-by see only a wisp of smoke from the chimney and continue on their way."

~Vincent Van Gogh




"...but I do feel a little teeny right now that I'm just about ready to start, and winter is entering. Half past autumn has arrived."

~Gordon Parks




The truth is... now, we're snowed in! ;)

Wishing you joy in the seasons, here, at the winter solstice - a sort of turning of the tide!

xxo





* Pumpkin, Bacon and Sage Soup

(scroll down the linked page to the recipe. It's really delicious and smells like pure heaven when also simmering on the stove with....)

* Hot Buttered Rum

(It will seriously warm you to your toes!)








Autumn Spirit









 I met an autumn spirit in the woods and I followed her through the damp and stark November world. Through puddles and chill, mists and rain, brambles and twigs and meadows of flowers - dried golden and brown... Till the woodsy wild seeped into my bones, perhaps, my very soul. And I watched her gather herbs - sage - and thistles and pumpkins and mushrooms and wild onions for a fairy feast. And dusk came so early - blue and cold - but she carried her own warmth and light with her into the hazeled night.







 

























































Autumn Spirit: Rebekah
Jewelry: Rose Arbour





Leah and Phil




































They met at a picnic when they were sixteen during the pie eating contest. He looked at the skinny girl next to him and thought, "no problem! I'll win this hands down!" Little did he realize the determination, talent and all around Tiggery gusto of that sweet young lady! His dad said at the wedding that he saw it all coming, then - that they would fall in love - but they just saw laughter and friendship. They went off to college and a few years, lots of experiences and a bit of growing up later, they came back to find that, not only were they best friends but... in love!!!

Doesn't get any sweeter nor any more romantic than that, eh?!
(heh, heh! ;) )

A month after their August wedding, they did me the favor of getting all dressed up again so that I could take pictures.

Thanks, you two!! That was so very much fun!!! and how does one explain? ...it was such a privilege!

=)




























xo







Peach, rose and basil galette!










I sit here on this cloudy morning and glance out the window and see leaves falling calmly from the tree. There are more leaves down than are on the branches - leaving a plush and glowing carpet of orange - but there are just enough left to feel like one doesn't quite need to settle in for winter, yet - I think we can give it a day or two more. And when the leaves flutter and cascade down, it's so pretty and makes my heart so glad as I watch it but, then, the moment that it stops, I can't remember the feeling until it starts happening again. I don't understand what I'm sensing, really, but I think I'd describe it as a reaction to intensely bittersweet beauty!!

So, how in the world did I wind up with this summery post? I wondered at first. Well, the peaches, against all odds, were sitting there in the grocery store - in the early middle of October - glowing and fragrant and on sale and there was this recipe that called to me - a peach, rose and basil galette from the blog 'Local Milk'. But, also, I think that this is a last 'farewell to summer' post. Tom and I feel like we sort of missed it with all of the renovations that we've been working on inside our home. And, well, there's no point crying over spilt milk - summer has passed - and winter is a giant reset button; so, we'll happily move on. I think that I just needed to kind of have one last fling. One last summer celebration. And these peach pies, with the bouquet of rose that just seems to linger in the mouth and the sweet, yumminess of the peaches and the hint of basil (picked from my sister's late autumn garden - having survived a light frost) - that hint of basil that makes one believe that surely the potager is still thriving.... it was just the thing. Not to mention that jar of honey - a gift to my husband in appreciation of his pastoral gifts - that is straight from a friend's hive - used to sweeten the peaches... Yes, these little summer fruit pies were just perfect for one very sweet, last goodbye to summer....

Well, maybe not THE very last... I have begged the guys to leave the picnic table out for a wee bit longer..... perhaps.... perhaps we'll have one more mild day....










xo








As easy as pie....








The brief said:

Wanted! One image of a green apple pie - preferably with a slice taken out of it.

How hard could that be? and, how FUN that would be!! =)

I live in Vermont - ten minutes from an orchard and early apples are definitely in season!! Actually, the smell of the freshly picked apples in their open air store was heaven!! I, of course, headed out to the trees so that I could be a super picky,  pick-my-own picker.

But, then... one has to finish shopping, bake it, squeeze making dinner in for the guys and the clouds were dark and heavy (I could swear that night came an hour early!)... and the deadline was nine o' clock the next morning. I made the pies and got everything ready to start photographing in the morning and...

I went to bed and dreamt all night long of apple pies on seas of golden forks and spoons.

I thought that there was no trouble if I didn't make the deadline - after all, the assignment was out of the blue and I could only do what I could do but the circumstances, somehow, suddenly shifted....

Pic of green apple pie - preferably with slice taken out - due in two hours!!!

I've always wondered what it's like to be a professional food stylist and photographer. The food is there and you have a limited time to GET THE SHOT! Yikes!!

Well, I did my best in the circumstances. It was a wee bit stressful! =P and, whoever made up that silly saying, 'easy as pie'?? Especially when there's a slice taken out....

It's not!

But, the weather that morning was rainy, muted and very quiet and the tree out my window has suddenly put on her orange, autumnal dress - she's just gorgeous! and there was a migrating flock of ducks flying in a massive swirl into the pond with an almighty splashing! and fall, really, arrived that very morning with a nip and certain festive 'something' in the air!!

Life is so wonderful, eh!?!

And I surely hope they like it. I should have made the simpler crust, maybe - perhaps that's what they really wanted?! (biting lip...)

But, happily, at the end of the day... of course... there's simply pie!!! =)








Katy's sour cream apple pie.

Firstly, the truth is, I use Betty Crocker ready made crust! Why not?! ;)

So, now that we've got that over with! ;)

~ one package ready made pie crusts! =) (two rounds)

~ six tart green cooking apples - peeled, cored and sliced
~ Tossed in juice of one lemon

~ 2 TB flour
~ 3/4 cup sugar
~ 1 1/4 tsp cinnamon
~ 1/2 tsp nutmeg
~ big pinch of cloves
~ 1/8 tsp salt

~ 1 egg lightly beaten
~ 1 cup sour cream
~ 1 tsp vanilla

~ another egg to brush top with and...
~ demerara sugar to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

grease pie dish, lightly roll out crust and add to bottom of dish.

Prepare apples and toss in lemon juice
(the lemon is for taste... I'm considering adding grated lemon peel, too...)

In another bowl, combine dry ingredients.
Combine wet ingredients and add to the dry.
Stir mixture into apples.

add apples to prepared pie dish.

For the topping....

One could just put the other round of pastry on top, tuck under and pinch edges and cut vents in the crust.

OR

One could make a lattice crust.
(There's a great video tutorial at Better Homes and Gardens)

Beat the other egg. Brush on top of the pie. Sprinkle with demerara sugar

Bake for approximately one hour - till golden brown and bubbling.

Let cool to set.

The demerara sugar is a dream with the tartness of the apples!

Perfect!!

and, in fact...

easy-peasy!!! ;)

=)






xo




Silver

The Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.
When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.
Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
 ~William Butler Yeats

"It had become a glimmering girl..."

for August in Gray, silver, B&W with

Eva Ricci

.

Hosted by

Sylvia Cook

Brioche



With the chilly nights we've been having all month long, I am in a dilemma - do I pull out the extra blankets for bed and couch, even though it's still August and supposedly summer? And, I am particularly confused about whether I should be baking bread or fruit and berry pies, etc.. I know that one of these nights I'll remember that darn blanket before I'm curled up in a shivering ball with ice-cold toes. As for the baking - I haven't hesitated. I'm making both!!

This is the brioche from Aran Goyoaga's cookbook, which I've mentioned before. It's gluten free but what one notices most is that this yeasty bread tastes like... a brioche! ;) or a moister cousin to a croissant. She has all sorts of variations that I keep meaning to try - orange and cranberry, chocolate chip and a more savory, quinoa version - but, this is relatively so easy, that I just keep whacking out the basic loaf for a special treat.

Happy cozy days!!

Deliriously happy days, now that I have my camera back in my hands after that short break!

And, just, by the way, come to think of it... that orange/blueberry cinnamon roll is both bread AND fruit and berries...










xo



I think that it has been an almost unspoken understanding in all of blogdom, Facebookdom and even flickrdom, that it is time for all of us to be out living our lives and enjoying the summer. And, at the moment, I think that most of us are too focused elsewhere to even share about it. I know that's what it's been like around here, anyway.

We have 'big goings on', here, in our home.... we're deep cleaning and reorganizing the whole house in anticipation of the new space in the attic being done, a new laundry room, etc., etc., etc. Hopefully, all three boys will be moving into their very own boy caves by the time school begins in a month. We're getting so close!! Also, in a funny way, even though it's been a lot of work, all of our projects seem to have pulled us together as a team. I mean, for the most part, there hasn't been any bickering, the boys get right to work with a will and there hasn't been much 'getting on each other's nerves'... I mean, really! Go figure!! I don't know... I think that we're all just excited and the change feels really, really good.

Happy times!! =)

Right, now, though, my oldest is at the dentist (yes, it's a sad cavity!) and the other two are down by the pond with the dogs where we've set up the tent. I think they'll be trying to sleep there, again, tonight. Last time they tried, Chubbs kept getting extremely excited about something just outside the tent. Tom and I rather think that it's either the deer or the turkeys with their brood OR that dog's over-active imagination! So, this time, they're prepped to tell the dog to just lie down and go to sleep, for heaven's sake! And they're loaded with extra firewood, pop tarts and hot chocolate mix for the very chilly morning so that, perhaps, if we're lucky, this time, mom and dad can sleep in past five a.m.!!

So, needless to say, we've relaxed into summer.

Actually, it's so quiet around here...

...it usually is around this season...

my favorite time of year!!!!

I'm feeling nostalgic and, oh, so happy.... even though the memories are being made right now.

xo

'Let the Sun Shine In!'

 
 "A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawnmower is broken." ~James Dent

Except, it has been non-stop raining. And that is pleasant enough - everything is so lush and you know that I love a cozy rain ;) - but, I have to say, it doesn't quite, exactly feel like summer, yet. Anyway, it always seems to take a moment for the realization the we're free to sink in - I rather think that our family is still slightly traumatized from the craziness of the school year. But, now, endless possibilities lay before us for two months!! We just need to....

Think summer!!!

Think...

...lemonade and watermelon, library books, picnics, swimming, digging in the dirt (a.k.a. gardening), giving the dogs baths with the hose, fireworks and fireflies, walks out into the back meadow where the grass is high, hiking trails, road trips and spontaneous adventures, campfires and s'mores, riding bikes, blowing bubbles, looking up at the stars and listening to crickets, staying up way too late and sleeping in, sitting on the porch and chatting with friends....!!! =)

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days - three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain."
~ John Keats 
 
butterfly1100.jpg

"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability" ~ Sam Keen

6.jpg
 

“All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.”

~ L. M. Montgomery

 

xo

Yellow in June

for Eva Ricci's 'colors of 2013'

'Let the Sun Shine In!'


 "A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawnmower is broken." ~James Dent
Except, it has been non-stop raining. And that is pleasant enough - everything is so lush and you know that I love a cozy rain ;) - but, I have to say, it doesn't quite, exactly feel like summer, yet. Anyway, it always seems to take a moment for the realization the we're free to sink in - I rather think that our family is still slightly traumatized from the craziness of the school year. But, now, endless possibilities lay before us for two months!! We just need to....

Think summer!!!

Think...

...lemonade and watermelon, library books, picnics, swimming, digging in the dirt (a.k.a. gardening), giving the dogs baths with the hose, fireworks and fireflies, walks out into the back meadow where the grass is high, hiking trails, road trips and spontaneous adventures, campfires and s'mores, riding bikes, blowing bubbles, looking up at the stars and listening to crickets, staying up way too late and sleeping in, sitting on the porch and chatting with friends....!!! =)

“I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days - three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain."
~ John Keats 


"Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability" ~ Sam Keen







“All in all, it was a never-to-be-forgotten summer — one of those summers which, in a fortunate combination of delightful weather, delightful friends and delightful doing, come as near to perfection as anything can come in this world.”

~ L. M. Montgomery




xo



Yellow in June for Eva Ricci's 'colors of 2013'

Blue

I have been thinking, this spring, of English country cottages, blue willow china on aged and dark welsh dressers, fires in the fireplace to ward away the damp spring rain chill and of everything cozy - especially steaming cups of tea!

I love the plink and ploink of the raindrops falling off the drooping tree branches, the dark, rich colors when everything is wet and I love the muted quality of the light. I love how the showers come and go and make the garden so lush! And, I LOVE raindrops on the window panes!!

It makes for a good day alone - a good day alone with a book, perhaps!

and, I was thinking that this spring has been so wonderful in this way and "it's been such good weather for ducks, too!" and, then, I thought of this....

(...and, since it's still raining, even now, I will share it with you and go get the kettle boiling for a pot of tea. And I wonder if you would agree that: "Tea to the English is really a picnic indoors." ~ Alice Walker)

(I don't know... I'm not British but that's just how I feel about it, anyway!)

"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." ~ C.S. Lewis

The spirit of the tea beverage is one of peace, comfort and refinement." ~ Arthur Gray

“Nowhere is the English genius of domesticity more notably evident than in the festival of afternoon tea. The chink of cups and the saucers tunes the mind to happy repose.”~ George R. Gissing

"It is strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company." ~ Author Unknown

 "Tea should be taken in solitude." ~ C.S. Lewis

xo

May in Blue with

Eva Ricci Studio

Many Thanks!



Time is flowing so extremely fast, these days, it seems!

I remember, once, I had this revelation. The way to make time slow down is to slow down myself - to not do too much. It works - it really does! ;) There are some seasons, however, that are just busy. And, these days, I feel like I'm in a season where the techno-era is about to swallow me whole. I've seen it before - friends disappearing without a trace when they first knuckle down to learn Photoshop - and, it's been something like that and more for me. I've been spending so much time on the nuts and bolts - on the mechanical and I've been learning so much!!! But, at this point, I'm quite thirsty to focus on the lovelier parts of life!!!!!!

Well, it won't last forever with me - I'll rebel eventually!

In the meantime, before spring is over, I should tell you....

I so appreciate all of you who follow along, who take an interest in me and this little blog, here, who are such encouraging and kind friends!!! I can't tell you how much it makes me smile - how much it means to me - to read your comments and thoughts and well-wishes!!!

It means a ton and I don't care if the blog redo is ready or not - time is slipping away and I need to tell you...

you are so appreciated!!!

=)


xxo


Almost out of sugar! (Thank goodness!)




It seems like winter was a happily productive cocoon but spring has been a positive mad dash!!

The list of the burden of wonderful things that have been going on is here: 


Life's been sweet!

It's all been good!!

and,

The last of the big projects ends tomorrow evening with the artist's reception for a photography show of my very own photos at our local library. FUN!! =) It's been such an amazing thing to put together - a very, very good experience and I've learned a thing or two along the way! ;) All in all, it's been a fascinating little journey and, as it's all coming together, very nice to see my work in one place like that. And, you know.... I've been thinking.... perhaps I do have a style, after all - I can see it there in front of me! Well, well!! =D

So, I genuinely hope that the time tomorrow evening is light, bright and fun - refreshing with lots of laughter!

and, then.... after that.... aaaaahhhhh! =)

It's almost summer vacation and there's family and friends, gardening and home, a few adventures to be had and, of course, more time to actually focus on photography!!

I'm getting giddy - almost there!!!

Can't wait!!!! =)










 xo




psssst...!! At the moment, you may notice that a few things are a wee bit different on this page, eh? Well, I'm still working on it; so, just ignore the tiny bits of mess. ;) Thank you!! =)

Oooo! Exciting times! =D

I love a rainy day!



O solitude, the soul's best friend.
How calm and quiet a delight it is alone
To read and meditate and write,
By none offended nor offending none;
To walk, ride, sit or sleep at one's own ease,
And pleasing a man's self, none other to displease.

~ Charles Cotton

(from The Yearbook of Comfort and Joy selections by Celia Haddon)





Simply enjoying a very, very quiet, muted, after-the-rain kind of day all to myself!

=)

xo