30 September 2007

a birthday story

once upon a time there was a little girl. she lived in a very happy & safe world with her momma & daddy, who loved her very much. this little girl loved to sit at her momma's feet while she hung the sheets on the laundry line...& then run through them trying to catch the breeze. she also loved to get down into the dirt & help her daddy when he was planting & weeding his many gardens of flowers & vegetables. she was an only child, but not a lonely child. her momma & daddy were always there, her neighborhood was full of friends, & she had a sweet little doggie who followed her everywhere.

all her life, as long as she could remember, this little girl had known that out there, in the very big, wide world, there was someone else...someone she did not know...someone who had done something very brave...& out of love. you see, this little girl had another momma.

her momma & daddy had told her in all their stories about this very special woman & how she had made a sacrifice so very big, for reasons that the three of them would not be allowed to know...her momma said it was the very hardest of sacrifices...

she had sent this little girl to live with them because sometimes life is so very hard...& because this other great lady had wanted the little girl to grow up in a safe & happy place. they told her to always remember her other momma in her prayers...to ask God everyday to bless her & ease the sorrow that she surely felt in making this very hard decision.

as the little girl grew she took to heart the words of her momma & daddy...she kept this brave lady in her heart & prayers...she also asked for blessings on her whole family, for surely that was the right thing to do. eventually this girl married, had children & even worked with mothers & babies. she thought very often about the sacrifice...which she know understood with more clarity...every. single. time. she looked at her own very dear babies...

what a tremendous sacrifice.

years passed...& sadly the girl's momma & daddy left this world. she was left with the bittersweet task of sorting through the belongings of these marvelous parents. it was a difficult task that took several years to accomplish. nearing the end of her sorting, she found a very special paper that her momma (the keeper of treasures) had never shown her...

it was her official adoption decree.

it contained her very first name.

she tucked this unusual find in a safe place, & for several months she would occasionally pull it out & read those words. someone had loved her enough to name her...where was she? did she wonder? did she worry? but of course! *all* mommas do those things!

with the passing of her momma & daddy, time & life had taken on new meaning. it was just too fleeting...

several years before, at the request of her doctor, the girl had obtained her medical history through the agency who handled her adoption. the counselor who had helped her encouraged her to consider making contact with her birth momma. at the time the girl was fearful of this option...her own children were so very young, she was afraid of how her momma & daddy would feel about it, & she was afraid of hurting this woman who maybe had "moved on"...

so she said no...but she did not forget what the counselor said...

all women wonder...

& it was likely that her momma was told that she should never, ever, under any circumstances try to find the child ever again!

one day, holding the adoption decree with her first name, the girl called the agency again. the proper legal channels were followed. in time contact was established by the counselor with her birth momma...stories & updates flowed in the three way conversation of many months.

the girl decided that she would send a letter through the counselor. she poured out her heart & bravely included her phone number at the bottom of it.

the phone rang. three hours of stories & history were shared.

they met. face-to-face...for the first time in over 39 years! it all seemed so natural...like no time at all had passed! there were so many coincidences, so many similarities! so much joy!

& now, in case, my dear reader, that you haven't guessed...i am that little girl grown up...& J. is my birth momma! we are 2 years passed our first meeting & i have lost that "unfinished" feeling that i carried with me so many years!

today, i share this story because it is a very special day...it is my birth momma J.'s birthday!!! what a woman she is! what a heroine to us!

J., may you have the happiest of days today...happy, happy birthday!!
J. & Little Man, sunset by the bay

28 September 2007

fun friday!!

be careful... very, very careful when you give your boys free reign on the creative writing exercise of the week...

sure, guys...the haiku can be about anything...

did i really say that?

yes, i did...& now, on my family-friendly blog i cannot reprint (even with permission) the submission from a certain young man. no, he didn't use foul language. no, he wasn't crude (not technically speaking). yes, he was creative! 'nuff said!...


miles of smiles...

ms. boo sent me some blog love last friday...the you make me smile award...jennie boo, not blog journey is complete without a stop by one of your sweet spots! i can always count on an adorable pic, some encouraging words, a meme to make me laugh in my visits with you! like i said last week...give me a sweet tea, a good ol-fashion rocker on a southern porch... & let's talk fah evah!

This is what the person who created this award says about it...

"the thing that I love most about blogging is that I learn so much about a person just by reading their blog. I have met MANY wonderful people with wonderful stories to tell, and I am grateful every day for each person that I have the pleasure of crossing paths in life with. I wanted to create something special for the top ten people who have inspired me through their blogging; the stories they tell, and the lives that they lead with grace and dignity. I visit their blogs for inspiration and encouragement. Although there are MANY people I want to give this award to at this very moment, I am going to choose ten bloggers: Please grab your badge and wear it(with a smile) proudly, and pass it on because you inspire and encourage me, thank you. So, now it is my turn to pass it on."

boy, the creator of this award sure got it right when s/he said..."although ther are MANY people i want to give this award to at this very moment..." i must choose just 10??

my "i-really-don't-want-to-limit-this-to-10-but-i-will-follow-the-rules" list...bloggers who inspire & encourage me...on all my blogweaving journeys...

1. lissa...for both your photgraphy & your writing...for seeing the world in a beautifully unique way...for inspiring me to look up - at the clouds! all the time! (my neck hurts!) ~ wow!

2. britt-arnhild...for your photography, your sweet words & your delectable recipes...i feel like i am at home when i read any of your blogs!

3. rochambeau...for sacred things & hats, for frida kahlo dress up & tributes to a most beautiful mom...your smiling face is just the best!

4. bri...for your encouragement to me, both in your writing & with your critiques of mine...for your studious endeavors...you keep me motivated!

5. somepinkflowers...gosh, where do i start??!?! for rounding up fellow travel sluts (whoops there goes my family friendly rating...only *you* could make me do that!), for taking us on weekly journeys to beautiful places (not to mention italy!), for spreading pinkness & petals all over bloglandia...you keep my tuesdays sane!!

6. K-Bug...now you just *know* i can't pass up this one!...this cinderella's really not so complicated...but she is adorable, witty, smart, creative, crazy, etc..etc..etc..& she is my baby!!!

7. annie elf...for the name alone, i could choose you!...my new-found blog-ball friend...for your kind words & creative spirit...for your love of exploring back roads & your writing of eloquent words...i love all your blogs!

8. eb...for the perfect shade of eb-pink...for unleashing creativity throughout all of bloglandia...for being a very creative inspiration to me every. single. day...i would do the award colors over just for you!!

9. andrea...for taking the chance, trading in the "safe" life, & for sharing your wild & crazy journey with us...through words & photos...can't wait to read the next chapter!

oh gosh...just one more...i don't like this ~~ there are so. many. more. it want to list :(

10. H...you wicked, wicked girl!...for your quips of life that make me spew some coffee... for the inspiration that your desk post vacation (next time post your actual desk & we will advise!;)...for your complete & total understanding of the fact that 45 days between vacations is way. too. long....did i say waaaaaaaaay too long??!!?!

there you have it. my *short* list.

now go out & visit these wonderful people!


and finally...i leave you with some Fine Art for Friday...
simone martini...the annunciation...uffizi gallery, firenze
image source

27 September 2007

book to movie challenge review...

the SMS Book Reviews book to movie reading challenge is on (click on link for details)...

my first completed read (very timely as i begin my ethics class)...

Title: Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States
Author: Helen Prejean, C.S.J.
Publisher: Vintage Books, a division of Random House
Date: 1993
Pages: 276

First sentence: "When Chava Colon from the Prison Coalition asks me one January day in 1982 to become a pen pal to a death-row inmate, I say, sure."

And thus begins Sister Prejean's journey out of her ordinary work as a Catholic nun in Louisiana, into the darkest parts of the prison system in the US. Initially I had some reservations about doing this particular book for the review, given my choice as a blogger to avoid political commentary here at piacere. However, the book was on my "to-read" list before the challenge was posted at Callista's site, and so I took the challenge in spite of the political volatility of the issue of the death penalty.

Sister Prejean tells of her journey from pen pal to spiritual advisor for two men who are eventually electrocuted. Her journey is not an easy one, as one would imagine. She relates her personal struggles of getting to know these men as humans. She portrays them in an honest light that is often unexpected and sometimes difficult. Throughout her story of the time spent with these men, she weaves encounters with various levels of government officials and knowledge she uncovered as the workings of the judicial and prison systems were revealed to her. She is brutally honest about what she considers her own faults (for example, not befriending the victims' families in the very beginning of her time as the inmates' spiritual advisor). And Sister Prejean is uncompromising in her pursuit to see every single human being as a child of God - victim or criminal. She is able to convey this and yet strongly advocates for the accountability of the inmates for the wrongs they have done. She does not excuse them, but she does not see death as the answer for crime.

Sister Prejean's story is written in a very matter-of-fact manner. She presents her personal and public struggle in such a way as to let the reader know that what she is doing is very difficult and it is done without sloppy sentiment. Overall, in style of writing, the book is easy to read in spite of the difficult subject matter. Sister Prejean's choice of words for this difficult topic is strangely comforting. Her inclusion of pertinent statistics, chapter-by-chapter detailed notes, and an extensive index are very helpful to the reader who demands an accountabilty of the author to back up her points. Given the age of this publication, it is helpful that Dead Man Walking Update maintains information updates.

My recommendations?...I would say that if the issues of violent crime and the death penalty hold interest, then the book is a very good choice for human insight. It does contain images that are not for the faint of heart. I have not yet seen the movie, but based on the book, I would like to do so.

& now it is on to the Freedom Writers' Diary...

26 September 2007

have a ball!...

magical moonlight...paths of starlight!...
the tinkling of laughter...the flickering of candlelight...the swishing of some beautiful gowns to a perfect 3/4 time...under the stars (make a wish!), a perfect full moon...& the perfect glow of eb pink...somewhere beyond the sea...


a flurry of preparations...the artistic consult with K-Bug...queen of intelligent design in all matters of dress...tonight i wear my heart on my sleeve& on my skirt!...pieces of love letters swirl with me...

Little Man, our resident weather expert, has assured me of perfect fall skies under a glorious harvest moon, just for us, tonight!

the last minute details...shoes...to wear or not to wear? or, maybe both! wear them..shed them ~ when the moment is right!

my hair...in a twist, that at a moment's notice can fly free when the tempo of the music quickens...

flowers...perfect autumn wildflowers...(thank you D., for the perfect bouquet...,just in time...& the perfect colors!)...or the delicate morning glory...weave into my hair or wear on my wrist...?

eb is serving a delectable apple pie a la mode...accompanied by a blissful cider...OH MY! i must bring something...almost no time...

i know...i will make my very fast & tasty canapes...they will look quite humble next to Leslie's luscious treats, but they will keep the dancers on their toes & they will also perform the double duty of my What's Cooking Wednesday contribution for the Fairy Blogmother...

*mix fresh shredded parmesan cheese with enough mayonnaise to keep it together & spread easily
*add finely diced red onion & fresh ground pepper to taste
*spread mixture on cocktail rye bread
*bake at 400 for ~5 minutes...cool...& enjoy!

tonight i am foot loose & fancy free...i have told the dear coachman that i will not need the carriage...rather i have decided to make my way through the enchanted passagesto the delicious ballroom on my Vespa!...let my streamers flutter in the wind...maybe, just maybe my hair will come down for the ride

it is time to *sparkle & shine* at the BLOGLANDIA BALL...

25 September 2007

Latin Lover

this one's for you karina...

Julius Caesar walks into a bar. "I'll have a martinus," he says.
The Bartender gives him a puzzled look and asks, "Don't you mean a 'martini'?"
"Look," Caesar retorts, "If I wanted a double, I'd have asked for it!"
a lavender martini at cypress...what is your flavor?...

23 September 2007

a time apart...

our time in my favorite US city (a great indulgence on your part, D. - thank you!) was much needed & very refreshing...

rock solid...i hope it could be what is said of us when we are gone from this place...
you at center of my dreamy world - caught between the holy city & italia...
the address of my heart for this escape, for i felt like a queen...
swirling, gracefully to a place where we were centered & grateful...contemplating all that is a blessing for us...
our path lit with beauty...
by sun & candlelight...
a palette of unimaginable colors...
secret passages of the heart...
a window into the soul...
dreams of our future...
the music of the heart...heard by all who dare to listen...
two spoons, one dish...
moving forward in faith...
a rainbow of love & laughter...
a sign, for sure...a heavenly triprefreshed in the holy city...charleston sc...

21 September 2007


in keeping with our Rule of 6, i have been attempting to give it a moment of contemplation every few days to see if we are being faithful to what we deem important. earlier in the week, the boys & i were discussing "attention to our faith...privately & as a family."

this led to a discussion about praying. naturally there are many different ways to pray, to be in the Presence of our Creator. my boys wondered about petitions (prayers of requests, or begging, depending on one's state of mind & level of need)...we've been doing a lot of that around here in the last year or so. we have many friends for whom we have been praying for healing. the boys went in the direction of "how exactly are our prayers answered."

we are told..."ask & you shall receive."

that seems pretty straightforward. it doesn't say "you shall sometimes receive." it says "shall receive." there is always an answer. the boys wondered about the answer. what if what we ask isn't what's best for us. after all, we only have a people-eye view of the Big Picture. we are not privy to the God's-eye view.

i told them my humble thoughts on this...the answer may be...


not yet.

i've got something better in mind.

"yes" is easy & it's grand! woo hoo!!! we all love a "yes."

"not yet" is hard. we think we know what we want & once we have arrived at this knowing, we usually want it *right now*!! i am quite the spiritual toddler sometimes. "wait" is a four letter word to me some days. one of my petition-prayer-wait-answers went *years* before one day i could see the clouds of my mind clear & the very first step of the "not waiting anymore" answered. only the first step, mind you. some more years have passed & i am still in the midst of piecemeal answers to this long-ago prayer. & i have made peace with this process (good thing, huh?). what i have begun to see is that my own ready-made answer all those years ago looks nothing like the current answers & i find myself oh-so-very-glad about that. i much prefer this newer, better, i-never-thought-the-answer-would-be-this answer!

"i've got something better in mind" is also hard for many of the same reasons. we think we have *all* or maybe most of the answers. it is hard to believe there could possibly be "something better"...but so many times there is. acceptance of this answer requires a lot of humility in petition prayers. i have to humbly ask & be open to the "something better." the "something better" often looks confusing at first & it requires patience & discernment on my part. it does eventually become apparent, & it takes you by surprise when you are hit with the realization of what it is.

"ask & you shall receive" is from the Gospel of St. Matthew. & today happens to be the feast in our Church calendar of St. Matthew. as i was contemplating art this morning (considering doing Fine Art Friday on the blog like i've seen & enjoyed elsewhere) with this feast day in mind, i remembered one of the most compelling pieces of art i have ever seen...

image source

The Calling of St. Matthew by Caravaggio hangs in San Luigi dei Francesi in Roma (in situ it is so much more provocative & i apologize for the inability to convey the light & size here with a measly blog post). i have always been fascinated by St. Matthew's response to Jesus' "follow me." he just did it. no "but first i have to's"... no hesitations... i love the "who, me?" (or maybe it's a "busted") look on St. Matthew's face in Caravaggio's portrayal of this passage. that is exactly how i feel when i am wallowing in my own muck so often...who me? St. Matthew moved past his love of money & took a giant step into something more spectacular...the love of God, the love of others, a life of service. he answered the Call to Love right then & there.

i must remember to ask. i must remember to humbly accept. i must remember to wait if need be. i must remember to follow. i must remember to just do it. i must remember the call to Love!

19 September 2007

my new love & a bite to eat...

D., please don't be jealous, but if you find me swooning at the computer, it is because i am here...

venice daily photo

i do promise you that once my obsession dies down, the fruits of it will be forthcoming...places to visit while we are there! (not that i needed much help, but...)

now venezia, italia always reminds me of food & that is good because it is wednesay...time for what's cooking wednesday! (shan, i hope you are feeling better...i would do chicken soup for you if i could :)...i don't have that particular culinary cure (unless we are talking about chocolate or cookie dough addictions!) on today's agenda, but i promise i will post it further into the cool weather time.

before i do get to the recipe for today, i wanted to share some yummy, inspiring sites i have found of late. not only are the recipes contained within enough to make me run to the market & cook, but the photography of some of these talented cooks makes me want to frame their works!

a foodie froggy in paris

desert candy

la tartine gourmande

creampuffs in venice

cupcake bakeshop

the blue cafe


lucullian delights

after all these spectacular sites, my recipes seem so lame, but they do serve me well. this week's treat was the special request of K-Bug for her birthday dessert. i must make this when no one is around or else the cookie dough is gone before it is on the brownies!

Chocolate Cookie Dough Brownies

*Combine 2 c. sugar, 1 1/2 c. flour, 1/2 c. cocoa, & 1/2 t. salt in a mixing bowl

*Add 1 c. canola oil, 4 eggs & 2 t. vanilla extract to sugar mix...beat at medium speed for 3 minutes

*Pour into a greased 9"X13" pan & bake at 350 for ~30"...cool completely

*Mix 1/2 c. soft butter, 1/2 c. brown sugar, & 1/4 c. sugar well

*Add 2 T. milk & 1 t. vanilla extract to butter mix...blend well

*Add 1 c. flour...mix well then spread over cooled brownies...chill until firm

*Melt 1 c. chocolate chips & 1 T. shortening, stirring until smooth

*Spread or drizzle chocolate mix over cooled cookie dough

being the art types that we are, i go for the jackson pollock look when making these. enjoy!!

(for some serious distraction-from-real-life, be sure to click on the "jackson" link above!)

18 September 2007

true love...

23 years ago today i (an avowed, serious college student, recently sworn off guys in order to dedicate myself to top-notch grades) was sitting innocently in one of my classes, near the door to the hallway - the door with windows. part way through the lecture i caught a flash in the hallway...that cute guy again!

that same cute guy who had to speak to us lowly freshmen in one of our orientation groups.

that same cute guy who was leaving sketches on my dorm door dry erase board.

that same cute guy who asked for an introduction...one nearly forgotten by me in my starry-eyed college-newness!

he was looking at me.

i tried to ignore his smiling face & sparkling eyes. my astute girlfriends nudged & whispered..."he's looking at you."

no, he's not...well, maybe.

later in my dorm kitchen (you know, the kind shared by all...) i was attempting to pull together some semblance of lunch when i was startled by the cute guy.

in his very best gentlemanly way he reintroduced himself & inquired as to whether or not i had dinner plans.

(in my head...is he talking to me?)

(audibly)...well, um, i, um, well....um...i might still have a frozen pizza in the freezer...well, you know, um, if no one mistakenly ate it.

he continued...well, if you would like, i would enjoy taking you to dinner.

(in my head...real food!...i'm not dating...he's cute...i'm not dating...i have tomorrow off...i'm not dating...is he talking to me?)

by now i started to realize that i am, in fact, the only person in our gross dorm kitchen & this cute guy (with a name now) really *is* talking to me! & frozen pizza is starting to sound lame in my mind!

(audibly)...well, um, i, um, i guess it would be nice to, um, you know, um, go for dinner.

he sure is smiling!....in my mind i have lost all bearings with my native language & all i could do was nod while he took charge of the time & place to meet stuff.

i did forget to eat my lunch...i wallowed pathetically through the afternoon lecture...my friends assured me i was, indeed, pathetic...& i spent whatever free time remained that day choosing an outfit & driving my roommate insane. she was royally ticked that i was dumping her & our evening exercise routine for a **guy**...didn't i remember that we were avowed serious students???


28 clothing revisions later...i met D. in the lobby of our dorm. oh dear me, i was in sooooooooo much trouble. he was (still is!!) cute. he was (still is!) a perfect gentleman. he was (still is!) a great conversationalist.


a dreamer.

very funny.

at his vehicle (an international scout - very cool car - not that i'm swayed by cars, mind you) he wondered if i wanted the top off (not mine, the scout's!!! - remember he is the perfect gentleman!) on this perfect end-of-summer evening. of course i did!!

he wondered if i would like italian food...

heck YES!!!

he wondered if i liked to fly...

every chance i could!!

he wondered if i would like to drive out to the lake & watch the sun set...

(picking my chin up off the floor...) why absolutely!!!

we talked & talked & talked & talked & talked...

i do not remember the taste of my food.

but i do remember the blue of his eyes.

i do not remember if the air was warm or cool.

but i do remember that i had never had such an incredible night.

he drove us back to the dorm & in a brief moment of quiet along the way, i realized that my face literally *ached* from smiling!

he walked me to my door & gently bid me goodnight. i know i closed the door with the most ridiculous, love-lorn sigh you could ever imagine.

my studious roommate rolled her eyes.

not but 10 minutes later there was a tap on our door. he was back. did i want to go to the lobby & talk some more?

ummm, yeah!!!!!!

finally at 3 am (he had class at 7 am) we really said goodnight. our date had begun at 5 pm, & except for that short break in my dorm room, we had talked & laughed non-stop for 10 hours! i had never met anyone with whom i felt like this. i was just a bit cynical before that night of my life but still quite optimistic...after that evening, i was overwhelmingly filled with joy! i used to scoff a bit at the idea of a soul mate, but secretly held onto the hope that it was possible. i did not remember a time in my life that i didn't want to get married & have children...but i never felt any sense of possibility that my longing would come to fruition...

3 years of dating, 20 years of marriage, 4 children, & LOTS of miles & miles later...i *know* this guy was an answer to many, many prayers.
D., i have loved having you at my side for all the ups & downs, the joys & sorrows of this thing called life. here's to 23 fantastic years!...
meet you on the dock at sunset!! ;-)

17 September 2007


have you seen this cowboy?? i know i have! i've seen him taking his first steps in a pair of bib overhalls. i've seen him in all his blonde, curly-headed glory tellin' the best story you could possibly imagine. i've seen him in his brand-new cowboy vest & boots, rarin' to go to a square dance (thought i forgot about that one, did you??). i've seen him with his jaw on the floor when he heard his uncle & i wailing our own spectacular version of "play that funky music white boy." i've seen him reel in some awesome fish from penn's creek. i've seen him strum my BFF's & i to sleep by the fire with that guitar of his. i've seen him learn my favorite guitar solo by the goo goo dolls. i've seen him be a most patient hero to my very young & inquisitive boys. i've heard his gift for writing music & lyrics. i've seen him grow into a man who is now off to college.

can you really be 21 today???

happy birthday JD!!!!

stay safe & have fun...

15 September 2007


what is this???
i was cleaning out the scruffy parts of my deck plants, when it seemed to me some of the purple fountain grass's dead leaves were moving of their own volition. turns out i was wrong. this hairy little dude was moving along. so being the good homeschooling mom, i called for any & all interested parties to have a look-see. just D. & Little Man were home, with Little Man first on scene. we did a photo shoot with hairy dude & placed him gently back in the plant. D. came along, took a look & says..."there are caterpillars that can be harmful, so don't touch him." next morning i was watering the plants & saw hairy dude again...this time i told Big Bro to check him out. and thinking about D.'s comment from the last night, i sent the boys on a science mission: identify hairy dude.
from eMedicine...(certainly not very comforting when this is your first google search hit!)..."The most dangerous caterpillar in the United States is the puss caterpillar or asp (Megalopyge opercularis; see Image 1), the larval form of the flannel moth."
most dangerous??
ASP??? caterpillar...
touching hairy dude is ***hazardous*** to our health...
encounters with him lead to things like **severe, unremitting pain & hospital visits**
hairy dude received an immediate eviction notice from our darling deck. i'll have no creatures with descriptions like "most dangerous" & "asp" lodging among my pretties. hairy dude is now quietly living away from man & domestic beast deep in the overgrown forest nearby.
& i am wearing garden gloves for any & all plant care!

14 September 2007

what a week...

you know you have had one of "those" weeks when you sit down with your coffee on a friday morning & catch yourself thinking that a particular event happened a week or two ago...but when the coffee hits your system, you realize that it actually happened just two *days* ago!


as i look over the morning's math crowd, i notice it seems to have hit them too. the boys have a certain "glazed" look about them...grading math should be interesting this morning :)

i am very proud of the guys...they have managed to keep on top of, & in some cases, even ahead of their week's work. no chores suffered. teamwork prevailed. way to go guys!!

the BIG kudos this week go to Big Bro...he not only completed the final part of his drivers ed class (ie., on-the-road time), he went to the DMV & passed his test. for the first time last evening, he drove *himself* to work (with D. at his side, of course). you should see his permit photo...i only wish mine would look half as good!

a side note about Big Bro's week...to obtain his certificate that enabled him to test for his permit, for the past week that boy had to get up at ***5 AM*** every morning since last thursday to meet his driving instructor & complete his hours. i heard not one word of complaint from him, even when he worked late at the restaurant the nights before.

K-Bug...the good: she started her new job this week, doing that thing college students do so well - waiting tables. the not so good: we have hardly seen her! she is on orientation after her classes, so she leaves early & arrives home late. i am feeling the effects of the scales of life tipped in favor of testosterone in my home now that my girls are out in the adult world. some days i miss that balance! girls night out is on hold for a bit...:(

Little Man is still smiling from his weekend interview, but he is definitely not resting on his laurels...there are more storms to be tracked...Ingrid is dilly-dallying around in the atlantic. before bookwork began, our weather geek had perused his scientific data maps & the Hurricane Hunters' flight data (they are still out there investigating Ingrid as i type this). the jury is still out for us on this one, but Little Man is on top of it!

looking back...2 years ago today we were hunkered down in our boarded-up home doing school by candlelight listening to the wind HOWL & the sounds of our shingles being ripped off the roof as Hurricane Ophelia gave us her best. i will say that i much prefer the gentle, beautiful morning i am having today! (Little Man promised to dig up one of the photos for me later...they are not on my computer.)

other fun...Baby Girl is deep into classes (excellent job on your physics exam - woo hoo!!), her work both on & off campus, & her cool buddies! we can't wait to visit you!

& i just submitted my final paper for a modern art history class (not my favorite period of art history, let me tell you, but educational nonetheless). i am also gearing up for our fall italian language group to meet - i am a bit rusty around the grammatical edges right now! i would much prefer studying my italian in the manner of shelley, judith & sognatrice...in due season, i say!

& now before the first lessons for grading roll in, i am off to check some of my blog buddies...i have missed my usual visits!

can't wait to read the continuing saga of Bri's friday snippets - i'm hooked!

& speaking of stories...the pioneer woman has her own little saga going on & i can't wait to catch up!

then i am off to see Lissa's photos...always beautiful!

i must catch up on my what's cooking wednesday buddies...time for some menu planning - which will include our abundant local foods this week...

speaking of catch-up...i must get over to our newest she who blogs member mariacristina & take a whirl around her blog. i quick glance a few days ago was certainly not enough...welcome to our group!!

& our she who blogs blog has a new post with a very happy face...sarah's boy looks so happy!

to get my french fix...i'm taking some coffee with Corey!

& for my art enjoyment today, i will drop in on eb (the bloglandia ball is coming up soon - are YOU ready??)

art again...i leave you today with one of my favorite finds from my just-finished class...a work that i had never seen before nor would have expected to be a Salvador Dali...Naples, 1949, courtesy of Salvador Dali Art Gallery

12 September 2007

momma said, "eat your vegetables..."

Little Man isn't quite on board with this yet (we still catch him feeding the hounds under the table), but this versatile side dish selection has become a favorite of the other three, & D. & i too!
this is an easy, quick& ultimately tasty way to prep veggies...& it is what's cooking wednesday!

Roasted Vegetables

*pour a small amount of olive oil into a roasting pan/dish, covering the bottom
*clean, trim & cut a selection of various vegetables to fill a roasting pan/dish with a single layer (today i am using yellow & green zucchini, julienned carrots & red peppers, white onion)
*finely dice several bulbs of fresh garlic & add to veggies
*sprinkle with sea salt & fresh ground pepper
*drizzle with olive oil & balsamic vinegar...toss well
*bake uncovered 25-30 minutes...until veggies are tender & slightly browned...be sure to turn & baste them at the half-way mark!
*i will add other seasonings on occasion, based on the main dish (rosemary, sage, basil, oregano...)

buon appetito a tutti!

11 September 2007


we remember...
"our guys"

Ladder 105
Vincent Brunton, Captain
Thomas Kelly, Firefighter
Henry Miller Jr., Firefighter
Dennis Oberg, Firefighter
Frank Palombo, Firefighter

Engine 219
John Chipura, Firefighter

Division 11
Timothy Stackpole, Captain

& all the those lost to us on that day...

Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

memorial photo courtesy engine 219/ladder105

09 September 2007

what is the BEST thing you will see on your beach during hurricane season...

...your budding meteorologist son being interviewed by Jim Cantore!...WAY TO GO LITTLE MAN!!! Mr. Cantore asked Little Man to give a live update from his own weather station stats on the bay.