31 October 2007

all hallows eve...weather, fun, food, & a ghost story!

quick update before the regularly scheduled post...Little Man has a new thing going on over at his blog ~~ Wild Weather Wednesday! be sure to check it out! (his momma said! ;)

HAPPY HALLOWE'EN!!! (the link is special bloggy trick or treat for all who visit today!)

or should i say Howl-oween!? (visit phil to see how he is celebrating the occasion...light the candle in the jack-o-lantern...
don the mask...don't be scared...well, ok, be a little scared...

time for some stories as you sip your cider & munch your roasted pumpkin seeds...what!? you don't know how to roast pumpkin seeds? well, before the stories, let's prepare our treat for what's cooking wednesday...

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds (courtesy fisheaters)

2 cups pumpkin seeds (approx.)
2 T. melted olive oil (approx.)
salt to taste
optional: garlic powder; cayenne pepper; seasoned salt; Worcestershire Sauce; Cajun seasoning; or Hot Spice Mix (1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce, 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 2 tsp. chili powder)...we used salt, pepper & garlic powder

preheat oven to 300° F. toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with the melted butter or oil and any optional ingredients of your choice. spread pumpkin seeds in a single layer on baking sheet. bake for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crispy. store airtight.now gather round...

why do we carve jack-o-lanterns, dress up, & go door to door on this night? one of my favorite websites ~ fisheaters ~ pulls together the traditions...something this irish/french/english family truly appreciates...

<<For those who do want to celebrate Hallowe'en, customs of this day are a mixture of Catholic popular devotions, and French, Irish, and English customs all mixed together. From the French we get the custom of dressing up, which originated during the time of the Black Death when artistic renderings of the dead known as the "Danse Macabre," were popular. These "Dances of Death" were also acted out by people who dressed as the dead. Later, these practices were moved to Hallowe'en when the Irish and French began to intermarry in America.

From the Irish come the carved Jack-o-lanterns, which were originally carved turnips. The legend surrounding the Jack-o-Lantern is this:
There once was an old drunken trickster named Jack, a man known so much for his miserly ways that he was known as "Stingy Jack," He loved making mischief on everyone -- even his own family, even the Devil himself! One day, he tricked Satan into climbing up an apple tree -- but then carved Crosses on the trunk so the Devil couldn't get back down. He bargained with the Evil One, saying he would remove the Crosses only if the Devil would promise not to take his soul to Hell; to this, the Devil agreed. After Jack died, after many years filled with vice, he went up to the Pearly Gates -- but was told by St. Peter that he was too miserable a creature to see the Face of Almighty God. But when he went to the Gates of Hell, he was reminded that he couldn't enter there, either! So, he was doomed to spend his eternity roaming the earth. The only good thing that happened to him was that the Devil threw him an ember from the burning pits to light his way, an ember he carried inside a hollowed-out, carved turnip.

From the English Catholics we get begging from door to door, the earlier and more pure form of "trick-or-treating." Children would go about begging their neighbors for a "Soul Cake," for which they would say a prayer for those neighbors' dead. Instead of knocking on a door and saying the threatening, "Trick-or-treat" (or the ugly "Trick-or-treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat"), children would say either:
A Soul Cake, a Soul Cake, have mercy on all Christian souls for a soul cake!
Soul, soul, an apple or two, If you haven't an apple, a pear will do, One for Peter, two for Paul, Three for the Man Who made us all.
While Soul Cakes were originally a type of shortbread, it is said that a clever medieval cook wanted to make Soul Cakes designed to remind people of eternity, so she cut a hole in the middle of round cakes before frying them, thereby inventing donuts! Fresh plain cake donuts would be a nice food to eat on this day

(entire portion in quotes courtesy fisheaters)

what would all hallow's eve be without a ghost story or two? sognatrice alerted me last weekend to mental mosaic's blog carnival just in time for hallowe'en...it happens that i do have one "ghost" story of my own to contribute...

the year that i turned 3 holds my very earliest memories. for a time i did not believe these memories to be true, but when i bravely shared them with my mother as a teenager, her reaction told me that i did indeed have those early memories. i recalled things that were not ever talked about due to my mother' great grief from that period.

a few months before my 3rd birthday my momma's mother passed away. my mother was an only child & she shared a very close, special relationship with her mother. her grief was profound according to everyone in the family. i am certain that it is because of the emotionally charged nature of that time i am able to recall very vivid incidents, including the private family time at the funeral home before my grandmother's funeral Mass.

grandmother died in april. the summer that followed holds my next memory. my momma had just taken me out of the bathtub & wrapped me in a towel, placing me on a chair beside the tub. she was leaning into the tub & i had a clear view into the hallway that lead to my childhood bedroom. in the flash of a moment i saw my grandmother literally float toward my bedroom. she was a beautiful, calming presence of blue light to my child self. i clearly knew it was her & wanted to go to her. in my innocense i mentioned it to my own momma, who promptly grabbed me tightly & held on, letting her tears flow.

later she was telling my daddy about it & she mentioned that in the moment before i spoke, she felt a cool breeze pass over her...a breeze that did not make sense to her as there was no fan, no open window (for fear of me geting a chill), & it was a hot summer evening.

i don't pretend to understand or explain what happened, but i could never deny that my 3 year old self did indeed see my grandmother one last comforting time. & she was beautiful.

29 October 2007

monday menutia

buon giorno a tutti!
i had hoped to spend a weekend visiting friends’ blogs, conjugating italian verbs, researching lodging in venezia, polishing/submitting papers that are just about due, & preparing for NaBloPoMo.

our internet provider had other ideas…guess which one of the above i actually accomplished to my satisfaction??

if your answer involved futuro, passato prossimo e trapassato prossimo, you guessed correctly!

after a week of very limited time to be on the internet & a weekend with an uncooperative internet provider (slow when it worked)...i am missing y’all!!!!!

& i’m beginning to wonder about my capability to do a daily blog post for NaBloPoMo…but i will, at the very least, be posting on my word processor to cut-&-paste when i am able! (someone remind me why i write that way-too-large check to my cable company…)

oh well.

the concept of posting everyday for a month is invigorating & i am looking forward to the creativity of those participating. Cre8tiva really inspired me over the last month with her creative reinvention & I have been following along with my own poetry (I only wish I could create visual art with a fraction of the beauty that Rebecca does). She inspired me to use NaBloPoMo to do some writing exploration – experimenting with some other forms of poetry I have not used in years & opening 2 books on my “please read me” shelf to hone my writing in general…if you want to write by Brenda Ueland & fruitflesh: seeds of inspiration for women who write by Gayle Brandeis.
i am also, in honor of our thanksgiving holiday 22 november, participating in 30 days of thanks (a NaBloPoMo group) & to get myself on the stick with travel/italy (also NaBloPoMo groups) working on travel notes: past, present & future. our trip is fast approaching, but aside from the purchased airline tickets & a plan of where we want to be, i have done nothing!

in other places...sognatrice alerted me to this intriguing place to visit for hallowe'en:

did you know there will be a ball on hallowe'en? indeed! the bloglandia ball was such a smashing success that it simply must be repeated for this occasion, because, as you know...ghouls just wanna have fun! be sure to don a mask & drop by on the 31st.

howl-oween antics are already in the making at chez piacere...phil may be a dog, but he is in on the fun too!

speaking of all hallow's eve antics...stay tuned for some boyworld celebration of that night of revelry. i promise you will not be disappointed!

now, go bob for some apples :)

26 October 2007

a week of joy!

time to wake up my snoozing blog....& time to visit some blog friends! we had a fabulous week of family time...
it was sad to see Baby Girl (& Hedge) leave at the beginning of it, but our weekend with her was fantastic!...
D.'s parents arrived the very next day with an extra hound in tow...Kolbe, canine brother of Ms. Maggie...he is so sweet & timid.Phil & L. did there hound-best to make the little guy at home & everyone got along famously!...
D.'s momma came bearing the makings of PA comfort foods that D. loves so well & we had some wonderful time in the kitchen ~ all day tuesday in fact ~ preparing a great meal from scratch. sorry to have missed the what's cooking wednesday post this week, but we were indeed cooking! (next week, i promise a recipe...)...
boyworld was on fall vacation this week ~ one of the benefits of starting the school year a bit earlier in the summer! they had time for some fun on the water & with their grandparents before settling into their second quarter of the school year (monday...groan!)...
our weather was unbelievably gorgeous all week long...even offering the promise of a rainbow...
Big Bro's Godfather made it safely wednesday after some airport delays...it was such a joy to catch up. & Big Bro looked so devastatingly handsome, it brought tears to his momma's eyes. wednesday night, Big Bro's Confirmation Mass was truly beautiful...
(Big Bro, our Bishop & Little Man)
my dear son...may your journey through life be one filled with many blessings!!

for those of you who could not be with us, you were missed!

22 October 2007

how do i choose only 5??...

(because life here at chez piacere is going to be crazy this week, posting may be very, very light. Baby Girl just returned to school last night :(...we had a fantastic visit, as always! but...D.'s parents are on their way from PA...again bearing pierogies & other such stuff of delight not to be found in eastern NC. Big Bro's godfather will also be flying in wednesday because this is a special week. Big Bro will be confirmed! more on that later. for now i leave you with a long overdue, rather long meme...)

karina so candidly presented her "best 5 nights" last month...& then tagged me!

(hanging my head in shame for so long a lapse...)

lo & behold, buried under a very large pile (extra large super-size pile!) i have come across my chicken scratch notes that remind me to do this wonderful meme. the rules are simple: list the 5 best nights that you can recall and then tag four other people and see if the meme can continue.

now, before i reveal my best nights, i am going to break the simple rule here...i am not tagging anyone, but if you want to play along, please let me know in the comments so that i may drop by & read about your special nights. the last meme i tagged others to do left me feeling a bit blue...i don't like to leave anyone out, so please bear with me & have some fun!

night #1~~~

i recently covered this night...so you can go here for the details.

night #2~~~

is actually 4 nights...they are the 4 first nights D. & i spent with each of our newborn, dear, sweet little babies (currently known as teenagers!)...only one was actually born during the night (thank God!), but that first night with each is very deeply etched in my mind. let's start with the 8 pound 6 ounce Baby Girl...she was born in the hospital where D. & i worked at the time, making her entrance just in time for breakfast after some 36 hours of labor. so as you may guess, my first night after her birth was shear exhaustion coupled with complete & total baby-infatuation! one very vivid moment during that night was holding her after she had eaten & was blissfully asleep...i held her wee baby hand in mine & wondered what it would touch, what it would hold, would she have a wedding band on that third finger, how many tears would it dry, how many goodbyes would it wave, how many hugs would it hold...

K-Bug came on the scene at quarter til midnight (she is still a night owl). her first night with us was one of utter relief, for she was 4 weeks early & i was ill, but both of us were ok. in my new momma high, i had actually forgotten that i had been sick for over a week & about 2 am. Ms. Bug needed her first bath. i, a maternal child nurse at the time, asked if i could do the bath & my nursery nurse buddy said sure. well, too much time on my feet is all i can say about that! i have a vague memory of standing by her crib one moment & waking in my room the next with all sorts of IV's & such and D. standing over me...they had called the poor guy (he had not slept in days) back to the hospital. i did just fine & K-Bug did get a bath - by someone else!

Big Bro was born at the crack of dawn after a record 20 minute labor...good guy that he is, he let me rest very well before coming on scene! his first night was in our big comfy bed at home surrounded by lots of loving from his sisters & D. & i. i remember it being a night of wonderful amazement... i was awake for most of it, just watching the little guy. but he only woke one time to eat!

Little Man was also a morning baby. his first night was a little more quiet than his brother's because his siblings left earlier in the evening for some overnight grandparent spoiling. i also recall being awake nearly all night, not because of Little Man, but because the house was *too* quiet, with all the other little people gone. Little Man & D. & i had a very precious first night, knowing that in the coming days, chaos would again reign supreme!

night #3~~~

Christmas eve, 2000. this was the last Christmas we spent with my momma & daddy. i did not know that fact on the eve, but on some level i must have felt it because my memories have been so very well kept, much more vivid other Christmases. it was a typical Christmas for us, since moving to the south. my parents always came down to us for Christmas, while we would head north for other holidays. this was our first holiday at the beach & daddy was very excited to be there for winter. the weather was unexpectedly cold for our area that year. for Christmas eve Mass we bundled and made the journey to the nearby church.

it was one of those perfectly still, crystal-clear winter nights with the deepest velvet sky & beautiful starlight. the Mass was by candlelight & what i remember most about it was the sense of hush & awe. it really felt like everyone was holding their breath in anticipation of something so beautiful. after Mass we had so much fun on the drive home. the boys were looking for signs of Santa in the sky. we sang off-key Christmas carols. there were lots of ooohs & aaaahs for Christmas lights. after we were home & the children tucked in bed, we sat by the tree for a bit, talking about everyday things. all too soon we were tired & the night ended. i can still feel their hugs they gave when they said goodnight.

night #4~~~

a dream fulfilled, by chance! a few years ago the 6 of us were able to spend a month in italy. in the middle of that trip D. & i celebrated our 18th anniversary at cinque terre...or so we thought. K-Bug & i attended an afternoon cooking class. when the feast was ready, the rest of the crew joined us for an evening of feasting. the dinner was excellent & a fun time was had by all. a very, very happy anniversary! but that is not the night i name as #4.

the next morning we headed out on the train to venice. everyone was dragging the feet. we are beach people & the cinque terre was our new fascination. we had actually debated skipping venice to stay longer. that train ride seemed like prison time to some in the crowd...but all was forgotten when we caught our first glimpse of the grand canal from the train station. cinque what?

it was love at first sight. very much so. (D. never has to wonder where i want to go on vacation any longer!) we wandered aimlessly & loved the city with wild abandon...all six of us! & on this journey our second night in venice is the night i call #4 on the "best of" list.

one of the children suggested that maybe dad & i would like a "date night" in that very romantic city (smart kid!!) & so after a round of pizza for them, they were settled in our lodging quarters & D & i were on our way through the meandering streets. in all our walks we seemed to frequently pass this quaint little place filled with candlelight & smiling diners. for no apparent reason the place seemed to plague both our thoughts...making it a logical choice to try for a table.

as we walked in the door, the quiet corner table by the window just opened up & it became ours. the waiters were spectacular. i swear a team of them was assigned to meet our every need. they seemed to know absolutely everything we could possibly want. the food was outstanding. the company was first rate! we talked & talked & talked...much like our first date! (see night #1)

hours later we noticed that no one else was left in the ristorante...but the waitstaff did not seem to mind our presence. they continued to send little treats our way...desserts of delight too many to remember... & finally a bit of grappa for our nightcap. we had a round of toasts with all the waiters & as we walked out into the night, we felt as though we had just left old friends.

and the post-dinner walk...it was just like you would imagine it would be...everything was so very quiet, the canals so beautiful. we barely spoke a word...it felt like we were floating in a dream.

Night #5...or 3 nights merged into 1~~~

edwin & the girls...have you ever planned a girls' get-a-way? had so much fun that you are sure your sides will split? have you ever had serendipity in the driver's seat of your adventure? J., DM., K-Bug & i have! oh we surely have!

last summer the four of us made provisions for the men & children in our lives & converged at the famous southern city by the sea...myrtle beach...for a few days of R&R with tickets to an awesome concert to keep us sane. the four of us put the "fan" in "fanatic" when it comes to edwin mccain & his music. so for 3 days & nights we were free of all those normal obligations...free to sleep til noon (never quite made it!), laze on the beach (check), eat whatever we wanted(check, check), not make a bed or wash a dish or do a load of laundry (oh yeah!). aaaaaah.

our first night there was actually the concert night. we thought it just might be the highlight too. how very naive of us! of course, we had that giddy taste of freedom thing going on & being a little bit crazy, upon check-in to our hotel room, i grabbed a phone book & proceeded to procure a limo for the evening. none of us had ever lived so extravagantly ;) having a driver meant more than just style...now we no longer had to worry about a designated driver either. (aside...K-Bug only had her permit at the time & could not be the DD)

before we knew it & after a cocktail...the limo pulled up. bob was our man! what a driver! so very kind & understanding to 3 adult women & 1 woman-child on the loose! he answered all our insane questions. he did not bat an eyelash at our antics. he agreed to return for us at the end of the evening in spite of the "brown car incident". very good.

the concert was unbelievable. new songs. some new band members & our old favorites. edwin was truly on fire. drum sticks were flying. the bassist was crazy. larry was playing to **us** right in front of **us**...because, you know, the four of us are just so very cool. all too soon the night ended & we were again back with bob in the limo. we thought our night of madness & fun was over. we thought it was time to settle into the R&R part of our trip.

no. way.

sleep...beach time...eating out...ok. recovering from a late night. ok. so good. over dinner at a fun fondue restaurant, with our very good waiter, also named bob - lots of bob's in myrtle beach, right? we started to come out of the stupor. it all started with bingo. yes, bingo. somehow the 4 of us got the crazy idea to go play bingo after dinner. easy thing...the options abound in myrtle beach. so, armed with directions to a bingo place we were on the road. for a very long time. at some point in the drive, one of us asked just how far we were going. someone else noted that we were getting nearer & nearer charleston by the minute. indeed. that very same city where edwin was playing that very night. and the next! hmmmmm.

with barely another word spoken, the u-turn was done, we were back at the hotel & packed, we checked out, my friend in charleston assured us that he just had a cancellation at his B&B a few moments ago...& yes, the rooms were ours. in less than an hour.

driving through that summer night i do not recall passing the mythical bingo palace. but i do recall driving into my favorite city in the US! we checked in with my gracious friend, a little later than seemed kind, but his smile & hospitality told us that it didn't matter. one wise woman noticed that even though it was late, by concert-going standards, the night was still a bit young, so with a wave goodbye, we were off to the new venue, thinking that if we bought the next night's tickets at that moment, we just might hear some of the awesome music in the background. the sweet bouncer man at the door could hardly contain us. he knew we were crazy women, exiled from the real world & with deep generosity he wondered why we didn't want to get in at that very moment. huh? um, yes!!! so for a cover charge, sans ticket price, we were in. again. 2 nights in a row. are we groupies yet??

i kept reminding myself...you are 40. your daughter is with you. you must contain your insanity. no luck!

next morning...breakfast at a leisurely pace (right, DM???)...a day in my favorite city with the girls...tickets in hand for another night...yep, we were golden.

now if any of you are even remotely interested in seeing edwin live, this is the place to do it: the windjammer, isle of palms, sc (just outside of charleston)...the quintessential beach bar. add to it his best-ever set list, time with your soul sistahs, & the beach on a warm, starry summer night...aaaahhhh.

you might be thinking that this is about all the fun a girl could take in such a short space of time. well, you're wrong! that night, when the 4 of us rolled in at the B&B, my dear, sweet friend had just one more little surprise waiting...he had baked me a cake~~a lots-of-deep-dark-chocolate-&-liquor cake~~ the very best kind of cake!! i just love 3am surprise birthday parties, don't you??

this was not boyworld, my friends! but it is definitely night #5!!!

now turn yourself loose on the keyboard, & gimme 5!!

20 October 2007

'possum post...

yet another critter post!

i couldn't bear to leave him out..."buddy," as he is affectionately known around here, visits nearly every night...
sometimes he brings a friend...

18 October 2007

homeschooling...CSI style!

somedays you wake up & you know that you could not have possibly dreamed up the events that will unfold. yesterday was one of them.

one day a week the boys & i head off to the big city, books in tow, for some in-the-community type adventures. i am not a believer in cooping them up with books for many hours 5 days a week. i believe they need balance & that part of the balance is getting out in the big world & being a part of the scene with much more regularity than one field trip a year. on these outings we get to see what adults are doing with their days in the real world. everything we do is an opportunity to learn something that broadens their horizons...& mine.

currently, our typical city day includes a stop at a friend's bagel shop...he is in the process of purchasing it & loves to talk to the boys about being in business & the hard work that it takes. based on the superb taste of his bagels, he should do very nicely! then we head to the downtown Catholic school where my weekly italian class meets. our instructor is a real gem, both with language skills and for accommodating the boys' presence. she currently needs to meet during the day & provides them with space for their book work for the 1 1/2 hour of class. afterwards the boys & i are off for lunch. & then who knows...? we keep the afternoons free for spontaneous adventure.

the boys' book work during my italian class usually includes mundane activities such as math, vocabulary exercises, composition writing, reading for history or science...you know what i mean.

that is a typical week.

not yesterday.

yesterday was real live crime drama. in a Catholic school. in spite of the locked doors.

the boys were thrilled beyond all belief. i was not.

while our class was deep into language, the boys noticed a strange man enter the receptionist's office & begin a conversation with her. at some point something he said caught their attention & they began to watch their interaction more intently. the gist of it was that he wanted a drink, & our very kind receptionist obliged. as soon as she left her desk, the "thirsty" man raided her purse & made a bee line for the front door, just a few steps away...with her wallet in hand. a gentleman visiting the building actually ran out after them & gave chase, obtaining the license number from the get-a-way car. both boys said they could not believe their eyes (i guess!!)...

smart-thinking young men that they are, they immediately began writing every detail they could remember. the police were on scene rather quickly & the boys, as the only eye-witnesses to the actual crime, were interviewed.

how cool is that? in boyworld, it is almost nirvana!

how is the momma doing? oh, she has visions of guns & knives & chalk body outlines at crime scenes. this is *not* momma nirvana, let me tell you.

but, for those of you who don't know it...CSI is the only TV program i watch. i become a complete zombie when the top of the hour crime hits the screen & don't come up for air until the case is closed. yesterday was a little unsettling...fiction became truth. maybe i'll skip CSI tonight.

nah. it is a new season, after all.

17 October 2007

something's fishy around here...

i cannot believe, as i type this, that today is wednesday already! time is flying by all too quickly some weeks...& the school year is my best evidence of the passage of time. Baby Girl (& Hedge) will be home for her fall break later today! that means that her first semester of sophomore year is half way over. wow! & it also means a long weekend filled with lots of fun! she saw the boyworld post of last weekend & decided that it looks a lot like girlworld too...so we will again be fishing!

K-Bug just finished her fall break...she is also half way through her first semester of freshman year. but what did K-Bug do on break? work. lots of work! both at her job & with her art. it is not unusual to see her spread out over the entire table deep into creative endeavors like this one...the boys are also at their half way mark for their first semester, which means that after a weekend packed with lots & lots of fun, they are settled into their exam week. so far, so good...that something fishy is not the boys...they are doing a marvelous job with their school work! they still have a few more exams to go...one being Big Bro's dreaded latin exam...wish him well on that one!

now, as some of you may remember, exam weeks can be grueling! it helps to build in some time to release the stresses & one of the rewards of a great fishing weekend is, of course, what you get to eat. for the girls & one of the boys this is so very true!

this what's cooking wednesday is a very fishy affair... our fresh catch of the day!

Pan Fried Bluefish
*beat 1-2 eggs in a bowl, set aside
*in another bowl, mix seasoned bread crumbs (i use Food Lion's italian crumbs), fresh ground pepper, sea salt, & fresh grated parmesan
*heat extra virgin olive oil in a pan...then add finely diced garlic, saute til soft
* add finely chopped basil to saute for just a moment
*dredge fillets of the bluefish in the egg, coat with the bread crumb mix, then place in pan...fry til flesh is white

very simple, very tasty! substitute any fresh fish...my personal favorite is flounder, but that was not to be this week. we work with whatever the sea shall yield! next up in my kitchen will be spanish mackerel!

14 October 2007

boyworld all day long & on the road...

you might ask why friday's post seemed to have an abundance of caffeinated products for my preferences...the answer is simple.
in boyworld (otherwise know as life since the girls embarked on their adult adventures...oh, how i miss them!) we are busy...

early morning busy...up at the crack of dawn...returning with the fresh catch of the day...(watch out for what's cooking wednesday!)
all day busy...a visit to a nearby zoo where they have a new tenant...a white tiger - a must see for those in boyworld!other fascinating moments at the zoo included the tongue of the giraffe...hey, what are you looking at???...& being in the mouth of the man-eating (or maybe just man-chewing) lion...
time for an emergency caffe stop (yes, i am ashamed of myself, but since i don't currently live in italy it will have to do...& at home i can assure you it's all lavazza & illy)...& then off to the hallowe'en store for more costume supplies (sorry, no pictures here...that is a surprise for all hallow's eve!)

evening busy...cast netting some shrimp for bait & for dinner!...more time on the water before it's too cold (yes, spf...this is part of the PE curriculum!)...even phil is in on the act - he is a boy, after all!...
& for sunset...boyworld has moved on to a friend's house, leaving the parents in recovery with yet another excellent coping mechanism...un bicchiero da vino rosso for sunset on the dock! che fanastico!

12 October 2007

coping skills for life as the lone girl in boyworld!

in the morning...
mid afternoon pick-me-up (remember this?)...
evening soother...
& somewhere in between these a soak in the bathtub with a good book wouldn't hurt either!

10 October 2007

pretty in pink

i would imagine that most of you know that october is breast cancer awareness month & after last year i could not let this month pass without a mention of some special pink heroes in my life.

in the summer of '06, the week of her birthday, my dearest friend L. had her scheduled mammogram...she was several years past due. don't get me started about my reaction when she revealed this little fact to me...
but no matter, L. was dealt the hand that meant a year's journey of treatments. & this wonderful woman stepped into the journey surrounded with lots of love & prayers. we marveled at how she did what she needed to do, how she handled each day as it came, how she saw her experience as a blessing rather than a curse, how she mothered her 2 beautiful children through it all...her laughter, her tears, her pain, her joy~~~

my first reaction to her diagnosis was the typical, emphatic NO. oh. no....we were so not done living, we are too young for this.
& yet, there it was. the next reaction...down on my knees. L. has been my praying-girlfriend, spiritual bosom buddy for a very long time. a blogging buddy corey recently talked about her reaction to a cancer diagnosis & her thoughts on not "fighting cancer"...she used the imagery of love. that was much like the way L. saw it...she was being made new...her cancer was in the garden that was lovingly tended, reworked, cleaned, fertilized...& beautifully planted.

today...nearly 15 months, lots of chemo, 2 surgeries, & many radiation treatments later, L. is living a joyful life, happy to be at the other end of that year's very long & arduous journey.

she is my perfect pink hero!!!
but she is not the only one...please take a moment with me & salute some other pink heroes quietly doing brave & wonderful things out there...

a group of very excellent folks who took the best care of L.

my sister-in-law, B., an oncology nurse for over 20 years now

leslie, a member of the 3 day walk support crew in philly

maria, a fellow SheWhoBlogs member & purveyor of inspirational posts of her own experience

big bro & little man... of their own accord, both these young men who love to eat yogurt noticed the "save lids to save lives" campaign & are collecting these lids to mail...(please don't tell them i said they were "pink" heroes!)

marie, my nearby hero...who has inadvertantly contributed to what's cooking wednesday with this week's PINK recipe!

Peach-Raspberry Cobbler

*preheat oven to 375
*combine 1 lb. sliced peaches & 1/3 c. sugar, set aside
*combine 1/2 lb. raspberries & 1 T. flour, set aside
*combine 1 c. flour, 1/2 c. cornmeal, 1/4 t. salt1-1/2 T. sugar, 2 t. baking powder, mix well
*add 1/2 t. grated orange peel to flour mixture
*cut in 4 T. unsalted chilled butter to the flour mix until it resembles coarse meal
*add 3/4 c. milk...stir until just moistened
*combine fruit in a 1-1/2 qt. buttered baking dish
*spoon batter over top of fruit
*sprinkle all with 1 t. raw sugar
*bake 25-30 minutes, until golden brown
*serve warm...a dollop of whipped cream or scoop of vanilla ice cream would be perfect!

please take a moment...educate yourself about breast cancer...please, please, please follow the guidelines for screening...do your breast self exams, get your mammograms, urge the same for those you love...

08 October 2007

che bella!

may your week be off to a beautiful start...

ti vedro' dopo la mia classe...buon giorno a tutti!

05 October 2007

critters (yes, again)...

...on the end of a fishing line (not kidding!)...
"eye" see you!...
in my sink...
on our dock...

in our cast net (what is this thing???)...
on our beach...
in my face...

on our posts...
in our yard...
in our cooler...
on Big Bro's thumb (his "green thumb"...haha!)...
in our trees (yes, that is a bald eagle)... (no critters were harmed in the photographing of this post...excepting the shrimp, which we later ate!)