Sunday, December 26, 2010

Stopping By The Woods On A Snowy Evening....

This is what it looks like outside my window tonight!  At least it's Christmas break & big Guy doesn't have to be in until 2 o'clock tomorrow.  Ahhhh a sleep in morning!

The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.
~Robert Frost

Friday, November 19, 2010

An Inspriational Key Note Speaker - Patti Ann McDonald

I recently attended Holy Trinity Diocesan High School's 3rd annual Women's Communion Breakfast.  It was truely an inspriational and somewhat emotional event for me. (More photos here)

Patti Ann McDonald, wife of NYC policer officer, Steven McDonald, and now mayor of Malverne, was the keynote speaker.  Their story riveted my since the time it happened.  His forgiving of his assailant and her decision to stick with and by her paralyzed husband always tugged at my heart.

She spoke of the event and their life immediately after.  She spoke of her husband's forgiving the gunman and of their new, deeper faith in God.

She also went on to speak of what it is like to live with and care for a handicapped person, whether physical or mental, and the trying and often God questioning times.  How could God have let this happen, why her, a young newlywed and eight month pregnant bride?  She was just begining her life and she was then handed a burden for her to carry on for the rest of her life.  This is when she opened my soul and looked inside - it was almost as if she was speaking directly to me .  I was moved to tears.  I realized that I am not alone in my journey, having to care for my handicapped brother, and that other people get as discouraged as I, but they get through it. 

I mentioned this whole thing to a friend of mine, who also is the sister of a mentally handicapped man and she said "you were meant to be there and hear her speak."  She was so right; I was able to look inside my soul and make room for all that my brother gives me, realizing that it will always be hard, but I can get through it.

On another note, sitting in the chapel that day, I got emotional just thinking about my son and his experiences, not only in that chapel, but in that faith filled school and how quickly life sped up to get us to this point in his life - a Sophmore in High School - and as usual I got teary eyed!

Patti Ann & Steven

Steven & Fr. Joe

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sqawking Blue Jays - noisy theives!

I feed birds in my back yard, I have since we moved in as a kid way back in the early '70s.  Seed, suet, stale bread - whatever we can find - out it goes. We have always gotten great pleasure watching the birds, me, mom, dad and eventually big and little Guy - darling husband Guy now has a routine on how he fills up our 5 feeders.  He even went so far as to set up things in Maine to attrack birds too!

I have taken to putting millet and nyjer seed and peanuts on top of our rabbit hutch (our hutch is about ten feet long with a flat roof, the perfect platform feeder.)  I've  begun buying millet, cracked corn, nyger and peanuts from a company called  Prdseed (love that name!) and we store everything in galvanized garbage cans (to keep out the critters) in the shed.

Blue Jays LOVE peanuts and as soon as a batch goes out, that insane racket they make starts - one calls another and then that one another and so on.  It's funny, only one Jay at a time swoops in, grabs a peanut in it's beak and then flies into a tree to crack it open and munch it down - never two, I guess it's a Blue Jay culture thing.

When the weather is clear and crisp as it's been lately, and the Jays come, I am instanltly transported to Maine - you see every morning is clear and crisp and Jays constantly squawk there, so when I hear them around here, it's a deja 'vu thing - I guess that's why I do it - for "that feeling".

Friday, October 8, 2010

John Lennon Google Doodle - Happy Birthday John

Argan Oil

I found a real treasure for moisturizing my face - Argan Oil.

Argan Tree

Pits & Seeds
 Argan oil is an oil produced from the kernels of the Argan tree, native to Morocco, it is valued for its nutritional, cosmetic and medicinal properties. Ancient  people of Morocco would collect undigested argan pits from the waste of goats which climb the trees to eat their fruit. The pits were then ground and pressed to make the nutty oil used in cooking and cosmetics. Hopefully today's oil is harvested in a much more sanitary way!  But it just goes to show how great this oil is, if people were willing to go to these extremes just to harvest it!!!
Using oil on my face at first seemed incongruous, after all weren't we taught that we had to get rid of the oils on our face?  But I realize the opposite is true (even if you have "oily" skin), if you hydrate your skin with the right kind of oil, it won't need to produce oil, thus making your face oily. 
 I use Josie Maran brand & adore it!

I also use oils to cleanse my face, but I make up my own concoction!  Three parts extra virgin olive oil (moisturizes) and one part of castor oil (cleansing), I put itnto a spray bottle and use twice a day - better than anything I ever have purchased over the counter!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Not So Itsy Bitsy Spider

A visitor set up house my garden - a creepy, ugly spider. They make my skin crawl - but this one fascinated me for some reason.

The eensy weensy spider
 Crawled up the water spout
  Down came the rain
   And washed the spider out
    Out came the sun
     And dried up all the rain
      And the eensy weensy spider
       Crawled up the spout again.
Sorry I could not resist

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Last Rose of Summer

It is sad to see the last, rugged rose bush, produce one more beauty befor settling down for a long winter nap. This is the same palnt that gave me a glorious bloom a few years ago (my perfect rose post). Beauty still prevails.

See you next year!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Moonflowers & Morning Glories

Many gardeners consider Morning Glories too invasisve, nothing but a glorified weed.  Not me!  They are an absolute staple in my garden.  I now grow them from seed, taking advantage of the pods that form after the flowers are gone.  I simply crush the pod between my fingers & spread the seed on the ground.  I scatter them along fence posts, birdfeeder poles & even near climbing roses & just let them climb the canes.  They are easy, simple to grow & add a touch of delight in the garden.

Of course I can't just leave things alone, so a few years back I began
companion planting Moonflowers, along with the Morning Glories.
Just like the name implies, they flower in the evening - big, beautiful
white trumpets of beauty!  So just as the Morning Glories tire out
for the day, Moonflowers take their place.  I love them to death!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Rosehips in My Garden

I love to garden and one of my favorite things to grow are roses. At last count, I have about 20 bushes. Most give me beautiful blossoms at least once a summer, while others grace me with a second bloom later in the season. In all the years I have been growing roses however, I never had any bush produce rosehips, until now.

I never had intentions to actually grow rosehips, it just happened. When I got back from Maine, one of the Rugosa variety of roses, began forming them. Rosehips are simply the seed pods of the rose plant. They aren’t a kind of plant themselves, they are the “fruit” of the rose plant, looking somewhat like a tiny crab apple or cherry, and full of seeds.

Why am I excited? Because this never happened in my garden before and things like this make me excited and happy (I lead a sad life what can I say?)

Early Christians considered rose hips to be sacred, and crafted the first rosary beads from rose hips. An interesting sidebar that I only learned today. ( Rosehip rosary)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Rainbow Connection

Today the morning sky was different! It was a bright orange - so beautiful! Then it started to rain and behold a rainbow - two in fact!

This got me to thinking about this song - so many versions, but I like Kenny Loggins best!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

My life's quote - by my son Guy

Guy had a reigion project to do; he had to take a quote by a famous person which would sum up his life in a 10 second advertisement.  This is what he picked:

This brought tears to my eyes, as he is one very determined and able bodied young man. He couldn't have choosen anything more appropriate. (Love you loads Guy! <3)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Ahhh Schucks - how corny can you get?

A lot apparently!

We visited The East End recently & hit some farmstands. Came home with a huge bag of corn-on-the-cob (about 60 ears).

I decided to blanch the ears, cool them, strip the kernals off the cob & the freeze them in serving size ziplock bags. Not a lot of work & now we'll be able to have sweet corn for a while!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Bean Suppah....

I have always been intriqued by and always LOVED Bean Suppahs.

"Maine Bean Suppah" ~Sharon Kitchens - (Portland Examiner)

"According to the University of Maine's Folklife Center, the practice of baked bean suppers originated with the pilgrims who prepared enough food cooked on a Saturday to last through Sunday. The tradition of these dinners has been heavily influenced by early Native American Indians whose diet consisted of beans, corn and squash. These no frills events are memorable for the abundance of food and as a time and place for members of the community to congregate. Generally, the suppers are held in a public space such as a church, grange or firehouse.

The website Bean offers a crash course on the New England tradition of potlucks featuring Boston baked beans as the main dish. The site also offers information on how to incorporate more locally produced foods into your meals by providing links to community groups, Maine food sources and recipes using Maine sourced ingredients. The goals of the Maine Bean Suppah Project include supporting local growers by including homegrown foods at events open to the public and providing interesting historical information and food facts about Maine heirloom beans and bean supper traditions.

The Maine Bean Suppah project identifies traditional Maine beans as Yellow Eye, Jacob's Cattle (Trout Beans), Marifax, Soldier, Sulphur (Yellow China) and non-traditional as pea and kidney beans. Additional components of a traditional Maine Bean Supper include maple syrup, salt pork, bacon, onions and mustard. Customary dinner ingredients include carrots, cabbage, potatoes, honey, milk, cream, butter, cheese, eggs, tomatoes, green beans, pickles, apples, blueberries, cherries, fish and seafood."

While some people in our circle have poo-pooed them, to me they are one of the greatest traditions that I can participate in. While in Maine this summer, we attended three of them. My husband Guy went to a lot of them as a child, as that's what was done in Maine on a Saturday night. I can proudly say that my son Guy now enjoys them and actually loves the food served there.

Tonight I prepared a version of a Bean Suppah - complete with imported "red hot dogs" & B&M brown bread. I shared the meal with dad and brother and they loved it too! I think I will make this a tradition of our own, but not too often, so as not to spoil the uniqueness!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Gone Country - This Ain't Nothin'

Every year when ever we went to Maine (it was 29 years this summer) we came away with what we now call a "Maine Song"; you know that song that you hear playing on the radio all the time, when you're in the car, pool and even in the store.

It started kind of innocently - we'd reminisce about something we did or where we were when we heard that song, and soon it became "A Maine Song". Sometimes we'd wait to see what song was played the most that trip, while other times it just happened - every time we got in the car - it was playing, or the time we went to camp, it was playing or if we were just hanging around the house, the radio would play it a dozen times.

Now even my son is into the game, he waits to see what song it's going to be. This summer, I really got into Country music a lot. The radio in the garage was tuned to a country station and rather than change it, I left it on for background noise. But as I was washing & hanging clothes or doing some other mundane chore, I actually listed to the words of many of the songs, and realized that that stuff was GOOD!

So this summer, by a unanimous vote, the following song is this years Maine Song ( I love it & love the video even more! - who'd thunk!!!!)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Geocaching - a new hobby?

A few years ago I purchased a cheap GPS with the intentions of Geocaching, it never got off the ground.
Last week I got the bug again and joined (hmmm...can't put a link in) I then took it a step further and visted L.L. Bean and purchased a Delorme PN-40, a bit pricy, but a device which would make the whole process a bit easier. (I hoped!)
Today I tried it out and found my first cache at a stop sign I have passed dozens of times, less than 1/4 mile from the house. Found four more after that - this could be addicting!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"Be like the flower, turn your face to the sun."~Gibran

What a better way to start your day than with a field of bright, golden sunflowers!

There is a farm on Sweetser Rd. that has a huge field of these beauties! Someday I will have such a field!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Adopt a grave

I tended my in-laws grave in Walnut Hill Cemetary and while there I snapped pictures of random, interesting headstones.

(What can I tell you, I'm weird that way). Anyway, as a lark I Googled a name - Larrabee Harris from one of the headstones & got a hit - I decided, on the same lark, to continue the tracing and found this:

Birth: Sep. 1, 1781, Yarmouth, Cumberland County, Maine, USA
Death: unknown

Larrabee was the son of Stephen Larrabee and Lydia (Tuttle) Harris.

On Oct. 27, 1808 in Gray, Cumberland County, Maine he was United In Marriage to Judith Delano.

He was the father of ten children, Lydia 1809, Amaziah 1810, Stephen 1812, Almira 1814, Asenath 1816, Jane 1818, Ezekiel 1820, Joseph Russell 1822, Olive 1825 and Eliza 1827.

He was the brother of Hannah 1776, Rachel 1778 and Stephen 1780.

The Harris family were English and the first members of this family arrived in the United States of America on the May Flower.

Family links:
Stephen Larrabee Harris
Lydia Tuttle Harris

Amiaziah Delano Harris (1810 - 1889)*
Stephen Larrabee Harris (1812 - 1888)*
Joseph Russell Harris (1822 - 1902)*

Judith Delano Harris (1792 - 1834)


A family memeber by the name of Linda, posted this information on the website "Find a Grave" - she posted a request to share information about this family - I sent her an e-mail, along with a copy of the pics I took, giving her the date of her ancestor's death. Who knows if she'll answer - hope she will.

I find this stuff so fascinating.