Wednesday, November 21, 2012

joy in autumn





I put down my camera, this month so that I could focus on some home projects. Although, I am desperately missing the contemplative time that I spend looking through the lens, I've had such a sense of renewal at home and it's been wonderful to get things in order (...in time for Christmas! ;-) )

Along the way, my family time has been intensely sweet.... I've been having a chance to try new recipes and there have been many pleasant afternoons around the kitchen table as the dark and cold come so early, these days. There has been everything from soups to cookies to crumbles - a heavenly brioche and warm french gougeres (cheese puffs =]) and chicken and wild rice chowder (an earthy, hobbity tasting soup with the mushrooms and vegetables....) and these sausage, walnut 'n raisin stuffed butternut squash. It's a Vermont type of recipe that Tom remembers originally stuffed with Venison and chestnuts and served with maple syrup. (I've just asked him and he says, 'it's a recipe whose origins are lost to ancestral memory.'  Oh, well.... =/) Generally, the ingredients are:

butternut squash (cut in half, brushed with butter and brown sugar and steamed in the microwave till pretty soft)
onions sauteed in butter
cooked crumbled sausage
raisins
walnuts

and there's more brown sugar and spices in there somewhere and I bake it for a wee bit.... I don't know exactly... it seems like there should be more ingredients.... I make it up every year. (Oh, der.... I forgot the apples sauteed in the butter, too.)

Happily, however, for Thanksgiving, tomorrow at Grandma's house, there's no cooking for me (well, traditionally, I stir the gravy... =]). I am (Oh, boy! Oh, joy!) in charge of setting the table - which suits me perfectly!











From the heart of my home to yours...


Happy Thanksgiving!


xo








Thursday, November 08, 2012

Shrinking violet....?!



J John, noted British evangelist, gave a memorable sermon about fifteen years ago, entitled "Lighten Up!" It was brilliant - surely inspired - and made a huge impact on my heart. This piece of advice could be applied in so many ways from not forgetting to laugh, to not thinking that the world revolves around oneself, to not losing hope and thinking that things are the end of the world.

Lighten up and chill out!

Well, I do try to do that. Sometimes, I catch myself being oh, so very too serious! (and, indeed, there are some heavy moments in life! =/) Sometimes, I realize that I just simply need to take a deep breath and let things go... (and, no, this doesn't have anything to do with the elections, this week. ha!)

What I'm talking about is my blog! ;-)

It's when I'm thinking deeply  - which is not necessarily heavily - just deeply - that I come and write it down in my journal, here.

and,

I've been thinking AGAIN!

(Truth is.... I can't seem to ever turn the ol' noodle off!)

I've been thinking about this quote that I'd first come across in one of my favorite movies, "Akeelah and the Bee". Here's the moment...

 


Oh! I just love that!!!

What I've been thinking for the longest, longest, LONGEST time, now, is that I just want to shine. I just want to let my heart sing - in my work, in my conversation and definitely in my creative endeavors. As a matter of fact, I need to not be afraid of being creative - who cares if it falls flat on its face? Struggling through the hard parts is part of the song and makes the moment when the expression is successful, sweet!

I just love being and want to be just me!

So, those are my thoughts!

...and I've recently heard that...

"If you have good thoughts, they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely."  ~Roald Dahl

er,... Okay....

=]

(some self portrait experiments with angle, lighting, and catch-lights and a few mistakes... =/)











One last thing. Hankering after that flow of song that I want to come out of my heart, I bought a canary. =D I needed a sister in, er.... feathery 'arms' who isn't afraid to plant her two wee feet apart and sing away. So far, we're getting along swimmingly. She loves to sing and whistle along with Christmas music as much as I do... so I named her 'puddin' (short for Christmas Pudding.... =])


Here's hoping everything is merry and bright and shining with you and that your song is free, free, free!!!





xo