Saturday, February 18, 2012

Nags Head

Tim and I took the long weekend over President's Day to check on the house and relax a bit in the sunshine.  Yesterday was cold and windy, today a perfect Spring day. 

Today,  my walk on the beach was a poem.
Abandoning my shoes by the dune fence,

I rolled up my jeans and savored the cool crunch of sand between my toes.

Meandering along the high tide line -- looking for the elusive colored glass worn smooth and opaque by the sea.

Wading through sandy rivulets of yesterday's tidal pool.

My thoughts a million footprints back and forth across the expanse.

The icy fingers of low tide lapping at my toes.

And on the way back - an image of my 80 year old self, wrapped in billowy gauze and linen, still enjoying the poem.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Family Game Night

We couldn't seem to plan a theme night for February, so my divine family plus got together for a somewhat planned, somewhat impromptu family game night.  As usual we had some luscious food and drink offerings. 

Besides water, diet soda, lemonade and beer (not mixed together) there was:

Sangria in a new white pitcher - a lovely vessel.

Nick enjoying a cosmo - his welcome quaff.

Chile dip and greek yogurt/olive dip for starters.

Sabrina's blooming onions with scrumptious dipping sauce.

Sub platter - goat cheese, arugula and balsamic chicken, as well as chicken, mozzarella and roasted red peppers.

Meredith and Nick were the champs -- definitely on the same wavelength for Pictionary and I think they won Taboo, too.


Sabrina's caramel apple dipping platter was a sweet ending.

Well, our small gathering was an in-between get together, an opportunity for family fun and a wake up call for Tim and I.  We used to be the Pictionary champs.  Time to sharpen our sketching skills and tune in to the wavelengths, which are a little fuzzy sometimes these days. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Snow scenes

A light snowfall last week dusted the trees and yard with the white stuff that makes everything look clean and majestic.  I took these photos early in the morning, before the sun actually made it around the side of the house.
The oaks in our "Grove" as a backdrop for the white pines.

Another view of the cherry tree.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Superbowl Party

Households across New Jersey and most of the country watched the Giants win the Superbowl on Sunday.  It was a festive day for parties and family fun.  We pre-gamed it in the kitchen with lots of fun treats.  I went to a high energy Zumba class before partaking of the variety of food and drink.  Oh, yeah, and I made sure to take my acid reflux medicine.

Meredith watched the game with a friend and made a special dessert treat to bring along.  We got the extras.  Cute, cute, cute.

Cake Pops are the new cupcakes, we've heard.
  We dipped and decorated strawberries with the left over melting chocolate.

A favorite red pepper/feta dip stuffed into cucumber boats and pita for dipping.

These gummy bears were soaking in vodka since last Tuesday.  We were eating them but the bowl never seemed to get lower.  I think the gummy bears were just getting fatter.

Tim made us our girly favorite - Cosmos with gummies floating on top.

Timmy doing a cutlet frying extravaganza with Sabina at his side.

We served them whole with ranch and honey mustard dipping sauces.

Tim also build a sub with the chicken, fresh mozarella and roasted red peppers and balsamic vinegar. Yum!

Cheeseburger sliders were a replay from the last theme night.

Or course - fried chicken wings pictured naked here.  Asian bbq, and hot sauces were the go withs.

Timmy won a sizable amount of cash, and was sweating the last two minutes of the game.  (Maybe it was the hot sauce).  The only thing missing besides Meredith, was a tailgate - and we really didn't need that at all.  

I think Chris Christie could have fostered positive public sentiment if he had declared Superbowl Monday a holiday.   

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Soup du Jour

I love a bowl of hot soup on a cold day.  As long as the bread machine remains in the basement, it's the opportunity to fill your belly healthfully and warm you with comfort.

Yesterday, I made a huge pot of vegetable soup.  I sauteed carrots, onion, and celery in a large stock pot and added canned and boxed broth.  Then I dumped in diced tomatoes from the can as well as one large can of crushed tomatoes.  I season with lots of pepper and use two bullion cubes in 2 cups of water to salt the soup.  Then I add the veggies we have - it was green beans (canned) and fresh spinach this time.  I particularly like fresh, diced zucchini, but it was not available.  I let it simmer to marry the flavors and 30 minutes later there is SOUP.
The base veggies sizzle till tender.

Dumping in the liquid and heating to a boil.

Fresh spinach is the final ingredient.

A bowlful topped with "stinky" cheese from the Italian deli in Philadelphia.  (Thank you, Louis!)

By the time the soup is ready, lucious smells fill the house and call the family to lunch.  Think of this as a Souperbowl lunch.  (Suggested by my daugher, corny, I know). 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hope Springs Eternal

Or should I say, I am eternally hopeful for Spring.  The weather these last two days has helped.  I hung clothes on the line to dry today.  Yesterday I walked around the garden looking for signs of Spring.  I didn't really find any new shoots or blooms, but I did find a few things to share.

Maybe, just maybe the nodes on the plum tree look hopeful.

My favorite tree in all seasons - the weeping cherry.

The mondo grass in the Japanese garden as well as the acuba (below) add some lush greenery to the winter landscape.

This has been a year of emotional adjustment for me.  Turning 60 years is definitely a milestone worth pondering.  This is it, the last 1/4 or 1/3 of my life.  I've felt the inevitablity of it, but am reminded of what my father-in-law said when I turned 50 -- "consider the alternative".  I am ready to face 61, with the hopefullness and growth of a garden Spring.