Thursday, January 29, 2009

A Ray of Warmth

Yesterday was not a good day to be outdoors with a camera. We had a hard, freezing rain most of the day. When it turned to snow, well it started heavy then turned to a light but blowing snow. The snowing sideways kind of snow.

So in the search for a ray of sun I'm posting an older photo. Doesn't the sun feel good?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Ice Day

School is closed. Everything is covered in a coat of ice and the freezing rain is still coming down. It is a very, VERY gray day. I've had a lot of trouble taking photos lately because there is no light. I hope that changes later today so I can go for a walk, maybe a slide, and take some icy photos. I'm not often home in the daylight and I'm looking forward to getting out there!

I did take one shot this morning when a raccoon surprised me in the walnut tree. The young thief was raiding the feeders. It was 7:45 and technically the sun was up, but look how dark it was - still is!

I'm hoping for a few rays of sunshine today. I'm gonna go take some vitamin D!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Scenes from the Weekend

The weather this weekend was bizarre. We went from a very odd 53 degrees to 13. The snow melted. The snow returned.

The birds

and the deer

and the red squirrel

were hungry.

The birds were also grateful for a heated birdbath.

Soup's On And The House Smells GOOD!

It is a wonderful, slow Sunday at Allhaven. I'm listening to Scott Shallaway on the radio, geese are in the pasture, birds are at the feeders and soup is cooking on the stove. I wish you could enjoy a blissful whiff - oh... the aroma is heavenly. Soup is good food for the soul. I love to make soup in the winter. Pure sustenance.

Making soup is a spiritual experience. The art of soup making provides nourishment for the body and soul. When I gather all the wonderful ingredients to make a steaming pot of vitamins I can't help but feel grateful. I know I am abundently blessed to be able to make this simple pot of vegetarian soup.

I start with many vegetables.

Cutting the onions is easy with what I call my little, magic, chopper.

SMASH! Fast, no-tear onions!

Now I know the next step does not sound very spiritual. I kill the onions. I don't just cook them until translucent - I KILL them. I boil them until the water is gone, add more water and simmer again. Then, to make them a bit sweeter, I add a few teaspoons of sugar. The 16 calories per teaspoon practically disappears in the huge pot of soup.

I love mushrooms so they are next in the pot, with a bit of olive oil. The juices simmer and make the base for the soup.

All the fresh vegetables are added next. The carrots, celery, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and spinach are cut, chopped or diced and tossed in and covered with water.

It is then time to wash and add the beautiful beans.

Add the can of Muir Glen Tomatoes and then the mixture of spices and herbs. The colonel had his "secret blend" and so do I.

It is time to simmer - the longer the better. I think it tastes best the next day. Yes! I'll be taking soup to school for tomorrow's lunch.

Maybe next weekend I'll make potato soup. No! No! I'll make a humongous pot of chili for the big game! Go Pittsburgh Steelers!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Blissie's New Blanket

Bliss loves her yellow blanket. Strategically placed, the blanket projects my favorite chair, the chair she claimed as her own when just a kitten. The yellow blankie, however, was starting to look too nasty to stay. Since drastic measures had to be taken, Santa brought Bliss a new, thick, super-soft blanket for Christmas.

"My new blankie is so.....o soft. It is warm and cuddly and it is even more snuggly than my yellow blankie. And, I look stunning and gogeous on blue. Don't you agree? Thank you, Santa."

"Now mom, please. Go away. Stop taking my picture so I can sleep."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Dawn

The sun rises on a new world.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Deer Tracks in the Snow

Whew! It was COLD this weekend! Not as cold as many places in the midwest and northeast, but it was 7 below Saturday night. I did brave the cold to fill the feeders and take a few pictures. The deer had been here during the night and left their own version of crop circles in the snow.

Deer also visited the old apple tree in search of a piece of withered fruit still hanging within reach. This tree seems to be ancient and wise as snow cuddles in the twists and turns of his old branches.

The deer, I know, are hungry. Maybe an old, dried-up apple or the sunflower seeds licked from the feeder will help one live another day.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy Belated New Year!

Don't you just love a fresh start? A new beginning? A chance for a do-over?

I have always loved the start of a new year. It is like writing on the first page of a new journal. It holds promise and hope.

Like everyone else, I have many hopes and goals for 2009. Last year I said I wanted to travel and boy did that come to fruition!

This year my attention will focus on health and wellness. I want to live each day with the intention of good health. I will eat well, move more, and become more flexible and strong. I am excited.

Happy New Year my friends! May your year be blessed and filled with joy!