Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for October, 2009

Our Jackson crossed over to Rainbow Bridge. He was named after Shoeless Joe Jackson, the greatest ballplayer to grace the diamond.  It just broke our hearts. 😦  He was in so much distress and pain–he would lie in his bed just watching us, as if to say–it’s okay–I know how hard a decision this is for you to have to make, and besides I’m really tired, and I’m ready. It was the humane thing to do.  Not a time to be selfish and think of only ourselves. He lived a long and very happy life.  He was just so special.. a good ole boy, and the apple of his Dad’s eye.  Sixteen years of joy he gave us and not a day goes by when he doesn’t come to our minds.  This is one of the last black and white shot I took of him–I’m glad to have recorded it..but in my mind I will never forget him.

Jackson's last shot

That’s the nicest thing about memories.. they remain.  Running through the fields, scaring the beejeezies out of the sheep, hiding Duffy’s tennis ball, diving into the pool, chasing the gulls, stealing the eggs out of the henhouse and burying them, woofing outside the greenhouse for Mom to finish up her planting so we could go for our daily walk in the woods, mothering any newborn creature on our farm with a gentleness  I’ve never known.

Jackson's 1st Puppy pic

My very handsome guy.. aka Bubba boy, Goober, Action Jack.  No matter what nickname we gave him–he surely graced our lives in so many ways, with years of joyful wags.  We miss you Jackson xoxox

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Summertime is gone my friends. It slowly comes…but quickly ends. It’s been replaced by time called Autumn. Nature changes hues from top to bottom. Green gives way to red & gold. A lovely vision to behold.. whirling leaves go blowing by, carrying smells of pumpkin pies! The air turns crisp…the sky fades grey. Indian corn and bales of hay…overcoats, apple cider.. No more evenings on the glider! The harvest moon so orange & round, Holidays will soon abound. Soon the chrysanthemum petals start to unfold & Pumpkin festivals abound.

PumpkinHarvestszd2 Applesszd2

There is still the warmth of summer in an early October day; and the cool of autumn in the evenings. October is a month to be carefree.. The herb gardens are harvested.. all hanging to dry, the loft is full of summers hay, rows of canning jars fill the cupboards. Fall.. in New England I will always remember with fondness. Freed from garden & other cares, we can explore “leaf peepin”. We can watch the chipmunks with bulging cheeks scurry into the stone walls & admire the hummingbirds, still busy among the geraniums & bee balm. We have time for apple pickin’ and baking.
Our trees are old and gnarled and widely scattered. Sometimes I think they had been planted by Johnny Appleseed’s wide flung hands.

fallpath

We can go to the fairs, spend a day or two antiquing.
We can pick beach plums & visit cranberry bogs. We can head on down to the docks  for a lobster lunch, or pick up driftwood along the quiet beaches, & gather shells & wild beach rosehips. New England abounds in exhibits of handwork done in earlier times as well as present. Ours is a proud heritage of skill & good taste now being appreciated even more. Many with deft fingers are now following the example of our forebears.. taking pride in their handiwork.. As a rughooker, I’ll take inventory of my wools. In my basket there will be rugs unfinished since last winter.. but, soon to be tackled again & completed, hopefully before the Deerfield Fair! Oh, but I have more soaps to make too! Only so many hours in the day.. * sigh :+)

The smell of Autumn is in the earth, in the ripe apples & cider…in the clean sea & clean pure air. The mornings glisten as the sun falls across the fields with frost. A full golden flood illuninates the garden from the warm October sun which washes over maple, birch & oak leaves. We swish through dry leaves on the lawn and we rake & rake & rake! What harvest.. for the compost pile; what dividends in fine leaf mold in spring, for bright healthy flowers next summer!

Walking the fields each afternoon in Fall was a favorite pasttime of Jackson, Molly & Duffy.

Leaves dropped in whispers. Behind us there snaps a twig which is not timed to our own footsteps… and acorns fall with a bounce to the ground as the wind stirred through the leaves…. freezing them in their tracks. Are the woods haunted????

Autumn Walk

Autumn Walk

The woods are haunted in October by the same ‘little people’ who inhabit them every other month of the year. Thoughts of witches & goblins & elves and fairies in October have filled the world with fright longer than anyone can record with certainty and the season wouldn’t be complete without them.

There are fairies at the bottom of gardens, and we have often found their traces there.. If you do not believe in fairies in the garden you are not a true gardener. They touch a box with a wand & make a palace for a homeless bird. In mischievous play, they pull up flowers & plant them in more surprising places. They weave silken webs from flower to flower & paint the wings of butterflies. In October they blow on the bittersweet & make berries pop open into gay necklaces of red & gold.

At the bottom of an old-fashioned garden the fairies arrange their mushroom conference stools in a fairy ring, and name all the flowers! Who else could have thought up such delightful names: Sweet William, foxglove, cowslip, Sweet Annie, snow-in-the-summer, larkspur, bee balm…. morning glory, johnny-jump-ups & bleeding heart. These fairies name them all!! But of course..there are fairies in the bottom of the garden.

What is more cheerful, now, in the fall of the year, than an open wood-fire? Do you hear those little chirps and twitters coming out of that piece of applewood? Those are the ghosts of the robins and bluebirds that sang upon the bough when it was in blossom this past Spring. Happy Autumn!

Read Full Post »

Duffy on our trails

Duffy on our trails

No matter where we hiked,  I could always count on Duffy keeping an eye on me.

Read Full Post »

At this time of year, the only thing better than a day at Fenway Park is a visit to the many Pumpkin and Apple Festivals that abound in our area, which is where I’ll be this weekend if that predicted white stuff doesn’t fall from the sky as predicted. 😦

Fenway Park

Fenway Park

We had to be in Boston most of last month, and so while there we took in many of the sites and visited the scalpers for some last minute Red Sox tickets.  It was a nice warm balmy  night, a super game and great Fenway Franks! Big Papi gave us two home runs.

Popi at bat

Popi at bat

Papi's homerun

Papi's homerun

My shopping spree  over to Quincy Market was splendid ( ya just can’t go into town and not stop by Fanueil Hall marketplace)

Quincy Marketplace in Fanueil Hall

Quincy Marketplace in Fanueil Hall

topped off with a super lunch at Durgin Park.

Durgin Park

Durgin Park

Sadly, the season is over for us die hard Red Sox fans.. but there’s always next year 🙂

Read Full Post »

On a warm summer morning after peeling for what seemed like forever (and getting increasingly lazy in my efforts to keep the white bits off the peels), I ended up with this – two quarts full of lemon  peels in my jars.

Making Lemoncello

Making Lemoncello

Lemons will go bad quickly if left out without their skins, so either toss them in plastic bags and get them in the fridge right away (and plan to use them soon), or juice them and either use or freeze the juice immediately. I froze the juice, so I now have pre-measured juice all ready for a couple batches each of  frozen lemon yogurt  I’m dying to make.

Then, into the jars with all the lemon peels goes the two bottles of Everclear grain alcohol. You can’t see it very well in this picture, but the lemon peels are growing more and more pale, as the liquid grows more golden yellow.

Finally, it’s  time to finish making the limoncello. The next step is the combining of the sugar and water. It’s not necessary to heat this mixture ..but gently warm it to even a simmer, as long as you keep an eye on it and the sugar is completely dissolved.

And here we are with the finished product! Save all those empty bottles.. they make excellent limoncello containers. Once poured, store your freshly made lemoncello in the freezer.

Note: Limoncello is strong cordial, please use caution! The first sip will warm you down to your toes.. the second sip is very smooth.. the third you will feel a bit fuzzy and not even taste the alcohol in it.. only the delicious lemon! If you do a few shots, let me just say.. you will be the life of the party! Salute!

Lemoncello

Lemoncello

Lemoncello Recipe

  • 2-750 ml bottle of Everclear pure grain alcohol
  • 16  lemons (make sure they’re organic and not sprayed, you’re using the peel!)
  • 5 cups water
  • 3 cups sugar

Directions:

  • Wash the lemons thoroughly.
  • Using a peeler, take off the skins being careful not to get any of the white lemon “pith” onto your peelings or it will add bitterness to your limoncello.
  • Put the peels into two 1 quart canning jars, with the alcohol and seal the lid tightly. Be sure to date the jars.
  • Put the jar in a cool, dry place for 3 weeks or even longer – once a day, shake the contents well to remix everything. You’ll notice the color of the liquid changing to deep yellow and  lemon peels fading.
  • Once the base liquid is ready,  dissolve the sugar completely in water by heating it on the stove. Do not boil the sugar syrup. Then cool the sugar-water mixture to room temperature.
  • Strain the lemon peels out of the alcohol.  They should snap very  crisp almost as a potato chip and then mix the alcohol with the sugar-water.
  • Pour the mixture into bottles which can be sealed tightly and store them in the freezer. Limoncello makes a wonderfully scrumptious gift.

After a long coastal trip from Tuscany via Enzio, Naples, Sorrento to finally Positano.. we stopped for some dinner at a small family run restaurant.. Antonio’s. Our dinner was absolutely delicious and conversation with the owner refreshing. As we were about to say our goodbye’s Antonio asked us to stay a bit longer and disappeared into the restaurant kitchen. When he reappeared he was carrying a very chilled bottle of homemade limoncello, made from his courtyard garden lemon trees. I was so thrilled and told him that we have also been making our own limoncello at home. This seemed to please him even moreso than our generous tip! 🙂 He shared his tips with me and I with him. Antonio gave me a bottle of his limoncello to ‘ bring home’.. and I lugged that bottle all over Italy for the next month with me! It was great fun comparing notes, and a great first night spent on the Amalfi coast. I still use this same decanter when I make my limoncello and just smile to myself thinking back on that wonderful meeting. Salute Antonio!

Salute Antonio!

Salute Antonio!

Read Full Post »

The new gardens were pretty successful this season in spite of the crazy weather we witnessed all summer long here.  New friends were made.  So I took a day a few weeks ago for some me time.  You know, that time when you just put the million and one little things you must do daily on a back burner and simply enjoy the day.

This picture inspired me to start a project for my neighboring gardening friend Paul.  The farm houses many birdhouses.. the land, a protectory for all living creatures.. a very special place indeed. The bluebirds set up housing in this nesting box right in the middle of my garden and we witnessed the building and care they so painstakingly take to prepare their nests for hatching out.  The day we heard the first peep peeps was so great! I’m hoping they will return once again next year. I know I’ll be watching for them.

BeachPlumBirdhouse

I so seldom have the time for painting, nor am I a painter..but do enjoy dabbling from time to time.   It was a fun project for me, and hopefully a nice garden remembrance gift for my friend.

Sketched and begun..

100_5486

Birdhouse2

Birdhouse3szd

Here’s the finished picture.  Very primitive I know.. but a great me day, all in all.

Bluebird at work

Bluebird at work

 

Read Full Post »

The Visitor

My sis came for a visit recently and with her the newest member to her family. Meet Oliver!  Though she said he was a little imp at home, he was the perfect guest here.

Ollie

Ollie

Read Full Post »