vernal equinox says so

March 20, 2012

Maine in the spring

It’s officially Spring~ vernal equinox says so! That’s why we set our clocks ahead…gaze forward…plants & animals emerge.  This morning on The Writer’s Almanac Garrison Keillor read from a poem by Mary Oliver titled “Spring.”  As I was listening I heard something in the words that resonated with me today…

a black bear
has just risen from sleep
and is staring

down the mountain.
All night
in the brisk and shallow restlessness
of early spring

I think of her,
her four black fists
flicking the gravel,
her tongue

like a red fire
touching the grass,
the cold water.
There is only one question:

how to love this world.
I think of her
like a black and leafy ledge

to sharpen her claws against
the silence
of the trees.
Whatever else

my life is
with its poems
and its music
and its glass cities,

it is also this dazzling darkness
down the mountain,
breathing and tasting;

all day I think of her—
her white teeth,
her wordlessness,
her perfect love.

This poem reminds me that there is more to it all than just our solitary experience and that we aren’t the only creatures living and breathing on Earth! The simplicity of the black bear emerging from hibernation, in harmony with her natural surroundings…Isn’t it kind of like staring up at the stars on a clear night, only to be reminded of how small you are in the scheme of things?  That you are one small part of a gigantic whole?  I love that thought.

What did you take away from this poem?  Here’s to renewed thinking & a happy Spring!

Morning!  Let’s just say that I didn’t start my day off in the most nutritional way.   Remember the chocolate bundt cake that I made? Well, I’m still eating it every chance I get.  For a mid afternoon snack, a dessert, and this morning~ gasp!  ~breakfast. It brought to mind that episode from Sex and the City that I think we ladies can all relate to: Miranda bakes a Betty Crocker cake and can’t stop eating it until finally she just has to toss the thing in the garbage.  And then she retrieves it from the garbage and eats it some more.

Have any of you ever done that?  Once, years ago, one of my coworkers did that very thing at work so I witnessed it, and it wasn’t that shocking to me.  I’ve just always figured, why bother tossing it when I know I’ll go back for more…better to just eat it off the plate!  The crazy things we ladies do, especially for chocolate! SO, I didn’t start my day off eating from a box of Wheaties, but at least it wasn’t from the trash.

a fun weekend was had

March 18, 2012

Royal River

Not sure about the rest of you, but we had a full weekend.  Dinner and brunch with friends and family meant lots of cooking and eating; the sunniest & warmest days we’ve had this year meant lots of being outside and moving around {I even ran today!}; and said sunny skies meant we saw 2 Bald Eagles across from our house {for reals}, tons of tweety birds about the yard, and tracks of all kinds in the fields.  Next weekend better be just as good!

The Irish boiled dinner was fantastic {not a pat on my back, just a testament to why anyone would continue to boil meat & veggies when it all feels so wrong and roasting seems superior, but in the end it tastes so right}.  Also, yesterday Luke shaved his beard and left an impressive mustache with twirled ends that had us all giggling for the night.  It was perfect St. Patty’s day fun!  {It has since been removed from that handsome face.}

For brunch today I made French toast with cream cheese & apricot preserves between two pieces of Italian bread. {Geez, it’s been like the League of Nations with food around here!} We drowned that in maple syrup that our friend made from tapping his own Sugar Maple trees.  And last night’s boiled dinner made the best corned beef hash today.  Hennies provided the eggs and voila brunch was served!

Over the past two days we’ve had a dog, kiddos, friends, and family all fill our house and we loved every minute of it! We’re going to wrap it up with a viewing of My Week with Marilyn. Have any of you seen it?  Lots of people have been singing it’s praises. Marilyn has never intrigued me, but I’ve already got a feeling I’ll be eating my words…

My Week With Marilyn Movie Poster

a recipe borrowed

March 16, 2012

Somewhere along the line my fun-filled Friday nights turned domestic.  I love staying in more than I do going out! Tonight I had things to get done in the kitchen since we have some friends coming over tomorrow night for a St. Patty’s Day dinner party.  It will be my first attempt at a traditional Irish ‘Boiled Dinner’ and while I still have some details to figure out, I got the big stuff {grocery shop & kitchen prep} done! I even threw baking a cake into the plans…I had to. Dessert wasn’t really on my radar until this morning when I was reading one of my favorite blogs, 101 Cookbooks, & saw this recipe for a chocolate bundt cake made with stout.  I knew immediately that I would bake that bundt. And I did!  Luckily we had plenty of Guinness on hand so that’s what I used.  It calls for other delicious things like maple syrup, cocoa powder, eggs {from our sweet hennies}, and whole fat yogurt. Here’s a peek at my evening & the cake as baked:

Chocolate Bundt cake making

Cocoa, Maple syrup, simmering stout

Fresh eggs, cocoa & stout mixture

Batter-filled bundt pan & Anthropologie kitchen timer

Chocolate frosting

Chocolate Bundt Cake!

What are your St. Patty’s Day plans?  Do you stay in or go out? Will you be eating a traditional Irish meal?  Will I see you around town wearing all green & looking like you’ve had too many pints already…at 10 o’clock in the morning?!

Happy Birthday to ME!!

March 15, 2012

On this day, 192 years ago, Maine became the 23rd state. Woo-hoo!!!

Happy Birthday Maine!

We love you!


On NPR this morning they read from a letter that a kid in Austin wrote to a local meteorologist who’d recently visited his classroom.  When I heard what this boy, Flint, had written I laughed out loud!  Only a kid could come up with this:

“Thank you for coming to our school and teaching us about weather.  Some day when I become supreme ultra-Lord of the universe I will not make you a slave, you will live in my 200 story castle where unicorn servants will feed you doughnuts off their horns.”

At the end of his letter he tells the meteorologist “And in case you didn’t know, that’s pretty dang sweet”!

Kid writes letter to meteorologist

Austin kid writes letter to meteorologist: drawing

It’s a reminder to all of us grown ups that once upon-a-time we all entertained silly thoughts that read more like Mad Libs than Real Life.

{And sometimes we still do, thank goodness!}

Rainy Day Ready!

March 14, 2012

Hello! There is a fine mist coming down on us today that is sure to turn into  big, fat raindrops.  I’ve always liked rainy days.  There is something calming about them, even if the wind is blowing hard and the rain is coming down sideways, there is something comforting about being able to hunker in if you want to or venture out.  On a sunny day I can’t stand staying inside.  So, I guess for me a rainy day is a free day, and in the end I don’t mind being out in the wet weather! Being dressed for it is key, especially in mud season…here are some pieces that traverse fashion and function; misty days and raining-cats-and-dogs days:

Hunter Boots, Daughter's of the Liberations  Anorak, Marc Jacobs Spectacle Umbrella

Hunter Wellies, Daughter's of the Liberation Anorak, Marc Jacobs Umbrella

 A pop of color at the foot and head with a polka-dotted anorak in between! I think wellies are best in brights and an umbrella is always fun in an unexpected print.  Being a practical gal myself I would typically opt for the key piece {the anorak} in a multi-tasking print & color combo.  Cannot go wrong with a classic dot and navy & white combo.  Maybe an umbrella as cool as this would help me to not leave it at home, which I tend to do!  How do you take on a rainy day?



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