Monday, January 31, 2011

Dog Park Weekend

Our camera is broken so I couldn't take pictures of Spike at the dog park this weekend. This is a photo from a few years ago.

On Saturday, the temperature reached the balmy mid-thirties. With more snow and ice on the way, it was a good opportunity to take Spike to Taylor Farm where he could run off leash.

Previous visitors had created makeshift paths through the snow. Spike crossed the field and then suddenly took off down a path along the trees. I haven't seen him move so fast in a long time.

I tried to make a new path by walking in someone else's footprints and stomping down more snow. It didn't work very well--I got snow in my boots and then fell down. I was laughing so hard, I could barely get back up.

We had fun, so we returned on Sunday. It was a little colder with a biting wind. Spike didn't seem to mind as he ran across the field and up the hill into the woods.

Unfortunately, it will be our last visit for a while.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Art Journals

Last winter I picked up an issue of Art Journaling by Somerset Studio. It inspired me to start my own art journal.

I re-purposed one of my blank notebooks. In it I wrote traditional journal entries, doodled, stamped pages and added postcards, photos and stickers. I even made a few attempts at drawing and watercolor.

The other day I came across the magazine again, pulled out my journal and played. I wrote a little, doodled, drew a picture of Spike and pasted in a picture of my father holding me when I was about one.

I couldn't help but compare my journal pages to some of those highlighted in Art Journaling. Bad idea. I know not to compare my first drafts to published works. It's the same principle. I reminded myself that you have to do something badly if you ever want to do it well.

At least I've got the first part down.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Who knows...

where the time goes?

Beautiful song though I can't say that:

I have no thought of time
I do not count the time
I do not fear the time.

Like many, I worry about filling time, managing time, wasting time.

It's been 11 days since my last post. What have I been doing with my time?

Not enough.

In addition to new beginnings, January is a time to get back to work. In December, I did only what I had to do. Everything else got procrastinated into January. So I started January with long to-do lists, feeling behind schedule at the start.

I realize that I am privileged even to have the time to blog about my time. I won't attempt to give advice or "helpful" hints to others. I just want to find some answers for myself.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

More Snow and Recipes

In the past day, we've gotten another foot and a half of snow. In my last post, I wrote about getting into the cooking mood with the previous snowstorm. I made the lamb that I wrote about, and then over the next few days I made chili and chicken parmesan.

With the new snow, I was happy to stay in and make a butternut squash, carrot and pumpkin soup. I used a vegetable broth base, sauteed shallots and garlic and added red curry spice.

I also made two loaves of avocado bread after finding this recipe I would never have come up with the idea of avocado bread. I glad someone did. It's delicious. I made a few adjustments: I didn't have allspice and orange zest, so I substituted pumpkin pie spice and a little tangerine rind respectively and skipped the raisins and pecans. This bread may become my new go-to recipe when I need to take something to a party.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Snowing and Cooking

It started to snow in Norwalk sometime between six and nine this morning and continued for most of the day. It's nothing like the December 26th blizzard, but we haven't gotten rid of all of that snow and have six more inches.

I went food shopping yesterday. Staying inside today gave me the urge to cook--maybe a butternut squash-carrot-apple soup and/or buffalo and black bean chili. Unfortunately I didn't get around to making either.

I did cook a good dinner: lamb leg shank with roasted garlic, roasted fingerling potatoes, roasted asparagus and red leaf lettuce salad. We don't have lamb often and this was the first time I cooked a leg shank. I found a simple recipe online and it was pretty good. For dessert, we ate Christmas candy.

I also want to make chicken parmesan in the next few days. I can finish the sauce I made last week. I also need avocado recipes. I bought 10 for $10 yesterday.

Too often cooking is a monotonous chore. I enjoy these bursts of wanting to cook favorite dishes and trying new things.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Why a blog?--Revisited

A few weeks ago I went to my second Writer's Cafe at the Westport Arts Center. I wanted to discuss blogging--specifically the notion that posting a blog is considered publishing. I said that blogging unlike traditional publishing does not have the step where someone besides the author deems the writing "worthy." I also talked about how excited I was to get my first comment (that wasn't from my husband.)

Maybe I didn't articulate my point very well because the conversation moved into what I thought was a snobbish dismissal of bloggers that Very Important Writers at the Writer's Cafe were too busy to read. Apparently these bloggers had nothing of interest to say to the Very Important Writers.

At the end of the hour, one woman told me that I had to decide what I wanted my blog to be. I just stared at her. I thought she was presumptuous and pretentious; she probably thought she was gracious.

Obviously this discussion has been on my mind otherwise I wouldn't bother to write about it now. I've written about my decision to blog a few times here and here Basically I am blogging because I want to write more and I want to write somewhere besides my daily journals. For the most part, the blogging is working for me. I also found that I enjoy reading blogs even if the authors aren't famous or otherwise very important writers. Maybe other bloggers feel the same about me.

I didn't start this blog with a narrow focus. I don't want to limit my potential topics; I want to write about whatever I want to write about. So if I write too much about Spike for Very Important Writers' liking, then they don't have to read my posts.

It's that simple.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


About two weeks ago, I pulled a book off my shelf: "The Little Book of Big Motivation" I'm not sure when I bought it, but its copyright is 1994 when I was in the midst of corporate life, buying into all the self-improvement crap. I figured I would succeed if only I did x, y and z.

Now I'm not saying the book is worthless. I read through it again--some ideas were obvious, some wouldn't work for me, some would. One that caught my eye was number 20. Be enthusiastic about the littlest things.

In previous posts, I have written about small things that have made me smile: a heron in the tidal pool at Taylor Farm, three hardy roses, a streak of blue across the evening sky.

This morning was another opportunity to enjoy something small. December had been unseasonably cold with biting winds and the grand finale of a blizzard. It got warmer and less windy over the last three days.

Today I walked Spike without gloves--it was over 40 degrees. I still wore my snow boots--Spike loves to run through snow and jump over snow banks. Today we walked and ran across the lawn in front of the hospital. It felt downright balmy.

I consider today to be an omen of the new year: warm and bright. That must mean something good.

Happy New Year!

Had a good New Year's Eve dinner at Little Tokyo last night beef negimaki, harumaki and sushi. We went early around 6:15 which was perfect because the restaurant got more crowded the longer we were there.

Today we went to a friend's open house. I had gone to a girls only party the week before Christmas and saw some friends then; it was great to catch up with others that I hadn't seen in months.

A few shared my negative view of 2010; we're hopeful for new beginnings.
Try to forget the past--Things Can Only Get Better: