30 November 2009

late season color

found in the garden, long after it was cut back and put to bed for the winter, these tiny cranesbill leaves turn shades of gold and crimson, just as the trees that overshadow them did weeks before.

26 November 2009

turkeys day

this morning early i turned at a bend in the road and came upon the biggest flock of turkeys i think i've ever seen, calmly pecking away at the side of the road. and on thanksgiving day, yet - how serenditpitous is that? did i have my camera? sadly, no. so you will have to be satisfied with this, the centerpiece on the table after the day's festivities were complete. i hope you all had a blessed thanksgiving.

25 November 2009

good design/bad design

look at that baking powder container. round, so spoons fit in, with a piece of metal so you can level your half teaspoonfuls, even a plastic disc lid so it shuts up tight when not in use. and then there's the baking soda. cardboard box. perforated lid that never opens well and certainly does not shut. and if you try to use the inside section of the lid as a leveler, the surface of the teaspoon never comes out even. i wonder why the baking soda people don't come up with a container that at least rivals that of its counterpart?

23 November 2009

cranberry perfection

for the first time ever, tonight i made my mother's cranberry orange relish precisely right, with just the right amount of orange and sugar to balance the tartness and the sweetness. it filled exactly the special container i use every year. perfectly - and without the recipe, which i, after following it all these years, have now lost.

22 November 2009

food for thought

one of my sisters emails us all - does anyone have our mother's cheesecake recipe? i am the keeper of her recipes, the one with the ancient, stained good housekeeping cookbook and the blue plastic recipe box. i retrieve them both, and search through the meals of our childhood, recipes written in my mother's elegant hand or carefully typed with the old script typewriter from the 60s. scalloped potatoes, meat loaf, oven baked chicken, old fashioned apple pie. tucked into the pages of the coverless cookbook i find yellowed clippings of recipes from the long gone "women's" section of the sunday paper. jordan marsh blueberry muffins, lazy beef casserole, split pea soup, the best ever chocolate cake. turning pages that she turned as a young mother, fingering the white lined index cards she painstakingly copied. smiling at long forgotten recipes, surprised at ones she saved from me. i locate the cheesecake recipe and send it off to everyone. i hold out the card for cranberry fruit nut bread to make for my family, a fitting remembrance of my mother at our thanksgiving table.

21 November 2009

yankee ingenuity

photographed at the edge of the road. is it a golf hole flag? a wind sock? no, it's a handy marker to designate the edge of the road when it's obliterated by piles of snow. long branches forced upright into the ground by plow crews line the roadways and mark the corners. plain folk who want to remember in winter the boundaries of their driveways use them too. some markers have a florescent banner at the top but most do not. come january, when the snow is deep, they'll all stand rigid and tall over the snowbanks. as long as we don't get too much snow, that is. or as long as a plow doesn't come along and knock them down.

17 November 2009

last to leave

foliage is long gone by now and all that remains are the steadfast oak leaves. great gusts of wind rip them from their branches, tossing them skyward, then swirling them down and around, a drab maelstrom in the chill november air.

13 November 2009

a great week for clouds

i'm not sure what's going on in the atmosphere but it was another amazing cloud formation this evening as i left my other school. this is from the cheesy little camera. i sure do wish i'd had the good one with me.

12 November 2009

neutron ball

another fitful night of sleep, the result of too much on the mind mingling with too much on the plate. good thing my latest toy flashes colors and lights up in the dark.

11 November 2009

working al fresco

what a fine day to work outside, even if it is on coursework. at this point in the year, there won't be many more glorious days like this one.

09 November 2009

blue period

already daylight departs much too soon. i leave work and photograph the clouds, come home and snap the last of the lilac leaves. both captured against a blue-fading-to-black, late afternoon sky.

08 November 2009

who lived here?

found during yard clean-up, tucked into a half-dead hanging plant, this wee nest. never this summer did i see birds swooping into it, not to incubate eggs, not to feed chicks, not to urge younglings to fly. i'm distressed to have missed it all, particularly since everything happened right outside my back door. as poor consolation, i'll shelter the nest outside until after frost and freeze, then bring it into the house as a winter reminder of the spring to come.

07 November 2009


how can these strangers know me so well? they send me a seven page, 96-item survey, knowing full well that, even though i have better things to do, i'll fill it out. because look - they've already paid me a crisp new one dollar bill to do it! they also must know i work ridiculously cheap.

05 November 2009


i came over a rise and there it was, in all its solitary, barren splendor. doesn't it look like this perfectly-proportioned maple dropped its leaves five minutes before i happened upon it?

02 November 2009

into the woods

a sure sign it's november is seeing these banners on local stores. happy hunting and from a beer company, yet. time to wear blaze orange in the backyard. time to pull shades on windows facing the woods. and time to bless the herd. run fast, my deer.

01 November 2009


tonight, i have been reading about the fine line between grieving a loss and feeling excessively sorry for oneself. admittedly, i have spent today doing a lot of both. tomorrow i hope i can go back to the former. but on this, her birthday, i am feeling a bit orphaned - and i really miss my mom.