Wednesday, October 31

My lovely friend Shawna shows off her Halloween style. A bobble spider headdress and false eyelashes with rhinestone trimming! I asked her to close her eyes so you could see the detailing on the lashes.. incredible! I have to say I have never ever seen the like. Shawna sure knows how to celebrate a holiday with panache, unlike myself. I dug an orange turtleneck out of the hamper and said "Done!" Flashy or quiet, have a Happy Halloween everybody!

Monday, October 29

in action. Or non-action. There is nothing like a cat for illustrating
il dolce far niente (an italian phrase for "how sweet to do nothing"!)

Friday, October 26

hung like heavy moss from the rafters of Audubon's barn. I was visiting Mill Grove a few days ago, and my friend Eliza and I went into the empty barn, only later realizing this was not actually allowed. We are not criminals,just kerfluffle heads. Security is pretty sparse there, which is all to the good for us unintentional rulebreakers.

Thursday, October 25

how fast they disappeared. Inspired by a visit last month to Jordan Pond House, I made popovers for the very first time last night. They were extremely successful, to say the least. However, trying to follow the directions which instructed me to fill each cup halfway, I found myself confused by the tapering nature of the cups. What was halfway? Did they mean halfway lengthwise, or volume-wise? The last thing I wanted was overflowing batter charring on the floor of the oven (because I am too lazy to clean it) and so I erred on the side of filling the cups a little scantily. The popovers rose like crazy, but without enough volume to actually pop over (overflow) and I had enough batter left for two more after the original six came out. I smugly thought how nice it would be to have those two all ready for the boys' breakfast the next day, but a friend dropped in unexpectedly and soon there was not one speck of popover left over.

Which is, of course, how it should be.

(this is from the recipe card that came with the pan I bought in their gift shop. I edited it slightly.)

1 popover pan
1 1/4 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter,
cut into six even pieces
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400F and set oven rack in middle position.

Blend flour, salt, eggs, milk and melted butter until mixture is smooth and has the consistency of heavy cream, about 1 or 2 minutes in an electric mixer. (note: the batter can be made ahead and stored in the fridge but should be brought back to room temp before using.)

Oil or spray popover pan. Then preheat popover pan by placing in oven about for 2 minutes. Remove and place 1 small piece of butter in each cup. Place pans back in oven until butter is bubbly, about 1 minute. Fill each cup half full with batter and bake 20 minutes. Reduce temp to 300F and continue baking 20 minutes.

Makes 6 full-sized popovers (or 8 more slender ones if you are new to the job like me!)

Popovers are best hot from the oven, served with butter and jam.

Wednesday, October 24


painting by the creek
on a windy, autumn day-
leaves on my palette

Friday, October 19

You'd never know you were in the heart of my adopted city, Philadelphia, standing by the Schuylkill River enjoying the feel of the autumn sunshine and the plashy sound of oars as scullers row by. At moments like this I feel immensely grateful that I ended up in this beautiful place. At other times (fighting our suburb's notoriously adversarial school board for services for my special needs child) I feel less happy. However, a bike ride by the river has an amazingly soothing and refreshing effect on one's tired spirits.

Thursday, October 18

There is something about islands. Maybe people who are attracted to island living have an eccentric streak? Or aren't as concerned about mainstream (mainland) fashions or conformity. Whatever, I always feel some deep inner muscle unclench when I step foot onto an island. And I guess other people feel that too, then reach for their spray paint.

This is from last month's visit to Monhegan Island, but I just finished reading The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island which is set on Isle au Haut. It sounds like that island too has a very colorful population. And even has some colorful trucks!

Wednesday, October 17


delicately balanced
between summer and autumn
hunger and plenty

Sunday, October 14

is the theme of Photo Friday's current challenge. (Yes, I'm a few days late as usual!) This recent photo sprang to my mind's eye. I was in Brooklyn (New York) a couple of weekends ago. Exiting the Botanical Gardens I became caught up in a street parade honoring the Independence Day of the Dominican Republic. The vibrant music, wonderful costumes and throbbing beat entranced me. I tore myself away only when I realized my bus home was scheduled to leave shortly.

Thursday, October 11


first fire of autumn-
I step back from the hot sparks
as my boys lean in

Wednesday, October 10

made me wonder what kind of commercial traffic they were trying to fend off with that sign. Seemed mostly hikers and birdwatchers passing by when I was there. Maybe they are defending themselves against the seasonal droves of little girls selling girl scout cookies? ;-)

Thursday, October 4

No reason, just could not resist putting up this photo of my friend Alex's two gorgeous Burmese. Burmeses? Whatever, they are sure cute.

Tuesday, October 2


last day of year ten-
the boy readies his bow, shoots
straight into his new year-

I've been a little tightly wound lately. Pressures of work, children with colds, with strep and various other ailments, lost or misplaced things: none of it is all that bad, just a whole lot of small stresses piling up and up. Reminds me a bit of the famous torture death by a thousand cuts. The domestic version, of course.

However, there is lots of good stuff happening, too. H will turn 11 tomorrow, a good friend of mine just started a blog, and I am the October interview at Mother Rising. So, onwards and upwards!