Wednesday, January 30

Young H just took possession of his first pair of glasses today! Fifth grade, same school year I got mine. He picked the frames himself, which in my opinion make him look like a handsome young Supreme Court Justice. Albeit a handsome young Supreme Court Justice who's into Archie comics! Probably aren't too many of them.

Tuesday, January 29


Shouting kids are gone
empty of young mums chatting-
just my silent son and I

Monday, January 28

In my circle of friends and acquaintances within the last few days: a death, a birth and what seems like everything else in between. Has felt something like standing under a waterfall...exhilarating but alarming: being knocked about a bit by the relentless force.

And death shall be no more; neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore for the former things that have passed away.
Revelations 21:4

New beginnings for me as well: today I taught my first art class! I've pinch-hit for other people in the past; occasionally filling in when somebody took sick or had an emergency. I always enjoyed the student-teacher interaction, but never felt up to the responsibility of running my own class. But somehow, when I was invited to teach this semester I felt a little more ready to take it on and agreed. I called last week and asked about class enrollment and felt pretty relieved when I was told that I had six students signed up, as the minimum class number is five. Alright, whew! A nice small seminar size,I thought happily. But when I walked in this morning the class numbered fourteen! It might even be fifteen (which is the maximum) only one person didn't show up. I was a bit shocked for a moment, but quickly re-grouped mentally. Just like the waterfall analogy above, I can tell that teaching is going to be a bit of an adventure...both humbling and uplifting, as I find my feet. The students were wonderful slackers...everyone painting flat out till the last possible moment allowed!

Friday, January 25

No idea what it's really called. My husband Paul has it in his shop so it's something used in making furniture is all I know! For Photo Friday's theme of machine.

Thursday, January 24

SENSE OF SNOW's cold outside. Just the way the polar bears like it. Look at that pleased, expectant expression. I think she can smell the snow which is supposedly on its way.

Wednesday, January 23


feathers of ice
cover over my windshield-
a veil of cold lace

Tuesday, January 22


Hunger and Love are the pivots on which the world turns. Mankind is entirely determined by love and hunger.

-Anatole France
(letter to George Sand)


So, these cookie cutters were a "just because" gift from my friend Emilie who came by for a cup (or three) of tea yesterday. I thought they so beautifully expressed a lot of things, such as the intricacy of love. And of course, heart-shaped cookie cutters are the very embodiment of the point made above by Anatole France, don't you think?

Monday, January 21

of making cheesecake. It was the twins' fourteenth birthday yesterday and P asked for this as their birthday cake. I used the Sour Cream Cheesecake recipe from the Joy of Cooking, and then I glazed over the sour cream glaze with a fresh strawberry glaze (recipe also loosely adapted from The Joy.) It's almost impossible to mess up a cheesecake, but sometimes they come out better than at other times. This one, I have to say, was superb.

A close up of the four layers: graham crust, cream cheese cake, sour cream glaze and fresh strawberry over-glaze.

Sunday, January 20


Vein filled with black ink
sputtering splattering out
from the rusty nib

Saturday, January 19

Friday, January 18

at play. They were romping and scuffling, tails wagging and tongues lolling, with happy sounding yips and squeals. A huge torment to the hungry cheetahs next door!

These African Wild Dogs are apparently a trio of sisters named Esmeralda, Sabrina and Samantha. Just in case anyone was wondering!

Thursday, January 17

is a pretty impressive sight! We did not actually mean to see these guys...for some reason looking at big cats in captivity makes my heart shrivel. But we did want to see the wild dogs, and they must have moved the cheetahs over next to the dogs since the last time we'd visited.

This one was sitting on top of the cheetah hut, then she suddenly jumped down to see what was going on over at the neighboring enclosure (I think these guys were really getting hungry, they were incredibly lively!) I barely had time to depress the shutter let alone frame the shot but I did catch everything but the tip of her tail! I called out "Hey, do that again!" but was ignored. That's a cat for you! {'_'}

Wednesday, January 16

Tuesday, January 15

I never ever saw the King Cobra so animated as I did last week! He was slithering all over the place, coiling, looping, tongue darting in and out (which is how they smell their prey I've been told so maybe he was hungry?) It was a real Harry Potter moment: if only I knew Parseltongue I could have asked him what he wanted for lunch.

By the way, I am really astonished at how many people have taken the time to email me that they are enjoying all the animal shots and wanting to see more! Thank you, and I am happy to comply. More on the way (so I hope you really meant it!)

Monday, January 14

is today's theme at Moody Monday. I've been barely able to restrain myself from posting endless shots from our recent trip to the zoo (the light was just right that day by happy coincidence), so the temptation to post this snaggle-toothed bathing beauty was simply too much for me. Here she is! I call her Lolita the lolling eata.

I'm still itching to post some great shots I got of the king cobra, the polar bear, the zebras, the cheetahs and the wild dogs, so, you've been warned! Nancy's Animal Kingdom coming up.

Sunday, January 13

YOU RANG? (Sneer)
Daisy still has not forgiven me for her latest trip to the Vet. Oh, the indignity of the Senior Wellness Check-Up! (Paul gives me a look like that too when he sees the bill.)

Friday, January 11

seen along the White Mountain range. We don't have any snow here, but there was plenty when we were in New Hampshire recently!

Thursday, January 10

Henry seemed very taken with this little pretend candy house at the petting zoo a few days ago. Since he can't talk much, I can only guess what he was thinking as he gazed bemusedly upon it. Perhaps something like "Can I eat it?"

I brought Henry back to his school yesterday after the extremely long Christmas vacation. For the first time ever he was unhappy to be left there, which was very distressing. We'd talked and talked to him about going back, tried to prepare him every way we could. His housemother and the girls, the co-workers, reassured me that all the children were having a hard time this year, probably because of the unusual length of the break. To ease the transition I sat and visited for a while but every time I tried to get up he grabbed my hand and cried. Finally it seemed that my staying was not helping at all so I just had to give him a quick kiss and run away. As I slipped out the front I could hear Henry wailing and the flutter of the girl's voices as they all clustered around him soothing and consoling him. I know I left him in the very best of hands, but what a wicked witch I felt.

Wednesday, January 9

Brown Pelicans at the zoo on Sunday demonstrating extreme flexibility.

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill can hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak,
Food enough for a week,
But I’m damned if I see how the helican!

-Dixon Merritt

Tuesday, January 8


The world breaks everyone and afterward many are stronger at the broken places.

-Ernest Hemingway

Monday, January 7


small powderpuff with
thread fingers, peppercorn eyes:
so hugely alive


Paul and I took boys to the zoo on Saturday. Perfect weather for it: overcast but not gloomy, cool but not cold. The animals were livelier than usual. We avoided the large cats and the large primates, whose captivity always make us feel sad, but there was still plenty to see: small animals, amphibians, reptiles and domestic (petting zoo) animals. The little marmosets were particularly enchanting!

Saturday, January 5

We visited family there right after Christmas...beautiful! Like walking through a world made of picture postcards.

Thursday, January 3

exploding magenta frills
ignoring the date

Tuesday, January 1


It's that No-Knead recipe from the NYTimes. We went to a nice New Year's Eve dinner party last night, but came home about 10, since we had all the boys with us. A couple of us then stayed up to watch the ball drop (haven't done this in years, decades maybe, but one son really wanted to check it out. Verdict: somewhat underwhelming!) Then I went straight into the kitchen and started the year off right by making bread. The dough (pictured above) has to sit for 12-18 hours at one stage so it's definitely a plan ahead bread.

It was a strange new method, but the result was excellent!