Archive for December, 2008

Singing You Tube videos

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

This first one is just so amazingly bad. I can’t imagine anyone being able to show less interest. I wish I knew where she is now. I couldn’t post it on Xmas, it seemed too cruel. But now – enjoy.

So there is the utter and complete lack of talent, followed by 6 minutes of real talent and a really fun performance. I was smiling with this one.

Even for my pop culture clueless brain I got most of it and loved it.

A song to end the year

Tuesday, December 30th, 2008

From Monty Python. Providing that wonderful perspective.

http://hea-www.harvard.edu/~pgreen/au/eric_idle.au

It will put you in a better mood, certainly!

(Sorry – haven’t figured out how to embed music… )

Fruit Cellar Report

Monday, December 29th, 2008

The winter squash seems to love the root cellar. The apples are hanging on, better than I expected but not looking really appetizing. The Jerusalem Artichokes are a bit soft but still tasty and no mold.

The pears – well they are the cream of the crop. I love them. I’ve been eating many a day, so they are fading fast as far as quality and quantity. Last week, about 1/3 had serious mush spots. Today, about 1/2. The good ones are really really good – cold and crisp and even better than when I put them into storage. Gary and then Gary and I picked about 200. Gary and his family ate a good portion of that, I made a small amount of pear butter, I stored somewhere over 100, individually wrapped. There are about 30 – 40 left, which means they will be gone within a week, as only half are probably edible. That’s pretty good. Storing pears — a definite YES! I love pears.

I think their successful storage just paid for the root cellar. Not only are they rare this time of year, but at $2-$3 a pound the stash was worth about $100. Which is more than I spent (using materials just laying around form other projects).

I had the first of the frozen Pesto made from Ramps and Yellow Dock over the weekend. It certainly lost some of the fresh amazing flavor that it starte with – but still a flavor thrill and a wonderful meal. So that was from last May.

Going through the berries as fast as I can, I need to start doing more baking with the black raspberries. A Rhubarb and BRB crisp is on the menu for New Year’s day.

Next year – plant a lot of winter squash now that I can store it well!

On Feeling Air

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

On my walk yesterday there was a strong sensation of air. Confused air. The tep had been freezing the day before, then suddenly it was in the high 50s. The ground was holding moisture, but also cold and warmth. As I walked on the roads (the wood paths were very very wet with lot of ice patches still) I could feel the alternate warm breeze and then the cold wet tug. A pile of snow and slush was emanating a chill, but next to it the ground had soaked up some sun and warmth. It was the oddest sensation having all these very different temperatures and density of airs moving towards me as I walked. And of course it released amazing smells. Nala was jumping here and there, diving nose first into the snow, scrpaing up the mud as fast as she could and sniffing, it was dog delight of odors.

And t top it all, the drifting mist and fog was very beautiful.

I am so in love…

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

…with the internet.
I missed it being without for almost 3 days. I’m having such a good time today. I’ve sent out almost 80 e-mails this afternoon (OK 61 of those were to my e-mail list so they don’t really count). But also a lot of on-line dating emails. And posting a “stopped watched” to the Ann Arbor Chronicle about the dam and the traffic. A nice way to tell the story. But then also blogging. And looking stuff and people up on google. Such a fabulous tool. And of course facebooking. And connecting there with people I wouldn’t be otherwise. And finding a new source for raw milk. It just all seems so nice and rosy and all this potential and connectedness and being a part of a community. And getting work done.

When it is humming, the internet is just awesome and helpful. I hope no one goes and wrecks it. Support Net Neutrality.

Quiet Time

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

Spent Xmas afternoon until last night at the cabin. I had planned to have a number of visitors, but when the ice came Friday that was impossible. I had also planned to take a long (half day) hike on my own with Nala. Also impossible. We could hardly get down the street it was so slippery, and the lake was devoid of the usual ice fishers so I guessed it was unsafe to walk on.

Lot of reading, considering, feeling, napping, and very little munching. Hey, I came home with half a cheesecake intact. So only 1/4 was eaten and it wasn’t just me.

I did get inspired to complete the order of chapters and format for the book (should that be in caps?). It just came to me as I spent a few hours feeding and watching the fire. Easy. It will be a lot of work to make it so, but I’m ready to do that over the next few days so I can pass it on to the next few readers.

I appreciated the two visitors I did have even more because of the time spent isolated. But came home feeling ancy. Needing to walk and move and be outside.

I had a lovely time waiting for my date to show up – it was warm, so I sat on the pontoon boat and listened to the ice melt. It was bubbling up as though rain was falling from below. The wind was picking up and sending sheets of water across the ice, but the boat wouldn’t rock as it was fixed solidly in the ice.

It was a lovely symphony of sound. I never knew how much sound was captured in ice – ready to be released! A lovely date followed, I’ll say no more about that.

Today after seeing clients I was still hungry for walking and outdoors. I drove to Barton Dam. Cars were lined up on Main street from Huron to M-14, but traffic going North was clear. It was a bit disturbing, and even more so as I saw the back up on Huron River Drive. I called David on the cell to see if he knew what might be up and had a bit of a panic when the call wouldn’t go through because the circuits were busy. That had never happened. I tried numerous times and finally called dad who actually checked to be sure all we well over the internet — and it seemed OK so some local glitch.

AT&T wireless was down most of teh day I’m told.

I suppose I transposed the woods and walking a dog and being back in the woods the morning of 9-11. It could happen once, it could happen again. And Israel is doing some very scary crazy stuff right now. Very frightening.

The dam was in full open mode — all ten spillways were open and pouring water. I could hear it from a distance and wondered again if I was safe. Where is all this fear coming from? I tested my intuitive response, and felt OK. So I walked up to it and it was impressive and exhilarating. The ferocious flow of water, just licking the cement of the sidewalk under the railroad bridge. I’d never seen it that high. It wasn’t until I came back that I realized what was so odd – no ducks! They always are hanging out just after the dam. Hmmmm. Now those sorts of things are sort of ominous and get me out of balance. Nature has just switched on me.

The pond above the dam looked pretty normal and not even that high. The water running along the hill of the dam was very high – the little causeways I think they are called that let the water seep through the built up earth rather than pressing into it. All very active and lots of moving water all along that pathway.

The portage dock above the dam was still there. They usually take it out. I get a little sad thinking of that canoe trip and how happy I was, but over it quickly. But then realizing I’ve returned to Barton Dam on the anniversary of the day I met Gary. It was one year ago today. A lot sure can happen in a year. But this is my walk, my park, my favorite place, it isn’t marred by memories or regrets. A little extra charge perhaps on the bridge where he began the evasions that collapsed everything. But it didn’t even truly start there. It was already happening. That was just the location of most damaging lie.

And Nala gets so happy on the bridges. The energy really belongs to her. Last year it was so icy I fell a couple times and it was very hard to walk. Today just a bit of ice was left to melt. Stand on a bridge, watching the water flow – a metaphor, a way to peace. It is all water under the bridge. Truly.

I got back to the car with one happy dog. I made her day even more fabulous by stopping by our favorite hardware store for a few things. She was in heaven to see her favorite hardware guys. Who have treats. Life is simple. Be with friends. Continue to trust. Spend time alone and with great people.

And watch the water go under the bridges. So today it was a torrent. That’s OK. We were always safe.

Good news and congratulations in order

Sunday, December 28th, 2008

My good friend of many decades Doug Shapiro has just been appointed as a judge to the Court of Appeals.
He is a great choice, and I’m just so happy that a person of great intelligence, thoughtfulness and integrity will be able to serve in this way.
We so need good judges, and he will be one.

Congratulations Doug! Well done, and you deserve this honor. This is indeed great news.

decadent nostalgic indulgence

Wednesday, December 24th, 2008

I had a rather nice dinner with family – no presents this year, just food. And with Alex into cooking up vegetarian stuff there was good stuff to eat. I had a try at making some Thai curry, and I was very happy with the results. Recipe?

Saute 2 small chopped onions in olive oil, add 8 oz. mushrooms sliced, cook pretty well through, then a pound of cubed tofu. And about 3 cups brussel sprouts. Mix a can of coconut milk with about 2 TBSP red Thai curry paste, add to veggies. Add a bit more Thai hot sauce (not the chili paste but straight up hot sauce) to taste. Add about 1 TBSP turmeric. Let simmer for about 20-30 minutes. Serve over rice.

Oh, yum.

But that isn’t the decadent part. And neither was the chocolate cheesecake I made, which even Ian was complementing me on.

After we all left around 9 I went and picked up my lonely dog and we drove around the neighborhoods for 1/2 hour looking at holiday lights. I can say well I’m still trying to figure out how my car handles in the snow. But it was really about just having time to think and wander and enjoy the lights.

Now most any other time I would never just drive around, and I certainly am most appalled at the waste of energy yada yada yada and on and on with self righteous etc. OK so I indulged, and it was fun, and it felt peaceful and safe and very mellow and I even found a station on the radio playing Christmas music and kept it on.

So now you might think it is all just too out of character and strange. Which would be true. But you know, somehow the “holidays” are about being a little sad, realizing you’ve aged, missing people who have died, being scared that maybe some people won’t be here next time around, and wondering what the next year will be like.

This Thanksgiving I was amazed that I was with a bunch of people who were relative strangers who had grown to mean so much to me in just a year. And including Nala, I spent a good chunk of the year with Gary who had been unknown, and there I was with his best friends who I had know a little bit before.

Of course it all unraveled within a few days. Impermanence. Yeah.

But this is when I met Gary last year, half way between xmas and New Years. Look how much changed so quickly and then that moment – the almost year together – was gone. David made it through the hardest year of his life, it wasn’t certain that he would be able to show up on xmas eve. Even my father reacalled that my mom barely made it her last xmas eve, she as released from the hospital in time for desert. Now that was a weird feeling holiday. She was dead in less than four months.

So that’s why I took the indulgence and just drove around. I didn’t see any amazing spectacular over the top displays. Which is just as well. It owuld have brought out the attitude. What I liked the most were the soaring lights that would show off an already beautiful tree – the ghostly blue or simple white. I liked the trees the most.

And with that I’m ready to sleep. Tomorrow will be a pretty normal day. If it isn’t too icy a nice walk in the woods with my sweet Nala, and dinner with friends. I get to make bread for it, which is rising already in the oven. The rest I’ll report on rather than forecast.

All I can say is that at least with this car I didn’t even use 1/2 gallon of gas, driving around for 1/2 hour. So a reasonable indulgence for just once in the whole year. I’ll make it up. The mental piece of mind and trip into the past was worth it.

Tip of the Day

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

Microsoft word has those annoying pop up “tips” that chatter away and generally aren’t helpful. But the last few days “My tip for you” has been “You can hurt yourself if you run with scissors”

And that just totally cracks me up.

Hey, I had a great year of almost daily great jokes and puns and now I’m going through withdrawal. One night when I was dealing with stress from clients and brother doing poorly I asked him to just call me up and tell a few good jokes. 45 minutes later of solid good (and bad) jokes I felt much better. That will be hard to replace!

Guess anything seems funny now…

Send better jokes now…

schmaltz for the season

Monday, December 22nd, 2008

but at least it is well trained schmaltz.

I’m impressed.

I’m sure that Nala will be up to that speed at any time now. Let’s see today and yesterday she carried into the living room a box of tampons, a box of sanitary pads, a spatula, a glass, a plastic bag that had contained truffles, an empty chip bag, a few plastic newspaper bags, a couple of slippers, a shoe. And all got thrown around, ripped open, spread around, nibbled on or attacked as was appropriate. Or not.