Friday, November 28, 2008


The storm had started to move on as we drove over through the mountains headed to the grasslands when the sun burst forth and the rays filled the valley. It was awesome!

To see other awesome skies from around the world. Check out Skywatch!

Monday, November 24, 2008

My World with turkeys

I drummed my fingers on the steering wheel as I crept down the road. There was no accident or heavy equipment or school bus causing the slow down on this early morning ride to work. Just the usual mountain traffic.

To see other parts of the world, or participate in the weekly meme, check out My World

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Fiber art cats

Alright, I know I live in a bubble; but I had never heard of Etsy until a few weeks ago when Little Love Blue pledged 20% of her proceeds to the March of Dimes. I found out about it on Twitter, of course. She is a fiber artist and makes the most adorable animals. I fell in love with an orange cat that she had on her site, but it had already been purchased by someone. So, I sent her a note and she custom-made me an orange Chester cat and a black Jackson cat.

They arrived in the mail beautifully packaged and are now sitting on the 1/2 wall between the kitchen and family room.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


I collect masks. There is something about them that I find fascinating. Firstly, I appreciate them as art, marveling at all the work that went into making them--the carving or sculpting and the metal or bead inlays. Secondly, I love how they are reflective of the culture of the people who made them--what they represent and how they are used. I have them from many countries. Some of them are scary, some happy, some primitive and some detailed and all of them, with 2 exceptions, are human.

This one is a small ceramic mask from Mexico. Technically, I would not really call this a mask since it has no eye holes (my own rigid criteria) but I fell in love with the lines of it and schlepped it home in my carry-on luggage. I came down the hall this week and the sun was slanted across the mask in such a fantastic way, I ran for the camera. Look at that eye.

Monday, November 17, 2008

My World- Baku

Hi Lady, Want to Buy a Carpet?

A few years ago I had the opportunity to go to Baku for 2 weeks. My hotel was in the Icheri Sheher, the Inner City, very close to the Maiden Tower. As I went back and forth to work, I walked past many, many carpet shops. This is one of them. Azerbaijan has been famed for its carpets since antiquity. I never grew tired of seeing them. There were carpets hanging over railings, in windows and lying flat on the ground.

I carefully avoided walking on the neatly placed carpets set end to end in the street only to find out that is exactly what the shop owners wanted. It added value. I sorta regret not buying one, they were beautiful.

To see other parts of the world, check out My World.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sleepy Kitty Weekend

After the pouring rain all day yesterday, the howling winter winds really kicked in overnight. A cold front is suppose to be on its way. Feeling a little cooped up, I pulled on 3 layers and my Nepalese tasseled hat and went out birding. Standing in the cold wind for a few hours really took it out of me though. When I threw in the towel and got home I found all the kitties napping. Looks like a good idea! Scoot over.




And where is Bourka? Probably tucked against the radiator under the bed in the blue room.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Fireplace repair

We'll be there between 9-12. You know the drill.

So on Saturday I waited for the fireplace guys to show up.

Remember the cracks on the back wall inside the fireplace? They made me nervous. I had filled them in a few times, but they kept coming back. Last year I never even used the fireplace. When I had the chimney cleaned back in what, July or August, I mentioned my concern about those cracks and the crumbling floor. Since it is a brand-name insert, he was able to get a new floor and all news walls. They had been on order for months and finally came in. The guys showed up around 10:30, and ba-da-bing, had the news parts installed in half an hour. Amazing. $428. later, they were out the door. I am left with a flyer that says Do NOT start a fire for 24 hours, the parts have to "settle". Then to cure the walls, make 6 small fires of no more than 30 minutes each with 1 hour cooling between them. That is going to require a dedicated few days of fire fiddling.

The fireplace is really for ambiance. But it is nice to have going during the holidays.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Yucca on a Frosty Morn

A winking sparkle drew me to the window. There was a glistening in the flower bed. I crunched across the frosted grass as the pale morning sun reflected off the ice shards on the yuccas. The patterns are fragile, fleeting and beautiful.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A salute to Veteran's Day

My grandfather Clarence Arthur (Casey) Robertson was drafted into World War I in June 1917. He was 23. He shipped out to Europe with Co. E 166 Infantry in October 1917, fought in 3 major and 3 minor battle operations and returned after serving in the Army of Occupation in April 1919.

Here he is in a picture taken in France. Back row, left to right: Casey Robertson, Floyd Hiser, Henry Green, Willard Rogers. Front row, left to right: Fay Wolford, an unknown Frenchman, Buck Horshfield. Armistice Day was November 11, 1918.

The War to End All Wars, did not.

My World through the fog

I woke up to see my world shrouded in a think blanket of fog. Hours later the hush was still on the land; no dog barked, no birds called, what small sounds there were came faintly, clogged by the fog. I would not want to be lost in the woods on such a day.

To see other parts of the world, visit That's My World.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Green Soup

Louise, Gary and Bill up the Hill came for dinner last night. I was in the mood for fiery food so I decided to make Indian. I started with this delicate, utterly delicious Green Soup (Hara Shorva) followed by Chicken Rogan Josh, Gujerati beans and a turmeric blushed cauliflower with tomatoes. We had cool and creamy pineapple coconut ice cream with strong coffee for dessert. Yum-a-la. I want you to try this soup. It was awesome. It is from Madhur Jaffrey's book on Indian Cooking (2002).

4 oz potatoes, peeled and roughly diced
3 oz onions, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 pints chicken stock
3/4 inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
5 Tblsp. chopped cilantro
1/2 fresh hot green chili (I used jalapeƱo)
10 oz peas, fresh or frozen (I used frozen)
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice ( I used juice of 1/2 a lemon)
1/2 tsp. ground roasted cumin seeds
5 fl oz. heavy cream

Combine the potatoes, onions, chicken stock, ginger, ground coriander and ground cumin in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover and turn heat to low, simmer for 30 minutes. Fish out the cube of ginger and discard it. Add the cilantro, green chili, peas, salt, lemon juice and ground roasted cumin seeds. Bring to a boil and simmer, uncovered for 2-3 minutes or until the peas are just tender. Empty the soup into the container of an electric blender in 2-3 batches and blend until it is smooth. Put the soup into a clean pot. Add the cream and bring to a simmer to heat through. Serves 5.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Living with Bears

You know I live with bears ambling through the yard on a regular basis, right? I love and respect them, but I am ready for them to go nighty-nite now. And although I see them less at this time of year, they are still not asleep. Many bears start their long winter's nap in early October, but if the weather is warm, the big guys will stay up accumulating fat (up to 40 pounds a week) until the cold really sets in.

We have had some really cold nights on the mountain already and that freak October snowstorm that lasted for days before finally melting; but the bears have not gone down. How do I know?


Bears eat garbage. Even though the township I live in got a grant to provide every household in bear alley with 2 screw-top bear cans; people do not use them. There are flyers all over town advising us on “How to Live with Bears”. The first item on the list is Do NOT leave your garbage out. Still, I drive to work on garbage day to find garbage bags ripped open and their contents strewn all over the road. You would think that would only need to happen once, before the light bulb would go on.

OK. The cans are heavy, do not have wheels, and the screw top is a pain. But they are made that way for a reason. Please, use them if you have them. If you did not get one, the local feed store has them for sale.

I cannot start feeding the birds until the bears go to sleep. The bears will not go to sleep as long as there is a steady food source and the weather is moderate. There will be a steady food source as long as people leave out their stinkin’ garbage.

Ok. I am done ranting now. Thank you for letting me vent.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


I have been meaning to show you one of my favorite autumn flowers. Monkshood (Can you see the little hoods?) is a tall sturdy perennial that produces gorgeous purple flowers when most of the garden is done. It does not need staking, thank goodness, because I hate fussing. I have it growing by the driveway so it gets a lot of sun. It prefers a rich, moist soil and unlike other perennials it does not throw seed everywhere. Ok, there is a down side. It is poisonous--so don't eat it.

Also, it was or still is I guess, known as wolfbane. Have you seen the original Wolfman movie? They quote a poem throughout the movie. "Even a man who is pure at heart and says his prayers by night, may become a wolf when the wolf bane blooms and the moon is shining bright." This is the real deal.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Festival of the Trees

Have you been over to visit the Halloween/Samhain/Day of the Dead edition of the Festival of the Trees ? Check it out. There is a lot of interesting reading and great photos of a spooking southern swamp.