December 31, 2007


I'm pretty sure the dogs had a secret party we weren't aware of...the evidence was found on the camera. Wonder which dog took the photo? HAPPY 2008 EVERYONE!

December 21, 2007


I'm missing Europe. There - I said it simply, after trying for quite a while to start this blog in some writerly way. Often, simple is best. It's something I've heard more than once from my European friends and relatives. "You Americans make everything so complicated!" Now, I'm not going to make any sweeping generalizations, I only can speak for my own experience and why I feel I fit in better with the European way of living, on a basic level. There are the more obvious reasons: The attention given to the importance of eating as a social activity, reverence for history and traditions and often efficient ways of dealing with infrastructural challenges. But the smaller things - the ones that catch me off guard or only come to light after I've returned home - these are the things I miss and which make it hard to leave, sometimes. Europeans excel at the art of people-watching and know how to spend time alone, without constant electronic distractions. Sure, they love their cell phones, but they are comfortable sitting at a table by themselves, with a coffee or glass of wine, alone with their thoughts. And they can take their time doing so. No waiter is going to pointedly hand them a check until it is asked for. Ritual is important to them, whether it is the after-dinner schnapps, throwing salt over the shoulder when boiling pasta water, calling home every Sunday - whatever. There are immutable things they cherish and won't reschedule or skip. Walking! They walk, they hike, they move and get outside. We can learn a lot about enjoying life on a more visceral level. Or perhaps, it is relearning that we need to do. Just random thoughts I've had the last days...I wish you the time to do what enriches your spirit, whatever it may be. Cheers!

December 16, 2007


I'm fighting bronchitis right now, but still in a cheery mood. The baking marathon with my Mom was quite successful. In the end, we made 5 kinds of cookies - Heidesand, Gingerbread, Cinnamon-Almond Crescents, Praline Cookies and some called Bakkelser, which are less like a cookie than like Aebelskivers. These are fried and served hot, with powdered sugar sprinkled on top. We also made fudge and two batches of divinity. Whew! There are still a couple things I'd like to make. Once I stop trying to cough up a major organ, I'll see what I can do.

December 4, 2007

December Adventures

Is it possible to be poisoned by adrenaline? First the near rollover on Saturday in the snow (and there's much more wrong with the car than originally thought), now hurricane force winds from Sunday night through Monday that were *&!!~#**% scary!!! NO sleep Sunday night, as the entire night was spent moving from room to room to avoid what trees were most likely to hit the house. Winds were sustained at 70 mph, with 100 mph gusts. Arcing power lines lit up the night. Slept in the living room, as the tree on the right in this photo was aimed right for the bedroom, but it went the opposite way, thank God. Actually, ALL 6 trees fell extremely politely and I appreciate that. The one aimed at the pump house miraculously missed it by a foot, the big one here is precariously leaning on two others and they will have to be brought down. I moved the cars in time to miss another tree falling, which centered itself on the gatepost, somehow missing the house and the gate, and so it's possible to get in and out in the usual way. Two fences are wrecked, but all the animals, the house and we are fine. We got power back tonight (four days ahead of schedule) and therefore, we have water again!!! I can take a bath! YAY! Widespread flooding in our county isn't affecting us. Now, for the big cleanup. Well, the positive notes are that there is plenty of firewood for next winter (again) and all the treefall gives me plenty of material for making wreaths and swags! I put the giant candycanes back up on the entry, rehung the garlands and will continue with Christmas. Storm, accidents or what the hell else be damned! Now somebody give me a piece of divinity and a Christmas hug!


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Aspenglow / Buttered Lips by Gayle Nabrotzky is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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