Monday, October 20, 2008


I'm dealing with the loss. We had a good year, alot of injuries, we had our great moments, and the Rays earned the title, we made 'em fight for it. And just like that, it's over. Another season. My constant companion since March, gone, left town, see ya in March. And I can deal with that. It will be a strange few nights, but my thoughts will turn to trades and looking ahead to the 2009 team. But this. This I cannot even think about. Tek. He is my guy. And he is a free agent. It's a very short clip. It makes me sad...

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Great Pumpkin Pie Bake-off of 2008 Part 1

This is the one thing from my childhood that I will not part with. It's a sifter that has seen better days, for sure!

My mom was a terrible cook. Thank god we were a "meat and potatoes" family, for the most part, and that, combined with frozen veggies and rice, got us by. I never even knew what garlic was until I left home. I know!!!

But the one thing my mom was good at was baking cakes. And a few other desserty things, but it was the cakes that we always did together. There were two things that were my job. The sifting of the dry ingredients, and the coveted batter remains after the cake pan was filled. I know, it doesn't sound like much, but trust me, this was the one thing we managed to connect with , no matter what else. My mom and I, well, on a good day, we were miles apart. But the baking, that was special.

Then there was my gram, my mom's mother. That woman could bake. She got by in the cooking department (she and I would never agree on the definition of "rare" when it came to meat. To gram , it meant "cook the ass off it". But the baking more than made up for that. I was fortunate enough that she always lived within walking distance of our house. And I was also fortunate enough that I could show up there anytime, no need to call ahead, and I could stay as long as I wanted, which was often days that turned into weeks until finally the phone would ring and I was told I ought to go home. (But I thought I already WAS home). And there was always pie at her house. Always. Honestly, I can't ever remember showing up at her house and there not being at least 2 kinds of pie for the choosing. My favorites were apple and pumpkin. Especially in the fall, because the apples were the freshest and the pumpkin was in season.

Fast forward to Fall 2008. We got 2 sugar pumpkins from the CSA. I offered to take them both and transform them into pie and roasted seeds (the first handfull of which I am munching on right now - yum!). Yesterday I roasted the pumpkins in the oven, and made pumpkin puree to use in the pies.

The first pie has been baked. It is the tried and true recipe I have always used, from the back of the One Pie can. Since I was using fresh pumpkin and not canned, I decreased the evaporated milk to 10 oz. It's out of the oven, and still cooling, but the little itty bitty piece I snuck tastes AMAZING!!!

I had some help though. The pie making thing? Yeah, that comes from my gram. And the sifter? I know not where it came from, if it was something handed down to my mom, or something she acquired. What does matter is that for a little while tonight, 3 generations gathered in my kitchen and created some pumpkin goodness. And I wonder - how might all of our lives have been transformed if but for one afternoon the 3 of us had gathered for some serious pie-making way back then? That I will never know. I do know that I have lots of pie-making and pie-savoring moments to treasure of me and my gram. And that is good enough.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the Bake-off tomorrow night!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Balance - we findz it...

After arriving at the place I was at yesterday - end of week, once again burned out and exhausted and irritable - and after neglecting to pry myself away from my work yesterday long enough to go enjoy some of the beautiful day with my doggie, I decided that today was going to be all about him.

After a yummy breakfast at Jewell and the Beanstalk with the beautiful Jericka, I came home, changed my shoes, and me and Rusty headed off for an adventure.

Massabesic Lake is a treasure every city should be lucky enough to have. The water I am drinking right now comes from that lake. Of course I can't find the information on-line now, but I remember reading a couple of years ago about the history of how the city had the forethought to buy up all the land in and around the watershed. As a result, it is a wonderful place to enjoy a beautiful day anytime of the year when you don't feel like driving a great distance. I can get there in 10 minutes or less from my house.

Lot's of people bring their dogs there, so I thought Rusty would like going there. We hadn't been there in a long time, but that is another story.

I like it when my mom brings me places. There is so much to sniff here!! I really hope I make alot of friends today.
What was that? You hear it? Maybe it was a deer!

We came to a clearing and found this amazing uprooted tree...

I've never seen ducks here! (maybe 'cuz no one feeds 'em? public water supply and all that...)

No clue what this means, but I thought it was cool!!

We walked way farther than we ever have before. We crossed Rt. 121 in Auburn and came upon this trail.

At this point I put the camera away for a while, as we were leaving the lake. I know there are other trails that go around the lake, but we will save them for another day. We walked for probably a good half hour before we turned around.

I was thirsty, and very happy when we came back to this little stream. My mom let me go in and it felt really good.

This was the view downstream from Rusty's drink.

I have lived in New England my whole life. Believe it or not, I have never taken foliage pictures. This the first fall EVER, in my whole LIFE that I have loved - yes, that's right - LOVED fall. That little sunlamp thing has made a huge difference in me. Even my brother says he can't believe the difference. Seriously, it's as though I am experiencing fall for the first time in my life and it just takes my breath away. I am grateful.

At long last - friends!!

What a great fall day. We just got wrapped up in beauty for a couple of hours. I even left the phone in the car!

Friday, October 10, 2008

and the greatest of these is love...

The balance thing. I'm not quite there yet. I'm better. But, here it is Friday night and I am wiped. Too pooped to, once again, go to knitting. I'll get there. I need to learn to let the workload slide a bit. I'll get there.

So tonight I did go out to go to the grocery store. And, since I was glued to my chair working all day and didn't even take a time out for some Rusty fun, I decided to take him "shopping" too. First we went for his after dinner walk. I stopped to talk to my friend Scott, hadn't seen him in a while, and he hasn't been having an easy time of it. So Rusty played with their dogs and we had a nice chat. Came home and we piled in the car and went off to Rusty's favorite store, Pawsitive Pet Nutrition on Candia Rd. I didn't need anything, just felt like visiting my friend Gail who owns the business and spoils Rusty rotten. Had a nice visit with her. Left and realized I did not have the wallet with me, so had to come all the way home, then back out to the store.

I overheard something in the store tonight. Maybe it was just being so damn tired that made me have to really fight not to cry. Or maybe it is just the general energy on the planet right now making me more sensitive. Anyway...this group of people were talking in the grocery store. They were standing in a kind of in the way place - right where the meat counter starts - but people still managed to get by. Anyway, there was an older man in a wheel chair, a woman pushing the wheel chair, and another older woman talking to them. I heard woman #1 explaining that "he has dementia now and is in the wheelchair all the time.". I assumed she was his caretaker and just went on my way. You know, in that almost semi-conscious way we have of taking in a snippet around us, assigning it a story, and moving on. I made my way up and down the aisles and they were still there talking. And then I over heard woman #1 say "what else am I gonna do, he's my husband and I love him." And those words followed me around for quite a while. They just touched on something deep in my heart. Perhaps it was the heartfelt sincerity they were spoken with. Perhaps it was the look in his eyes when I walked by them again and smiled. I hope he is aware of how loved he is. And I'm also glad to know that in this upside down world I live in, that they have each other.
I think I must be pmsing.
Another hour til baseball. And it's the weekend. Boy, do I need the weekend. Breakfast with a dear friend tomorrow, drinks with another Sunday night, and in between lots of fresh air, Rusty and Zuni time, and exercise!!!