The Turning of the Year

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The last hours of 2012 are winding down. It is that contemplative point in the year where time seems to slow a bit to allow us the chance to revisit the past year before plunging into the new one. I like the special silence that seems to accompany this moment, the expectant hush between the breath of the current year and the one to come. It gives me a chance to take stock of what steps I want to in the new year, and what worked over the past 12 months.

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I have been able to set aside more time for art and photography.

I have set up a studio so the art isn’t just leaning in stacks at home.

I have taken more chances with my art than I did in 2011.

I have hiked more and hiked new places.

I started a blog.

I shed many unneeded items to streamline my life.

on the flip side

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I have not yet gone beyond baby steps in many things, preferring slow, comfortable progress to potential big payoff chances.

I have not written as much as I would like.

I have not made the best use of my time, but am working on it. (there are just so many books to be read!)

I have not taken a painting or writing class.

So here’s to 2012 and to 2013,

may all of you move consistently along the path you are blazing and keep your creativity flowing!

Happy New Year to all of you!

 

 

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What you get on Christmas

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I got out on Christmas Day for a hike and a walk to enjoy the dusting of snow we got. Maybe not a real white Christmas, but a hint what was to come. There is nothing like a hike to a lovely spot like this to make you feel alive and awed by what is out there just waiting to be seen. By far the best gift to give or get, a moment of total enjoyment spent with my youngest. Today is the first real snow of the season, 6+ inches due to fall, 4 already on the ground. I hope to get out once the shovelling of walks is done, and that the wind will hold off until nightfall! May you all get to enjoy this post Christmas stretch as we slide towards the end of the year!

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas!

Many, many years ago I snapped this photo from my parent’s back porch as I entered the house. It has always felt like Christmas to me. I couldn’t get this image today due to all the tree and shrub growth that has occured in the intervening years. A couple of years ago I saw a book called “A Dog Named Christmas” by Greg Kincaid, and as soon as I saw the cover I knew where the image had been taken. It transported me back instantly to that moment so long ago.

May your Christmas season be one filled with happy memories and the making new memories!

A tree for every size home

Image

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I thought this little clump of trees was a good reminder that there is just the right one for each of us regardless of where we are at this moment. And if we want we can visit them where they live and watch their growth as we watch our own. In these last few days before the solstice and Christmas I wish you all peace and creative flow.

What the living do

What the living do

Johnny, the kitchen sink has been clogged for days, some utensil probably fell down there.
And the Drano won’t work but smells dangerous, and the crusty dishes have piled up

waiting for the plumber I still haven’t called. This is the everyday we spoke of.
It’s winter again: the sky’s a deep, headstrong blue, and the sunlight pours through

the open living-room windows because the heat’s on too high in here and I can’t turn it off.
For weeks now, driving, or dropping a bag of groceries in the street, the bag breaking,

I’ve been thinking: This is what the living do. And yesterday, hurrying along those
wobbly bricks in the Cambridge sidewalk, spilling my coffee down my wrist and sleeve,

I thought it again, and again later, when buying a hairbrush: This is it.
Parking. Slamming the car door shut in the cold. What you called that yearning.

What you finally gave up. We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want
whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss — we want more and more and then more of it.

But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass,
say, the window of the corner video store, and I’m gripped by a cherishing so deep

for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I’m speechless:
I am living. I remember you.

Marie Howe

Tasty weeknight meal

As we head into the colder months I wanted to share a favorite and simple recipe for brasied beef in red wine. It takes no time to make, especially if you chop everything ahead of time. You can make it a Dutch oven or crockpot depending on your schedule. (15 min prep, 15 min precook, the rest in oven or crockpot. In oven heat to 350 and cook for 2hrs checking tenderness and to keep from drying out, add broth as needed)

chop up the amount you want

chopp and let soak for  5 minutes

chop and let soak for 5 minutes

1TB of oil in pan to coat, add cubed sirloin and brown all sides

1TB of oil in pan to coat, add cubed sirloin and brown all sides

remove meat, add in veg cook until softened (5 min)

remove meat, add in veg cook until softened (5 min)

toos in the yukons

toos in the yukons

add 1 cup of broth

add 1 cup of broth

add 1 cup red wine

add 1 cup red wine bring to boil

a pinch of each

a pinch of each

1TB of tomato paste, mix in well

1TB of tomato paste, mix in well

into the crockpot for 2-3 hours on low

into the crockpot for 2-3 hours on low top off with more broth

enjoy!