Tuesday, December 10, 2013

2nd Cookie - Pebbernodder

Okay - so it doesn't look like much now, but this is just the dough that I mixed up last night.

This is 2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
5 cups flour
4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
4 teaspoons ground cardamon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

I really like these with a nice cup of tea.  Crisp. Spicy.  Little gnocchi puffs of cookie!

I'll bake these off tonight and mix the next batch up - and no, I haven't decided what.  Probably snickerdoodles.

Oh!  And just an FYI.  I don't know where the recipes came from.  My mother taught me them when I was very young and I wrote them out on recipe cards - so I don't have the original sources to credit.  So if you know that and would like me to add that to the post - just drop me a comment or email.

Also - since most of the cookies take a day or so to finish, I'll edit the original recipe post to add the finished photo once they're done.

Yay cookie time!

Monday, December 9, 2013

First Cookie - Rum Balls

So tonight I start baking for the holiday.  Usually my DH and I gift cookies - and it has to start somewhere.  What better place to start than with rum balls?  They have to age a little bit to mellow the rum - then they turn practically into a cordial - crisp sugar outside, chocolate walnut inside and a rum center.  Personally, I'm not a fan, but he says they're good - so I will make them.

2 boxes Nilla wafers - crushed
2 cups chopped walnuts
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
2/3 cup dark rum
2/3 cup corn syrup

Crush the wafers, add the cocoa and walnuts.  Mix it up to get it all incorporated.  Start adding the rum and syrup - a couple tablespoons of each at a time.  Depending on the humidity you may use it all or not.

Roll into balls and coat with colored sugar.  Place in airtight container and let them sit for at least 3 days if not longer.


To Be or Not to Be

Alright - so just how often do you get to start off with Shakespeare!?

So it's been awhile, but I had to take care of some things and make a decision about whether or not to continue my blog.  I ran for office, and got elected.  So I thought perhaps I should not blog.  But after giving it a lot of thought - and realizing that I actually do refer to this blog for photos, recipes, etc. - and hearing from my family about how they actually were reading the darn thing.  I decided to keep it going.

Especially since Christmas is coming and I have cookie baking to do!

So there it is.

If you're looking for political talk or anything like that, please go to my facebook page (facebook.com\councilwomanhitselberger).

If you're looking for baking, knitting, dogginess, commuting, traffic, architecture, nature - you're in the right place!

So there you have it.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Sharon a Rose

Usually I find public plantings boring and dull. But at my train station a few years ago they planted several Rose of Sharon bushes which are doing quite nicely. 

They've been in bloom for over a month now and are only just starting to slow a bit. As we start autumn, it is so nice to see these blossoms in the darkness of the morning.

They remind me that summer is only a few months (and few snow storms) away. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Spider Party

Last night I think the spiders at the train station must have had a party because this morning there were more webs up then I have ever seen before. Was it the full moon?  The chilly temps causing them to cast their webs for fewer bugs? Or a big spidery get-together?

I'd like to imagine that one of their spider friends caught a ride up on the train from the city, so they all hung out all night and someone proposed a web spin-off, resulting in this artful display. 

Okay, maybe not, but it looked pretty spectacular glistening with the morning dew. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Floating Frost

Autumn is only a few days away but the frost came early to the train station. When this icy mist hit the train, it froze on the surface of the windows and cars, crackling into icy patterns, then melting. 

Last year by this time we had already gotten a frost at our bucolic manor, but so far this year I've only seen its' icy grip in the shadow of the mountains where the station is. 

Part of me is looking forward to the cool season ahead. The other part of me is dreading the work that comes with it. 

Maybe that's why there are so many holidays in autumn. It keeps your mind off of the chores. 

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Manhattan Skyline

Sometimes people say to me that working in the city with all that concrete must be hard to look at all day. Given that most New Yorkers never look up, I'd agree. 

But I have a tendency to look up. There's more to see then just buildings. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013


It's probably because I'm back to living in darkness. Dark when I get up. Dark when I get home. That's probably why I've been enjoying watching the shadows, sitting in the sun, feeling the warmth on my face. 

Goodness knows that I avoid being in the sun most of the time. I'm one of those fair skin, burns easily types. So when I'm put gardening or walking our pup, I'm usually covered from head to toe. 

But these past few days when I feel the light slipping away and the shadows and darkness start growing stronger - I just want to grab on and make it last as long as possible. 

Never gonna happen. But you can't blame a girl for trying!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Morning Falling

This morning on my way through the Great Swamp I realized 2 things:

1 - I totally took August off from the blog. 
2 - Fall is coming sooner than expected. 

Well, not actually sooner because you can't change the rotation of the planet, but sooner as in I am so not prepared for winter yet!

So I suppose I should make some type of plan for the house, knitting projects, canning, cookie baking (my sister is always ahead of me on that!), my job(s), charities, the blog. 

Yep. A Plan. 


1.  Make a plan. 

Alright then. Good start 

Friday, August 9, 2013


I was cropping a photo for Instagram with every intention of showing off the brickwork on this building. 

But my finger slipped and I saw this. Looks just like my backyard. 

Except that I'm in the middle of Harlem on a raised train platform a couple of stories high. 

I had to share. 

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ups and Downs

Most mornings I am starting to doze off by the time the train goes through this section of the great swamp. But since I had a lot of work to do, a definite downer, I was still awake when we got here. 

It is one of my favorite spaces in the great swamp. The blue herons have started a 2nd colony here. It's still small. Only 4 nests even though they've been at it for about 7 years now. A few years back we had a big storm that knocked the nests down, but the herons were undaunted and put them back up. 

In the winter, the water freezes over into little ice islands. One winter a fox was trying to cross, each step he took broke through the ice so he started running faster as he crossed, skipping across the ice staying just one paw ahead of a good soaking. 

In the summer on a hot still day you can look into the water and see the fish slowly making their way up or down in the currents. 

Don't let the surface stillness fool you or the apparent shallowness of the water. It's a good strong current and beneath the 1-2 feet of water is a 7 foot deep muckish mass that will suck you down in a heartbeat. 

On this morning, my train got stopped by a signal problem so we sat here in my favorite spot for awhile. On the one hand, I knew I would be late for work. On the other, I was happy to be able to sit and enjoy. 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Square-inch Gardening

My DH and I were shopping and noticed this flower border in front of the store. Having no room for planters and no soil other than the dirt between the building and the blacktopped parking lot, this store owner decided to take advantage of that tiny gap and planted marigolds. 

It makes for a pretty display, little espaliered marigolds against the foundation stonework. Such a nice pop of color. 

A cute touch of color in an otherwise drab parking lot. 

Thursday, June 27, 2013


I am really unsure of how this happened. The taxi was not hit by another car. There was no ding on the car. No dent in the fender. 

But there you have it. 

I guess this is what happens when you want to go one way, but you fender says No!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sunrises Softly

For 2 more days I will enjoy the sun. 2 more days will bring the most light for the year. 2 more days of hope. 

Then the darkness will return. Creeping slowly at first, then faster and faster - aided by the clouds and rains of fall. 

But today I still have 2 more days of light and I plan to enjoy them. Tonight when I get home, I'm taking our pup for a nice walk. 

I love the long days of summer. Even though they're so short!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Skiffing out early

So I just figured out how to put a picture in the middle of the text on the iPhone version of this blogger software - very exciting, but not the main topic. 

The main topic - I got to get out of work early and travel on the Hudson train. Lovely views of the river and man memories of good times with friends on the boat. 

It's been a few years since we've been out on the water, but every time I see a sail out on the river, I get that itch to head out. 

There's really not much better than taking the day and just enjoying the currents, fishing a bit and then navigating back to shore. Of course we have our tales of getting stuck with only the emergency oars to bring us home, being swamped by a tanker, and how I only seem to ever catch starfish, but still I feel calmer just thinking about being on the water. 

It's my personal zen moment. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Cross in the Woods

My baby sister works at a place called Cross in the Woods. Its a national shrine and she's the music director there. It's a place of quiet reflection and beauty. Mostly filled with a lot of silence. 

Needless to say, my cross in the woods is neither silent nor reflective. It's filled with the blaring horn of the train, flashing lights, clanking metal wheels, steel rails and blacktop. 

This morning when I saw the crossing, however, it seemed more of a guardian of safety rather than a harbinger of noise.  And something linked the 2 crosses together. 

I wonder if the MTA is looking for a music director?

What Dreams May Come

So the movie is really sad, but the saturated colors are fantastic. That's what I thought of when I saw my historic Siberian irises in full bloom.

They're actually a rich purple when you see them in person, but for some odd reason they always photograph this beautiful blue.

Anyway you look at them, they are gorgeous! Yet fleeting. They'll be gone by the end of the week.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Potting Up

Finally, finally, finally my DH and I had the whole afternoon to dedicate to our gardens.

Naturally it rained cats and dogs! But that didn't stop us. We set up a little workspace on the front porch and potted up a few hundred hostas, lilies, hemerocallis and peonies. We knew they would have preferred to be planted, but the torrential downpour was not going to let that happen.

It was just nice to spend time at home, our pup at our feet, and play with plants.

Yarn Bomb!

Sometimes what starts out as the most innocent of things turns into something quite bizarre.

Case in point. All I wanted was to hang out with some other folks and get some knitting and spinning done. Now there are a lot of groups in my area who knit and spin on a weekly or monthly basis, but none of those groups meet at night or on the weekend and also none are less than 1/2 hour drive from our bucolic manor.

Now I know that some of the folks who go to those meet-ups live in my area, so we got together and started our own knit and spin. That's all it was supposed to be. But by now you may have realized how things turn out in my life - even if I haven't!

The first one was nice, everyone brought their spindles and projects and a good time was had by all. I brought my latest pair of socks and some lovely Shetland pink lemonade roving I am spinning up for a scarf (shawl, if you're a knitting person).

Anywho, when they saw my sock technique, they asked me to give a lecture the next month. Two at a time toe up magic loop socks. ( that's where you knit 2 socks on one circular needle from the toe going up to the cuff.) so of course I said okay. I'm all about sharing the knowledge. So I gave the lecture last month.

Well, we got into a conversation about public yarn sculptures, or "yarn bombings". More of a graffiti things where you're supposed to transform an everyday object using yarn - like wrapping a bike in yards of fiber so it looks like a pair of 1970s socks, or knitting a giant hat for a bus shelter.

So long story short, we decided to do a yarn bomb at town hall. And I would research it and do a workshop for next month. So I did.

I went on the web and found out all about yarn bombings. Looked up ways to make the sculptures. Found the most durable fibers. Figured out how to attach the yarn to fixed objects without ruining them. The whole nine yards.

Then I put together a presentation, created and printed up workbook and drew up a few different plans for ones we could do quickly in our little group. Then finally, I crocheted some structural pieces to use in any one of the projects, figuring out a pattern and doing the math and geometry that needs to be done when you are covering a 3D object in yarn.

You know, in my free time - because I have so much of it!

So I sent out the reminders for the knit and spin and got about 15 confirmed RSVPs.

This past Saturday we had our knit and spin, I was so prepared and excited to give my little workshop. I showed up early, got the. space all set up, then sat down and got some knitting done while I waited for folks to show up. After all, they rsvp'd.

So no one showed up. Not only that, but they didn't even email to say they weren't showing up.

Nice, right?

Initially I was pretty miffed. I spent a lot of time putting together this information and spent money getting the materials printed, and that was apparently a total waste. And I didn't even want to do the thing in the first place. I just wanted to knit and spin close to home one weekend a month.

But then I got over it. After all, no use crying over spilt milk, right?

So I made a little flower yarn bomb and put it on one of the driveway signs in front of town hall. It was a lot of fun!

So far it's stood up pretty well to the rain. And not too bad for my first attempt at public fiber sculpture if I do say so myself!

Next month I think I'll try my hand at dyeing. Just a small workshop - nothing too complex.

How hard can it be?

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

In Memorial

Yesterday was Memorial Day, so as we do every year, my DH and I made our way over to the services to remember the veterans who died fighting for our county.

I've always found this a hard holiday. I certainly don't see it as a celebration. I view it as a day of mourning. Many of my family have served in the military. Many are serving now.

On Memorial Day I think about my family and my neighbors families and all that we have lost. Not a happy occasion.

But a good time to reflect and remember.

Friday, May 24, 2013


9 times out of 10 I can find the "good" out of my day. From a latte to our pup, there's always something that makes that silver lining.

Today was the 10th day. I was reminded today of everything that is horrible and awful about living in the city, the worst of commuting and the abject evil that is within some people.

I'm not sure what tomorrow will bring. But hopefully since I've spent today living "the 10th day", tomorrow will be one of the nine!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

This weekend our local farm team faced off against the neighboring town in a battle for glory on the diamond. Well, not really. It was a nice friendly game.

It was special because for the first time they had a real scoreboard that lights up! The money was raised by the volunteer fire department in a baseball tournament honoring one of our town's long time baseball fan/umpire/cheerleader/all round good guy.

Even though it was lightly raining, a good sized crowd showed up for the dedication ceremony and stayed for the game that followed.

The admission was free, the hotdogs were delicious and a good time was had all around.

This is one of the things I love about living in our bucolic manor. Watching a ball game on a beautiful afternoon and chatting with friends and neighbors.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


When I look at things in the city it can be overwhelmingly homogenous. Everything blends together. It's almost too much to take it all in at once.

But each little piece of it is done with artisanship and care. Someone took the time to design it, to build it, to make it last for years with heavy wear and tear.

When I look at the small pieces it really has a beauty to it that for the most part seems to go unnoticed.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Even with so much going on in my life these days, I still find the time to wait. Wait for the train, the bus, the bathroom sink. There seems to be an abundance of time built into every day just for waiting.

I suppose that someone somewhere has figured out how to use all of these little minutes effectively. Adding them up until they amount to something worthwhile.

Me, I'm enjoying the waiting for now. It's my peaceful moment stolen from the rest of a busy day. A chance just to notice something not on the schedule.

Right now I can use a little waiting.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

New and Old

I'm finally getting a chance to get out into the gardens and do some cleaning up, pruning and weeding.

Part of me is loving being outside and seeing such immediate results from the work, but the other part of me is screaming NOOOO!!!

Again this year I am faced with the realization that I love gardens, but could really do without the whole gardening thing.


Okay, time to get over that and get some more weeding done.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

In the News

One of the great things about this blog and having done the "post a day" for a year was that it really gave me a chance to practice my writing skills. Not that I couldn't write if I had to, just that it would take me a long time to write anything.

And then edit it.

And rewrite.

And edit some more.

So having finished the year of posts, I have a lot more confidence in my ability to kick out an article for the newspaper

And that's just what I did.

It's not my first one, its actually my third! But I felt good about how it sounded and I was able to just sit down, focus, and write it up. This one is in the garden club lectures. The others were about a yarn crawl and training dogs. I know you probably don't think they're related, but in a way they are. Dogs need training to stay out of the garden and what better way to train a herding dog than with sheep from which wool comes. See! It all fits together. Sort of.

Well it's a happy day at any rate because my article made it into the paper. Not the front page - more like page 8 - and I think that's very cool!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Light & Shadow

Sometimes my day is all about contrast. The obvious one is country vs city. Flowers you can pick vs flowers you can't. Grass you can walk on vs grass you can't touch. People who drink from coffee cups vs those who use them for a wallet.

Sometimes I spend a lot of time thinking about these differences and the depth of each situation. Who decided that those flowers needed a fence around them? Why would you let someone walk on your lawn especially in spring when you could really do some damage? What is so different between the man drinking from the coffee cup and the man holding it out?

Sometimes it's not so clear. I look at one thing and see another. Like this fire escape. I could have sworn it had a little angled side. I had to look again before I realized it was just a matter of light & shadow.

Go figure.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Morning Glory

This morning was hurried and rushed. The alarm went off late. Our pup needed extra TLC. Where did I put my shoes!? The lid to my coffee cup was purposely hiding in the rear of the cupboard. My coat sleeve was that awkward inside-out and got stuck.

Oh, and did I mention the truck had to go into the shop?

So by the time I managed to get out the door, I was already frazzled. I tossed the keys in the truck, got my bag stuck in the door and tripped over a hellebore as I made my way out to the street to meet my ride.

Then I turned and glanced at our chionodoxa.


It was going to be alright.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Fall's Labor Blooms

Last November my DH and I spent hours and hours planting bulbs for the town streets and planters and parks. Hours.

It was hard and dirty work. It was cold. It went on and on and there was no respite from it.

I was not a happy camper. At all.

But yesterday when we were walking our pup, I saw that all of out labor had paid off. There were blooms popping up everywhere we looked. It was so pretty.

And mostly it was so nice to see something pay off. Now everyone can enjoy the flowers.

The best part? They spread. We don't have to do it again!!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Morning Spin

Ever since I saw my cousin's spinning wheel when a was a wee girl, I wanted to try it out.

Naturally, I wasn't allowed to touch it. I could break it or get some gooey sticky slime on it that all wee children seem to exude from their hands.

So I didn't touch it. But I watched. I watched her spin. I watched the ladies at the country fairs spin. I watched the actors pretend to spin in the movies. Still, never spinning.

Then I saw a mitten with some unspun yarn laced through it - thrumming. I had to make a pair, of course. Which left me with some lovely unspun yarn - roving. What's a girl to do? I went to Rhinebeck and got a quick lesson on a drop spindle then picked up a beginner spindle for myself.

It was fun! And I made yarn and then knit it up into mittens.

I could pick any color and any texture I wanted and get just what I wanted. As long as it was bulky and soft, my spindle would spin it up.

But then, I went on a yarn crawl and found some ever so pretty pink lemonade Shetland wool. If I spun it thick, it would be cotton candy - but I knew it was pink lemonade. But my spindle wouldn't spin it thin and lacey.

So what's a girl to do?

I made a lightweight little sparkly lace spindle. So pretty!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Monday's View

I realized this morning that I have been terribly negligent in posting in a timely manner. Also that if I keep being so neglectful, the whole year could slip by without notice - as if I did nothing even though my days have been chock full of 101 things to do and see and go.

So even though its just a Monday bus ride, I thought I'd start the week off with a little post!

Here's to a good week filled with paperwork and taxes. Yay!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Snow signals

One of the best things about spring time snow is that there is usually enough light outside for you to be able to see it snow.

The second best thing about spring time snow is that if you get to see it in the morning there is usually a lovely pink sunrise peeping through it which turns the whole sky into a painting.

The third best thing about spring time snow - and maybe I should have put this first - is that by tomorrow or the next day at the latest it will all have melted. No shoveling required.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

New Socks

I think that new socks are just the cutest thing. They're so tiny at first. And the pattern of the yarn color is still a surprise. You never k ow which shade will come next. What color will end up next to each other.

They're just adorable. Teeny tiny little stitches lined up in rows. All nice and neat and pretty.

New socks are a wonderful thing.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


Something about a new year makes me think back over not just the past year but my entire remembered life as well. So much introspection can be - well - boring.

Maybe it's the way the sun is still out when I leave the city and head home. Perhaps it's the sight of chionodoxa leaves peeking out from beneath the last of the winter mulch.

Whatever it is, it seems to be screaming DO SOMETHING NEW!!!

Fortunately I have just the thing. New yarn.

Okay, still boring, but I'm well past my purple hair phase and.not quite up for my skydiving phase yet. So yarn will just have to do.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Spring is Coming

This morning I saw crows at the train station. Normally I wouldn't give a hoot about crows, but these are the first crows of the year.

When I was in 3rd grade, my history teacher told me that the Indians believed that the crow was the god for spring. If they wanted spring to come faster they would leave corn out for the crows to encourage warmer weather. I'm not sure just how accurate that information was.

A few years back I read an article that said that crows come when the ground is soft enough for them to get earthworms. Our gardens are definitely soggy and the worms are coming up.

So this morning even though it was a brisk really frigid cold cold cold morning, when I saw the crow I got a little bit warmer inside.

Just a few more weeks till the gardening chores begin!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fresh wool

There's something wonderful about a fresh new batch of wool. Each type of fiber has its own crimp, length, sheen. How will it work for me and my spindle?

Can I get it superfine or will it be chunky. How long will the finished single ply of yarn be? What will I be able to make out of it?

Sure, I have some idea of what I want. I want a hat with some cables on it.

But as the song says, you can't always get what you want.

Curiosity, excitement and still incredulity that this even turns into yarn are all ahead of me.

Sometimes having a cold is a good thing. And the lollipop isn't a bad thing either!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Spring Socks

Well I finally finished my toe up spring socks. They were so much easier than the cuff down socks. I only had to knit them 1 1/2 times!

They are so perfectly fitting. I am astonished at just how good properly fitted socks feel on my feet. I highly recommend them.

Now I'm off to walk around. I'm not going anywhere in particular. I just love my new socks.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Snow snow snow snow

It's wonderful to have the day off and be inside enjoying a snowfall. And today I got to do just that!

My DH took care of all of the details so the only thing I had to do was make a nice hot dinner (borek), knit as much as I wanted (socks) and look out the window at the snow.

It's so much prettier when you don't have to shovel it!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pink and blue

The bridge was washed in pink tonight even though the sky was blue. It's that time of year when the sun sets at just the right time to make everything pink.

I think it has something to do with Valentine's Day.

So do you think that if Valentine's Day was in the fall, the official colors would be yellow, red and gold?

Hey, it could happen.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chain Row Counters

I realized that I must have an inability to count to 6.

I try counting. I double check my count, but every time I look at my cables, I think they're either too long or too short.

So last night I decided to make a chain row counter.

Then I made 2.

I can't decide which one I like better, the leaf or the heart. The leaf is so frilly and lacey. The heart is simple, clean and sweet.

I think today I'll use the heart one. It should look pretty against the pink sock yarn.

Besides, it's a little early "salute" to Valentine's Day, don't you think?

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dropped Stitch

After all of my blather. After all of the reknitting. After all of that, this morning I found a dropped stitch.

25 rows ago. A dropped stitch.

I am now faced with 4 options. I can rip it out back to the dropped stitch. I can get a tiny crochet hook and fix it. I can sew it to the stitch next to it and forget about it.

Or I can burn them. Pour gas on them and light a match to them.

I'm leaning towards number 4.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Such a Heel

My goal this year was/is to post exclusively from my mobile devices - whatever I had on hand at the time - phone, tablet.  Just not on the computer.  But since I keep on forgetting to charge my mobile devices, I think that tonight I'll make an exception - otherwise it will be days and days before I post.

My DH & I watched the Superbowl yesterday and my super plan was to get the heels turned on my pink socks.  I had one done, so I just wanted to get the other one done so I could move forward to the ankle and cuffs while I was commuting this week.  Best laid plans, though...

I thought I did a great job on the heel - it looked like a heel, but when I looked at it again this morning, I found out that it really wasn't a heel at all - it was more of a pocket.  A pocket with a missing side.

So I ripped it out and did it again.

I figure that's not too bad considering that the last time I knit a pair of socks it was actually 5 times knitting for 1 pair of socks.  This time it's only been 1 1/2 times knitting a pair of socks.  Now that I'm on to the ankle and cuff, I feel pretty confident that I'll actually just zip on through without having to rip the whole thing out again.

I've even been eyeing my next ball of sock yarn and contemplating what they'll look like.  I guess I just like tempting the fates!

Other things going on...there's a yarn crawl coming up.  I'm helping with the advertising for it - sending announcements out to newspapers and such.  It looks like fun, but I don't think that our truck would be able to make the journey.  So while I'm enjoying helping out - I find it really ironic that I probably won't get to go!  More savings for Rhinebeck!

I haven't finished spinning up my little bit of wool that I got at Rhinebeck this past year.  I keep plugging away at it on the little slicker brushes that I got, so about 1/10th of a 1/10th of an ounce at a time.  My DH says it looks like I'm picking out each individual fiber and brushing it.  That's pretty accurate.  But it was supposed to take a long time to do, so I guess it is fulfilling its purpose.

Oh, I made the steak sandwich for the game, but just did veggies and dip.  No brownies, no nachos.  Very basic.  It was wonderful.  We both enjoyed the sandwich - a lot! Our little pup even had a piece of steak.  She was very well behaved for the entire evening after that - until the last bite of sandwich was eaten, then it was back to normal.

I'm actually on a quest for a better brownie recipe made with cocoa instead of chocolate.  Last week I tried the one that I used to make when I was just learning how to bake.  It was horrid!  Cakey, dry, not much chocolate flavor.  Today I whipped up the Joy of Cooking brownie.  We'll see how it rates tomorrow.

To go along with the brownie, I'm testing frosting recipes.  Actually it was the frosting testing that spurred on the brownie testing.  My friend, D-, makes a fantastic frosting.  He says it's so simple and gave me the recipe.  I tried it last week.  If I had stuck to his directions, I would have been glueing sand to the top of the brownies.  I added extra water to get it to come together.  I think he left something out.  So I'm on a quest for that as well - a terrific mocha buttercream recipe.  I made some modifications and have a new one to go with this week's brownies.  DH thinks it's pretty good.  I thought the initial texture and flavor were okay.  We'll see how it holds up.

See? This is why I'm on the mobile platform.  All this blathering on and no pictures.  So dull.

But I'll continue a bit anyway.  I got the town to let us use the town hall for a gardening lecture series.  I'm giving the first one on winter gardening.  I'm the first to admit that I am not the best gardener in the world, but I do know some great gardeners.  My DH is already nervous for me!  He thinks I need to prep and practice.  I mentioned that I might just show up in my gardening togs - dirty jeans and a t-shirt.  I thought he was going to have a stroke right there on the spot.

One way or another it's happening 2 weeks from now.  Maybe if I don't advertise it?

Just a thought...

Friday, January 25, 2013

It's Back!

Finally Project Runway season 11 has started. My girlfriend L- hosted a premiere party and we had a blast both in person at the party and other guests Skyping in.

Of course she is the hostess extraordinaire with fantastic veggies, fruits, nuts, dips, and the best veggie spring rolls I've ever tasted. Delish.

But it was all about the first challenge. We chose sides, picked a doll and went "shopping at Mood" (grabbed the construction paper, scissors and tape). It was a hard fought battle, but in the end, my team dress won.

I was inspired by the way the light reflects off of the Hudson at sunset. A myriad of colors reflect in the blue waters like precious gems.

You can see it all clearly in my evening gown with its' skillful use of the Lord and Taylor glow in the dark accessories as well as the L'oreal hair salon twist tie avant garde hairstyle.

What a hoot!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Blaa Day

My DH and I were watching one of those international cooking shows. The ones where you could make absolutely the best food ever if you would only travel to their country - where of course you would stay at this wonderful B&B where they would take care of your every whim, and then you would cook with the 6-star chef in his accurately restored historic kitchen and serve delightful food on dishes that were national heirlooms.

Anyway. So we were watching a cooking show. And they made poached eggs on blaa. Which sounded pretty funny to us. You know - blaa.

So Sunday morning, my DH calls me down for breakfast (I know, right?) and he has made blaa. It was delicious!

Nothing blah about it at all.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Morning Cupcakes

Last night I was going to bake cupcakes to feed the volunteers at today's event. But I slept instead.

It was lovely.

So this morning I got up early and baked cupcakes.

They are lovely.

(What can I say? It's Saturday. They are cupcakes. It's a win win scenario.)

Friday, January 11, 2013


I spend most of my day either sitting for a long time or walking for a long ways. There's no middle ground.

So today I was reading an article about how it is important to take a day of change every week. Like how we used to all take Sunday as a day of rest, but culturally that just doesn't work for everyone anymore. And besides that, the literal translation of "Sabbath" is "rest" so the commandment isn't necessarily about church going.


The point was that if you are sedentary all week, take a day and move around. Or if you move around all week, take a day and be still. This could be physical stillness or mental stillness. It depends on your life.

It should just be a day of change.

So after thinking about it for almost 10 seconds, I realized that I sit or walk most of the week. So for my day of change, I think I'm going to have to stand around.

Bizarre. Maybe I should devote more than 10 seconds to the concept?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Iron Lace

I'm really sure I've talked about this before. Not just because I kind of remember doing so, more because I just must have. But if I did (or didn't) it's worth revisiting.

I just can't help but love all of the ironwork in the city. From a distance it's light airy and blends into the architecture. But when you get up close, you see how substantial and in some cases how foreboding it is.

This section of railing separates the sidewalk from the walkway leading below a building. They could have gone all brick - or (ugh) wall topped with barbed wire. But instead the chose this elegant ironwork which looks like filigree lace from a distance.

Love that.

So medieval in concept. Could you imagine carrying a spear around? But so graceful in execution. Maybe that's the wrong word here! I love that they took the time to design it, but more so that they take the time to maintain it.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Black and White Day

No, I'm not talking about those really good cookies. Today was just all greyed out. No color. No sunshine.

On days like this I feel I have to go out of my way to be extra cheerful and nice because if I don't, the weather will turn it into a miserable day. I don't think that grey days should be miserable at all. They should be soft days. Very calm. Very "tea and biscuits" kind of days.

Of course the skyline across the river always looks flat. A children's pop-up book for kids who are really into architecture.

Not too hopeful. But not hopeless either.

A neutral kind of moment.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Returning Light

One of the hardest things about commuting from country to city each day is living in darkness for about 8 months out of the year. I leave for work in the dark and come home in the dark.

This is why I love the weekend! Well, that and the usual reasons for loving the weekend.

But today I noticed then beginning of lightness as I was boarding the train on my way home. I could see a little blue in the sky. There was definitely a bit of light remaining.

It wasn't much, but I'll take it! It's the start of what will eventually be Spring.