Friday, December 17, 2010

Second Street Sunset


Photo: 11/13/2010; around 4:00 pm

I've decided that the sunsets are so spectacular at the end of Second Street in our East Norwalk, I'm going to make a very concerted effort to find myself there, at the end of Second Street, once a week to chronicle said sunset.

I might call myself ~The Tombstone Chronicler~, but there are chronicles other than tombstones I love to document as well!


~~~

xoabb

Sky Watch Friday

do join us!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

You Are Discombobulated, Mr. Nosmo!

Paging Mr. Nosmo King.....paging Mr. Nosmo King!


Hmmm...that kind of sums up my week. Discombobulation at its best!

I caught this sign in Grand Central Station in NYC. Couldn't believe a place as grand and used as GCS would have let this sign's "wrongness" go unnoticed. But I'm glad they did, because it made for a great photo giggle!

merry merry!

xoabb
happy holidays to all!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Second Street Sunset


Photo: Taken 11/07/2010

~~~

xoabb

Sky Watch Friday
do join us!


~~~


as a well-loved aside:


Hey there, my most favorite brother, the very happiest of birthdays to you!
You are by far the very BEST brother ever a sister could have!
Thank you for that.
And here's to many many more!
Birthdays, that is...
Love you!

xoxooabbxoxoxoxo

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Signs Signs Everywhere Are Signs!

And who actually reads them?


Makes me smile.


~~~

xoabb

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Serenity


Coming together is a beginning;
Keeping together is progress;
Working together is success.

~ Henry Ford

Perhaps our political parties could...well...
Oh, never mind!

~~~

xoabb
(sigh)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fun with Dora



One day last week, Dora and her entourage hiked through the dog park to pick up Connor-man from his school, which just happens to be on the other side of said park. Before we all walked back to her house, Dora insisted that she and Connor have a good old game of ~chase~. Needless to say this required an ginormous amount of barking on Dora's part - and a lot of laughing on our part. I do believe Connor had bit of fun as well!

And for the one of you who hasn't read this,
do go here. Bet you'll just laugh yourself silly!

~~~

xoabb
Laughter...the very best medicine!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ghost



I am the ghost of times gone by
With reminders of what is true
I am the ghost of storms gone by
Always reaching out for you
I am the ghost of memories past
Can you remember what is true?

~~~

xoabb

Friday, November 12, 2010

Turkey Tree


Last post/photo of my turkeys for while, I promise! I love my little point and shoot camera for just about everything except sometimes at dusk - it just doesn't always capture the beauty or luminosity of the evening sky. It was much more beautiful than that photo shows. BUT, you can easily see the turkeys on standing on their nightly roosts.

It's the weekend - well, almost - have some fun!

~~~

xoabb


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Turkey Run


Every fall around this time, my turkeys return to their sleeping tree. And they sleep there, through any and every kind of weather until it's time to make baby turkeys in the spring. I cannot imagine a more uncomfortable place to get some shut-eye. Then again, I'm not a turkey, so what do I know.
I never get tired of watching them do their running take off and then flumber (that's a cross between fly and lumber) to their tree. Kind of like a big awkward jumbo jet. Don't know if it really shows, but that last turkey managed to crash into a tree limb right after take-off. He still managed to make it to the tree, thank goodness. I would have hated to have had to fish him out of the pond!

~~~

xoabb
just loving the seasonal changes!

It's Veterans Day
Go shake the hands of the men and women
Who have served or are serving our country and
Tell them THANK YOU from the bottom your heart!

And thank you, soldiers, from the bottom of MY heart.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Neighborhood Signs

My Kind of Candidates...



At least they're appropriate for the office they ran for...


And My Kind of Political Signs...
Passé...Crumpled
Only made better if they're in the garbage...
Election day is over, my friends!

And may the elected be very wise ones...(sigh)

xoabb
expect anything!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Sunday Serenity



Shhhhhhh....
I'm sleeping!

~~~

xoabb

Friday, November 05, 2010

Just One More...I Promise! Really, I do!




I promise this is the LAST sunset I'll ever post.
Well...at least until the next week...

~~

And now for some last of the leaves of autumn loveliness

Salt marsh and the last day of beautiful autumnal trees



Golf course bathed in evening light


Through the limbs
Beautiful (but not as much as last year - shh, don't let those leaves know!)


Nature's stained glass window


The changing seasons
There's such beauty to behold
Each and every time

~~~

xoabb
beauty!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Autumn Light & Our Danny Boy


I just am blown away by the gorgeous skies we've had this fall in Connecticut. Can't remember the last time they were this consistently day-by-day beautiful. (I guess that's making up for the leaves not being quite up to last autumn's spectacular glory.)

Every morning I drive to school it's all I can do not to pull over once or twice or three times to take a picture of the wonderful morning light! Of course, I can't pull over because I'm already five minutes late to work...darn! Wish I was a morning person!

~~~

For the first time since we've lived here, no one was home for Trick -or- Treater's. New beginnings I suppose. But there was a good reason.

My hubs and son (George Sr. & George III - aka Bly) spent the weekend in Houston visiting with our Dan Doyle - a young man whose family is close to all of we Blystone's, and is one of Bly's dearest friends. Though most of you don't know his story, it's one that should be shouted from the rooftops because it is so very inspirational. Danny was on vacation in Cancun when he dove into the water, hit a rock and was damaged beyond what any 26 year old young man should be. Since July he has been fighting the good fight to get back to an independent life. TIRR in Houston, far from his Northeast home, but where he's constantly been surrounded by his people, has been his key. That, of course, along with Dan's incredible sense of being the ultimate people-person. Never ever has he met a person he doesn't know and like...and who doesn't like, no love, him back.

George the older and George the younger came back with many wonderful stories of good times they had, inspiring moments, tearful times, and memories that will never be forgotten. I picked up the two Georges from LGA and then, in honor of Danny, we traveled to Don Peppe's in Jamaica, Queens, NY to partake of a meal at his very favorite restaurant in the whole wide world. (One of his friends that had also flown in for the weekend had gone there to get Dan his beloved baked clams and fried peppers just before getting on the plane to fly down.) Must say his favorite baked clams really were the best the three of us have ever had. Dan, when you get back, Don Peppe's is where we're all going! Can't wait!

Amazing and sometimes horrible the curve balls life sends our way. I can't imagine having the where-with-all this young man and his family has had to confront this blow - and that they're turning it into the most on-going positive thing it could possibly be. I'm just so very thankful for every bit of support that has been continually sent their way. And that we're a part of their lives. Oh hell...

o danny boy o danny boy we love you so...

~~~

xoabb

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sunday Serenity


The bottom of 2nd Street,
East Norwalk CT
10/29/10
sooc

Exact same spot this photo was taken.

~~~

xoabb
surrounded by serenity

Friday, October 29, 2010

Path Home



~~~
xoabb
~mmm

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cold (or Tired) Little Bumble Bee

Went by our community garden plot last weekend. I'm embarrassed about how long it's been since I've been there. It was a very disappointing garden year and I just sort of lost enthusiasm for it. Must say, I brought home more tomatoes than I have all year and the carrots are doing splendidly! Popped one out of the ground, brushed the dirt off of it and ate it - delicious! Much tastier than the store variety.

For the life of me, I can't remember what the name of this flower is...anyone know? The flowers were blooming in someone else's plot - and still beautiful tho it's late in the flower year. I thought little bee had passed on because he hadn't moved at all, but when I nudged him, he moved a bit.
I've been complaining about how this autumn isn't nearly as pretty color wise as last year. I may have to eat my words. While out and about yesterday, I came across a few trees that were just spectacular! It seems that last year all the trees and vines were spectacular all at the same time while this year they seem to be turning in waves.

I've prattled on about nothing long enough! It's a gorgeous day here - hope your day is to, though if you live in Indiana, gorgeous is not a word that would apply today!


~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Saved by the MPMama! That flower is none other than a ~cosmo~! Duh!
No more fill-in-the-blank for Miss Annie.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Sunset

Sunset in East Norwalk 10/20/10


Orange sunset sky
Blazing rapture of color
Laced tree silhouettes

~Dorothy Alves Holmes

~

My Sunset

I close my eyes and I can vision my sunset
laid across the water with clouds gently placed on top.

The yellow is so bright that it consumes my thoughts
I fall deeper into the colors of the sun so that I could touch
the orange glow, what a soft feeling, my sunset.

My sunset takes me to another place and time
where there will be no problem to tall to overcome.
This vision is imbedded in my mind
it is like a river running free
a clear thought on a sunny day
and it ends with my sunset and me.

My sunset frees my thoughts from confusion;
it leads me to believe that I am on top of the world,
setting me free to score over the waters of my mind.

My sunset places me in a part of heaven
where the day comes to an end
with the beauty of my sunset.

~Kimbaline Navas

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Sky Watch Friday - do join us!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Perusing the Recipe


Remy (with cell phone at the ready to call her grandmother in case anything goes awry)


My mom told me she had the great pleasure of meeting chef and author, Dorie Greenspan last spring on a cruise she and dad took. Ms. Greenspan was the guest chef/lecturer on the ship and mom found her to be an absolutely delightful, approachable lady. Because of this happy meeting, I am now the proud owner of Ms. Greenspan's new cookbook "Around My French Table". It's a beautiful book - full of gorgeous photos, stories, anecdotes and, of course, recipes that seem elegant and ~very French~, but as my daughter demonstrated tonight, are really quite straight-forward...and...dare I say...easy! The end result? A simply, superbly delicious dish!

Chicken, Apples & Cream a la Normande

After a few delicious bites.
Remy served this over egg noodles with a side of roasted asparagus - oh, and she doubled the sauce ingredients.

We Blystone's love our sauces!


From Ms. Greenspan's cookbook (you can also view the recipe here):

"'Apples and cream often signal that a dish is from Normandy', Dorie Greenspan says in her new cookbook, “Around My French Table”(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010). The west-of-Paris region is known for its apples and for its dairy products, including butter, cream, Camembert and creme fraiche. Pork also works well in this recipe."

Chicken, Apples & Cream á la Normande

Start to finish: 25 minutes

Servings: 4

All-purpose flour, for dredging

Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 Tbsp. unsalted butter

1 Tbsp.olive oil

1 large apple (Rem used a macoun), peeled, cored and cut into 1-inch chunks

1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped

8 mushrooms, stemmed, wiped clean, thinly sliced

1/3 C. chicken broth

2 Tbsp.++ calvados

2/3 C. heavy cream

parsley, fresh and chopped (this is our addition)


egg noodles, cooked according to package directions, tossed with a bit of butter

roasted asparagus (method emailed to you if you want)


In a shallow bowl, mix the flour with some salt and pepper. With a paper towel, pat dry the chicken breasts dry, then dredge them through the flour, coating both sides lightly and shaking off the excess flour.

In a large, deep skillet over medium-high, heat the butter and oil. When the butter melts, add the chicken breasts, in batches if necessary. Cook for 3 minutes, or until browned on the bottom, then turn and cook an additional 3 minutes.

Add the apple, onion and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and stir lightly. Cook for 1 minute.

Add the chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes, until the chicken is nearly cooked through.

Turn the heat to medium-high and add the calvados, boiling until it is almost evaporated (about 1 minute). Add the cream and cook until the cream reduces by a quarter. Season with salt and pepper and add parsley. Stir to combine.

For plating: Spoon egg noodles onto plate. Place chicken breast on top and spoon sauce over all. Place asparagus spears on side of chicken & noodles. Serve and listen to the mmmmmm's....

(and do remember to double that sauce!)


~~~

xoabb

expect good eating at times!




Monday, October 11, 2010

Good Morning!



I've never really liked Nantucket Daisies much as the ones I've planted have grown haphazardly and looked sloppy, kind of flopping all over the place with no rhyme or reason. However, this year I've fallen in love with the Nantuckets that greet me each day as I walk into my school. The bush that's to the side of our walkway is HUGE and just beautiful! Though the flowers still flop over a bit, they give me my little bit of sunshine and good will just before I walk in the doors. I love seeing them each day!

Maybe I bought an inferior plant...

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

and how happy do you think I am that I get today off??!?!?!?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sunday Serenity

The Swing



How do you like to go up in a swing,
Up in the air so blue?
Oh, I do think it the pleasantest thing
Ever a child can do!

Up in the air and over the wall,
Till I can see so wide,
River and trees and cattle and all
Over the countryside--

Till I look down on the garden green,
Down on the roof so brown--
Up in the air I go flying again,
Up in the air and down!

~

~Robert Louis Stevenson

~~~

xoabb


Friday, October 08, 2010

Caught Up...

...in the trivialities of life. That's been me lately...well more than lately, actually for quite a while now. What have I been doing that I've not taken the time to blog/call friends/organize closets/whatEVER? I certainly don't know, do you? Guess I've just been caught up in the black hole of two steps forward and three steps back. Not pretty. Not pretty AT ALL!
However, I'm getting my groove back. I know this because 1. I've been having these unbelievably realistic dreams that could only be a pretense to what the future holds. (HA! That would really help a lot more if I believed in all that stuff!) And 2. I am cleaning out EVERYthing in my house. What I don't use is off to a new purpose, be it trashed/recycled/donated.

Well, that felt good! I have a long long way to go to get to my peaceful place, but perhaps I'm actually making progress for once.

~~~

xoabb

Photo: Saugatuck River 10-07-10, 7:35am

Thursday, October 07, 2010

That Would be a Fail...

Of the Billboard Variety

When I first saw this, my twisted mind took a turn for the worst.

Do you blame me?? All sorts of second guessings going on there.

I don't think I'll tell you what I first thought...

What about your first thought?

(Insert evil laughter! ;-)

~~~

xoabb

expect oddness at times!

Of course my first thought? Virgin mum? Um, a virgin mum just doesn't work!

Sunday, October 03, 2010

A Late Walk...



When I go up through the mowing field,
The headless aftermath,
Smooth-laid like thatch with the heavy dew,
Half closes the garden path.

And when I come to the garden ground,
The whir of sober birds
Up from the tangle of withered weeds
Is sadder than any words

A tree beside the wall stands bare,
But a leaf that lingered brown,
Disturbed, I doubt not, by my thought,
Comes softly rattling down.

I end not far from my going forth
By picking the faded blue
Of the last remaining aster flower
To carry again to you.

~Robert Frost

~~~
xoabb


Saturday, October 02, 2010

Glorious Morning Glories!


I wish I could understand why morning glories do so well one year and then not so much the next. Last year, as you can see, the glories were just gorgeous...this year, nuthin'...


~~~

xoabb

Friday, October 01, 2010

Dee! Lish! Us!


Well, this should be Sky Watch Friday, but it happens to be

Shrimp Watch - Really Good Dinner - Friday

instead!


Ms LaLa told me about her shrimp recipe to-do thingy and I have to tell you that it is one of the very best dishes I've ever made/had! I really must share her dish with you as you'll LOVE it too.

Here's her formula:

1 - 2 pounds shrimp, shelled and deveined;
Arrange those babies in a single layer in some sort of a shallow casserole type of pan.

For the sauce:
Shallots, at least 2, chopped well
Garlic, at least 3 cloves, chopped well
1 stick butter
a scattering of olive oil
a good 1/3 cup or more vermouth (or LaLa's white wine - vermouth is my innovation)
cayenne/red pepper flakes to taste
juice of at least one lemon, more if you're sour minded like me
oops! MPM just pointed out I forgot to include parsley (chopped) in the recipe! I did add it to the above, as you can see, just forgot to put it here

Preheat oven to 400º. Arrange the shrimp in a single layer in a casserole kind of dish. Melt the butter with all the other ingredients in the microwave (or in a pot on the stove if you're so inclined). When all is melted and incorporated, pour over the shrimp. Put in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes. If you like a more browned effect, just broil for a few minutes.

This is most excellent with a side of rice (brown, of course as we're so very health conscious) and a green salad. YUM if I don't say so myself!

~~~

xoabb
expecting to be invited somewhere for dinner SOON!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

HeLLo!!!

Nantucket Daisy...
It's the last breath of summer...
Falling leaves to come...

~~~

xoabb
expect anything!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Dora, LaLa & Me


Last weekend I went on adventure with my friends Dora-Dog & Miss LaLa. Miss LaLa had been telling me about this glorious park across from her abode for months and I was itching to go see it. (Amazing as this is the same park that was next to my kid's [Catholic] elementary school all those years ago...and a place I never had heard about, let alone visited, tho my kids?? They knew all about it.)

See that big leaf and log water-blocking dam? Something definitely
had to be done about that! Obviously to us, those were leaves and water eddies behind them that just had to move on to their ultimate destiny, of course with the help of we two humans! (And what five-year-old kid wouldn't agree with us - yup we happily reverted to childhood:-) ?)



While I had already freed the current in the lower left of the photo, it took a much younger woman than me to take out that large log you can see being maneuvered, above. While I was quite ready to clear paths in the river with my feet planted firmly on the bank, I was not ready to step on river rocks to clear that big log, which really had to go! Not to worry, it was Mama to the rescue! She handily skipped over the rocks, maneuvered that pole (with a lot of direction from me, thank-you-very-much) and got that big log floating downstream. (I do think we two are responsible for a non-stagnant stream!) Hope you noticed Dora-Dog keeping watch on her mom's safety.

Once LaLa was done with her current-freeing job, Miss Dora was free to defend the rest of the river side. She did a very good job! She single-handedly caught every wayward leaf and destroyed it! It truly was quite the sight to see.


The late summer flowers in the park meadow were also just spectaular! And I've never seen so many bumblebees, honeybees & all kinds of birds. Such a wonderous sight! Everything from goldfinches to birds of prey - we think they were hawks.

I've forgotten how good it is to walk in nature.

O what I've missed!

but not again!

~~~

xoabb
~sigh~

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Last Day of Summer...


Glorious fading morning glory from our deck planter, October 2008. One of the last of the '08 season.

Welcome to the last day of summer...(o yes, there's a cliche coming), ~I can't believe how short it was, can you?~ There, that's over!

I had no morning glories to speak of this summer; no more than a bloom here or there. Our growing season was less than ideal, both for flowers and veggies. And if I have another year like this one at our community garden plot, that plot's gonna be 86'ed (86'ed is legit - I looked it up) from my life permanently, thanks almost entirely to the very well fed (read FAT) ground hog wreaking havoc on everything in our plot, though our crazy weather did play a part as well. I do believe our entire harvest consisted of 10 peppers and 7 tomatoes. Very disheartening, especially after last year's success.

I really don't know where I've been for the last months. I've been so very inconsistent with everything blog related. It's like my curiosity has up and gone. Hmmm...but I've begun to read books again - something I haven't done in a long long while. I think I like the curiosity better. Possibly I need to spend some time figuring out how to have both in my life.

Here's to the coming sweater weather! Nothing better than crisp days, fireplace smoke scenting the air and apples - I always think of apples when autumn rolls around. Oh, and pumpkin fields. Gotta borrow a kid to go pumpkin picking!

~~~

xoabb

happy autumn!


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Serenity



The little path that leads to home,
That is the road for me...

excerpted from:
~ Edgar Guest


xoabb
xoxoxo

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sunday Serenity is....

...having Tervis Tumblers returned...

~~~

xoabb
So happy!

P. S. - Miss LaLa (above), back from her recent Tuscan escapades came to see me yesterday and with her she brought six glasses she'd borrowed over the past few months. Two of them were my beloved Tervis Tumblers and two actually belonged to Julie, who you can see taking them. Now if only the other missing eight (at least) of those naughty tumblers would find their way back to their mama...I miss you Jayhawk and pink golf cart and Pippen's Home and Tortuga Grand Cayman and hibiscus and '09 VA blog fest SO MUCH! Get on back home!

Friday, September 10, 2010

MO Sunset





I have the great pleasure of going home to Columbia Missourahhh once or twice a year to spend time with my parents. Columbia also happens to be the town where I grew up and I do not believe there is a better place to spend one's childhood. Not perfection, because nothing is, but pretty damn close!

Another thing I love about my Missourahhh home is the sky. Big sky. Big sky is not something one finds in Lower Fairfield County, Connecticut. Sunsets like these are not to be seen here. Too many trees and hills.

My Connecticut is beautiful...but it's not my Missourahhh.

~~~

xoabb

xoxoxoxox

Sky Watch Friday

do join us!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Sunday Serenity


A long ride home is best finished in a big old easy chair

With a good cigar
(so says the hubs)

~~~
xoabb
expect anything!


Friday, September 03, 2010

A Question of Balance (Oh and SWF!)

(No, this isn't a Moody Blues post, tho maybe someday it will be as I LOVE them)

There's all this professional photography talk about "using flash" or "not using flash", let alone anything else to do with any kind of picture taking. OK, you've completely lost me as I've not a clue about anything other than sometime liking what I see through my camera lens!!
I have my wonderful very simple little camera that fits into my pocket (waterproof you know!) that does next to nothing fancy, but takes really pleasing photos - at least to me. I've read about those folks who never ever use flash - so not real - and then those who think that at times it adds something to the composition of the shot they're taking. I just use my flash willy-nilly. And it works! For me at least...

Below are two shots of the same thing. The one taken with the flash was not intentional - I didn't know the flash setting was on automatic. The second is natural light.

I really don't know which one I like best.
What's your opinion?


~~~~

~~~

xoabb
I love The Moody Blues!

Skywatch Friday!
Do join us!



Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Ahhhhh...Hot Sum!

No, not a new Asian dish...



But what I hope we all have had all summer long!


~

On another note

Our first school ~snow~ day
Caused by that Hurricane Earl?
Yup! Quite possible!

~~~

xoabb
expect endings...then beginnings

Happy happy birthday to one of my very favorite people EVER!
And may you have many many more, AuntieM!
I'm so very fortunate to count you as part of my fambly.
Love, love LOVE you!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Sunday Serenity...on a Monday



Welcome to our newest fambly member!

~Mikey Bear~

~~~

We are conceived

in ecstasy,
born in pain,
grow through childhood
and adolescence
in frustration and indecision,
stumble into maturity,
and grow old
much faster
than we like.

~ Peter J. Steincrohn


Hold on tight mama & papa - time really does fly...much too fast!

~~~

xoabb
expect family goodness!

Above photo was taken by Mikey Bear's grandma, aka my aunt Micki, of my beautiful youngest daughter Brynn Lee holding our newest family member. Mikey Bear does nothing but sleep and then coo and ~smile~ every once in a while. He's a mama's most precious dream-come-true.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Reflection...Tomorrow...



The first day of school
At least for us support staff
Kids? Not till next week!


~~~

xoabb
expecting new beginnings!

Photo of my parents' wonderful Missourahhh pond, August 2010


~~~

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Summer


I'd like to tell you I've been very very busy this summer.
But that's not the truth.
I've just been very very curiously challenged. (sigh)

I hope that changes soon.
Because I don't particularly like being stagnant!

xoabb
blah at times!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

So Long...

That frog's leap kinda says it all for me

Missourahhh...goodbye...

I'm bound once again for my other home...

Connecticut...(I love you too)

xoabb
my favorite place - which one?


P.S. Isn't that a most spectacular photo my brother bbum took???