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Blessed

October 4, 2016
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At a funeral mass today, I went up during communion, arms crossed, unsure what to expect. I’ve been to Catholic churches where, as a non-Catholic, I was unwelcome. The usual experience is a reluctant pat on the head and an unintelligible  muttering about the blessing of Christ.   Today, the deacon palmed the entire top of my head firmly and declared my blessing. And looked me right in the eye when he was done. Amen and amen, people. That’s how you do church. 

Cyclical

October 3, 2016
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True to form, September was busy with new school year beginnings at home and fiscal year-end busyness at work. October arrived and routines magically fell into place. I do love October. Is it the same for every household with students or teachers? When is the magic month where the hard tasks become easier? What wonderful things will arrive this October?

Making

October 2, 2016

I finished the Hello Fall – Manor House quilt top last week. 

Its sister quilt, in Posy Garden, is a Block of the Month from The Clever Quilt Shoppe. Month four of six is shipping soon so there’s still a ways to go on that one.

While I’m waiting on more Posy Garden fabric, I am making progress on Lady Bug’s owl quilt. Today I worked on the tree trunk and two of the branches. Three branches to go!

I snuck in some knitting time too. The Kettle Slayer’s latest socks are coming along steadily. 

It was a good week for making. 

Saturday Adventure 

October 1, 2016

We tried to go to Cherry Plain State Park today, but learned when we arrived that it was closed for the season.  A little backtracking to cell signal land and then back over the backtracking the other direction and we were off to try Grafton Lakes State Park instead. 

It was beautiful. We hiked near Long Pond. The smallest smallish bear brought a friend and this girl was quick to see wildlife all around. She spotted a tiny salamander, perfectly camouflaged at the base of a tree. We would have missed it without her sharp eyes.

All three slept the whole way home. It was a good adventure day. We will go back soon.

 

Week’s End

September 30, 2016

Things piles up here throughout the week. On Saturdays I clear it all away. Friday nights are the most interesting. 

Before Service

August 28, 2016

This morning was the last of five organ Sundays in a row for me. Between warming up and service starting, I looked up and saw the smallest smallish bear out in the pews. Waiting. Passing time. 

I love the moments before Sunday morning gets busy. I smile thinking of others I love, also getting ready. Musicians and pastors. Sextons and ushers. All of us taking the time to breathe in the quiet and sacred space. 

The beauty of these before moments is awesome and wonderful. I am glad I took the time to notice today. 

Quiet Knitting on a Noisy Day

July 4, 2016
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July Journeys 1: Thomas Edison National Historical Park

July 2, 2016

The directory outside my office door is outdated too, but in less of a historic preservation sort of way.

Walking through the same space where all of that thinking happened was powerful. Whether the work was original, derived, or a bit of both, there’s no denying that the inventions attributed to Edison changed the world.

If you have a chance to visit, definitely take the time. 

Coats and Hats of the Thinky Men

On the Back Path

June 25, 2016

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The back path burst into bloom this week.

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Summer Kitchen Adventures

June 1, 2016

My standard dinner rotation has been feeling stale. I enjoy being in the kitchen, I don’t enjoy being bored.  An infusion of new flavors and new skills  is long overdue.

Lima Bean’s birthday dinner out reminded me that we all enjoy Indian food. I was sure I had at least one cookbook to start with, so off I went!

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I am using Indian: deliciously authentic dishes by Shehzad Husain and Rafi Fernandez, published by Hermes House. I cannot speak to the authenticity at all, just the fact that most of the recipes look good to me. When I flipped through, almost all of them were already starred, proof of my long-ago intentions to start cooking.

My first step was to beef up my pantry. I made a list of spices, flours, and seeds and purchased a few to get started. I imagine I’ll be adding all summer long. No need to buy it all at once.
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I also don’t need to cook it all at once. The Kettle Slayer gently informed me he wasn’t sure how much Indian food he could comfortably eat. No worries. My goal in June is to try five new recipes. About once a week I’ll dive into this world and see what I can learn.
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Tonight we made Onion Bhajias. From the recipe, these seemed similar to the pakoras we live so much at the restaurant. The internet tells me they are essentially the same snack, named differently in different regions.

It took less than ten minutes to mix them up and about twenty minutes to fry them all. I already know I’ll be using this recipe again, adding fish, shrimp, cheese, and more. (Not all at once!)
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I was nervous about the besan (chickpea flour) as I am not a fan of the musty, bean-y taste I often end up with from the grocery store variety available to me. For my summer adventure I ordered Deep brand online. This was a completely different experience – light, not bean-y, and just delicious!
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Now I need to learn how to make some chutneys to go with these! Condiments are next on my list. Who’s coming to dinner?