{this moment}

As inspired by SouleMama: {this moment} – A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.



pasta with arugula and ricotta

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We are fortunate to have two local supermarkets that sell over grocery overstocks and overruns at deeply discounted prices. You never know exactly what you’ll find, but that is part of the treasure hunt atmosphere. Like this week’s 59-cent steal on a huge bunch of organic arugula, which would have cost at least six times the price in a regular food shop.

The bargain greens turned into a super-tasty — and quick and easy — pasta dinner. Drawing inspiration from recipes here and here, I used whole wheat spaghetti and followed the first’s instruction to saute to arugula first (along with a bit of minced garlic and some red chili flakes). I also topped with a little fresh ground pepper, which enhanced the greens’ natural peppery flavor. Delish — plus who doesn’t like a healthy meal that goes from pot to plate in 20 minutes. 🙂


gratitude sunday


gratitude — the state of being grateful : thankfulness

On this Gratitude Sunday, I am grateful for:

  • The extra wood that James decided to cut last weekend, especially with two more snowfalls this week and an extended forecast of subfreezing temps
  • My husband’s patience and encouragement, as i try to pull myself out of a midwinter funk
  • Finally finding the solution to our lack of workboot/shoe/slipper storage dilemma — found an inexpensive bamboo double shelf that fits exactly in the space by our backdoor (it’s the little things, I tell you. And as Dorothy Parker said, “It’s not the tragedies that kill us; it’s the messes.”)
  • Saturday breakfast at our favorite local diner (I had the salsa and cheddar omelette). it’s a tiny space (their motto is “Changing the world, 23 seats at a time” :-)) with one cook, but the food is fresh and so good — a treat for us
  • My mother’s generosity — this week she passed along to me a large crazy quilt pillow case given to her by my great-grandmother Mamie, who died just two months before I was born. As you can see above, it’s in beautiful condition; just one of the silk pieces is frayed. A true family treasure that I am honored to have and care for
  • A long phone chat with our neighbor from Spain — so wonderful to hear his voice and catch up on the village news; can’t believe it’s been more than two years since we’ve leftIMG_1932
  • Happy bellies full lots of homecooking this week — pumpkin curry, raspberry/apple pie, two loaves of bread, chocolate chip cookies, and this vegetable barley soup I made this afternoon 🙂
  • My best friend Julie and her husband Don, who are always so supportive and kind
  • Not one, but two hot water bottles in the bed, so there’s no need for “borrowing” 😉
  • Finally taking the first necessary step this afternoon toward correcting a problem that’s been bothering me for some time; it likely won’t be fixed overnight, but at least the first needed seeds have been planted
  • The sweet, gentle breathing/almost but not quite snoring of our dogs and cat as they sleep by the fire — they look so content and peaceful
  • Finding another box of “the good” clementines, which are getting hard to find in our area
  • Looking forward to more time for knitting in the coming week


I suspect if I went back through my journals, I’d find that the first notions I had of making our kitchen such a brightly colored space occurred during the third week of our first January here at Baldy Hill. With the wood stove tucked in the far corner, the kitchen is our base camp for much of winter when we’re indoors. Hours are spent reading, playing board games, listening to the radio, knitting, chatting, as well as the expected cooking, baking, and eating. And even though there is a part of me that loves a stark, cool winterscape, there is another part of me that needs a constant reminder of the sunny, warmer days ahead to get me through the bleakest time of year. With a foot of snow on the ground and nothing but subfreezing days in the forecast, I am grateful this week for this cheerful room. 🙂

gratitude sunday


gratitude — the state of being grateful : thankfulness

On this Gratitude Sunday, I am grateful for:

  • Fresh coat of snow Saturday morning to brighten up the garden and countryside — I always find our winterscape a bit on the sad side without a bit of the white stuff on the ground
  • The bargain-priced organic blueberries and blackberries I found at the market on Monday — James had promised he’d make some little berry pies for me since I love the pastry he uses to make mincemeat pies (but not so much the mincemeat). And he did and they were delicious 🙂
  • Being surprised at the laundromat by someone’s generous act of kindness — for her birthday, a woman had attached bags of quarters to each of the washing machines and dryers with a cheerful note attached. What a great idea!
  • Window shopping at the fabric shop yesterday — lots of ideas and inspiration for easy spring and summer sewing projects
  • Fun visit with my parents Thursday night
  • Ski school on Thursday — although more than 20 years have passed since I last snapped into skis, I decided it was time to do so again and have a class this time. Had fun with my classmates Abby, Julia, and Hunter (average age 7) and managed not to fall, yay!
  • Relaxing weekend — spent a lot of time in the kitchen (making Moroccan chickpea stew and a tortellini soup), organized my work desk, and stacked a lot of wood, but also made time for reading and knitting, too 🙂
  • The brilliant light just before sunset — the ski has been putting on quite a show for us this week; I love all the pinks and blues and fiery reds, simply gorgeous
  • Beginning to plan our garden with James — can’t believe it’s almost time for us to start planting seeds again (but excited too!)
  • Being able to sleep in on Saturday morning — since my alarm goes off before 4 am most days, sleeping until almost 7 is a real treat!
  • My hardworking husband
  • More blessings than I can count, including the two furry pups soundly asleep at my feet 🙂