gratitude sunday

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gratitude β€” the state of being grateful : thankfulness

On this Gratitude Sunday, I am grateful for:

  • A bit of warmer weather and sunshine, which helped to reduce our snow piles by half; it’s still more than a foot deep though, but progress nonetheless!
  • An unexpected grace day on Friday, which allowed me to catch up on some tasks I’d been putting off
  • Each day we share with our animals, especially the older ones — our dogs turn 15 and 13 this year, and so their time with us seems all the more precious…especially this week when a close friend had to part with her own senior dog. We make sure to give them extra hugs and kisses, a massage to the oldest, a game of fetch with the younger
  • Some exciting news for James — he received a job offer this week! His first permanent work since he finally got his green card 20 months ago, and in a field that promises to challenge and excite him. We’re both thrilled πŸ™‚
  • Garden planning season is upon us! Seed sorting, ordering, researching occupy my spare hours, as we’re a little bit behind schedule — we need to start planting the early seeds next week
  • This winter may seem long and indeed is one of our snowiest, but it has also been one of the prettiest and peaceful here @ Baldy Hill

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  • This guy was still spotted at our bird feeders this week; I know he’ll be off on his way come spring, and we’ll surely miss him. But it was wonderful to spend the winter in his company
  • Spring IS coming — and we could hear it in the return of birdsong this week πŸ™‚
  • Watching Mittens, a neighbor’s barn cat that seems to have adopted our barn as her home this winter, enjoy a day-old blueberry scone that James had put out for the birds — one happy kitty
  • Being able to be there for my mother, when my parents received some difficult news (but they’ll be OK)
  • An important meeting at work that I was charged with leading went well and was very productive
  • Being reminded of Anais Nin’s oh-so-true quote, “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” Indeed.

eggplant parm

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In my continued pursuit to keep our bellies warm and happy for the remainder of this persistent winter, I pulled out one of my old favorites — eggplant parmigiana. And when I say old, the recipe I use is from this magazine, which was published twelve years ago (yikes!). This La Cucina Italiana’s version follows the standard (for example, here) with one exception — it includes hard-boiled egg slices between the layers of eggplant and mozzarella. This addition seemed strange to me at first, but now I would never make eggplant parm any other way. πŸ™‚ Buon appetito!

gratitude sunday

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gratitude β€” the state of being grateful : thankfulness

On this Gratitude Sunday, I am grateful for:

  • Our kind neighbors, who are always quick to offer help. For rural people, it’s always comforting to know there are folks (reasonably) nearby to call on if needed
  • The organic strawberries I found at the supermarket that found their way into a crumble I made for James on Valentine’s Day
  • My husband’s foresight to chop extra wood before last Thursday’s snowstorm; we wound up with 18.5 inches — instead of the 6-12 forecast — of fresh snow. And then another 6 inches fell yesterday. On top of goodness knows how much was already on ground. So that extra wood has come in handy!
  • The ever-present eager eaters at our bird feeders, which are hung outside close to our kitchen windows; scores of birds dine there daily, much to our delight
  • Even after nineteen (!) snow days this winter, I am still amazed how gorgeous the countryside looks draped in the white stuff — James and I drove home from our errands yesterday morning in awe of its beauty
  • That despite the heavy snow and high winds and ice, we never lost our power for even a moment — many friends went without electricity for 4 or 5 days
  • Saturday morning breakfast at one of our favorite spots
  • Finished the work week caught up with my projects, which made it easier to relax into the extra-long weekend
  • Scheduling seed planting, which is a needed reminder that spring is really just around the corner
  • Like in only 34 days! πŸ™‚
  • Trading photos with my niece on Instagram; we don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like, so this is a great way for us to keep in touch
  • So much love in my life, this week of St. Valentine’s and all year long β™₯

spicy noodles

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The snow is coming down fierce, and we’re already close to the 12-inch total accumulation originally forecast, with many more hours to go. Even the local meteorologists seem surprised by the ferocity of the storm. Oh well, nothing to do except be glad that we are snug as a bug indoors looking out at the beautiful white landscape. Occasionally one of us ventures out to top up to the birds’* food supply, shaking snow out of the suet holders and feeders. But other than that, my plan is to stay close to the fire.

But what to eat. On our eighteenth snow event of this long winter, the usual soups and chiles and baked pasta are starting to become routine. So I decided to warm up with spicy noodles today. Ginger, garlic, chili — one of my all-time favorite combos — heated in a touch of sesame oil and then stir-fried up with carrots, edamame, tofu, collards, green onions, and cooked ramen. Perfect bellywarmer for this deep wintery day. πŸ™‚

*At the feeder today: juncos, field and house sparrows, red-bellied woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, male pheasant, Carolina chickadee, sapsucker, northern mockingbird, blue jays, pair of cardinals, mourning doves, starlings, nuthatch

 

yarn along

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I am joining Ginny’s Yarn Along again this week, sharing what we’re making and reading.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve checked in for Yarn Along, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy knitting. Au contraire! There have been shop orders to keep up with (winter clearance sale on at the moment), plus new stock to work on, and that hot water bottle cover I was working on in January proved popular, so I’m finishing up a second for a friend. I like having several projects on the go at the same time. πŸ™‚

It’s been ages since I read a biography. And I’m trying to figure out why because the first chapter books I embraced soon after I started reading were historical biographies. It was just after the Bicentennial so books detailing the lives of Betsy Ross, Abigail Adams, and Dolly Madison were commonly found in my library bag. I’ve had this biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine for many years before it finally made its way to the top of my reading pile. I’m just several chapters in so far, but I’ve already learned much about a period in history I know little about — fascinating! And just like that my interest in historical biographies has been renewed — anyone have suggestions for future reading? I’d love recommendations.

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