Curry night

(Today’s view of the pond.)

The sun came out today!  Hurray!  Hurray!  I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to see the sun after weeks of gray, white, and more gray and white.  Sometimes the sky and landscape merge into one big blur of white and/or gray and it seeps into the way you start to feel and… well… lemme tell ya… having the grays can be much worse than having the blues.  (It should be noted, just for the record, that in the area of colors, having the sepia tones is worst of all.  That’s how the world looked to me for a while after Mom’s death.)

I’m enjoying the touch of color by the pond but I sometimes feel sorry for the flamingos.  They look so cold out there!  Yes, yes, I know.  They’re plastic.  They can’t feel the cold.  But they make me feel the cold when they appear to be shivering in the wind while wearing a coat of snow on their backs.  They are well situated as far as the snow goes.  The wind tends to blow the snow away from the flamingos, drifting elsewhere.  Some of the drifts we have now would cover the flamingos (and a good portion of me if I were to stand in one of them).

M and I ran some errands today, most of it involving shopping for food.  We went to one of my favorite markets:  Beilers Penn Dutch Market.  It’s a good place to shop for fresh fruit, veggies, and bulk dry goods.  You can find things such as pot-pie noodles and birch beer there, too.  M usually makes his own pot-pie noodles but the dried variety we found at Beilers is not bad.  Not bad at all.  And much less work.

This trip out and about was to stock up on healthy foods for some healthy living.  After the overindulgences of the holidaze, it feels good to be stocking and eating healthy foods once again.  We used some of the delicious items we bought today in our dinner tonight.  It was a curry night for us.  I made a prawn curry and M made a turnip and apple curry.  I wasn’t sure I’d eat much of the turnip and apple curry as I suddenly stopped liking turnips a few months ago after we roasted some little turnips I bought at Hilgert’s Market.  There was nothing wrong with them.  I don’t know why or what caused it (no, not that!) but they just didn’t taste good to me anymore.

(The creek in the woods at the back of the pond.)

Perhaps it’s true what they say about hunger being good sauce.  M and I took a 45 minute hike in the snow as a reward to ourselves for finishing our errands.  If you’ve ever hiked through two feet of snow, you know it’s hard work.  I think it’s almost as good as 45 minutes on the elliptical.  Better, even, because of the added bonus of fresh air, sunshine, and the beauty and peacefulness of being outside on a cold winter’s day.

Both curries — served with basmati rice — were wonderfully delicious and a delight to the taste buds.  M’s turnip and apple curry was sweet and spicy, complimenting the savory and spicy prawn curry really well.  I thought about making a dal of some kind to go with it, but it was pretty late by the time I thought of it.  Perhaps next time.  Or maybe I’ll make up a batch of  kitchari soon.  (If you’re unfamiliar with kitchari, you’ll find a good explanation as well as a recipe here.)

(Sunlight shining through the arborvitae at the back of the pond.)

All in all, it’s been a very good day and, like every day, worthy of thanks:   I am thankful for the things that keep me warm when it’s cold outside, the sun and the way it lifts my mood, good curries, and the excellent company of M as we continue our journey around the pond and through life.


(Flares of light.)

(The mysterious M in the field.)

Lake effect

(Snow on the spiral stairs.)

It’s been snowing here in the Bogs since December 28th.  We’re lucky that it’s been the kind of fine snowflakes that don’t accumulate quickly or we’d be buried in the white stuff by now.  A front with snow moved through yesterday.  Today and tonight we’ll get the lake-effect snows.

I took the advice of (well-meaning) friends and family, and spent the past two days resting in an attempt to shake off this cold.  I finished the course of antibiotics that were prescribed almost 2 weeks ago on Wednesday and seem to have regressed since then with the return of the sore throat and head congestion that may need dynamite to break up.  The two days of rest were not entirely wasted.  I spent a good deal of the time wrapped in a warm, comfy blanket and curled up in a comfy chair reading the new Stephen King book (Under the Dome: A Novel) which I received as a Christmas gift and started reading a few days later.  Because of the size of it, I thought I might be reading it well into June of 2010 but the two days of rest have me well along the way (about two-thirds through).  I was worried it might become like The Orchid Thief, a book I finished just before starting the new King book.  While I found the beginning of The Orchid Thief fascinating at times, having started with little knowledge about orchids and the orchid hunter/collector world, I began to lose interest after a while, feeling as though the author would have been better off keeping it to a series of articles rather than a novel.  King has a way of stretching things out as well and sometimes I wish he’d just get on with it.  Mostly, though, I’m enjoying the book the way I enjoy all Stephen King novels.  It’s a fast, easy read that’s mostly entertaining and doesn’t require a lot of deep or complicated thought.

And, like most of his books, it brings on some odd and often disturbing dreams at night.  I get twice the entertainment value.

(Still visible.)

The two days of rest have put me a little behind in my 2010 Project Simplify & Declutter.  I started in the laundry room and will hopefully have that finished by the end of next week depending on how far I decide to go with it.  Painting or some other form of decorating/redecorating is still within the realm of possibilities.

Today I decided it was time to deal with the cold in my usual way:  healthy food, healthy drink, and lots of exercise.  Since I don’t have a fever, there’s no reason I can’t exercise.  I put in some good elliptical and treadmill time, helping my mileage for the year along, and then spent about 20 minutes on the yoga mat learning a (new to me) stretching routine.

We had hoped to get together with friends this evening.  Alas, we had to cancel (yet again… sorry!).  M caught my cold and is just getting into the true mess of it, I’m still not in top form, and we don’t want to spread the germs to our friends.  They say the best way to get rid of a cold is to give it to someone else but I prefer that someone else not be a friend or a family member.  Besides, that little trick apparently doesn’t work since I’m still sick after giving it to M.

Well, that’s about it from the Bogs for now.  More snow stories coming this way soon, I’m sure.


(Snow accumulation.)

It’s still snowing here in the Bogs.  Big surprise, eh?  😉

The Christmas centerpiece pictured above was given to us by our neighbors across the street.  Every year they make beautiful centerpieces and gift us with one of them, usually during the first week or so of December.  It was starting to die off and I made the comment at dinner the other night that we should probably get rid of the centerpiece.  M must have decided there’s no time like the present.  He picked it up and threw it out the patio door and into the snow.  Later he went out and moved it to the deck where it looks quite nice surrounded by all that white stuff.

Today I decided to try to get back into the swing of things, including a good workout.  I hit the elliptical for 52 minutes of fun and intervals.  It was a sweat fest, that’s for sure.  I will probably be able to accumulate mileage pretty rapidly on the elliptical.  I’ll have to work hard for it, though.

Speaking of mileage, my total for 2010 so far:  13.22 miles

(One of many winter projects.)

It’s been a long time since I’ve worked on a jigsaw puzzle.  M broke out this one just before Christmas, thinking that the various family members moving in and out over the holidays might help us out with it.  No such luck.  We were left to do it on our own.  It’s situated in the living room so whenever I walk by, I take a glance or two in hopes of fitting in a piece or two.  At this rate, it should be finished by summer.

The cats have been enjoying the puzzle as well.  Whenever Bella sees me looking over the pieces, she jumps up on the table and sits smack in the middle of the puzzle, sometimes playing with the pieces.  I suspect some of those puzzle pieces are going to end up in Izzy’s secret hoard at some point.  I don’t know where her current treasure trove of toys and other small items from around the house is located.  I’m sure I’ll find it as I’m cleaning and decluttering the house.

(Today’s view of the pond.)

With everything outside looking all white and gray, I’ve been looking indoors for some color.  Because I’ve just finished reading The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession (Ballantine Reader’s Circle) I’ve been drawn back to the photos of orchids I took at Longwood Gardens back in 2007.  I’ll probably be posting a few over at Bountiful Healing as time goes on.

That’s about it from the Bogs for now.  I’m off to work on my decluttering project for the week.  If you don’t hear from me again, I’m lost in the accumulation of stuff, and I don’t mean the white stuff outside.

Snowy Saturday

(Nighttime snowflakes.)

The snow continues to tumble from the sky, twirling, whirling, and somersaulting in the gusts of wind.  Another 2-4 inches are expected tonight with another 2-4 inches predicted to fall tomorrow.  The current temperature is 13 degrees with a wind chill of -3.  Brrrrrr!  M is outside shoveling, a task that, this time of year, is as sysiphean as housework.  He’s also doing something he didn’t want me to do yesterday — feeding a stray cat.  I guess that makes the cat our official barn cat since M also provided some heat in the barn where it has been taking shelter.  It’s a long-haired cat that, M says, appears to be part Siamese.  I haven’t seen it yet and I don’t think he’s had more than a few quick glimpses of it.

(Creativity corner.)

In honor of my resolution and intention to simplify my home and life this new year, I started with my art desk corner (for a memory jog, see the posts here and here) yesterday.  I cleaned up and organized the desk.  I realize it doesn’t look particularly organized in the above photo, but you should have seen it before I started.  What you see is the result of me actually using the desk to work on an altered journal project.  I normally destroy my journals every year as a way of getting rid of the old and ushering in the new, but I like the design of this particular journal so I’ve been drawing and collaging over my writings, leaving bits and pieces showing through here and there.  I noticed that my intentions for the year are cropping up in a variety of ways, in words, scribbles, and pictures.  The end product may well turn out to be my 2010 journal.

I also started keeping track of my mileage and will be posting about that regularly (since the knowledge that I’m posting about it gives me the incentive to keep moving).  I’m only up to about 6 miles so far, but it’s only two days into the year.  I figure it’s a pretty good start.  As Lao Tzu once said or wrote:

A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step.

(A touch of whimsy by the pond.)

Yesterday’s pork and sauerkraut was, as always, delicious.  Tonight we’re having a Cajun spiced vegetable soup.  I’m beginning to think the antibiotics I’m taking are placebos.  As M said the other day, you get what you pay for and I didn’t pay for the antibiotics due to pharmacy competition and the desire to have the lowest prices.  You can’t get much lower than free.  Perhaps some soup will do what the antibiotics are not doing and cure what ails me.  It would be nice to get the hearing back in my right ear.  I suspect the world is going to sound very loud when I do.

Hello 2010

Dear 2010,

I know you’re just a baby right now so I won’t put too much pressure on you by way of expectations.  I want to keep it simple this year and one act of simplicity I’d like to practice regularly is staying in the moment.  Generally, it’s a good place to be.  There are no regrets and worries in the present moment, no past, no future, no expectations.  Just the now.

That’s cool.

Because M and I went to bed early last night, I missed your entrance into this world.  I needed the rest.  I’ve carried the cold and ear infection from 2009 into 2010.  Before retiring relatively early we watched the movie De-Lovely.  I enjoyed the music and found the story of Cole Porter and his wife, Linda, interesting.

We awoke to more snow.  It looks like it will be that way for most of the week.  Snow and chilly temperatures, typical January weather.  This morning’s snow looked almost as if it was floating up from the ground to the sky instead of the usual other way around.

Although I have all sorts of plans and goals for the year, today is for celebrating and enjoying and acclimating to the new year.  It’s also for resting and taking care of myself.  Perhaps plenty of tender loving care will convince my body to rid itself of illness.  Or we can do it the hard way tomorrow by sweating it out with some good, honest exercise.

M is upstairs cooking the traditional pork and sauerkraut dinner (heavy on the sauerkraut and light on the pork).  My appetite came back today and I’m looking forward to eating soon.  The cold, it seems, wants to be fed.

So, welcome 2010.  Make yourself at home.  We’ve got another 364 days together.

Happy New Year everyone!