Monday night I took the trash out. You might be thinking "ick!" but putting the trash out every week is a sign to me that this new phase of my life is going pretty darn well. Every week the trash goes bye bye. May be not a big thing, but it's a positive thing and it makes me feel good.
Anyway, it's late when I go out with the last of it and pull the big can to the road. The moon is almost full and it's a cold still night. Up and down the road, there are only a few house lights on. I see the shadows the moon's making through the birch tree. As I turn towards the house, the windows are full of light from inside. I stand a moment looking at the warm glow. There's that great damp, wet leaf, end of autumn smell, with maybe a hint of wood smoke. You know, I imagine someone down the road saying, just a little fire to take the chill off.
I am glad to know that a warm bed and bunch of cats are waiting for me. I look at the house and think how good it is to have a house and a place to curl up with a bunch of cats. I like the house for many of the same reasons that I liked it almost 20 years ago. Looking up at the windows reminds me somehow of how I felt those first nights in my "new" house.
I go inside.
It's been a week of savoring the good moments -- that wonderful just-warm spoonful of custard. Just out of my oven pizza. Bright maple against fog-muted hills. Old tune played by new artist, with feeling. Geese flying south; juncos flying north. The flavor of a wine from far away. Wood smoke. Cooked squash with butter. The bowl of green and barely red northern spy apples. Hot sweet coffee, cold hands, outdoors. Last mowing. Soon enough, snow. And soon enough, grass again.
10/27/2004 07:53:00 PM
If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. John F. Kennedy
Yippee! For years I've been fascinated by the things people put in their shopping carts. (In college I dated a guy who often talked about doing research on the stuff you find "somewhere else" in the store - head of lettuce by the oreos, etc).
Turns out this sort of thing interests other people too, as reported in today's NYTimes. (requires free registration)
Here are all the pieces submitted to the 2004 East Side Quilters Challenge. And what was the challenge? To make a mininum of four blocks of a block (setting them together without sashing in between the blocks) from a pattern given without any indication of color or value placement. In other words, everyone was given a line drawing. The results were varied and interesting. Everything from a color wheel exercise to a landscape with picket fence.
I love red pears. They are hard to get when really ripe and don't keep well. I got a few the other day and used one of them for dessert tonight. It was SO good and nice to have a warm dessert. Obviously quite ok to double etc as needed:
1/2 cup water 1/4-1/2 cup sugar
Bring water to boil and add sugar. Stir til dissolved. Reduce heat to simmer. Add, to taste, but don't overdo:
cinnamon ginger (I used fresh, I think I'd used dry ginger next time)
1 pear peeled, and cut. I quartered the pear, removed the core bits and then cut each piece in half.
Simmer for 20 or so minutes until just tender. serve warm or cool.
I think even people who aren't big pear fans would be thrilled with this, especially on a cool rainy day like today. Not overly sweet, not heavy, easy to make.
From the New York Times (requires free registration.)
Ferals have formed a little outlaw civilization in Riverside Park, just south of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument. Every morning before dawn, while most humans in the neighborhood are still asleep, the dozen animals that comprise this pack emerge from the park and line up on the stone wall along Riverside Drive in anticipation of the arrival of their prime benefactor, a local doorman who feeds them wet food before his morning shift.
Today, Bill the Cat was outside for a few minutes to enjoy some air and a little grass, while I harvested a little more catnip. For a 19 year old he does pretty darn good. He's seriously into head-butting and he's not shy about demanding food or slapping around other catnip-imbibing cohorts.
And in other news, I just finished the top for my challenge piece. I'm liking it. I just can't show you pictures or talk about it until later this month. Sorry.
The ever delightful, and turns out healthy, Suzette has words of wisdom for staying healthy this winter. She's a wise woman and, like I said, she's sniffle free at the moment while all around her sneeze.