Sunday, March 23, 2008

Kitchen Fun

In my effort to try every single recipe in the "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day" cookbook, last week I made the roasted red pepper Fougasse. I did add a few ingredients that weren't in the recipe, but the addition of chopped kalamata olives, chopped, fresh rosemary and Romano and Parmesan cheeses added another layer of flavors that were quite complimentary. The final product was deeeelicious! The bread was crunchy on the outside and chewy and flavorful on the inside. This one is definitely going on the "favorites" list.

Cabin fever and ennui set in last week, so H and I drove out to Schoodic Point just to get some sun and enjoy the beauty of the park. It was a bit too breezy and cold to walk, but just seeing the blue in the ocean and green of the spruces and pines lifted our spirits.

The Hoggemoggin Reach Yacht Club is our fun name for our neighborhood kayaking group. Our friend, JB was elected the "Commodore", since his little cabin on the shore houses all our equipment and he graciously built a rack to hold all our kayaks.

Soooo, since a paddle was most definitely out of the question this time of year, a pizza party was in order. I made a huge batch of dough, and since I didn't have room in the fridge for it, I stuck it out on the front porch to cool it enough to handle it without sticking to H's hands when he rolled it out for the pizzas.

We had veggies with salsa and a smoked salmon spread with Triscuits for appetizers and 7 pizzas with various toppings. H was the master chef, baking all the pies to perfection.

Spike and Sluggo were both on their best behavior as I think all the commotion overwhelmed them a bit. Normally, Sluggo is quite the little thug, curious and wanting to be in the middle of everything, so we were surprised at his shyness.

Poor H can't even do his daily cross word puzzle without Sluggo trying to chew on the end of his pencil.

On my daily dash up the drive, looking for signs of spring, I was thrilled to see the pussy willow in bloom! What a joy to see something coming out of it's long winter nap. It's been a dreadfully long winter and in looking back, the Farmer's Almanac's predictions for the northeast was dead on. They said we'd be having lots of storms and snow and oh, how right they were!

Life is Good -

Hugs, Giddy

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Signs of Spring

Spring is definitely around the corner. How do I know this? Because H and I have been doing those little chores that signal spring's imminent arrival:

  • the plow came off the truck
  • I cut back the ornamental grasses
  • raked the leaves off the perennial beds
  • cleaned the ceiling fan in the living room
  • washed the half moon window
  • cleaned the patio downstairs.

Ah yes, the sun was shining brightly, warming my shoulders as I raked. What a great feeling it was to be out in the yard again. Of course, I could only rake half the yard as the other half was still under a bit of snow and ice. However, I did spy a few crocus and hyacinths peeking out through the soil.

You have to look really close, but there is green peeking out!

Last winter, I rooted these two junipers and kept them over the winter in the garage. It brought them out to enjoy the sunshine, as well. This year I'll plant them in the yard.

I expected to be quite sore today after those hours spent in the yard cleaning the beds, but this morning I was surprised to only feel a few twinges in my shoulders. I think our daily yoga exercises have a lot to do with keeping us limber.

As usual, Sluggo slept in the sunshine while I worked.

Spike's menacing look belies his very gentle and sweet nature. He's very much a flirty lover boy!

And, lest we fool ourselves into thinking Mother Nature is quite finished with her punishing amusement this winter, here is a photo of the famous Sorrento ice sculpture. I think it will be June before this ice block is history:

Life is Good!

Hugs, Giddy

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Where's Giddy?

She's reinstalling all her software and reconfiguring her computer because a Vista Upgrade crashed her @#$$%& hard drive! Thank you very much, Bill Gates!

I lost lots of photos, but thanks to Blogger, I have the most important ones on my blog. Most importantly, however, I have learned a very big lesson - BACK UP, BACK UP, BACK UP! From now on, I will be backing up my PC on a regular basis. While my information is not on the same level as national security, it represents hours and hours of my time and I hated to lose any of it.

I also lost all of the contact and email information in my Windows Mail, so if any of you out there need me to contact you, please send me an email so I can reload your address into my Contacts List.

Ah well, on to more pleasant issues.

I have completed three pairs of mittens and took a class in Fair Isle knitting. Our project was a small bag. It was quite interesting and I may attempt it again one day, but not before my fingers untangle themselves!
The mittens are incredibly easy and I love the pattern.

This week we are finally beginning to see a spring thaw. Last night, we had almost 2 inches of rain and much of the snow is gratefully, showing significant melting. Now, if we could just have an early spring so this past winter can begin slowly fading in my memory.

The bay was looking particularly wild yesterday morning. It was low tide and the clouds were zipping by with a sporty wind. Obviously not a good day for kayaking!
However, it doesn't hurt to be reminded of wonderful paddles to come!

Hugs, Giddy