Monday, August 30, 2010

Welcome, September Of Gold!

"A whiff of woodsmoke on the wind, the first chill in the air, the woods just edged with gold...it is September. Time to air the quilts, pick bouquets of sunflowers; time to put the 'sweet' in 'Home Sweet Home." -Susan Branch, Autumn








These pictures are from Septembers passed, and my heart overflows with joy, knowing this is what awaits us.


I awoke this morning to rain on the windowpane and the warm, musty, comfortable smell of the heater. Ramon had turned it on for the first time this season, and it was the most delicously cozy feeling, snuggling deeper into the feather downs and listening to the rain. 


Dinner tonight is simple as I'm alone: thinly sliced pumpkin sauteed in butter with salt, cinnamon, and brown sugar, over basmati rice. Warm and fragrant. 


We'll be watching the leaves turn golden together, my friends. Aren't we lucky?






xoxo country girl



Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Lately....


This is what my life looks like lately. Isn't it a beautiful chaotic cuddly mess?

Boston grows every day, and the friendship between he and Kiki gets stronger. I hear them rough-housing in the other room while I type and my heart sighs with content.


There is alot of pee and poo, alot of dog hair and alot of vaccuuming up dog hair...trips to the vet, planning for the new apartment, visits from friends, a shower here and there to wash off bits of grass and puppy kisses, grocery shopping and cooking dinner, changing bedding, baking oatmeal cream pies, taking cautious walks watching out for big dogs and anything little pups might want to swallow, making cake bunting for Halloween and Christmas, hurrying to the post office to send off orders, trying to give equal attention to both dogs, and worrying that Boston will never stop using our home as a toilet.


Did I mention vaccuuming up dog hair? There's alot of that. Alot.


So many great things, stressful things, fun things, annoying things. Life!


I hope you are all doing well....enjoying the beauty and the chaos called 'living.'


Sending you all so much love....


xoxo country girl


P.s. Hop over to Lana Lou's lovely blog where she has featured my current Wish List!
I wonder what's on yours? 





Monday, August 23, 2010

spotted today...


As August's full Green Corn Moon approaches, trees are still, and dew covers clover fields in the mornings here. Soon there will be banks of mist on the hillside and splashes of scarlet on the vines...


xoxo country girl

Monday, August 16, 2010

4 Simple Goals


Elsie over at A Beautiful Mess has suggested we all take a moment to name 4 small, simple goals that we would like to acheive before 2011. Here are her guidelines:


1. choose simple goals that will make your life richer and happier on a daily basis. choose things you may not otherwise get done, but that are not difficult to accomplish. 
2. do not choose result oriented goals, choose activity oriented goals. for example.... instead of "lose 10 pounds", choose something like "eat fresh fruits and vegetables every day". get what i'm saying? positive actions instead of just the end result! 
3. choose goals that are personal that you believe will truly make your life richer just by doing them! they can be daily, weekly or one time experiences. 
4. choose a reward for each goal as it is accomplished! it can be a small or large reward. 
5. blog your goals, each one as you achieve it and a big post when they are all finished before the new year! i'll be doing this too! links back to this post are appreciated. 
It has been a bit of a challenge to come up with four simple goals, and a bit scary to voice them here, which adds pressure to realizing them. But here they are:

1. I WILL USE MY COOKBOOKS!
This goal is inspired by The Bitten Word , a foodie blog by Washington DC couple Zach and Clay who decided to actually start making recipes from their many beautiful cooking magazines instead of just admiring them. Ramon and I sat down with Jamie Oliver's latest cookbook, Jamie's America , and a pile of stickies, and marked the recipes that made our mouths water. I promised him I will make them all by the end of the year. We've decided to do this with all of our cookbooks, and I'm excited about being challenged with new things in the kitchen...and pleasing my foodie husband! 



2. I WILL BUILD A WARDROBE THAT MAKES ME LOOK MY BEST


As you all know, I gained weight over the past couple of years and no longer fit into children's clothes like I used to. I have slowly been buying clothes to fit my new, feminine figure, but held back a little, thinking, "Maybe this is just a phase and I'll lose it all at some point." Well, I have to say, I am tired of #1, wearing the same few things that fit over and over, and #2, having drawers full of clothes that are too tight! I also would like to begin dressing more feminine...I am usually in jeans or stretchy black capris because I am either walking the dogs, doing house work, painting, or making cake bunting. No audience for those things! :) I usually make an effort to pretty myself up before hubby gets home. But I think it might be nice to start being pretty just for me, too.






3. I WILL ASK FOR HELP


Kiki was such an easy dog to train. She really wanted to please me, and very much enjoyed getting praise for a job well done. I am always so proud of what a well-behaved doggy she is; I can (and do) take her everywhere, from restaurants to international hotels to the hair dresser.
Boston is already showing signs of being a little more feisty! I know I am good with dogs, but I also know it would be best to get a little outside help from a professional. In that past I have always tried to do things myself, but with this, I am going to humbly ask for help.








4. I WILL JOURNAL AGAIN


Recently I stumbled upon the journal that I kept in on my old computer, and it was such a joy to read! So many personal thoughts, so many memories; and so many notes about the seasons and simple things. While I do write about some of these things on my blog, there are some thoughts I keep to myself, whether they be too personal, or for fear I might bore my readers. Also, with a blog it has to look nice and sound nice, so there's a certain formality about it. And so: I will begin writing in my journal again!




So, what will my reward be, besides more happiness and fulfillment?


I don't know!


Why don't you all give me some ideas?


I would love it if you took part in this too....looking forward to hearing your thoughts and simple goals!


xoxo country girl






Saturday, August 14, 2010

Friendship is Blossoming!


Today Kiki was so sweet to Boston! She played with him, wagged her tail often at him, and shared a bowl of milk with him.


My heart is so happy!


xoxo country girl

Garlic Bread for One


When I was a kid, sometimes my mom would make me 'garlic bread for one' in the morning before school. I loved it so much...the buttery, garlicy taste on golden-toasted bread. And it's amazing how simple this is! 




Toast two pieces of bread.
While they are toasting, skin one garlic clove.
Once the toast is done, quickly place the golden slices on a plate and then rub them with the garlic clove. The crisp grains of the toast will shave off almost-invisible bits of garlic. Depending on how hot and garlicky you like your bread, rub more or less.
Butter the toast generously, and sprinkle over good salt (I like pink Himalayan).
Voìla!






I eat these often when I am alone, like I am now. My husband is on another business trip and so my meals are extremely simple and quick. 


I especially like to pair my Garlic Bread For One with a delicious, juicy Caprese salad.




Slice perfectly ripe tomatoes and spread the rounds flat on a plate. Cover with shredded fresh mozarella, a variety of pitted olives, salt, pepper, hacked basil, dried marjoram, some brine from the olive jar, and olive oil. So good!


It's storming here; loud cracks of thunder and bright blue lightening. Poor Boston was very frightened, but I managed to sooth him. He and Kiki are getting closer every day. I see a friendship on the horizon!
I'll share new pics soon.


Sending love out to you all...and garlicky kisses! :)


xoxo country girl

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Settling In


Things are beginning to settle down a little and find a rhythm. Kiki still hasn't declared friendship with Boston (though he tirelessly tries to win her affection which is sometimes heartbreaking) but it's getting much, much better. He is such a good little boy and already answers to his name by leaping up and bouncing over to me like a little spring lamb! He is extremely cuddly and I adore shmoozing with him. 


I also am extra careful to give my sweet Kiki enough attention, especially when Boston is napping. Today she wagged and rolled onto her back for me, so I knew she can't hate me. 


I am truly harmony-hungry and can't wait for Kiki to love Boston....but on the other hand, I try to enjoy things the way they are now, knowing that Boston will grow up so, so fast.


For now Kiki still chooses to sleep way on the other end of the bed...but I know one day they will curl up in an adorable snoring pile of Cavalier. 


xoxo country girl

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Boston Is Finally Home

Boston is here! 

It's been an emotional and exciting 2 and a 1/2 days so far. Boston is very needy and cries if he doesn't see me, and must be held and carried alot. Kiki was very reserved and even growled at him when he tried approaching her the first day, but slowly she is warming to him. Today she actually wagged her tail at him and sniffed his eyes. I can feel that this is going to be a loving, harmonious, fun family....it just needs a little time to get there.

Joyful experiences have been how quickly Boston learned his name; waking up to his adorable face looking at me in the morning; watching him run clumsily through the clover; and feeling how he needs me, and being able to fulfill that need. He can be very playful at times, and loves to chase a ball or chew on his stuffed duck.

Here are some images of Boston's first days with us. 



I am holding his soft tiny body as I type...he likes being held with his stomach against my breast and his head looking back over my shoulder. This is how he feels safest.

I will write more soon, and post more pics!

Wishing you all a lovely day,

xoxo country girl 

P.S. The sweet and talented Johanna of Birds On A Wire made an amazing little illustration of me and Kiki! See it by clicking HERE. Thank you, Johanna!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

New England Organic Farms

Land's Sake Farm, Massachusetts
photo courtesy of nicole hill gerulat 

What does WWOOF stand for? World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Begun in 1971 in England, it's now an international network of both organic farms and volunteers looking to experience life and work on a real farm. WWOOF volunteers do not pay for their stay, and the hosts don't pay for their work. Instead, the volunteers live like part of the family; meals are cooked and eaten together. Volunteers work a maximum of 6 hours a day, allowing alot of time for exploring the surrounding areas.

There are WWOOF farms all around the world, and it's been a dream of mine for many years now to go work for a month on a New England WWOOF farm in in the fall. 

I want to share photographs of some of the New England WWOOF farms....this is just a handful of those available. Come daydream with me about picking apples, harvesting pumpkins, feeding pigs and milking cows...













Would this be a dream of yours, too?

xoxo country girl


today, one year ago: Spoiling My Husband Who Spoils Me 

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