after the concert

Singing the Brahms Requiem was draining, but afterward, instead of feeling tired, I was having a bit of an adrenaline rush. I said some thank yous and goodbyes and headed back to my friend CK’s home.

When CK invited me to stay with her, she had graciously offered to have a few friends from our Smith years over after the concert. As it happened, a couple of guests grew to three, then five, then seven, until finally we were a group of ten alums from ’81-’83 with two spouses, one of them CK’s husband who was our co-host.

CK handled everything with aplomb, starting with cheeses, dips, and deviled eggs, moving on to three delicious homemade soups with bread and three salads, and ending with a make-your-own sundae bar featuring four pints of gourmet ice cream from Bart’s, a local company. And there was malted vanilla!

Whenever Smithies get together, there is an instant connection and always lively conversation. Each of us knew someone else there well, but each also was getting know someone for the first time. We talked about music, of course, as we were all choral singers, about Smith, about generations of family, about technology, and more, in various constellations, for hours.

It was a wonderful way to cap an amazing day!

Italian week

ABC, at eight months, is adding new foods to her repertoire.

This week, she has enjoyed mushroom ravioli, bucatini with tomato sauce, and caramel panna cotta.

She was especially enthused about me sharing my panna cotta with her.

It’s not surprising.

After all, one eighth of her ethnic heritage is Italian.

Halloween experiment

As it happened, all of us needed to be away from home in the early evening of October 31st. I had already planned and bought our Halloween treats, so I decided to set them out on the porch with the light on so trick-or-treaters could still enjoy them.

I covered a lawn chair with a blanket and set out two totes of local apples and a basket with several bags of candy.  I made a sign that said “Happy Halloween! Please enjoy 1 or 2 treats.”

I got home first and found that the system was working well. I replenished the two types of candy that were low and decided to watch some news rather than jump up to answer the doorbell, planning to take things in at 8:30.

A few minutes before 8:30, I heard some older kids’ voices on the porch. When I went out, the basket that had held the bags of candy was on the porch floor empty. There was one empty apple tote; the other was gone.

I didn’t mind not having candy left and I am quite sure that all the young children got their treats. I was disappointed that some kids who should have known better were not willing to share.

I don’t know if I will have a similar decision in the future or not, but at least most of the trick-or-treaters did respect the spirit of sharing.

I think I will concentrate on that.

Strawberries!

The Algonquins who were native to my region named the full moon this time of year the strawberry moon.

Usually at this time of year, we are enjoying plentiful local strawberries. For many years, I would go to a local farm to pick quarts and quarts of berries. We would share some with family and then I would put the kitchen in full-blown strawberry mode. Strawberries on cereal or with yogurt for breakfast. Strawberries on fresh leaf lettuce or baby spinach with pecans and goat cheese. Strawberry shortcake. Fresh strawberry pie. Strawberry rhubarb soup. Strawberries on ice cream. Strawberry-rhubarb pie, crisp, or cobbler. Just eating them and enjoying their sweet fragrance.

The last few years, I haven’t been picking myself, but buying them from the local farmstands. We don’t often buy strawberries other than when they are local. Supermarket strawberries from hundreds or thousands of miles away just don’t compare to what our local berries taste like.

I know that the farms will have berries when the wild strawberries that grow in our yard ripen.

This year, the berries are late.

After a mild winter, the spring was chilly. While we had some wet weather in the earlier part of the spring, we are now in a dry spell. It’s all combined to make the local berries late to ripen.

Last week, I was able to find some berries from a farm about sixty miles from here and, yesterday, I finally found some from Broome-Tioga.

There is a fresh strawberry pie setting in the refrigerator. After supper, we will bring it up to Nana and Paco’s to share with them.

It’s best to eat it the day it is made.

It won’t be a hardship for the five of us to finish it.

 

Monster Meet and Greet Mash

It’s time for a meet and greet at yadadarcyyada! Pop over and leave your link and find other great blogs to visit!

yadadarcyyada

1halloween84I was working
on my blog,
late one night
When my eyes
beheld
an eerie sight
For my post
from its slab,
began to rise
And suddenly
to my surprise
It did the mash,
it did the Monster Meet and Greet Mash!
A monster blogger mash, it was a graveyard smash!
It did the mash, it caught on in a flash…
It did the mash, it did the monster blog mash!
The zombies and bloggers were having fun,
The blog party had just begun…
The scene was rockin’, we were digging the shares,
Some were commenting, well, those who dared
So add your link and des-
crypt-ion, girls and guys,
Then suddenly to your surprise…
You can mash, you can monster blogger mash!

1halloween86

While I often say the best part of blogging is ‘meeting’ other bloggers, readers, etc., it’s been too long since we hung together, so welcome to…

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sharing blogging tips

Would you like to read some blogging tips and share some of your own?  Pop over to my blog-friend Jay Dee’s blog I Read Encyclopedias for Fun and join in the discussion:  https://ireadencyclopedias.wordpress.com/2015/10/28/my-take-on-this-whole-blogging-thing/

I admit that I don’t follow all the advice that is offered.  For example, I choose to have a wide-ranging blog rather than a focused one. I am also notoriously bad at handling images, and can’t imagine ever adding video. However, I also never set out to have a large readership, so I am comfortable going my own way on those things.

I do, however, try to be good about responding to comments and about visiting and commenting on other blogs. It’s what makes bloggers into a community.

This month a year ago…

Warning:  I haven’t been sleeping well, so rambling is upcoming.

I’ve done some posts about this being the tenth anniversary of some huge losses in my life, but today I am reflecting on a year ago.

Last September, I sang with the Smith College Alumnae Chorus for a choral homecoming weekend with Alice Parker.  One of the posts I made afterward was about visiting the memorial tree for our friend Beth who died during our senior year and the chapel where I had spent so many hours.  I had always intended to write another post about friendship and Smith women, but didn’t for reasons that will probably become clear later on in the post. I’m hoping to give a taste of that topic now…

I love to spend time with Smith women, especially back in Northampton. It is always special to me to see my roommate Mary with whom I share such a deep connection that we pick up conversation as though we weren’t a couple thousand miles apart the vast majority of the time.

I was blessed to renew ties with two women, each named Cathy, whom I had known during my Smith years, although they were in different class years so I didn’t know them as well.  It may not come as a surprise that our best times for sharing revolved around food. Cathy R. invited us to a lovely farm-fresh al fresco lunch with her family who had travelled with her and we talked about farming and New England and family and medicine and art and photography and how some of us would have been at the Climate March in NYC that day if we hadn’t already committed to being at Smith for the weekend.

Cathy K. lives in the next town over from Northampton and invited us to her home after the concert for appetizers before going out to dinner.  Her family owns a couple of local stores that sell specialty foods, wine, prepared foods, and more. Everything was so plentiful and delicious that we never did go on to dinner but spent hours eating, talking, laughing, and sharing. Family, education, politics, losses, music, career changes, hopes, the future, new directions.  It is so seldom that one has an opportunity to discuss with such depth and breadth. I am profoundly grateful that being with Smith women so often leads to these heart-mind-and-soul-enriching conversations.

I was also grateful to have re-connected with Anne, who is a wonderful poet and who graciously accepted a copy of the chapbook I had assembled the prior year for a local contest, even though neither the individual poems nor my editing abilities were advanced enough to warrant doing so.  She sent me valuable feedback and advice and has since looked over other poems for me. She is one of my poetry godmothers!

Now, a year later, the Alumnae Chorus is coming up on a deadline to sign up to tour in Cuba next July.  And I can’t do it. Within this next year, both E and T plan to finish their master’s degrees and our travel time and resources need to go to supporting them. I also must admit that the thought of touring Cuba doesn’t really appeal to me, especially in the heat of late July.  I am such a delicate flower that I would probably wilt!

And yesterday was Grandma’s (my mother-in-law) birthday. She has a problem with admitting her age so I won’t reveal it here, but this year was especially difficult for her because last year at this time we were in the throes of trying to determine what was wrong with her back. It turned out that an osteoporotic compression fracture in a vertebra led to its collapse and a long year of pain and complications and medications and therapy and ups and downs. Well, a lot more downs than ups.

Her elder son and his daughter came to visit for the weekend, which was nice, but it also was a reminder of how much she can’t do anymore.  Grandma was trying to wish away the last year, which is painful to watch.

It’s also a reminder of how stressful the last year has been. Exhibit A:  my outbreak of shingles last December. Lucky for you, I’m not going on to the rest of the exhibits. I am doing better with giving myself a bit more distance, but it is still sad and concerning and draining.

Especially in September.

I’m working on getting myself back into a better place. I actually managed to sleep a five hour stretch last night.

I’ll take all the progress I can get.

Calling people from around the world!

A few days ago, I re-blogged this post: https://ireadencyclopedias.wordpress.com/2015/08/08/reaching-out-to-the-world/
from Jay Dee of I Read Encyclopedias for Fun. He is trying to get comments from as many countries as possible. So far, people have responded from USA, Canada, UK, Germany and Ireland. Let’s help him expand the list!

Here’s how you can help:
1) If you are from another country – and I know I have regular visitors from India and Australia – please click on the link and leave a comment, telling Jay Dee where you are from.
2) If you have a blog, are on Facebook, tweet, or engage in any other social media, please consider sharing the link with your followers. There are handy sharing buttons at the end of the post or you can copy and post the link yourself.

Let’s see if we can get visitors from dozens of countries for Jay Dee! Thanks!

Reaching Out to the World

Geography is one of the many interests of blogger Jay Dee of “I Read Encyclopedias for Fun.” He has started a fun thread to bring in visitors from all over the world. Join the fun! Visit, comment, and share, share, share!
– JC

I Read Encyclopedias for Fun

Welcome. I see you’re from Earth. That’s great, because I want to have visitors from all over the world. So, here’s what I’d like to do. It’s my Reaching Out to the World Project.

CIA_WorldFactBook-Political_world.pdfI’m sure you’re from somewhere on that map. Well, I’d like you to do a few simple things for this project. It’s really easy.

First, leave a comment on this post saying which country you’re originally from.

Second, share this post on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Reddit, and so on. Reblog if you like.

Third, and this is optional, tell your international blogger friends about this post, and ask them to leave a comment.

Easy, isn’t it?  I’ll update the countries that are represented here in a list below. I’d love to see blogs from all over the world. Everyone has a unique perspective. So, if you’re interested, then leave your comment…

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Shout! Shout! My 2 Year Blog Birthday! Let It All Out!!!

It’s D. Parker’s two-year blogaversary! Check it out!

yadadarcyyada

1funny652It’s been 2 years since I started blogging and I feel like I’ve won the lottery…accept without any of the money, so yeah, I’d still like to win an actual lottery.

I’m so thankful for your support, likes, comments, shares, advice, encouragement, comfort, and more. I’m also thrilled and privileged to be able to read and view your works. Thank you all.

So come on, I’m talkin’ to you, help me Shout! Shout! Let it all out to celebrate my 2 year blog birthday by leaving your blog address or a link to a post in the comment section below…please!

1funny545

Now to play catch-up. I’ve fallen behind on my Changes for Happiness project, not the doing, just the writing about it. Will a weak, ‘it’s been hot’ explain the lapse?

Here’s the first 5 weeks:
http://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/03/dont-worry-be-happy/
http://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/09/to-blog-or-not-to-blog/
http://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/15/rock-me-amadeus/
http://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/06/25/in-my-life-i-loved-them-all/
http://yadadarcyyada.com/2015/07/03/how-to-be-good-to-one-another/

Week 6

1. What happens at Costco stays at

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