Friday, April 16, 2010

Explore. Dream. Discover

our girl Nellie, sailing many moons ago.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines,
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
-attributed to Mark Twain

It's been almost twenty years since she's been out,
sails a flappin',
but as of a couple days ago..
our girl Nellie sails again!
To think that she was built 107 years ago
Oh the stories she could tell!
It's been a long process to restore her back to her former glory.
But so well worth it.
Can't wait to go on our first sail with her this weekend.
What a dream come true!

you can check out her history, see photos of the restoration and the cast of characters who dedicated blood, sweat and tears to get her discovering new harbors again.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Happy as a Clam

How adorable is this?

This is how I feel today...

So fortunate to have:

a loving husband,

supportive family,

dream job
(this was crew lunch while working on Claire's cookbook),

wonderful friends,

slammin' garden

and my health...

oh and last but certainly not least...
the sweetest dog in the world.

I need to stop worrying about the ten pounds
I want to lose
by yesterday
go grab myself some fries!
and pick some flowers.

Brighten your day and make someone else's...
go on and buy something handmade!

Q: What's red, yellow and white and rolls around in McDonald's parking lot?
A: Ronald McDonald and a seagull fighting over a french fry.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Sting of Spring

I have been enjoying local honey for about a year now,

a tablespoon per day (or whenever I remember),

and let me tell you....

this is the first spring

in recent memory


I have not suffered from seasonal allergies.

Here's why:

Local Honey and Allergies
by Tom Ogren

Some years ago I wrote several articles touting

the use of local honey to help alleviate seasonal

pollen allergy/hay fever symptoms. I wrote that

I had seen local honey used numerous times

with very good effect, that it was relatively safe,

was inexpensive, and that the honey itself

also had other health benefits that

might be good for people with allergies.

I wrote that the honey used ought to be raw honey, unheated, unpasteurized, and that the more local the honey was, the more it was apt to be effective. The theory works like this: the pollens you are most likely to be allergic to, are those found in the area where you live and work, the pollen grains coming from local trees, shrubs, grasses, vines and flowers in your own immediate area.

The local honeybees, the bees that live and harvest pollen and nectar in your own neighborhood, they are collecting the exact same kind of pollen grains that you would be most allergic to. Small amounts of this same pollen (and other possible local allergens associated with flowers) will be found in the honey these bees make.

Immunotherapy…very small amounts of the allergens
are taken over a long period of time, allowing the body
to build up resistance to the allergens. This is the same
thing an allergist does when they give someone "allergy shots."
This is also the same thing that can happen when local honey
is used over a prolonged period of time.


Sweets vs. Shots?

What would you chose?

I strongly suggest you try a spoonful of this magic
yellow elixir if the sting of spring gets you shoving
tissues up your nose
surfing for a nice
home on an ice cap (if those still exist!) every year.

You might ask why you haven't heard of this before,
simple, really, the pharm companies want you popping
Claritin and Zertax like candy my friend.
They can't package & sell 'local'.

So hit your farmer's market and go for the gold!

We can all have a big picnic in my garden next year,
I promise you'll thank me...
no need for tissues Tito!

Monday, April 12, 2010

how does your garden grow?

I spent the morning perusing the garden.
Amazed at how much is happening out there!
What's going on in your world ?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Paparazzi Polution

We went to my husband's favorite restaurant, Balthazar, for an early dinner last night. We met up with his parents who were down visiting from Massachusetts. Planned on a calm and easy outing. But hey, this is the big apple after all. You never know what to expect.

something very upsetting happened about five minutes
in to our first glass of a delicious Pomerol.

These nasty butt ugly vultures converged ... standing on benches on the other side of the glass taking shots with their big lenses (making up for the lack of....) of someone of great importance sitting beyond us. That someone apparently safely tucked away in the core of the restaurant behind a full and delicious looking baker's rack.

The maitre d' ran to the rescue and tried with out much success to pull the venetian blinds down (the cord about 10 feet up was tangled) to block the view from these bottom feeders and give that special diner some privacy.

My ingenius mother in law, taking matters in to her own hands, took our napkins and created a 'curtain' to fill in the gap between the frosted glass and the inadequate blinds.
(French Laundry? hehehe)

Hey I get that people need to make a living, and celebrities on the cover of People magazine sells issues but this was too much. Leave the girl alone. All she did was marry someone famous. Her poor daughter must be used to the media circus. Is this how they spend their days? Getting chased by a bunch of nasty goons? And let me tell you these losers are UG-lee. Not my idea of success.

The grass is never greener.... I would hate to live like that. Just having those pariahs zooming their lenses over us was enough to almost make me lose my appetite. But come on, this is Balthazar. A girls gotta eat.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Like Buttah

Have you used a scant cup of buttermilk to make scones
and wondered what to do with the rest?

Well, grab a paint/pastry brush,
your new terracotta pots
and follow me.

This is one of my favorite pots from one of my all time favorite places in the world Campo de Fiori in the Berkshires.
Twice a year they have a huge sale and sell off all the seconds.
I highly recommend going there just to check out their display gardens.
Would make a fun day trip from NYC
(excellent antique and junk shops all up and down Route 7)
or make a weekend of it and stay at my friend Lynda's B&B
She makes some killer scones.

Anyhoo, I love the look of aged pottery, it is easy to achieve in record time if you just follow this simple tip. Mix 1 cup buttermilk and 1 cup crumbled moss, puree in a blender (or use immersion blender) for a faster fix or I have found just using buttermilk will work too. Paint mix on the surface of the pot, place outside in a moist, shady spot. Let age. Spritz every once in a while. Sounds easy? It is. I then take whatever is left over and pour it on our stone walls or stepping stones. The buttermilk ages the areas you apply it to, creating a green mossy patina in no time.

Now here is the mate to that first pot, I aged this one last year.
Look at that patina!
Like Butta!
actually looks like velveteen,
the green is so vivid,
like the emerald fields of Ireland.

Wish we could all age so gracefully!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Morning Dew

a little spring cleaning is in order
this glorious morning

and some coffee too

one thing I love most about freelance
are mornings like this
when I can take my morning garden walk
at a leisurely pace
and not have to rush off to a studio at 5am
...stop and smell the flowers... from the garden, sourcing off my laptop,
with these faces smiling by...
Life is good!
how did you start your day?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Cheesey Flowers

Here is a card I painted of Cheddar holding a daffodil.
A very difficult task to get him to pose as he has no thumbs and a short attention span.

Hope your flowers are blooming
and spring has you inspired!

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