Winter house 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

3.6.15 March Hot Links

The guy who plows our driveway is not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Every time it snows, he comes by and makes a huge mountain at the end of our front walk. I guess it hasn't occurred to him that we actually leave the house. At any rate, after the recent snowfall, there was a wall nearly four feet high and almost as wide. It was so wet and heavy that heaving every shovelful was a considered effort. Such a sisyphean task is what passes for a good workout here in the boondocks. And someone in my yoga class told me to spray the shovel with Pam to prevent the snow from sticking. Who am I and how did I get here?


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Cranberries 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

11.14.14 November Hot Links & Thanksgiving Recipes

Nothing says Thanksgiving quite like a sheet pan full of scarlet cranberries, richly spiced and roasted to caramelized perfection. Unless perhaps it's that tidal wave of panic that starts to consume you when you realize hordes of relatives will be descending on your home with all their neuroses and dysfunctions fully primed. I'd be curious to know how many of you are cooking the feast this year and how many will be dining elsewhere. Leave a comment below and let me know, and you just may get a jar of my favorite St. John chutney in time to slather on your slice of (hideously dried-out) turkey breast. For now, I've compiled some tried-&-true recipes to get you started thinking about a menu. As I think you know, I am a steadfast advocate of planning ahead. It decreases stress exponentially and helps you budget your time and energy so you're not utterly depleted when the day is over (or just beginning).
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Elderflower 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

6.30.14 June Hot Links & a Summer Giveaway!

Nature is orchestrating her botanical display with flawless timing, as usual. Just as the irises are fading, the peonies explode and by the time they're drooping, here come the elderflowers and milkweed blossoms! In the fields and hedgerows, wild berries are setting up and soon we will be vying for them with the birds, chipmunks and foxes. Our neighbor's enormous jasmine bushes that have (happily) grown up and over our dividing fence are in full bloom and their dazzling perfume fills every corner of our little cottage. The garden grows by leaps and bounds every night as we sleep. Carpenter ants seem to have broken ground on a demolition project inside the window frame behind our bed and their incessant gnawing is rather horrifying. (The exterminator is on his way.) It's officially summer! To celebrate, I'm sharing my latest list of obsessions and recommendations...and I've got a delicious giveaway for one lucky reader...
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Lemons 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

2.28.14 Love & February Hot Links

It's bloody cold. There have been snowstorms, ice storms, windstorms and rainstorms. The grey skies have wept frozen tears; these have melted and re-frozen, accumulating in big crystallized drifts that are beginning to lose their charm. And there's no end in sight. We're heading to Florida for a few days next week to visit G's parents and I'm looking forward to a little sun on my face. My bones are cold. But my heart is warm and it's filled with love. I know, kind of corny, but I think this meditation practice has really helped me. I've also been reading Pema Chödrön's Start Where You Are: A Guide to Compassionate Living and it's given me so much to think about. You might be the most depressed person in the world, the most addicted person in the world, the most jealous person in the world. You might think that there are no others on the planet who hate themselves as much as you do. All of that is a good place to start. Just where you are—that's the place to start. In other words, don't wait until you're better, or thinner, or happier, or richer, or less stressed. The time is now. For what? For whatever you've been putting off. Like loving yourself. Having real compassion for yourself. Start there.
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Birds 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

9.17.12 There Will Be Blood

One thing I love about living closer to nature is how attuned I have become to the seasons. Although fall is still my favorite— for its surge of energy, its bittersweet luminosity—I have developed a much deeper appreciation of each one's particular qualities. The light, the air, the plants and the animals all telegraph the changes and make me so accutely aware of the cycle of life. In nature, death is not hidden away. Decay, rot, disease, skeletons—even genocide and homicide—are all around. These signs of death can sometimes be chilling, but also poignant and beautiful. You come across "scenes," learn to piece together clues and decipher narratives. On the rickety porch of an abandoned cottage nearby (I stop by there often to check out the old apple tree, the twining vines of wisteria and wild grape, the rampant patches of day lilies and iris), I found this tattered bird's nest. Inside were the dessicated skeletons of two baby birds. They reminded me of Heckle and Jeckle and I took them home, adding them to my collection of deer vertebrae, dead bugs and found feathers.
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Beach 790 xxx
photo by ray metzker

8.6.12 The Living Is Easy

I almost forgot: Every August I take a vacation from the blog. So the time has come. I hate to leave you, but rules is rules. It's a good opportunity for me to regroup and recharge, and perhaps for you to dig into the archive and discover lots of new things (like posts from the past three summers!). I'll be back right after Labor Day with the faintest of tan lines and renewed vigor for all manner of projects, in and out of the kitchen. But before I go, here are a few ideas to inspire you to make the most of these last sun-drenched and carefree days of the season.
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