Monday, December 13, 2010

Smiley Face Cookies

When my children were little (and not so little), a special treat for each was to get to go to the grocery store 'alone' in with out the other siblings..with me.
They all had their own way of 'helping' me on these solo expeditions, but the one commonality is the side trip to the baked goods section of our Local Giant Food Store to pick out their oh so Delicious BIG SMILEY FACE COOKIE 

Last week, I had the Joy of babysitting my grandson here in the new digs for several days during which time, I found that my new local Giant Food Store still makes BIG SMILEY FACE COOKIES!

I'm Really glad to pass on a favorite tradition...

As big as C's Smile is, you should have seen mine!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Men in My Life

They are a Motley Crew. Quick witted. Always up for a good prank. Live Life by the 'Go Hard or Go Home' theory.  Do not take ANYTHING too seriousely. They love life, each other and me. For that I love them back with all my heart.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

My Daughter, My love

My Kate is lovely. She is poised, gifted with amazing insight and talent and a truly good hearted person. Most of all, I love watching her blossom as a Mother and Wife.

And she makes me  better at those vocations too.
Thank you my Kate!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Condo Facts

   -  It is only 820 steps to work via the Mount Vernon bike trail shotcut
   -  It is only 2 traffic lights to get to the National Zoo. Grandson LOVED it!
   -  It is possible to prepare a Thanksgiving Feast in a 2x8 galley kitchen
   -  and fit 8 around the dining table quite comfortably
   -  and have plenty of room for family and  friends to lounge around watching Football (all-weekend-long)
   -  I see my grown children a whole lot more often (and for no specific reason...just to hang out)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Finders Keepers

In the process of packing, I found them everywhere....
     On closet shelves, on closet floors, under sinks, in cabinets, in drawers...

My Favorite is the one labled "FARM FUND"


Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Happy Day

The one on the left I met 35 years ago today...and married him 30 years ago tomorrow. The one on the right I met 18 months ago as our daughter brought him forth into our world. I adore them both!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Moving On

   I have been lost in this big 'ole house without kiddos here to fill it up with loads of  laughter and fun. Mr. Fritz and I find that we only use about 10% of the 4300 square feet of space on a daily basis.

The loneliness of waiting for him to get home from his long commute is really more than I need. The children for the most part did not grow up here (we moved into this home exactly 7 years ago today) and really don't have strong ties to the place. So....
   We have sold it and are moving!  Yesterday we calmly (or maybe not) sat at our favorite winery enjoying a bottle of Fletcher's Chardonnay and via the cell negotiated a great deal on a 12th floor condo just south of Washington DC that has amazing views of the city skyline. When the deal was done, we were both giddy with excitement. We talked about our New Life like a young couple who just got engaged!
   I will take with me many good memories of wonderful parties here.... Lots of sports team gatherings, The Mardi Gras Parties...the many Holiday Gatherings with our extended families....  It was wonderful to have the space to do all that. We will all miss "ManWorld", our unfinished basement, complete with an indoor lacrosse, football, dodgeball field, or as it was often called "the Idiot Ball Field."

    But life goes on and the other side of this moving plan involves finaly getting our own little weekend farm in the Shenandoah Valley here in Virginia. The Plan anyway...we will have to wait a few weeks to see if we can pull that off. In the mean time, I am packing....

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Stoney Lonsome

With the coming of autumn, another wonderful season at Stoney Lonesome Farm has come to a close.

SLF grows organic vegetables under the Community Supported Agriculture model. Families pay a set amount of $$ to the farmer in return for 22 weeks of veggies and share both in the rewards and the potential hardships of farming. If the weather is wonderful, the crops are big and abundant. If the deer decide to have bush beans for dinner, the yields and therefor weekly baskets of veggies are a bit slimmer!
I have been a 'Harvest Helper' at the farm for several years now. I signed up with the intention of learning how to grow good food so that when I have land of my own, I will be able to have a large garden providing enough goodies to can and preserve for my family to enjoy all year round. 

Yet even if that dream becomes reality, I am not quite sure I will leave my scheduled Wednesday mornings at Stoney Lonesome.  While the vegetables are as lovely as can be, it is the growing of friendships that I have loved the most. The 6- 10 harvest helpers and interns that work each week are a diverse group of folks. We come from different continents, cultural and religious back rounds, have a 40 year age span and vary widely  in our economic footing. Yet the conversation flows freely as we work the rows picking the produce at just the right moment and cleaning and packing them for the rest of the CSA community. It is that sense of Community that will keep me coming back. I simply love being part of it!


My friend and fellow Harvest Helper Mary describes the experience so well in her FarmGirl Blog. And her pictures are the best! All I could add to it is that I believe the greatest product of Stoney Lonesome farm is the farmer herself and her babe.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


There's nothing like spending time with a Grandchild! Seeing Nature through the eyes of a child's sense of surprise and awe stirs great joy in this Heart of mine.
Just simple pleasures....

like playing "Peek-a-Boo"....

...and finding a secret fort beneath the lumbering branches of a stately old southern magnolia tree...

...and seeing a child look up and say "Whoa!" as he discovers how big his world really is...

...and stopping to smell the roses takes on a whole new meaning when shared with this love of mine...

Monday, October 11, 2010


A man need not know how to name all the oaks or the moths, or be able to recognize a synclinal fault, or tell time by the stars, in order to possess Nature. He may have his mind solely on growing larkspurs, or he may love a boat and a sail and a blue-eyed day at sea. He may have a bent for making paths or banding birds, or he may be only an inveterate and curious walker.
But I contend that such a fellow has the best of life - he and the Naturalists. You are ignorant of life if you do not love it or some portion of it, just as it is, as shaft of light from a nearby star, a flash of blue saltwater that curls around the five upthrust rocks of the continents, a net of green leaves spread to catch the lightand use it, and you, walking under the trees. You, a handful of supple earth and long white stones, with seawater running in your veins.

- Donald Culross Peattie
  An Almanac for Moderns

Photos taken October 2010 in Sedona Arizona by myself and Husband, renewed in commitment to one another and to the earth that we love.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Germany: The Wrap-Up

It's been 2 weeks since we returned home from that most Wonderful Trip. Mr. Fritz and I are still living high off the memories and I think we will be for a very long time to come.
We are missing the renewed friendships with the all cousins very much.   Very, Very Much.    Angelika and Hans, Wilhelm and Anja,  Bernd-Elmar and Annette....Thank you so much! It's our turn to buy. Come soon!
This much I do know:
    I will not let another 30something years go in between Fritz and his cousin's Hat Parties

Friday, September 24, 2010

Germany Part 5: St. Bricticus

I Loved this Church long before I met it. In Fact it was the very first thing that I wanted to see when we arrived in the village of Schoppingen. I had heard many a story from My husband's Parents about the Church in their hometown. I wanted to see the the stream that flows through village from beneath the Altar. I wanted to enter the Church and walk down the aisle

to stand at the foot of that Altar

Where so many many of Fritz's and hence my children's, ancestors had celebrated some of life's significant moments. The place were they sought refuge during life's struggles.
    The Church was built in the 8th Century I believe. The earliest mention of the town dates to around
725AD or at least that's what I think I read in German on the plaque in the garden behind the building.

The name Schoppingen means "Sheep Region" in an early German language. How fitting. My dream is to own a piece of land, have a large garden and maybe, just maybe raise a few sheep to provide me with wool to support my knitting habit. If that dream ever becomes reality, I will use this image from the Doors of St. Bricticus as my garden gate.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Germany Part 4: A Little Dignity Please

So many of the Lovely Architectural and Garden Pictures I took were among those lost.
These are just a few of the survivors:

Germany Part 3: Beverages...Adult and Otherwise

The Germans LOVE their coffee...and Schnapps...and Beer!

At 4:00 every afternoon all of Deutschland seems to come to a's COFFEE TIME!!!! If one is out and about, finding a place in one of the numerous cafes to enjoy a machiato and some apple strudel is a must. If home, the table is set, the coffee is poured and a most delicious slice of Plum cake appears with a huge dollop of whipped cream. This scene was repeated every day while we were in Germany no matter where we were or who were were with. Now I like a little afternoon Pick-me-up too, but it usually involves stopping real quick at a counter and getting a cappuccino or cup of tea in a paper cup with a lid, heading out the door and continuing on with the busy day. (side note....I never have liked German cars because they don't have cup holders....I always wondered how they manage to hold their coffee with out making a mess on the way to work...or to run errands... or for that 4:00 caffeine need...) By Day 4, I too looked forward to (drum roll) COFFEE TIME!!! There is something so peaceful about taking a break in the day and just stopping to enjoy the moment. I vow never to pull up to a Starbucks drive-thru again!
   And what would a trip to Germany be without Beer??? I took a wonderful picture of my husband drinking his first Beer on German soil in over 30 years in the Lovely little town of Boppard on the Rhine River. We stayed there on our first night to get adjusted before beginning the family rounds. Most unfortunately that photo, along with so many others from those first few days where accidentally erased.
   Fortunately the cousins had the beer waiting:

The ladies often mixed their beer with sprite or coke....I couldn't quite go with that custom, but I did really like the peach beer!

No matter who's house we went to...especially the octogenarian Aunts and Uncles, The schnapps hit the table as soon as we sat down
At all the restaurants as well as homes,  were were served Schnapps following dinner to "settle our stomachs." Sometimes it took an entire bottle to do the trick.  I should not have any tummy issues for years to come.
A favorite of all our hosts was SaaseKorn. It is Brewed right in Schoppingen. The beverage was wonderful, but I really liked the Sasse house in the middle of town:


One particular night we indulged in a wee bit too much Sassekorn along with a very special bottle of Malt Whiskey brewed in the nearby town of Coesfeld that Hans had been saving. Any lingering Language barriers were completely washed away! And the rest of the story is for the pictures to tell: