Monday, February 28, 2011

A very casual Sunday evening...

  My husband.  The love of my life.  You make me laugh on a Sunday full of crazy.  This photo captures a man who has given it all up to run after two tots and wife who lives by a list and a clock.  Mr. Witt was not granted even a shower today; much to much to accomplish.  Woken by a Jay and a Sue and a cat, our lovely loft is spic and span, our driveway dug out to see the light of day, two children tired out by an afternoon event, and our cupboards full from a trip to the market!  Your treat my love, a delicious Vermont crafted beer in a tall glass and a moment to rest your weary mind.







 This one is for your belly.  A warm homemade noodle soup chalk full of fresh organic veggies and silky egg noodles.  A slurp of this soup paired with a piece of torn ciabatta bread tantalizes the taste buds and warms the soul.  This wintry dish is a family fav!!








                                                            






  Thanks to the lack of shampoo-ing, Matthew's hair styles kept us all entertained while we indulged in our very late evening Sunday dinner.  Something must be done to avoid the dreaded television from being turned on; it has conspired with the children to try and suck our souls! Thank you darling husband for being goofy and fun and saving us all.



 Meanwhile, Legion pretends he does not know any of us and hopes he goes unnoticed at his place at the table. 
His hair might be next!




Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Action packed...


The Witt Family had quite a weekend; including a grandma Mindy, a horse drawn sleigh ride, an icy boat excursion, and dinner fit for beasts....



First of all, when a grandma Mindy graces your door you should never turn her away.  She is full of life and excitement and will bring adventure to an otherwise plain weekend.  First on the agenda; mushing in the North East Kingdom!  Really?  Too bad for us the pups had too many anxious passengers already.  Another idea anyone?  Oh yes, a sleigh ride will do nicely.  




As we waited in the sunny frigid February air we began to hear a cheerful jingle coming our way.  Off in the distance we could see our horse drawn sleigh trotting closer to make our acquaintance.  We were greeted by two beauties with the horse power to carry the lot of us!  Away we went to explore the land of Shelburne Farms on a most lovely and romantic ride.  




So lovely actually, that my children posed nicely for this very sweet photo;  a moment to remember.


 

 What could be more Vermont than a drive through a covered bridge after a morning like that?  This little gem is set right on Lake road and paves the way to Lake Champlain on the other side...

...the lake is looking exquisite on this particularly clear winter day. The tops of the water were frozen in the most unique way. Jagged and sharp; the ice gleamed in the sun. A hard sight to digitally capture. We stared at if for quite some time and took a dozen photos, and suddenly we knew what adventure was to follow! 





Next up; the icy excursion across an ancient lake.  I will have to disclose that I am not to keen on tundra-like lake conditions.  I do prefer a yummy sunny day on a rivers edge with a dog and a book.  A possible sink into sudden death, not a Sunday activity I pretend to enjoy.  I do admit, after surviving the the titanic like icebergs, the ride was quite smooth and I rather enjoyed it!




video



After a day made of magic we needed a feast.  
On the menu; sushi and drink.  
To top it off, tempura style fried iced cream. 
Red bean AND green tea flavors please.  
The end result...



a happy bunch.


Saturday, February 19, 2011

Simple Joys...



This little bundle of sweetness is a mere two dollars and fifty cents at our local village market here in Shelburne.  It is my favorite item to purchase with my weekly pocket money!  Hand picked and different each week, it is the highlight of my shopping trip.  I only use this particular market for three specific things.... delicious, yet inexpensive wine.  the perfect sesame cracker.  and these floral goodies.  They last a week and dress up my living room rather nicely.  I find the colors refreshing against the cold white wintry view out my window.





It looks to me that it is time to turn this guy around.  I love how the leaves reach for the sun from the window to its right and I often skooch him the opposite way for some leafy exercise.  I am not a green thumb.  However, this particular plant has stuck it out with me for quite some time.  We have seen others come and go, poor dears, but this guy could live through an apocalypse, I am sure of it!  A bit of hydration once a month and a view out the window seems to be all he requires.  He has a nice glass bottle and a few yoga books to keep him company...


   

This is one of my favorite spots in our home.  Quite cozy and sweet.  This simple tray holds my weekly floral arrangement, my favorite smelling candle, our oh so useful remote, and an occasional card from a friend. My family often turns it, skooches it , places foreign objects on it... but I like it in its original organic state; slightly askew, at the far right corner of the ottoman, with these few simple items placed ever so carefully.   



Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dear WInter,

 

I adore the winter months and all of its splendor... Some of my favorite things about this chilly season include a blustery wind storm or a deep freeze, a fierce blizzard, or an icy explosion that blankets every twig; which then sparkle in the next days sun.  There is nothing so quiet as winter either;  it is a rarity to cherish.  A walk in an evening snowstorm gives time to listen to my breath and my footsteps.  The crunch underneath my feet sinking into freshly fallen snow is equal to the joy of fresh cut grass in between my bare toes. 
And last but not least, winter is a promise for spring...





ours is in the middle
 I am smitten with our cute row of post boxes as they struggle to keep their heads above snowline.  The procedure is always the same...Some poor soul spends there precious time to dig them out, a home worthy of their job, and then the monstrous plow buries them again in one quick second.  I feel sorry for them out there in the cold when I see them out my window.  Their job is an honorable one, keeping a long time tradition of a hand delivered note from one person to another.  I admit, most notes I receive these days are usually from a stranger requesting my hard earned dollar bills but occasionally a note comes from a loved one and it always warms my heart.  So thank you mailbox for doing your due diligence in the winter months, you are appreciated.






 Holy Snowman Noah!!  For a desert boy you sure know how to do it right!  It took all four of us to lift his head on top of his lower half.  I love the jelly bean eyeballs, the stick mouth and I especially love dads Diamond backs baseball cap!  I don't think the diamondbacks have had too many of these guys on their playing field.  We did not even have that much snowfall and this is the lawn package we received!  A  good foot above little Witt's head and two feet above the little miss (not pictured).  I do say, I am impressed... Well done desert children, we will turn you into Vermonters yet.








 My favorite winter activity... definitely a hike up Mount Philo with my one and only Mr. Witt and our trusty sidekick, old man McMurphey (aka Legion).  It is a generous winter hike offering a bounty of enchanting wintry scenes.  Families fill the trails and dogs are let loose to play with each other. Kids and adults alike are all gripping their sleds anxious for the thrilling ride down!  The view from atop  is breathtaking.  Waterholes are spotted for summer swimming on the edges of the lake and long farm roads are carved out of the snow giving a picturesque scene of Vermont's finest landscape.  Oh the beauty of it all...



                     





Lastly, there is nothing quite like a good book during the coldest season to keep you warm.





Monday, February 14, 2011

My Favorite Valentine

Hello Valentine's Day, so we meet again. We have not always been great friends. I find you slightly silly and very commercial. However, this year I am a bit amused by your presence. I baked lovely cupcakes with pink sprinkles (yummy), we cooked heart shaped pizzas and I cheerfully wore a red velvet scarf. The man in my life is a perfect partner. The family I have is full of happiness and joy. The town I am in is so cozy and sweet. Tonight I celebrate a day dedicated to hearts and love with a cheap bottle of vino, some Vermont chocolates, and my favorite love story. 'Til next year...

Sick Valentine

Poor dear. With new heart earrings, a clean pressed pink outfit, and a purse full of sweets; Gabi Goose has been looking forward to this day for a month when the unthinkable happened! A fever swept in like a tornado in summertime. Relentless, and full of fury, it knocked dear Gabi right out. She was a victim of circumstance that has forced a day of rest on the couch. However, not all was lost. She had the whole day as daddy's girl, the best Valentine a six year old could ask for. They played games on the floor and had a lovely lunch. Valentine's were delivered after school by big brother Noah and on the menu tonight; homemade non chicken chicken noodle soup, fresh bread from red hen bakery, and a cuddle on the couch with mom. Not so bad. See you next year day of love!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Snow, Shovels and Barns on a Saturday

Nothing says Vermont like spending the day atop of a 200 year old barn! Mr. Witt and Mr. Taylor dug deep and shoveled a good 3 feet of snow, off the roof of the barn, to save the structure from possible collapse. A view from the house, earlier in the week, gave a concerning picture of a bowing roof. Saturday came and off the boys went; to save the structure from imminent demise. Items to be saved; some barn tools, two motor boats, and the integrity of a Shelburne building that has been around far too long to leave us now. Thank you gentlemen for all of your hard work. Matthew Taylor can rest easy tonight, his barn is safe...






Thursday, February 10, 2011

Diary of a Want to be Vegan

 Entry #4 - 11/2/11

There is a pumpkin bread in the break room today.  Not only am I a fan of all things pumpkin, but this particular loaf has a cream cheese filling.  Ugh.  Didn't have any. 

And after writing ugh and feeling like I am missing out I remind myself of the reasons behind my choices.  I am comforted in this and am happy to look forward to a homemade chili lunch!

Entry #3 - 11/1/11

We had a most lovely weekend.  It was jammed packed with events and happenings and I feel so blessed for this very full life.  

Successes - eating a completely and most delicious vegan meal at a friends Saturday night.  This was so so kind of them, for they own a gorgeous farm where they harvest not only amazing breads and veggies but also milk and meat products as well.  If I were to chose to eat animals this would certainly be the place to do it, but I do not and I am so very thankful that THEY LIKE US ANYWAY!! 

Menu - An amazing Carrot Ginger soup w/ fresh greens, amazing bread, and roasted potatoes.  Some yummy wine and a side of the dictionary game...heavenly


and I almost forgot about the 'grown on site' spinach for soup topping.  It was to die for!

Failures, well let's just say setbacks for now... Pizza from Cucina TWICE!!  Once on Friday night due to  lack of planning and a relaxed dinner with friends.  Another on Sunday night to celebrate a good friends birthday.  That Cucina pizza is so so amazing.  I do recommend you dine there if you are in the neighborhood.  I see this struggle happening quite a bit as time goes on.  I think, perhaps, we will ask the super kind owners to make a cheese(less) for us... If anyone could pull that off it would be them ;-)

Good news - I am OFF the coffee!

Entry #2 -  10/27/11

Day 4 of no caffeine.  I got this.  And I feel fine. 
I have replace my beloved dark liquid with a more translucent kind.  It is hearty and filling and I LOVE it.


This fine beverage is lightly flavored to add variety and comes in some fantastic flavors: Black Cherry, Vanilla, and now, Georgia Peach are my Faves!!  This is my new afternoon and/or late night sipping snack.

Last night's dinner: Burritos / Any's Refried black beans, corn, spanish rice, black olives, avocado, chipolte salsa, and grilled tortillas, hold the cheese!  With all those fabulous ingredients I barely knew it was gone!

------------------------------------------------------------
10/26/11



 So I have been waiting for a moment of clarity as to how I would journal my new dietary endeavors...

It hasn't presented itself.  In fact, the conversations I have with myself regarding this very issue are often sporadic in nature and not yet refined for listening ears. So I will begin simply, knowing two things for certain:: 

I care about my health and the health of my family.
Also, I am becoming much more conscience of the burden placed on the animals of this world. 

So here it goes.  A daily entry of the successes and the failures of going to a whole foods based diet.  I anticipate slips toward pizza and ice cream.  I look forward to better digestion and cleaner arteries.  I am happy to let the Turkeys live this Thanksgiving, or at least my turkey.  I am encouraged by Gabrielle, my natural vegan who has always preferred mostly raw fruits and veggies to all other foods, even ice cream.

Entry Numero Uno - 

This week I have taken on the enormous task of ridding my body of caffeine addiction.  This is not because I think coffee is bad for you and that one should not consume it.  It is because, unlike my Mr., I am unable to drink it without that delicious creamer that makes it a milky white and cuts the robustness by half. 

The unfortunate(ness) surrounding this event is that I love to sip a morning beverage.  I also am highly addicted to the particular beverage in question.  So seeing that the weather has turned so have I, to green tea that is.  Its warmth is welcomed at my cold desk by the window and its gentle tones are soothing to my palette.  In stark comparison, I guess I do prefer the loveliness of tea, it is convincing my body of this fact that is tricky.

I think I am only looking at a few days of withdraw.  I am okay with it.  As soon as I became aware of the cream, and its source, the taste was becoming almost unbearable.  So this is good for my health, this is good for my wallet, and this is good for darling Mr. Cow, who needs not worry about how my coffee tastes with or without his efforts...

Intention

Coming Soon

9 + One


9 + one, almost 10, dedicated years with my Mr.  

He is the best.  I love him dearly.  I got lucky.

I will often write about Mr. Witt in the most loving way. I mean every word I say when I convey my undying affections for him.  I do believe we chose each other long before either of us were even aware.






Listen up...

The Young Buffalo's.

Love this.


Enjoy...





My very favorite forms of the...

Manifesto:
The Mad Farmer Liberation Front

by Wendell Berry


 Love the quick profit, the annual raise,
vacation with pay. Want more
of everything ready-made. Be afraid
to know your neighbors and to die.
And you will have a window in your head.
Not even your future will be a mystery
any more. Your mind will be punched in a card
and shut away in a little drawer.
When they want you to buy something
they will call you. When they want you
to die for profit they will let you know.
So, friends, every day do something
that won't compute. Love the Lord.
Love the world. Work for nothing.
Take all that you have and be poor.
Love someone who does not deserve it.
Denounce the government and embrace
the flag. Hope to live in that free
republic for which it stands.
Give your approval to all you cannot
understand. Praise ignorance, for what man
has not encountered he has not destroyed.
Ask the questions that have no answers.
Invest in the millenium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest.
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
Put your faith in the two inches of humus
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion - put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
So long as women do not go cheap
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Go with your love to the fields.
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
As soon as the generals and the politicos
can predict the motions of your mind,
lose it. Leave it as a sign
to mark the false trail, the way
you didn't go. Be like the fox
who makes more tracks than necessary,
some in the wrong direction.
Practice resurrection.

---------------------------------------------------

Arise, then, women of this day!  
 Arise all women who have hearts,
Whether your baptism be that of water or of tears
Say firmly:

"We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands shall not come to us reeking of carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of
charity, mercy and patience.

"We women of one country
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs."
  
From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says, "Disarm, Disarm!"
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice!
Blood does not wipe out dishonor
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war.

Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.

Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.

Let them then solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace,
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God.

In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality
May be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient
And at the earliest period consistent with its objects
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions.
The great and general interests of peace.

Julie Ward Howe - 1870

Photography






















Crisp Clean Winter


My favorite part of a winter's day are the moments that follow late afternoon but a touch before the evening dusk. Every dark twig is emphasized by the cold crisp air; and the stark sky behind them displays the distinctive backdrop. The thin clouds move slowly behind the hibernating trees and the almost setting sun turns them a pale pink with a yellowish glow.
What beauty mother nature provides for us, let us not forget to take a look.
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