California vacation. Pebble Beach. Leisurely drive. Fog. Ocean. Peaceful.

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The Lone Cypress

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There’s a nature trail not too far from our house that we sometimes walk in winter. The trail is heavily used in the other three seasons, but is much quieter in winter when folks tend to hole up at home or do laps around the mall. But nothing beats getting fresh air, and a little dose of sun should it appear for a moment or two.

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What’s great about the trail in winter is that you can see who’s been out and about…human, goose…all are fans of the trail.

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As are the beavers, apparently. Those are some SHARP teeth.

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So get out of the malls and stores. Get out of your warm home. Take a walk and see the REAL sights.

So you’re celebrating at a graduation party and get an…ummmm…unfortunately worded piece of cake. Of course you take a picture.

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There really ARE a lot of different ways to illustrate waiting. Here are a few from my collection…

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Waiting for the mail

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Waiting to watch the Boilermaker Road Race

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Waiting for class to get out

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Waiting for our train ride

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Waiting for summer

No one said your family has to be 100% human, right?

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Charlie, Scout, and Boo

I have a split personality when it comes to breakfast. At night, when I’m feeling cozy and comfortable, I make a plan to get up just a little early, cook a serving of Bob’s Red Mill High Fiber cereal, which I’ll then eat in peace from my favorite bowl, using my favorite spoon. (Yes, I have a favorite spoon. Why? Who knows.) I’ll be full and warm and powered to meet the demands of the work day.

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But, then, the alarm rips me from my dreams, the chores of the day burst my comfortable flannel-lined bubble, and the previous evening’s plans quickly evaporate. I end up staying in bed just a little too long, so while I’m not exactly late or rushing, I don’t have enough time for the hot cereal, so cold cereal it is…in any old bowl with any old spoon. The dogs are hungry and barking, so there goes the peace. Goodbye, imagined morning ritual! Goodbye, warm and nourishing breakfast!

Then evening comes, and I think, TOMORROW is the day for the fresh start. Yes, tomorrow. But then, yeah, no.

How stupid of me. All it takes is a few extra minutes…just a smidgen of willpower…to make the plan a reality, a true ritual. So tomorrow. YES, tomorrow it is.

Resolved.

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Today is the Saturday when my monthly bible study meets at Panera for breakfast, chit-chat, philosophy, and squabbling. Oh, how I look forward to the fellowship and that bagel.

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Yes, it’s a church. On an island. In a pond. And not just any church, but the world’s SMALLEST church. JUST big enough for a bride, groom, and a minister. The wedding party? Well, they have to wait on shore and wonder how the vows are going.

How wonderful.

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Cross Island Chapel, Oneida, NY

See’s Gourmet Lollipops

Posted: November 6, 2011 in Treats

Back to the “Things I Love” portion of this blog…

For Christmas, a few years ago, a professor gave me a box of See’s mixed chocolates. I was immediately hooked and carefully rationed each chocolate in order to make them last as long as possible. Then, on a trip to California, we visited the retro-looking, black and white tiled See’s stores, and were immediately mesmerized by the gleaming stores and creamy candies. This stuff’s the real deal. My grandfather used to surprise us with a trip to the candy counter at a downtown department store to buy us buttery caramels and thick chocolates. One bite of See’s chocolates and I’m right back there with grandpa. Nostalgic. Rich. Just really, really good.

But one can’t go around eating box after box of chocolates, even if they do bring back a rush of fond memories. So when an email from See’s arrived advertising their Gourmet Lollipops, it didn’t take long to talk myself into a box. Smooth butterscotch (my favorite!), creamy vanilla, cafe latte, and rich chocolate, these are lollipops to be savored, not chomped and chewed. Need a 70 calorie dessert? A reward for a job well done? Or just a little treat? Be good to yourself, and reach for a See’s pop. Trust me on this one.

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So, once again this blog is in grave danger of going belly-up. I’ve been busy, but also, I fritter away big chunks of time. (One must unwind, mustn’t one?!) My niece posted a link to a weekly photo/blog challenge (http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2011/11/04/weekly-photo-challenge-windows/#more-2348) and provided the kick in the ass that I needed to get writing and posting again.

This week’s challenge is “windows” so I’m re-posting a shot I took at work on an afternoon in early May. I was waiting for a ride and killed a few minutes messing around with my iPhone’s camera and the Hipstamatic app. Because of the way the sun was hitting the phone’s display, I couldn’t really tell how my photos turned out until I went back inside. Some were dumb and deleted, but I like this one…where it looks like spring has moved inside the Science Center. And isn’t that what we all need…a way to bring a blast of color and sun into our work day.

So, yeah…windows. I’m back.

Thanks, Casi.

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Noon Mark Diner Pie

Posted: August 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

I keep saying that I have no agenda on this vacation, but that’s a lie. Since we’d be within an hour or so of the Noon Mark Diner I knew we had to get there for some pie. A friend served us a slice of their Raspberry Crumb two summers ago and I’ve never forgotten how good that pie was. All berry, no jam. Great crust. Crispy, buttery crumbs. Yeah, memorable pie.

After a stop at the Farmers’ Market in Lake Placid, we met up with Lois, the friend who served us that first slice, for lunch at the Noon Mark. And, of course, pie. But after a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich with fresh-cut fries, I was a little too full to fully appreciate all that pie goodness. Oh, what a dilemma. The solution? After a quick “how do we handle this urgent pie issue” meeting, I made a motion that we buy a WHOLE pie and eat it later. And tomorrow. And the next day. Fred seconded the motion, and soon we had a box of warm Raspberry Crumb in hand. Meeting adjourned.

Now…dessert.

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