Friday, December 17, 2010

Life is so generous a giver, but we, judging its gifts by their covering, cast them away as ugly or heavy or hard. 
Remove the covering, and you will find beneath it a living splendour, woven of love, by wisdom with power. 
Welcome it, grasp it, and you touch the angel's hand that brings it to you. 
Everything that we call a trial, a sorrow, or a duty, 
Believe me that the angel's hand is there; the gift is there, and the wonder of an overshadowing presence.

Our joys too: be not content with them as joys.
They too conceal diviner gifts.

~Fra Giovanni

This Christmas, I am strongly reminded of how hope has embraced a hurting world.

Love to you all!

Katy Noelle xo

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Absence makes the heart grow fonder!

Hello, Everyone!

My goodness, how I have missed you all! I had no idea that life was about to get so full for so long. I've had more to do than I've had time or energy for. If I had known that I would be traveling for so long away from Blogland, I would have prepared and told you. As it is, I've been home - in my own reality - dealing with an awful lot of the mundane. Although there have been some perplexing rough spots in life, these last couple of months, we're all doing fine. ("Thank you" to those who, wondering where I was, have checked up on me! That meant a lot!)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 
In the meantime, the seasons have shifted and changed. The last time I did a proper post, it was late summer into autumn. Now, it is the very last of autumn and almost winter. I must confess, the starkness of November looked very bleak, my first two years, here, in Vermont. Now, for me, it brings subtly muted beauty, not to mention a much appreciated lull between the busyness of October and the Christmas season.

 I would like to tell you something else about November that is extremely pleasant.

It was a year ago that I first ventured on to the computer in any serious capacity. I got my first email account, discovered youtube and visited my first blog, Curlew Country. You see, a year ago, I found myself in a, somewhat, lonely place. Friendships had shifted because of the way life goes and, after 16 or so years, in what is really a different culture, I was desperate to find others who had the same particular interests and passions as I had. My sister suggested that I might find someone out in the wide world if I searched through the internet.

I did!

I found all of you!

(Not to mention, a way to stay close to those who are dear but not physically near and, new friends, who were right near me all along.)

I know that many of you have moved on to the Christmas season but, I just did not want to let this American holiday - Thanksgiving - pass fully by without telling you all how genuinely thankful I am for all of you!!!

Best wishes and just plain ol' love to you all,

Katy xxo

Oh, by the way, this is my 100th post! Gasp!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

An Invitation

Dearest Friends,

this post is both an apology and an invitation.

I do remember that I invited you to a Blog "party" to celebrate my 100th follower (according to the "friend connect" mosaic). I said that you should look for this party in September but then, alas, life got a little sticky. Life is not bad - just sticky tricky - and here it is, October already. Please, please forgive me!

This post, then, is to tell you that I have not forgotten and that my next post (which I hope will be in about a week) will be a proper blog party (with a giveaway, no less). Also, quite coincidentally, I see that it will also be my 100th post. Life IS a curious thing, isn't it.

In the meantime, we are celebrating my sister's birthday, finishing planting the garden, gaping at glorious autumn leaves, blue sky and sunshine, doing our homework and enjoying the fact that my parents are visiting.


Well, I hope that either, your life is calmly serene or that you have as much rambunctious fun as we seem to be having!

Love, Katy

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Apple Picking Time

Autumn is here!!!

I think that the leaves are turning a week or so early, this year, because of the drought. However, finally, we've had two lovely days of soaking rain. It was glorious! The grass is starting to be green and glowing again.

A week ago, my sister came by to pick some apples to make apple chutney for Rose Arbour. We had a lovely time picking and I thought that perhaps it's time for me to share the recipe for apple cheddar quiche.

(Suzy took this photo with my camera =])

Apple Cheddar Quiche

- 3 cooking apples (peeled, cored and cut into chunks) and 3 Tb butter to saute them with
- 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar (grated)

- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 cup half and half
- 4 eggs, 2 yolks
(all lightly whisked together)

- cinnamon sugar and salt

- pie crust (I like Pillsbury's refrigerated dough for ease but there is a gorgeous whole wheat recipe in the Silver Palate cookbook if you're lucky enough to own it)

1)  Saute apples in 3 TB butter until softened but still firm (about 5 minutes)

2)  Put pie crust in pie or tart dish

3)  layer apples, grated cheddar and egg mixture.

4)  shake some salt over all and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar

Bake at 350 degrees for around 45 minutes or so. The center should be definitely set but not cooked all the way through. Let stand for 15 minutes to finish cooking and to firm up.


By the way, can you peel an apple all in one go without breaking the skin? You could if you'd done it as many times as I have when I was working at Rose Arbour! hee hee!

One of my absolutely favorite smells is the aroma of apples cooking in butter.


How does one blog a smell?

     Speaking of quiche...... perhaps this is a good time to tell you about the fate of the mammoth egg. Well, I kept it, I couldn't bear to harm it - it was such a work of art. After a short while, however, it began to occur to me that this had the potential of being a wretched idea. I began to have dreams of photographing it on a silk pillow or under glass before I cooked it. Then, one of our hens laid a tiny egg and, of course,  I just had to photograph them together. However, one day, I came into the kitchen a moment too late. Mammoth was scrambled and the little one cracked in the trash. I guess that Tom had a right to eat it. After all, he really is the chicken farmer around here! Oh, well! He reports that it was indeed a double yolk; so, for those of you who were wondering about the fate of our incredible egg, that was it!

I must say, though, there is nothing like a quiche made with your own super fresh eggs!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tom has a mom.

She is mostly known as "Grandma".

Grandma has a house - a house that is right "next door" to ours.

I have a young friend!

My friend was having dinner with us when I realized that the sun was setting and it was time for me to take pictures.

She asked to come along, my friend did.

We huffed and puffed! (I did more than my young friend!)

Grandma's door is up a steep hill.

Her garden is even farther beyond that!

There are all sorts of things in mom's garden.

It's a magical place!

For example, there are soon to be Jack-o-lanterns.

There are, also, soaring sunflowers and long tunnel-like alleys between them and the corn.

My friend and I had fun with Grandma in her garden.

My friend helped harvest ....

.... and I took pictures.


Any place where there's a harvest has an air of magic about it.

How else does it all grow, if not by magic???


Yes, there's surely magic in a garden - especially after sunset!

 We felt it!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Two weeks ago, the word prompt for "The Sunday Creative" was timeworn.

What a conundrum! I live in Vermont!

I looked out the window at our 5 crumbling barns - too obvious!


Too obvious!

old cars?

Too obvious!

Tom quipped, "take a picture of me!"

Too obvious!

Oops! No, I didn't mean that!

I was really in a sticky situation! Everywhere I looked there was something that was timeworn; so, I decided to give it some time and think about it.

What a beautiful word timeworn is!

At first it could seem sad. Something that is worn away - decaying, even. Everything gets older. Instead of being worn away, some things seem to just have "worn" time.

Well, a few days later, I had to go shopping. I took my camera with me as I was still thinking and the day was fine and I thought that I might be able to finally get a picture of one of my favorite old colonial houses. (Look at what my commute to Wal-mart is!!!!)


It was when I took this photo that I realized it was not only tangible things around me that are timeworn but, also, the impalpable. Unsubstantial and abstract things like "the year" are, also, timeworn. Summer has just about finished her life. The woods are old - not new like they were in June. Most of us have worn summer's flamboyant fun and, now, it's old to us. We're craving establishment and the old and familiar to renew us.

Timeworn is a beautiful word! It speaks of depth and maturity and life lived - wisdom, gentleness, mellowness and mildness. It is a word that seems very well rounded - full of joy and beauty if not a little bittersweet.

Now, I am no longer confounded by the plethora of timeworn that is around me.

Vermont - autumn - old fashioned - vintage - quaint - historic - well-weathered -

absolutely lovely!

There are:

The woods

The People

Their homes that have seen generations before them!

The artifacts .... clues and evidence to what has gone before.

There are the barns!

Now I know why I loved the sight of them, in the spring, with the buds from the ancient crabapple tree reaching towards them. It's like the whiff of a gentlewoman's worn and faded scent of lilac. Old fashioned and fresh - sweetness itself!

.... "as old as the hills" ....

Vermont must be where this saying began!

As I went out the door to take a stroll around the barn and through the woods with my camera, I glanced at my bible. As I walked on I thought, "IT is definitely timeworn!" =] and this verse came to me.

"The grass withers and the flowers fade
but, the Word of God lasts forever."

Perfect! =]

Now, just in case I sound a little melancholy to you, just remember that us "Marianne Dashwoods" are never fully happy without a little bit of romantic sighing. The weather has been glorious - even the splashing rain (so long waited for and so seriously needed)! Things are going along well (except for the fact that there are more and more ripening tomatoes) and we're going to light our first fire in the stove tonight. Add to that the fact that the next "Sunday Creative" word that I'm behind on is comfort and you have one happy girl, here! Wonderful!

(I think that I will share a recipe and have a party first, though.)

I wish you all were here!


Katy Noelle xxo

The Sunday Creative

P.S. There are two more photos - one of the silver teething cup and one of the broken child's cup and saucer - on my photo journal.