Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Friday, November 26, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
This is the roasting pan that belonged to my grandmother, then my mother and now me. It is incredibly heavy, and even though the outside enameling has a few chips here and there, it still works great. It is the pan that roasts our Thanksgiving and Christmas turkeys every year. It's certainly not the most valuable thing they left me, but it is one of the most treasured because it holds so many memories. Just think of the tales it could tell if it could speak. The kitchens, full of various female relatives helping with the cooking, children underfoot, and the roasting pan sitting there listening to everything that was said. Oh, my.
Every time I lift it to put it in the oven I think of my grandmother, using it to roast a turkey in a wood burning stove as a young married woman, later using, as she described them, "one of them newfangled gas things that might could blow us to Kingdom Come any minute," and my mother, who cooked with stoves pretty similar to the ones of today.
I have several serious health issues, but when I lift that pan, which usually has a 25 pound turkey in it, it seems light. I wonder if that is because... just maybe...my grandma and mama are right there lifting it with me?
I like to think so.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Autumn first appears the last week of September or the first week of October in and around Big Bear, starting at the 7,500 foot altitude.
By mid-November I finish up down around Lake Silverwood, at an altitude of a little over 3,000 feet, which doesn't have a lot of trees or plants that are colorful either, and not many pines or cedars. (There used to be a lot of Douglas Firs and Western Red Cedars, but they burned in the devastating 2003 fires). However, there is still beauty to be captured in the sere, faded grasses and seed heads, along with the occasional oak tree.
I feel so lucky to be able to prolong Autumn by following her down through the altitude changes. By doing that, I'm able to see her colors for almost 6 weeks!
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Well, actually this is only a 45 minute drive from the mountains that I live in, but in terms of climate, vegetation, pollution, terrain, crime and a vast difference in population numbers, it may as well be a world away! Every time I drive down from the mountains, it makes me aware of what a lovely, fragile little bubble we who are fortunate enough to live up here inhabit.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
We're supposed to get nearly a foot of snow tomorrow - or did the weather man say Sunday? I just saw the report a little over an hour ago, you'd think I could remember! Oh, well. I'm not going to be too hard on myself because I've spent the last hour trudging back and forth from the cottage to the storage/potting shed. Husband and I have been bringing in Christmas decorations. Usually I leave the autumn things up until after Thanksgiving in the dining room and kitchen and just get the living room decorated for Christmas, but this year H said he didn't feel like doing it in two shifts, so...
I'm glad I collected a lot of colorful leaves before this storm came in, and I still have some real pumpkins and gourds which I rescued from him just before he put them in the trash. At least I can make a harvest-themed centerpiece for the table. And I have the autumn dinnerware...oh, no. I hope he didn't swap it out for the Christmas china!
Ahhh...caught him just in time!
Friday, November 19, 2010
My husband is also ticked; it's starting to rain here and I remembered that I hadn't brought her in when I was looking for a picture to post for 'Faeries Friday.' He just spent 15 minutes out in the rain, in the dark, high up on a ladder rescuing Fleur. I can't blame him for being ticked at me, either; but I have a feeling he'll get over it far faster than Fleur will, thanks to the mug of hot tea, a plate of fresh baked cookies and lavish gratitude and praise.
None of these things would work with Fleur, although I did apologize profusely as I was drying her off. So I expect there will be Faerie mischief going on in my studio for several weeks. Because, even though they seem to be little statues, everyone who knows anything about Faeries know they come to life when we're not looking!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
If there are no postings from me after Thanksgiving, you'll know they took offence to me 'stealing' one of their birdbaths and decided to behave like the birds in the famous Hitchcock movie. Ha. Like they'd kill their source of peanuts and suet cakes. They wouldn't...would they???
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
I took this on a foggy-day walk through the woods. We've had so many foggy, even rainy, days this autumn. I'm hoping this weather is just a preview of a wet, snowy winter!
Saturday, November 13, 2010
I found these artfully arranged by the side of the path while walking to my studio this morning. Little gifts like this from Mother Nature always brighten my day!
It felt so good to get back into my studio. I've been driving up and down the 'hill' (mountain) to Redlands for the past several days to take my sister to various appointments. It's a lovely town, full of old Victorian houses and charming Craftsmen bungalows, but it's 45 miles (one way) from my home. I used think nothing of making the 90 mile round trip five days a week for work, and then getting a couple hours of painting done when I got home, but that was back when I was in my twenties. Several decades do make a difference in one's stamina. (And not for the better, either, darn it). That's a little 'gift' that I could do without!