Friday, November 27, 2009

you look like a hipster

We commemorated the second day of our four-day weekend by seeing A Christmas Carol in 3-D at the IMAX. Given we had on such fancy eyewear (and that we were pretty much alone in the theater as we had arrived 45 minutes early), we took the opportunity to do a photo shoot...naturally.

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Well, it's officially Thanksgiving. So, happy day. I hope you have somewhere to feast. Although we're not able to go home this year, we do -- we're going over to Candice and Bryan's to have dinner with them and C's parents (and bringing some food, including this cranberry-apple-bourbon pie). I'm so grateful to have good people to spend the day with -- and if I know them, which I do, there will also be good food and good wine...

Speaking of good food, I got this email from Sr. Joan Chittister, OSB, the other day. She's one of my favorite Catholic writers, in part because her writing and ideas are accessible, and also because she sees the value in other faiths, which, as you probably know, is very important to me (and if not, you do now!). This time, she wrote about the value of feasts. Here a few of my favorites among her "10 Thanksgiving Thoughts."
  • It's important to dot our lives with unscheduled as well as scheduled feast days. That way we remember that we are able to make joy as well as to expect it...
  • A Jewish proverb teaches us: "Worries go down better with soup." Treating food as a sacrament rather than a necessity reminds us that, in the end, there is always more good in life than bad. The trick is to notice it.
  • To love good food is a measure of our love of life. Food preparation teaches us to do everything we can to make life palatable, spicy, comforting, full of love.
  • One purpose of feasting is to get back in touch with the earth that sustains us, to glorify the God that made it, and to pledge ourselves to save the land that grows our food.
  • In this country, we are conditioned to think that taking time to eat together, to make a meal an event rather than an act, takes time from the important things in life. That may be exactly why we are confused now about what the important things in life really are...
  • To be feasted is to live outrageously.
To read the rest of Sr. Joan's thoughts on feasting, click here.

I thank God that I can even think about feasting, something some can't even dare to hope for. I pray that God will use me as an instrument to give others the opportunity to experience this right (not privilege) as well.

Happy Thanksgiving, wherever you are.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

actually, a lot of trees grow in brooklyn

It's been a wonderfully eventful weekend here. On Friday, we got together with my cousin, Chelle, and her husband, Joe, and their three-month-old, Colby (who we were just meeting for the first time). They live in Chicago, so we don't see them much -- it was great to catch up over a leisurely dinner. (Perhaps too leisurely, according to our server...) Somehow, even though we were there for three hours, nobody took any photos. (Argh.)

On Saturday night, Ian and I babysat for Colby so his mom and dad could go on a date. We all had a blast. (Except when he got the hiccups -- twice! -- and we were all miserable. You can't exactly tell a baby to hold his breath...or scare the daylights out of him.) Here are some of our fun moments.
This morning we awoke to loud, incessant tweeting. It was Anita, the female cardinal who lives somewhere in our backyard. (We named the pair of cardinals Bernardo and Anita after the two coolest characters in West Side Story.) We put up a feeder (on Wednesday, I think) right outside our bedroom window. The cardinals let us watch them from our bed, so we're about four feet away, separated only by a window. We've also had a few house sparrows and mourning doves. Now I'm hoping the feeder attracts some of the blue jays we've seen in the trees. I don't know if they will, though, because Bernardo has been chasing away anything else that comes by -- he seriously hops behind the sparrows and tries to peck them. Here's our star pair!
After we finished watching the birds, which we did for a good half an hour, we decided to take a walk around Prospect Park in Brooklyn. First, we stopped for brunch at an incredibly kitchy neighborhood diner called Tom's Restaurant (not to be confused with the mediocre-at-best place of Seinfeld fame). It was fabulous. The service was so good they had a guy that walked up and down the line of people waiting to be seated with free snacks, coffee, and even hand sanitizer. And then we got the food...oh man (the photos say it all).
When we finished eating, we rolled ourselves to Prospect Park, and along the way, we passed some cool Brooklyn landmarks, like the museum, the botanic garden, the main branch of the library, and a roundabout full of monuments dedicated to Americans in battle (we have a lot of those). The park has a much different feel. It's very wild and hilly, and there are a number of old, ornate structures that have been consumed by the wilderness around reminds me of how Narnia might look in the fall. Take a look.
What did you do this weekend?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

falling for fall

I've reconsidered my original ideas about fall in New York. For the first few years we lived here, I hated it. Actually, there wasn't a fall to speak of. The leaves were green in September, green in October, and just starting to turn in November when suddenly it froze and they all fell off after being gorgeous for about two days. This year it's different. New Yorkers are getting to see some lovely color, and the weather has been warm enough that we've been able to enjoy it.

Today Ian and I took a stroll. As usual, it wasn't your normal walk in the park...things seemed almost wild today.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

photo finish

I am excited to announce that Ian and I have finally finished with a household project that's been half-done for ages. It all started in July 2007 (the 11th to be exact), when we were in town for Andrew and Amy's wedding. Ian and I hadn't been alone for the whole week we'd been home, so we took a drive into Sheboygan to grab a coffee at the Weather Center Cafe and then to see what was going on at the lakefront. After we got our caffeine fix (only the best coffee in the city), we decided to park by the cottages at Blue Harbor and walk down to the beach where there's a boardwalk and some grassy dunes (reconstructed, I think -- pretty sure this land didn't exist 10 years ago).

What we found there was absolutely breathtaking. It was about 8 o'clock, and there was fog over the lake, but it was translucent enough to see the clouds and the sun starting to set in the background. Luckily, we'd brought our camera along, so we started shooting. Here are our favorites:

Later, we decided to frame them...and until today (when we found out the new Michaels next to the new Whole Foods has very affordable frames) we'd only gotten around to framing three. Because of this, only a few of the frames match, but they're all black with white mats. They look tres chic, if I do say so myself.

Yay! Another item checked off the list. Now on to putting a bird feeder on the balcony...