Posts Tagged 'holidays'

Ain’t that America

…or at least our little slice of it:

Going to a friend’s house, for too much salad & side dishes, beer (if you want it), soda (if you want it), pit beef or roast pork loin from the grill. People brought casseroles, grilled tomatoes, watermelon, cherry pie. And then when it grew dark, we squished over to the local park through the leftover puddles from the morning rain, and watched fireworks to celebrate Independence Day. And above the trees, we could see other towns’ fireworks going off.

We spent the short drive home reminiscing about other 4th of July celebrations, and when we used to be able to get up on a hill and see the fireworks coming up from the valleys below us. We live someplace else now, but Independence Day celebrations tend to be very similar from town to town or state to state.

I hope yours was splendid. Unless you’re waiting to celebrate a holiday in another country (according to the Internet, Venezuela has their Independence Day on the 5th and Argentina’s in on the 9th). And there’s a Belgian National day sometime late in July.

Woman vs. squash

1. The squash — a blue-skinned pumpkin

bluesquash2. Halves

squashhalves3.  A pie, after steaming and pulverizing the pumpkin, then making the filling. Pie crust my normal butter crust. We ended up getting a pie and a deep-dish tiny pie.

bluepumpkinpieIt’s 1 AM. I have a freezer with enough steamed pumpkin for 2 more pies. My kitchen is a mess, but I’m going to sleep happy. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. And to those outside the USA, the best of days with lots of gratitude.

Places worth revisiting – Budapest, Hungary

Budapest, Hungary in the 1980s was an amazing mashup of historic buildings, hills in the distance, and armed Soviet guards in the subways. The subways had massively steep inclines, which were miserable in the snow of January. The electric trolleys were a different shape than they are in the States, with speedy reflexes on your part being your only hope of jumping safely on and off. No one seemed to speak English, and German was the only common language I had with the shopkeepers.

The city was beautiful, the people seemed friendly, and it’s just one of those places that is worth a revisit, even if it’s only in my daydreams.

  1. Fabulous monuments like the Fischerbastei. Here’s an aerial view (from the sky: look at the turrets hugging the cliff)
  2. Amazing churches that show the blend of historic influences on their walls, like Matthiaskirche
  3. A Dominican cloister preserved within the walls of the local Hilton hotel (we stared at the ancient well through the windows)
  4. Hotel Gellert (I really don’t know how the tour afforded to book us here, but we loved gawking at the spa and mineral baths,but weren’t brave enough to go in among all the businessmen in towels)
  5. The Central market, with its garlic vendors, rabbit hutches, and more fruit pyramids than I’d seen before
  6. And of course, the Hungarian National Gallery in the Royal Palace

So, if you could go back to someplace you visited in your youth — where and why? (Yes, this is the sort of stuff I think about while commuting. Much better than thinking bad words at people who don’t use turn signals.)

Perfect Labor Day, with lots of mental rest

Today was beautiful:

We walked over to see a movie at the corner theatre (Ghostbusters), ate pizza out with friends, then talked with them about the summer while eating plum cake (that I made last night).

The weather outside was foul — humid, steamy, and filled with ragweed pollen. Much better to have a little neighborly kaffeeklatsch in the living room to discuss trips we’ve had, or vacations others are planning. Oh, and Ghostbusters was a total blast, and held up surprisingly well although kids today would never believe a musician could live in a penthouse in NYC. 

So, anyone catch any good movies at the end of the summer season? I’ll probably go back to see Helen Mirren’s latest, but if there’s a film from the UK coming my way that I shouldn’t miss, please let me know so I can watch for it.

Hope everyone had a good labor day, and spent a few moments at least remembering why we have this holiday and remember: look for the union label (am I showing my age maybe?).

Have yourself a merry little

havealittle It’s been a whirlwind of a week.

Many family events during the past weekend, and now suddenly it’s Little Christmas Eve, and I’ve spent the night wrapping presents. Jams and other presents have been wrapped up. I need to get the roast ready for Christmas Eve, and we just put up the tree. Jul confekt is on my list of treats to make quickly tomorrow — hopefully I will have time.

I’m already “so behinder” that I don’t think I’ll be posting much. Other than now, to wish you all a very merry Christmas. Put on Meet Me in St. Louis or any other favorite movie, and enjoy the season. I will, now that I’ve successfully escaped any further visits to the mall.

So, how about you? Are you giving out Groundhog’s Day cards like me, or are you efficient and organized? (Anyone else been reading the Yarn Harlot’s progress as she gets ready for the holidays? I too muttered “Oh, the humanity” when I entered the mall, but it wasn’t too bad. Choose a time when there are 3 football games on, and you won’t see too many people in our mall.) No matter which way you get through to the joys of Christmas, sit back, relax, and enjoy some of the wonder of it all. Oh, and try the eggnog. Yum!


Wishing everyone a happy Easter

Lenten Rose

Lenten Rose

Hoping you have a wonderful Easter day — whether you celebrate it, or you’re just hoping to enjoy the start of Spring. I won’t be hiding Easter eggs anywhere (the cats aren’t interested in them), but I will probably be outdoors enjoying what sun we get before the rain comes back.

For those of you who would like a few treats for Easter, here’s a virtual “Easter basket” of links:

An Easter rabbit to knit (link is from Ravelry)

Pictures of Pysanky eggs at a Ukranian Museum of New York City

Easter Parade, with Judy Garland and Fred Astaire (or just listen to the song…[link])

Candies from my childhood: Peeps (candy dioramas at the link)


Not exactly Christmas knitting…

I’ve been knitting a lot lately, while reading books. But it’s not exactly “Christmas knitting”.

The holidays are stress filled, so I’m enjoying the process of knitting up some of the yarn I’ve collected.
Look: here’s some Tosh DK knit up in Vanilla bean.

It’s lovely, with crisp definition, and flecked with purple in the brown. If you are a knitter (or you have a knitter in your life), a skein or 2 of this is a terrific gift. Vanilla bean doesn’t look like it’s in the shops anymore, but there are other really lovely colors.
I know I will have to head out to shop for presents and cooking supplies sometime soon, but for now, it’s time to take a break.


Dinner, good conversation, and a national holiday

It’s hard to say what I like best about Thanksgiving. The food is great, the people and family I meet are good conversationalists, and a day off from work (plus an extra because of good work policies) all make me feel happy. But a day that I spend feeling thankful for all of these things, plus the normal everyday stuff — priceless. Hope you had a good day with family and/or friends, even if it isn’t a holiday for you. (Let’s see. Canada has Thanksgiving earlier in the year. Wonder if any other countries celebrate Thanksgiving?)

Lobster spotting

lobstercar Here’s a lobster in an unusual location — right outside Baltimore’s Penn station.

No, not the one in NYC. And sometimes people refer to all the stations on the Pennsylvania line as being Pennsylvania station, so I’m always in a perpetual state of confusion about which station is which. (NYC or Philadelphia or Baltimore or Wilmington, Delaware or even D.C.)

Seen during ArtScape. This was one of the art cars. Hopefully this red lobster (who was animated enough to drive over, even though it’s evidently been cooked) will head off to Massachusetts, where it will fit in better than in the blue crab state.

The fiberglass claw on the door was a great touch.