Monday, October 20, 2014

The Giving Trees...

So, it was bound to happen. After all the dismantling, packing, wrapping, lifting, pushing, pulling, hanging, unwrapping, mantling, more lifting, pushing and pulling, my back went 'out'. I can almost mark when I crossed my personal line, when in conversation w/ myself, 'Amy, you really should not lift another thing'. But I did, and now, as I sit w/ icepack carefully tucked in, I wish I had listened to myself. I have become 'one' w/ the heating pad, the ice pack and icy/hot patches are my new friends, along w/ ibuprofen, a homeopathic pain tincture and eucalyptus spray...did I forget anything? I am finding some relief w/ gentle stretching. Sitting proves difficult. However, my best position, is vertical and walking, which is good, because these October days have been so gorgeous. Yesterday afternoon, the Boys went to the movies (walk in w/ a pillow and ice pack or heating pad...I think not), so, I chose to take the longest walk possible in the park, take my time, and appreciate the foliage, w/ camera in tow. The trees, some really big, old trees had my full attention, and in return, they gave and gave and gave.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Settling In...

Cherry Creek State Park...snippet of the walking/biking path...
Storm on the move...
Sunset...just last night!
Soft tall grass in the late afternoon sun...
Well, it has been 3 weeks and 2 days since we moved north and 1500 feet lower in elevation. It feels longer. We are hardcore homebodies, so we tend to nuzzle right in to a new house once we get there. This move has taken us just a bit longer than 'usual', but, we are almost there. I can't quite put my finger on it. All of our 'systems' are set up and running, offices in working order, kitchen pantry is full. Edward has a huge space of his own to spread out and pretend that we don't live here (lol), most pictures which we want hung, are hung...maybe it will be when the first frost hits and we feel the house engulf us. We have been loving sitting outside in the early evenings and watching the sunset w/ the gorgeous vista which is set before us. Anywho, the lower altitude feels so much better. This is a great thing.

The state park is our back yard. We hear coyotes @ night singing their songs to one another, and it has afforded us a continual eye-full of such incredibly beautiful landscapes. (I already said that...worth repeating). The walking paths are welcoming and from our windows we can see the daily array of bikers, walkers, and horses. There is even a large area set aside for dogs and their owners. We have enjoyed every inch, thus far, of where we have placed our feet. There is so much more to see. With Autumn upon us, and the cooler weather approaching, we know that the park has more to give, so we continue to look forward! On my list of things to do, is taking pics of the horses who live right here!!!!

We are also loving being so close to Denver. There are so many choices of where to eat and shop, along with discovering the beautiful cities which hug Denver from every side. In essence, these City kids have the best of both worlds right now...we are just getting our feet wet.

Grateful would be a huge understatement, but grateful....

 'It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises unto thy name, O Most High;
  to show forth thy loving kindness in the morning,
and thy faithfulness every night,
  with an instrument of ten strings and upon the psaltery,
upon the harp with a solemn sound.
For thou, O Lord, hast made me glad by your work;
I will triumph in the works of thy hands.

  How great are thy works, O Lord!
  Thy thoughts are very deep!'
Psalm 92:1-5

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

1889, oil paints
Arles, France
Vincent Van Gogh

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Feast of Trumpets

Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה‎, literally "head of the year") is the Jewish New Year. The Biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah, which means shouting/raising a noise, or the Feast of Trumpets. It is the first of the High Holy Days or, Days of Awe, which usually occur in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere. Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration, which begins on the first day of Tishrei. Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar (a hollowed-out ram's horn) and eating symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to evoke a "sweet new year".
The central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the shofar, the ram’s horn, which also represents the trumpet blast of a people’s coronation of their King. The cry of the shofar is also a call to repentance, for Rosh Hashanah is also the anniversary of man's first sin and his repentance, and serves as the first of the “Ten Days of Repentance” which culminate in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Another significance of the shofar is to recall the Binding of Isaac which also occurred on Rosh Hashanah, in which a ram took Isaac’s place as an offering to God; we evoke Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son, and plead that the merit of his deed should stand by us as we pray for a year of life, health and prosperity. Altogether, we listen to one hundred shofar blasts over the course of the Rosh Hashanah services.
 L'shanah tovah, a sweet and healthy New Year!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

So, We Moved...Again!!!


It seems that the challenge of living 7000 feet in the air (originally I thought 6000...I was wrong. We were situated @ the highest point of The Springs!) has been too much for me. I just never acclimated to such thin thin air. So, we have kissed Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak good-bye, and said hello to Centennial, which is 1500 feet lower in elevation. It can only help! I did not think that the beauty could get any better, but I was wrong about that too. We are sitting facing a state park, hence, the 180 degree vista is waaaaay more than I could have imagined. These pics are from Monday and Tuesday nights' sunset, respectively. There is much more sky, the sunsets seem to go on and on and on, and then on even more.

We are so so grateful to be here, although deeply exhausted, looking forward to yet another new begins...the Centennial house!

  'And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud to lead them the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, to go by day and night.'
Exodus 13:21

ps. The kitty's and the  frozen pesto made the hour journey North w/out issue....whew on both counts!!!

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Way Way Back Thursday...Russia

The Schwartz Family, Russia, early 1900's
This is the earliest picture that I have, passed on to me from Mom's old pics, probably from her Mom, my Gram. This is a photo of my Grandmother's brother's wife (with Maury in her lap), and, at the time their 3 children, Maury, Sophie, Esther, and the nurse. That beautiful little girl had 2 daughters and a son. Ann, the eldest of the 3, just passed away a few short weeks ago at the age of 92. Had this family, and so many many others not left Russia when they did in the early 1900's, many of us would not be here, we would never have even been born; as within the 6 million murdered in the concentration camps were their parents and their parents parents. We would have to physically go back to Russia to find records. I know they exist. However, this is the story of a vast number of Jewish families who left Russia, Europe and Eastern Europe before WWII. Even so, there were 'Pogroms' already in place wiping out entire towns in Russia. The famous 'Fiddler on the Roof', written originally as a story in 1894, about the poverty stricken Tevye, a dairyman and his family, by Solomon Naumovich Rabinovich or better known by his pen name, Sholem Aleichem, depicts the beginning of the anhilalation of Jewish families in Russia. The history, the ancestry is rich, and most thankfully, still living on....
Cousins, Ann (daughter of Sophie in top pic), Mom and Ellie, Ann's baby sister, NYC, around 2008

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

'Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.'
Isaiah 40:30-31

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


I painted (copied) the Prophet, 'Daniel' in 1987 (mixed media, I used everything) for an off Broadway production on his life, called 'El Shaddai'. El Shaddai is conventionally translated as God Almighty. According to Exodus 6:2, 3, Shaddai (שַׁדַּי) is the name by which God was known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. The name Shaddai is again used as a name of God later in theBook of Job. 

For all these many years, I had this, the printers copy of 'Daniel', safely tucked away in my portfolio. However, recently, like a burst of light, that small voice said, bring it out, this is frame worthy. So, after some trial and error, I found that I was able to have beautiful copies made at, of all places, Kinko's. And into 2 frames 'Daniel' landed. One for me and the other for the author of 'El Shaddai', C.B. Murray 4th.

 'Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.'
Matthew 5:16

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Grace upon grace...

Sunday, August 10, 2014

August, So Far!

August 1, 8:15PM
August 2, 6;50AM
August 5, 8:30AM
August 5, 8:01PM
August 9, 7:50PM
 There are wars and rumors of wars, children are dying on mountainsides and in cities, close to home and across the ocean, planes are falling out of the sky, people are sick w/ deadly viruses, not to mention cancer and other terrible diseases. There remains such frightening gun violence in this country, so many injustices. This is really too much for the central nervous system to handle. However, the sun still rises in the East and sets in the West, the moon still has phases and quarters. So from sunset of August 1, to last night's Super moon, I am extraordinarily grateful to have captured some of the beauty of the rising and setting of the sun, the crescent moon, turning, just a week or so later, into a Super summer moon, and the true gift of a double rainbow...the Promise lives!

This is a song we sang every Sabbath evening @ camp in the Berkshires. I was there from the time I was 5 until I was 15, for 2 months, every summer. I was taking a long walk the other night, and these beautiful words came welling up, and out of me!

'The Lord of all does reign supreme
Ere yet this world was made and formed.
When all was finished by His will,
Then was His name as King proclaimed

And should these forms no more exist,
He still will rule in majesty.
He was, He is, He shall remain;
His glory never shall decrease.

And one is He, and none there is
To be compared or joined to Him.
He ne’er began, and ne'er will end,
To Him belongs dominion’s power.

He is my God, my living God;
To Him I flee when tried in grief;
My banner high, my refuge strong,
Who hears and answers when I call.

My spirit I commit to Him,
My body, too, and all I prize;
Both when I sleep and when I wake,
He is with me, I shall not fear.'

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Makeshift Greenhouse..

This AM, from under the tent...
Soggy outside...
It is the 'monsoon season' in Colorado. Cool heavy rains in the afternoons. Apparently, this was the 'normal' weather pattern for decades upon decades in Colorado (centuries, I dare say). The past 10 years have proven to be dry. Meaning, the 'normal' amount of heavy snow during the winters (totally snowed in, from what I have been told), and dry dry dry, hot summers, made the conditions just right for a Waldo Canyon fire, or a Black Forrest fire. A tinder box. So, having lived through both of these devastating and deadly fires, I choose the rain.

To try to keep the raised garden beds from floating away, I made a makeshift greenhouse, if you will. I initially bought the tarp to try to protect the plants from the hail. Much more difficult to predict, as it happens so fast. Really, it is just an 8' tarp. I bolstered it up w/ a couple of bamboo stakes held in large terra cotta planters, along w/ the taller stakes for the growing pants, so the water would run off. The perimeter basil did get soaked, but they will be fine, they are hearty. Once the sun comes back out, (please sun, come back out!), the July/August warmth will pick up where we left off, and the harvest will continue. In the meantime, I am so so glad to have made the makeshift greenhouse may not be pretty, but it did the trick!!!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Amy's Famous Pesto!

Straight from the garden...
Ground salted, roasted pistachio's...
...add the parm and olive oil until the texture is 'right'...
Herb spinach pasta...handmade..
The final product...8oz of heaven..
 It is a you go. I will give it to you in a brown sandwich bag, frozen in a 4 ounce container. It will say, 'Amy's Famous Pesto' on the bag, written w/ a black marker. Once asked, 'What is the shelf life?', I did not hesitate to say, 'It won't get that far, you will eat it!!!'. Totally confident in the product! If you ever saw the movie, 'Baby Boom', w/ Diane Keaton, you will remember how her kitchen was totally taken over w/ the baby food she made by hand. This was the case, last year w/ my freezer. All you could see was frozen pesto when looking for the Gelato.  Everyone has a different way to make it. I was asked to do a pesto making 'demo' @ a friend's house a few weeks back. Everybody was making something Italian. The best compliment I received was from a friend who has lived in Italy for the past 14 years w/ his Family. He said to me, 'I know pesto, and this is pesto!'

So, yesterday, I made the first batch, small for me. Jimmy picked up some handmade pasta @ the Old Colorado City Farmer's Market earlier in the day. Spinach, herb, I believe. (They usually write what you bought on the bag...there was nothing, so this is my educated guess!).
It has such a bright flavor!! W/ the pesto, a little extra parm, a few more leaves of basil, and everyone was pretty happy. Today, the sweet potato pasta, also from the farmer's market, w/ some cooked down cherry tomatoes, and the fresh pesto, again, a little extra parm and more basil from the garden...ahhhhh.
 Ingredients: Basil, roasted salted pistachio nuts, grated parm, olive oil

The satisfied gardener!

'She considers a field and buys it; out of her earnings she plants a vineyard'
Proverbs 31:16

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Colored Pencil Society of America

LOVE this!!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

And Grow She Will...

My thought is, good thing the tomatoes will turn red, in time, because I would never be able to find them in the thick growth which is set before me. There are many beautiful little blooms just getting ready to pop and give us some juicy Roma's. We have been using the dill on our salmon steaks, and the beautiful delicate, edible flowerettes are like lace umbrellas. The basil, well, I am inches away from making pesto, and our summer salads have been graced w/ the freshness of all 4 varieties. It is just mid-July....

I wish you could smell the aroma wafting off of all these plants...

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Wordless Wednesday

Dream job, hauling over sized Dahlia' pink too boot!!