Monday, July 30, 2007

easy homemade ice cream

Here's a really simple way to make ice cream from David Lebovitz--and the best part is that you don't even need a machine!

Try it with this healthy and delicious Raspberry Chocolate Chip Frozen Yogurt recipe. LZ made this for some of us girls the other night and it was to die for.

two weekends in pictures, plus more kitty

I just uploaded a bunch of photos last night from our escapades over the last couple of weeks.

A weekend trip to my parents' house in the Northeast Kingdom included wild turkeys in the garden, fly fishing, and creatures.

A long weekend in Nantucket with friends offered just what we needed: relaxation, good food, good company, and some quality time with Colin. Oh, and the ocean, of course!

Suki was glad to have us home last night.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

posture perfect

I'm practicing my posture. That means that every time I walk from here to there, I try to pretend that I'm Pollyana playing the glad game. I walk as though a hundred winds float at my nape. Well, I try to. That's when I'm upright. Even I concede: sitting straight is a different challenge altogether.

Good posture is a very difficult thing. It takes lots of energy and a good attitude. But isn't it oh-so-important?

Imagine if the whole world of people walked with an ever-upward altitude and an effortless smile like Fred Astaire with his jovial gait. Imagine how we'd look at each other then.

Monday, July 23, 2007

where does your soul find calm?

Where do you go to loosen the stiffness of the day?
To cool the heat of hot summer,
Let it wash over your shoulders like a wave,
Roll with the heft of the perfectly circular world
Down your spine.

Where do you let the breeze kiss
The down of your hand,
Touch it with the softness of air, and sift
Down to the lush ground
Like sugar into a mixing bowl?

Where do you drift--
Meandering like an approximate river in the sand?

On this day I wander through streets and aisles.
Allow my spirit to chime into this riff that has become
My commune's anthem--
Scuffling sidewalks, rut-a-tut drums,
Warm mellow voices. I fall into it all
Like a listless child.

It's as quiet as Monday eve, and
I'm as quiet as a mug of warm almond milk
With nutmeg and saffron just before sleep...

What's in my head now? Misty thoughts. Hazy remnants of angst, now quaint and mild.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

filling in for lost memories

Sister Hanushka wrote a fabulous little tale of our red house where we grew up in Pawlet. Being five years her junior, I didn't share a lot of these memories--or wasn't privy to them at the time. But reading them now, I too can exist in that story of once-upon-a-time and happily-ever-after...

I had a dream last night. I was in the house that we grew up in, the red one that burned down in Pawlet. Each room had layers and layers of wallpaper coating the walls, and I was looking for a specific one, cream background with brown illustrations of ladies in hoop dresses. There were so many different patterns, and I was peeling them back to find the one I was looking for. In our bedroom, (all three of us shared one little room) I peeled and peeled until I got to the last layer and it was A.A. Milne style portraits of we three girls. Read more.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

let's be friends

What does it take to become good friends? What makes a good friend? I've always had plenty of friends--in school, through different activities, at work. But when it really comes down to it, the number of good friends I have I can count on one hand. I think part of the reason is because it just takes me a while to open up and let down my barrier. This process can take months, even years. And in the end, there's no guarantee that a deep friendship will have blossomed. Perhaps we'll find the chemistry just isn't there. Perhaps we'll get sick of trying. Perhaps one of us will move away (I'm awful at staying in touch). I think it's okay to admit that some friendships just don't work.

As I've gotten older, I've become even more aware of how difficult it is to develop lasting friendships. That's because, I think, we become comfortable and complacent with the life we've built. We've too little time to spare. And we're all more sensitive to sincerity--or lack there-of. Small-talk doesn't cut the mustard anymore.

Reflecting on this, I could just kick myself for expecting Au Lait and our new little one, Suki, to become immediate friends. After just four days of walking on egg shells around our hissing resident cat, last night I finally cracked and got very stern with her. I told her to stop and just be nice. How dare I? The problem is that in this situation, there's really no room for anything but a loving bond. But in Au Lait's paws, I'd probably react much worse. These things take time. And nobody likes being told what to do.

In any case. Tonight, I was relieved to find that her Ladyship's hisses have mellowed. Little Suki's playful perseverance seems to be paying off. There's still a long way to go, but I'm hopeful.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Spencer, our friend

Spencer called yesterday. That's our friend from New York. What does he like?

"He likes McDonald's," Colin says.

What else?

"He likes taking pictures of people around the world. He likes music. He likes movies. And he likes laughing. And he loves his girlfriend, Courtney." We love her too.

Why do we love Spencer?

"Because he's nice," I say. "And because he makes me laugh and because he's curious and likes to show us neat things in the city and take us to good restaurants."

"And because he's a true friend," Colin adds. "He cares. He helps me out in need. And can laugh at himself." (Remember, fruit basket weekend).

Here's a poem by Colin for Spencer:

Short, built, and funny
Looking, that is,
Spencer's our friend
Who knows what life is:

Sometimes serious, but mostly
A joke.

Spencer, thanks for keeping us stoked.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

our new kitty

Her name is Suki. Enough said. (P.S. Spencer, yours is next, I promise)

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

and then the sky emerged

oh, thirsty plants

It seems strange
that with all this rain we've had
over the last few days, and
the air saturated with moisture,
that my plants are still in want of water.

I can't bare to walk out on my sopping wet porch to pour
more water into the system. And yet,

I see the dry soil is taut and cracking--
just like the skin after fallen tears leave behind
their tight, salty residue,
essentially making the original wetness

I see the green leaves are beginning to brown and
wilt at the edges.
They're so tired and thirsty.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

goodbye lenin, hello to a new idealism

Growing up in the American school system in the wake of the Cold War, I learned one version of socialism and it went hand-in-hand with the one version of communism: that "evil" political system governed by tyrant dictators and characterized in distopian novels as societies blinded by propaganda and idealism.

Communism and socialism were bad words, evoking images of mass communes, loss of individual rights, and lack of personal drive or responsibility. They still do, I believe, to an extent. In fact, it wasn't until I traveled to France and lived there for a while that I realized that socialism is a veritable and genuine way to govern a people, with the people in mind. I think with awe and reverence to the country's health care and educational systems, to their social welfare and work standards, and to their simple, old-world style of pace and priority. Americans like to call this "work-life balance."

Once I was given a first-hand view of the inner workings, my opinion of socialism shifted from that of stark government control to one in which human welfare--rather than personal success--was given utmost precedence. Granted, the system has its flaws and disadvantages. But what government isn't tainted when humans play a part? Just look at the current state of the American political system to be reminded that no government is immune from tyranny and imperfection. And that line between imperfection and corruption is blurry.

I'm reminded of all this, because I watched Goodbye Lenin again last night and realized that it has got to be one of my favorite movies of all time. The movie takes place in East Berlin during the deterioration the Soviet occupation and, with it, the Berlin Wall. In it, a boy named Alex must protect his fragile mother from learning that her beloved East Germany is no longer as it was. As a result, the boy is given the rare opportunity to recreate events not as they actually were, but how his ideals would have them be. The movie gives viewers a real perspective into the socialist political system of that time--what went wrong, but also, what went right and how things could have ended up if all of the pieces were in place.

Isn't that the point of an ideal? To be unattainable, but also attractive so that we are driven to them, even if in vain.

I feel, lately, that human ideals have run amok. We're no longer focused on what might be, because we're dragged down by what can't be or by what isn't. Maybe it's because we've all decide--oh, educated, collective We--that ideals are no longer important. Sure there are general political ideals and religious ideals, but what about the ideals of the people? We're realists now. And we're running the country.

But what about romance? What about compassion and storytelling? These elements should hold a place in all of our hearts, be we capitalists or communists, Muslim or Christian, American or French.

And remember, there's room enough in this world for everyone to have their own little version. Heck, if the American history books can do it, why can't we? So if you haven't yet, watch this movie. And in particular, pay special attention to the ending. There's a lesson there for all of us--to be believers.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

cardboard critter

Colin's been more of a jetsetter than I these days. This weekend he's in Miami for a wedding. As he was leaving town Friday morning, I pictured myself stag at yet another couples dinner party--we had plans to celebrate Emi's birthday at L'Amante--and decided to throw a mini tantrum.

Level-headed as always, Colin left the room and returned a few minutes later with a cardboard cut-out. "Here," he said. "This is me. Now you don't have to go by yourself." He had made a paper doll of himself--sassy hair-do and all.

"Thanks, Luv," I said. "We'll see how this works."

As it turned out, Cardboard Col--only 5 inches tall--turned out to be the life of the party. Everyone wanted to be his friend. For me, I guess it did the trick, for the night anyhow. But now I can't seem to find the little critter anywhere.

Thank goodness the real Col comes back tomorrow night.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

so much in a year

In a couple of days, P.Post will be a year old. Only a year? It's hard to believe that so many thoughts and ramblings could squeeze into such a short period of time. That so much could change. In fact, when I started P.Post just a mere twelve months ago, the original intent was to write a fashion blog. Can you believe it? Looking back, I've barely touched upon the subject. But I won't say fashion is irrelevant to my ultimate cause, which is to see beauty in the world, or to find it if it's missing. To pay homage to this wonderful life by making the effort to live it fully and richly. Beauty manifests itself in many ways, I've found. Friendship, food, community, culture, art, literature, questions, optimism, and yes, even fashion sometimes.

Today, beauty is on my windowsill.

Saute & Sass

Lauren started a new recipe sharing blog, Saute & Sass. I'll be posting there every now and then, so be sure to check it out!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

hello girls

I haven't talked about the girls yet, have I? The cows, that is. The lovely ladies grazing alongside Route 7 on the expansive, honey-hued fields of Shelburne and Charlotte. I have a new pleasure on my morning commute and it looks just like a Sabra Field print. I watch these mellow gals as they stroll along enjoying life. It's an inspiration to behold. Some days, when I'm feeling especially exuberant, I'll roll down my windows and yell out to them, "Hello girls!" just as my sister used to do to the Jerseys back at Town Farm Dairy in Simsbury, Connecticut. "Come on, Girls!" she would yell in sing-song intonation. And they would come--the perfect sorority. Dependable. Loving. Sisterly. Motherly. And Giving.

have I mentioned the food?

There are a lot of great benefits to working at EatingWell. No surprise, but one of the best parts has to be the food. Today, for instance, I forgot to bring lunch. I was going to pick something up at the brick store in Charlotte. But I didn't need to. Instead, I taste-tested a delicious pear crumble with crystalized ginger and a crunchy whole-wheat apple tarte. Pie for lunch. How fabulous.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

feeling red, white, and blue

Last night's festivities were a total success. I threw a birthday party for Colin and my sister Emma. Luckily, the Burlington July 4th fireworks show was happening the same night, and even luckier for us was the spectacular view we were able to enjoy right from our porch. It was a perfect summer evening, with a soft breeze and a thousand speckles of light from the boats dotting Lake Champlain--a lively reflection of the starry sky. I felt like we had the VIP seating. Good company, good food, and good cake too! Double chocolate with strawberries and cream--totally worth the hours I spent cooking it the day before.

Waking up after such a fabulous event, however, is always anticlimactic. Depressing even. I got up early today feeling a little blue. Unsettled. I looked around. The apartment was a disaster. There were bottles and empty glasses covering every table and counter space. Dirty dishes crammed in the sink. Bits of chocolate cake ground into the white carpet. And a half-finished punch bowl with waterlogged lychees, blueberries, and a sprig of browning mint. Yuck.

I needed a Zen moment. Luckily for me, dishwashing provides just the sort of quiet accomplishment I was looking for. So I set to work. As I washed, a bit of sunshine shone through the cloudy sky and in through the window. Au Lait jumped up to watch and keep me company.

Then she did a funny thing. She ducked her head under my arm and starting drinking from the running faucet.

"Cool," Colin said. "Our cat does tricks."

"Au Lait!" I said. "You have a bowl full of water right there." I picked it up and showed her but she was not interested. She wanted the faucet water. So I turned it to a cool trickle for just a minute and watched her lap. There's something about faucets and this girl. I don't think I'll indulge her in that wasteful practice much in the future, but it was a fascinating study into the habits of cats.

I finished the dishes. Colin cleaned the porch. Life was restored back to its normal state, at least in our little microcosm.

Then the phone rang. It was Emi. "Do you wanna walk downtown and get coffee with me and Kevin?"

I was feeling major Zen at that point. "I have a better idea," I said, ready to put on the hostess crown yet again. "Why don't you come over here and I'll make buttermilk pancakes?"

A couple hours later, full and content, we had eaten our pancakes and were dozing in the glorious July sunshine. The good times carry on...

Monday, July 02, 2007

colin says

I've been cooking for hours and hours. I've been baking a special cake for Colin and Em's birthday celebration. I'm so tired from cooking and whisking, so I asked Col to tell me what to write. Here it is:

"I like my birthday presents. They were a surprise when I got home from China. They reminded me that I had a birthday. I almost forgot, because I was away from home when it was my birthday. It's tough to be away from home on important days like that. I can't imagine what it would be like to be away from home on Christmas. However, I think this winter I will be. I'll be going to Penelope's this time. As long as she's good! Just kidding.

"I like UFOs. I'm watching a special on UFOs right now. And a lot of people think they're cocka-me-mee. But it's more fun to believe in them than to not. I'm tired. And my thoughts are sporadic. Sorry to be jumping all over the place. I hope this paragraph gets edited by Penelope, because she would shake her finger at it upon reading, because it's sporadic and jumps all over the place and is not one complete thought. Is that a paragraph? I think so."

The End.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

bobs are hot

That's what Hannah told me yesterday when I told her over the phone about my spur-of-the-moment idea to a drastic hair cut. "Do it! They're so hot for summer." Pleased with her response, I went to Indigo and let Shelby chop off all my tendrils, before I even had a chance to think twice. She was so excited to be able to do it.

"I love you!" she exclaimed. "Bobs are the shit right now!"

That made me laugh. "Aren't you going to wash my hair first?"

"I just wanted to do that so you couldn't change your mind." An hour and a half later, I left the salon feeling chic and like a completely different person. What a change!

It's fun to get your hair cut, especially if you only do it for very special occasions.

Later last night, Colin got home from his work trip in Asia. I'm pretty sure he didn't recognize me at first. But that might just be because we haven't seen each other in a couple weeks.

A day later, and I still love it. Now, go get yourself a bob and be hot this summer!!

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