Sunday, September 28, 2014

Maiden Cliff and Ocean Viewpoint Hike

It is an exceptionally beautiful Indian summer weekend here in Maine, with temperatures in the summer temperature ranges (upper 80s). We got a small hiking group together and explored the Camden Hills State park. We started from Maiden Cliff Parking lot, and hiked up to the Maiden Cliff outlook, then veered over to the Ridge trail, which was quite steep in some parts. After another break in the lunch time heat on one of the outlooks, we decided to take the shady Jack Williams trail over to the connection to Ocean View lookout,  which has spectacular views over the Penobscot Bay and the Camden Harbor. That was about 4h after we started and after another hour we arrived at the beginning of the Mt Battie toll road, ready for cold water and beer and a huge sandwich and ice cream.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Apple picking

This weekend included another typical New England pastime this time of the year (hello Fall!) and we went apple picking. There are no apples to speak of in southern India, and so for my friend S, it was the first time ever she actually picked an apple (she does not like the other thing she never experienced in India before – snow).

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Cortland apples were ready for picking. The trees were full and only maybe 15 overall drawing their carts through the rows of trees in the orchard. A very relaxing pastime.

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H. and I stocked up to bake apple pies; S. relinquished her share in lieu of a piece of pie eventually appearing. The whole bushel full of apples was only $12, which is a great deal because tiny bags, pre-picked, already are $7-11. This was 5 times as much.

So, now we just need to make pie.

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Komorebi

We are lucky with a beautiful fall this far – September has been mostly sunny and no frost yet but it does get colder at night and the days get shorter. This morning I found this article with excerpts of a book of words that cannot be directly translated into the English language, Lost in translation.  I can appreciate that because there are so many wonderful German words that can never be translated like wunderkind (literally ‘wonder child’, describing a surprising little genius) or biergarten (literally, a garden with beer, but it is a restaurant that looks like a garden and you have garden tables and come together in the summer with friends to drink beer and eat sandwiches or snacks). These words exist in other languages, too. Like komorebi…..

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A good word to mumble these days of the year….. Or Wabi-sabi, finding beauty in the imperfections, an acceptance of the cycle of life and death.

 

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Another komorebi moment was a fall BBQ over the weekend at a beautiful house on the lake, including smores on the lake. These were my first smores ever, and it took three attempts until I got it right. The first marshmallow I stuck directly into the fire, which made it tar-like looking on the outside. The second one I held so far from the fire it melted and had no caramelization at all. The third one finally had the right distance and was caramel brown. However, it did not as excepted melt the hershey bar. Next time? I will bring nutella for a chocolate dripping perfect smore. Oh well, wabi-sabi.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Reaching cruising altitude

It is a beautiful Friday. Friday! Only one more day until the weekend. With a little bit of premature break yesterday my outlook for today is good. Plenty on the to-do-list, but the attitude is adjusted, the energy slightly recuperated, and it is doable again. Hopefully, I reached cruising altitude for the semester.

This morning I came across this photo.

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It looks like sensuality in the form of cake batter. Silky, fragrant, abundant, luxurious. I just want to stick my finger into this. Here is the recipe!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

(One) Apple picking

It is the time of the year, when the cats come next to me, slightly tap me on the shoulder, and indicate that they want to slip under the covers because there it is toasty warm. And cats, like me, like it toasty warm. The male cat is more rambunctious, finally feeling the weather matches his equipment of a long fur coat and it is also, as all males know, hunting time. Being an indoor cat comes as an impediment at this point.

The outdoor temperatures drop into the 60s, and yet I still don’t want to turn on the heat after the summer.

This week was a tiring, productive and turmoiled one, but then by the end of it I adjusted my objectives for the coming year, felt relieved, felt my agenda is doable and fun without requiring be to turn into superwoman every single day, and the smile came back to my face and into my day. Looking forward to each day is a good way to live. Waking up and wondering how to survive it, not so much.

It’s Saturday and I am lingering. Lingering feels good after such a week. The time for the farmers market came and passed. But I still could go apple picking.

I did go apple picking, but it was picking from one of my own trees in my garden, the only full grown apple this year (which is one more than any other year). The elderberry bush was hanging low with heavy berries and inviting the harvest. I got a huge bucket and brought a scissors. While snipping the elderberries and plunging them into the bucket, I heard music in the neighborhood. It dawned on me that I had seen an email about a block party in the mail this week. “Is that today?” After cleaning up, and getting ready for running errands, I checked my emails and indeed, it was happening right there and then.

I headed over to at least say hello, and to my surprise 3/4 of the neighborhood was eating, chatting, and plenty of kids running around. There were the people that I know and then plenty of people I had not had the chance to talk to yet. – Telephone numbers were exchanged, plans were made, and it was no surprise that it turned out that Kitchn is everyone’s favorite cat and that on his daily strolls he visits everybody and even talks to the indoor kitties sitting at the window fences. Kitchn is the neighborhood mayor. (He also attended the party).

In the evening I heated milk to make kefir, moved all the summer shoes back into the shoe closet and brought out the fall ones. The first fire in the woodstove was lit, the heat in the house turned on. While I plucked the elderberries, I watched Brad Pitt save Linden and the world from zombies. Fall is coming. Time to indulge in antioxidants.

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Note: elderberries need to be cooked, this fruit can be toxic when eaten raw.