Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Thoughtful Words

Lillies of the Valley from Mom & Dad's heritage garden last summer

I have been getting back into Blogland slowly, dipping my toes in here, and here. These two writers bring me great joy whenever I stop in. I was reading this blog today and stumbled over this bit of prose by the Dalai Lama that she had posted a few days back. I really admire her blog--it is spare but filling at the same time--it comforts me.

So, I thought I would share the words with you that she shared with her readers. They seem fitting for today.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

When you realise you've made a mistake,
take immediate steps to correct it.

Spend some time alone every day.

Live a good, honourable life.

Then when you get older and think back,
you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.

Share your knowledge. It is a way to achieve immortality.

Learn the rules, so you know how to break them properly.

Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

Be gentle with the Earth.

Remember the best relationship is one in which your
love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Thank You

I am in an odd place these days, after the passing of my mother. Beyond the normal feelings of love, and guilt, and pain felt for a future without her, I can't stop thinking about her relationship with my children. For those of you who have lost a parent when you yourself were a parent of little ones, you know what I mean.

I keep looking at my beautiful children and hoping that they will one day know how special their grandmother was. I keep telling myself that thank God I was able to move back when I did. Between September and Christmas we visited many times with Mom and Dad. Mom had the chance to get to know how funny and clever James is, and she had many opportunities to hold Ella (or LuLu, as she liked to call her) and kiss her. Together with my Dad she showered the kids with Christmas gifts--vintage books and dolls, blocks, toys and other sweet things. I am so glad that she had the time with them that she did.

Right before I submitted her obituary, I spoke with my sister about adding this line: "Her two grandchildren, James and Ella were the apples of her eye. She couldn't wait to teach James all about farm life and have tea parties and play dress-up with Ella."

My father had just told me about a conversation that he had had with a friend of my mother's. She had told him that Mom was very excited to have tea parties with my daughter when she was a little older. I love knowing that. But I am also terribly saddened by it.

On another note, my sister and I are in the midst of preparing Mom's Celebration of Life. We want the service to be loving and funny. I have no doubt that there will be tears--but there must also be some laughter. My mother would never abide a solemn and dark event.

Mom and her friend, Sue.

I spent Saturday with my sister in Mom's shop, getting organized, cleaning up a bit and of course stumbling over pictures, little items and handwritten notes of Mom's that would alternately make me cry, laugh and cry again. I will be headed up to Maine many more times to help my Dad sort things out. I only regret that I hadn't made the trip to Maine more often in January when my Mother became ill. But I guess at some point I will need to stop looking back, and start looking forward, instead.

To those of you who have reached out to me, either with flowers, e-mails, postings to my FaceBook account or comments here, I must tell you how appreciative I am of your warmth and love.

Thank You.


Eastern Bluebirds

Our newest visitors to the feeders!

Friday, February 20, 2009

A Tribute

Judith A. Ferguson
November 3, 1947 -- February 17th, 2009

Mom, 1950

BRUNSWICK, ME – Judith A. Ferguson, 61, of Coombs Rd. died February 17th at Midcoast Hospital after a prolonged illness. She was born on November 3rd, 1947 in Morgantown, West Virginia. Judy is predeceased by her mother, Betty Grow Frost, and her father is James A. Frost. A graduate of Loyola Marymount, she held a B.S. in English. Judy had been a resident of Maine since 1974.

Mom and Dad, 2008

Judy is survived by her husband of 33 years, Chuck; her father Jim Frost and his wife Jane of Tulsa, Oklahoma; and two daughters, Amy Ferguson of Lisbon Falls and Allison Lantieri and her husband Chris of Amston, CT and their two children James and Ella. She is also survived by many cousins.

Allison, Mom and Amy, 1980

Judy and her husband Chuck and their two girls moved to the old Rush Farm on Coombs Road in 1981. There she and the family kept a number of small farm animals including a pony, horses, geese, chickens, rabbits and turkeys. The Fergusons are known for their local brown eggs, as well as for the fowl that have a tendency to roam up and down Coombs Road. In addition to the many farm animals that they tended, they also took in countless stray dogs and cats and gave them all a “forever” home. Of all of them, Judy’s current dog, an 11-year old beagle named Beezus was certainly her favorite and never far from her side.

Beezus in the shop

Over her lifetime Judy loved fleamarketing, baking breads and pies, reading, knitting, canning vegetables and preserves and enjoying a quiet country life. Judy was well-known in the Midcoast area as the co-owner with her husband of Pollyanna’s Antiques, a small shop on Front Street in Bath. Judy specialized in Victorian textiles, dolls and vintage sewing notions. She and Chuck could be found most every Saturday and Sunday at the Montsweag Fleamarket during the summer season, looking for that special hidden antique treasure that she could add to her shop. She was well-regarded for her knowledge and loved for her “grandma’s attic” style of shop keeping. Judy took great pride in designing stunning and unusual shop window displays. Her husband intends to keep the shop open in her memory.

Mom outside her shop a few years ago

Judy was a dedicated mother, wife, daughter, grandmother and friend and will be dearly, dearly missed. Her two grandchildren, James and Ella were the apples of her eye. She often told friends that she couldn't wait to teach James all about the farm and have tea parties and play dress-up with Ella.

A photo she took of one of her favorite heirloom roses

A celebration of Judy's life will be held on Saturday, March 21st from 3 to 5 pm in the Community Room at the Patten Free Library in Bath. In lieu of flowers the family is asking that donations be made to the Coastal Humane Society of Brunswick, or to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals by making a Memorial Donation in her name on their website, www.aspca.org. Burial services will be private.

Monday, February 16, 2009

A Warm Place in the Sun

What more could a dog want?

This is Gino, one of my Italian Greyhounds.

He is a sweetheart, and looks like an old man, even though he's only 6.

This house is so much sunnier than the last one--
it makes for some great napping spots!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Winter Walk

There are 190 acres of
Audubon land right outside my back door.

It makes for a wonderful Winter walk!

Thank You Alton, Bobby and Emeril!

Valentine's Day was 'Mmmm, mmmm GOOD!

We started the day with Alton Brown's recipe for Blueberry Buckle.

Just look at that old-fashioned crumble topping!
It was the ground ginger that really made this special.

Then Chris made this Adobo Seasoned Chicken,
which was featured on an episode of
Throwdown with Bobby Flay called Arroz con Pollo.

Oh yeah, baby. It was PHENOMONAL.

Lastly, we finished the day with Emeril's Chocolate Cream Pie.

I used just a plain pie crust for this--
Emeril used crushed Oreo Cookie wafers.

Many thanks to these Food Network stars for making it a yummy day!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Love, Love, Love!

Wishing you a love-filled Valentine's Day!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Today at the Feeder

A Woodpecker!
It's the first one we've seen here.
My boy just loves Woodpeckers, but unfortunately he
was taking a nap and so he missed it.

I'll have to ask my husband
to remove the screens from the kitchen windows
so that I can get better pictures!

Yes, that is also a Black-Capped Chickadee.

I love these birds.

So, the tally so far is,
Chickadees (several),
Tufted Titmouse (one),
House Wrens (two)
Woodpecker (one).

I look forward to seeing more!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Silent Stone Wall

I took my camera with me today when I walked down the long drive to the mailbox. I have wanted to take some photos of the stone wall that borders the property here.

I have always marvelled at the many stone walls that criss cross New England. I wonder--when were they built? Who built them? How were the stones gathered? Were they put there simply to divide property, or to separate orchards from pine groves, as is suggested in the famous Frost verse.

I am sure mine is fairly new--stone walls have gone from a thing of necessity to a thing of style. In any case, I am not sure I care that it might not have been built when Hebron was all cow pastures and farmland.

I am simply happy to have one of my own.

And I am glad to watch it bear it's silent witness every day.

Our Very Own Box of Sweethearts

So perfect for the upcoming holiday!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


If I am going to be up at 5am anyway
(see this post on my family blog)
I might as well get to see something like this!

For the love of the Zzzzz

I can hear you saying, "Awwwwwwwwww!"
I know--this is just too sweet.

What you don't see here is the . . .
portable DVD player.


Okay, so a few weeks ago I was extolling the virtues of
my perfect life--
Ella, going to bed at 7pm and sleeping thru the night
just like her brother had done before her.

Shouldn't I LEARN by now not to open my

I think it was the very next night after that post that
Ella started getting up about 1am,
then again at 3am,
THEN AGAIN at 5am.

And then James would get up at his normal time,
5-freaking-30 am.

Did I mention that my husband leaves for work on Monday
and comes home on Friday?

I had pledged not to set up a tv in James' room
when we moved to the new house,
and I still haven't.

However, I am now faced with a dilemma.
How the heck can I squeeze in a single extra second
of blissful sleep for myself?

The answer?
You got it.

Hook up the portable DVD player,
get both kiddos in
one place, and fire up

Blues Clues,





and get myself

p.s. If you know of a full-length
Blues Clues feature film
with a running time of at least


Monday, February 9, 2009

Homemade Bread and Bolognese Sauce

I wanted a warm and comforting meal for Sunday evening. Comforting to me means bread and peasant food.

I have often struggled with getting my homemade bread to rise, and have been searching for a fail-safe recipe. I found it on a new blog I have been reading called Home Grown.

Not only did the two loaves come out perfectly, but the total recipe time is less than an hour-and-a-half. Her recipe calls for bread flour, I used King Arthur's All-Purpose.

The bread was so chewy and moist--I could hardly believe that I had made it. And the best part? My son said, "Mommy makes the BEST bread."

Next part of the meal? A Bolognese sauce. My husband is the one who usually makes sauce in our household. His is a simple Marinara that is just fantastic. Loaded with fresh basil, garlic, and crushed tomatoes--it sits on the stove all day filling the house with LOVE.

But for Sunday I wanted something a little heartier. I am a fan of Tyler's Ultimate on Food Network. Last week he made his Ultimate Lasagna and made a Bolognese sauce to use in the filling. I have been trying to make things that will give me two meals, or leftovers, or enough so that I can stretch my grocery store dollar a little further, and I thought that this Bolognese would be great over pasta. I could freeze the rest and use it later in the week for lasagna.

Tyler's recipe didn't dissappoint. You can find it here.

The end result? A wonderful, family-style Sunday dinner that was pretty simple and full of flavour!

I will note here, that as always, there had to be at least ONE thing that went wrong during my cooking and baking adventure. I think this picture says it all!

My husband got quite the laugh out of this.

Best wishes to you if you decide to make these recipes. I will definitely be making them again.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Random Fun Stuff

My girl is such a ham!

Car show fun!

A banana:

A car:

Tired after a long day of fun and winding down
before bed with his favorite show--Little Bear.