Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Thank you

How many of you have friends with whom you have shared 30+ years of life? When I think of what I want for my children and their futures, I sincerely wish that they are fortunate enough to create friendships with people which will remain as a constant throughout their lives. When I first came to know my husband, Tom, one of the most tremendous things we shared (aside from parallel lives, of course) was the experience of having long term friendships. I know I have a very good life, and one of the greatest assets I possess would have to be my group of friends. Yesterday I met the girls in Woodstock and we enjoyed our usual exchange of laughter, memories, inside jokes never to be forgotten, vulgarities and sincere, heartfelt emotions. And lunch, of course. The day can be capsulized in the final moments we shared. As we walked across Tinker Square, a musician was playing guitar and singing, brightening a gray, January afternoon with his raspy voice and strumming. I admired his commitment to his art, and his attempt to make some cash, and walked to him to throw some $$ in his otherwise empty jar. As I walked back over to the girls, he switched songs - Led Zeppelin's Thank You. Well, who could resist that? Particularly on a day where the topic was very much about denial and resistance? The three of us gathered together a few feet from the man who was now lead vocals to our back-ups, and we sang right along with him. The three of us saying Thank You for too many things to itemize. The three of us thankful for each other and all we have ever dared to share.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Feedback -

I've had some. Apparently if I'm going to be the sole blogger on this site rather than a participant in a community blog, I need to rethink my mission here...since I very much like my website name, I think I'll just make a mental change from DelSo to DelSolo. A simple adjustment which I hope will be indulged. I won't be censoring myself so much or avoiding some topics as too personal. Look out.

I also need to change my photo - Virginia finds it too dark and not indicative enough of me. Ok. I'll work on that. When someone you've known for 30+ years makes a remark like that, you've just got to listen, right?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Fell in love...

this weekend with Pine Ridge Cross-Country Ski area! I've heard about this place for a number of years, but have never ventured a visit until this past Saturday. There has been an absolute lack of snow in Albany this winter and, other than last weekend's jaunt to Lapland Lake, my skis have remained in the basement. Saturday morning Liam & I hopped in the car and headed East. Within 45 minutes we were parked, with trail passes in hand (4 hands, 3 gloves alas) , and ready to go. Since it was Liam's first day out for the season and I really want him to LOVE the activity, we kept to some lower trails with moderate hill activity. The conditions were amazing! Heaps of snow, nicely groomed trails, brilliant blue really was ideal. We only stayed out for a couple of hours, but when we headed back to the car, Liam admitted that it had been "pretty fun." We wrapped up our adventures with a quick lunch at Wolff's Biergarten where we enjoyed the sliders & fries as well a bit of the Leeds match.

Because I have a (slight) tendency to be a bit hyper about exercise, and the forecast for the beginning of this week is unusually warm, I went back again solo on Sunday and hit some of the more challenging trails. I definitely got a good workout - sweat was dripping down my back and my glasses were totally fogged up at times. I took one good spill and partially walked down a couple of Black Diamond hills since I don't like the idea of breaking a limb when I'm skiing alone in a remote area - and I do mean remote. During my 2+ hours out yesterday I saw only 1 couple skiing. Other than that it was me and the mountain.

My most favorite place to ski is Albany Muni because it is 5 minutes from my home in the DelSo and I can bring Cassidy, but Pine Ridge is my new-next-favorite. Anyone interested in joining me next time?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Heartbroken for Haiti

In recent years I have begun to consider travelling to the Caribbean for a beautiful, tropical vacation. Sitting on a beach with a book in one hand, and an umbrella-garnished drink in the other, has become more appealing as my life as gotten more full. St. Martin, St. Bart's, St. Kitt...they each hold an attraction for me and I believe that one day I will visit their shores. But for now, my heart is buried under a pile of rubble in Haiti. I can't stop thinking about the complete horror and fear that the residents of this unfairly poor country are experiencing, and admire their ability to simply wake up in the morning and attempt to obtain the basic essentials that will allow them to live another day. If I allow myself to consider the fear and frustration that the earthquakes victims must be feeling, I swear I can feel my lungs tighten with concrete dust and my forehead bead with sweat. When Elisabeth Joassaint, a 23-day-old baby, was pulled from the wreckage of her family's home after being buried for 8 days, a piece of my heart fell back into place.

Miracles like Elisabeth Joassaint are inexplicable and must be accepted with grace. And while we are occupied with the acceptance of grace, we must also take action to aid the survivors. Talk to your neighbors, your friends, your children and together make some contribution to help the people of Haiti.
How to help - from msnbc.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Worlds Collide

Last night at the restaurant, I "hosted" 3 alumni, Classes of 2005, 2007 and 2008, respectively. It is always so nice to see former students, despite the fact that serving a Heineken to someone you "served" Research Skills to in a former life, is a bit jarring. Children, be them your own or simply those you have been blessed to come to know, truly demonstrate how quickly life moves. Seeing these lovely young adults doesn't make me feel old, it absolutely makes me feel connected to the Universe in a very profound manner. I really do have a wonderful life.

Friday, January 15, 2010

How do I love the DelSo? Let me count the ways...

1. A bite to eat and a delicious glass of wine at New World.
2. The fact that I don't have to save any room in my brain to remember what that yummy Spanish white wine is that I love at NW - Nick remembers it for me.
3. A 6:45 showing of a terrifically funny movie, "It's Complicated," at the Spectrum.
4. No obnoxious people - or their cell phones, at the Spectrum.
5. Home by 9:00 to be fresh for my 3-day weekend.

Oh, DelSo, I love you so.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Saving the world with soup - a valiant attempt.

Yesterday I began feeling a bit under the weather - kind of sniffley and cold. Waking up this morning, I was achey and undecided if it was yesterday's a.m. workout or some sort of cold-related symptom. Since it stayed with me all day, (and the workout wasn't that hard), I'm inclined to think it is a, dare I say, a flu-like thing I'm battling. My answer is - SOUP!! Tom was a darling and headed over to the Asian Market on Colvin Ave and got me set up with my ingredients. Here's what I did:

Thawed 2 quarts of chicken stock from my freezer in a big pot. Added a couple of minced cloves of garlic and a large knob of ginger root, peeled and sliced, of course. Threw in some bite-sized pieces of uncooked chicken and let it all simmer for about 25 minutes. Added a can of coconut milk, , the juice of one lime, a hearty squeeze of red curry paste, a good 1/4 c of kecap menas. some more ginger because it needed more, and finished it with a package of glass noodles and a coarsely chopped bunch of cilantro. Served it in a bowl on a bed of crunchy bean sprouts. I swear I feel better already!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Cue Etta James...At last...

Where to begin? That I needed a vacation (or detox) after my recent school break? That we had some excellent food in the month of December? That, for the first time ever, I was sad to see the holidays end? That I failed (sort of) to live up to my lofty goal of baking for 12 neighbors?

I'll begin at the beginning - a very fine place to start, btw. When I reflected upon why I was so exhausted after not having been to school in more than 10 days, I realized that I had only been home 2 nights during that entire time. No mystery there, Nancy Drew! Of course one of those 2 nights was Christmas Eve when we (you owe me, Tom, for even considering that you assisted in the food prep/serving) hosted a dinner party, not exactly "downtime."

I will explicate on the good food in more detail later, but suffice it to say that McGuire's and Cafe Capriccio laid it down - we thoroughly enjoyed our meals at both of these establishments.

I believe that my fond feelings for the Christmas season were created by my insistence that we not travel on the actual day of Christmas. It changed everything for me, and what has previously been a dreaded day of too little sleep and too much driving, became instead a lovely relaxed day, followed 2 days later with a happily anticipated visit with family. *sigh* It was really nice. Next year's calendar, of course, will have the holidays falling on different days of the week, but we will make our best effort to remain at home on the years that we must work December 26th.

About my baking extravaganza...I completely underestimated how many other things would be going on (or simply overestimated my abilities :)), things that would prevent me from continuing to bake. I definitely provided more than 12 families with home-baked goods, however, they weren't all in the DelSo. I will revisit this goal next year - actually, I will resolve to meet this goal in 2010. There - a New Year's Resolution!