Monday, June 27, 2011

music week.

I'm happy to have just returned home from a wonderful weeklong hiatus!  Last week, I had the pleasure of accompanying my mom-in-law on a trip to Indiana for a Piano Workshop at Goshen College.  We had a great time together and I had the chance to meet and stay with some really wonderful friends of hers.  During the midst of the conference, I also had the chance to meet up with some of my very closest friends whom I haven't seen since last year, who are now living in South Bend.

As always, though, it's good to be back home.  I feel refreshed and was quite happy to start back up with my regular teaching schedule today.

Hopefully being back home will mean more photos and more blog posts.  They come in spurts, it seems.

Friday, June 10, 2011

photo-essay: a mom's world.

This is a bit incomplete in it's story, so perhaps this should be considered "Part I" of a series.  (Can I ask you a question:  Should I be apologizing that my blog has become Cat Fest 2011?)

At this point, all but one kitten is promised to a home--and one of them already has a name!  The lone gray kitten has a home lined up in Pittsburgh and, from what I hear, the two young sisters who will be taking care of her have chosen to call her "Melody." :)   I can't wait to see the girls faces when Melody arrives and becomes their very own!

Although I was determined to "stay strong" and not become attached, I must tell you, it's nearly impossible....!!  I wish we could keep every single one of them around forever.  Their little personalities are starting to shine through and I can't help wanting them all for myself.  I mean, really, look at those little babies....  

Alas, in a month or so, we'll be having to say good-bye.  I'm eating up this whole experience while I can. :D

Thursday, June 9, 2011

new lens!

[or, A Family Vignette]

See this look?  This is called excitement.
(See, I don't even care that my hair's all disheveled.)

See this guy?  This is the guy who has made his wife insanely happy--buying her the lens she really wanted. 

And here?  This is our playful, chubby cat who can now be photographed in our dark, indoor lighting with a wider aperture.

This?  This is Momma, who's rather upset by the news.  "Even more pictures of me and my babies?"

Yup, coming soon.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mmmm. Pork Slaw.

Okay.  Let's be honest.  The mention of "slaw" for supper doesn't normally invoke drooling or hunger pangs.  It doesn't have quite the same effect as mentioning, say, a New York Strip with Foie Gras Butter, Truffle Mashed Potatoes and sauteed Wild Mushrooms.  Quite the opposite really.  

The mention of slaw normally conjures images more along the lines of a summer picnic.  And that's exactly why I feel compelled to share this recipe.  This was such a light, yet delicious summer meal.  And very fulfilling!  

We took a recipe from Sarah Fragoso's Everyday Paleo book that recently came out (she has a blog of the same name right here) and used it as a base for our own concoction.  Actually, when I say "we," I mean mostly Christopher.  He's the brain child behind this meal and most of our other delicious meals.  He has such a knack for putting foods and flavors together.  I helped, but he deserves the real credit.

The original recipe was for Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Slaw.  Ours ended up being more like this:

Apple Spice Pork Slaw
1 lb. cooked ground pork
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
6 cups purple cabbage, diced
1 apple, diced
1/2 cup walnuts
2 carrots, diced
1 shallot (or 1/2 white onion), diced
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Five Spice Powder (or a dash each of cinnamon, fennel, cloves, star anise, white pepper)
Salt & Black pepper to taste

1.  Saute ground pork with cardamom, adding salt & pepper as desired.
2.  In a food processor, finely chop the apple, walnuts, carrots & shallot. (This is a great snack by itself!!)
3.  In a large bowl, mix the cabbage with the pork and chopped mixture.  Add the oil, vinegar and spices last.  Salt & pepper to taste.
4. ENJOY!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


this was a photography experiment in panning.
setting a slow shutter speed, narrow aperture.

taking a moving object and following it with the camera. [trying to keep it in the same place in the viewfinder.]

the result is a blurry/streaky background and a [somewhat] focused subject.

interesting, no?

[thank you, dear husband, for being such a selfless, cooperative, and good-looking test subject. :D]

Monday, June 6, 2011


Last weekend, my folks came out for a short two-day visit.  It had been almost a year since their last visit out this way and, quite honestly, I think the main reason for their visit was to meet these adorable kittens we have hanging around the house.  :)  

We did manage to take a few breaks from staring at the little darlings to do some sight-seeing around Philadelphia. These pictures are testament to the fact.

However it was only 20 minutes into our visit to Chanticleer Gardens that my camera battery died.  But I managed to get these few.

Thankfully, I think that Mom was able to get some pictures too, but I'm pretty certain her battery died not long after mine.  The women in our family really know how to plan ahead...

Saturday, June 4, 2011

5 weeks old.

[& Momma, the watchful eye.]
This week has been a week full of significant firsts.  It's been such a joy these last 5 weeks watching the little kittens grow (so fast!) and discover themselves within their new world.  I'm starting to feel like a bona fide "mom," celebrating all the little achievements as they happen.  Except I'm not the real momma.  I'm only a witness and caretaker.  The real Momma is doing all the work and teaching her little ones the ways of the Kitten World.  Since their birth, she has tended to their every need, without pause or hesitation.   It's such an amazing process to witness first hand.

The babes have not only started wandering out of their box... but also their room!

They're playing, getting into trouble, moving objects around, and climbing up any available human leg they see (ouch!).

And what a surprise it was for me to come in and find three of the kittens forming a line to use the litter box!  Everyone so politely took their turn, waiting until the previous user finished up.

Pretty soon this place is going to be a madhouse with cats in every corner and crevice.

No complaints here!