April 30, 2010

Travel and Food

As some of you already know, I am currently in Spain. I spent a week in Barcelona and I am now in Pamplona. When I leave here, I will be meeting some friends and hiking part of El Camino de Santiago for about 4 weeks.

One of my absolute favorite parts of travel is the food and that certainly stands true here in Spain. There are the traditional tapas places, but also a whole range of other types of restaurants (Middle Eastern, Japanese, Italian, Indian), as well as lots of markets with fresh produce, bread, cheese, olives, etc. I am eating some meals in restaurants and some on the go (most often bread, cheese, sausage, olives, and dried fruit) and have had the pleasure of eating a couple of meals in the homes of local people that I met through Couchsurfing.

I am not sure when I will be able to upload photos here but you can be sure I am taking plenty, especially of the food. I will post them when I can.

Some of my favorite foods so far:
 - olives
 - cheese
 - jamon (generally refers to cured ham, like prosciutto, but much better)
 - chorizo
 - asparagus (huge white ones and also more average sized green ones)
 - calcots (chargrilled leeks served with delicious dipping sauces)
 - tortilla (Spanish omelette)

April 29, 2010

It's A Bird, It's A Plane,..It's My Man in a Plane!

Alan got to take a short plane ride with a friend out of the local airport. So cool is that he called me on his cell -- while in the air over the next town away -- and said, "We'll be circling the house in 5 minutes." And so they were...
Photos of him as co-pilot (actually,just a passenger), and over our valley and our street. And can you see the dot in the sky on the last photo -- I was so excited that I could see their plane -- that's them in the sky above and beyond our barn.




Posted by Picasa

To Inspire You -- Google Tutorial

Want to make your own Youtube video with the 6-click google search like mine below...here's the tutorial

and here is where you make one:

click me...
Google 6 Click Video

Video - The Six-Phrase Search

Remember the 6-word memoir? Well,the new challenge is the 6-phrase Google Search. Tell a story in six clicks.
What fun, easy, and shareable. Try it! One of mine is below....

My husband, Alan, and I took a sabbatical in June 2008 - May 2009...
here's the short version:

April 24, 2010

Bookreporter & Mother-Daughter Writing

Every Friday I find a copy of The Bookreporter enewsletter in my email in-box -- a lengthy and chatty online periodical of new book reviews and suggestions. Although they often highlight genres I do not read (too many best-sellers and thrillers), from it I have found real gems to read. While I am perusing Bookreporter, I often leave two other web windows open -- my inter-library loan page of the local 4-County Library system and Amazon.com. I can read more about any title and sometimes order it.

Bookreporter has links to many resources and related sites. At their blog this month, in anticipation of Mother's Day, there is a contest for a basket of books, and they are featuring Mother-Daughter authors...
some you may know (the mystery author Mary Higgins Clark sometimes co-writes with her mystery-writing daughter Carol Higgins Clark) and others you may not (the food-centered writings of the Lappe's; Sue Monk Kidd, the author of the wildly successful The Secret Life of Bees, has co-written a travel and life-passage/challenge memoir with her daughter).

Any other duos you know of? Any you've read?

And a weekend morning thought...How would Saturday Night Live handle this topic?

April 23, 2010

Birthday Tea

I recently found out about a tea room in our area, so for my mom´s birthday, I took her there for tea/lunch...  but it didn´t quite live up to the tea rooms we used to go to when I was a kid. This one was more of a lunch place that happened to serve tea and scones. There was a tea room near us for a while when I was young that was called something like The Victorian Women´s Tea Room and served several courses of goodies including cucumber sandwiches with the crusts cut off and little petit four type desserts. That place was amazing. Though the menu here wasn´t as nice, it was a lovely mother-daughter day just spending time together. We also noticed that they do offer more of a traditional high tea, but only for parties of 10 or more, with reservations.
Does anyone want to get dressed up and have high tea with us?

April 22, 2010

INSPIRATION - Other Women Writing about their Inspiration

While I am writing a book review of Where Women Create, A Book of Inspiration: In the Studio and Behind the Scenes with Extraordinary Women... well, obviously, I'm procrastinating -- I'm blogging not book reviewing -- I am realizing how much I enjoy reading about the sources of inspiration of other women.

And at the website/blog of one of the featured artists, Knitty Gritty host and author, Vicki Howell, she wrote about Betty White...see the post here:
Vicki Howell likes Betty White

The tribute is embellished with downloadable images, instructions on how to make a Betty White card, and video clips of memorable Betty W. lines.

I am so inspired by other women writing about their inspiration...
Especially women younger than me writing about other women older than me.

And, BTW, I'll post the link to the Story Circle Review when I finish it...but I do have at least another couple of websites to check out first!

April 21, 2010

Local Eating

One of my intentions in the last couple of years has been to eat more local food and less food that comes from really far away. One of my small changes was to start purchasing more of the meat, eggs and dairy I consume from local sources. I was finding this challenging for a while, but it has been getting easier as I find more sources and incorporate it into my routines.

One of the local sources that has been most helpful is CNY Bounty,  a local non-profit which my boyfriend Dan recently started working for.

How it works [from the CNY Bounty website]: Each week, Bounty staff coordinate weekly product availability with farmers and producers and upload the products, prices, photos and descriptions on the website. Consumers can go online to www.cnybounty.com between Friday at noon and Monday at noon to place an order.  Orders are collected from the farm on Wednesday morning by Bounty staff, taken to the shared distribution center in Sherburne, NY, and distributed by Bounty staff to customers’ doorsteps or strategically located drop off points on Wednesday or Thursday afternoon.  Delivery is free for orders over $35 or for orders of any size to drop off points.

CNY Bounty operates year-round and currently works with over 90 farmers and producers.  All processed/prepared products contain at least 25% locally grown ingredients, except where products are not grown in the region (ex: coffee and cacao).

Some of our favorite items from CNY Bounty:

We've eaten a few meals lately which have consisted of mostly local ingredients.

One was a stir-fry with whole wheat noodles, sunflower oil, bok choy, cabbage, carrots, oyster mushrooms, and beef - all from CNY Bounty. And that's local raspberry apple juice on the side.

Another was local chicken wings from CNY Bounty and sauteed asparagus and kale from the garden. The kale was in a delicious soy coconut ginger sauce. The asparagus is the first of the season and it is very early this year - and very delicious!

What local eating have you been doing?

April 12, 2010



Ziplining in MA

Wow! Alan and I recently spent a lovely weekend in Northampton with some old friends -- who have retired and relocated to Cape Cod. We all decided that Northampton was a great mid-way point to meet.

And long story short -- Alan knew that I wanted to partake in an activity to mark my big 6-0 birthday that was both challenging and celebratory. I certainly found it in ziplining.
On the way home, we went to the Deerfield Canopy Tour in Charlemont, MA which has 11 zips, three rappels, and two plank bridges. Great guides led the way, each of us in harness and hooks, getting higher up (up to 50 feet) and zipping on longer and faster paths.

Check out their website for a video clip:

Happy Birthday to me!

April 5, 2010

Dream Years, Adventures, & A Contest

Wow...As many of you know, Alan and I (Barbara) lived one of our dreams... by going on a one-year traveling sabbatical from June 2008 - May 2009. You can still check out the blog of the Dream Year

I recently read that Teva is sponsoring a contest -- "giving away $10,000 awards to a handful of people. To get the money, all we want you to do is tell us what you would do with the cash. The only rule for your submission is that it’s about YOU and YOUR adventure."

Our friends Steph and Judy submitted a video titled Living Our Dream ... about a long sailing trip in their future.

What Dreams do you have?
And if you need some adventurous inspiration, just go over to the Teva website and watch some of the entries!!

April 1, 2010

Meditation Inspiration: Hafiz

The GiftThe Sad Game

Keeps the sad game going.
It keeps stealing all your wealth-
Giving it to an imbecile with
No financial skills.
Dear one,

From a book of Hafiz’s poetry, The Gift, translated by Daniel Ladinsky.

I love this poem. Short, to the point, and as apt now as when it was written (1300's).

Is there anything you are inspired by that seems, in some way, timeless? Or that you think will still ring true for you or others for many years to come?