Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Happy Leap Day. Here I a ready to make the leap to spring but old man winter dragged me back. I don't like him, he's sneaky. December, January, and February he hasn't shown his face in these parts. In fact its been rather mild here in the northeast 50 -60 degrees on some days. Today he decides to appear, the last day of February. The 29th no less"Leap Day" it happens once every four years and he want to make his big entrance. He won't last though, those three ladies of spring (April, May, and June) will show up and throw his butt out. Enjoy your extra day of the year.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Last Batch

This is the last batch of student's papers that I have to complete grading.  I still prefer hard copies over having student  submit electronically. I know I should be more environmentally friendly but I still perfer a good book over an e-book. Just all me old fashion.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

What they See

He takes me to the window, small, dirty, crisscrossed with old chicken wire, and points across the street  to something that seems to be a monster being born not of a living creature but of a building. Seeing this obscene thing is a shock; what is worst is seeing the people passing to and fro beneath it, intent on plotting their day's business or planning their evening's pleasure; they pass to and fro and do not look up
None of the look up. I hear him say it again: "We do not see them but they see us." ~ Stephen king

 This passage is from text written by Stephen King for a book called Nightmare in the Sky

After reading this passage I couldnt stop thinking about my visit to Norte Dame Catheral. I was a rainny day. People say Paris is more beautiful in the rain. It is especially true about seeing Norte Dame, because many of the gargoyles act as downspouts to move the water away from the building. Only in the rain can you see the cascade of water flowing from their mouths.
We began the climb to the top via this narrow, winding stairway. It's quite a workout but it's worth the climb for the spectacular views that await you at the top. My wife made this climb  and she had a heart attack a year before. A slow and steady pace is whats necessary to make it to the top. Stop and take in the views from the little windows. There is no hurry, no time limit.
Gargoyles sit atop the catheral keeping an on going vigle of the city below. Stephen King words come to mind. "We do not see them but they see us." ~  Birds and gargoyles are privilaged to  the most spectacular views of  Paris that you can imagine. Think of the changes they witnessed over the centuries that have past. What would they say if they could speak? Would they leave their post if they could?
Through the eyes of a gargoyle
Think about the changes they have seen come to be... cars, airplanes, medicine, war and peace. Has our society changed for the better or for the worst. Why haven't they said anything  or did they and we just didn't pay attention. Remember..."We do not see them but they see us." Do we not hear them too?

My daughter Lisa caught my attention near top of the catheral and I framed this photograph of her with the gargoyles. The rain had stopped and it was beautiful to just take in the view and wonder what it would be like to be one of these sentenals of the catheral. My daughter let me know...
Lisa the Gargoyle

Later that evening we had a dinner crusie on the Seins as we past Notre Dame I looked up at the gargoyles and I did see them because I know they saw me.

Boun Jour!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What a Deal

I  started today much like any other. I was awake at 4:00 AM and went downstairs to make some coffee. While enjoying the quiet of the early hour, I decided to check my emails. One of the blogs I follow Whatsoever things are lovely My friend Debora writes about a box of axe heads she found in her closet. They were symbols of axes she thought that she needed to grind for deeds done aginst her in childhood. This made me start thinking about an old axe that I bought at a barn sale this past fall.
 I occasionally like to stop at old estate or barn sale to see what treasures I can find. This old axe caught my eye. When I picked it up, the old farmer said, "twenty bucks." I said. "That sounds kind of steep, I'll give you ten dollars."  He said. "Young man that axe belonged to Lizzie Borden." "A collectors item" I said.

 For those of you who are not fimiliar with the tale of Lizzie Borden she was a young woman in New England who was tried for killing her father and stepmother with a hatchet on August 4, 1892 in Fall River, Massachusetts. The murders, subsequent trial, and ensuing media trial, became a cause c'ele'bre. Although Lizzie Borden was aquitted, no one was ever arrested or tried and she has remained a notorious figure in American folklore.

The old rhyme popped into my mind...
Lizze Broden took an axe
gave her father fourty wacks
when she saw what she had done
she gave her mother fourty one.

I turned the axe over in my hands and the old farmer said I know why you're skeptical. the handle looks to new for an axe that old. Well he said the handle had been replace once or twice, so lets say fifteen dollars. I handed over the fifteen bucks and made my way to my car. As I walk to my car, I could hear the old farmer chuckle and mutter something under his breath about the axe head being replace once or twice too. I think I was skunked by the old timer.

There are two lessons to be learned. Debora's story taught me to let go of old debts and forgive.... I'm still working on trusting old farmers.
 Have a good day,

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Potters Touch

I decided to take a walk today, along the way  as I past my neighbor's barn and art studio.Bob Fishmen's artwork, wheel thrown at his private studio in North Scituate, Rhode Island, has been exhibited in more than 100 museum stores, gift shops and galleries across the United States.
After earning his bachelor´s degree in Art Education in 1974 from Rhode Island College, Robert accepted an apprenticeship at the renowned Leach Pottery, St. Ives, Cornwall, England. Robert worked and studied for two years with Bernard and Janet Leach, expanding upon the fundamentals he learned as a student at RIC under the guidance of Harriet Brisson and Richard Kenyon.

Robert opened his own studio in January of 1980 and has been creating beaitiful pieces ever since.
I enjoy stopping by his studio in the barn, I have had many enjoyable conversations, with bob and his wife, sittng near the kiln on a cold winter's day or sitting by the Koi pond on his property in the summer time enjoying  a cool breeze.

  I call bob my potter, Many people can claim some one as the plumber, Carpenter, painter, baker, or cook... but how many people are lucky enough to claim they have a potter.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Simple Breakfast

Sliced figs with mascapone cheese on crostini with a Bellini cocktail or  an espresso.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Black Truffle Risotto

I was always a fan of using truffle oil in my cooking, according to critics around the world, is a cheap imitation for the real thing. However,I was lucky to try this interpretation of the classic Italian dish covered in shavings of pure black truffles. This sent tears rolling down my cheeks. The art of risotto is in the preparation of the rice and in this dish each morsel was soft and fluffy and the shavings of black truffle added a rich flavor. I wonder if my dogs could be trained to hunt truffles? Hmmm! Molly would eat them before I could take them from her, Bella couldn't be bothered, because she usually has her own agenda when we get into the woods and Blue would just as soon take a nap in the warm sunshine instead of hunting anything.
Maybe I'll be lucky and get a second helping...Now what wine to choose?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Versatile Blogger Award

I've met some amazing and interesting people through my blog and it was a great surprise  to find that I have been honoured with The Versatile Blogger Award. Tracey at Breathing English Air kindly present me with this prestigious award and in accepting I need to follow a few simple rules.
  1. add the award to your blog
  2. Thank the blogger who gave you the award
  3. Mention 7 random things about yourself
  4. List the rules
  5. Pass the Award to15 bloggers
  6. inform each of those 15 by leaving a comment on their blog
Seven random things about myself
  1. Ilove to travel
  2. I enjoy good wine and sharing with friends.
  3. I like to visit big cities but love living in the country.
  4. I like to cook because I love to eat!
  5. I'm a dog person.
  6. I try to learn something new everyday.
  7. I never, never, never, never give up!
I have forwaded The Versatile Blogger Award to:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tasting Day

A great turn out for the barrel tasting. Two hundred people came for the tasting. It was a beautiful day, a little chill in the air. People came stood by the fireplace, sipped wine,and picked on snacks prepared by Chef Jeff. There was delicious risotto with assorted  toppings. We also had Figs stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto.
I always like to end great days like this with a quiet walk through the vineyard,

Friday, February 10, 2012

Barrel Tasting

Barrel Tasting
Having a tasting this weekend. We'll be in the barrel room sampling wine before its bottled.

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Good day

Today was a great day. My son graduated "A-School" and earn the rank of petty officer in the Coast Guard. A-School stands for advanced training school where coast guardsmen complete their specialize training.                       
The Commander called his name and presented my son with his diploma. He asked that my son to remain on stage, because there were more accolades to be acknowledged. My son was presented another citation recognizing him as honor graduate, ranking him as the  number one student in his class. Because he was ranked as number one in the class, my son also became a member of the organization called the Ancient Order of The Pterodactyl. This fraternal association is open to all pilots who had flown or were flying Coast Guard aircraft. The organization was later expanded to included all personnel who flew in Coast Guard aircraft under official orders. Only those who have willfully placed themselves in harms way and have known that innermost feeling which comes from the personal experience which results in the saving of life or property can understand the bonding and uniqueness of Coast Guard aviation crew members.
  We are very proud of our son and all members of the US Coast Guard. As we drove home from North Carolina we caught the ferry into Cape May, NJ, I caught this beautiful sunset as we pulled into the harbor of Cape May. I took it as a sign that God has smile upon us and gave us a great son.
 A Proud Dad,
~Old dog~