Tuesday, November 18, 2014


It was cold—9˚F (-12˚C) by the deckside thermometer—when I got up at 6:00 a.m., added a fresh log to the fire, and let Moon-the-dog out for her pre-sunrise constitutional. And though the day since proved sunny and very bright, thanks to all the snow on the ground, even now—at what would typically be midafternoon's temperature high-point—we've still barely reached 17˚F (-8˚C); not much of a warming-up.  

Frankly, I'm glad I needed to stay in and work at my desk. Inside is a good place to be. The woodstove has a nice fire burning and is pumping out heat. And if I'd somehow have managed to not be so regularly distracted, my work would now be done.

Alas, I'm a sucker for distractions.  

Sometimes I was purely bewitched by the beauty of sunlight streaming through honey-brown box elder samaras, which still cling in multitudes to the branches of riverside trees. 

Alternately, I'd find my thoughts interrupted by the gabbing and honking of Canada geese, who decided to spend the day lolling about the pool and riffle directly in front of the cottage—and my window view.
But worst of all has been the kettle of sausage-and-potato soup bubbling on top of the woodstove. Garlic, onions, and fresh-chopped herbs add to the fragrant meld, as everything slow-cooks toward savory perfection. A streaming pot of strong coffee, on the ledge behind, is holding just shy of a simmer, its rich aroma another note to the mix. 

Predictably, these heady cooking smells now have me positively convinced I'm on the brink of starvation. A false notion, I admit, but one I'm unwilling to ignore much longer. Not that I ever ignore good eats. Still, I had hoped to get my work finished, then take the time to bake a skillet of spicy corn bread, before succumbing.

I may not be capable of such self-discipline. 

Ah, well…it won't be the first time I've been delightfully victimized by irresistible temptation.


Gail said...

Hi Grizz - great pictures of Winter's promise. And I can smell the sausage and potatoes and garlic and spices - and I can feel and smell the wood burning and the coffees rich aroma as the cold glistens and beckons just beyond the frosted window. I am right there, pouring my coffee, tasting the soup and settling on to the hearths bottom edge in a delightful and content day dream. Thank you for the escape.
Love Gail

Out To Pasture said...

Well, it would be insane not to succumb to those fabulous temptations. Water fowl in your lovely stream, gorgeous nature scenes and mouth watering kitchen aromas -- gotta express your appreciation to these gifts that make our lives so rich.

Thank you for sharing your stream through excellent pics and narration. And I'm glad to hear that MoonTheDog is continuing to enjoy her life, as well.



Grizz………… said...


You know I'd gladly share in person if we could. And just to set the record straight, the soup tasted as a good as it smelled. Of course I was pretty hungry, plus the cold weather and woodfire helped—not that I needed help.

I hope you're doing well. Take care and stay warm.

Grizz………… said...

Florence/Out To Pasture…

Thank you for your nice words.

I do know I'm very blessed—in so many ways. It's always too easy to get caught in what you don't have, what could be better, whine about stuff you wish you could change or improve. I try my best to not do that—at least not to loudly or often.

That's one reason I share, to in some public form, say how very thankful I am for my life and all I have. And also because sharing gives me such great pleasure—whether it's a photo, words, a meal, whatever. Sharing is privilege.

And FYI, Moon-the-Dog is really doing remarkably well for her age. Better than me, I suspect.

Janette said...

Hello, I always look forward to reading your Blog and to see your wonderful photos. I really feel I am right there in Ohio. Here in Edinburgh, Scotland the change of season is not so dramatic and we get very little snow in winter so I particularly love your recent photos. I hope you enjoyed your sausage and potato soup. - Janette.

Grizz………… said...


Please forgive me for being so slow in getting your comment posted and replying.

We've spent the past several days reworking our great room as best we can manage, in anticipation of our Thanksgiving dinner and guests, which we're looking forward to celebrating Thursday. I’ve not had my desktop Mac hooked back up until this morning, and have only been checking email once or twice per day via my iPhone. Besides working at that, there's been much running around on errands plus a visit to see the granddaughter.

The landscape here along the river has lost the snow cover you saw in the last couple of photos. We're back to a more seasonal November look. Also, it warmed up for one or two days, though only temporarily—and never so long that the fire in the woodstove was allowed to go out completely.

I did enjoy my sausage and potato soup…though I've almost never met the soup or stew I didn't enjoy.

Finally, I appreciated hearing from you, and am very pleased you regularly stop by this riverbank blog and like what you see. Please feel free to comment at will; you're among friends here—and are always welcome.