April 18–April 25. Banana Bread. Bruce. Bouquet. Bread Pudding. Chicken Maquechoux. Weeping White Cherry Tree. Baked Cod with Braised Red Cabbage and Apple. Cod Cake. Freddy. Vodka & Tonic. Red Onion, Mushroom, Chicken, Green Olive Pizza. Mushroom, Red Onion, Salami Pizza. Susan and Freddy. Second Vaccine.
(Introductory note. The number 8. According to the Bible, number 8 is considered to be a symbol of creation and new beginnings. God rested on the 7th day, which means that the 8th day was always a day for the new beginning. Eight is a symbol of infinity and a constant flow of energy and power. The number 8 is considered the luckiest of numbers in China and they believe the more 8’s the better. The Cantonese word for eight, which is pronounced “ba”, sounds similar to the word which means “prosper” or “wealth”. In regional dialects the words for “eight” and “fortune” are also similar. The number eight in the Bible signifies Resurrection and Regeneration. It is the number of a new beginning. Eight is 7 plus 1 and since it comes just after seven, which itself signifies an end to something, so eight is also associated with the beginning of a new era or that of a new order.)
My last post was dated March 8. Today is April 8 (Finishing this post now on the 9th.) . A new beginning. Always forward. Never back. “The past cannot bind me. The future does not limit me.”
Thinking about March.
My birthday was March 7. I celebrated my 69th year to Heaven.
I am still singing this song:
Here I am with my grandchildren about to celebrate with a piece of carrot cake.
Continuing Dry January with Free Spirits.
Continuing experimenting with self-portraits.
Susan made granola.
And here is Susan and Freddy on March 17.
How delicious was the General Tso’s Chicken I made on the 19th!
It’s baked and it is so simple to make.
Here’s the recipe I based it one; I added asparagus rather than broccoli: https://theschmidtywife.com/baked-general-tso-chicken/
Maybe you might prefer a serving of Shrimp Lo Mein?
We celebrated my birthday with Danielle, Mike, Emily and Matthew on March 21 (The previous weekends were too cold to celebrate outside keeping social distance.)
We are so proud of Danielle and Mike:
And of Emily and Matthew:
I was given this beautiful Kalanchoe Double Flower plant as a gift (along with carrot cake pictured at the beginning of this post.
Susan bought a new sculpture for our yard from Cindy Polette.
The crocus plants bloomed on March 24.
I made a Chicken and Spinach and Onion Pizza on the 25th.
Susan and I both had our first vaccine shots.
“From this time forward I make you hear new things, hidden things that you have not known.” ~Isaiah 48:6
And a trip to Lost Acres Vineyard and Lost Acres Orchard last week for the town’s annual Farm Day. Afterwards (We really made a day of it!) we stopped at Black Rabbit Farm for a beer and food for dinner.
Susan and Freddy at Lost Acres Vineyard.
The field at Black Rabbit Farm. We let Freddy off leash and he had such a blast running around as we enjoyed out beer.
The garden looked beautiful throughout the summer, especially the zinnias, but my tomato and eggplant harvest was a great disappointment.
Early in the summer the clematis plants on the arbor brought great beauty and joy to us.
One of my favorite butterfly photos (It is so hard to choose a favorite! I photographed them every day—even today!) is this one from July:
A highlight, for me, was practicing yoga every morning near the arbor.
Of course, Freddy brings us great joy every day. He’s such a good boy!
One day when I was playing catch with Freddy with a small black ball and it rolled through the garden. It took me a long time to find it and as I was looking for it I found a butterfly I had never seen before, a Black and Blue Swallowtail, I believe. I wondered, for a brief second or two, if the black ball had magically turned into a butterfly.
Susan made many delicious deserts, like this Berry Cake:
Some of my food favorites from the summer include Cucumber Gazpacho, Tomato Soup, Grilled Scallops with White Beans and Spinach, and Shrimp and Rice:
I was thankful to be asked to photograph a mom, Bana, and her baby, Rosey, every month for 12 months.
Here is a photo from July that I just love because it illustrates the beauty Susan and I have created in our home. Plus, it shows two of my favorite photos.
Probably the highlight of our summer was winning the Western Mass News / Big Y Backyard BBQ. Susan had been trying and trying and trying to win and one Friday night we got a phone call from a reporter and he said “Susan, you just won the Backyard BBQ.” We invited 20+ plus people over—neighbors and friends. We had such a wonderful time and the people from Big Y and Western Mass News were awesome! Big Y supplied the food and did the cooking!
And now I give thanks for the times Susan and I spend in our backyard enjoying a glass of wine or cocktail before dinner.
There were a number of family get-togethers, too. A visit from our son and his girlfriend, a BBQ at our niece and nephews house (I always enjoy the opportunity to photograph their daughter, Lauren), and our grandson’s 4th birthday party!
I would be remiss not to say something about Susan. My wife. My best friend. My guide. My inspiration. Every day I give thanks that she is in my life. She is an amazing person.
I believe I am making the world a better place with beautiful photography. If you are looking for beautiful portrait, nature, or documentary photography, or someone you know is looking for photography that helps to create a more artful and beautiful life, please contact me.