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In the past couple of weeks I’ve been cranking out the hats. This one is my Dad’s (as you can see) and he’s toasting it with a lot of love and gratitude. That feels really good!


OK, OK, you ask, what’s a nice Jewish girl doing in the Sinterklaas parade, carrying Sinterklaas in the old Dutch tradition (that’s me just under the horse’s nose), from his arrival by boat at the Rhinecliff Dock? So the answers is: participating in a wildly fun, thoroughly creative extravaganza that only started yesterday and promises a very full and festive day on Saturday December 6. Don’t miss it.


The parade needs lots of volunteers on Saturday December 6 in order to animate the puppets. It should be a blast of a day. Come join. We’ll have fun together! Email me for details or contact Jeanne Flemming: 845-758-5519, coordinator@sinterklaasrhinebeck.com. Check out the site for details: sinterklaasrhinebeck.com.

Birthday hat delivered. Looks good, right?

Yum. T-day was great thanks to Joyce and Mike and friends. Lots of excellent food. This household brought several items: three kinds of cranberry sauce, mashed chipolte sweet potatoes, and roasted beets and sweet potatoes.

The chipolte mashed sweet potato dish was a hit. It was really easy to make.

Bake the sweet potatoes:


Skin them or scoop them out:


puree the chipoltes in adobo sauce:


mash all together, add some salt and pepper:


The cranberry sauces . . . well, read the labels!


And the roasted root veggies (beets & sweet potatoes, plus garlic). This dish always make me think of my daughter Sasha. She is the champion beet and sweet potato roaster. This incarnation included some cloves of garlic.

Pre-roasting: toss the veggies in some olive oil and roast at 450 until done. I left the beets in a little longer than the rest:

Ready for the trip to Thanksgiving dinner:


Leftovers were combined with vegetable stock and pureed. Delicious:


Much to be thankful for. Good food, yes. But friends and family, music, time to relax, warmth and love. These are things to be grateful for.


While Laura loves her new hat, it exhibited a common problem I have when I knit hats, I tend to start the decrease too soon and end up with a hat that isn’t quite deep enough. So I’ve opened this one back up and will add about an inch and a half to its height before I decrease again. Then it will have plenty of roll up at the brim and be pulled down for extra warmth on those really cold days. Thanks for being patient Laura . . it’ll be done soon.

Each square of Beats Peat turns into 3 square feet of material once it is wet and expanded. It seemed to need a certain amount of time to absorb the water that I added. I did three blocks, each separately and each time it took some effort to get it to come apart and expand.

I mixed batches of Beats Pete and 20 shovels of soil and 20 of compost on a tarp. That was enough to fill one 4×4 frame.


After three frames worth, I decided the fourth could wait. Maybe I’ll get to it next weekend or in the spring. Either way I have at 12 square feet of garden area ready to go.


I may still try to get some garlic in this week. Here’s to gardening. And a bountiful return! Or bountiful fun. That I think I can count on.

This week I’ve been knitting again. Hats are the thing for the moment. I got more wool from Morehouse Farm. I bought it online since they don’t have a store anymore. It was difficult to pick colors and what I got wasn’t exactly what I’d expected. ut it is all beautiful and useful.

I started with a baby hat for a friend’s daughter’s new born. Then an adult duplicate became a birthday present. And now a warm winter hat for my dad. He has never worn a knit hat but with his hearing aids and neck brace it seems like a cap won’t do the job any longer.

This is Laura’s hat, perched on top of a basket of Morehouse Farm Merino 3 ply. I keep a collection this wool in various colors. It is like keeping around a box of paint. Perfect for making caps at the drop of a hat!

I’ve been installing a garden in our back yard. We built a sukkah this season. It came out really well and we had a great party in and around it. See the PKO blog for more on that. Anyway, I thought it would make a great center piece around which to build a veggie garden.

I did a little research and some asking around and settled on trying the “square foot garden” approach. This really consists of raised beds filled with a very nourishing mixture of soil, compost and in my case something called Beats Peat — a substitute for peat that is made from coconut trees that they recommended at the Phantom Gardener. It is very renewable and doesn’t disturb the eco-system the way mining for peat does.

I got all the materials together which I couldn’t have done with out a very generous loan of a pick-up truck. Saturday morning I built the frames, put them in place. I put a mixture of water and vinegar on the grass inside the frames, then a layer of cardboard. The photo shows a 4×4 frame made of 1×6 cedar. It is laying on a piece of cardboard that was destined for a dumpster. It turned out to be the perfect size (4×8) to fit under two side-by-side frames.

This is the sukkah with 2 – 4×4 frames on either side and a 2×8 frame across the back. I envision this cool and protected area under the sukkah that will serve as a place to work from, or lounge in or take a meal under all through the growing season.

Today I’ll fill them with the growing mix. And let them sit until the spring. Actually, I will try to plant garlic and maybe some winter greens. Check back for more.

I never thought I’d want to create a blog about what I am up to. It was cool to make one for the band. Plus that’s mostly tongue ‘n cheek. But this is feeling like a time of creativity, inspiration, and new interests. I’d like to share what I am up to and also solicit input, create dialog, or get feedback. So here goes . . .

Welcome to my blog: Cadence

In music, rhythmic cadences give phrases a distinctive ending, which can, for example, indicate to the listener whether the piece is to be continued or concluded. In an accordion class last summer I was taught that if you learn the cadences which you hear in Klezmer music you'll always have a place to catch up with the band, even if you don't know the piece. —Elena

Yes, Twitter, too.

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