Monday, September 30, 2013

A New England Gem...Parker's Maple Barn...a Pancake Paradise!

It's hard not to love pancakes. The very suggestion of pancakes can create an not-so-subtle whiff in search of their aroma. If you're in New England, or if you happen to be up for a foodie road trip, Parker's Maple Barn is the destination for you.

What began in an authentic sugar house in the 1960s, has grown to a full service restaurant, serving breakfast and lunch and real maple syrup. For die hards, table syrup is never an option and luckily, Parker's, in Mason, New Hampshire, delivers the real deal.

The menu is impressive. There are always buttermilk, blueberry, pumpkin and buckwheat pancakes, but there is also a pancake of the month. This month's was apple cinnamon.

The Parker's Special offers two pancakes, two eggs, bacon, ham and sausage or all ham hash, home fries and thick homemade toast, served with their own maple syrup.
They also offer a Mini Special, which is one of everything, instead of two.

From maple frappes (shakes/milkshakes) and maple caramelized onion and Swiss burgers to maple-glazed ribs and maple baked beans, there is something for everyone...even the more health conscious, offering egg substitutes, turkey kielbasa and even...sugar free syrup. Waffles and French toast are also available, but the pancakes steal the show.

If you can't bear to part without taking all-things-maple home with you, there's a gift shop, where they sell that, and other New England and Native American inspired treasures.

Parker's Maple Barn is located in Mason, New Hampshire, off route 13 in Brookline. Follow the signs into the woods and you will find the spot. Be prepared for a wait... weekend mornings can be brutal. But, there are Adirondack chairs and rockers, and an outpost selling coffee and donuts to tide you over while you wait.

So, if you're in the area, and even if you're not, consider a foodie destination and check out Parker's Maple Barn. You may suffer from sugar shock, but it's a good kind of wrong.

Bon provecho!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Timing is everything...infertility & baby envy

Thank you, Amy Klein, for this post on fertility and baby envy...the timing couldn't be more perfect, given my own post last night.  Thank you for validating my experience...for voicing what I experience, as countless other women with fertility issues could have said. It could not have come at a better time.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Infertility...Landmines Lurking Around Every Text

A friend of mine is pregnant. I'm happy for her. She and her husband are amply blessed. And, in my own life, so am I.

But my heart hurts. And tonight, a little bit more.

As I mentioned in earlier posts, I am infertile...early menopause...bad eggs...ovarian failure...a perfect storm leading to a state of complete barrenness. Most of the time, I'm fine. But other times, like tonight...not so much.

Being childless by chance is much different than being childfree by choice. When you have no choice, you make the best of it and you live your life fully and with joyful intent.

But occasionally, you hit a landmine that blasts your heart to shreds.

And the landmine I hit was in the form of a text.

My life is good. I, too, am amply blessed. But the unmet need and desire to be a mom is a sore that never quite heals. It may scab over, but it's just a text message, a phone call, a day at the mall away from bleeding out, yet again.

Tomorrow is a new day. And my life will still be good.

But tonight, I need to crawl into bed and snuggle a bit tighter into my husband's embrace and hope that our love will always be enough of a salve to help that wound heal, once and for all.  

Monday, September 23, 2013

My 100th Post! The ABCs of Date Night--Part One

Hello, friends~happy Monday and happy Autumn!

It's my 100th post and I couldn't be more excited. While I am still considering where my blogging niche will settle, I am thrilled and so grateful for my wonderful followers who make this project so much fun.

We're just coming off a fabulous weekend in New York. Having had the opportunity to spend time with some of my husband's college friends and spend some quality just-the-two-of-us time in Gotham, we are back and ready to conquer another week.

And it's never too early to start thinking about our next date night.

Here's a brainstorm of some creative date night ideas to warm your autumn nights.

A--Apple picking
B--Bubble bath for two (or shower)
C--Cooking class at a local tech school or community education center
D--Day trip to your capital city--play tourist in your own back yard
E--Entertain friends at a couples' dinner party
F--Full moon walk, hand in hand.

G--Go cart racing
H--Hiking and a picnic on the summit or at the turnaround point
I--Ice cream date
J--Jump--how about indoor skydiving (or outdoor)

K--Head to the beach and fly a kite
L--Landscape--working together gets it done in half the time and then you have more time for fun.
M--Museum date for a bit of culture
N--Naked day!
O--Offer to complete your partner's least favorite chore and then celebrate with a treat.
P--Pillow fight
Q--Queso--everything is better with cheese. Fondue for two?
R--Recreate your first date
S--See sunrise and sunset together in the same day
T--Tapas and sangria...a night in Spain
U--Go underwater...SCUBA for two? Check groupon for an introductory class.

V--Create a vision board for your hopes and dreams as a couple
W--Watch your wedding again to your song.
X--Xi--how about a game of scrabble or play each other in Words with Friends...winner chooses the prize.
Y--Yoga class
Z--Zoo date

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Date Night

Off to Gotham for a romantic date overnight in the city. Blessed to have a partner who shares my gypsy soul.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Hump Day Haiku...Missing Mojo

Still trying to recover my mojo...

Searching for my muse,
In the weeds, without a plan.
Spirit beckoning.

Unleash your own poetic expression. Link me up so I can read yours as well.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Run a marathon? A half? a 5 or 10k?
Turn that hobby into a career?
Tell that person how you really feel, for better or for worse?
Learn a new skill?
Take that trip you've always wanted?

And what if you did fail....

Then what?

Worst case scenario? What is yours?

And then what? As scary as it sounds, life is not over.

You rebuild.

It will be hard. It will test everything you have. But in the end, you have to decide whether you're okay with settling for what you have, or risking it all for what you want.

Change the paradigm...see failure as opportunity...a chance to rebuild, to start fresh, or make something stronger. Failure can buy you freedom from success in something you tolerate. A chance to claim what fuels your fire.

Life will almost always go on. Wealth can be regained. Time? Never.

What are you waiting for? The time may never be right. But then again, rarely is the timing right when the universe decides our time is up.

Don't let a fear of failure or uncertainty stop you.


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Why hello, September! Let's catch up...

Hello, friends!
It seems like ages since I have had the mojo to even consider blogging. I've been reading your blogs every day, but for some reason, my muse has gone MIA.

Nevertheless, here I am. Let's get something to drink, sit a bit and catch up.

  • We had a great time on vacation in Spain. In addition to spending time with family and friends, my husband and I were blessed to travel to Bilbao and sample some of the best pintxos the Basque Country has to offer.

  • On the way back to Galicia, we spent time in Asturias, visiting Gijon, Oviedo, and Cangas de Onis in the Picos de Europa. While there, we stuffed ourselves with fabada (an amazing bean stew), sidra (hard apple cider) and carbayĆ³nes (a must-have, super-sweet almond pastry).

  • Pictures are coming. I'm still in the weeds, and haven't begun to dig out just yet. But I will. Soon.

  • School has started again, and I am rejuvenated by the fabulous new class of middle schoolers I have this year. When I tell people I teach middle school, their first reaction is one of shock and well-intended sympathy. But I have to laugh, because, although not easy, my middle schoolers bless my life every day. They can make me laugh or cry, give me angst or hope. My life is fuller with them in it. I hope their parents appreciate the gifts they have been given, even when they're difficult.

  • I'm continuing to work through some health issues, while others seem to be cropping up unexpectedly. Finally, there is an end in sight and the solution, albeit surgical, may be the answer. I trust my doctor and am certain I will fare well when all is said and done.

  • Boston University has a Masters in Gastronomy...who knew?!? You can concentrate in food policy, wine studies or cheese studies. What fun!

  • I am registered for a 5k next month. That's right...I'm back on the running wagon. New sneakers in hand, running coach in place...see you at the finish line!

  • I've been reading some great blog posts on focus and I think that might be part of the reason for my missing mojo. Besote is a work in progress and it might be time to start honing in on my niche. Stay tuned.
Well, it's time for me to go work on curriculum. But, September is here and it's a new month for new goals; new starts and new opportunities. Here's to a September to remember.