Friday, November 30, 2007

The end

of NaBloPoMo! My Internet connection is sketchy today, so this is my final bow. Nothing more, until perhaps tomorrow . . .

Thursday, November 29, 2007


and more work. I received another editing job today (which will tax my skills in legal footnote style) plus more of the odious proofing of the "relational" text . . . ugh.

Now do you see why I've put it out there to the greater forces concerning what to do? Are you there, God? it's me, tut-tut . . .

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Why is it, do you think, that bacon can so satisfactorily fill any spiritual void? Especially when combined with prosaic peas from the deep freeze . . .


here, working at my desk, longing to get out.

This morning's yoga was quite a workout. I tried to put it out there that I want to discover what it is I'm supposed to be doing here on earth. Surely it can't be this?

I won't be able to get to the studio today; maybe tomorrow . . .

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I went down to Studio C today and wove, had a spinning lesson (I'm still not there yet, but I'm getting more consistent results), and visited with M.

L was home with teenager-itis; I think she needed one more day of rest, frankly. The View was its usual can't-look-away mess, so of course L and I watched it. Joan Rivers: yikes. Mario Cantone: why?

I have to dump all the hundreds of photos from my camera so I can take some more. I'll post a picture of my weaving (first project on the loom in almost 20 years, so be kind . . .).

Other than making chicken tonight, I have passed through an eventless day!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Monday, Monday, Monday

We went to the mall (bleh) today; our mission: to find pants. L got some and a shirt at the vast wasteland that is American Eagle. We had some good Chinese food here, then made our way over to the Barnes and Noble where we felt right at home, finally.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


photo by L

I feel like going out, but then again, I may sit here a while . . . It's Sunday afternoon, and I'm contemplating what to have for dinner. We are in a dinner entre rut around here, even with all my cookbooks for inspiration. The area we live in is not known for the wealth of exciting ingredients, so I'm often on the chicken/beef/pork circuit. I just can't get excited about tofu. I have one recipe for tempeh I use, but it's for a lunch sandwich mix from Moosewood.

Any suggestions?

Saturday, November 24, 2007


photo source: photos/autumn2005/

It was so nice to get out. D went out first, and I felt guilty, seeing him toiling by himself. So I grabbed my (hand knit, ahem) sweater and a rake and tackled the leaves by the kitchen door. I'd forgotten how satisfying it is to create a pile and drag it off, leaving a (well, an almost) pristine patch. L, after a bit of prodding, got into the act, carrying away tarp-fulls as I raked them up.

Here, we can rake the leaves (or dump them) into huge banks at the edge of the road, and someone from the town comes by in an orange truck and hoovers them up. But their schedule is a mystery, so perhaps we will be raking the same leaves back up into a pile again.

I remember my father raking them into a pile and burning them; I miss that smoky smell of autumn in the suburbs . . . And of course, nowadays, I could do without the annoying roar of the leaf blower.

Friday, November 23, 2007

day after

Well, L and I met up with Stacie, P, and M at a Japanese sushi restaurant. Only Stacie was a pro; the rest of us stuck with tempura. Very convivial; I did try some of Stacie's and liked it. And Stacie surprised us by treating all of us to lunch!

Then a quick tour around a few galleries, one of which Stacie is part of. After that, we went over the river (though not through any woods) to see what was up at another gallery. Very busy; not much parking and Stacie whirled away. Unfamiliar with the territory, she ended up back across the river, and decided to buckle down and go down to her studio.

Even though I didn't cook, I'm still tired. It must be the start of the whole merry-go-round, the center of which is Christmas. I'm sticking with my plans, so tomorrow begins some creating!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Have as tranquil a day as you can in whatever circumstances you find yourself.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

New intention

I went over here, and found that there is a whole movement afoot to buy or make handmade things. Given the fact that I'm very very interested in knitting, sewing, weaving, spinning, it only makes sense to embrace that in every way I can. After all, there isn't much of a leap from making dinner from scratch every night, from as many local, organic ingredients as possible, to making things "from scratch" or buying such items.

So, I'm taking up the challenge and getting down to it; I've got fabric, yarns, fleece: I just have to get past having to do everything perfectly. There is so much to look at for inspiration, too; so many good bloggers are great crafters and artists, too.

And then there's the whole issue of letting someone else decide just what it is you do want to have. And what about your standards concerning workmanship? Money versus quality? This brings up the lack of oversight concerning imports from China, as well as our domestic problems in food inspection. Maybe if we each get more involved in the doing, we'll also take back more control of family life in general! As Laurie Colwin paraphrased Ralph Nader in More Home Cooking, large corporations do not have our best interests at heart.

Well, enough of a rant; I'm off to find the scissors . . .

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Thanks for nothing . . .

Yesterday, the full realization of what it means to have Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant hit D, and hit him hard. All the busyness, all the preparation, all the cleanup, all the talking to (my) relatives, all the finding room in the refrigerator: All of it gone! Banished!

He was so overwhelmed with the notion of nothingness, that he fell into bed for an afternoon nap . . .

Tomorrow, no school until next Tuesday. No getting up early, chasing around for retainers and the like. But somehow, between tomorrow and next Monday, the mall is beckoning L. So there's that.

Monday, November 19, 2007


With all my pie activity yesterday, something must have kicked my baking gene into gear. I decided this morning to do everyone a favor around here and make cookies.

I went over to Smitten Kitchen and found these. But I didn't have pecans, and I had some chocolate chips that were swirled with white chocolate. So I substituted the walnuts for the pecans and threw in the swirled chips. A great cookie, but something about them makes me want to put in dried cherries . . .

However, they came out looking just like Deb's!

* * *

It sure doesn't feel like Thanksgiving week today; it's supposed to be 70 degrees F this afternoon. I need some brisk, breath-revealing crispness to get me excited. We've been invited to a friend's house, but I think I really want to skip all of the cooking and, dare I say it, go to a restaurant. What is more freeing than arriving, having someone else bring out your food, and, when it's all over and done, get up from the table and just leave! No "Here are all the sides I made at my house for you!" No "Here, let me do the dishes." No, just a simple car ride home. Sounds good to me . .

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Pumpkin Pie

I spent the ENTIRE morning helping the youth group and their leader, A, to make pumpkin pies to raise monies for activities at church. The youth group was mostly helpful, until they decided to bring chairs into the kitchen and have an impromptu party.

The church kitchen has a great old Garland gas stove, with two ovens. We were able to fit eight pies at a time in there (there was only one rack per oven; otherwise, we could have doubled our output).

Poor A did not count output/demand, and we ended up with some extras.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Out . . .

Sometimes we do go to a restaurant. We've been liking this one recently. Plus, if you sit by the window, you can catch sight of the river.

A partial view of the menu:

L likes fresh-squeezed juice; they do grapefruit and orange.

I mean to get some wine glasses like this one; I like the way they feel in my hand.

D waiting . . .

For some reason, this reminds of the entrance to something other than what it is:

like a subway . . .

Friday, November 16, 2007


I've just come back from a greatly inspiring meeting on fiber arts, classes, a fashion show for next year! My head is reeling, and I'm feeling the excitement I wish I'd been feeling during the summer. I'm really fired up now to get back to all things fiber: knitting, sewing, weaving, spinning!

Even though I'll be involved in promotion, it's an exciting group of people. Class development is something I'm looking forward to doing too, so it's back to my original ideas for the shop (which, alas, several of us have pulled back from). But I think the direction I'm going in now will put me in wider connection with a group of people who are on the move.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


My loom now resides in Studio C; I've woven 20 inches or so in tabby on my scarf that was to be place mats (but it's pink, so I don't know what I was thinking when I started out to make place mats). I'm pleased that I'm making progress.

My knitting has been idle, though. I've got to get back to it.

I'm looking for a loom bench, Harrisville, the small one.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More dental

Thinking about my tooth brings to mind things various hygienists/dentists have told/asked me over the years:

I'm on the verge of periodontal disease.

I'm a wonderful flosser.

Do I know how to floss?

I have an arthritic jaw.

Have any persons in my family ever lost their teeth? [this one truly gave me pause]

My gums bleed.

My gums don't bleed.

I need a crown right away on my upper left molar.

I don't need to think about a crown on my upper left molar.

If I keep flossing the way I do, I'm in danger of exposing some roots, causing me much pain.

I wonder what to think of all this rather conflicting information . . .

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Dental woes

I had a cleaning today . . .

I hate going to the dentist. It all started years ago, when I was still in single digits. Somehow, I had an abscess, in the lower left quadrant (which remains to this day a troublesome area, tooth-wise). The dentist came at me with the hugest syringe I had ever seen. What did I do? Yes, I leaped out of the chair and got as fair away as I could from the dentist and his syringe.

What did he do?? He yelled at me to sit back down! And chased me!! My psyche has never been the same since.

Last summer, the dentist (not the screamy one; I'm sure he's long dead—at least I hope so . . .) told me I needed to have a crown put on in that lower left quadrant, on a tooth already much maligned with a root canal. Naturally I made the appointment and naturally I canceled it (when they weren't open, so I didn't have to talk to anyone). But today the dentist tells me that the "crack is widening; you don't want to lose the tooth, do you?" so I made another appointment.

I don't know what to do. Keep the appointment? These things are expensive. Gamble with my dental health?

I was going to post a picture of teeth, but I can't even bring myself to look a them!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Out on the town with D

Finding ourselves at a loose end, D and I took ourselves to the local tapas bar.

We were enjoying a glass of wine, when in came a not-young, not-old couple, obviously on a first date. As they were seated right next to us, it was difficult NOT to hear their conversation. The fellow regaled the spiffily dressed woman with his wine knowledge, including a detailed description of a wine course he had taken in the Napa Valley in California. Apparently, he was the only person there who was not somehow a sommelier.

The waitress came to take their order.

The man said, "Bring us whatever you'd like us to have!"

Nonplussed, but only for a second, the waitress said, "Red or white?" Surprised, the man looked to concur with the woman. "Red!"

Sunday, November 11, 2007

more minutia

We stopped in to see Stacie at her new gallery; she was very much on duty—even had a name tag! Her wonderful jewelry is really catching on like wildfire. Last week, I met her studio neighbor—a private investigator!

L's concert last night: superb, everyone in excellent form! L's group sounded great. They are taking a master class with a pretty darn good string quartet next week, and they are pretty darn nervous about it, let me tell you.

Sunday school was a rather fun travelogue-ish slide show of churches one member has seen on his travels. A has decided the youth group will make pies for Thanksgiving to raise money. But she's decided to make them next Sunday, starting at 8 a.m. in the parish hall's kitchen. We'll see how that goes. . . I've been asked to bring my mixer. I think I know what my day will be like.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


The dance last night was low key, I guess. Altar guild this morning was busy.

I've been dreaming of France.

Well, not the map of France, but this image will have to do for today . . .

With the dollar so weak, I don't think there is any way we will be able to go in 2008. L is going to the Auvergne on a course for the month of June, so at least one of us will be able to immerse herself in the language and culture. She'll stay with a family; seven other classmates are going, as well as two teachers. I hope they will be a well-protected bunch. They tend to cosset them at the school she goes to, which is just as well. Or maybe it isn't. I don't know. I'm feeling conflicted today.

Friday, November 09, 2007

busy weekend

These are the things going on, which I either have to attend or which I have to ferry L to and from:

Rehearsal this afternoon

Dance this evening

Altar guild

Cello teacher's wedding



Sunday school

Church service

Altar guild, part 2

Thursday, November 08, 2007


Reading Claude's post today made me realize how I've been thinking lately of having lived more than half of my life already. It's made me think about what projects I want to start, and to direct myself more toward those things I really want to complete. I think about the Kaffe Fassett needlepoint I began when my niece was a preschooler; now she's in her early twenties, and the project is still not finished. I want to be able to concentrate on those objects and projects that need to finish, and not start new ones. Or do I?

Sometimes we do just need to let something go, and move on. Perhaps I need to get rid of all these unfinished projects, literally get them out of the house. Why is it so difficult to clean out something and just let it go? Does it have to do with the fact I've paid for these things? So I've got to keep them, just in case?

I got to know someone quite well this year, well enough to see her habits as a cautionary tale. She cannot stop buying things, even though she will almost certainly never ever use these things, nor even remember in the rubble of her purchases that she has actually bought them. Indeed, I've seen her receive something, open it, and say, "Oh, for heaven's sake, I already HAVE this!"

It's time to strip down, get spare, clear out the cobwebs of stuff and see what it is I really want to do. Because the window of time for it all is shrinking . . .

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


It's very difficult for me to plunge in to a project. It is so easy to peruse one of the many, many books I have, rather than get to the loom or the needles. I wish I could be more like A, who picks up a bunch of yarn and just starts in on something that ends up being as much an expression of herself as a wearable item.

I get so caught up in doing it RIGHT that I sometimes lose sight of the process. I don't think I'm so much interested in making a thing, as I am in making something that is executed well. I don't know whether this can go hand in hand with creating something or not . . .

I think I shall think about my relationship to wanting to make something that reflects my ideas and notions. But I do wish I were more comfortable with color!

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


Sometimes, I feel, I don't know, quite conflicted about going out. Especially today, as I am facing a potentially contentious meeting with my shop mates.

Update: I'm back; it was contentious, though controlled. I'm still conflicted. I'll ponder all this tonight.

Monday, November 05, 2007


I'm trying to learn to spin. During my eBay frenzied period, I encountered a Louet wheel

for a good price and "won" it. It's sat here for, I guess, quite a while (I don't want to even think about how long) and finally someone introduced me to a spinning teacher. I can't seem to get much beyond this, though:

I don't think at this point anyone would mistake me for Rumpelstiltskin, spinning straw into gold, or roving into something to knit anything but a bobbly hat with.

It's a lot more difficult than I had imagined. I need a serene environment in which to do this; otherwise, I get all tense around the shoulders. And serene environments are hard to come by these days, let me tell you.

Plus the roving tends to fly toward the wheel at lightning speed, compromising my tension. Ideally, it should spin smoothly, evenly, almost gossamer. But it rears away like a runaway horse, before I can feather it out. Ack!

Also, my spinning teacher is quite a talker, so just when I'm starting to concentrate, another story, requiring my input begins . . .

Sunday, November 04, 2007


I had forgotten today was a baptismal Sunday for one little girl. Beautiful flowers on the altar and in the niches. So cold in the church, though! Heating fuel is so expensive, and of course we are waiting until a certain degree is reached before we turn on the heat. Brisk, to say the least.

That it was a baptism means many more people in the pews. An unfamiliar couple came in and sat down behind us. Very well dressed, middle-aged. Much rustling of booklets, and muttering. Then they proceeded to start a rather loud, whispered fight! During every hymn, they carried on the bickering in almost normal tones. I strained to hear what it was all about, but couldn't quite catch it. During the Baptismal Covenant, when the words "He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit" were intoned, the man actually snorted in derision!!! Several times they seemed on the verge of stamping out, but when it was over, they meekly followed everyone into a (beautifully decorated) parish hall for a wonderful lunch, courtesy of the child's grandfather and his partner. I spied them eating together, with a jolly table full of regulars . . .

L and the girls sang quite beautifully during the Offertory, and M played the flute. A disaster nearly occurred when the music stand almost sailed over the edge of the choir loft; A simply plucked it back from the abyss.

Who says church isn't exciting??

Saturday, November 03, 2007


I was disappointed to find, during one of my insomniac sojourns last night (or early this morning . . .) that one of my favorite bloggers has decided to switch her focus. She is shutting down her blog in favor of her hardbound journal. She has used her blog to explore different kinds of writing and moods, and I always look forward to seeing the little (1) next to her blog's title on my bookmarks page.

But I can understand the lure of the actual page; I had hoped that the blog would be an outlet for me to expand my writing, but so far, it has not been the venue for me I had hoped. I pretty much sit down, and just write diary fashion, but that doesn't really give enough time for true refection. I'll see what transpires this month, in which I'm forcing myself to write something every day.

Saturdays can be busy, but they can also be a place/time to curl up for half a moment to think about things. I'm getting my little Moleskine out, and writing there, too.

Friday, November 02, 2007


I've finally been able to sit down and read this week, something I haven't really been able to do for quite some time. My editing job finished and the next one fell through, so I've got some space in which to think. It seems sometimes that I have the attention span for catalogue copy and brief perusal of magazine articles only. Does this have something to do with age, I wonder? Sustainability of focus is something that has eluded me of late . . .

However, this week I read Ian McEwan's On Chesil Beach and Valerie Martin's Trespass. I don't really agree with the Times's review of On Chesil Beach; I found it devastatingly heartbreaking. The review for Trespass I do, to a certain extent; I wish the reviewer had brought up the theme of the book Wuthering Heights, for which one of the characters is doing a series of engravings, however. Valerie Martin is a great writer, and I'm going to search out her other books. One is Mary Reilly, which I guess was made into a not-too-good movie.

Next on my stack is School's Out, by Christophe Dufosse, which I hadn't heard of, but seems to be an international best-seller.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

All Saints

Halloween was fun for L and the girls; they went out in the old part of town. We didn't get many tick or treaters here, just enough though for the candy to almost deplete. During the evening we watched Sunday, Bloody Sunday, as much a social and political commentary as anything else, I think. I'd forgotten how good an actress Glenda Jackson is/was (?). The movie was a snapshot of Britain when I first visited there as a teenager, and that's how I think of it still.

The unstoppable train that is Thanksgiving and Christmas has pulled away from the station . . .