Wednesday, January 31, 2007

This morning

This is what we saw:

But tomorrow, we hope to stay snug in our beds, at least for a bit. There is a snow advisory for tonight!

Monday, January 29, 2007


we loaded the cello into the car and took off down the hill, so L could audition for the spring orchestra workshop and concert. Naturally, we got there very early, but L kept practicing the two lines she (and everyone else) had to play as part of the audition. Let me tell you, she and I are pretty sick of those two lines of music. She had to play the G scale and sight read a piece (and probably something else--I never listen, you know). We also saw some old friends from her old school, the one we tried to hang onto going to, it being a public magnet school, but academics just weren't there (sigh).

Finally, her group was called and they filed away into the bowels of the school. These auditions are blind, and the participants may not even speak, so the judges are sure they won't recognize anyone. She came out, sighing that she had "zoned out" on the audition.

Later, her music teacher called to say she got 4th chair, and there was not much point difference between 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, so she is feeling pretty happy! We know S, who is the principal, and she blows people away with her playing--not to mention she can do a 3-octave scale!

Then, L got ready to go to a school dance and spend the night at a friend's house, so we watched the movie Cache, which had one shocking scene, but which really brought up some issues in France. I know I've seen the main actor in other things, but what?

Friday, January 26, 2007

I'm a winner!

A sweet little package . . .

A dear card . . .

and a super Dear pouch. What shall I put into it? Stephanie has a much more artful photo on her post.


We are oh-so-close to committing to opening our shop, but some of us keep our feet quite cold. I hope we do this! We keep meeting around cups of coffee or Coke; I think we need to jump in.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Taking a break from work

to ponder what we can afford.

We have to take down the dead tree that was, until this summer, provided shade for the deck and the back of the house. Taking down the tree, which came up THROUGH the deck, means replacing the deck (which is old, decrepit, and not very well made) and also putting up some kind of arbor-ish structure to provide shade and for some kind of easy-to-grow yet attractive vine to attach itself to, thus providing more shade.

Then there is the bathroom sink that is to be replaced next week, which really should mean the bathroom gets redone, but I don't think that will happen, much as I'd like it to. I don't want much, really—just to get rid of the 1970s yellow tub and toilet, which sports a white toilet seat now, as there aren't any yellow ones anymore. Maybe paint it; that would be nice, but that means taking down the wallpaper, which, if the kitchen is any indication, was not sized and so takes away some of the plasterboard with it when removed.

Will all this mean there will be sufficient funds for the trip to France we are all counting on in June?? I sure hope so. In fact, I'm counting on it!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Wooooooo, indeed!

I just found out I made the 1000th comment at Ruby Crowned Kinglette, and something is coming my way as an unexpected prize for doing so! If you haven't visited her site, your inspiration factor will increase 1000 percent.

Friday, January 19, 2007




Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Six degrees of weirdness . . .

I've been tagged by Sandi at the Whistlestop to come out from under my shell and tell six weird things about myself. Well, I don't know whether they'll be weird:

1. In elementary school, I began and ended each year attending a one-room schoolhouse in New England. The middle of the year I spent in a giant many-classroomed school in suburbia. It was quite a transition every year. One of my teachers (which one?) blamed the fact that I had trouble with number lines on this back and forth.

2. Large animals make me nervous; I'd rather have a cat around any day. They won't step on you accidentally.

3. I'd rather read a cookbook than a novel (at least at the moment). Especially a cookbook that is episodic and evocative of a certain place or time.

4. Novelty yarns drive me crazy.

5. We moved to our present location after visiting it on vacation. We went home, put our house on the market (thinking it would take a year), and sold it within a week. Kaboom. Here we are.

6. I've yet to finish a Kaffe Fassett needlepoint pillowtop of Swiss chard—and I began it about 17 years ago. This might tell you something about my pile of UFOs. And why my closets need sorting out.

And now I'll tag Angela, Carolyn, and Mimmu and leave it up to any other three who happen by here post six things and let me know!

This morning

I cleaned up a sink full of dishes, including the oatmeal saucepan, emptied ALL the wastebaskets, entered the disaster area that is L's room, stripped her bed, started a hot wash, put away malingering Christmas decorations (plus some shoes that I KNOW will strectch), let the cat in out in out, retrieved yoga stuff from bowels of closet (am determined to do this every day, not just on yoga class day—practice yoga, that is, not just retrieve stuff), made firm resolve to empty all closets and turn them into pristine gems in which a person could retreat and live, just like on TV (!), remade L's bed, threw away quite a lot of junk which will never be missed from L's floor, and it's only quarter to eight!

Also pondered this: can 6 or so women run a business collectively? More on this in future. We are going as a group to a knit-in, in another city, and staying overnight! Much excitement brewing.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Little Kitty

would like to knit along (or at least grab the wool and wrestle with it). She is recovering nicely from her spaying, though the day after she looked as though she would not recover and an unscheduled trip to the vet was necessary.

There, they took her temperature and whisked her away to an unknown surgery room, where she was hydrated subcutaneously (she had a kind of "bag" of water under her skin on her back; I had never heard of this) and was given some pain medication.

After she got home, she slept for several hours, and woke up much much better than she had that morning.

We lost power today; a tree fell on the lines, so unfortunately I was unable to work on the computer and so took up my needles instead. Also looked at Spin to Knit; I'm eager to begin learning.

Sunday, January 14, 2007


L and I went to Sunday school. This was the second of three overviews of scenes from the Bible in Renaissance art, presented by a teenager and his dad. This boy is quite a good artist, himself, already, having shown at a gallery. And for L and the other kids, it made everything more interesting to have a peer up there. Anyway, it was great to see all of this art that I'd studied in college, back in the Stone Age (I have my Renaissance art book by Creighton Gilbert, costing all of $15.95!!). Looking at the art made the whole much more present, and the homily much more immediate. I'll spend the afternoon looking through my art history books, trying to find the images we looked at this morning, and reading Will in the World, a great book about Shakespeare.

I liked getting out with just L, today, too. Sometimes having a "just us" jaunt give me a little breathing room, and I can focus more intently on what's going on with us and around us.

Yesterday, I passed up an opportunity to get out and begin to learn to spin, which is something I've been wanting to do for some time. I even have a spinning wheel, sitting waiting for me. My knitting group is coalescing into more of a fiber group; it's getting me very excited again about all my UFOs!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

beautiful concept/photographs

here is a very nice link . . .

cats and crocs

Today poor little kitty, who is just about 6 months to the day, went in for her shots and to be spayed. She's back, nodding in the sunlight, and very reluctant to be patted, even on her head. It's too bad—I really hated to put her through all that—but there are so many, many animals out there, unwanted. She herself was part of the litter of a feral cat, who was captured and spayed, before anyone realized this litter existed. She could no longer feed them, so B raised the kittens, feeding them with a bottle, and helping with all the bodily functions that the mother would have. This was an extremely taxing, especially given she was running her own shop, by herself, but all kittens were given away, and this one has an especially winning personality. Only cat lovers will understand this!

Other excitement: I also purchased a pair of these Crocs the other day, even though I swore they were too ugly EVER to wear and privately made fun of anyone I say wearing them (somone even came to my house wearing a pink dress and a pair of pink Crocs—someone who should have known better . . .). BUT they were on sale, so I tried them on. Like walking on the most comfortably padded surface ever. So, here they are.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

cookbooks, again

I'm half-writing this, half-listening to The Splendid Table over the Internet. Lynne's talking to someone who's de-cookbooked her library to focus it on what she's really interested in. Hmm. I'll have to give this a deeper listen.

They discussed Jamie's Dinners (which I have and use), and a book I haven't thought about for years, though I used to take it out of the library when I was in high school (!), My Favorite Things, by Dorothy Rogers, which is/was a kind of pre–Martha Stewart lifestyle/decorating/cooking book. Why, as a high school student, was I interested in this? I guess I wanted that oh-so-modern house . . .

They also mentioned was The Balthazar Cookbook; I'll have to take a look at this. And a publisher who's reprinting some interesting French and Australian books, Ici La Press. Then Michel Richard came on to talk about his newest book; darn, I de-cookbooked him last year.


Church was rather full today. Mother J in quite a good mood. We had a great art history lesson in adult Sunday school, given by a teenager and his father, so L, having studied some of the paintings, had a better time than she would have normally. Two more of these sessions, then on to a viewing/discussion of An Inconvenient Truth.

A blogger who has a wonderful spirit, Britt-Arnhild, has a new food blog, which I will be visiting on a regular basis.

Any food related links you'd like to share?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


yes, I have too many. These shelves show only some of them. It's one of my resolutions to cook something from each one this year, so perhaps my posts will develop a theme. Right now, I have Nigella's How to Eat next to my bed, and I'm enjoying her toothsome prose. She can pack a lot of visual and sensual sensations into a sentence.

Laurie Colwin, whose books you can't see here, is another great writer who knows her way around a kitchen, whether it's her own or in a rented summer house. I can imagine her fishing around in a foreign kitchen drawer, coming up with implements to figure out what to do with. She really evokes an entire long-gone decade, one that was somewhat happy but also somewhat troublesome, for me.

I love my pickling and putting-aside books; my mother taught me to make pickles twenty years ago and I still like to haul out the canning equipment an rustle up some jam, preserves, and pickles. It seems more of an undertaking here in suburbia than it was when we lived in the country, though. I wonder why?

We're having turkey noodle soup tonight, but tomorrow, I'm not sure!