Monday, April 30, 2007

Dinner last night

About a month ago I spied Tyler's Ultimate in the library and, having seen him on the Foodnetwork, decided to take it out. Nothing to lose with a library book. We watch some of these food shows regularly, although D always gets Tyler and Bobbie Flay confused, Tyler being the "nice Bobbie Flay."

Anyway, we made several things from this book, and sadly had to return it. We ended up buying a copy, and last night we made Scallop Saltimbocca, which tasted amazing.
We followed the recipe, which included sauteing apples at the end (what?) and had a very tedious prep of wrapping each scallop in a piece of prosciutto and then tying it on with a string. If you have a spare half hour during which you don't mind doing this, I heartily recommend this recipe.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

doll quilt

I'm posting a closeup of a portion of the front of my doll quilt, which is 18" x 24" (approximately). This is the first time I've ever done this (quilt, that is). I have rarely used my sewing machine (Bernina 830, got on eBay), which I've discovered I LOVE! I did have a quiting friend helping me this week. Her work is amazing, and I'll try to get some of her things to post here.

I'm lucky I had a walking foot, which is necessary to keep the bottom and top of the quilt moving along at the same rate. The things I've learned this week! I'm glad I cleared the decks work-wise, as I really needed the time. The photo makes it look a bit greenily murky; it does contain fabrics with lots of greens, but there are red-purples, too.

Here's a bit of the back. When it's done, I'll post a picture. I thought I'd cower in shame over this, but frankly I think it will look pretty darn good! Hope my swappee thinks so!

Friday, April 27, 2007

More blogs

More recently discovered blogs I've been reading and enjoying finding out about:

News from a farm in the French Alps from Mountain Dweller.

News from New Mexico from Pecos Blue.

And my crafty doll quilt swap organizer!


Lettuce kindly tagged me the other day, to give 5 blogs I read. I've been busy with my quilt (I stress about these things so much! should I post a picture or not? My first one may be too unlovely to see).

Anyway, I've been reading Angela's blog about her expat life in the South of France and learning about family life there. Carolyn keeps me apprised of her life and doings in England. Motherpie always has some interesting commentary, political, media, or otherwise. The Accidental Hedonist is very political, from a food/agriculture perspective. Stephanie has a wonderful blog, full of color and crafts.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

art for art's sake

The other day, someone gave me two "Patron Preview" tickets to this weekend's art show. We went to the show last night, at which patron ticket holders were treated to wine, beer, and something called "heavy hors d'oeuvres," as well as looking around without The Public.

Artists were treated to patrons who had consumed quite a lot of wine or beer and who therefore peppered the poor artists with pointless questions, while the artists were trapped in their booths. However, I saw some red dots on some pretty pricey pieces, so maybe they didn't mind so much.

We looked around at some of these Patrons; our tickets would have cost $50 each, had we been so inclined to buy them; some people paid $1000 (extra perks, of course, but still)! What would such a person look like? Besides one woman with a tremendously large hairdo, everyone looked pretty much the same.

D graciously bought me a pair of earrings from someone who specializes in wire jewelry. I was most interested in a group who was doing floorcloths.

Stopping to peruse our program, we saw that there was a photographer exhibiting from the next town over to the one we had moved from. We hied ourselves over to see him, where he was trying to eat his dinner behind a screen. He was very engaging, and told us all the things that have happened in our absence: what dirt roads are now paved, how the preschool (on whose board I once sat--an excruciating experience) is doing, and so on. We asked him if there was anything we might know about the area that would help him. "The name of a good dentist!" he replied. And we were able to give him the name of the one we went to, and wish we still could! He looked genuinely relieved! You never know when you can brighten someone's day with the simplest information. We would have like to buy one of his photographs; maybe one day.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A new decade

Today starts the beginning of a whole new decade!

As you can see from the button on the side, I'm participating in a quilt swop. I've never made one before, so I hope that my swappee won't be too disappointed. A friend of mine, who is truly a master, has been helping me. But it won't get in the mail until the last possible moment on April 30.

Our yarn coop met today; I think we'll be in there to start to set up sometime in the next two weeks; I'll post some photos then.

Sadly, I witnessed, almost in slo-mo, a mini-van, driven by an elderly woman, back into the side of a two-seater BMW sportscar, belonging to my expert quilter friend. I was too far away to do anything, but that was the first time I've ever seen anything like that. The woman was naturally upset with herself! Oh dear.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

It was cold enough

to require one of these. Well, maybe not require, but it is surely wonderful to sit next to it, alternately reading the Sunday paper and doing some work, hearing it crackle and hiss, while the wind blows the maple seeds out of the trees. It is cold enough that many of the tender azaleas, among other plants, have really born the brunt.

Today is Sunday, and our seminarian gave the homily at church. Since he's been with the church, he has been a rather quiet, circumspect individual, so we were wondering just how, hmm, boring he would be. Well, not at all! He was funny and on-the-mark, and we wanted to tell him how much we enjoyed it, but he disappeared.

Tuesday is tax day, and, yes, we do owe, so the form is not being sent until the last possible moment. Working for yourself is not something the federal government encourages. Frankly, I wish I could have thrown the entire business into the fire, but that would probably call forth all kinds of demons for not filing.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Next Tuesday

I'm dreading.

What's going on

with our food? I couldn't give a more thought-provoking and link-packed post if I tried. Go here to read an incredibly well-researched piece on what's going on with our dairy (among other things). The blog the Cleaner Plate Club is an amalgam of well-written pieces and recipes.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

In which I find out that

I'm a size 0 (short)!! Yes, according to the sizing gurus at Chico's, that is what I am. Chico's is a never-never-land, where no one can be larger than a size 3 (or 3.5, maybe).

My yarn shop group seems to swear by this chain, especially its Traveler series of clothes, so I went in and had a look after buying Lucky Jeans for L in the mall. Yes, it's a small, small world at Chico's. I feel quite model sized, though of course, unfortunately, short. . . .

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Easter is almost here, and in this week I've been pondering why I'm an Episcopalian, or why I go to church at all.

I didn't start out as anything, really. Once in while, growing up, we would go to church, but not regularly and not to the same church or even the same denomination each time.

D and I were married in a Unitarian meeting house outside Boston, with a very smart, liberal minister (is there any other kind of UU?). Her sermons were some of the best I've heard. The congregation, though, thought she wasn't motherly enough and there was a faction itching to oust her. And there was Someone missing, too, for me. An assistant minister, who was giving a very good sermon (about what, I don't remember), brought me up short by saying, ". . . and our Christian friends, who believe in Christ . . ." Well, hmm, I guess I do, too.

We moved and didn't really do much in the way of church, until L surprised everyone by declaring when she was 4: "I need to go to Sunday School!" Yes, she really, really did. And we were not living in an area of the country that could be called overly religious by any stretch of the imagination, so where did she get that notion?

I don't know, but, after giving the Congregationalists a go, we found a beautiful little Episcopal church with the most loving vicar, and settled in. I found that I really needed the weekly rituals to hang onto, that the symbols and the repetitive prayers, calls and responses were deeply soothing.

Coinciding with our move southward was the fomenting of a faction in that church who wanted Rev. B gone; and so she went, and I hope to a factionless parish who loves her. What is it about groups of people that they must create antagonism? Sometimes I find it difficult to square my peace in attending church with these inside groups, looking around every corner for a slight, or political motivation, to start in on an argument.

So, even though she's now a teenager, L is still happy to attend church, and is looking forward to the glory of Easter Sunday after the dark of Lent. And so am I.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Reading II

Thank goodness for libraries. My stack as been superseded by my newest library book, The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay. I snuck (yes, better word than "sneaked") a look inside, in between pages of my accounting book editing, and I'm hooked. A Tasmanian girl is whisked to New York City to live, and discovers a bookstore that sounds suspiciously like the Strand of my younger days. That's as far as I've gotten.

And Netflix! I signed up for a temporary free membership, and I have 6 films in my queue. One already arrived: 49 Up, the latest in the Michael Apted series, and since I'm about the age of the participants and I've seen all the previous ones, I'm really looking forward to this one.

Monday, April 02, 2007


I just finished Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin. A mystery set in Cambridge in 1171, wherein a woman doctor has been summoned to solve the disappearances and subsequent murder of several children. I would say I've never read a book so able to make that period come alive for me. And the author has a great ability to describe very real and realized characters. That being said, there is quite a bit of 21st century sensibility in here. I'm not sure the characters would be thinking along some of the lines that the author sets for them.

Someone gave me In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant, set in Venice in 1527. So that is awaiting me, as is

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, by Patrick Suskind, set in 18th century Paris. This was made into a movie recently, and I see it was published some time ago, but it is new to me. I've read a few pages, and I know I won't be able to put it down once I really start.

I'm still reading Will in the World by Stephen Greenblatt; there is quite a bit of detail to take in here.

Finally I have Lost City Radio, by Daniel Alarcon, to start, which is set in a nameless South American country after a civil war and about which I've hear good things.

Reading things as I do for a living, it's getting harder to sit down to read for pleasure!

What are you reading?