Thursday, August 30, 2007


was our 20th anniversary! How did I celebrate? By taking my first spinning lesson, of course, and trying on a necklace D asked Stacie to design and make for me!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

hummingbird frenzy

This doesn't quite capture what's been happening over the past week or so at the feeders on our deck. We had put up two of these feeders at the beginning of the summer and received a few visitors, who would invariably drive each other away from the feeder as soon as one started to eat.

Gradually, we began to see more and more hummers, and they appeared to be all females, vying for ownership of each feeder. One would sit nearby, watching, and as soon as another started to feed, would chase it off with a display of tail feathers.

As even more birds came around, the feeder ownership was abandoned for ownership if the individual "flower" stations. That's when the males started to come around regularly.

It's been so hot here (over 100 F for over a week) I wonder if that is the reason we are getting about 15 to 20 birds coming around, all at the same time! It's quite a show.

* * *

L had a pretty good first week; all teachers acceptable, classmates good. New cafeteria/student center wreaking havoc with lunchtime, though. They have to get in and out really quickly. I'm liking the time back to getting work done, with no, "what's for lunch, anyway?" to add to the to-do list.

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Yesterday, we had a great time in the shop, hosting an all day nuno felting workshop that Geri led. First we felted a little iconic woman to fashion into a pin. In the afternoon, we each made a scarf using a silk base and then felting fibers to it. It was great to get down to work, and having the entire day laid out for me with nothing else to concentrate on but the materials themselves. It's been a while (the entire summer, in fact . . . I wonder why??) that I've had a chance to concentrate fully on something like this.

Here are two photos of my efforts, and I do mean effort. Felting is hard work; there is lots of rolling the silk and batting back and forth (rolled up around a stick and soaking wet) to get the fibers to adhere to each other. After that, you dunk the whole works into boiling hot water, squeeze, and throw the wadded up material against the table a few times.

I'm not sure whether you can get the full effect in these photos, because I'm actually quite pleased with this first effort. The pin's "face" is a rusty bottle cap that Geri had punched a hole in, and I put on a few beads for gender identity . . . though the little round one needs to be removed. I have no idea why I put it there.

This fall, I'm hoping to spend a lot more time on my loom, and working out some embroidery designs based on some abstract images from some photographic images I've been looking at.

Tomorrow school starts, and a new editing project is being delivered to me, so I'm hoping this is a productive and creative one for us all, near and far.

Friday, August 17, 2007


It seems I'm getting rather a lot of spam in the form of e-cards from my "schoolmate," my "admirer, or my "friend." How is this so???

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

My afternoon activity

is winding two skeins of Hand Maiden's Sea Silk. Then I've got to amend a scarf pattern for it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

cookbook stack

I'm using these recently; have you used any of these?

It's a dangerous thing, having access to, let me tell you . . .

Monday, August 06, 2007

heat index requires something cold

Many years ago, I gave my sister one of these for Christmas, and I'm sure it remained on her shelf untouched, until she carted it off to donate to some worthy charity—at least I haven't heard another word about it.

Imagine my glee when I discovered an intact unit, complete with instruction booklet, for sale for about a dollar in my local thrift shop.

Its housing has lived next to my jelly cupboard for the few years, though; the silver cylinder containing the magic coolant silently waited in the freezer for some kind of ingredients to churn within itself. Well, the wait is over; the day before yesterday L and I made the ice cream mix from this great book, and dutifully chilled it overnight.

We assembled the Donvier unit (moving as quickly as possible, per instruction booklet!)

and made this (blurred photo indicates excitement level of photographer):

We topped it with a butter/rum peach sauce from Sandi, that I made and absolutely ruined the first time around, but I tweaked it (melted the butter and brown sugar together over low heat and whisked them together before adding the other ingredients) the second time and it came together to die for.

D is perusing the ice cream book, which I believe came about through the author's blog, but I'm not sure as I just started reading it myself. His recipes seem very clear and if the vanilla is an indication, they all should work! We'll be moving on to chocolate shortly . . .

Sunday, August 05, 2007


The other day, L (photographer here), who is participating in the creation of her school's first-ever cookbook , needed to test a recipe. And so, for the first time she took over dinner from start to finish. I didn't lift a finger, and she made this shepherd's pie, peeling potatoes and carrots, chopping them, adding onions, browning meat, mashing potatoes, seasoning. Everything. It was a red letter day for me, and an eye-opener for her about exactly what it is I do every night.

We decided to get out the casserole dish that my mother always used for special occasions to bake it in. She always made what was then a slightly exotic concoction of boneless chicken breasts, sauteed rice, mushrooms, and pimentos, baked in this special pottery dish that I think she had received as a wedding present.

I did take over the washing up, and as I submerged casserole, I caught a whiff of that dish my mother made. Proustian moment? or perhaps my mother was around, peering over L's shoulder as she made her first supper.

I hope so.