Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good Wishes

I really appreciate those whose wonderful, interesting, idiosyncratic, welcoming blogs I read, and those who come by here. Best in 2009!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Raisin bread

Another recipe from The River Cottage Family Cookbook. L's first attempt at breadmaking, and except for some advice on kneading time, I stayed out of the proceedings.

The text and picture:

L's loaf:

The offspring got good oven spring, no?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Shelf, ii

Zuni Cafe cookbook is a good one to curl up with. Nigel Slater is a great almost daily read, and his photos were taken on the day he made whatever he said he cooked and ate. Interesting to think of the lighting as being (it is hoped) natural, reflecting the season, the dish, the time (the light falls the way the light fell . . .)

Friday, December 26, 2008

yesterday . . .

Christmas dinner. Even after an early morning (L still is up first; Santa has come for a good many years and this was the first, frankly, that he passed us by), we pulled the energy from our reserves and cooked up the roast and the Yorkshire pudding.

We did NOT go out today; any day I don't have to drive anywhere and/or spend money is a good one. Tomorrow I think L and I will see the movie Milk.

Sunday I'm slated to attend a citizens' forum on health care. As both D and I are self-employed, we've been paying for private health insurance for more than 20 years, so I have a great interest in what is happening.( I could go on, oh I could . . . ) I received the following from its organizer: "President-Elect Obama is doing something unprecedented. He is asking what we think, and what we want. We don't have much time. All these discussions are taking place between December 15 and 31. Let's get together and let our voices be heard." You can read more about it here:

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Some cookbooks, no. 1

Avid Reader really is avid; I can't keep up. But here are some of my cookbooks. I really like reading Tessa Kiros's book, and the photographs are so beautiful. They are inspirational, really . . . and make me want to travel.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Music Monday(HOLIDAY edition!)

in the description on youtube for this video the person who put this up(not me!!!) says: "Pay special attention to the girl in the pink dress she seems so free and happy. I'd like to feel that way."
that is kind of sad but nice.

a nice winter solstice song! found by tut-tut herself!

Happy Holidays! Whatever you are celebrating!


Friday, December 19, 2008

Interesting Things!

Youtube forever!! A few picks from guest blogger L!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I heart Hugh

I love Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall; I really do. It is extremely difficult to watch his work at River Cottage here in the US; but following the link you can find many of his episodes, beginning with Escape to River Cottage. (I don't understand why DVDs are region-specific. Just another way to control the market, I guess.) He is so very hands on, jumping in with enthusiasm and vigor. [Actually, a better link to the River Cottage series is and Search for River Cottage]

We have here The River Cottage Family Cookbook, one I can recommend hands down (JGH, if you don't have this, search it out), written by Hugh and Fizz Carr (I love that name). L made some homemade candies for her friends, the peppermints from this book frankly came out better than the pictures. We have the British original version, so we get to figure out the conversions too. I had thought that double cream was the equivalent to heavy cream here, but not so. L's attempt to make the chocolate truffles was not as successful, but we'll try and tweak it after her French exam today.

Since I'm such a fan, I have a few of his others, bought without ever having seen him in action, so to say:

The book is not crammed full of recipes, although there are plenty. Rather, it is a real guide for kids and teenagers to understand where their food comes from and actually how to make something that tastes good.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Music Monday

Grizzly Bear- Two Weeks
Less than two weeks until my favorite holiday!
Though that's not what this song is about.
Wish me luck on my remaining exams(Pre-Cal and French)!
Love, L.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Stewards & Shepherds

We received L's godmother, Helen's Christmas card today. Every year she sends a beautiful handmade card, usually with a quote or verse. This one is especially pertinent, as I returned home from my Mountain Stewards meeting (a group that promotes recycling, and focuses on other environmental issues, here in my town) to find it waiting for me:

(click photo to read; then, per Helen, google "Peony Nebula Star")

John Heyl Vincent was an Episcopal priest and chief founder of the Chautauqua Assembly near Jamestown, New York. We have an assembly near us, and it is a self-contained community (part-time in the summer) of Victorian houses. They have lots of lively programs, but I've yet to go up to one. I know someone who has one of these gems, and says that when they are there, it is the only time of the year when her children can run and bike without her worrying about them.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


cleaned up a bit. That is my goal, to get rid of the piles of books and papers, magazines, general reading materials that seem to collect over the year all over the house (before the Christmas stuff is unleashed, flying down the stairs to cover every surface . . .).

I never understood my mother's drive to give things away—until now. I look around, and can't imagine why I've accumulated all this stuff.

I want to strip everything away, and live nunlike in a white-washed cell, with a slim volume of prayers by my bed; a candle. A voluminous white nightgown and a shorn head, the breeze through a tall window, high up in the wall. The toll of a bell my only timekeeper.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Ode to Frank (and others, per request!)

Frank enjoys a whiff of basil from the pot brought in this autumn. Swedish ivy in the foreground.

Frank, attentive. The potted plant at top (cut off) has become Frank's major resting place. I tried to capture him nestled within, but of course he scampered off.

"Let me in!" demands Soul.
Forget about the CDs; it's Christmas stocking tearing-it-to-shreds time

3 cats from L EM on Vimeo.

Monday, December 08, 2008

More Music? Y/N?

Vampire Weekend


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

December 1

Captured early in the morning, out the back door.

Wintery, a condition that is in short supply down this way, and one that I find I miss more and more as the years spin by.

Neighbors' lights, glinting through the trees. I find it comforting to catch a glimmer or two.

Happy Advent season!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Music Monday

A Tribe Called Quest- "Check the Rhime" 
I recently watched The Wackness.
Posted by L.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Holiday market

A cold and drizzly day here, but stalwart gallery and tent proprietors alike were out in St. Elmo this Saturday. We ambled along, and saw lots of wonderful things, created by our friends and neighbors. Who needs a mall? Who, indeed?

My neighbor Annie's amazing hats; contact me if you'd like to see more . . . She designs as she knits. This is just a small sampling:

Interesting sculptures from found objects by R. Michael Wimmer:

A cha-cha line of mugs:

Cookie decorating

Lookout Mountain Gallery was hopping:

A determined artist and art lover rounds the corner:

Stars above:

You could take the Incline home, should you live up above the clouds on Lookout Mountain:

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thursday, Thanksgiving

Some images from the table. Thanks for the pictures, L. We had a full day cooking:

  • turkey
  • stuffing (Niedlov's own mix with Alchemy Spice herb mix)
  • mashed potatoes
  • a cranberry/orange relish, made from a recipe from that day's paper including, of all things, a jalapeno pepper
  • roasted butternut squash
  • Brussels sprouts gratin (in lovely cream)
  • pearl onions in a mustard/brown sugar glaze
  • giblet gravy (well, turkey-neck-meat gravy; there was no giblet packet in our Eberley turkey cavity!)
  • pumpkin pie

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Get Well, Jeffrey! Love, Frank, Bear, and Soul

Frank has been under the weather himself, sneezing and having to endure a course of amoxicillin, which has a bubble-gum scent to it. Poor cats, having to ingest something meant for children.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who stops here, and to everyone whose blog brings me much entertainment, enlightenment, and solace.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Mood ring

I took this test, prompted by kmkat:

Your dominant hues are cyan and green. Although you definitely strive to be logical you care about people and know there's a time and place for thinking emotionally. Your head rules most things but your heart rules others, and getting them to meet in the middle takes a lot of your energy some days.

Your saturation level is higher than average - You know what you want, but sometimes know not to tell everyone. You value accomplishments and know you can get the job done, so don't be afraid to run out and make things happen.

Your outlook on life can be bright or dark, depending on the situation. You are flexible and see things objectively.

I wish I knew what a saturation level is, though.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thursday theme: leaves

Listen! the wind is rising,
and the air is wild with leaves,
We have had our summer evenings,
now for October eves!
--Humbert Wolfe, Autumn (Resignation)

O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn's being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,
Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes.
--Shelley, Ode to the West Wind

Words are like leaves; and where they most abound,
Much fruit of sense beneath is rarely found

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Another view

Photographer L, looking very photo journalistic:

Another aspect of Fleet Foxes, performing an appropriately titled song:

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Fall afternoon, released

A collage, taken by L, plus a short taste of our journey in movie format.
We started out shopping for various items, then a quick stop at the Remaindered Book Store, where I got three great cookbooks, one by the somewhat peckish Jeremiah Tower. I had wanted to go to Applebee's, just across the way, based on the voice of the actor (remember Northern Exposure??) who does those commercials (I love the way he says "Applebeeeez") but L wasn't having it.

Instead, we had hot dogs at a new eatery, Good Dog. It was very delicious, but when I bit into a hot pepper on my Chicago dog, I had a coughing fit, which seemed to embarrass L, who then pretended she wasn't sitting across from me. I could tell.

Because I've been so busy, I haven't had time for a jaunt around, so this on was very welcome indeed. Even though L was mildly disgruntled, in a teenage funk kind of way.

A mural across from L's school. I keep forgetting to bring my camera when the painting is going on; I'll try to be better next week.

background music Fleet Foxes

Autumn from L EM on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I woke up at 2 am, and was absolutely thrilled, shocked, amazed.

I've been away from blogging, too busy and too afraid of what yesterday might have brought. Now I am hopeful.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Thursday Theme altar

I have this little tableau set up, and I suppose you could say it is a kind of altar to my mother and to family connections. There are pictures of my mother and L (and me, actually . . .), with little icons from France and shells we collected together in England in a glass. The pottery is something I had given to her long ago, because she lived on a mountain with a view. The glass paperweight is there for stability.

I was going to post a ghost story (a true one, too; Reya knows . . .), but with the thinning of the barrier today between worlds, perhaps it's better to think about my mother, and where she is.

Ghosts may be for tomorrow . . .

Thursday, October 30, 2008


I'm completely, and I mean completely, swamped with projects. I bit off more than I can visually chew, as it were. Altar update tomorrow, though.

But I digress; I have a request. My UPS delivery man, Van, is a musician (stupendous, piano) who is putting out a Christmas album, and would like to know favorite carols, songs, music of the season. If you would, please put your favorites in Comments, and I will pass them along to him.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday: work space

My workspace:

For some reason, I had much trouble both taking and uploading these. I'm not sure if the computer needs some assistance, the camera does, or both require some TLC.

I had to add Webster's Third New International Dictionary to my collection of reference books, as a new client uses that instead of the more usual Collegiate, 11th ed., so I was able to spend a lot of time at the used book store yesterday. There I found Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, PLUS a 1970s copy of the UPI Stylebook. Yes, I am that nerdy that I could hardly wait to come home and spend an hour or two with them all. Three volumes for the Webster's!

A random look at the UPI book yields:

golf . . . PGA is acceptable in all references for Professional Golfers' Association (note the apostrophe); LPGA in all references for Ladies Professional Golf Association (no apostrophe).
I could go on. That apostrophe stuff kills me. But I'll spare you.

I spend a lot of time here, working away. Underneath are several plastic bins of photos awaiting affixing in an album. Some have been there over four years, so I'm doubtful if they'll ever make the transition.

The Big Computer, not to be confused with the laptop that D uses over at his desk. This is where all the editing I do electronically takes place, plus some radio station or other via iTunes usually wafts through the speakers.

Door at which cats are often scratching. Here, Bear waits to come in, only to be headlocked by a feisty Frank.

D and I share this space, so it can be quite a bit of a Little-Fur-Family-in-our-hollow-tree–ish at times.