Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Well, I don't have much to say; one of my profs said, you write so well, it's a shame you have nothing to say. So. There it is. No wonder.

Monday, November 29, 2010


Scarf: knitting is finished! now I have to weave in ends and block (sort of, for this pattern). I will post a pic after I've sent it off. Hope you like it, Scarf Exchangee.

yoga tomorrow; slogging through 444 page chapter, which will keep me busy for the lion's share of this week.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday plus: Debra Winger

Last week's NY Times Magazine featured a thoughtful and thought-provoking interview with actress Debra Winger. I hadn't thought about her, had forgotten she played a pivotal role in Rachel Getting Married, and I hadn't known she had written a book, Undiscovered, a few years ago. I scouted around and found her interviewed by Ben Cheever on a small book-related tv show, which seems to have lots of other interesting interviews, should you desire to watch them. I wish I could embed it, but you'll find it here, at Pleasantville [NY] Community Television.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Anne tells me I may not finish it by December 1; I have that much yarn left to knit up. And Anne should know.

At first, I hated working on this, but now I'm liking the results. I'll post a picture after I've sent it off to the scarf exchange recipient. I think I may make one for Stacie in browns, unless she gives me another colorway .  .  . it's like a fishnet, and can be worn as a scarf or a cowl.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Dinner wasn't half bad, if I do say so myself. The turkey's cooking time may have been hastened, however, if D had realized that the top of the roasting pan was nestled within the bottom of the roasting pan, thus supplying a nice layer of insulation from the heat . . . . and this isn't the first time, either!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Cooking for two is just about as demanding as cooking for twenty-two. Just an observation.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Well, for the first time EVER Thanksgiving will be just D and me; L is ensconced with the Mouse hard by a Great Lake. I know she will have a wonderful time because that's just the kind of person Miss Mouse is.

However, I am still going forward with my big meal: turkey (of course), some kind of special sides, most likely from the Nov. issue of Bon Appetit (from which I already made a very jazzy cranberry sauce involving orange peel and ginger, among other exotica). I have a gnarly (and costly!) celery root to contend with, plus parsnips, turnips, carrots, and potatoes. We're big on roots this year. D got a very nice (I hope) and inexpensive Kermit Lynch rose (the one on the left) to go with it all.

photo via Kermit Lynch blog

It is strange not to have family around; I remember the first Thanksgiving we had with my mother and the rest of my family in western Mass. We had a fire going in the front parlor, as someone called it, plus the wood stoves stoked. She decorated the table with branches and dried seed pods. I remember being very overwhelmed and I wish I had a picture of it all, which I must, somewhere . . . at least I have the movie of it all in the theatre of my head.

I'm glad L is moving out into the wider world, making her own, independent memories. And I'm looking forward to some photos posted somewhere, so I can see how much fun she had.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I'm getting excited about a Facebook group that is coalescing to start a food coop here. When our locally owned and independent natural foods grocery was taken over or bought out or muscled out, take your pick, by Whole Foods back in May, I wasn't exactly happy. But things are getting less local and more corporate by the week. 365 brand seems to rule; seating in front of the little cafe area has been removed in favor of floor display space; and my beloved bulk dried fruits have been banished to soulless Whole Food prepackaged 8-oz units. I know my favorite dreadlocked bulk manager is not happy about that.

So, maybe I'll be much more involved in getting a food coop off the ground. Maybe it will be the next independent, locally, cooperatively owned grocery!

Monday, November 22, 2010


All weekend I kept hitting my forehead with the palm of my hand, desperate to get away from medical jargon. Then, I remembered. Poetry. And I went off to find some new one.

Barbara Hamby is so very talented, funny, and wise. You can find more poems and links here.

Ode on Dictionaries
–Barbara Hamby

A-bomb is how it begins with a big bang on page
one, a calculator of sorts whose centrifuge
begets bedouin, bamboozle, breakdance, and berserk,
one of my mother's favorite words, hard knock
clerk of clich├ęs that she is, at the moment going ape
the current rave in the fundamentalist landscape
disguised as her brain, a rococo lexicon
of Deuteronomy, Job, gossip, spritz, and neocon
ephemera all wrapped up in a pop burrito
of movie star shenanigans, like a stray Cheeto
found in your pocket the day after you finish the bag,
tastier than any oyster and champagne fueled fugue
you have been pursuing in France
for the past four months. This 82-year-old's rants
have taken their place with the dictionary I bought
in the fourth grade, with so many gorgeous words I thought
I'd never plumb its depths. Right the first time, little girl,
yet here I am still at it, trolling for pearls,
Japanese words vying with Bantu in a goulash
I eat daily, sometimes gagging, sometimes with relish,
kleptomaniac in the candy store of language,
slipping words in my pockets like a non-smudge
lipstick that smears with the first kiss. I'm the demented
lady with sixteen cats. Sure, the house stinks, but those damned
mice have skedaddled, though I kind of miss them, their cute
little faces, the whiskers, those adorable gray suits.
No, all beasts are welcome in my menagerie, ark
of inconsolable barks and meows, sharp-toothed shark,
OED of the deep ocean, sweet compendium
of candy bars—Butterfingers, Mounds, and M&Ms—
packed next to the tripe and gizzards, trim and tackle
of butchers and bakers, the painter's brush and spackle,
quarks and black holes of physicists' theory. I'm building
my own book as a mason makes a wall or a gelding
runs round the track—brick by brick, step by step, word by word,
jonquil by gerrymander, syllabub by greensward,
swordplay by snapdragon, a never-ending parade
with clowns and funambulists in my own mouth, homemade
treasure chest of tongue and teeth, the brain's roustabout, rough
unfurler of tents and trapezes, off-the-cuff
unruly troublemaker in the high church museum
of the world. O mouth—boondoggle, auditorium,
viper, gulag, gumbo pot on a steamy August
afternoon—what have you not given me? How I must
wear on you, my Samuel Johnson in a frock coat,
lexicographer of silly thoughts, billy goat,
X-rated pornographic smut factory, scarfer
of snacks, prissy smirker, late-night barfly,
you are the megaphone by which I bewitch the world
or don't as the case may be. O chittering squirrel,
ziplock sandwich bag, sound off, shut up, gather your words
into bouquets, folios, flocks of black and flaming birds.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday plus: Quinn Cummings

I will try to find an audio interview, but this link will do for now.

Here she is, from a vlog post:

talking about another blogger's book . . .

Saturday, November 20, 2010


clasps are supposed to hold. hands clasp. my watch clasp came undone, and I found it down my sleeve while I was driving. my turtle pin clasp, though, was done up. when I found that it was no longer pinned to me i searched everywhere, certain it was being crushed under someone's tires in some parking lot.

i found it, the clasp still firmly intact, but the pin end not held by it. i'm being told something, and I hope I'm understanding.

Friday, November 19, 2010


Another afternoon on the river . . . I think I'm beginning to get the fact that only so many days are allotted to us.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Stile Antico. I was nosing around YouTube, looking for them, because Sunday Baroque is championing this group, who are surprisingly young, when I discovered NPR's Tiny Desk Concert series. Quite eclectic! I may be linking to these again: Jakob Dylan next?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


After the latest results, I won't be watching Dancing with the Stars again. (I know, hard to believe I'd watch it, right?) Also, no more 7 to 9 a.m. morning shows for the "news." I listened to NPR on the radio this morning; so much more in depth. Even the short fluff piece on Prince Wm. and co. was more insightful than all stuff on ABC.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


What I've been watching when I'm knitting: Pleasantville Community Television; Ben Cheever is a pretty good host, I think. Eclectic guests, to be sure.

Monday, November 15, 2010


Fish Fight is Hugh Fearnsley-Whittingstall's latest endeavor. Although he is championing the North Sea, we have Sea Web and Monterey Bay Aquarium to further the cause in US as well as international waters.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Knitting group; finished a scarf! but not the International Scarf Exchange one; that one is giving me grief.

It is parents' weekend at L's college, and Miss Mouse is taking L all around. I am eager to hear the details!

The final 3 feet of gutter to clean out is calling me. I meant to take photos today. Alas.

Friday, November 12, 2010


yesterday, we couldn't hack it (how about some good news? I know transitions aren't easy, but they don't have to be so difficult . . .), so we left our posts midafternoon for this place,
where we watched the river from a serene deck. The happy hour prices weren't too bad either  . . .

Thursday, November 11, 2010


I think this just about sums it up

In the Middle
–Barbara Crooker

of a life that's as complicated as everyone else's
struggling for balance, juggling time.
The mantle clock that was my grandfather's
has stopped at 9:20; haven't had time
to get it repaired. The brass pendulum is still,
the chimes don't ring. One day you look out the window,
green summer, the next, and the leaves have already fallen,
and a grey sky lowers the horizon. Our children almost grown,
our parents gone, it happened so fast. Each day, we must learn
again how to love, between morning's quick coffee
and evening's slow return. Steam from a pot of soup rises,
mixing with the yeasty smell of baking bread. Our bodies
twine, and the big black dog pushes his great head between;
his tail is a metronome, 3/4 time. We'll never get there,
Time is always ahead of us, running down the beach, urging
us on faster, faster, but sometimes we take off our watches,
sometimes we lie in the hammock, caught between the mesh
of rope and the net of stars, suspended, tangled up
in love, running out of time.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


I'm trying to think and be positive; yes, that's right. You heard me. Getting out and getting busy with the rake helps. I guess sitting in front of the computer screen, being zapped by soul-sapping rays isn't cutting it.

I'm reading (well, the book is sitting around, glaring at me) James Joyce's Ulysses, but I'm only up to page 10. I tore through Portrait of the Artist as a teenager. I need to turn that receptor back on. As it is, I can barely sit still to read catalog copy. It's hard to sit and read for pleasure when I read all day for pay.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


Hunter Museum

I have spent the entire day, trying to alphabetize a reference section, plus fiddling with adding periods after authors' initials and trying to figure out a bunch of tables that the author didn't want to deal with. I need to find something more satisfying to do. I know, I know—all work is meaningful, not just "creative" highfalutin positions. But gee whiz.

Plus my rate has not kept apace w/cost of living/inflation. The flesh is being stripped from my bones. I keep watching these so-called financial experts on the morning "news" shows (since when is news considered showing a clip from yesterday's Oprah's talk show of her talking to M. Jackson's children? whatever . . .), but they are talking to people who I assume have regular jobs. But what is regular now?

Monday, November 08, 2010

sunday activity

The view from the Bluff View: those specs are regatta participants

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Sunday plus: Lucy Wainright Roche

Sardonic? how about heart wrenching ...

Saturday, November 06, 2010


I'm remembering John C. Campbell, listening to this . . .

Those years are leaves on the ground . . .

if this doesn't post correctly, the links were to YouTube YoYo Ma . . .

Friday, November 05, 2010

Thursday, November 04, 2010

summer's end, after Election Day

last of the basil, to make pesto for the freezer.

I used more walnuts than pine nuts in the mix; at $39.00 a pound, pine nuts are too dear! when I'm feeling flush, I grab a handful from the bulk bin. And I'm always shocked at how much that handful costs.

I read somewhere long ago that you shouldn't add the cheese to the mix until you are ready to combine it with the pasta (or whatever). So I don't, though I don't know why that would make much of a difference, do you?

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

in a pickle

well, perhaps the state's residents are now in such a condition after yesterday's election, but while the red tide rolled in, I was making the most of a lovely cauliflower.

breaking it up

Using my made-in-France-Christmas present slicer . . . which is a handy tool

hotting up the kettles; the cauliflower got blanched in the green one.

onions coming to a boil in a vinegar/sugar mixture that will pickle the cauliflower

sterilizing the jars

blanched c. in said jars, w/onion. Then pickling liquid over all. A canning funnel comes in very handy. I hadn't done this in so long, I was a bit rusty.

In the canner; do you see a face? I do . . . who is it? Protector of all canners? the Madonna?

et, voila!

all that was left, which I threw into last night's vegetable mix for supper:

Pickles have to cure for about 4 weeks; we'll see how I did . . .

Tuesday, November 02, 2010


To a green thought in a green shade. –A. Marvell, from "Thoughts in a Garden"

OK, I've tried this before, and the results were not just inedible, they were scary—gloppy, gray mass of . . . what?

I'm trying it again (please excuse the less than sharp photos; I don't know if this is due to overexcitement of starting the process again, or fear of freakish results)

Using the method from Eugenia Bone's Well-Preserved (Clarkson Potter, 2009)

shredded cabbage + 1-1/2 Tbl of pickling salt

My own touch, to keep out creepy crawlies (natural, too).

Bag of 1 qt water + 1-1/2 Tbl pickling salt; per Ms Bone, it acts as a weight, and if it leaks, it leaks only brine.

If I can bring myself to haul out the canning equipment, I intend to make pickled cauliflower from this book as well. Cauliflowers are on sale at all the groceries here now, firm, meaty, sparkling white. So, onward!

Monday, November 01, 2010

November 1, 2010

from The Tempest
Act IV Scene I

Prospero. Be cheerful, sir:
Our revels now are ended. These our actors,
As I foretold you, were all spirits and
Are melted into air, into thin air:
And, like the baseless fabric of this vision
the cloud-capp'd towers, the gorgeous palaces,
The solemn temples, the great globe itself,
Yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve
And, like this insubstantial pageant faded,
Leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff
as dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with sleep.

–W. Shakespeare

"The first mention of The Tempest is in the royal Account Books of the Revels Office: On Hallowmass night, November 1st 1611, 'a play called the Tempest' was performed before the most cultured of kings, James I." from Poem a Day, edited by Karen McCosker & Nicholas Albery