Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Stuff has been happening around here.

Things are being pulled apart by the seams. A little "de-construction", shall we say?

Sometimes the situation even gets topsy-turvy.

Stood on end.

But to my great relief, the pieces slowly come together.

The final goal begins to take shape.

-and what we were hoping for all along becomes reality.

Now where is that slab of reclaimed slate?

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

blogging about dinner

I do not feel like making dinner. Rarely this happens. But maybe if I write about it, inspiration will come to me.

Bone-in pork chops have been thawing in the sink. Please don't yell at me. That is always the way I have thawed pork. I will dip them in egg and smother them in bread crumbs. Then I will saute them in olive oil because although I would really rather bake them, I didn't have the foresight to do it an hour ago.

I will scrub a few baking potatoes and put them into the microwave. Again, a slow bake in the oven would be preferable. But again: lack of foresight.

I will toss a bag of frozen french green beans in boiling water. Just for thrills, I will toast some almonds and sprinkle them on top when the beans are served.

I will put butter and sour cream on the table.

I will light a few candles.

I will cheerfully say, "Dinner's ready!"

Friday, February 12, 2010

bring. me. doughnuts. now.

I am seated at the kitchen table in a bath of sunlight like a cat.

Into my eager mouth go piping-hot doughnuts which are coated generously in powdered sugar. These little discs of dough are so fresh from the frying pan that the sugar has not yet melted. The outsides are crisp, the insides are a combination of flaky and chewy. I bite gingerly as wisps of steam rise from their delectable insides and the powdered sugar tickles my throat.

A swig of fresh coffee chases them down my gullet.

Pardon my abandon, but I was in dire need of some comfort food.

Hubby is en route from NYC to home via Utica and Syracuse and the closer he gets, the more I miss him. Hence, doughnuts.

I knew you would understand.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

artful wanderings

The National Gallery on Ottawa has a chapel. #1 Daughter and I visited it on Tuesday and grooved in its vibe.
We also enjoyed this beautiful courtyard which reminded me of the gardens of the Alhambra in southern Spain. It is heartening to know that even in the clutches of winter, we can drive 75 miles north and find such a thing.

That's all I want to say.

Monday, February 08, 2010

what's new with me

-a gym membership

I never, ever, not even for a minute, had one before in my whole life. #1 Daughter and I had the tour of the facilities last week before signing on the dotted line, but we didn't have the time to exercise. On Saturday, #1 Son and I played raquetball. This was funny in many ways, not the least of which being that neither of us had ever played before and didn't have any concept of the rules. So we hit the rubber ball around for an hour, whacking it and sometimes each other while ducking profusely as the ball ricocheted from wall to wall. At one point I threw my arms over my head and screamed in fear. #1 Son got a bit wild in his serve and the little rubber ball went sailing over our heads at roughly 120 mph and dissappeared in the observation deck.

I don't think that is supposed to happen.

I like raquetball, though. My favorite thing about it is the little hobbit-hole you go through to get inside the court.

Anyway. Today I visited the fitness center all by my lonesome self, all back-packed up with ID card, extra sneakers, towels, and nervousness. I slunk around the hallways trying to look casual with a face that bespoke of "I exercise in public places all the time". I cast envious sidelong glances at confident and fit people that knew right where the lockers were, had earbuds in their ears, and pushed the right buttons on all the digital equipment. I pretended I knew exACTly what I was doing. With a little luck and a large dose of secret precaution, I managed to use a stair-steppy kind of thing for thirty minutes without falling off or causing any disruption. Huge relief.

I hear you saying, "you should get someone to show you how everything works." Good idea.
I made an appointment for that.

After her class, #1 Daughter joined me for another game of fake raquetball. After we learn to keep the ball moving without hurting each other, we may even incorporate some rules or general guidelines. Won't that be fun?

-a semester's-worth of music

The little pile on my piano is growing, but so far I have nothing to worry about: Monday night choir, one voice student, and a German Diction class are the only things on my agenda thus far. My favorite treat is the Faure Requiem, a choral piece that I have loved & performed numerous times. It makes me happy inside.

Add to this humble list a Mozart sonata and a short Debussy piece. I have recently taken on a piano student. I refuse to allow her to call me her "piano teacher", opting instead for the very harmless title of "piano advisor". Laugh if you must, but I really do not like teaching music. I don't mind advising about music, so it works for both of us. She is a snap to "advise" too, which makes the process pretty enjoyable. All I need to do is be able to play the aforementioned pieces better than her, and away we go!

-three sweater dresses

I really only wanted one but I purchased three. It might not be really big news to anyone else, but to me it is headline material. I need to visit the gym for a few weeks before I wear the red one, but the other two are loose and snuggly and just the ticket for dressing up a little while keeping warm.

That's about it for news about me. As for news about Hubby, he is in the Dominican Republic for another few days. Their team of three has been offered a chance to travel to Haiti where they will put up tents for a community of 2,000 that have been ravaged by the earthquake.

As you can see, he is having a much more exciting week than little old me. But I am not complaining; rather, I revel in my humble new things.
The phone just rang and it's a call from the D.R.! Signing off for now...

Saturday, February 06, 2010

funky crushed velvet makes its appearance

What is this boy doing?
And for that matter, what is THIS boy doing?

These boys were first plied with a hearty breakfast, Then they were cajoled into helping me with a few litttle projects around the house.

Together, they took apart our antique couch.

They removed 6,439 staples which held the raspberry upholstery in place.

While they did that, I cleaned the wooden frame.

Underneath that raspberry upholstery was this green crushed velvet. We knew it was there; we were waiting for the right time to reveal its funky beauty.

Today was the right time.

Don't you agree?