Showing posts with label Miscellaneous. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Miscellaneous. Show all posts

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Summer Break

So it turns out that I am incapable of leading a busy summer and blogging, huh?  I'm very sorry to have left you hanging.  A couple weeks back, I entered an extremely busy point that corresponded with a bout of writers' block that left me lacking in the blogging department.
My blog isn't the only thing that's been neglected.  My poor camera.
But I did get a couple of pictures the other day.  My flowers are
looking so lovely this year!

Aaanyway, this is all a long-winded way of saying that I haven't dropped off the face of the earth.  The rest of my July will be pretty busy, so expect sporadic (who are we kidding?  Basically nonexistent) posting for the next couple of weeks.  My August is looking gloriously calm and I'm looking forward to coming back to this space.  I'm starting to get quite a few blog post ideas, so I'm filling up my drafts folder.

I've been reading up a storm.  Everywhere I go, I take a book with me and that's added up to quite a few books finished up.  I read (and loved!) How To Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas Foster and then started in on Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.  I've been filling the margins with piles of notes and observations inspired by Foster's book.  I'll be reviewing both, hopefully before the end of July, but we'll see.

In the meantime, enjoy my archive and talk amongst yourselves.  I look forward to being back to consistent posting in August!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Favorites This Friday

I missed a couple of weeks of this weekly feature (blame summer), but here's the post for today.  Here are my favorites this Friday, bookish and not-bookish:


1.) Gray Owl Paint by Benjamin Moore-Yes!  I'm embarking on painting the ugly living room next!  The walls are covered in various swatches of blue and gray, but I finally found the perfectly shade!  

2.) Iced Tea-Do I need to say more?  It's 90 degrees and my elbows are sticking to the computer as I type this. Pretty much any kind of tea, but sweet, black, and mint is always desirable.  I also had some iced raspberry green tea that I've been thinking about ever since I had it.  

3.) Now that April's There by Daisy Neumann-A historically, sociologically fascinating read set in England immediately post-war.  I'm hoping to post a review on Monday.

4.) Scott, Atticus, and Boo: A Celebration of Fifty Years of To Kill a Mockingbird by Mary McDonagh Murphy-Another lovely current read that is making me want to read To Kill a Mockingbird again.  Speaking of which, what do you all think about the latest Harper Lee controversy around her soon-to-be-released book?  I, bad book blogger, hadn't even heard about this until somebody mentioned it at a family picnic.  
I must watch this soon!  Speaking of which, I just
recently learned that there is a King and I Broadway revival right now.  Interesting!

5.) Lots of old Broadway-I've been really into Broadway shows for awhile, particularly the classics and I've been listening to the music from them and watching the old movies quite a bit lately.  So, so lovely.

6.)  Shorthand-I've recently become interested in shorthand.  I can really see the value of having the skill, but we'll see if I actually get passed checking a book out of the library.  

So those are some of my favorites!  I'm going to be gone and busy most of June, so expect sporadic postings.  What are some of your favorites right now?  

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Complete!

The dining room is finished!  After weeks of slogging through coat after coat of primer and, finally, paint and then cleaning the floor (I did not do a good floor covering job), I was done!  I have to admit, after finishing this room, I want to work on the even uglier living room.  Hoorah for finished projects and new projects to come!

Remember, this is what I started with.





Finished!

And that is the dining room project finished!  I'm still contemplating pictures and a few other things, but for the most part, I'm done!  Now on to that living room.

Friday, May 29, 2015

What They Don't Tell New Bloggers

I feel that I now have permission to write this post, since I've been blogging for over a year now.  However, I'd love hear what more veteran bloggers think, as well.  

I've been going through a blogging dry patch and, through it, I've had lots of thoughts about writing, particularly blogging.  This has corresponded with my reading this fabulous book, which I really loved.  The more I read and thought, the more I realized that this needed to be a blog post.  So, if you are starting out on this blogging journey, or have been blogging for far longer than I, here are my thoughts on what they don't tell bloggers just starting out.
The dining room!  The painting is done and, if I do say so myself, it
looks lovely.  Now all I have to do is put in a light fixture and
new light switch covers and clean up all the paint
that managed to avoid the drop cloth.  

1.) When you first start out, you will have about 8,000 post ideas a day.  You may have to work very hard to refrain from posting twice (or thrice) daily and you will dreamily imagine spending every morning in a coffee shop with your elegant, non-dented laptop, writing about the stack of beautiful books (all advance copies of course) sitting by your side.  Your loving readers will eagerly flock to hear your witty, sage advice and opinions on every topic under the sun.  
Note the mess on the table.  These pictures were taken 5 days ago and it's still not
cleaned up.  Sigh.

2.) But, somewhere along your blogging journey, you will encounter writers' block.  But this isn't the ordinary case of writers' block.  Oh no.  See, now you have people that are expecting blog posts.  You know because, you're expecting their blog posts in return.  You will frantically wrack your brains for post ideas and may resort to posting old pictures of winter scenery in spring (because you've also abandoned your camera).  This is also okay.  Everybody recovers from even the most virulent case of writers' block.  

3.) There will be months when you have only written 3 posts.  And that's okay.  It doesn't make you a bad writer (or person).  It happens to most of us.  

4.)  There really is unbloggable material.  Like that time I read a total of 15 cookbooks in a week, cover to cover (yes, I have a cookbook reading problem, frequently documented on this blog).  I knew nobody wanted to hear about 15 cookbooks over 5 days, so I let it go and had nothing to show for it.
The first of my roses is blooming!  Strangely enough, when it got exposed
to the ashes, part of it reverted back to its parent plant (it was a hybrid),
so now half is red and half is yellow.  They both smell lovely!

5.) (This piece of advice is strictly for book bloggers.)  Sometimes, you may not be reading very much. Gasp!  Maybe you have a good stack of magazines.  Or you're gone every night.  Or everybody in your house got stomach flu so bad you couldn't even imagine reading.  Or (double gasp) maybe you're just in the mood to watch Netflix. 

6.) Blogger is great.  It's a wonderful writing platform; it's free, and it has some amazing settings.  But don't for a second be surprised when it freezes up and loses a post for the 10,000 time in a week.

7.) Every time you click "publish" on a post, you are going to feel an incredible sense of satisfaction and pleasure knowing that you just created something entirely your own and shared it with an (albeit small) percentage of the world.  And when you read comments of kind strangers whom you have never spoken a word to, all the writers block and and computer glitches in the world seem worth it.

So, weigh in-What advice/tips would you give to a new (book or non-book) blogger?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Happenings

Finally!  I have the time to devote my attention to my poor abandoned blog.  I have reached the end of my hours of working day and night and am back to a lovely, calm schedule.  Almost the beginning of a summer break.  When I got home yesterday afternoon, I determined that I would begin at once working on all of the projects I've been meaning to.  First, I got my camera out and took copious pictures of pretty much everything and everybody that would stand still long enough.  I've been taking gloriously long runs, performing all kinds of cooking experiments, and reading all those books that have been sitting on my living room side tables for months.

Here are a few pictures of what's been going on around here:

This year's piggies.  Photo Credit: No idea. Whoever was holding my camera at the moment.
Another thing I did: Go to the greenhouse down the road
and stock up on various pretty flowers.

One of the lovely Lantana plants I got at the greenhouse.
This variety is called Evita Red, which means that, every
time I walk past these plants, I get to belt Don't Cry for Me Argentina.
While I was moseying around with my camera, Grouchy Kitty walked up.  Grouchy Kitty is one of our many barn cats.  Her name has nothing to do with the made-famous-by-memes Grumpy Cat.  Actually, her name came before that famous cat, I think.  She was just a generally grouchy cat who didn't like other people.  But, over time, she started to become a people cat.  However, bless her heart, she has a very disgusted look on her face at all times.  Those who are her friends understand that she really is a very kindly soul who has unfortunate looks.  In all seriousness, we think she has some Persian in her blood.

Tomorrow, I've got another chatty post in the works.  It turns out that I had all kinds of posts churning around my head, so I'm excited to start regular posting again.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

An Update

Hello, dear readers.  This is just a quick note to let you know that I'm going to be absent from the blog until the end of next week due to a bunch of deadlines and work that needs to get done.  However, that doesn't mean that I'm not reading, and so you have lots of book reviews to look forward to in the coming weeks.  In the meantime, I'll leave you with my current reading list:

1. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson

2. Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis

3. Telling True Stories: A Nonfiction Writers' Guide from the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University, edited by Mark Kramer and Wendy Call (this is, by far, my favorite current read).

4.  The Solitaire Mystery by Jostein Gaarder (same author who wrote Sophie's World, which I loved).

5. Frankenstein, for Classics Club

Happy Wednesday to you all!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Where I've Been and My Reading List

Goodness, I left you in the lurch, didn't I, readers?  First, my family generously shared a head cold with me that left me sneezing and feverish for several days and then on Good Friday I was stricken with a nasty stomach bug, also generously shared by my family members.  So, basically, I've been lying on the couch whining all week.  That's where I've been.  Easter Sunday, I skipped church in favor of sleeping in, then, feeling 100% recovered, I went to the family Easter Dinner and had a lovely time.  On the way home, I started to feel myself crashing.  I came home and relapsed back into my stomach bug.  So here I am, the Monday after Easter feeling weak and still pretty whiney, but I'm at that stage where I have a very strange list of food I'm hungry for, including:
1. Pizza
2. Sushi, but the pickled ginger is what I'm really after
3. Vanilla Custard
4. Chocolate Ice Cream
5. White Rice with Soy Sauce

None of these are probably a good idea, but I did end up caving and eating White Rice and Soy Sauce for breakfast and, oh, did that taste delicious!

But enough about my aggravating viruses.  Because with all that sickness comes a lovely stack of books:
1. Great Quantities of Little Women
2. A bit of Don Quixote
3. Do Butlers Burgle Banks by P.G. Wodehouse
4. As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust by Alan Bradley
This book was the very best medicine.

While the rest of the books were all very enjoyable, can we just focus a moment on that last title?  Do you know what that is??  It's the latest Flavia de Luce!  Squee!  This is the book that kept me alive through these last couple of days.  Those of you who have been reading for a while will remember that I dearly adore Flavia de Luce.  In general, I don't love mysteries.  They can be formulaic, gory, boring, unbelievable (what on earth is wrong with your supposedly charming small town that there's a crime every 2 weeks?), and/or drone-y.  But Flavia is the exception.  Everything about these books exudes charm and brilliant writing with just enough thrills to keep the books exciting.

I'm not going to give a full review today because I doubt I'd be coherent, but let me just say that it was everything I expected it to be and more.

And that is where I have been, plus what I read.  Tell me, dear readers, how were your Easters?

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

How I'm Writing These Days

Recently, I've undergone a bit of a blogging shift.  It all started when I read this article.  I instantly went back to the hours spent on handwriting books, my crooked 3rd grader cursive, the blister on my third finger from writing too much.
The handwriting method I learned.  I can't
believe how many memories it brings up looking at that book!

My handwriting through the years has become a pretty illegible scrawl.  It's kinda cursive-kinda print and to the point where it's almost a code that only I can read.  But somewhere in the back of my brain is the memory of how to write that neat, swirly cursive, mixed with some calligraphy that I learned years ago.  And so I've been writing in cursive like crazy.  All of my blog posts are written out by hand on a nice notepad now and I take satisfaction in the pages of posts and post ideas which are on paper.

The other reason that I really wanted to get back into remembering those early cursive days is that I've been reading that people have lost their ability to read the letters and other primary documents of generations earlier.  It makes me sad to think that we might lose that ability and so I'm more eager than ever to spend time honing that skill.  Because the best way to learn to read cursive, or so I've read, is to keep writing it.
Unrelated, but pretty.  A picture from a misty morning this week.

So here's how it works. I sit down most mornings, coffee cup in one hand, and a note pad and a nice ball point pen in the other, and think of post ideas and then write them out.  It might be something that flashed through my head and I thought would make a nice post, or it might be a review of the latest book I've been reading.  Then I outline general thoughts and ideas.  What is amazing me is the sheer number of ideas and observations I'm having that I really didn't notice before when I was just looking at the computer musing on what to say next.  I started doing it with the Little Women posts and I haven't looked back since.

It's also appeared to make my blog writing frequency better.  It's a lovely little early-morning ritual before work starts to sit down and just write and write.  I have such a pile of posts now, written so neatly that anybody who wants can easily read them.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Snow Day

We're in for a blizzard around here, which means that I'm battening down the hatches, but also making sure that I'm stocked up on entertainment and things to do.  There's a dirty house to get tidy and all the animals to tuck up first, though.  And a blog post to write, because it's been on my list for so long.  Be warned-this is a multi-part post.  So sit down with a cup of tea and prepare to listen to me ramble.
A little wooly worm that I found creeping across the icy snow.
Of course, I tucked him up into the hay in the barn.

*********************************************************************************
Part 1-Snow Ice Cream
Yesterday, the snow hadn't started for real, but we had about 5 inches, so I went outside and filled a metal bowl and prepared to make snow ice cream.  Have you heard of this?  I first read of this in the Melendys books when I was elementary school aged.  The idea enchanted me and I remember making a batch and ending up with sweet, watery milk.  After that, I abandoned the idea.  The memory of that flashed through my head and so I ran to get the ingredients and hurried outside to try snow ice cream again.  And it was delicious!  It's not like regular ice cream, but the trick is to keep everything thoroughly frozen in the snow and to eat the ice cream outside, exclaiming about how cold it is all the while.  I love making this recipe because it's pretty ridiculous to sit outside making ice cream in the middle of winter and, oh is it delicious.  I firmly shut my brain off that is reciting the litany of nasty stuff in that precipitation and pretend that I've never heard of acid rain, er, snow, and heaven knows what else and make this ice cream.  It's lovely.  Here's my recipe:
This is a terrible picture, but white ice cream against white snow is extremely hard to photograph.

Fill a smallish bowl with cleanish snow.  Sprinkle sugar liberally into the snow.  Now that I think of it, maple syrup would be delicious as well.  Actually, maybe more delicious.  Pour about a capful of vanilla into the snow.  Splash full-fat, maybe even raw (if you're a rebel) milk into that sugary snow and then lightly toss together, kind of like you stir egg whites into batter.  Your goal is to keep the snow intact so you have a kind of ice cream-ish texture.  While you're doing this, keep your bowl sitting firmly in the snow so it's staying as cold as possible.  Enjoy!
*********************************************************************************
Part 2-Winter Activities
I have the hugest pile of mending to do.  And, you know what?  I'm actually looking forward to tackling it in front of the fire during these blizzard-y evenings.  I've got a bag filled with yarn and thread and needles and a thimble and I'm ready to go.  I'm also planning to entertain myself with my camera.  I'm in the process of going through the pictures I just took off of my camera and sorting them and, I'm sure, throwing great quantities away.
The cute sweater-wearing (trust me, it's necessary) dog, but also
this perfectly illustrates wood stove season.  There is always ash.  Always.


*********************************************************************************
Part 3-The Buzzards in the Tree
I can't believe it, but these buzzards haven't made it into a blog post.  I apologize to them and now will post several pictures.  We have this very old tree that is dead, but provides great shelter to so many animals.  It is a spectral sight to look out and see that stark, old, dead tree filled with buzzards with their wings spread (we think they're drying their wings, but who knows).  I do wonder what they're watching for.  The chickens?  There are no carcasses that I know of.   I have become peculiarly fond of those old birds.

*********************************************************************************
Part 4-My Book List
I do have a book list, readers.  Of course I do.  Here it is:
The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder, because it seems extremely fitting
Essays of E. B. White
The Edwardian Lady: The Story of Edith Holden
The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer
A new vintage magazine that I plan to read
I plan to keep busy with these titles.  I'm sure there will be more reading.  I'll keep you updated.
*********************************************************************************
Whew!  I'm finished rambling.  If you've reached the end, thank you for listening.  Now I'm off to stuff the cracks of the chicken coop with straw.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

A December Poem

My December has been absolutely jam-packed.  Even my reading has slowed down!  Not halted, but slowed down.  I thought I would just give a quick summary of what's on my book list or is currently being read:

1.) My Cousin Michael by Mary Stewart

2.) The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley-This book is absolutely fabulous!  The books are modern settings, but they remind me so very much of Mary Stewart's work.  They're that amazing combination of thrilling, yet cozy.

Aaaand that's it.  See?  I told you I wasn't reading much.  In other news, here's a lovely poem I picked out, along with a December painting, called Winter Painter by Carl Larssen (A Swedish artist, whose paintings I dearly love).  I really do love December, and Longfellow, which is why I picked this poem about winter.



Snow-flakes, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Out of the bosom of the Air,
     Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
     Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
          Silent, and soft, and slow
          Descends the snow.
Even as our cloudy fancies take
     Suddenly shape in some divine expression,
Even as the troubled heart doth make
     In the white countenance confession,
          The troubled sky reveals
          The grief it feels.
This is the poem of the air,
     Slowly in silent syllables recorded;
This is the secret of despair,
     Long in its cloudy bosom hoarded,
          Now whispered and revealed
          To wood and field.



Sunday, November 16, 2014

November, in a Poem

I dearly love November and it's accompanying coziness.  I think it's the grim, coldness contrasted with the warmth and light and books and people that I love so much.  I have been reading and reading in the evenings, but not bothering to write about what I'm reading, so this afternoon I'm spending working on posts that will come out soon. In the meantime, here's a poem for you.
November Moonlight by John Atkinson Grimshaw, thanks to Paintings, Art, Pictures

November by Elizabeth Coatsworth

November comes,
And November goes
With the last red berries
And the first white snows,

With night coming early
And dawn coming late,
And ice int eh bucket
And frost by the gate.

The forest burn
And the kettles sing,
And earth sinks to rest
Until next spring.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Pride and Prejudice, While Running

I've been running for a few months now, but it's just recently that I have discovered that I can listen to the written word while running.  Happy day!  My first choice was Pride and Prejudice because, why not?  And I figured that if I was going up some steep incline or let my mind wander, it wouldn't matter as much with this book because I've read it so many times.

Every time I listen to an audiobook, I am amazed by the new dimensions that previously explored books take on.  I downloaded a free copy of P&P from Loyal Books (it used to be Books Should Be Free-it's a company that records books that are now free since they are in the public domain).  Luckily, this particular recording was a good one and the narrator's voice didn't annoy me, something that frequently occurs when I listen to audiobooks.

Everybody knows the story of Pride and Prejudice, so there's no way that I need to actually give you a  synopsis here, so I'll just write some of the things I loved about listening, in particular, to P&P.


  • I can be a very a fast reader at times and so being able to catch every word and s  l  o  w down was good for me.  Listening made me realize yet again how brilliant Austen's writing is and that her work is something to be savored and focused on.
  • The dialogue was a huge highlight of listening.  The reader that narrated my recording was very good at switching voices and I had so much fun listening to the pages upon pages of verbal sparring that is so prolific in Austen's writing.  I am always so impressed by how mean those people can be without ever losing their manners.  
  • I completely forgot about running while I was listening and, as such, improved my time immensely.  I've always been a slow-ish runner and it's thanks to Jane Austen that I'm getting up enough speed to run a 5k without driving everybody nuts around me.  
  • I loved the characters more.  For some reason, listening to these characters talk and live, I became more attached to them than I ever have through reading or watching the 4-hour extravaganza of a movie.
  • It made me lengthen my runs.  I was guilty of saying, "Hey, I did 2 miles, what the heck," when I needed to keep going.  Because I was breathlessly (quite literally) eager to hear what was going to happen after Lydia runs away with Wickam (yes, yes, I know what's going to happen, but still…), I did longer runs.
  • Runs became more meditative.  While I was listening, I would slow down a bit to laugh at the squirrel fight going on over my head or turn around to watch a sunset unfolding.  The prettiness around me was perfectly offset by Jane Austen's lovely words.
This is something I really recommend doing, if you run or work out at all.  At first, you're going to be distracted and it's going to be hard to focus if you've never done this before.  But pick a book that you've read a million times and before you know it, you'll be completely engrossed and you'll never go back to book-less exercise.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Just For Pretty


I love capturing the everyday pretty.  Last week, I was getting ready for out of town family and I just walked around, taking pictures of the failed maple fudge, the clean porch, the cat in the sunshine, the dusty piano keys….all of the beautiful, yet boring in my life that isn't enough to make up a real blog post but shouldn't be forgotten.  Here is the recent mundane, yet beautiful from my life:


A bunch of squash, that is now tucked into the
 basement for the winter months.

The knitting project that is going painfully slowly.
I can't write a post these days without adding a cute kitten picture.
Here's Dorcas chasing leaves behind the watering can.

One of a multitude of sunset pictures.
A beautiful wooden bowl that I'm going to put some pretty
little acorns in.

Hetty, short for Mehitabel…the only chicken who has resisted
the coop and, instead, prefers to be free-range.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Meet Dorcas

About a month ago, we got a new stray kitten.  A straggly, skin-and-bones, strangely colored, yet adorable kitten.  She was about 4 weeks old and had just a few teensy weensy teeth that were definitely not ready for grown-up food.  She was named Dorcas, after the small town near where she was found.

Fast forward another 4 weeks and Dorcas is still adorable, but now her little tummy pooches out and she had grown a nice thick, outdoor-kitty coat.  I made fudge and, while it cooled on the porch, I had my (at least 3 times daily) visit with Dorcas.  I snapped pictures while I was there.  I have to say, kittens are not easy to photograph and this kitten is even harder.  She's much more attached to us than previous strays have been, which means that, as soon as she sees a person, she wants to climb all over them and snuggle up for a nap.  Nevertheless, I managed to get a few good-ish pictures.

I keep finding myself making excuses to go out and visit this charming little bundle of fur.

The box that was her shelter when she was littler.  Now it's
just a climbing structure.
This picture is to display Dorcas's tail.  Her ears and her tail
are a striking charcoal against her otherwise black fur.




 The picture above comes with a story.  While I was busy taking pictures of Dorcas, Olive, the plump, elderly cat who has been surprisingly calm about Dorcas joining her in living on the porch, came up to me.  She touched the camera with her nose and then headed over to these plants...




...and posed for me.  And what could I do but take a picture.



Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Listening

Here's what I'm listening to while I sit working at the computer.  I thought I would share:
And this piece:

I've loved Old Crow Medicine Show for a while, but just now realized what great Get-Stuff-Done-To-Music it is.  Has anybody else noticed that there is music you can work to and music you can't work to?  I love this group.  Happy Listening!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

About the Rude Gentleman at the Table Next to Me

This evening, we went to a rather nice restaurant.  The food is always perfect-everything local, most organic, everything perfectly done and presented by somebody who should be a food photographer.  We sat down, ordered, and, of course, because I am the queen of people watching, I started to people watch.  The people at the table next to us were a middle-aged couple and their teenage son (pay attention to them, they're the point of this long-winded story).  I joined in the conversation at my table and promptly forgot to people watch.
A picture that has absolutely nothing to do with anything

Halfway through our meal, my people watching-self surfaced and casually listened in to the conversation that was happening at the table next to me between the husband of the family and the waitress.  
Waitress: And how is your food?
Man: (Imagine that his nose is in the air, oh, and he's talking quite loudly) Well, those vegetables were completely lacking in any kind of nuanced flavor.  Your chef needs to rethink this whole meat dish-I mean, really, the meat was far too overdone and this herb sprig is wilted.  
Waitress: (Looking terrified) Well, how was the salad?
Man: (Nose sticking up higher in the air) Well…fine, I suppose.
Waitress: Would you like me to get the chef?
Man: (Says hastily) No! No!  It's fine, it's really fine.  You don't need to worry about it.  
Waitress: Well, I could just call him over-
Man: No, no. 
Waitress: (Walks away looking weary)

I didn't make this up or embellish, by the way.  This is pretty much how this conversation went down.  

Readers, I trust I don't have to explain the extreme rudeness of the man at the table.  The point isn't whether the food did or did not need to be "rethought" (there's something grammatically iffy about this sentence, please tell me what it is).  The point is that somebody was completely lacking in any kind of social grace and, of course, wasn't brave enough to actually talk to the chef, just pretentiously whine to the waitress. 

And then the fuming started at my table (did I mention that I have a family of people watchers?  I like to think I trained them all very well in the art of people watching, er, listening).  We all agreed to loudly praise the food when the harried waitress came to our table.  But after that, I was still musing on properly biting remarks to the man at the next table.  And, believe me, I thought of some pretty good ones.  

Imagine this:
(After waitress leaves table and man is looking pleased with himself)
Me: Excuse me, I happened to hear your discussion of the food.  For what food column do you write?
Man: (I haven't quite worked out what he's supposed to say…probably just look properly abashed and murmur something apologetic)

OR

(Same setting and time as before)
Me: Excuse me, I was walking past and heard you criticizing the food.  At what restaurant did you train?
Man: (Same response as before, except probably a little more stunned)

OR
I could have just whacked him upside the head with my seltzer bottle and properly shocked the whole restaurant.  

But I did none of those things.  But I told you about it, so I feel completely vindicated.  Thank you, dear readers.  And maybe, just maybe, this man will be surfing through the book blogs that he loves and come across this post and be thoroughly mortified and repent.  Maybe he'll even ask me to absolve him of his horrible error.  Can't you imagine it?  What a lovely image.  And thus ends my post that had absolutely nothing to do about books (seriously, I can't think of one way to tie this into books except that I was disgusted because I had to drive instead of read Val McDermid's Northanger Abbey on the way to the restaurant.)  

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Just a Picture

...Nothing much here for you today.  Just a some pictures of my little Yorkshire Terrier.  I was reading through my blog archives just for fun (does anybody else do that?) and I realized that I have cat pictures up the wazoo, but no Andy pictures.  So here are some for you (just to clarify, these were taken in the winter, which explains sleeping on the hearth and the sweater)


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pictures of Today

Instead of being a good blogger and review two finished books, or writing about my first draft of the Katniss dress that is finished (!), I'm doing this:

Just one of the containers that held apples.

Here's the drama that was unfolding in this picture:  I was cutting up apples for applesauce,
when who should drop by, but Tom.  He proceeded to get most infernally in the way.
A while later, I took the cut up apples inside, leaving that box that had held
the apples and now had two knives at the bottom of it.  A gust of wind
blew up, blowing the box and Tom went chasing after it.
At some point, Shadow came and joined in the fun.
That is, I'm making applesauce today.  Yes, folks, canning season is in full swing, which means that writing about interesting things takes the back burner.  

Ps.  These pictures were taken with the camera on the laptop.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  My camera has croaked, leaving me sadly picture-less.  I was extremely surprised by how good these ended up turning out.