Monthly Archives: August 2009

Bookish Wednesday

Well, I still have not finished any books.  I am still reading My Life in France by Julia Child and Alex Prudhomme.  I am thoroughly enjoying this book.  It is all about the Child’s adventures in France, Julia’s time at the Cordon Bleu cooking school, her cooking, the collaboration with Simca and Louisette — I highly recommend this book.

I noticed that in light of the renewed interest in Julia Child, our local PBS station has put many of her shows back on the viewing schedule.  Most are during the weekday.  I may tape a few to watch just for fun.

The capitalism films were great fun.  Three were animated and done by John Sutherland, a Disney cartoonist.  All ranged from 1939 to 1956.  My mother told me that the owner of the donut business is a vintage film collector.  I would not want to go every Monday night, but we did enjoy it.

It is stormy and rainy here today.  I roasted some broccoli for my dinner last night.  I put together a lima bean and artichoke salad and have a container of that for my lunch today.

My birthday is coming up on Friday and I must say I am not terribly excited about it.  I do have plans to go to the local art crawl that evening with a former coworker.  It will be nice to catch up with her.  She recently changed jobs and the fashionista left, so we have lots to talk about. Birthdays seem to become less exciting as time passes, don’t you think?


A Giveaway

Fabric Art Collage

By Rebekah Meier
Publisher: C&T Publishing

Book Reviewed by Maria Nerius

Rebekah Meier is a well-respected artist in the art and craft community. She has diverse skills, which made this book both innovative and inspiring. There are over 40 mixed media techniques included in the book and the projects are just awesome to look at and to make. In one book you have just about any technique you’d want to explore. Just flipping through the pages can give you motivation to get out some supplies and create. The section on tools and supplies is quite helpful and you’ll be amazed at how many of these items you already have in your craft closet. I enjoyed using my supplies in a new way. If you enjoy mixed media or you are curious about the vast array of techniques, this book will satisfy in every way.

You can enter for a chance to win this book by following the link in this post.  I know I plan to try to win it!

Mourning the end of the weekend

Eh. Another Monday.  But I did have a pretty productive weekend.  Surprise, surprise.  Got some things done I have thought about but procrastinated — and didn’t do other things that I thought I would do.

I did not get to the farm market or the acoustic arts concert or the Sunday night movies. I did take the pug to the vet.  She is 5 lbs overweight, had some nasty worms, and apparently has allergies.  Good grief.  So I gave her the last of her worm medicine this morning, and I hope that will do it.  Apparently there are worms that dogs can contract that get into the soil of your yard and are impossible to get rid of — who knew?!! I did not.  And because of these worms, the vet changed her heartworm preventive to Interceptor because it will keep her from getting infected with these worms again.  The pug only has one good eye.  The other eye is sunken in — since she was a shelter rescue we don’t know if it is a birth defect or from a a severe infection or what.  It doesn’t seem to bother or hurt her.  But there has been more discharge from it lately, so the vet checked and both eyes have some redness — allergies.  The vet recommended getting 25 mg. Benadryl tablets and giving her a half in the a.m. and the other half in the p.m.  And we need to get those extra 5 lbs. off.  Glad we are walking at the park.  And yesterday I spent a good 10 minutes throwing her ball outside until she quit running after it.

After the vet, I went home and decided to just start in on my laundry and housework.  I picked some basil and rolled it up and sliced it into freshly chopped tomato and a teaspoon of minced garlic.  Put it in the refrigerator for the flavors to meld.

I went through all the bedding stored in the basement and put in bags to donate all items that I will never use again.  The fashionista had been purchasing some items for an apartment and those were just sitting in a box.  So I put them into nice plastic storage tubs with lids to keep them nice.  Broke down a bunch of boxes to be recycled.  Cleaned up the utility room and the family room.  Pitched stuff that could not be recycled or donated.  Bagged up extra unused school supplies to donate.  Got all my laundry done and then tackled my ironing.  I made quite a nice dent in it.  I think I only have about 8-10 items left to iron and then I will be completely caught up.  YAY!

I made a nice batch of bruschetta for my dinner and had a glass of Tuscan Lemonade with it.  Yum — vodka, limoncello, and lemonade.

Then I watched a couple of the Heroes marathon episodes that I had recorded.  G4 has Heroes marathons on for the next few Saturdays.  Worked on knitting more dishcloths.  I finished a diagonal dishcloth and started a squidge cloth.

Yesterday was church in the a.m.  More Heroes episodes.  More bruschetta.  Some wildmushroom agnolotti dressed with a bit of olive oil and parmesan.  More knitting of dishcloths.  Brushing the pug and the cats.  Cleaning out the bunny cage.  Vacuuming and dusting.  Peeling peaches.  Baking a peach cobbler.  Purchasing a plant and birthday card for the boss.

And back at the office today. This evening I am taking my mother to a trendy local donut shop.  On Monday evenings all summer they have been showing public domain movies, vintage commercials and cartoons.  Tonight are seven short films on capitalism all filmed between 1936 and 1958.  Should be campy and fun!


Ah, Friday at last!  The evenings have been cool recently, and this morning was so nice that I wanted to stay home and get some yard work done.  But here I am at the office for another fun-filled day. But the weekend is soon to come.

The pug has her annual vet visit tomorrow morning.  I hope to get to the farm market before that.  Then there is an acoustic concert in one of the local parks.  If it stays cool, then I will go and take the pug with me. 

I’m not sure what I will do the rest of the weekend.  A local gallery is showing two food movies on Sunday evening — I would like to go, but we shall see.  I simply HAVE to spend some more quality time with my ironing board.  This morning a spider popped out of the slacks I was ironing.  Completely freaked me out!  I shook them and shook them and felt around the seams and the waistband and the pockets before I could continue.  The family room in the basement needs  a new no-pest strip, I guess.  Eh.

I found a tomato pie recipe that I would like to make this weekend.  And I have been thinking about caprese salad or bruschetta.

Last night after praise team practice I stopped in at my favorite Lebanese restaurant/deli and picked up their Thursday special to take home — meatless moussaka over rice with tabouli and pita.  I also bought a container of labneh because I am out.

My boss’s birthday is Monday and I always make him a peach cobbler for his birthday, so I will be buying peaches and baking this weekend.  And I may even make a clafouti with some blueberries I need to use up.

I have tons of projects I could work on at home.  There is endless cleaning, organization I dream about but quite seem to get done, sorting through craft/art items and clearing out what we will never use, packing away the Little Buddy’s summer stuff, working on some collage projects that I would like to do, knitting, reading — the list goes on and on.  And the weekends slip by so quickly!

Nada for Bookish Wednesday

I have nothing to report this week for Bookish Wednesday.  I finished The Paper Moon, the last of the Inspector Montalbano books that I had checked out.

I am currently reading My Life in France, the Julia Child collaborative book, and I just started reading It’s Our Turn to Eat — The Story of a Kenyan Whistleblower by journalist/author Michela Wrong.

So — until next week — happy reading!

The Humble Dishcloth

I have been knitting cotton dishcloths for about 12 or so years now.  And can you believe that I only recently used one??!! I know, right! But it is true.  I have knitted cloths to swap, cloths to give to other people, small cloths for baby showers, a stash of cloths because — well, you never know when you may need one for something.

The dishcloth, as it turns out, is a very handy little item.  I may never again purchase a sponge for cleaning.  I ran out of sponges in the kitchen cabinet a few weeks ago and used one of a half dozen dishcloths sitting in a bowl on my kitchen counter.  And, you say?  Well — I love them!

The dishcloth fits into the small crevices of pans and food processor parts, and glassware and those items that a sponge can’t reach.  The dishcloth is a great scrubber.  The dishcloth — after washing dishes — can be used to wipe down the counters, scour the sink, wipe off the cabinets and the inside of the microwave and the coffeemaker and the fridge.  Endless uses in the kitchen.  Better than that quicker picker upper paper towel —  in my opinion.

On to the bathroom.  The dishcloth can be used on the bathroom mirror, the tub, the tile, the toilet — everywhere! You can wipe your counter with it — or wash your face with it.

And the really cool thing is that then the dishcloth can be thrown into the washing machine with other laundry — I’m thinking towels here — and washed and dried and ready for another use.

Dishcloths can be any size you want to knit them.  Knitting dishcloths is a good way to try out new stitch patterns.  A dishcloth pattern can be turned into a baby blanket, a kitchen or bathroom towel — how versatile is that!  And dishcloths can be crocheted — not limited to knitting.  A slightly larger dishcloth can be used as a facecloth.  And just brainstorming here, but surely also an environmentally friendly napkin??? Or is that a stretch?

Enterprising and creative knitters have taken a basic dishcloth and turned it into a swiffer pad.  There may be no end to the creative uses for dishcloths.

I am currently working on cotton cloths for women in Sudan.  I think I mentioned that in an earlier post.  I just finished cloth #12 and so I have dishcloths on the brain.  And I will leave you with a photo of some.

Knit Dishcloths

Knit Dishcloths

Belated Bookish Wednesday

Much excitement and busyness in the house hold kept me from posting on Bookish Wednesday, so I thought I would at least get it done before the weekend.

The fashionista left EARLY this morning for her east coast adventure.  Said goodbye to me, the pug, and ICT and drove off.  She and her friend are on the road to Chicago today where they will have some fun and spend the night.  Then tomorrow she is headed to the Philadelphia area.

I think she cried more over leaving the spoiled rotten pug than me, her own mother. Eh.

I am pretty sure the pug has not had a great day and will be unhappy with me later.  She has not spent an entire day in her crate since December.  And I have a praise team picnic this evening, so I will be dashing home to gather up my food — hummus and labneh and pita bread — changing my clothes, pottying and feeding the pug and then gating her in the kitchen.  And tomorrow morning I have a hair appt.  I imagine I will be leapt upon and barked at a lot this weekend.  Oh joy.

Well, enough of that, on to the books:

I again departed from my summer reading list — several of the items on my list have not been available yet, so I have been filling in with other goodies.

Six Months in Sudan by James Maskalyk is by a young Canadian doctor who served as a doctor in the village of Abyei for Doctors Without Borders.  I believe he was there around 2003, but can’t specifically remember the date.  Having spent a short time in southern Sudan in the hot dry season, I could relate to his writing that his tukul was like an oven and still 100 degrees at night and that he pulled his bed outside.  The food sounded similar to what we ate.  And the compound clinic where we were unfortunately sounded similar also.  It is like trying to put a band-aid on the plague — malnutrition, illnesses that the clinic is not equipped for, etc.  I am glad I read it.  I think everyone should know what goes on in the world. I admire those who give of their time and talents to those in need.

On a lighter note, I have also been reading some of the Inspector Montalbano mysteries written by Andrea Camilleri.  I read The Smell of the Night, Rounding the Mark, and The Patience of the Spider.  I am currently reading The Paper Moon.  And I have another two in my library queue.  While I was in the Navy in my much younger years, I lived for 2.5 years in Sicily.  All the Inspector Montalbano books are set in Sicily and so I find them to be a great read. The descriptions of the trattorias and the food and the roads, etc. all make me feel nostalgic.

I wanted to read Farm City: the education of an urban farmer by Novella Carpenter, but didn’t have time.  I tried to extend it for another 2 weeks, but someone else had put a hold on it.  So I will have to reserve it again — but not until I finish the books I currently have.

Currently on my reading table, I have Moosewood Restaurant Simple Suppers, the last 2 Harry Potter books (I am re-reading the Half-Blood Prince before reading the last book — Deathly Hallows), My Life in France by Julia Child with Alex Prudhomme, The House of Lost Souls by Francis Cottam, and The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa.

After seeing Julie and Julia, I just had to read My Life in France.

So, tonight is my second picnic this week.  Tomorrow morning I think I will get the pug out early for a walk, then head to the farm market and my hair appointment after that.  Then a bit of shopping to restock basics like coffee, creamer, lettuce for the bunny, etc. And then put my house back together after the fashionista’s whirlwind of laundry, sorting, tearing apart, packing — aaaah.  I don’t think she left me any clean towels, and I have not opened the door to her room, but I am guessing she didn’t really clean it or anything.  I did leave the vacuum outside her door, but since I never heard it running, I think she missed the hint.