Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Random Thoughts of 1-29-08

I still need to download my photos from our San Francisco trip ... Anyway, the only thing going on around here is work, and lots of it -- I am so stressed out and busy and worried and focused and distracted and achy in so many places that I am not any fun to be around. Oy vey. And, I'm catching my husband's cold. Poor thing -- he has been so sick with this cold. Every time he starts to feel better for a while, he starts to feel crappy again. Oh well, it's Tuesday, so thank goodness Carl was there to comfort us. Speaking of Carl, here is a sweet blog entry written by his widow, Ann Druyan, on the 10-year anniversary of his death. It's titled "Ten Times Around The Sun Without Carl."

I did manage to get out of the office for walks yesterday and today. The light was so beautiful yesterday (especially reflecting off of the sycamores). Today, there were scads of robins on my walk, which cheered me up for a bit. Nature will keep you sane.

I'd like to go to the Folsom Quilt Show this weekend, so I really hope I don't get too sick.

Good night,

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Something gross and something cool

Haggis ban an offal burden? Scotland is considering lobbying the United States to lift a ban on haggis.

Text (original and translation) of "Ode to a Haggis" (aka "Address to a Haggis," aka "To a Haggis"), by Robert Burns.

Recipe for vegetarian haggis (this sounds much tastier than the original, and I'm not just saying that because I'm a vegetarian)

Speaking of vegetarian food, my husband and I are vegetarians, and we visited San Francisco last weekend with another vegetarian couple. On Saturday night, we ate at the The Millennium Restaurant (located in The Hotel California) where everything on the menu is vegetarian (actually, I think it might be all vegan). It was so cool to eat somewhere where everything on the menu is "safe." They also had a selection of fine grape juices bottled by vineyards. We had a delicious bottle of Pinot Noir grape juice.

On Saturday night, we stayed at The Hotel California
-- unlike The Eagles song, we were able to leave :-) Our room was bright and cheery -- the ceiling and three of the four walls were sunny yellow and one wall was sky blue. There was a painting on the ceiling of cool swirly designs and birds. The walls were decorated with colorful advertisements from the twenties and thirties, and the floor was a pale wood with a very thick and shiny coating of polish and a dark wood border around the edge of the room. There were a couple of hand-painted quotes on a couple of the walls near the ceiling.

We birded around San Francisco on Saturday and Sunday, and I will tell you what we found later. I have to go rustle up some grub before Carl comes on at 6:00.

Ta ta for now,

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sergei's a flower

Remember the peonies? Well, I forgot to mention something. When I brought them home, I showed them to my husband, and I raved about how big one of them was. He said “It’s a bronco of a bloom.” That melted my heart and made me giddy. Why? Well, that line is from a poem that I read to him YEARS ago, and he remembered the line, and quoted it at the most wonderful moment. I told my friend at work this, and she said that he “scored major husband points” for this. So, I must share the poem with you:

by Ruth Herschberger

I said, I fear and resent men.
He said, I’m not a man, I’m a flower.

Sergei’s a flower –
What a flower!
A broncho of a bloom.

Carnation, rose?
A soft primrose?
Chrysanthemum, or whom?

Sergei’s a bower –
What a bower!
A grapevine of delight.

Sergei’s a pose,
A yellow rose,
A stallion in the night.

The poem is from an anthology that my best friend and I picked up copies of years ago – Fine Frenzy: Enduring Themes in Poetry.

Good night,

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Billions and Billions

They are showing Cosmos on The Science Channel. The first episode played last night. I kept waiting for Carl to say "billions and billions," but he never did. He did say "billions" and "trillions" and maybe"billions of trillions." Ah, Carl ... so sincere and such a goober. I can't believe he's been dead for over a decade.

My husband and I read to each other. I read to him in bed most nights, and I read to him in the car during long road trips. He reads me entries from The Columbia Encyclopedia and interesting snippets from whatever book he happens to be reading at the time. After we watched Cosmos last night, he read me several entries from the encyclopedia related to people and institutions mentioned in the program.

So, I'm off to bed. We just started Early Bird: A Memoir of Premature Retirement last night. It's pretty funny so far. Both of us worked late today, so we're going to bed early.

Good night,

Monday, January 7, 2008

Crafts, etc.

A friend at work gave me this cute pasta. We enjoyed it. To quote my husband as he ate, “This is good.” We love all animals, including cats. By the way, please keep your cats inside. They kill a great deal of wildlife.

Here are some bookmarks that I made recently as presents:


Check out the cool bamboo button on the cat bookmark: The dog applique is Terry the Terrier from The Cute Book by Aranzi Aronzo.

Here is a tiny cat that I embroidered and framed and gave to friend at work who has an orange cat. The circle of fabric is about 2 and ¼ inches in diameter.
Both cats are from a pattern in Simple Embroidery (part of the most excellent Klutz series).

The bamboo button came from a big box of assorted buttons that I bought at the crafts store. Am I strange because I enjoyed sorting all of those buttons by color into ice cube trays? Who cares? I am not a neat, orderly person at all, but sorting the buttons was soothing. Perhaps I'll dump them in a bag and sort them again :-) Not tonight, though. It's time for bed.

Good night,

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Movies

I saw The Golden Compass yesterday -- VERY entertaining, and I loved its support of free thought, free inquiry, and strong females. It was a visual spectacle, and the sound system in the theater was awesome -- when the Ice Bears roared, it was earth-shaking. I love animals, and the movie was full of them. A minor complaint -- one of the villains had a snake as his daemon (in the story, daemons aren't bad in and of themselves; they are the animal spirit manifestation of each person's personality), and I don't appreciate the continued vilification of snakes.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Random Thoughts of 1-4-08

I bought these gorgeous peonies a couple of weeks ago. They made me so happy. They were enormous. It's fun to watch flowers open over a number of days. There is a new development every day.

OK, now for something to break you out of the peony reverie. I saw a recipe on the internet today that includes the following ingredients: Ritz crackers, pineapple chunks, cheddar cheese, and an entire stick of butter. No comment.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

New Year's Day

I’ve got tons to share, but I will just cover New Year’s for now – my back has been hurting 24/7 for the past few weeks, and sitting is not fun.

On New Year’s, we usually go birding. Yesterday, we hiked about five miles in the northern portion of the Folsom Lake State Recreation Area.

The Rufous-crowned Sparrows were very cooperative.

The Rock Wrens were numerous.

There were lots of cool fungi. My husband said that I have “the makings of a mycologist.” Mushrooms are so charming.

We watched a Merlin groom itself (my photos of it are quite bad, so I won't share those).

In other news …the Rio Cosumnes Christmas Bird Count (CBC) is tomorrow – the last CBC that we will participate in during this count period (December 14, 2007 – January 5, 2008).

Good night,