Saturday, January 31, 2009


I started a dedicated book review blog. Behold.

And in the next will be newness on the embrita blog.

But right now our landlord is using oven cleaner to do something with the exhaust fan in the kitchen (built up grease, I believe) and while it is odorless I'm still getting high.

So there's that...

I'm in Dallas starting next Wednesday. There's greatness planned, weather permitting. Inspiration here.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Goodies on the Doorstep

So this morning, like the good Suburban Housewife I've become, I shuffled to the front door in my robe and slippers (with my cup of coffee) to kiss Husband goodbye on his way to work. Imagine our sheer delight when we open the door to find this:

It's a box o' farm fresh tasty business from these guys, whom I found here, and who were recommended by an aquaintance in the area.

Even more exciting than the box are the contents. Behold:

There's also a handy list and explanation of what to expect in the winter:

A closeup of our selection:

and two more little notes:

I'm ok with no salad mix. I love salads, but with all the other goodness I can make a red leaf lettuce salad. Also, red leaf lettuce is better on panini's than salad mix.

I don't know what Romanesco is, but I know what broccoli is and we love broccoli.

There's also recipes for some of the items, which is good because I don't know the first thing to do with some of that. I know, from When Harry Met Sally, that you can grill radicchio.

And since I feel that I've waxed poetic about having a local diet enough, I'll just direct you to those previous blogs:

the one that started it all

the one in which I became proactive
(yes, research is proactive)

the one in which I lecture/give tips on how to have a green lifestyle
(being a Locavore is part of that)

the one in which eating locally is Step Five in my 12 steps to save the world

the one in which we drive to the country and reenact scenes from Super Mario Brothers 2 figure out how to make all that food fit in our fridge...and plan menus!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

CPSIA Blog Today

In case you've missed it, there's legislation in the works that- in the name of protecting our children from lead paint - will kill small craftmen and women.

I'm not doing it Justice, but Designmom did. Read about it here.

Also I've kept the embrita blog up more than this one because my life lately has revolved around my house. And we all know I like to compartmentalize.

So there you go.

And I just posted that because I like that she's pretty and she's biking. And that she used brown shoes to pop. It's very nice :-) It's Ellen Page, btw. Better known to some as Juno.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Go West, Young Man

Something big happened yesterday. I watched in on (Watching an Inauguration on television is SOOOOOO 2004)

Like everyone, I was moved. I was relieved. I was elated. I was veklempt. And then he said something that gave me pause. In a good way. From the transcript:

"In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given. It must be earned. Our journey has never been one of shortcuts or settling for less. It has not been the path for the fainthearted -- for those who prefer leisure over work, or seek only the pleasures of riches and fame. Rather, it has been the risk-takers, the doers, the makers of things -- some celebrated, but more often men and women obscure in their labor -- who have carried us up the long, rugged path toward prosperity and freedom.

For us, they packed up their few worldly possessions and traveled across oceans in search of a new life.

For us, they toiled in sweatshops and settled the West; endured the lash of the whip and plowed the hard earth.

For us, they fought and died, in places like Concord and Gettysburg; Normandy and Khe Sahn.

Time and again, these men and women struggled and sacrificed and worked till their hands were raw so that we might live a better life. They saw America as bigger than the sum of our individual ambitions; greater than all the differences of birth or wealth or faction."

I have just returned from a place where worldly possessions were sold and packed, and a journey West was undertaken. It put my own journey West into sharp contrast. More photos:
Gingerbread like town

The Church

These people, the Boozers, were farmers in this tiny little Swiss town. They sold everything they owned, packed up the rest, and boarded a boat. They wound up in Saxe Gotha Township in South Carolina. Ulrich - the head of the family, was a Tory. They were farmers for 4 generations and served in two wars (some speculate that one of the women in the family was a spy in the civil war...)

Virgil (a minister), Essie (nee Wyse), and Herman...taken in 1897-98. The fifth generation of Americans. To think that they went from being poor farmers to this in a few generations. This is what America is about.

So I'm thinking - if they could do all of that and become what they became, then Cali is going to bow to my will. Clearly I'm made of strong stuff.

I was going to be all deep and moving and then I lost it. I'll let Obama be deep and meaningful for me.

And I'm thankful for a president who can speak in complete sentences. Who respects science as well as faith (all faiths). And who doesn't look like - as a friend put it - he's contemplating navel lint. And yay! Young children in the White House. What this country needs is a shot of youth.

Friday, January 16, 2009

The things you find...

If I'd waited a month to post this, it would have been turned in 20 years ago exactly. Given that I continue to have cats I know the answer is that canned food wins every time. It is second only to chasing something and then only when the mood strikes the animal. Cats are reliable like that.

This was found in one of our file cabinets along with a sheaf of pink notebook paper (I was 10) upon which there were other assignments and several notes about my lack of personal application. Luckily it wasn't very long after that when there was some kind of universal test and it was determined that I was bored. So they put me in some advanced classes...where I continued to fail to apply myself. In fact, that lasted pretty much through college. My opinion was that if I could get solid B's regardless of whether I cracked a book or not, then I was going to fill my time doing interesting things. Exceptions: most of my math classes required me to work VERY hard for B's...economics required hard work for C's. And classes I would have attending even if they hadn't been mandatory often saw me breaking the curve.

Perhaps I should have been Montessori'd/Home Schooled.

Ironically I'm considering a Masters. But if P-Boo could do it in 1926, I can do it 83 years later.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

...and we're back...

In limited release, that is.

111 boxes. I think I've got about 8 or 10 left to go. I know what you're thinking: that's a lot of boxes. And you'd be RIGHT. We don't have that much stuff. It feels like it right now, because it's all exploded onto table and countertops and not very organized, but in truth, we genuinely only hold on to things that we use. So. Where did the need for all the boxes come from?

Poor. Packing. I'm sure it was a LARGE case of CYA on the part of the men sent to pack up our belongings...except for the death of the limited-edition Bowie 45 that I found tossed into the bottom of the cd box...

This is Mr. Potato Head. He's a keychain. I own one (mine is wearing his black bowler hat) and last night while looking for important yet elusive paperwork, we came across him. Wrapped in two-three sheets of paper ALL BY HIMSELF.

Don't get me wrong. I love my Mr. Potato Head keychain. I have him hanging from my bulletin board and when I get stuck or bored I fiddle with him and it's amusing. But Mr. Potato Head is plastic. And he fits inside the slinky, which was also wrapped by itself.

You see where I'm going with this.

Anyway, this is what the guest room looked like after the movers were finished with it:

It's better now, but only slightly. Most of those wardrobe boxes are Steve's. Most of the clothing boxes were Steve's. (Think back to that envious story of the crazy boss, the closet full of expensive Italian clothing, and Steve's new Wardrobe...right.)

That picture is just funny to me. It's boxes of Chicken broth.

Oh, and our Home Depot looks like it was designed by the Jetsons, which I dig. I've been there a lot. You can imagine.

After the last post, there was (obviously) the move, but there was also a trip to Switzerland:

(photo by SIL)

And a wedding:

(Steve on left, looking less Jewish than beloved life-long friend on the right...who is also not Jewish)

All good times. Going to try and keep the house-related blogging over on the design blog...for whatever that's worth now. Trying to keep the post-move melancholy to a minimum as well. Anyone who's ever picked up and moved across the country will understand. For the most part it's great, and then there comes that moment when I think "it'd be really nice to catch up with someone right about now" but then I look at the clock and realize they're sleeping/commuting/etc because they're in a different time zone. Blargh.

Also...melancholy is probably spurred a little today by Sad News. I know that no one likes Sad News, but it is part of life. So I'm going to share, in the hopes that it will make me feel better. Because it's my blog and I can.

Last night my mom called to tell me that the Uncle's Partner (for the better part of 2 decades) has fallen ill. Before Christmas he had a heart attack and has had several since and the prognosis was bad enough that they took him off of the support machines yesterday. She'd just gotten off the phone with her oldest sister. I met him once, years ago. I stayed in their house in San Francisco. I remember him as quiet, pleasant, and very warm. I was shy, he was shy, and we were in the company of close siblings who don't get to see each other enough. But I genuinely like him and enjoyed his company. It was also clear to anyone with eyes that he and my uncle truly truly loved each other. They became the anecdotal argument I used whenever anyone opposing gay marraige said something heartless like "gay men are promiscuous" or "it's an affront to traditional marriage." Their relationship, to me at least, proved that love transcends all of those arguments.

Several of their friends gathered with them. They played cards and were singing songs and generally having as positive an atmosphere as they could. He passed in the night.

My heart breaks for my uncle. I am sad that the world is now missing a soul like Michaels.

We sent flowers, of course. It took me ten minutes to write the card.

I truly hope that at the end of my time with Steve that we are surrounded by friends and family and we can say that we had long, happy years together. I wish that for you, too.