Ten on Tuesday: Labor Day Weekend Edition

Sep 08

CSA zinnia for postcards and leeks for winter soups

CSA zinnia for painting and leeks for winter soups

This week Carole invited us to share ten things Idid this weekend. It’s the unofficial end of summer, but you wouldn’t know it by the gorgeous weather we had! Here are a few highlights:

  1. Picked up tile samples for finishing out our fireplace. This spring we purchased a fireplace insert to make using the fireplace more efficient. Our house is a one-level ranch, which means our dependence on oil should go down. Figuring out how to trick out the surround  has been a puzzle…but I think the tile samples have led to good ideas!
  2. Ate a kiwi. Neal visited his mom and brought her some of our CSA produce. She gave him some kiwis in return. I can’t remember the last time I ate one!
  3. Drank a gin and tonic, the official drink of Chez Golightly’s porch. Is it the last of the season? Maybe…maybe not!
  4. Drank the first Scottish pear of the season. You probably want to drink one, too, so here’s the recipe: 3/4 oz Glenfiddich; 3/4 oz gin; 1 1/2 oz pear nectar; 1/4 oz. lemon juice; 1/2 oz honey syrup (or agave syrup). Mix, serve over ice.
  5. Roasted tomatoes in an effort to have more summer in the freezer come winter.

    My friend Joyce said they looked like pomegranates!

    My friend Joyce said they looked like pomegranates!

  6. Hiked with Oskar. A lot.
  7. Drew and painted more postcards (you can sign up for the #2015PostcardProject and get one for yourself…I need about 75 more people to make it to the end of the year.)
  8. Purchased Frye Campus Boots. My sister had a pair with a braid down the side in the late 70s/early 80s, and at long last, I have a pair of my own. These boots are made in the USA and feel like a million bucks on!
  9. Sewed bias tape using this method Leah from Clementine recommended. I messed it up earlier in the summer, but persistence and slow stitching paid off!
  10. Sewed my first Dress No. 3 from the awesome 100 Acts of Sewing indie pattern line. The long version didn’t flatter me, so I cut it to be tunic length. I think I’m going to live in it this fall…can’t you see it with skinny jeans and Frye campus boots? I’ll be making another one that hits just above my knee.
    Dress No. 3, Oskar approve

    Dress No. 3, Oskar approve

    How about you? What did you do this weekend?

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Ten on Tuesday: American Artists Edition

Jul 21

Two weeks ago I visited the New Britain Museum of American Art to see their Elizabeth Gage exhibit. After the dizzying glory of stunning jewelry, I took a turn around the permanent collection and was reminded of many American artists I admire. Carole‘s prompt to share ten American artists or paintings I liked is perfectly timed! Here’s a short list, in no particular order (not all of them are in the museum’s collection!).

John Singer Sargent: Oh, the stories his portraits tell!

Andrew Wyeth: so many of his paintings leave me feeling serene.

Willem de Kooning: his work scares me a little, like art should at times.

Linda Jean Fisher: Linda Jean’s work is incredible. Her dedication and precision amaze me.

Jackson Pollock: what he does to make chaos visual rocks my world. I get lost when I look at his paintings in person.

Michael Patterson: Michael’s style, so full of motion and great character development, transports me to the scenes he portrays.

Cy Twombly: the curves, the colors, the letters. Swoon!

Sol LeWitt: this conceptual artist’s work made me understand line in a way I never had before. Plus he was a Yankee, just like me!

Mark Rothko: just as Sol LeWitt made me understand line, Rothko taught me how color can come to life.

Cindy Sherman:  Her portraits provoke me!

How about you? Who are some of your favorite American artists?


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Ten on Tuesday: Waiting Room Edition

Aug 05

Carole asked us to create a list of ten things to do in a waiting room. Here’s the thing: sometimes it’s no big deal, hanging out in a waiting room. Sometimes, though, it is a really big, nerve wracking deal.

1. Read. I always have a book on me, even if it’s on my phone. If I anticipate being anxious in the waiting room, I bring a super engrossing book.Dune

2. Knit. Duh.

3. Crochet. This is easier for me to pick up and put down, and if I’m working on something with motifs, it’s extra-portable, too.

4. Write letters. I’m a fan of hand written letters. All too often I fill my days with other activities, though, and miss the opportunity to write a letter, fold it, put it in an envelope and make a pal smile when she opens her mailbox. Writing a letter takes my mind off worries, and it makes me happier.

5. Work. During the semester, I’ll often bring papers to grade or a novel I’m editing for a client.

6. Sketch. I haven’t done this yet, but waiting rooms offer a perfect opportunity to practice sketching faces. I’m taking a few online sketching classes, and I’m inspired to use waiting room time this way.

7. Mind map. Even though I have apps for that, I prefer good old pen and paper (I’m noticing a theme). Whatever problem in my creative or teaching work needs a solution, well, waiting room time is a good time to explore it.

8. Practice breathing. If I’m waiting to go in to something that scares me (MRIs shake me up for days ahead of time), inhaling deeply, feeling my breath circle around inside my body, and exhaling while I pretend I’m an ocean wave helps. Of course, this might freak out your fellows in the waiting room. But isn’t it better to be relaxed?

9. Edit pictures. I don’t have any fancy editing programs on my computer, so if I’m going to edit, a lot of times, I’ll use an app on my iPad or iPhone. This has double benefit–I’m using time productively, and I get to smile when I see the things I enjoy in pictures.

10. Day dream. Why not embrace the inability to be any where else and day dream? I like to imagine what ifs–what if I moved back to New Mexico? What if we sold our house and drove cross country in an RV? What if we move to Maine? What if I change careers? What if we build our addition? What if I rearrange my studio?

I’m heading to the doctor today to get checked out; I arrived from Paris with some kind of lingering ick. My plan is to bring crochet, a book, and my sketchbook, just in case I have a long wait.

What do you like to do to amuse yourself in a waiting room?

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Ten on Tuesday: Recently Read Edition

Mar 25

I can’t wait to see what every one else responding to Carole’s request for Last Ten Books Read lists. I’m building up my summer break reading list!

Here are my last ten books read (I’m not including work-related books):

1. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell. This is sweet without being saccharine. As a graduate ca. 1987, the cultural references made the book nostalgic for me, too. I would have worn this out when I was in middle school.

2. Noah’s Compass by Anne Tyler. Well, I’m listening, and I’m not quite finished. It, not surprisingly, reminds me a LOT of her The Accidental Tourist, only with older characters. I’m not wowed by it, but the story telling is solid, and I’m interested in what happens to the characters.

3. Beautiful Wreck by the beautiful Larissa Brown. Read my review on Goodreads here. And read this book. I love it.

4. Song of the Lark by Willa Cather. I confess to being a HUGE fan of Cather’s. Shoot, I planned a trip around seeing her house (do you like going to writers’ homes? My number one favorite touristy thing to do!) This book made me weep. I mean, the last page had me sobbing. There were sentences that made my heart beat faster.

5. How Animals Grieve by Barbara King. I’m not usually a big non-fiction fan, but this was one of the best books I read in 2013. I gave it to several people after finishing it. Fascinating subject, and an excellent model of research engaging the reader. My Goodreads review.

6. Dog Shaming by Pascale Lemire. It’s cute if you like funny pictures of dogs.

7. The Silver Star by Jeannette Walls. I enjoyed this, but I found it predictable at times. Still, the writing is enjoyable, and the characters about which we care the most are portrayed effectively.

8. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. It’s a good reminder to just get your damn work done.

9. Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini. I listened to this while I commuted and hiked my dogs. The writing left me cold, and I’m no history buff (at least of this period), so my indifference may be that I’m not the audience for the book.

10. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I’m cheating. I read this last summer. But I loved it so much, and I want you to read it, too!

What have you been reading?

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Ten on Tuesday: I Am Edition

Feb 04

This week, Carole invited us to write ten sentences that start with “I am…”

Frost lace

Frost lace

1. I am optimistic.

2. I am reading Nancy Drew The Secret of the Old Clock with a few knitting friends. Teenage girls had sophisticated vocabularies in 1930/59.

3. I am learning to knit Eastern Uncrossed, or as Donna told me it is called in Lithuanian books, Močiutės Mezgimas. I took a class at my LYS on Saturday, and it renewed my interest in knitting. I’d been in a knitting slump.

4. I am knitting Maren for my Olympics project.

5. I am on my third swatch for Maren. I know, stop the press. I knit the first my usual English style, and the next Eastern Uncrossed. Holy gauge difference! The swatch I’m knitting now is looking better since I switched from 7s to 5s.

6. I am excited to watch the Olympics. I prefer the winter games to the summer.

7. I am looking for new winter vegetarian recipes. Please share links!

8. I am eager to start Oskar’s next round of training. We couldn’t take the February intermediate because of scheduling conflicts; March can’t come fast enough!

9. I am ready for spring, although the winter wonderland created by a fresh 3″ of snow is pretty.

10. I am curious. Tell me what you are!

Yesterday Neal sent me a link to this video of Neil Gaiman reading Green Eggs and Ham. Perfect for today’s prompt!

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Ten on Tuesday: Best of ’13 Edition

Jan 07

Carole asked us to share 10 Favorite Moments of 2013. It’s hard to limit to ten!

1.My sister’s eldest, Drew, visited in January. We took the train to NYC, saw the Beatrix Potter exhibit at the Morgan, and enjoyed pastries at my favorite NYC cafe.  IMG_1007

2. My birthday dinner with Neal. A blizzard hit, and Neal spent the day snow blowing and shoveling. He then took me skiing, and finally, to a lovely dinner.IMG_1086

3. Playing with Maddie in the brook during the spring.


4. Spending loads of time in Paris. I especially loved wandering Shakespeare and Company while listening to this young woman play the piano.

SandCo5. A sunny day in Montplaisir that ended with time spent watercoloring.

watercolor in MontPlaisir6. Morning and evening visits at Montplaisir from my four-legged friend (I named him Arno).



7. A lovely afternoon in Camon, where nearly every doorway is covered in roses, with artist Cassandra Einstein and her charming musical husband.



8. Time shopping in the Parisian markets with Sara. Well, let’s just say all moments with Sara were top moments!

market9. Enjoying time on the beautiful screened porch that Neal built me. This included our fun-filled Open Porch Wednesdays (the porch was open to all from 6-9 with drinks and snacks at the ready…I can’t wait for summer to start it up again!), time napping, reading, chatting, watercolor paining, and writing. And…before the screens went in, I saw our clutch of phoebes learn to fly!


10. Bringing little Oskar into our family. Moments when we hiked together, watched the pups all playing, celebrated Tilly’s return to health as she ran with the new dog, remembered sweet Maddie when Oskar did something just the way she used to.


There are thousands of great memories from 2013, most of them revolving around Neal, my best pals, my family, my mutts, my creative outlets, and teaching. What are some of your favorite moments from 2013?





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