Friday, December 30, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

everything but the kitchen sink soup

Alas it befalls me to tell the tale of lunch. It is one of those days wherein lunch must be made. Mike is, again, sleeping. I should point out here that Mike is not lazy. Rather, he works while the rest of us sleep and so must sleep when we are up and about in the day time. Anyway, It was the middle of the day. I am still recuperating from a violent bout of asthmatic bronchitis or as I like to call it, pneumonia. And yet I am hungry. I think that some of the meds make me more so.
The fridge is a fright. There- it is out. There are things in that crisper that should never be named. I beheld the spectacle with woe (and hunger) and no small amount of fear. And then, armed with the ever present fat free half and half, and left over chicken broth, I resolved to make the soon to be famous, 'everything but the kitchen sink soup.'
There was asparagus and garlic and broccoli. there was a pepper and some grapes. No silly, I did not use the grapes. One does not add grapes to the soup unless one comes from the west coast. There were a few desultory apples. There was a longish portion of baguette left from the once and former accidental potato soup, which might make rather nice croutons if coated with some olive oil, mustard powder, onion, dried basil and dusted with parmesan.
And the carrots were still crisp enough to be lightly steamed and served just so.
And behold: there was lunch.
While I was about lunch, I found some prehistoric filo dough in the freezer and resolved to make use of those three slightly shriveled apples to concoct what can loosely be called dessert. I am no master of filo dough and my hat is off to the chefs who make it look easy to roll up some chopped apples and hazelnuts with nary a shred in the fine leafs and make it look wonderful. But I will say it was not actually on the plates long enough for us to bemoan its lack of gustatorial beauty.
And so you have the tale of lunch. And the fridge is clean.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

accidental soup

Recipe for roasted burnt garlic and potato soup
I was hungry. I was sickly, trying to get over a tenacious debilitating upper respiratory infection. Mike was sleeping. We were down to a few old potatoes ( the ugly ones that no one wants to bother with, too puny, too gnarly). I may have been running a fever. 
Are you feeling sorry for me yet?
So I peeled the potatoes and began the boil. Found half an onion in the fridge, some garlic in the garlic keeper on the counter and tossed it all in the pot. After the potato softened I drained the pot, leaving a little of the original water in it and added the chicken broth left over from who knows when 
and then! the coup de gras ...fat free half and half. 

I put it on a low flame and went back to the couch and forgot about it. 

Until Mike woke up and asked  what I was burning. 
I leapt from my nest and ran to the kitchen-about four feet, and found my soup in a near burned condition, thick and browning at the edges and just barely salvageable. and it was the. best. soup. ever. 
Have I re-invented the twice baked potato soup of some once and former time? It is delicious. The burned garlic makes it so. The onions are indistinguishable and the consistency is of mashed potatoes and extra gravy. 

The first time, since I burned it, I did not need a roux. I was tempted to add butter but declined. Mike added pepper. I could imagine left over ham, or capers and anchovies or indeed even a de chickenifed vegetarian version. I suppose you could pre roast the garlic, make biscuits from scratch and add sherry, if you are so inclined, but I am satisfied with the simplicity of my accidental soup.
It is the hit of the season! A humble soup. A gratifying fare, and as I bake the pillsbury grands rolls from a tube to go with it, and consider an extra dab of butter, I thought I would share this story of my new re invention. 
Welcome to our winter table.

on lists and to do's

For me a list serves as a kind of placeholder. Once i write it is like a mental bookmark. I am more likely to remember it! Like Marilyn, I often loose them. Like Theresa, my list making has changed over the years.
I keep journals and sometimes make a list in them and I use computers, spreadsheets and iphone reminders and pencils and pens. Like I said, it is soothing to me and gives me some sense of order-I can put something on a list and let it rest there for a while. It is safe. I will not forget it. Sometimes I even make a painting out of it.
You might even say I love list making. It is an extension of my writing and it centers me. So much for the lofty side of list making. I poke fun at myself. My lists are optimistic. They are a look at what I would like to accomplish but I do not use them to beat myself up. 
It is interesting to see all of the different approaches and methods and opinions of lists. I like it when the conversation is lively. Being sick has given me a chance to participate a bit more.As I get back to work I will not have this much to say. 
I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas , Kwanzaa, Hanukah, Solstice, New Year and all that your wishes are fulfilled:)
Here is a copy of a list I made in a spreadsheet in 2009. Some things have been done and others are still in progress...and some other things were accomplished and never made the list!
I will be making a New Years list. Will you?

Saturday, December 17, 2011

this time

I made a list of twelve things I would like to finish. 
I decided to split them between quilted and knitted things, six of each. 
I know I have more things buried in my stash but this is a good place for me to begin. Some are already mostly done. 
One quilt needs a binding. 
Two are ready to be sent to the quilter. I have two shawls that are nearly done and just need a border. 
Then I allowed myself a couple of new items-more later. 
and I added an entry for 'guest finish'. I crack myself up.

I am feeling better. Still out of work for the week due to this bronchial infestation but today I have not coughed at all and that is a relief after three weeks of constant hacking. Thankful to modern medicine. 

This year I have put up no tree, done no baking-yet, done zero shopping. Just made neckwarmers. As always I feel like it is not enough. But my kids are adults. And we are all able bodied working folk, so none of need to be showered with extraneous stuff. Each year I think I do not need to over do ( And mind you with four kids and various spousi there are a lot of stockings to fill)
and I plan to scale back and always I feel like I am not doing enough. This may be the year I do not reneg on my promise to myself and let go of the mania. Just this once.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December poem

I have used the nine or so lives of this house. 
they are neatly crossed utensils lain just so on an encrusted plate,
In a glance I recall exactly what was there
and what was used to create it
and who made the art and what it is made of and
I know where the light switches are
on which side of the wall when you enter the room
and what the wall feels like 
and the smell of the paint as it dried lingering for days until it became cool and powdery to the touch 
and the first flaw and the layers that compounded
and the when it began to look like it needed a new coat and the time it became apparent that there would not be one.
how many steps to the stairs and which way to turn to go up and the table by the door that must be avoided so as not to leave a nasty bruise on the thigh.
I have used this small house and it has been a theatre for the dramas of my company
each actor performing simultaneously in their own private act.
Sometimes the effect was cacophony and poly rhythmic
and other times a quiet as the ticking of the clock on the wall-the one that stopped at ten past two and was not restarted for years.
and when it finally resumed its tick tocking,
the cat was alarmed and strove to get to the closest point on top of the adjacent wardrobe to investigate. She nearly fell off. I took a picture. the things you will see if you watch: all happening right in front of you and all around you and inside of you. 
all combined until you think you are one with it and then it vanishes
and all you have are your own thoughts tick tocking 
and it is enough

Sunday, December 11, 2011


these- I have three
or these.. ! have four.
The thing about being sick enough to stay home from work, is while you are home you do not have the energy to actually do all of the things that you would like to be doing at home. I would like to be accomplishing something more than napping and coughing but I am not likely to be doing so for the next few days. So this is me, upright for the moment, wishing I were doing something more constructive and trying to be patient while the body gets better.
**I did find a few buttons**

Saturday, December 03, 2011


About 2500 stitches in a little over six hours. Binding accomplished.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

no news is good news.......

Gratuitous cat picture...33 inches, and not even trying.

Macy's Window.
Very steam punk.

Not much Quilty news here lately. I have been commuting to the city and enjoying the holiday atmosphere.
Hmm a new Apple Store in Grand Central Station.......

Monday, November 28, 2011

Traveling, a winter poem

I was that one youth
sprawled in the subway train
one leg cocked up against the pole in the 
center of the car
whose body was so unconscious of its display
as to actually draw attention to itself. 
I was not the one with the orange lipstick drawn on in broad strokes 
and a jaunty perfect linen buttoned vest and the collar peeking out just so,
who throws back her shoulders and says 
I do not feel old,
and then turns to me 
and furtively asks, can I learn this?
I was not the girl lying on the floor behind the sub way station ticket booth, young and laying with her coiffed head upon her small purse, 
with a coat draped over her legs, be-stockinged in aubergine. 
I was shocked to see her there. she did not have the gray aura and odor of the homeless. 
She did not have a big sack of belongings with her. 
I looked closer at her face and I was surprised to realize she was looking back at me. 
I was not her, although I could have been.
or the tall sturdy almost plump one in the pink wool empire waisted coat
with the pink scarf tied tightly around her throat twice,
with the knot squarely in the center of her long neck-
her determined boots echoed in the subway tunnel, 
and she felt me watching her and stared straight ahead. 
I imagined she felt exposed. 
I have felt that way. 
I may have been the guy who was gracefully perched against the tiled wall 
in the 42 st ‘n’ train stop. 
He was beautiful and all the way across two sets of train tracks so I could safely gaze upon him and I imagined him to be a dancer or an actor on a stage.
he was sitting there so serenely,
unconscious of the filthy loud station. or of my notice. 
or maybe that was a part of his performance. 
when the autumn day is a bit cool and hazy, 
as the warmth from the earth meets the cooler air,
and the mist causes water droplets to form on my skin-
then I feel the swirling of my ghosts around me and I am 
pulled inward to a place which exists only in some inner dimension  
and not in any present tense 
and I realize 
I am still looking for myself,
seeking my history, my bond with these people 
who I see only from the outside -though
I rise and fall on their stance and posture ,
and I dance and sway on their words
which I recall in my own conversations
from elsewhere 
and possibly in another time. 
I feel no shame in observing them thus. 
by necessity, I am a voyeur. 
I was excluded from their table. I did not partake of their horn of plenty.
I was shunned. and
no one looked into my face to see me looking back.
As I watch the people 
in their orbits
and measure their response,
and participate in their trajectories,
I realize I am looking for an opening 
into my own understanding.
I am looking for a way back in.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Saturday, November 19, 2011

And now back to our regularly scheduled programing...
Bonnie Hunter, the czarina of scraps has come out with a new mystery and I am in!!
It is called Orca Bay and I am going to try very hard to use only what I have on hand. Since the quilt uses special rulers, I was hesitant, but I found them in a polka dotted suitcase that I brought back from Florida. Both Rulers. Right there. In the black and white, polka dotted, linseed oil smelling suitcase that was specially designed not to get lost and/or stolen in the airport, by none other than my mother. I imagine if she added charisma to her many talents, we would be reading about her in Vogue. Be that as it may.
So the hunt is on. I will be entering the dragon's lair to pluck some feathers and sequester some fabric to begin. It has been many months since I braved the cool environs of my sewing room. Armed with Netflix and a cuppa tea, I go.

If I am not out by six, call the mounties.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

amongst the dragons

Cecil sweeps
with vigor
and purpose-

no dust bunny  is safe,
nor dragon,

nor passerby.

He will likely not meet your eye unless invited.
Say hello Cecil.
Hello Cecil.

Cecil channels energy,
tai chi,
he says.
He is always courteous,
adroitly making his way.

He sometimes smiles wryly-
the humor of the situation amuses him. He gets it.

We are all Supreme Beings, Cecil,
channeling chi,
observers of comings and goings,
learning new rules with humor and grace,
striving for balance,
heroically wielding our brooms against
the bloody dragons.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Note to self ;

Note to self ;
If the Muse visits in the middle of the night and you do not wake to greet her
You may still see vestiges of her presence in the morning when you wake:
Hair on the pillow,
An empty glass with her lipstick on the rim, and you may hear the far off tinkling of the keys,
But you will never remember the words that she spoke so clearly then
Quatrain. Sestina.
In the morning light
they are but dim
silent stars.


Saturday, November 05, 2011

Finished nonibag

Bought kit in rhinebeck, finished knitting on halloween, added hardware today. Must be some kind of record.

Birthday breakfast

Friday, November 04, 2011

November poem.

We did not take care of each other
As women must.
Ignoring your need,
We bent to our own lives and turned away from your outrageous pain.
And now your keening fills up what little silence we have left
And your dreams inhabit our sleep
Insistent querulous demanding.

As I walk downtown
Past galleries and shop
Windows filled with colorful baubles
I think how sad it is that I cannot share this with you. I take notice of a picture and deep in the recesses of my thoughts I am having a conversation with you about it. I regret that you are unable to see it with me , that we wasted what small chance we had. It is from you that I have this discerning eye. It is from you that i learned to see.
Yesterday described a woman to me
Her nails were a mess
You said
And I thought how much worse it really was for you,ludicrous really, coming from
Who had nothing
and yet it bothered you enough to notice that some ones manicure needed attention.

I made mental note to write this down. To preserve this thought so I could remember it for later. to try and understand it better, to decipher the code, balm the dried lips of the lie-
this certainty of our failure to heed what we needed to heed.
To learn what must be learned
to protect each other.

Those women whose sad songs we sense rising from the ground are the bodies of our failures.
Maybe the biggest failure is that we do not learn from each other's histories and return time and time again to models which as women do not serve to unite and protect us, chattel , whore, mistress, wife, prostitute-all iron maiden degrees of ownership and shame and claim.
How have we helped each other to create more gentle nurturing shapes of safety, solace and fellowship and love.
those women whose bodies are found half buried in the eroding wetland dunes, how did they come to be there if we did not ourselves turn from them because they did not fit into the paradigm of worth that we subscribe to. how did we give away our power thus and submit ourselves to the murderous intent of a sinister model-one that we both abhor and create,
allowing ignorance to be our teacher and fear to be our arbiter.


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Unfelted to felted

finished knitting 10/29
So this is the New York Bag By Noni Designs, before felting. I will add another picture, post wash, to show the difference in size, and then I will go knit something else. p.s. the blanket  covering my feet is one I crocheted when pregnant with Jen, 31 yrs gone by. That acrylic yarn certainly holds up!
Felted and wonderful! needs to dry before adding handle and feet and closure.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

George and Diana.

Many of you will remember Hersheybar from the Dear Jane list. Well she has finished her Dear Jane!!!
She says she made it for her Grand daughter who is now 14 and she will give it to her when she is married and old enough to take care of it. Linda also kept a journal of the process to leave her grand child. What a wonderful gift!I have seen these blocks up close. They are all hand pieced and each one is perfection!
click on picture to enlarge.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Why I do not need to go to Rhinebeck

Artists do need palettes and I do support my creative self. I was all set to go to Rhinebeck this year, and then decided to do a photographic inventory of my actual yarn stash. This little collage represents part of it. My eventual plan is to attach all of it to needles and projects with charts and manage it in the consumer database program called Bento. So you see how it has taken over my life. I need a database program to organize my hobby. But since I like actual collecting and organizing and Bento, I guess I can call it all a part go what it is that I do with this creative energy that I have in good supply.
My palette

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Night, Steve.

some zoo pics

from the porch step...

Still green but def autumnal

A visitor of the raptor family. looks like a young hawk.
Interested observer

Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Today I was a domestic goddess.