Thursday, November 29, 2007


dan is jamming in my ear as i type. he's playing music at the waldorf school christmas bazaar on saturday and so is rehearsing now.

this evening i ran off to the thrift store in search of pans to melt beeswax in for the candle dipping activity at the bazaar. i found no pans but i found many other treasures. i'm quite pleased with my haul.

first off, gnomama:

and then, the elf slipper:

and this wee seat:

and this whole box of sliver bulbs for $1. they're even made in the u.s.a. does anyone besides me call them bulbs?:

and this very sweet vintage golden book:

and joy of joys, the spca thrift store has a craft section!!!!! i found loads of bias tape, lace, rick rack and embroidery floss stuffed into a couple bags:

and lastly, i thought the embroidery was very sweet on these homemade placemats and napkins. a nice setting for the picnic table on a spring day:

spring day? bah humbug. we want snow!!!!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


how's that for a hit-ya-over-the-head holiday banner? well, it's only a month. i'm trying to get in the spirit folks! my wee digital camera was a christmas present last year, and i think i was a little bit afraid of it at first. so it's one of the few pictures i have from the holiday.

oh and the grinch, it was good fun.

soup season

tonight i made a tibetan soup called thenthuk. a friend from the bay area has a great recipe posted here. the first time i made it the homemade noodles were too thick. the second time the broth wasn't anything to write home about. but tonight it was nearly perfect. we made a chicken in our little rotisserie last night and after dinner i boiled the carcass for a few hours to make a broth. gosh, carcass sounds so awful. but the homemade broth, combined with the left over bits of chicken, some veggies and the nearly perfected noodle strategy made for a delicious soup. i'm not sure if a tibetan would agree, but dan and tashi approved.

we unfortunately had no awesome tibetan hot sauce so instead threw in some kimchee. that actually worked just fine!

it's a busy week. this saturday is the school's christmas bazaar and i somehow fell into the role of organizing our 4th grade candle dipping activity. lots of emails and gathering of supplies and last minute realizations. i look at some of these parents with kids in four different classrooms and i wonder how they do it. dan is going to play music in the cafe and tashi and her friend are going to perform king wenceslas on violin and cello. they rehearsed at our house yesterday. so cute.

speaking of tashi, i've enabled comments on her blog, moderated by me of course. please stop by and say hi to her. if she treats her comments like she does the mailbox, she'll be indignant daily about the lack of correspondence.

and tonight we're going to watch the grinch. i can't wait to see those cute little whos.

Monday, November 26, 2007

my first mosaic

i've seen these photo mosaics around but couldn't figure out how to make one. then i found this website. so i made my first mosaic, rather quickly, of pictures from our visit to new york last april. fun!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

the many thankfulnesses of a thanksgiving holiday

i did not win the writing contest and i'm not really sure what place i might have been in at the end. apparently there was some voter fraud and so the winner was pulled up from below. i don't know the mechanics behind the editor's final decision, but the winning story is a good one. i'm sure many women who have traveled alone in india can identify with it. congratulations to rowena m love! i am thankful to have had an opportunity to participate.

and i am thankful for these things that took place over the last four days:

sleeping in

good friends and good conversation on thanksgiving day

pomegranate martinis

turkey, wild mushroom stuffing, cranberry chutney, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, bright beets, sweet potato gratin, and sweet potato coconut cheesecake

crisp walks in cool air

hanging out in pj's 'til well into the afternoon

the green valley book fair

drives through the virginia countryside


fluffy cats

pregnant ladies and their families

a performance by the bread and puppet theater here in charlottesville (a must see!)

hot chocolate with my girl, along with a few toy store visits

board games and snuggling with my loves

the making of my first ever placemat (bend the rules sewing), with several more to go

a sad but good movie rental, before night falls

a few last lingering autumn leaves

i hope you all had a restful, thankful, wonderful holiday and/or weekend!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

have you read the vagabond muse?

hello! if you haven't read my poetic india vignettes yet at the traveling stories magazine, i would be delighted if you did so. i promise it's nothing like getting your teeth pulled. . .

i would be even more delighted if you rated the piece (carefully click on the star of your choice under the story's title).

i would be even further delighted if you rated it a five, but, well, that's entirely up to you of course!

go ahead and rate the other stories while you're at it. and tell your friends to join in on the rating too!

i was in second place for a while there, but have dropped to third. not that i'm competitive or anything!

the winner will be announced on sunday.

thanks to all those who have already participated, and who have left lovely comments. and thanks for bearing with my shameless self promotion!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

something sunday

today was not a total loss. i started to feel a lot better in the afternoon. i sat down with tashi and we made some window stars. precision did not come easily. but the colors made me happy.

i even got out of the house for a while. the fresh air felt good.

this evening tashi helped me cook dinner. she made sure to wear her chef hat the entire time. and then she asked me if she could embroider. i transfered a dove onto some fabric and she got right to work.

little bits of something for a sunday.

wake me up on monday

oh dear, what a weekend. i've relapsed into illness, and even took a trip to the emergency room. after seven hours of being poked, prodded, scanned and ignored, i left with the same knowledge that i had when i entered. i had an unidentified virus and some sort of myalgia. saturday was spent feeling so nauseous that i couldn't even read or watch movies. i spent the whole day curled up on the couch, moaning, and coming in and out of a troubled half sleep. i was finally able to eat a bowl of soup at 10pm.

today i am feeling less nauseous, but am still plagued with leg pain, fatigue and headache. i just don't know what's going on with me. i'm generally extremely healthy. i'll get hit maybe once a year with the flu bug, but it comes and then it goes.

so it's been a real black hole of a weekend so far. i really want to begin sewing some place mats and napkins from bend the rules sewing, holiday gifts i have up my sleeve. but i'm lucky if i can make it as far as the kitchen for a glass of water. right now i'm lying on the couch with the computer on the coffee table, arms stretched out to reach the keyboard. it's a pathetic site.

yesterday tashi went to a birthday part where the kids all got to cook their dinner and dessert. she came home with a chef's hat and lots of inspiration. this morning she made pancakes which i sadly couldn't eat. i'm craving avgolemono, a greek lemon-rice-chicken soup. she's determined to make it for me for lunch.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

and the winner is. . .

there are no losers in the vale.

since i had only three participants in the give-away, and since i have three extra packages of retro magnets, molly, laura and suzanne all win! yay!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

steaming & scheming

today is a dark, dark, wet, cold, dark day.

i'm about to take a super steamy bath. my legs are still incredibly sore from the hike i took sunday. i have to take another hike soon so that my legs don't get so sore when hike. but for now, i'm hoping a steamy bath will bring some relief.

if only i could take the laptop into the bathtub.

thank you for bearing with last night's rant. i feel a lot better. i just seems like everything is moving so fast this year. thanksgiving next week? i still can't believe it. some friends invited us over and i am so relieved. i just wasn't up for doing all the cooking on my own, and just for the three of us. so much effort for so many left overs.

after my bath today i have to run some errands.

tashi told me last night that she loves to sew and embroider. the above is a little pillow she made recently at school. those are her initials. she thinks it's really cool that her initials backwards spell hat.

so i think i'm going to put together a big sewing basket for her. it will include some embroidery hoops, floss, fabric scraps, her own needles, pins and . . . what else? i'd like to throw in some sewing related projects. does anyone have any suggestions for finding hip sewing kits for kids? anything else i might want to add to the basket?

ok time to steam. but first, a cozy photo of loki. a reminder to stay warm, dry and bright eyed!


oh, i just realized, tee hee, there has to be a deadline to a blog give away. let's say midnight, east coast time, this friday.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

mid-week thrift, some thoughts, and my first ever blog give away

is anyone out there so not-at-all-prepared for the encroaching holiday season as i? the local news is already talking about shopper stress, the giant evergreen has been delivered to the downtown mall and blogland is chock full of gift tips and crafty decor. every part of me wants to bury my head in the sand, preferably the white sand of some far off coastline that doesn't celebrate christmas.

ok, i'm sorry.

the essence of it all for me is the winter solstice. the candles, the flaming yule log, the strings of twink-light, all urging the sun to return. the evergreen being that which remains vibrant in the deadest time of year. the presence of faerie. i just have to keep reminding myself of the essence, and of how very magical it can and should be through the eyes of my child.

but this year, for what-ever reason, i have a feeling i'm going to have to battle the scrooge with all my might.

the evil elf pictured above. i found it at the thrift store today.

i also found this awesome cosmetic bag, brand new with tags, $1 instead of $22.

and this little framed picture i so love, age of innocence

even if it costs less than a few lattes a week, this thrifting habit is a little over the top lately. . .

but finally, the grand prize, these magnets, still packaged, $2 instead of $12, made by blueq, which seems to make lots of fun must-have kitsch. can you read the small print?

i had to just stick the whole package on the frig.

there were a few other things, but they're surprises.

and to get myself in the holiday spirit, i'm going to have my first ever blog give-away. i'm a little afraid. what if no one responds?

say hello in my comments, mention something about what keeps you afloat through the holiday season, and make sure to leave your email address. i'll do a random drawing and the winner will receive a package of these fabulous magnets (of course i picked up more than one package!).

you know you want some!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

please take a minute to rate my travel story!

i've entered a writing contest on traveling stories magazine, and if you read my story, you can rate it! the prize is a $125 and a featured link on their site.

the rating stars are under the story's title. the stars should change color as you wave your mouse over them. be careful not to click until your mouse is over the appropriate star (five of course?). you can't rate on an individual's story more than once, but you can rate more than one story.

follow the link here: the vagabond muse: two women of dharamsala, india to read my story and rate!

bend the rules blanket #2

who knew that when ill i'd feel inspired to sew. yesterday i whipped out my second bend the rules blanket. sure i had a relapse into fever when the project was complete. but it was worth it.

this is a gift for a special little girl i saw get born.

it was definitely easier the second time around and i feel like i did a better job on the scallops and the crevices. there are certainly flaws. but that's the charm of first projects isn't it?

Monday, November 12, 2007

monday morning musings

perhaps i've been having too much fun lately because today i am sick in bed. sick in bed with my computer that is. last night i went to sleep around 8:30pm feeling completely wretched. i woke up this morning still feeling wretched, but not quite as bad. so hopefully this will be a small autumn adjustment and all will be well soon.

i mentioned fun. saturday night the surfband dan is in played a tibetan freedom concert at a dive-bar in town. tashi had a sleepover which means i got to go out! surfzilla was great and was followed by some decent acts. for the remainder of the night i played foos ball, something i haven't done since high school. i even scored. in foos ball that is.

i just wish virginia would make it illegal for people to smoke cigarettes in bars and restaurants.

on sunday, after an artichoke frittata made from fresh duck eggs from a friend, dan and i took a fairly rigorous hike in the ragged mountain natural area before picking up tashi. there were a few steep climbs that reminded me of how very out of shape i am. it was so beautiful amongst the changing leaves of autumn and along the edge of the reservoir.

i came home and made meatloaf for my family for the first time ever and then promptly fell ill. i think the late night music followed by a 3.5 mile hike sent me over the edge.

the meatloaf was really tasty, though, no matter what, it's hard to make a meatloaf look pretty. tashi is a little dubious about it in the photo, but she ate it right up. the beef was grass fed free range, purchased at the heritage apple fest i went to recently.