Mostly I just putter.

Doctoral student, amateur cook, beginning sewer.

Mostly I just putter.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Get Ready...

Banned Books week starts tomorrow. Just a quick refresher on why it's important to "celebrate":


The Mister and I finally checked out the library in our new neighborhood and it is AWESOME! Came home with a large-ish stack of reading material and immediately dug into a book by one of my favorite authors, Dick Francis. My WWI stage has been temporarily diverted over to the former-English-jockeys-who-write-mysteries stage.

Monday, September 24, 2007

What I'm Reading

Father-in-Law gave me books he was done with a few weeks ago. He was a modern European history professor for 30+ years, so his collection is heavy on World War I and II. Started Back to the Front last night and was immediately intrigued by the term "accidental historian". I think I've seen it somewhere else, but I can't be sure. Certainly most of what I do could be deemed "accidental"; many of the topics I'm currently interested in came about as I was reading/researching something else. There was the Civil War phase, then the Florence Nightingale phase, then the Abraham Lincoln phase, then a random jump to World War II, Winston Churchill, the Russian Front, then the Romanovs...many other World War I!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Another Item To Add To The List...

...of reasons I don't read: unpacking boxes from the move.

Didn't make it to the library this weekend. Found a book on the shelf that I hadn't read yet, so I'm giving it a try.

Friday, September 21, 2007

What To Read Next

Have started two books in two days and put them both down in disgust. Many times I will just power through until the end, but my heart wasn't in it. I am stuck. Finally going to check out our new library this weekend so maybe I'll find something appealing there. If not, there's always my beloved Tattered Cover!

Any suggestions?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Business Plan

Step 1: Buy cool old building.
Step 2: Break up into tiny rooms. Decorate with rugged wooden desks and comfy chairs. Excellent lighting a must. Install pencil sharpener.
Step 3: Rent out space to writers! Apparently writers are so desperate to have a quiet space to work that they actually rent space. As far as I know this service is not being offered in Denver yet. I wonder if our basement would work?


What I've Read

Found (and finished) Freakonomics! In a word: fascinating.

I love that the authors didn't back off from controversial topics of race and gender. Certainly it would have been a more "comfortable" read if they'd reached different conclusions, but overall it was an eye-opening and interesting book. Definitely a book you can loan to your friends.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What I've Read

Finished Death's Little Helpers, the sequel to Black Maps. Also entertaining, but I don't think I'll read any more books from that series. They're already starting to become formulaic. John March is a stock hero character for a mystery novel--"dark and twisty inside" (thanks, Grey's) with a tormented past, a painful personal life, and a super-human ability to give (and take) a beating.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


It's pretty well-documented that many Americans choose not to read. My own reading habits started to slip which is one of the reasons I set the 52 book challenge for myself. I don't have kids or a demanding job, so my excuses were a) weak and b) pathetic. Things that distract me from reading:
  • The Closer
  • Fussing about things for the new house
  • Surfing the internet
  • Sewing (this is not a bad thing)
  • Scrubs
  • Crazed neighbor dogs that bark constantly
  • Idly checking the fridge to see if there's anything tasty to snack on
  • Magazines - the pictures, not the articles

Monday, September 17, 2007

What I've Read

Black Maps was good. Entertaining, fast-paced, and perfect for a quiet Friday night at home (what I did) or on the beach with a frosty adult beverage (what I wanted to do). I'm mostly done with the next book in the series.

I've been wondering lately if I'm reading to complete my goal but missing out on the enjoyment. I know I'm certainly more focused with my time and watching less TV as a result of this challenge. Is there a way to balance enjoyment and drive?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Newbery Award Winners, Part I

Ages and ages ago, when I was an education major, I started working through the list of Newbery Medal Winners. The Tattered Cover graciously provides a link to the list on their website. I've highlighted in green the books that I've read. Clearly need to read some of the more recent winners!


Criss Cross
by Perkins, Lynne Rae

by Kadohata, Cynthia

The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup, and a Spool of Thread
by DiCamillo, Kate , Ering, Timothy Basil

by Avi

A Single Shard
by Park, Linda Sue

A Year Down Yonder
by Peck, Richard

Bud, Not Buddy
by Curtis, Christopher Paul

by Sachar, Louis , Frieder

Out of the Dust
by Hesse, Karen

The View from Saturday
by Konigsburg, E. L.

The Midwife's Apprentice
by Cushman, Karen , Hyman, Trina Schart

Walk Two Moons
by Creech, Sharon , Desimini, Lisa

The Giver
by Lowry, Lois

Missing May
by Rylant, Cynthia

by Naylor, Phyllis Reynolds

Maniac Magee
by Spinelli, Jerry

Number the Stars
by Lowry, Lois

Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices
by Fleischman, Paul , Beddows, Eric

Lincoln: A Photobiography
by Freedman, Russell

Whipping Boy (Award)
by Fleischman, Sid , Sis, Peter

Sarah, Plain and Tall
by MacLachlan, Patricia

The Hero and the Crown
by McKinley, Robin

Dear Mr. Henshaw
by Cleary, Beverly , Zelinsky, Paul

Dicey's Song
by Voigt, Cynthia

A Visit to William Blake's Inn: Poems for Innocent and Experienced Travelers
by Willard, Nancy , Provensen, Martin , Provensen, Alice

Jacob Have I Loved
by Paterson, Katherine

A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl's Journal, 1830-32
by Blos, Joan W.

What I'm Reading

Just finished A Thousand Acres, by Jane Smiley. This book could have been an Oprah Book Club selection, it was so depressing.

Moving on to Black Maps, by Peter Spiegelman, and so far I’m really enjoying this book. Haven’t read a mystery in a while, so it feels good to switch gears.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Another From The "Who Buys This?!?" Vault

They'd go perfectly with all of my other Pug accessories! Matching bag and wallet--$30 on Craigslist:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Just What We Need For The Living Room

Really, I have to know, WHO BUYS THIS STUFF?!? As seen on Craigslist:

And ONLY $75--used!

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

What To Do In Denver

I'm hoping to have an out-of-state visitor come to stay with us at the Casa this spring. She's only been to Denver once. Some places I will probably take her:
  • Tattered Cover in LoDo - the best bookstore in Denver, and also very accessible by Light Rail. I was heartbroken when the Cherry Creek store closed because it played an important role during the courtship with the Mister. However, the store in LoDo has lots of charm and we have worked through our grief and come to terms with this change. Could also visit the new store on Colfax.
  • Cherry Creek Farmer's Market - the best one in Denver, in my opinion. Lots of fresh produce, excellent people-watching. Also, the dog-watching is outstanding.
  • Wash Park - Walking here is also prime for people-watching and dog watching. The surrounding homes are gorgeous. We were going to have our wedding reception here but they wouldn't rent the boat house over a holiday weekend. Bummer.
  • Red Rocks Amphitheater - good enough for Dave Matthews? Good enough for me. Good hiking, too.
  • The Highlands - lots of good shopping. And eating: Mead St. Station, Highlands Garden Cafe, Stella's.
  • Denver Zoo - love me some penguins!
I know there's more...I'll save that for another day.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Weekend In Review

Little Sister and her husband were in town this weekend and stayed at the Casa. So much fun! Dined at Vesta, did some shopping, played rummy. We were reminiscing about movies we love and came up with a list that need to be rented the next time they're in town:

And one that we haven't seen: Lover Come Back.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Such a Romantic

Me: Well, we've been married three years and I haven't consulted the divorce attorney yet. What do you think of that?

the Mister: He didn't have much to say.