Mostly I just putter.

Doctoral student, amateur cook, beginning sewer.

Mostly I just putter.

Thursday, January 31, 2008


Rainy Day Peonies via Pear Biter

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


After I sang last night a lady came up to me and said, "You have a beautiful voice, so melodious and pretentious!"

I've been wondering all morning what word she really meant to use…

Bird by Bird

I'm not a writer, and don't really have aspirations to be one, but Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott was excellent. A source of inspiration and guidance for would-be writers, it encouraged me to be better at the things I am interested in doing. I find Lamott's work to be funny, hopeful, and uplifting.

Thursday, January 24, 2008


I have been obsessing about peonies lately. I don't remember ever seeing them when I lived in Oregon or in northeastern Colorado. I've only become aware of them in the last few years. There was a peony bush right outside of one of my apartments, and I see the cut blooms for sale in the stores. Last year I bought a peony bush to plant in our new yard, but I never got it in (too overwhelmed by all of the other things the yard needed) and it died. Springtime is just around the corner, I have a plan of attack for the yard, and it's time to think about planting. For now, though, lots of obsessing over the pretty pictures.

Pink copy via Aunt Owwee

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sewing Projects

My model was reluctant, but the light was good and I was not going to be dissuaded. This was one of my first projects that I made back in November. Our winter has been unusually gray and it's taken me this long to remember and to get good weather.

One of my resolutions this year was to use fewer paper towels, so now I'm making pretty cloth napkins. It's nice to knock a couple of these out at a time. I love this blue fabric.

I Didn’t Get Tagged…

but I'm doing it anyway. I'm not good at limiting myself to "one" of anything, least of all Girl Scout cookies or spools of ribbon, and that's also true of books.

1. One book that changed your life: The Ragamuffin Gospel shook up my spiritual life. Seven Habits of Highly Effective People helped me to think differently about how I spend my time.
2. One book you've read more than once: All the Laura Ingalls Wilder books.
3. One book you'd want on a desert island: Moby Dick. Probably the only way I'll ever read that book.
4. Two books that made you laugh: Anything by Bill Bryson, Anne Lamott, or Tony Bourdain.
5. One book that made you cry: Where the Red Fern Grows, Bridge to Terabithia, The Lovely Bones
6. One book you wish had been written: I'm sure it's been written, I just need to find it.
7. One book you wish had never been written: The Rules. Ugh.
8. One book you're currently reading: Plan B, by Anne Lamott
9. One book you've been meaning to read: This one was just recommended to me—Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Everything they say about these little notebooks is true. I love the paper, the weight in my hand, the perfectly ruled pages. My journaling isn't any more profound, but it's certainly satisfying to write in that pleasant little book.

Friday, January 11, 2008

So Sad

And kind of eerie, given my post the other day. Sir Edmund Hillary has passed away.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Mountain Climbing

I have a mild obsession with Mt. Everest stories. I'm simultaneously intrigued and appalled at the lengths that people will go to, the risks they will take, to climb that mountain. I read Krakauer's book a few years ago and it still haunts me. At the library last week I picked up Touching My Father's Soul and started it last night. I'm only a few pages into it, but already I can tell it's going to be a winner.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Bill Bryson

Is quite possibly one of the funniest writers out there. Picked up In A Sunburned Country last night at the library and started reading it straight away. The Mister and I are hoping to make a trip to Sydney this year so I consider this book "research".

Thursday, January 3, 2008

To Read in 2008

Friends have been giving me suggestions, I've been picking up tidbits from magazines, and here are just a few I want to read in 2008:

  • In A Sunburned Country, Bill Bryson
  • Ivy Briefs, Martha Kimes
  • West With the Night, Beryl Markham
  • The Amateur Gourmet, Adam O. Roberts
  • Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott
  • The Year of Living Biblically (A.J. something)

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

2007 Round Up

I didn't start the 52 book challenge until February, so there are a few books that were finished but I don't have a record of them. To do the links to Amazon of all of these books would take way too much time, but I have provided the authors and the links for my favorites.

  • Breath, Eyes, Memory, Edwidge Danticat
  • The Devil Wears Prada, Lauren Weisberger
  • The Life of Pi, Yann Martel
  • Sex God, Rob Bell
  • My Fake Wedding, Mina Ford
  • Strange Piece of Paradise, Terri Jentz
  • Traveling Mercies, Anne Lamott
  • Sunday List of Dreams, Kris Radish
  • Marley and Me, Josh Grogan
  • Infidel, Ayaan Hirsi Ali
  • The Nasty Bits, Anthony Bourdain
  • Astrid and Veronika, Linda Olsson
  • Searching for God Knows What, Donald Miller
  • The Memory Keeper's Daughter, Kim Edwards
  • The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
  • Drowning Ruth, Christina Schwarz
  • The Pact, Jodi Picoult
  • The Broker, John Grisham
  • Eats, Shoots and Leaves, Lynne Truss
  • Harry Potter (book 7), J.K. Rowling
  • With Malice Towards None, Stephen B. Oates
  • Leaving Cold Sassy, Olive Ann Burns
  • A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley
  • Black Maps, Peter Spiegelman
  • Death's Little Helpers, Peter Spiegelman
  • Freakonomics, Levitt and Dubner
  • Break In, Dick Francis
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
  • S Is For Silence, Sue Grafton
  • 12 Sharp, Janet Evanovich
  • The Secret Life of Bees, Sue Monk Kidd
  • The Shack, William P. Young
GRAND TOTAL: 31 books

Didn't make my goal, but I didn't shame myself, either.

Last Book of 2007

I managed to finish this one on December 31st. It's awesome. Go read it. Now.

The Shack