Mostly I just putter.

Doctoral student, amateur cook, beginning sewer.

Mostly I just putter.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I ate the last peach this afternoon for a snack.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Our House Is A Land Of Plenty

We ate our first home-grown tomato last night. There was no time to photograph it--after the first amazing bite we demolished the poor thing in about 10 seconds. Good thing it only took 2 months to grow! There are several more tomatoes on the plant so we should be able to harvest more in a few days.

On my way back from faculty training in Grand Junction last week I stopped at the fruit stands in Palisade and bought a whole box of peaches. It's been so fun to deliver a few here and there to family and friends! You have to stand over the sink to eat them because the juice runs down your chin. It's absolute heaven and we've been eating 3-4 per day per person. The huge box that I thought we would never get through is emptying quickly.

The Bing cherries were on sale at the grocery store, so I bought 2 pounds and took them to a breakfast meeting this weekend. The combination of sweet and sour makes me so happy. I love this time of year--our trip to the farmer's market on Saturday yielded sweet corn, green beans, beets, and more tomatoes to hold us over until the next batch of our own are ripe. It's so easy to eat healthy food when it's abundant and flavorful. Besides good food, the farmer's market also provides me with prime dog-watching! There's an English bulldog that attends regularly that, if its parents don't watch it very carefully, might end up coming home with me.
Photo via hamron

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Thoughts On America From A Former Canadian

Reading A Reporter's Life reminded me of how woefully ignorant I am of world politics and events. My respect for Peter Jennings was cemented during 9/11--his calm and steady presence as he reported the news made it easier to digest what was happening. On the rare occasion I watched World News Tonight the amount of research he obviously put into his broadcasts was compelling.

It reads like a biography, but it is a compilation of interviews with over 80 of his friends, colleagues, family members, politicians, and professional rivals. There's a deep respect for his high journalistic standards and thorough understanding of world affairs.

My favorite quotation came after he became an American citizen:

"I aspire to be a good American. And I aspire to stand for the best American values. That's not easy. It takes work. I know of no people on Earth who are more generous, who are more open, sometimes to the point of distraction. I know of no people who mean better...So I aspire to be a good American means to see the best of America, but it's also to see the bad, and to work in a responsible way to try to make that which is bad better, and to relish the best in the country. It is an exceptional country... At its best, it's a joyous experience, a really, truly rich experience" (p. 260).

He was also apparently vain about his appearance (from an interview with John Leo):

"Peter loved ties. He particularly loved ties his friends were wearing. You'd go out to dinner with Peter and he'd admire your tie, and you'd say thank you and try to get back to the conversation. No, no, Peter would extravagantly admire your tie over and over until you took it off and gave it to him. And that's how he acquired a great many of his ties. At his fiftieth birthday party, we dummied up a slide show of all the events of his life that were likely to be embarrassing...The one that got the biggest laughs was--he turned fifty in the Dukakis year--was of him stripping the tie off Dukakis during their interview. Everybody roared over that because every man in the audience had lost a couple of ties to Peter. He did send me six ties one year, to apparently make up for it. They were the six most hideous ties I've ever seen in my life" (p. 240).

Stories like that are why I like biographies so much. The public persona is very rarely interesting to me--I like to see the goofball, dorky, and just plain strange sides of people.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mostly Unpacked

Now that we've been in the house for a year and we're feeling (mostly) settled, I thought I'd post a few pictures of my favorite features.

I'm pretty sure I got the idea for the fabric/embroidery hoop display from Alicia. Everyone on the internet has done it--I also saw it on the Martha Stewart show--but it fit two criterion for me: 1. it was inexpensive and 2. it used up some of the scraps that I had accumulated.

Don't tell the Mister, but I really like the neutral color of our paint. My heart was set on painting but the Mister's heart was set on leaving well enough alone. Although the color reminds me of every rental and flipped house we saw on the market, it does make the room feel really warm. It also makes our black picture frames pop.

The big picture window in the living room still manages to make our tiny Christmas trees (real tree = expensive!) look big and beautiful. The wood floors have a lovely honey color to them.

All right, enough of the real estate lovefest. I don't dare show you the downstairs or the backyard!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Finished on Sunday

I'm glad I didn't read the fly leaf of Out-Takes from a Marriage until after it was finished. Ann Leary is married to comedian Denis Leary, and that information would have changed my perspective while reading this book. The main character (Julia) is married to a famous movie star, lost in his fame and never really establishing her own identity.

Although I don't know anyone who is married to someone famous, I know a lot of women, including myself, who struggle to find their place independent of their husband. When do my needs become more important than his needs, and vice-versa? If we're on opposite sides of an issue, at what point does compromise come into play? Are there times when compromise should not be an option? Leary does a good job illustrating the dangers of not thinking carefully about decisions made as a couple.

Finished on Friday

I have never been a fan of Chris Farley. I thought his "Matt the Motivational Speaker" character was terrible. His humor just never did anything for me. The Mister has the opposite reaction to Farley's "work", so I checked this book out for him. After reading the introduction (and crying a little) I was hooked. His sense of humor may never have resonated, but the struggles and pain he experienced certainly did. Even as jaded as I am about Hollywood, fame, and movie stars, I'm always struck by how troubles don't skip over the famous but instead seem to latch on.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Open House

We've been in our house one year! Tonight we're finally have our Housewarming/BBQ. I took this picture on the day we closed. We signed the papers, grabbed our keys, swung by Chipotle to get some dinner, and then had our first meal in our new house.

The last year has been incredibly difficult--we've lost and grieved so much. I've never experienced anything like it. Working on the house and the yard has provided a much-needed distraction. We already have good memories and many, many reasons to be thankful.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Yucca Yucca Yucca

Huh. So that's what it looks like when it blooms! This is in our front yard. Good to know...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Back to the Library

This one was deadly boring with a hefty dose of soap opera-caliber drama. I finished it out of sheer stubbornness. My book choices have been completely uninspiring lately which is causing me to lose motivation. Our house isn't air conditioned, but the library is, so I see a leisurely afternoon perusing books in my future. I need to find just the right book to get my momentum back.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Can't Even Wait

The weather's been hot and my tomatoes are going crazy! I've never harvested tomatoes that I've grown because they were always stolen before they turned red. These babies are tucked away in the back yard where they get lots of sun, water, and protection. Good eatin' pretty soon!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


We're now more than halfway through the 52 book challenge, so I got out the list and checked my progress. I've read 32 books so far, and I'll be at 33 by the end of this evening. Progress has slowed considerably with the good weather, but I'm OK with that. Gardening is good for the soul. So is the mojito that follows.

Photo by Oolong

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Happy Holiday Weekend!

We're off to the Twin Cities to visit the Mister's relatives and (hopefully) my cousin. Rest and relax, people!

Photo by prakope

Our Yard