Sunday, December 30, 2007


I must have said 'OOh, that's blogworthy!' fifty times over the last 10 days, with absolutely no actual blogging taking place. Last Saturday, we took a spin around the park that's near F&T's - here's James walking with grandad.

And here's our tree with its new and improved decorations from Mom & Dad:

Sunday, we went on a walk in East Bergholt and Flatford (also known as Constable country), and took lots of pictures. It was a perfect winter walk - the sun was really low in the sky and set just as we were getting back to the car.

This is where The Haywain was painted.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Photo Catchup

I'm lazy and have only just uploaded a few weeks' worth of pictures from my camera to the computer. Here is Kate Rusby, singing up a storm:

This one was taken from a rooftop parking lot in Cambridge - the light was so wintry and cold - I HAD to take a picture. Brrr.

And this is the Stowmarket Santa. I think it was the Rotary club or something similar- they were blasting carols and collecting money. It was really funny and oddly surreal, though. Sorry he's a little blurry - I still haven't quite figured out all the camera's settings.

Mom & Dad sent us a care package, which arrived yesterday. It had great stuff: some English Christmas lights from the 1980s that had somehow made their way back to New Ro (and still work!), some personalized ornaments, an ornament from my Grandma's tree, matzo ball soup mix, two of my Harry Potters, and all of my French Horn sheet music. YAHOOO! Since I didn't have the matzo ball soup mix when I was sick last weekend, I had chinese noodles with chicken stock and lettuce - it's definitely in the same genre.

It's been really frosty lately - this is our honeysuckle bush, looking like a Christmas tree (according to James).

Monday, December 17, 2007

Read Lolita, napped.

It's time for a media round-up. I've been sick since Saturday afternoon - queasy, achy, intermittent sore throat, and general ickyness. I was all geared up to go to work today and it didn't happen. I also missed the choir's Christmas concert in Lavenham - I was SO bummed. Hopefully I'll be better tomorrow. However, my extended time resting in bed and on the couch has given me some more review fodder...

1. I finished Reading Lolita In Tehran. And I have to confess, I hated it. It was another of those books that everyone had recommended. I just couldn't get into it - I didn't care about the characters or what they thought of the books they were reading. I finished it, finally (it took me almost a month and I had to renew it twice).

2. I rented and watched High School Musical 2. And thoroughly enjoyed it. It's an oversaturated teenybopper movie with canned n'sync dance moves and stupid lines. The music was v. catchy and for some reason I found the whole thing very compelling. John refused to watch it (smart man).

3. We've also rented the first season of Heroes (the NBC drama). We sat down last night to check out the first episode, and ended up watching 4. The only reason we stopped was that it was 10pm and I'd been watching TV for 4 hours and my tummy was starting to hurt again. We have a date for some more episodes tonight. It's funny - I haven't watched scripted television in AGES, and I was really enjoying it. It really romps along and it's great not having to watch the commercials. Maybe by the time we get up to the current season, the writers will have ended their strike...

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Rusby Roundup

We went to Norwich last night for a Kate Rusby concert. She's an incredible performer - the concert was REALLY good. Having both been to our fair share of 'concerts,' John and I both assumed that since the tickets said '7:30pm' it fell into the rock/pop 'doors at 7:30 - opening act at 7:45 - Rusby on at 9'. So we got there at about 7:30 after getting a little lost on the way and having trouble finding a parking spot. Not worried about missing anything, though.

We were a little surprised, since there was nobody in the foyer. And there was an act on the stage. And when we got to the box office our tickets were in a little pile by themselves. They whisked us to our seats and we sat down right as KR started strumming the first chords at 7:32. Oops!

The concert itself couldn't have been better: it was about half Yorkshire Christmas songs, which Kate obviously LOVED singing. They were all really beautiful - different tunes with the traditional. It made all of the well-known carols seem really vibrant, and the arrangements were flawless. I really hope she records them and releases a CD. The rest of the concert was a mix of old stuff and things from her new album, which we loved. It reminded me of the folk concerts that Mom & Dad took us to when we were kids - it was very sedate but the singing was enthusiastic.

John & I both had an extra day of holiday to use up before they expire at the end of the year, so we took today off. We've both been feeling pretty run-down and I definitely thought I was coming down with something. We had a lazy morning and then headed to Cambridge for some Christmas shopping. It was pretty hectic in town, considering that it was a Tuesday - why weren't all the people who were there at work? We're both feeling much more rested and generally better.

John made a really tasty moroccan lamb risotto from the leftovers - he used lots of spices and some dried apricots and raisins. It had a really well-rounded flavor, but we both agreed that it was missing didn't quite have the 'sparkle'. We'll just have to have another leg of lamb to experiment!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

I guess I've always been a foodie...

Here I am, nearly 2, being fed by BOTH of my parents. Grown-up food, too, by the looks of it. Yum!

We roasted the leg of lamb for F & T - most of the recipes I read included garlic and rosemary, so I jammed some into the cuts I made and dumped olive oil on the top. It was pretty tasty.

I finished the table runner and the six placemats - now I just need to make the orange napkins and appliqué the sheep on to them.

Here's the general shot of the Christmas tree, with a better one (taken by John with the tripod and the dSLR) below.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

I still want a daemon

James and I had some stepmother-stepson bonding time today - John had to make a last-minute trip to London. We mostly had chores to do in the morning: pick up the leg of lamb for tomorrow from the butcher's, go to the farm shop, and have Freda try on her potential Christmas present.

F & T weren't sure where the store was (and I was having trouble explaining it), so they came over to our house and we all went to Needham Market together. Freda gets cold easily, so she generally wears an old quilted waistcoat around the house. She's had it since the dawn of time and it's completely threadbare. New waistcoat, you say? Well, that was the plan. But she doesn't like things high on her neck, so it had to be a v-neck waistcoat. We looked EVERYWHERE. The only ones that come in v-neck are generally men's ones, which tend to be too big for her since she's quite petite. But we managed to find one, at the v. horsey High Flyers (where we got my wellies and some other stuff). It's a mens' one, but it was a 'small' so it fit. And since it was so small, it didn't fit any of the men, so it was on clearance. Which was awesome - if it had been full-price (quite expensive), she wouldn't have let me buy it. I would have had to ask the saleslady to put it on hold and then I would have had to make a second trip to buy it (and we'd have had to tell the M-i-L that it was on sale...) Phew. And I have randomly had brainwaves (and suggestions) for what to buy the rest of my NY family for Christmas. They can be a tricky group. Not sharing here, obviously, since they read it. Sorry, guys!

T decided that he wanted a coffee after the shopping ordeal (the whole thing took about 10 mins, start to finish, but it wore him out emotionally). We went to the farm shop cafe, where the coffee was pretty good, the hot chocolate was fab, and the cakes were v. yummy. We had cups of tea there when mom & dad were here - but it seemed a world away.

We coordinated with John on his return - he got off the train in Ipswich and we all went to see The Golden Compass. I LOVED the books (read them twice and made John read them), and the movie was pretty good. Most of the characters were as I'd pictured them, but it was one of those bizarre book-movies where a character will randomly reel off about 30 pages of plot in one breath. And then they'll have some drama. And then another chunk of plot. It was a little bizarre, but definitely worth seeing. And I hope they make the next two - apparently it's still up in the air. I thought the witches were perfectly drawn - Serafina Pekkala is one of my favorite characters in the books and she was exactly as I'd pictured her. Lee Scoresby was awesome, too - just the right kind of gritty.

We HAVE to break James of his most recent annoying habit: he's a movie talker. The WHOLE time, he kept asking me questions, from "Who is that?" to "Why didn't they put [something from the book that he describes in great detail] in?". Then we had the totally random comments that were unrelated to the movie. I'm pretty patient, I think, but finally I'd had enough (and I imagine the people around us had). "Kiddo, that's enough. No more questions." I'm a mean stepmother.

He tends to talk through TV programs, and he's always interrupting me when I'm reading to ask questions, and he talks through dinner. And he monologues in the car. Ok, so he talks all the time so I shouldn't really expect that movies should be any different. It's funny - he's obsessed with daemons and keeps asking us what form we think his daemon would be taking now. And now. And how about now?

Thursday, December 6, 2007


We had some Gu soufflés after dinner tonight - we impulse-bought them at the supermarket after being v. restrained and following our list and menu plan all week. Here they are, in all their chocolatey goodness. The picture is fabulous because hubby used the uber-camera with the portrait lens. None of the point-and-shoot for him!

Included in our menu plan was a spinach and lentil curry for dinner tonight, which I was CONVINCED had way too much water (900ml of water for 150g of lentils). It actually turned out pretty well, despite the fact that I was a little cavalier with the recipe. If I follow it properly, I think it'll be a keeper.

We've also bitten the bullet and bought tickets for Kate Rusby in Norwich next week. I'm SO excited. I felt so silly a few weeks ago - I was talking to two of my college roomies and apparently they were listening to KR when we were all living together - I'd thought that a few of the songs sounded familiar. The fact that I didn't discover her properly until 5 years later and on a different continent is a little bizarre, though.

Another random thing I did today (and completely cracked myself up about): I was texting my friend who was not at work today, and got tangled up in predictive text on my phone. I meant to type 'email' and ended up with 'dohaj'. I got a completely mystified text back from my friend asking what on earth I was on about. Ok, now it's not funny. It was at the time, though, trust me.

Oh, and my friend E. has started a blog, called 'All Abode' - go check it out (link in the 'blogs' section).

Monday, December 3, 2007

There's mud in my saddle shoes!

I caved. We bought a plastic tree yesterday. At ::shudder:: B & Q (an orange Home-Depot-type place, for the Yanks). It actually looks pretty reasonable and is a good size for the room.

I'd had my heart set on a real tree, but John was resisting on two counts: that it (1) would stain our v. pale carpet and (2) would be bad for the planet. We averted WWIII on Sunday morning but it was a near miss. I wanted the 'real' tree for three reasons: (1) they smell SO good, (2) I'm morally opposed to plastic trees and (3) I JUST DID.

Ever the diplomat, John came up with a compromise: I could have a tree, but it had to be plastic. In return, I could pick out whichever one I wanted. In addition, I could have whatever decorations I wanted for the front of the house. thought I was Kate Monster before. Well, the tree is here and up (pics to follow - it's so damn DARK in England in the winter), and there's a wreath on the front door. I see some lawn ornaments in my future... You know, those Santa & snowman snowglobey things with the blowing-around 'snow'. And music. And blinky lights. And reindeer on the roof. And lights outlining the house.

Putting up the tree yesterday (i.e. clipping it together and un-mashing the 'branches') meant that I could have Sesame Street Christmas! It's so convenient having it on mp3, especially since the record version is in New Ro and I am not. And we don't have a record player. I LOVE the 'Christmas On Sesame Street' (Gift of the Magi) story - I think I drive everyone crazy by talking along to it. And James' new favorite Christmas carol is The 12 Days Of Christmas On Sesame Street, with the climax being Cookie Monster's rendition of 'ONE DELICIOUS COOOOKIE!!' (in place of that tired old partridge...)

My parents have joined us in the 21st century with Skype and a webcam on my mom's new laptop. After much internet research and gnashing of teeth I found a Logitech Quick Chat 'Skype Edition' that works with both my Mac AND Skype. Skype isn't thrilled with it - it crashes randomly, but it's great to be able to 'see' mom and dad when I talk to them. Oh, and I'm not using up all my skype credits and my mom's cellphone minutes by calling them on SkypeOut. Not that I mind, but still. Oh, and apparently the crazy people in Rhode Island pick out their Christmas tree some time over the summer, while it's still growing at the farm, and decorate it. So it doesn't get lonely, I guess. And then they come and collect it at Christmas like normal people.

John and I were very industrious yesterday morning and planned out all of our meals for the week. We've been reading that 1/3 of all food bought in the UK is thrown out, and we'd run into the 'what's for dinner - go to the supermarket - get home and realize that we had something that needed eating' problem. So we've planned out all the meals for this week and did a big-ish shop yesterday and have planned a mini-one for Thursday evening to get some more green stuff. I feel so organized and Rachael Ray-y. And frugal - we didn't buy anything that wasn't on the list.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

BBC Good Mediocre Food Show

After much excitement and build-up, I went to the BBC Good Food Show today. John was smart and went to the annual Worley Model Railway show (that we went to last year and the year before). We were talking about it yesterday with a friend at work, and she said that she had gone to the Good Food show for the last two years but wasn't going this year. She was also impressed that we were going to 'brave it on a Saturday.'

We got up pretty early and made it to Birmingham by about 10, and John trundled off to look at trains while I made my way to the other side of the NEC on a shuttle bus. I subscribe to the magazine (which has been plugging the show for months), and I had my e-ticket, which included a 'show program' (supposedly worth £2.50). I asked the people at the entrance who were selling what looked like the show programs if I could have one, pointing to my ticket. "No, you just get the free one - it's over there if you want to go get it." Lovely.

I went in and it was heaving with people - so I thought I'd walk around the perimeter and get my bearings. Basically, all the booths were either giving away free samples of whatever it was they were selling, or they didn't really have anything to sell. Bunched around any possible free sample were hordes of people, shoving each other out of the way and grabbing fistfuls of whatever the vendor happened to be handing out.

The whole thing was like Price Club the weekend before Thanksgiving. I did manage to fight my way through the crowds to get a new kitchen knife (for which there was no line because they weren't giving anything away for free).

All of the tickets came with a 'supertheatre' ticket - and I'd signed up for a mock-taping of 'Ready, Steady, Cook!' It's kind of like Iron Chef, in that there are ingredients presented and the chefs have 20 minutes to make whatever it is that they're given into a 3-course meal. It actually ended up being pretty funny and entertaining, but I was so harried by that point that I didn't really care.

Here's Ainsley, the host:

And here's everybody, cooking up a storm:

The guy on the left was really funny - they'd told him to whisk some cream and somehow he managed to get cream EVERYWHERE. On the cameraman, on Ainsley, on the table, on the floor, and all over himself. It was very entertaining.

Here we are, queueing to get in (since they were trying to get all 3000 of us through one door:

And here is the mass of humanity, stampeding from one free sample to the next:

I feel like such a crotchety old bag complaining about it - but the behavior of 'the general public' today was truly appalling. I think it had the potential to be a good event, they just completely sold too many tickets. That, and I was pretty darn excited about it. There's a slim possibility that I'll try again next year, but there's no way I'm going anywhere near it on a weekend.

Glad to be home, anyway.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Early to bed

We stopped at the grocery store tonight on the way home to pick up the fixin's for Turkey Pot Pie. I had visions of making and freezing it tonight for reheating tomorrow, but after I finished my 'leftover thanksgiving,' all I wanted to do was sleep. Tomorrow. I'll eat half for dinner and freeze the other half.

It's not quite as pretty as it was yesterday, but you get the idea.


Sunday, November 25, 2007


We ordered our turkey a few months ago from the butcher. When I picked it up yesterday it seemed a bit heavy. And expensive. When I got it home, I realized that we'd bought a 9 KILO turkey rather than a 9 POUND turkey. That's an 18 lb turkey for those of you not doing the math. Oh, and there were 6 grown-ups and one kid at our table.

John and I got up at 6 this morning to put the bird in the oven, and accidentally left the oven on 190C instead of 160C. The turkey was a little dry, but otherwise very tasty. Oh, and it was done an hour early. John made the mashed potatoes, and we had butternut squash with shallots and sage, sauteed broccoli with garlic, creamed onions, and stuffing. Freda made some gorgeous cranberry sauce, and the best apple pie I've ever had for dessert. Elia brought a really tasty pumpkin pie with pecans on the top, which we completely devoured in addition to the apple pie. It all looked really festive and Thanksgiving-y on the plate - and I completely forgot to take a picture.

Happy eaters:

We have SO much leftover turkey - I've filled a huge tupperware container, and that was after I'd extracted the dry meat. This picture? AFTER everyone had eaten.

We only got through the meat from one side. I sent a huge chunk home with F & T, and it's going to be turkey sandwiches for the rest of the week. Any turkey recipes would be gladly taken. I thought about making soup, but couldn't bear to extend the turkeyness - so I threw away the bones. I felt SO guilty doing it, but I just knew I wasn't going to use them. Maybe I should have frozen them - I don't know.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Post/Pre Thanksgiving

On American Thanksgiving (Thursday), I called the family and they played pass-the-phone with me. It was good to talk to everyone, if only for 3 minutes each.

Then John and I had veggie chili leftovers and walked to the Stowmarket Regal cinema. It's a 1930s-ish art deco cinema that has just been restored - we love it! We saw Stardust (based on the Neil Gaiman book that I loved) and it was fantastic. The perfect blend of LoTR adventure and Princess Bride camp. I've seen reviews that said that the pacing was bad and Clare Danes was annoying - and I completely disagree. The movie romped along at a v. satisfying clip and Clare was perfectly acceptible. A.O. Scott suggested that it would have been much better with the original choice - Gwyneth Paltrow. Meh...not so much.

Tomorrow is Stowmarket Thanksgiving - here's some of the prep that went on tonight. I had a minor meltdown when I couldn't find my mom's NYT stuffing recipe - I have NO idea where it is and the interweb wasn't yielding anything. I've ended up with this recipe - it sounds similar but I think Mom's might have carrots in it. Not sure. It should be yummy, though.

Oh, and our monster fridge that we thought we'd never fill? FULL.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Starting in

I cut out the place mats that I'm going to make from this fabric that I got in New York at Purl:

I have some orange fabric that matches their faces that I'm going to make napkins out of. The grand plan is to have them finished for Thanksgiving - we'll see if I make it.

The Bury Bach Choir concert went pretty well last night - we kind of fell apart on the Mozart, but completely made up for it with a pretty darn good rendition of Britten's "The Company Of Heaven." It's not performed very often, but it should be - it's genius.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It Sucks To Be Me (no, really!)

And I have the mug to prove it! Our friend Mark went to London to see Avenue Q last weekend. I gave him a copy of the CD back when we were living in the flat - I can't even remember what it was that sparked the conversation. So tonight he turns up with this mug, as a present for me from London:

I LOVE it...and it totally goes with my 'Everything in life is only for now' button that's on my monitor at work.

I was talking to one of my choir buddies at rehearsal tonight and she said that both she and her husband have been sick with a lingering cold-y sore-throat-y thing over the last few weeks. The more she described it, the more I think it's what I've got. I've had crazy headaches (not stress ones - those are different), a nasty taste in my mouth, and a sore throat. Oh, and no attention span. Seriously, none at all. I can't hold a thought in my head for more than about 10 seconds before I flip to something else. It's driving me bonkers at work - I can't seem to finish ANYTHING. Today at one point I had 3 open emails that I was composing, two things on my desk that I was working on, and a spreadsheet. It's not that I'm super busy (I am, but it's not new) - it's that I truly can't stick with any task for more than about 2 minutes before I suddenly think of something else that I need to do right then. I don't usually have this problem...and I need it to go away NOW. Maybe sleep will help...

Oh, and if you're in the Suffolk area this weekend, check out the Bury Bach Choir Concert on Saturday evening.

Monday, November 12, 2007


We made pizza last night - I still can't get it to taste like NYC pizza. It was still really yummy, though, just not New Yorky.

I'm desperately trying not to come down with something - I've been feeling really achey all day. Oh, and if I DO come down with something, I'll have to wait on the Matzoh ball soup - the places in the UK that I found charge OBSCENE amounts for delivery - I'll just have to wait 'til I can get to London next.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Windswept and interesting

With my eternal optimism about English weather, we went for a walk today. We drove up to Debenham and went on a modified version of a 6-mile walk in our walking book. James got a little tired towards the end, so we cut back early and only did about 4 miles.

We've had a fair amount of rain over the last few days, so there were plenty of puddles for us to splash in. I bought a pair of wellies yesterday - my old ones are still in NY - they're just too cumbersome to bring across the ocean. The new ones are v. green and comfy, and James and I did extensive puddle testing.

Here we are at the beginning of the walk:

And here we are being 'dead trees,' along with the dead tree in the background. We didn't break into song (Three Cross-eyed Buzzards), but we thought about it.

The aforementioned puddle-experimentation:

A very fall-y and English-looking bridleway:

And then a rainbow. What, dear readers, does a rainbow mean? Especially when it's upwind of you? That the camera rapidly got put away because it started to POUR. Sideways. With intermittent hail. Man, were we wet. Rainbow was pretty, though.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

New Curtains!

We've put up our new curtains in the kitchen - they make the whole room seem much cozier. They are about 4 inches too long - I need to hem them and put them back up.

I'm also reading Bury The Chains, about the British fight to abolish slavery. It's a history, but written with a definite 'story' arc - so far, so good.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Fire and Rain

Besides being one of my all-time favorite James Taylor songs, it seemed like a good title for this post.

I drove to the farm shop yesterday and stopped to take this picture over the fields - the light was incredible. I haven't quite gotten my head around the new camera yet, and it's not always doing what I expect it to do. I guess I'll just have to keep taking pictures!

I finished reading Water For Elephants, recommended by Kristen, on Thursday night. It was really well-written and had a compelling story. It's about a college senior who joins a circus, and how he reacts to finding himself in a completely alien subculture. It's told in flashbacks, as the protagonist is in a nursing home in his 90s. Completely absorbing.

We had some friends over last night for the Stowmarket bonfire and fireworks, and we went out for a curry after. Here's a pic of Elia and me at the bonfire:

And the bonfire itself. It was drizzling but the heat from the bonfire was so intense that we were all pretty dry. And with the amount of gasoline that they'd poured on the fire, we would have had to have a monsoon to put it out.

Here we are after a few too many glasses of ouzo.

We were all feeling a little worse for wear this morning, so I made pancakes for everyone and we felt lots better.

The in-laws came over today and I made Veggie Shepherd's Pie. Ours looked pretty much like the picture from the website and it tasted amazing. I used regular green lentils rather than canned lentils and added a bit more water and simmered for longer - it was very lentil-y and glorious. The sweet potato mash on the top was fab, too. It's a keeper. We chased it up with some brownies and were all very happy campers.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Halloween Roundup

We had a record-breaking (for Stowmarket, anyway) 45 trick-or-treaters last night. Lots of little kids in cute costumes (with their parents) and a clump of teenage boys. I made sure people knew we had candy - we had the front light on and both pumpkins lit. John was a little traumatized by the whole thing - he kept locking the door in between trick-or-treaters.

I had an interesting run-in with another American - as some kids were leaving, I heard their dad talking to them with an American accent.

"Hey!", I said. "Another American!"

No response- just a blank look.

"Oh, sorry, are you Canadian?"

"No, I'm American." (He talks!)

"Wow, neat! I thought I was the only one in Stowmarket."

To which he responded in the coldest voice, "You're not. There are lots of us." Then he turned on his heel and walked away.

Um, Mister? I just gave your kids candy. Don't be such an asshole. Oh, and when I got back from choir, someone had stolen one of our pumpkins. Bah.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

It's Fall!

James and I made apple crumble last night (he's an expert crumble maker after a crash course with his aunt:

And then tonight we carved pumpkins. Well, he directed and I carved, since he's cuter with all of his fingers attached.

It's also nearly Halloween, which can only mean one thing - that it's my UK-versary. I moved here 2(!) years ago. Remember when I lived in New York? I wasn't a blogger then - I was just one of the zillions of New Yorkers riding the subway and eating out every night. Just like Stowmarket, right?

Media Roundup

I finished reading Two Caravans - A Novel, the sophomore novel from Marina Lewycka. I read her first one - A Short History Of Tractors In Ukrainian - and I'm not going to read any more by her. The stories both focus on Ukrainian immigrants in the UK, and how they fall through the cracks or generally get themselves into trouble. I didn't find any of the characters in Caravan particularly appealing, although the storytelling style was interesting. It jumped from character to character in the first person, including 'Dog' (the dog, my favorite character by far). Not a recommended read, unless you really loved the first one.

I also blasted through a Jodi Picoult paperback, "The Tenth Circle." It broke away from her usual 'courtroom drama,' which I really liked. I thought it was going to fall into the same pattern, about halfway through, and then suddenly veered off in a completely different direction.

I'm on to Water For Elephants, recommended by Kristen. So far so good.

The DVD for My Neighbor Totoro finally came in at the library - they'd lost the original copy and had to get a new one in. We watched it with James - he loved Spirited Away and thought Totoro was pretty good too. The last time I watched it was in Japanese with English subtitles - they were translated by someone with a tenuous grip on English, and were extremely funny. This time, it was dubbed in English (it's a cartoon so it wasn't a big deal), and while it was less funny, it's still a great film.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I need matzoh ball soup

I've caught some kind of plague at work and am feeling generally yucky and run-down. I was home, snoozing, all day today.

However, what I REALLY need is some matzoh ball soup. Preferably Liz's aunt's soup, but Sarge's would do. When I lived in Tudor City and was home sick, I'd either order their matzoh ball soup or a noodle soup from Mee Noodles.

I'm going to try again to find matzoh meal somewhere around here - I may have to resort to mail-order. Suggestions appreciated!

Update: Just found Just Kosher. I see some matzoh in my future!!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Slow news

It's been slow news in Stowmarket lately. We bought these (parchment, not brown) curtains for our kitchen door/window, since the nights are really starting to draw in and it's our last bare window in the house. I think the in-laws are going to come over with the big drill this weekend and help us install them. They look better in real life than they do in the picture, I promise.

I'm also running up Linux on my super-old (i.e. purchased for me by good ol' Mom & Dad in 1999 when I was a wide-eyed college freshman) computer. It's been through a lot, and Windows XP was NOT kind to it. The hope is to salvage it and then repurpose it as the small boy's computer. I think it's got some years in it yet. It's just trundling through the Linux install now...the closest thing I can use to describe it is a 747 taking off. At least it's enthusiastic, if nothing else.

Oh, and I'm still on my diet. I'm getting there, and I've made a deal with myself that as soon as I can fit into my all-time-favorite gray wool trousers, I'll buy a pair of pants from Boden. It's surprisingly motivating.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Blanket Update

My brother pulled out all the stops for my birthday this year. He asked what I wanted, so I sent him links to some fluffy socks and a pillow made by Manda.

He responded by sending me a Casio Exilim digital camera (pink!), because I had 'admired his when I was home and he thought I'd like my own.' My jaw hit the floor when it arrived - I had absolutely no idea that he was sending something so awesome. I haven't taken many pictures yet because Amazon is being slow with the memory card, but here are two that I took yesterday on the walk into town.

My 4-year-old Canon digital Elph has served me very well - it's the reason I hadn't upgraded cameras before - despite the postage stamp viewing screen and 4 megapixel-ness, it's always taken fantastic pictures and I've used it so much it's like an extension of my arm. Ed and I were talking yesterday on Skype about it - we both realized that we'd had our own cameras when we were 10. I see a gently used Elph in James' future...

The hot air balloon is from Virgin Balloon flights - they run launches from the big playing field in Stowmarket.

These are from the blanket that I've been knitting for a while. I just finished the red wool yesterday, and started in on the cream. It's going to look great on the brown corduroy backing. All I have to do is knit 23 1/2 more squares and then I'm done!