Count the Delights

Carole took a cue from my post of yesterday and decided today's Ten on Tuesday should be about 10 Everyday Things that Delight.  I often make a mental note of at least one thing that is my daily delight and it doesn't have to be something grand, and once you start taking not it's easy to find what it is that delights.

Myview1. My view! My mountain, at any angle, brings me so much delight on a daily basis. If by chance the view is obscured by cloudy weather (which happens infrequently), I have it in my minds eye and know it is always there looking over me.

2. My iPod. I've expounded on my love of my back pocket friend, but the books, podcasts, and daily pedometer count it gives me is a daily delight.

Thejayfamily3. Cheryl calls me a scrub jay magnet, and I am as attracted to them, as they must be to me. As you can see yesterday, it has nothing to do with the copious number of peanuts I scatter. I had not a single one with me on Saturday, and the babe still dropped to drink at my feet. I feel chosen.

4. This year spring arrived in January and it's put on a show ever since. We have loved our extended spring, as well as the roller-coaster weather. If it's cold today, just wait until tomorrow as it will be beautiful once again.

Springflowers5. Because of the extended spring, the flowering season has been long. A variety of daffodils have been blooming at Red Butte Gardens since January and every time I go I see something new and interesting, not to mention beautiful!

6. One of my daily delights is friendship. It might be face to face, in a letter, an email, a text, or a blog post, but every day I have the joy of friendship with so many lovely people.

Mytea7. I gave up coffee when I had surgery 5 years ago and I have explored the love of tea ever since. My cupboard is full of delicious varieties from all over the world, and I've become a bit of snob.  How much do I love the warmth of a cup in the morning and cold sip of tea iced at the end of my day? The thought brings pure delight.

8. Seriously, how many of us could live a day without at phone attached to our hips? I love putting it aside at the end of the day and rarely look at it past 6:00, but it is my lifeline for much of the day. The camera, the calendar, the connection to family and friends, it offers in a variety of ways. It is a double edge sword, but we all carry it for protection and connection. A smartphone is a daily delight.

9. My knitting, or sewing, or reading, or writing! Every day I must do something to create and use my hands. It is a very sad day I cannot do one or the other and a day I can do all, or at least, several crafts, is a wonderfully delightful day.

Whiskey10. The end of the day on the days I am home with Smith is one of my greatest delights. We sit and relax, read and sip a tiny shot of a good whiskey. This doesn't happen daily, but just the time to truly unwind is truly delightful.


Pull Out Your Library Card

Carole, as librarians are wont to do, would like us to list the last 10 books we read for Ten on Tuesday. I've a few good books on my list and few so-so choices and I hope this helps you find something to read.

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1. Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood - This book was a reread for me as Margaret Atwood's visit was on my mind. This book is darkly humorous and I enjoyed every word. I loved the characters, a group of girlfriends, frenimies really, and laughed out loud as they retold their stories, revealing secrets and whole of the story. 4 stars. Audio, March 23-24th.

2. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullars - This story grabbed me, held me, mesmerized me, and shattered my heart into a thousand pieces, but left me with hope for many of the characters. McCullars tells the stories of several memorable people, the lonely, the mis-fit, the misunderstood, all incredibly poor, but full of spirit and heart. It will take a truly amazing to knock this out of the #1 spot of my 2015 reads. 5 stars, with highest recommendation to all. Kindle, Feb. 23-Mar. 24th

 3. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin - This covers 24 hours of a young man's life, his religious conversion and his step away from the religious life. John Grimes is a young black man in the 1950s, and it is difficult to imagine what life would be life for a poor black family living in that time. James Baldwin brings that era very much alive, as he tells this coming of age story, driven by John's relationship with his father and with religion. I was touched in many ways by the story and found Baldwin's language lyrical and substantial. This is a very important book from one of America's great authors. 5 stars. Audio, Mar. 5th-10th

4. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood - Another sci-fi choice, read only because Margaret Atwood was coming to town, and wanted to brush up on her most recent fiction. I found the story disturbing, as the world she created reminded me a little too much of our own. Distopian fiction is a beyond me, even when dosed with humor.  4 stars. Audio, Feb. 20th-27th

5. The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout - I wasn't a huge fan of Olive Kitteridge, Strout's big hit, and I read this book under protest (as sometimes happens with book group choices). I liked it not at all. I didn't go to the discussion and I'm not willing to write about it here. 2 stars, because I finished it. Kindle, Feb 2nd-21st

6. The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry - Told from the letters and diaries of both an old woman, Roseanne, who is housed in an asylum, and a younger man, Dr. Grene. The narration moves back and forth, unveiling both their stories as it goes. The language is marvelous and their stories unfold slowly, relating surprising elements I won't spoil. 5 stars. Audio, Jan. 26th-Feb. 16th

7. Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill - Told from the perspective of a unnamed wife, who at one time, wrote to her husband from the "Dept. of Speculation". This is another audio book narrated by the author and I appreciated the way she spoke softly, as if relating her secrets, telling of the uncertainties in her marriage and life as a mother. 4 stars. Audio, Feb. 2nd, a one day read.

8. The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell - This was a favorite of many of my friends, but I just couldn't get into the story. I found the characters to act more like children than scientists and was very put off by the story. I stretched to give it 2.5 stars. Kindle, Jan.21-Feb. 1st

9. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins - You may have heard all the hype about this book and many of you may have already read it. It was a page turner, a good mystery, and it was hard to pick out the villain until the end. 3 stars, okay, but didn't live up to the hype.  Audio, Jan. 26th-27th

10. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson - This was perfect book to listen to because of the free verse style.  Jacqueline tells her story, her way and I listened to this book because she was the narrator. Having her read her ow words brought so much more to the story. 5 stars and marvelous. Audio, Jan. 22-23rd

At the moment, I'm reading, in both audio and paperback, The Shipping News by Annie Proulx. I loved this book the first time I read it in 1995 and I'm loving it again this time. As a bit of a distraction, I'm also listening to Raven Black (Shetland #1), a mystery. Next up, a recommendation from Carole, The Golem and the Jinni

What's #1 on your reading list?


Memories

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As you might have guessed, I was not ready for today's ToT topic and, therefore, I have no picture of a sandwich at the ready. That doesn't mean I don't enjoy a good sandwich once in awhile, as there are a couple of good GF bread bakers in town. There are as many varieties of gluten free bread as there are of regular bread. The difference is, they just don't have the taste and texture of regular wheat based, yeasty breads.  I usually just have an un-wich when faced with a choice. However, I do have many fond memories of delicious sandwiches and that's what I'll list for today's T0T topic of 10 Favorite Sandwiches.

1. Grill cheese, made with white bread slathered with tons of butter, cheddar cheese sliced from the brick, and made by my mother's hand. It was best served with a side of tomato soup.

2. A yeasty, fluffy, and hot from the oven, slice of Mom's homemade white bread, (carefully) buttered generously and sprinkled with sugar.

3. Open faced turkey sandwich of leftover Thanksgiving turkey atop a slice of bread and covered with homemade gravy. A side of cranberry sauce made this perfection.

4.  A hot French dip sandwich, made by the corner sandwich shop (long ago closed), served with a generous portion of rich au jus, on warm, crisp on the outside, soft in the center, bread. A side of crispy fries made this heavenly.

5. Tuna fish, made by Carole's hand, served at her cozy kitchen table, with a view from the window. It was a delicious lunch made by a friend's hand and served with a side of chat. (As a child I would put potato chips between the slices just to add more crunch.)

6. Our family reunion favorite was Sloppy Joe's made by granma, or mom, and served with crisp cold coleslaw.  To clear the pallet, we always had ice cold watermelon for dessert.

7. My favorite non-traditional grilled cheese was served by a local restaurant on whole-grain bread, stuffed with melted brie and warm sliced pear. It was a delicious paring of ingredients. 

8. An egg salad sandwich has always one of my favorites, and of course, the sandwich made by mom is one of my favorite memories. I make my own on occasion.

 9. Bacon, lettuce, and tomato, but only when the tomato is fresh from the garden. Wheat or white bread, it doesn't matter, but the tomato does!

10. BBQ pork sandwich on a soft bun, served with a large variety of barbecue sauces, so they can be mixed up on top and pour down the sides to coat all layers. Tangy, hot, yummy, with a side of cornbread and cold coleslaw (which is also good on top of the sandwich). We're talking open-faced, of course.

I hope you enjoyed my walk down sandwich memory lane and that you'll share one of your favorite sandwiches, too!


I Dare Not

Living without cheese is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. I gave up gluten happily and I've given up a few other foods, too. But...cheese, dear cheese, how I do miss you!

Carole asked us to pick our Ten Favorite Cheeses, which lead me to spend an hour and half feeling sorry for myself, but I decided to give in and list a few of the cheeses I miss most.  (PS.I have no cheese in the house for a picture.)

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1. Some of my very favorite cheeses are from a local company called Beehive Cheese. Their signature cheese Barely Buzzed has won a ton of awards. I also adore their TeaHive.

2. Baked brie or Camembert with sprigs of rosemary and gloves of garlic. This is to.live.for. Monica served this on Christmas Day as an appetizer and it was a hit.

3. Good ol' English Farmhouse cheddar.

4. Any cheese from Wisconsin. (I had to throw that in for Vicki.)

5. Goat cheese covered with  (Massachusetts) cranberries. (I had to throw that in for Carole.)

6. Stilton with lemon peel. So, good with wine.

7. Parmigiano-Reggiano (I can still eat small amounts with a lactaid.)

8. Feta cheese in a Greece salad. (Sheep's feta with a lactaid is also ok.)

Don't feel sad for me. There are many wonderful foods available to me and I eat a wide variety of things. I'm just a pain for other people to feed, not for myself.


At The End of The Rainbow

Carole asked us to spill the beans on what we'd do if we found a pot of gold. 

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1. Smith and I would retire.

2. We'd fix up our old condo with new carpet and furniture. 

3. I'd buy a new car. 

4. I'd make sure Smith bought a new car, too. 

5. We'd travel to visit family and friends we rarely have a chance to see. 

6. We'd spend a month in Italy, the one place I've always wanted to visit, and we might think of another place or two we'd like to visit. 

7. I'd give a lot of money to my favorite charities. A LOT of money.

8. We'd go to New York, because I've never been to NYC and we'd visit friends and family all over New England.

9. I'd have a great big dinner party and have a bunch of friends over for lobster and crab, and steak, if they want it.

10. I'd buy Smith a tractor.


You're Invited...

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Carole came up with a topic for ToT that had me searching through my book shelves. This is a difficult subject, as I rarely think about hanging out with characters from the books I read. I read to lose myself in other people's lives, in their times , and the places about which I know nothing, but wouldn't necessarily want to stay. I decided to go for some of the memorable characters from books I've read over the last few years in hopes of having an unpredictable evening.

1. Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, the main character from the Louise Penny's Gamache series, one of my favorite characters of all time, as he is a very kind person.

2. and 3. Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird and if you don't know why, you haven't read the book. Yes, I'd like Atticus at the table, too.

4. August Boatright from The Secret Life of Bees because she is no nonsense and down to earth, but also has a magical quality about her.

5. Lily Bere from On Canaan's Side by Sebastian Berry because her story has never left me. 

6. Aritomo because he created the garden in Garden of Evening Mists.

7. Ifemelu the main character Americanah because she's a complex character I would like to understand better. I also think she would add much to any dinner conversation. 

8. Rhett Butler from Gone With the Wind, because who doesn't want a rogue at the table.

9. Josefita (Tita) from Like Water for Chocolate, because she couldn't help but cook a passionate meal for us.

10. How do I introduce my last choice? This one may surprise you, but I think you'd all agree, Winnie-the-Pooh would be a wonderful character to invite to dinner because he'd bring the honey. 


No Idea

The Ten on Tuesday topic gave me a belly laugh. What? 10 Time Periods You Would Visit If You Had a Hot Tub Time Machine! I have no idea what Carole is talking about, but I'm sure there will be some great posts today. 

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 1. I'm wondering if I would I like living in the time of Edith Wharton? (Thank you, Kym, I love this sticker so much!

2. Maybe the time of Shakespeare would be interesting, as I love Shakespeare, plus this is also the time of Elizabeth I.

3. Perhaps the time of Emily Dickinson would be nice. 

4. I think I would be able to get into the late 1950s when Miles Davis was in his cool period.  Just to think I might be able to hearKind of Blue and Sketches of Spain in person! 

5. What about the time of the Roman Gods and maybe getting to know them better than I do now. Would I also gain an understanding of the mythologies? (No idea what time period I'd be going back to.)

6. Maybe I could just live this life over and over until I get it right. 

7. How about going back to the future and being totally surprised about where you'd land! It would all be new and foreign, just like going back in time would be, only weirder. 

I think that's about as many places as I really like to "go", but mostly, I just want to live with all of today's amenities and in a time that is familiar. There's no place like home. 


In The Now

Ten Things I'm Looking Forward to Right Now!

1. Smith's birthday celebration today! He's deciding where he'd like to go for his special dinner. 

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2. Just for fun, I took Carla Sonheim's Crazy Birds tutorial and signed up the Junk Mail Artist Book class and I'm looking forward to giving that pesky junk mail a reason to be.

TIny Iris

3. I'm looking forward to another week of above normal temperatures before winter tries to subvert the high that's kept it at bay. The weekend temperatures are headed to the "below normal range", but since normal is 43, and they're predicting 42, this isn't much of a threat. However, we are used to living in paradise. 

4. Looking forward to the end of the book I'm reading. It's for my book group, otherwise, I bother to wouldn't finish it. 

5. We've decided to paint our bedroom, or you could say, I've decided the color I want on my bedroom wall. Smith is now painting our bedside tables in a complimentary color and the walls will come next. I'm looking forward to having it finished and the work hasn't even started. 

6. I'm looking forward to finishing the Duane Park Triangle, but seriously...did you think it would take me this long? I truly thought I'd be finished by now. It will be another week or so. 

7. I'm looking forward to the weekend. After a long weekend, I don't want to return to work. I like my job, it's just that I like weekends better. 

8. On the said weekend, I should have time to work on my Alabama Chanin project and finish sewing the front. I have a beading extravaganza in mind as embellishment. 

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9. I'm looking forward to snow? I would love to see a foot of snow on the ground. It isn't just that we need the water, snow would help me remember and understand the date. It is mid-February after all. See how little snow and how dry the brush is? We need winter to return. 

10. I'm looking forward to DST. I like it. You're entitled to your opinion. That's mine. 

What are you looking forward to now? 


Time to Love

Sunrise 2-9-15

I love seeing a brilliant sunrise. This is the view from my back door and I am lucky enough to leave the house at just the right time to see so many amazing sunrises. I love my view!

I love my new furnace, as it works so much better than the 44 year old beast we had. I also love that the old beast lasted 44 years. 

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I love being on the homestretch of finishing my long time knitting companion, Duane Park Triangle

I love having clean teeth and an "all clear for the next 6 months" report from my dentist. 

I love knowing next Monday is a day off! That alone will get me through the next week. 

I love sending mail and getting mail. It is the Month of Letters and I have been writing to friends and family, sending at least one letter a day. This is Valentine's week and I am looking forward to sending a few hearts in the mail, too. 

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I love being a member of Postcrossing and sending postcards to all corners of the globe. Yesterday I received three!  One from China and two from Russia!

I love the SnB girls and I am working on a post to share the wonderful projects we knit for our 11th anniversary. 

I love hanging out with Smith, which I will do all weekend! I can't remember the last time we had both weekend days together. We're SO looking forward to it and, as you know, Saturday is Valentine's Day, which makes it all the better!

I love that you still read my blog! I feel honored that anyone would be reading my blog after all these years. Thank you!

Carole asked us to start 10 sentence with I love. So, tell me, what do you love? 


You Can Laugh At Me Now

Well, seriously, this weeks 10 on Tuesday puts me in a laughable situation. I don't "do" footwear. Very few shoes reside in my closet and most are all the same shoe, maybe varying in color, but all the same brand, shape, and shoe. My shoes are basic utilities and lack much style, but I'm willing to share what I have.

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1. Keen's, my #1 shoe, the shoe I wear every day of the week. The style changes only slightly, but the shoe always has the same fit. I have 2 pair of black (one pair in good shape, the other quite worn) a pair in maroon (cordovan?), and a recent splurge, red. The picture above was not taken for the benefit of this post. As my luck would have it, I rushed out of the house a few weeks ago and did not notice until late afternoon that I had on two different shoes. Ha, ha, the joke is on me!

2. Slippers- This is my standard after work (at least in winter) footwear.

3. Boots (one pair) an UGG knitted style I wear once in a blue moon (especially this year).

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4. Back to the Keen, I also have a pair of close-toe sandals.

5. Workout shoes-I bought 2 years ago.

6. And, to round out the wardrobe, another pair of Keens, my walking/hiking shoes.

I'm looking forward to seeing all the pretty shoes everyone else has in their closets. My days of having a closet full of choices are long gone (happily).