Sunday, February 27, 2011

Making me happy this weekend

1. Closed tulips.

I love buying flowers before they've bloomed, watching them progress day by day.

When I got them home and put them in the pitcher recently acquired at Amvets that I've been dying to put to use,  I realized that I should have bought 2 bunches.

To say I need practice with flower arrangements would be a gross understatement.

Looking around for what I might use to help fill out the arrangement, I decided to snip a few stems from the rhododendron bushes outside, and a few squirrelly asparagus fern trimmings. I'm actually not a huge fan of rhododendron bushes, but I'm pretty happy with how their rusty green foliage added to the arrangement. 

I had no idea what color these tulips would be, having picked this bunch out of a bucket of other bunches already in bloom, and in all different colors.

Today, I was thrilled to see a hint of yellow! Just the sunshine we could really, really use right now. The days are thankfully getting longer, but they've been pretty dreary just the same.  

2. Friday night in.

A good bottle of Cab (a splurge for us at $22), and the fixings for my Mediterranean fish stew and baguette with parmesan and roasted garlic. A 2011 resolution - to eat fish more often, at least twice a week. 

3. My new glasses.

Two weekends ago, after trying on several frames at Eyes Downtown, that were either just a little too out there for me, too boring, too round or too square - these frames, hidden behind a more garish neon green pair in the very last display case I checked out was the the third bowl of porridge.  Well, hello, Prada - nice to finally meet you.

See how they dip down a little where the temple and hinge meet the frame?

That one little detail did it for me, as well as their not-quite-square, not-quite-round, not-quite-catseye, and yet somehow, all three shape. Trying them on, I turned from someone not very jazzed about having a permanent accessory attached to her face every day to being absolutely smitten. 

I've needed to wear glasses for distance for about 15 years - for driving, TV, movies, not being rude to people I know by inadvertently snubbing them in public, or the flipside, enthusiastically waving to strangers on the street, thinking they are friends - and worst of all, mistaking fluffy frou-frou dogs with any black and white markings for Boston Terriers from a distance. 

4. A weeded out and clean refrigerator.

I will spare you photos. I'm guessing you aren't disappointed. But if you only knew how much extra space we gained in this exercise, and how liberating it was to throw away about 30 jars of miscellaneous mustards, jams, Asian condiments and jarred sauces (all of which apparently have NO expiration date) in order to make room for another 2011 resolution - to jump on the pickling, canning and jamming bandwagon, - you might understand how discovering all that free space in a fridge that I curse out as "way too small!!!" on a daily basis gave me such a sense of accomplishment. 

5. Gabrielle Hamilton on the Splendid Table.

I often spend Sundays alternating between our two local public radio stations - FM 88.7, WBFO and AM 970, WNED - as I do things around the house. The schedule goes something like this:

8-10am: NPR Weekend Edition (FM)
10-11am: Wait Wait Dont Tell Me (FM)
11-12: Bob Edwards Weekend (AM)
12-2pm: A Prairie Home Companion (AM) - you know you are getting old when you start to tolerate, and even - dare I admit this? - enjoy the hokeyness factor here.
2-3pm: The Splendid Table (AM)
3-5pm: To the Best of Our Knowledge (AM)
5-6pm: All Things Considered (FM)
6-7 or 8: This American Life (FM) - the highlight of my Sundays, always.

So imagine my delight when, after expressing my excitement over Gabrielle Hamilton's new memoir Blood, Bones and Butter here, I was treated to an interview with Gabrielle on the Splendid Table. What a genuine down-to-earth lady she is. Can't wait to read the book. Just stumbled upon the Facebook Page for her book launch party, where there's this quote from Mario Batali:
“I will read this book to my children and then burn all the books I have written for pretending to be anything even close to this. After that I will apply for the dishwasher job at Prune to learn from my new queen.” .... (woah!) ... well as this blurb:

"Gabrielle’s childhood home in a burnt-out nineteenth-century silk mill in rural Pennsylvania was the lush setting for her parents’ elaborate parties, where pigeon pies were eaten and whole baby lambs were roasted over wood fires while beer and wine chilled in a nearby creek. Her father (a theatrical set designer) transformed their home with refrigerator-sized cartons of fake snow, dry ice machine fog, and stacks of Kilim rugs depending on the party's theme. However, the magical childhood abruptly ended when her rigidly disciplined mother (a former ballerina who  'spent the day in a good skirt, high heels, and an apron') announced to her Bohemian, dreamy husband that she was finished with the marriage." 

Double woah!

I'm heading for a little getaway to Florida on Thursday - definitely have to add a trip to Talking Leaves to my to do list this week.

Ok, dears, time to get ready for a friend's Oscars party. Too bad I haven't seen ANY of the movies up for nomination!

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