Tuesday, January 31, 2006

over and done

Yippee, some decent feedback and good confabs. Home tomorrow for clean smalls, check on the floor, pick up some more data, class and back to Hotlanta for a day at the Weather Channel and a working group meeting with people that I love hanging out with...

The Dekalb farmer's market was really interesting. Decatur looks like a neat place to visit, a guy from the CDC offered some good suggestions that we'll try on Friday.

Great stuff at the market, picked up some cheese, olives, bread and had a nice picnic!


Monday, January 30, 2006

print me and wrap me

Stingrays, Georgia Aquarium, January 2006.

So, I am having a better day I think.

I slept until 9 am. Got up, worked a bit, went to a policy symposium lunch with TH, worked a bit more (actually I sudukoed), looked around the CNN center (mmm, nothing like eating fast food lunch while listening to news reports about child molestation) and then accompanied a historian of science and an archivist (both fabulous careers, dontcha think?) to the new Georgia Aquarium.

I have never been to an aquarium that asks you specifically to not bring in guns or knives. Go figure.

It was interesting. Everything is sponsored by a corporation, not in the little elegant signs that you used to see at exhibits (The following exhibit is underwritten by the generosity of the Dumwithie sprockets company), but more like the Home Depot Life with Leopard Sharks or the Best Buy Manatee Petting Pool. It was awful, in that everything by the Home Depot exhibit was that Home Depot bucket orange. The huge wall of fish was pretty cool though.

Made me miss Monterey and the otters.

So, why print and wrap? I am beginning to love this hotel for the very comfortable couch on which I am currently trying to finish up my powerpoint (and procrastinating by writing this) and that they have free printing. Yes, free printing, you upload your document to the web, send it and go downstairs and type in the pin they give you and voila, your document arrives. TH has a proposal due tomorrow and it has been a save for sure. In the past, we have actually purchased a printer -it is cheaper than most business centers.

Wrapping -- TH noticed we had no bathrobes - defective. I called today and they sent up two nice plush ones. Brand new as well. I had to call to make sure we had not crossed our signals and paid for two new ones instead of getting old ones.

Anyways, I still am not impressed by Atlanta, but the little perks are making it tolerable.

p.s B - Tomorrow at 4:45, I'll be vamoosing to DeKalb for sure. :)


Sunday, January 29, 2006


I've been here for about 11 hours and I haven't left the hotel. Sad, but true. I have been holed up in the club lounge or in my suite (sorry, not monarch like) working my fingers off revising a bunch of data and though still not very happy, I'm more confident in my estimates...

Error propogation can be nasty if unchecked.

So, that leads me with a few thoughts.

One, why fly half way across the country to give a paper in a meeting with people who already know what you are doing and all you are seeing is the inside of the hotel room while you are working on work that you could be doing much easier at home.

Why do people build atrium hotels? They are awful sound vortexes and just plain hideous.

Is it okay to just go to your day of meetings and spend part of the day before your meeting doing something fun like visiting the Dekalb farmer's market and visiting the Aquarium?

Oh well, time to sign off from the Crown Suite on the 15th floor of the Hyatt Regency in Atlanta. Sorry kids, no pool table but a pretty decent living room that we've currently turned into proposal and number crunching central.

Dinner with our fearless leader tomorrow. Very exciting! Team building! One Organization! Sis Boom Rah!


Saturday, January 28, 2006

dare to be crazy

Hellebores, January 2006.

That is so me, I have abandoned my normal nubuck look in the dansko clog for a more razmatazz shiny version. Next you'll see me wearing rhinestones, no doubt about it.

Above is a picture of a hellebore that I took in the garden today between two squalls. The weather was nice for the seven minutes I got to do something fun today. I just got back from the office and am waiting for my tshirts to dry before I pack them.

Don't get too excited for me, I think those going to see my Atlanta will be amazed at my breadth of wardrobe excitement. I'm taking one skirt and one pair of slacks, that way they can keep on guessing what I'll be wearing.


Friday, January 27, 2006

Things to ponder

Graves used for the drying the cod, during the cod fishery, St. Pierre et Miquelon, June2003.

Why are there Dukes of Hazzard dvds out their the public's consumption and not Spenser for hire?

Why is my new neighbor afraid of natural light? Every single one of his window shades remain closed every stinking hour of the day. What is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? We were originally afraid of him.

Why do braising greens sound so good when you buy them and then you never get around to eating them?

My poor workstation is pounding away, I can hear the little dear just cranking and cranking, trying to convert all those pixels into a new data set. It sounds like it is on its last legs, poor dear. This week has definitely made me realize its time for a major technology refreshment. Guess who will be speccing/requesting/buying a new workstation next week?

I was here until 12:30 last night. Don't feel sorry for me, its partially my doing - I can't stand up very easily and say, are you out of your mind? or hmm, maybe if I wasn't doing something I wasn't supposed to be doing last week, I would have had all the data I may have needed for this little exericse. I can tell you one thing, it sure has opened up my eyes to how I'm going to do data management for our next server, when it shows up...

Anyways, enough of that....

They stained a bunch of our floor today. Wow, I guess. I will not get to see it in the light, but TH said it was good. We have to make a descision on phase 2 of the kitchen, cabinet refinishing with a coat durable enough to deal with basset drool and cake batter. It will be lovely when its done.

I hopefully will spend my tomorrow dealing with all the mundane tasks that I have been putting enough because of work- laundry, bills and the library. I also have to redo a powerpoint for my talk on Tuesday, should I put in a subversive background? Whizzing arrows? animations? I hate those things.

Oh, and packing. Yech. Must pack.

Did you know that I unpack my bag within five minutes of getting home from any trip? Its a trait of which I am proud of, so now I need to rip the plastic off the doors and find my bag for my trip to Atlanta. Never been there before, hope its fun.

Okay, must dash, sounds like my machine has finished cutting apart my data and I can finish.

Update: Machine was not cranking away, I was out of disk space. I had to delete 8 gigs from my working directory. Yikes.


Thursday, January 26, 2006

guess where I am...

Chained to my desk for the foreseeable future. Feel sorry not for me, but for my TH who is so kindly extracting data that seems to bog my system down. I just loaded another liscense on my work cracktop,so I can continue to ke-runch these numbers while I am away for part of next week. I knew there was a reason I bought an empower plug....

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

plastics - the future is in plastics

My house is completely encased in plastic, it flaps, it whispers, in mimics a rainstorm. It confuses me and I hate it. Its for our own good and at least we don't have to abandon ship quite yet. Life is confusing enough without adding moving in the mix.

Great dinner tonight at Piatti Locali - duck risotto with a port/sour cherry sauce for TH and grilled mahi mahi nicoise for me...


Tuesday, January 24, 2006

the closet

Crocuses, Spring 2004, Seattle, Wa. It is on its way.

No, not that one. Our front hall closet that at one time may or may not have been part of the house. Anyways, it is the black hole of something jammed with oilskins, coats that I'll never wear again, old rawhide chews and gear we never will use. It was emptied out last night for the next phase of floor work. Yikes. I hope to only put back 1/3 of what was in there as it was scary.

The most amazing thing that I noticed was that we have close to 40 of those bags that you get at conferences, you know the ones I'm talking about - the ones that drug companies or meeting organizers put all the gack you get at conferences in. I have some beauties, but my goal is to do only have eight by the end of the process which to be totally honest will be moot because we'll receive two more each in the next four weeks. These are great for the library, farmer's market or the grocery store, but maybe overkill in our case.

I also filled our recycling bin with those little bags they give you now when you shop at boutiques. Lovely as they are for lunch bags, they were starting to drive me crazy. I think we had something like nine la maison du chocolat bags alone. Now that is a place I could eat lunch. ; )

So, do yourself a favor, don't wait until you have to empty that closet to do work or deal with the plumber and gushing water pipes, go through and get rid of the bags and donate those wearable warm coats to those who might need them, ditto for gloves, mittens, art supplies and toiletries. I just donated 2 bags of amenity kits to our local shelter and they are happier than clams to get them.

Oh, and it was sunny today. I even managed to sneak out and enjoy it for an hour!


Monday, January 23, 2006

merge me

God, I have had a day from hell, being micromanaged, dealing with data that just doesn't want to behave and realizing that in a week, I have to get up and tell the world what the hell I've been working on for the last few months. Nothing really, I am still waiting for a developer to free up to test out some stuff. I will have a lovely overview, some solid examples and a road ahead, but no fricking hard coding done. I am not happy right now. TH is in the same boat as well. We're not a fun bunch to be around right now.

I am desperately waiting my beta copy of ArcGIS 9.2 so that I can load it up and see if it really does everything it says it will -read my file formats of choice, have better documentation and make me a decent hot cup of coffee. Okay, that is a stretch, but the file formats are important.

So enough about my lame day at work.

They started on our floors today. Our house is a disaster area. It is worse than when we did the upstairs floors because it is so easy to move things downstairs than it is to move couches up the stairs. Our refrigerator is in our dining area and our oven is where the wood stove used to live. Now that we have liberated the woodstove, I'm thinking that it may be time to get a nicer and smaller one and move the old one into the JCDM library wing when it gets built sooner than later. We're testing the stains tomorrow and deciding whether it'll just be better to go natural.

Okay, back to merging DEMS or something or maybe just going home now...


Sunday, January 22, 2006

Airline pet peeve no. 457

People who insist on coming by to chat with their friends and end up leaning on your seat while they are having an inane conversation that they can have sometime during the week during their HVAC engineer convention.

Why do air conditioning engineers meeting in Chicago in the winter?

Why are their so many air conditioning engineers in Seattle?


Saturday, January 21, 2006

Princess for the day

Room 3475, Hyatt Regency Chicago, January 2006.

Okay, maybe that is the wrong title, but that is what I felt like when I called to check in to my hotel and they told me they had put us in the Monarch Suite. I was expecting an upgrade to maybe the club level, but a suite, let alone the Monarch Suite was a bit over the top. After a yummy dinner of many wursts at Berghoff with the good fortune of being a two top and getting in after only one hour or so standing in 26 degree weather, TH and I found a cab and went to our hotel.

Hmm. I think the suite is/was bigger than our house. TH shot some pool, I read by the fire, neither of us cared to tinkle on the ivories though. The views were nice of the river as well. I'm staying in the same hotel in March for a few days, me thinks I'll be happy to get a club room.

So, for approximately 13 hours of my life, I was the princess I deserved to be. :)


Friday, January 20, 2006

friday is always on my mind

Sunset over Puget Sound, December 2005.

This day would not end. Calls from realtors dealing with the f*$k up that is happening, data that still doesn't work, constant emails and trying to figure out how to move a whole main floor's worth of furniture into a large, but not really that large kitchen.

Oh well, at least I have tomorrow to look forward to - flying to Chicago and dinner at the Berghoff for one last time. It is snowing right now and the flights to ORD have been cancelled until tomorrow am. I hope we get out and if not, we can make it before they close.
I need to find my long johns as well.


Thursday, January 19, 2006

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

December pics for your viewing pleasure

Click to see my Rome pics from December 2005. Please note that these are not necessarily touristy shots, but Rome as I cherish it.

I am in the process of editing my last few trips that were done in the digital age.

Click here for London.

Click here for Paris.

Okay, back to the arduous tasks of the day.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

airline pet peeve no. 456

To log into your frequent flyer account to see you have no specials/cheap fares from your market and they (the airline) wonder why you aren't booking flights.


Maybe if you served my airport better, I would fly more.


Monday, January 16, 2006

watching paint dry

Partly sunny Seattle in 15 minute intervals, January 2006.

Honestly, that is what I'm doing. Waiting for "treetop" to dry so that I may add one more coat and finish the baseboards in my study and call it art. Our house is a disaster area. All the stuff is off the plate rails, the wood stove is nearly disassembled, the paintings are off the wall, all the books are packed. You would think we're on our way out instead of just having our floors redone.

I hate this kind of change, it is disruptive. Last night, in hopes of cheering up ourselves over the lack of rain, we made a homemade chocolate pudding. We were hoping to use Fanny Farmer, but in our packing away the cookbooks, we put Fanny in one of the first boxes. Oh well, it'll be three weeks before we unpack the boxes. The pudding I made - cornstarch, cocoa, sugar, milk, vanilla and egg was okay, but not great. I may try again tonight with a less dark cocoa and more sugar. I did pull some cookbooks out for the great upheaval, Nigel, Christine, Lindsey, myself and Rachael (don't say a word..). I should have left Irma out as well. I'll have to rely on myself to figure out what we're having for dinner the next few nights.

So, as TH said last night, this city is half assed. We can't even beat the record for rainfall. I have to agree, 26 hours without measurable precipitation after 27 days followed by another week of precipitation really does suck. It wasn't like today was sunny and glorious, it was the same, just different as we get to start all over again. Naw, I'll just blame it on the seahawks.

Well, back to figuring out a dinner entree that we both can agree on.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

knife and fork

TH has declared Monday knife and fork day, that is, dinner must require two utensils to eat.

I guess she's tired of casseroles and soup. It is time for pork tenderloins and gratins. I figured it was a good night to finish off the contents of the refrigerator.


Saturday, January 14, 2006

airline pet peeve no. 455

Being trapped for 4 hours in 2a while 2c takes a snooze after three glasses of wine with dinnner and a baileys and coffee with his pumpkin cheese cake.

Friday, January 13, 2006

guess what?

Doorway detail, Chateau Brécy, Brécy, France. September 2004.

It is raining, day 26.

Spreadsheets, real estate irritations, too much sleep, not enough sleep, daunting weekend plans all play into the mix of my mood, which is not good. Too bad, since the week started out so great.

I'm about to install a software package on my workstation that will allow me to IM/jabber in an ArcMap session. Cross your fingers, I hope it works.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Probably the funniest thing I read today

Water feature, January 2006.

Well, sort of ...

Oops and yech.

Sick really, but honestly, I can't tell whether I would want to announce this to the world if I had even the slightest inkling that I had done this.

Sitting at home on another rainy Thursday night, getting all psyched to make dinner (deciding between pasta and co. hazelnut tortellini with light alfredo sauce or chicken stir fry with lots of veggies. The lazy in me is going for the tortellini, Friday is a good day to chop veggies.

Just finished baking two batches of cocoa brownies with the Hershey's special dark cocoa which someone on a foodie bulletin board likened to tasting a bit like oreos. I think they may be right, but damn skippy,they make some beautiful brownies.

Here is the master recipe:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup HERSHEY'S Special dark Cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts(optional) - I used guittard mint chips in one batch and sour cherries in the other
1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch square baking pan.

2. Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl. Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended. Stir in nuts/chocolate chips/dried cherries, if desired. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan.

3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares. About 16 brownies.

From www.hershey's com

Other than that, time to can up some more pear jam with cocao nibs and call it art. It's clean your fridge out Thursday.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

all for swinging you around

Cyclamens, January 2006.

As my pal, Y would say --righty oh. What a day I have had - calculating populations at risk from inundation waves - always a happy topic, going to my seminar on representations of Rome and sneaking out at lunch to actually see the sunlight. Wow, what a concept - leaving in the middle of the day to run silly errands and to photosynthesize.

Now I must bid you all adieu to do the mundane tasks involved in getting ready for tomorrow.


Tuesday, January 10, 2006


When I was a young buckette and was a sea going one, I was sort of excited to finally get to work in the Bering Sea. However, one day, one of my work colleagues described the Bering to me as being grey. Basically, he held up a grey file folder in front of my face and said "This is the what the Bering Sea is like - the sky is grey, the water is grey and there is no difference between the two". Well, my experience up there was not that grey. On certain days, it was beautiful, sunny and calm and nothing like the greyness that we have experienced here in Seattle in the last twenty three days.

On way in today it was grey upon grey. Grey sky, with darker grey clouds overlaying the mountains and grey asphalt on my way to work. I try and get in before eight thirty most days, but these days, it seems I'm getting in later and later just to experience a bit of lightness before going into my interior office for the day. The forecast says rain for the next week, unless things change, we're going to beat the 1953 record. Nice if you like that kind of thing, I guess.

I'm happy to say that at least this week I'll experience a few hours above the clouds flying and that may improve my mood.


Monday, January 09, 2006

comfort food 2

TH and I love tapioca and tonight was definitely a tapioca night - rainy and windy. I don't mean that wierd tapioca that is made by Jello and is not only full of big irregular glutinous chunks and tastes of cornstarch and fake vanilla that they plopped on your lunch tray in elementary school. It is my opinion that a real homemade tapioca is something to be celebrated. Smooth, not too sweet and real with the small pearls. I make a chocolate version, which I like when it is still warm.

Here is the classic recipe with my own notes:

3 T small tapioca (INSTANT)
1/3 cup sugar (I use only 2-3 T)
2 3/4 cup milk (1% is fine)
1 egg (beaten)
1 t vanilla
2 T dutch processed cocoa (I used the new Hershey's Special Dark, but any is fine)

In a pan (heavy bottomed) combine milk, egg, tapioca and sugar and stir together. Add in cocoa and whisk it in. This is where using a bigger pan is a good thing. Let the mixture sit for at least five minutes to combine.

Over medium heat with constant stirring, bring the mixture a boil and let it continue to boil for a minute. The balls will start to rise and the whole thing will start to thicken. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Pour into containers and enjoy hot or cold.

Note: The Hershey's Special Dark cocoa purchase was sort of a mistake. I was surprised when I opened the container and saw its color. Its quite dark and may not translate well in some recipes, but in a brownie, delish.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

worker bees

Daphne Odorata, January 2006.

Sunday night is one of my least favorite times of the week. It really starts if I happen to open the Parade section of the Times and see the Howard Huge cartoon. When I see that St. Bernard doing something silly, I know its over -- there is homework to be done and all the fun is over. Even as an adult, I still get morose when I see Howard, it means that Monday is back to the same old stuff.

What didn't we do this weekend?

The rain held off today (Sunday) until nearly four. We managed to finish planting bulbs (not a word,folks), rake up more leaves, feed the ever hungry worms, deal with cutting up the christmas tree for mulch and dead head plants. I planted peas in hopes the maybe they'll make it. If not, well, I'll do it again. Its still early I know.

We also managed to clear out my study (mostly) in hopes of getting in there this week and starting the painting process. Our main floor bathroom is now a sea of boxes and in the whole process I have managed to locate a few gems that I have yet to read, so I am excited. However, I am currently also exhausted. At least the hardest part is over, that room is a pain to empty as it is floor to ceiling bookcases. It should be lovely when it is repainted and the floors refinished.

Other than that, nothing more than the mudaneness of laundry, cooking (jam, pizza, soup and stock), sorting and purging. Note to self: Ironing thirty placemats and napkins in one sitting is too many. I am quite content as travel and craziness follow in the next few weeks, so catching up with life at home is okay.

Now, back to sitting with Nigel's Appetite and trying to get motivated to finish putting back the guest bedroom to its pre-Christmas shape.


Saturday, January 07, 2006

peek a boo

We saw blue sky this morning for a few nanoseconds. It was amazing. In the emerald city, we have had twenty days straight with measurable precipitation. This is not a record, but it can be a bummer. I was happy to see a shadow this morning and on my way to the Winter market saw the first of many crocuses (crocii?) to bloom in the lawn.

The winter market is a great things - we loaded up on tulips, cabbage, arugula, pears, carrots and potatoes. Good hearty basics that we will transform into a few yummy side dishes this week. We have also gone out on the hunt for boxes. We're not moving, but having our floors refinished on the main floor of our house and that means basically moving everything and we have alot of books. It also means painting my study which dear readers could use a bit of jazzing up...

So, off to Ace I go in search of some color with a name like "dry sandstone over bile green" from some Home and Garden TV host's collection. Hmm, maybe I'll invite over R. with her great eye to give me a suggestion or three.

Have a great and productive Saturday.


Friday, January 06, 2006

latest obsession

Suduko love. Image from http://www.pocket-lint.co.uk

Okay, its been a long week and I admit it after a yummy bowl of tortilla soup crafted by TH, I'm knackered. Tonight I will relax with the puzzle that you see everyone hunched over these days - a suduko. I first saw these in London in August and wondered why anyone would waste time trying to figure out the way to fit 1-9 in each box and in each row and column. Well readers (the four of you I know of), it is addicting and confounding. I spend a goodly amount of time on planes these days sudukoing with the sounds of Aimee Mann, Cowboy Junkies, New Pornographers going through my head. For one thing, it makes you think in a different way, I like that.

This year, I have the suduko a day calendar on my desk, its not elegant, but its a nice way to keep my sane during short breaks in the work day.

Once again, I'll say -- Try it, you'll like it.


Thursday, January 05, 2006

spring planting

Kitchen Garden at Blue Hill at Stone Barns - Pocanito Hills, New York, September 2005.

Okay, it is a little early and really really wet in the Emerald City, but the seed catalogs are coming fast and furious and on same days I believe the same can be said true about spring. I have already ordered some replacement raspberry canes for TH's christmas present, the first crocuses are starting to pop up, so I'm thinking ahead to what we're going to plant and where we're going to do it.

Things are starting to change in the back garden of chez nm, with some new beds to build and one day (I hope) we'll consider constructing the JCDM memorial library with the RPMM terrace in front. The beds are a must do, the old ones are falling apart. Anyhow, it makes us stop and think about what we're really trying to accomplish back there.

We grow lots of stuff in our nearly 800 square feet of PPatch we cultivate each year, so other than the desire to run out and pick a tomato, some parsely and basil for dinner, we can take care of most everything else at Picardo. I think this year I'll make sure the beans we plant are ones we like and ones that will pickle well. I know that I'll stick to canning type tomatoes with a few slicers and saucers. We'll continue planting pumpkins and hubbard squashes and hopefully put in a few rows of carrots for our new dog in hopes he will love them as much as Jacques did. The seed catalogs give me inspiration and hope that I'll wake up one morning at 6:20 and it will be light and bright out and I can return home in the light, change clothes and run up to the garden to weed, water and pick the first few peas and some lettuce.

Here are some great seed resources out there for the gardener:

Territorial Seeds - great for the Northwest

Johnny's Seeds - amazing selection

Seeds of change - great old seed varieties

Abundant Life - great old seeds varieties, rare ones

Happy dreaming.


Wednesday, January 04, 2006

little miracles

Collismo XL ready to go! Paris, December 2005.

There is something about giving someone something to mail and hope that they will actually do it. In my case, it is also learning to trust that something that I ask someone to do will be done, that is my box is not sitting in a coat closet waiting to be mailed. Well, my second collismo has arrived full of silly toys from muji, bars of chocolate from bespoke chocolatiers, some really heavy books and some fleur de sel with herbes de Provence. I'm thinking of a quick trip to Paris soon just to bring back the fleur de sel that Poilane sells by the kilo. Imagine that. Even I would check my bag for that joy!

So, I now have my Larousse du chocolat and some little guide books from the Paris est à nous collection that I really like and I hope you will too. As with the Larousse, you will need more than a passing knowledge of French, but they are great little guides, great for trip planning and small enough to carry around.

This trip we picked up Les meilleurs restos à petits prix (good but inexpensive restaurants), Cuisiner comme un chef à Paris (How to cook like a chef in Paris) and lastly, to add to our ever growing fondness for Parisien chocolate -- Paris Chocolat. You can peruse more of their selections at the Parigramme site.

Well, I think I have my work cut out for me. TH is asking for madeleines and I may just have to try the chocolate and lemon ones in Larousse.!


Tuesday, January 03, 2006

oh joy

Moss detail. January 1, 2006.

Back to work after a slacker month (one week of work, ten days or so of vacation, being sick (really), christmas, being sick (really), new years)). I can't say I'm very excited, but I guess I'll just start in and see what happens at the end of the day.

Must improve mood. Must really improve mood for everyone's sake.

Other than that, still fighting this cough. Going to see the doctor today.

Have an excellent Tuesday, unlike JK, I did not go to the gym yesterday and it started pouring when we started up towards the library/top pot, so we got into the car. No gold star for me. J, I'll mail you a sheet today.

However, I'm on it this morning. Really.


Monday, January 02, 2006

calendar girls

Hydrangea quercifolia, January 1, 2006.

TH and I spent part of yesterday putting away paperwork for 2005 and scouring the web for dates of note -- meeting dates in the future, dinners, academic calendar dates, plant sales, music festival dates and garden walk dates. Why? Because we needed to fill in the calendars.

This is not to say we live and die by the calendar, I am forced at work to use a on line calendar and mine is pitifully empty unlike some of my east coast compatriots (I like it like that), but having everything written down is both useful and at the same time restrictive. TH keeps a three month calendar that puts everything into one place - this is a great technique, but I wish it was more user friendly for the the novice user/reader of her age old system.

We do the same to plan trips. Right now, we're trying to coordinate a quick trip to Chicago with JK to go to the Berghoff before it closes. Should we go on MLK's bd or just do it is a quick overnight knowing that TH and I will be in Chicago for a week in March? I haven't even started planning any long distance travel because nothing excites me right now...

Anyhoo, there is still something lovely about putting the first commitment in pen for the new year even if its as tiny as the first crocus siting of the year -- yesterday!

Have fun doing the same folks.


Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year

Galanthus nivalis, January 1, 2006.

Happy New Year from chez nm.

Started the morning out with some fabulous smoked halibut that M. smoked for us (yum) on a freshly made baguette that P. dropped by yesterday when he brought Miss M. and Mr. J over for Christmas presents. J's brownies rocked as well.

I think the food year is starting out most excellently here. I take it as a good sign of things to come. We were thinking of going to CUH for a putter, maybe when it stops blowing and raining horizontally.

Take care all...