Thursday, December 31, 2009
Pictured above is family that traveled all the way out to Colorado for Christmas this year. By snowmobile! I hope it was worth their while - we went on brewery tours, did some hiking and ate and celebrated all week.
Sunday, November 22, 2009
For those who may think this post is copyright infringement:
Brahms has been dead for over a century, April approved my use of her photo, the performance is ME and a friend, who also approves this post, and the original performance was free and open to the public. Considering all of that, please enjoy one of my favorite performances.
Monday, November 02, 2009
Recently I went to a very educational and extravagant exhibit at the Field Museum on diamonds. It was fascinating and beautiful and we ended up spending hours in the exhibit.
Did you know........
- Diamonds repel water?
- Diamonds are better heat conductors than copper?
- Diamonds are carried to Earth's surface by magma?
My personal favorites were:
The Incomparable Diamond: 407 carat golden-colored kite-shaped diamond, found in the 1980's by a young girl in the Congo who was playing in a pile of rubble.
The Milky Way 2000 Collar: designed by Dieter Huebner, it contains 2,000 diamonds totallying 67.96 carats.
A pink diamond ring designed by Christian Tse. This isn't the same one, but it is almost as fabulous!
Other wonderful parts of the exhibit were Catherine the Great's necklace, sold by the Russian Government in 1926; a huge diamond given by a czar to some child upon growing her first baby tooth; the Mirage World Peace Egg; and this gecko brooch made of 1, 524 green diamonds (62.16 carats) designed by Stefan Hemmerle in 2001.
Friday, October 16, 2009
It is nearly twenty degrees colder than it should be at this time of year. I’m staying cheerful these days by watching Madmen, preparing for performing a faculty concert in November, and baking!
Pictured below are the fabulous chocolates that I try to get every time I’m in Omaha, Nebraska. They are so good that I’m working on making my OWN Rosemary Chocolate and Lavender-Vanilla Chocolate recipes. I started with making my own extracts. I still have leftovers from my first batches and I need tasters! Stop by and try them out! I’ll be trying to get them perfect by Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, September 02, 2009
The road to camping......
Satisfied with the site and the setup - it is time to get the cooler out!
Then came the real fun: sleeping. In a tiny two-person tent, broad shouldered Monte, restless and wanting to be indoors Curry, and claustrophobic me tried to pass a comfortable night. Every time I felt too confined and had to unzip the tent to get some air, Curry got up to try to find a more comfortable spot; every time Monte fell asleep and started snoring, he woke me up; every time I elbowed Monte to stop snoring, he woke up; every time an animal made noise, Curry stepped on both of us and woke us up. Thankfully, morning finally arrived (I woke up wedged in between the two inflatable mats we had under our sleeping bags) and we got up to have tea and read while the sun slowly started to warm the forest.
"Good morning! Did you sleep well?"
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Letters are so funny. Especially when you can only access one side of the correspondence. One of the things I love about reading letters is that you get a particular picture of the writer and the reader that one wouldn't get if the story had been told as just that - A STORY.
I read this book most nights before bed - one letter at a time for nearly a year and am feeling a little of a loss. I think I'm going to miss DeBeauvoir!
These letters gave me a very good picture of Paris during World War II and even Chicago and Hollywood in the 1950. And this couple - DeBeauvoir and Sartre knew everybody! So, the letters are riddled with names of famous philosophers, artists, musicians and politicians.
In other news: Hold onto your appendix - it may be necessary afterall!; Trees around the world are colonising new territories in response to higher temperatures; Lindsay Lohan robbed her own house; it is back to school time!
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Here is one of the the highpoints:
For much better photos that give a better idea of what we actually experienced, check out my sister's blog.
In other news: There IS no other news.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
It was festive and dorky and I was so excited to hear my piano played so beautifully today. I recorded everyone, but without being given their permission, I'll only include my playing here.
This is the opening of a Schumann piece titled Kreisleriana, which is based on a very strange book by E.T.A. Hoffmann.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
The book alternates between stories of raising newborns and impressions of Rome. My favorite was when many months into the trip, when needing to communicate, Doerr found that most of his vocabulary had to do with where Romans he met could find a double stroller such as the one he brought with him from the states.
In other news: A Polish Catholic monk publishes a book providing married couples a theological and practical guide to spicing up their sex lives; Goldie Hawn thinks Kate Hudson needs to stop dating and settle down; And Ted Kennedy is going to be given honorary knighthood in recognition for his work as peace advocate in Northern Ireland.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Just days before Mother’s Day, my local grocer sent me an e-mail to let me know that not only were they selling pies for Mother’s Day (three cheers for strawberry rhubarb pie with an oatmeal streusel!), but they had gotten in fresh morels. Now I KNOW that much of the enticement in morel season is the foraging for them – but here in Chicago, the little grass I DO encounter outside of my yard is frequented by pet owners and I wouldn’t eat anything I found there, even if I were so lucky as to spot a morel. Plus, some morels are poisonous. I don’t recommend serving THOSE on Mother’s Day.
Alas – I don’t have pictures of any of the people who I celebrated with on Mother’s Day, but of course I DO have a picture of the food. Below is my first serving of Angel Hair Pasta with Morels and Asparagus. I recommend it with good bread, a little parmesan cheese, a couple of bottles of wine and a strawberry-rhubarb pie. Quick – it is all still in season!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
This past Friday, Otilia and I went up to the Botanic Gardens in Glencoe for most of the day. We walked the whole thing – more than once, sat and had a snack in an orchard, wrote postcards in an English garden and a Japanese pagoda, and ambled along enjoying the colors, the warmth and the peace.
I came home with a mini-rose plant of my own and a mini-sunburn to mark the first bit of Vitamin D I have gotten in a while!
In other news: Many people are unaware that alcohol contains calories, pandas show a preference for artificial sweeteners, Paris Hilton takes Amanda Bynes' ex to Japan, and Happy Mother's Day to all three of my mothers!
Friday, April 03, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Hesitant to pick up this book for all the hype around it, I heard a clip of an NPR interview with Barbara Kingsolver about a year ago and was charmed. I found a used hardcover copy in my local communist bookstore and snatched it up! I can't imagine why anyone would get rid of it! Communists.
This book turned out to be great - and I was able to make it last a full eight months! Since Barbara Kingsolver and her family set their local eating experiment to last one year, she divided the book up by growing season - one chapter a month. It was so nice to read about what was in season as it occurred and to find recipes for cooking what I was getting in my weekly produce box.
The family's experiences with farming, written humorously by Barbara Kingsolver, the helpful research providing links to local food sources and the benefits personally, economically and socially of sustainable living written by her husband, Steven Hopp, and the seasonal recipes included by their daughter, Camille, made the book a really interesting read. They were not self-righteous about their experiment, nor were they out of touch with the situations of us more urban dwellers without a family farm at hand.
I was particulary fond of Barbara's accounts of trying to have a second generation of turkeys when the ability to mate had virtually been bred out of these animals. Not that it matters, as they rarely live long enough to mate.
I have decided to keep this book for the helpful links, the seasonal recipes, which I have already tried, and the growing tips in case I ever decide to go searching for mushrooms in a forest presere or grow asparagus in my apartment's little front yard.
Sunday, February 08, 2009
Friday, January 23, 2009
I first wandered through an exhibit of the photography of Yousuf Karsh. He took portraits of many famous people and the gallery was full of recognizable faces, like Clark Gable, Queen Elizabeth II, and Kurt Vonnegut. What was much more interesting were the faces of people I knew, but wouldn't recognize.
Wandering around the rest of the museum, avoiding the droves of children on field trips, I ended up tracing the changes in the presentations of Buddha as Buddhism traveled from India to China to North Korea and Japan.
On the left are depictions of the life of Buddha from India in the 10th century. In India, it seemed Buddha depictions referred to one entity.
Below is a seated Bosatsu from Japan. A Bosatsu is just below a fully enlightened Buddha and acted as an intermediary. Seems a little more complicated.
The last "Buddha" picture is actually of a Kannon from Japan during the Kamakura period around 1300. A Kannon is a bodhisattva of compassion. Though I think this one looks a little bored, they are supposed to be eager to help mankind!
I wandered around the rest of the museum, bought a coloring book and some postcards, and came home to make some cherry-orange corn muffins to get me through the weekend of dropping temperatures we're facing. Stay warm!
In other news: Magpies join the elite group of animals that can recognize their own reflection; People actually feel colder when they're lonely and lonelier when they're colder; And winter just isn't over YET.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Here is what I came up with:
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
In 2009 I resolve to:
- Hang out with friends regularly
- Play more at the piano
- Get through the winter by cooking something beautiful every week.
So, friends..... wanna come over and hang out for my next delicious creation? I'll provide the yumminess, you trek through the cold to get here! Fair deal?
In other news: Russian gas giant Gazprom has accused Ukraine of stealing gas meant for other European countries; Coral growth in the Great Barrier Reef is at its slowest rate ever due to the increased acidity of seawater; Jennifer Love Hewitt just became single; And to avoid getting the flu this year, I am going to eat.