Monday, March 31, 2008

Two Words

Anthony Bourdain...

Oh, and a few more words...

Four. Feet. Away.

I stepped by the long line waiting for autographs and walked toward the door. And there he sat, drinking a beer, smiling. I stopped. I looked. I smiled. It was all I could do to keep myself from lurching forward to lick his black leather jacket draped so carefully over his chair.

It was a fun lecture, but, frankly, he could have read Progresso Soup labels all night and I would be a happy camper.

*le sigh*

More about the lecture

Heading home to Boston tomorrow morning. I will resume the usual posts soon!

Attic Treasures

Mom and I spent several hours yesterday working in the attic, clearing space, trashing stuff, putting things in boxes for ebay, Goodwill, sale, or give away. We found a bag with my art and some school work from 1967, which would make me 8. I was really happy to find these, and took some pictures for you:

I had a "thing" for drawing monsters with all sorts of crazy names.

I have no idea where this idea came from, but I suspect it was for Good Friday or something.

I still have this bear and will take a picture of him when I get home so you can see him. He is a real sweetie!

Silly people pictures!

I really like the colors on these two. I am amazed that after so long in a bag up in the attic they are so brilliant.


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sylvan Canoe Club

Up-River View

Down-River view


My mom belongs to the Sylvan Canoe Club. It is a very popular canoe and kayak club along the Allegheny River. She has what they jokingly call a Porch Membership. This means she comes to the club and hangs out on the porch with a book and some iced tea, often. She would not get in a canoe unless someone told her the town was on fire and it was the only hope of getting out alive.

It is a wonderful place, though. Quiet. Calm. They have wonderful pancake breakfasts several times a year, and they plan great outings along the river, paddling trips, overnight and otherwise. Anyway, here are some pictures of it. Hope you enjoy!

Oh, yeah, saw this on the way to the club the other day...

Happy Hour: 7-9 AM!!! Holy Crap!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

More Cool Home Stuff

Part of the backyard

Nifty sculpture!

The armoire in which mom keeps her towels and linens.

Love this lighting fixture!

The above paintings are by Conger Metcalfe. My mother bought these when I was born. She had seen his work in Boston and loved it. My parents had decided to purchase some pieces and had made an appointment to have the artists work shown. I arrived a week earlier than expected, leading to the show being held in my mother's recovery room following my arrival. I am pleased to say that these 2 pieces will be coming to my home in the near future!

Today is going to be a busy day of deciding what goes, what stays and what gets sold. It has been interesting hearing the stories of the art pieces, and the history of the belongings. I lived with these things for many years, and yet did not really know the stories behind their purchase. Some of the things in the home belonged to family members from generations past. There are pieces from Holland which belonged to my grandmother, bright colorful pottery, primitive bread boards, and knick-knacks.

On the way home from the airport my mom, Ex-Father in Law and I stopped at The Sharp Edge for dinner and a few beers.

Go visit them at The Sharp Edge

Be sure to look at the impressive collection of Belgian beers. I had DELIRIUM TREMENS and LEFFE BROWN.

Both were incredibly yummy, but my favorite was the Delirium Tremens. It was rich, smooth and very deep in flavor. Just what I needed after hours of airplane travel and being stuck in traffic due to Our Esteemed President arriving in Sewickley for some award dinner. Roads were shut down in all directions for a LONG time. That beer tasted So Good!

Friday, March 28, 2008


I am in Oakmont, near Pittsburgh, in the home where I spent much of my teen life. This is the home where my mother still lives, for a while anyway, until she moves to a new home in a community up the road. I love this house.

My mom has tons of cool stuff around and inside her home. I learned a huge amount about style and decor growing up. I love looking at all the nifty things she has collected, books, antiques, art, a lifetime of wonderful things.

Yes, chocolate brown walls. 11 foot tall ceilings!!!! Amazing!! And beautiful art, paintings, prints, sculpture, books, etc...all so enriching and delightful. It is so much fun to be here and experience this again!

I adore this piece. It is one of my favorite things in the home. It brings such warm feelings of love and bliss.

The dining room where I ate every night for many years. My seat is the one on the left side of the table. Dig the wonderful wallpaper!!

The kitchen where I learned to cook. 6 burner-2 oven stove. What a joy!!! And all sorts of funky things around, too!

Like this!!!

My favorite sink, ever!!!

I am really soaking in all the history the time is coming to a close and soon my mom will be moving to a community up the hill from this home. I lived here from the age of 13 through college. Many memories, sights sounds, aromas, history. I am really enjoying this visit. As I write this mom and I are watching ice skating on TV like the old days. I made tasty shrimp with asparagus and tomato with wine and garlic for a snack. No pictures, sorry.

Lux is home with my friend, Ellen, a co-worker and my kids are at their dad's. Boston seems light years and eons away as I sit in the chair I sat in as a teen.

I will update as I can. Just wanted to share my pictures of my old home. I am really glad to be here now, experiencing the house, my mom, the town and remembering the past. Next post I will tell you all about the restaurant we went to on the way home from the airport, a place which had about a zillion beers on tap, a billion by bottle and the best selection of Belgian ales I have ever seen. And ribs!!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A Roll in the Hay

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. Lots of rolling about on the dead grass over here. Something about a dog stretched out on it's back with grins and wiggles and scratching in the sun makes all the brushing after worthwhile. Plus it gives me yet another reason to look for ticks. I have already pulled off three this week. Last night she slept with one of our People Puppies, my youngest daughter, which gave me the opportunity to sleep with one of the kitties. Lux has a fairly high prey instinct, despite the previous owners telling me otherwise. This means there is a bit of playful chasing going on. The cats are quite nervous about this, though Suki is doing much better than Belle at this transition. I make sure that when Lux is in her crate, on the run, or out of the house, that the safety gate which keeps the kitties safe in the basement and downstairs bath area, comes down. That way they have a visual cue that it is safe to come out. So far this seems to work well. When the gate is down they come up and wander around, look out the window at Lux in the yard and snuggle with the People. They are getting fat though, which is not cool.

But this is...

Your Daily Dose of Cool Things:

Cute Wooden Wall Plaques

Solar Paint???!!!

Your Daily Dose of Wonderful Design:

I love really wonderful toy design. These really appeal to me with the wood, bright colors and whimsical expressions!

Great Bowls by Alessi

Your Daily Dose of Inspiring Words:

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them." ~Henry David Thoreau

Your Daily Dose of Wicked-Good Food:

Black Soy Noodles with Turkey Bacon, Leeks, Peas and Walnuts
(serves 2)

1 serving of soy pasta per person (I used the black for extra drama)
4 slices of turkey bacon
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup walnut pieces
4 tablespoons walnut oil
2 cups leeks, chopped
1/2 cup chicken or veggie broth
salt and pepper to taste

Cook the leeks, bacon and walnuts in the walnut oil until bacon is crispy and leeks are wilted. Add the peas and broth and simmer until warm through. Add salt and pepper to taste. In the meantime, cook the pasta following directions on the box. Drain the pasta, top with the yummy bacon, leek mix and sprinkle with Romano cheese if desired.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Yesterday was a huge walking day. I did 6 walks during the day on top of a 1 1/2 hour walk in the woods at 8 am with Lux. The major focus of the morning was the ice at the lake. See, the day before she hurled herself into the cold water to swim a few times, but yesterday the 22 degrees had rendered ice. Clear ice. So, in looking at it from the shore, everything seemed the same. But, no! When she went down to the water it was...different! She sat focused on the ice for a good while, then gingerly approached to sniff and paw at it. When she did, the ice made sounds! More than that, though, the subtle shift made the entire ice cap on that side of the lake groan with whale sounds and long cracking noises. Very beautiful songs, and very curious to dogs. She was mesmerized for a while, then went bounding after some birds.

I am preparing for my trip later this week. Much to do. Laundry and packing and organizing. Phone calls and appointments for the kids. Prom is this weekend, and while I will be sad to miss my daughter's first prom, I am very happy to be seeing my Mom in Pittsburgh. I will be bringing a camera and will send you all pictures of my home town, Oakmont.

Okay, time to post some Major Keen and then get the kids to school!

Your Daily Dose of Cool Things:

Do you remember when candy was all you thought about?

Click Here to learn more about Lollyphile

Stonehouse Studio (via Trunkt)

Your Daily Dose of Wonderful Design:

Post Modern Bowl for your Post Modern Pets

Your Daily Dose of Inspiring Words:

Image by Bruno Baumann

"Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born." - Dr. Dale E. Turner

Your Daily Dose of Wicked-Good Food:

My breakfast this morning:

Cinnamon Raisin Bread with Cashew Butter and slices of Roasted Pear