Sunday, May 31, 2009

ASH (Rupert Giles on Buffy) in NBC special, "Merlin"

If U watch BBC One, Anthony Stewart Head acts in "The Invisibles" and NBC's "Merlin:"

Tatting & Lace

What an evocative photo: It almost pulls you out of time.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend, Part Two:
Farmer's Market and Strawberry Pickin'

Day two of our long weekend started off bright and early at our local farmer's market. This is the first weekend of the season for some open-air markets, but ours has been open since April.

We bought kettle corn for the drive and left to go berry pickin' at Belvedere Plantation. The weather was perfect: slightly overcast with a breeze and enough sunshine to put you in the pickin' mood.

Photo Credit: Anne Marley

And pick we did. Our two flats of juicy, red berries weighed in at 20 pounds. That's even after the Sprout's tasting spree.

I wouldn't say he feasted on berries fresh from the vines, but...

...the berry stains speak for themselves.

For Sprout, tractors working the farm are every bit (bite?) Free Smiley Face Courtesy of
as good as the berries.

If it wasn't the tractor pulling the hay wagon or the tractor team removing round bails from the next field over, it was "'Tain, ma ma! Choo choo tain. Over dair!" when he heard the train whistle blowing faintly in the distance.

Sprout did enjoy some spirited jumping on the moon bounce.

He also found a pen of miniature goats that were eager to be fed.

In counterpoint to morning events, late afternoon naps were at the top of our itinerary after we got home. What's a three-day weekend without some good R & R? Imagine the whole house, dogs and all, sacked out in slumber for a few hours before supper. It was heaven.

Tomorrow is a "do nothing" day. (Of course, "do nothing" means endless piles of laundry and other chores to prepare for the week ahead.) But that doesn't mean we won't pay respect to those who have, or are now serving, our country.

If you find yourself at a cookout, lift your glasses (or grill forks)
in honor of those lost. Wave a handheld flag during your local parade. Spend a few moments in conversation with a service member. Whatever you do, seize the day and enjoy it.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend, Part One:
Barbeque to Baby Ducks

The unofficial beginning of summer at Silly Hat Central looked something like this.

Big Daddy fired up the grill and made kicked-up veggie kebabs for lunch. He also steamed a redonkulously large spaghetti squash. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar and it was a feast fit for kings.

But the day started with an early morning trip to IKEA for $49 Expedit bookcases. We scored two of these birch-stained beauties, plus Dröna fabric baskets for each cubbyhole. As you can see, Silly Hat Central was in desperate need of a storage solution for the Sprout's toys.

Now we have plenty of storage space for the trains, tracks, trucks, plastic food items, play kitchen utensils, power tools, and stray Matchbox® cars that have routinely littered the floor. A big win.

After supper, Big Daddy took Sprout down to the lake in his covered wagon to feed the "ducks," (Sprout-speak for geese) including four "baby ducks" (goslings). He must have been pretty worn out from such a full day of excitement.

The unofficial ending of the first day of Memorial Day weekend looked something like this.

Here's hoping your day was as eventful and enjoyable!

Tomorrow — strawberry picking at Belvedere Plantation. And a scrapbook page Big Daddy created to record the Sprout's 2007 visit. Oh, ha, ha, ha! Look at that sweet, berry-pickin' bunny!

Six Word Saturdays

C. Beth, the sparkling mommy blogger of One Minute Writer and
C. Beth Blog fame, recently began posting Six Word Saturdays on her blog. My response was "Eureka!"

My first post is dedicated to C. Beth and also to my very good friend Caelie, without whose wisdom I never would have realized the folly of these words: "I can't strings six words together."

Friday, May 22, 2009

More Toilet Talk

As if my earlier post on this topic wasn't enough, add this "scratch your head" public service toilet site-ing to the list.

Run Pee
Tagline: "Can you hold it?"
This beta site tells you when you can afford to miss a few minutes of a movie to go pee.

What at-home movie watcher can't operate the pause button on their remote control? Do movie house patrons arm themselves with pee-break-points before heading out to see a flick?

Sheer madness...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Front Porch Tatting

Another wonderful tatter, Sister Anthelma Feuerstein, 99, of Wisconsin, has passed on. The obit in her local paper is a wonderful and sweet dedication to her life and her tatting. Thought I'd share since there are several notes about tatting.

I particularly love her memory of gathering on the front porch to tat. So simple. What a lovely way to unwind (hee, hee a pun!) our shuttles or needles while catching up with friends on mild days.

Regretably, I don't have a front porch. So I will be taking my tatting on the road to visit friends whose porches just BEG for gatherings.

Thank you, Sister, for reminding us about the simple pleasure of front porch tatting. Let's keep it going!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Gingerbread House Mold circa 1955

Little Sprout being chauffered around the festival

While at the Maryland Sheep and Wool festival last weekend, I ran into my friend Miriam and her awesome stonehouse man, Chris. We were standing right next to each other in the food vendor area and hadn’t noticed. If you have ever been to Md. Sheep & Wool, you know how easy it is to bypass friends in the milling crowds. After a joint moment of startled surprise, we hugged and started nattering about photography, food, the nirvana of fondling luxurious fibers and sock knitting, not necessarily in that order. Then Miriam said, “You’ll never believe what I brought for you!”

She pulled this goodie out of her bag. Of course, I didn't have the presence of mind to photograph it while at the S&W festival. Too caught up in the fiber-friend-zy!

“Remember when you were looking for a gingerbread house mold?” Miriam asked. “I looked through storage boxes for this but couldn’t find it. And then out of the blue Chris found it!”

I was floored by their kindness and intrigued by the gift’s design. It is a mold for a SOLID gingerbread house. Not the flat pieces you cement together with royal icing, like this NordicWare® mold.

See where it says "make a friend happy" on the back cover?
The small print reads:

I want to make a friend happy. Please
send me __________ WOMAN'S DAY
Aluminum Gingerbread House Molds.
I enclose $1.00 for each mold, postpaid.
Total enclosed: $______

Well friend, color me happy! Thank you, Miriam & Chris, for your thoughtfulness. Can't wait to try out the new mold.

Ghosts of Gingerbread Houses Past
Autumn 2008 will be fondly remembered for my first forays into edible architecture. One dark October night a group of friends met to drink martinis and decorate haunted gingerbread houses.

Here's a batty, backside view of the one I worked on.

And a cat-y view from the front. See the pretzel fence?

The rest, as they say, is history.

November saw a second event, this time with a Thanksgiving theme. Traditional Christmas cottages came next. By now the creativity was really flowing and we didn’t want the fun to end.

So we built Valentine love shacks and Easter bunny hutches in 2009. They were fun, festive cookie construction sessions.

Image Source: (until my copy arrives)

After Easter, I hit a lull in holidays around which to build cookie constructs. Believe it or not, I miss it. So with this book, "The Gingerbread Architect," I start dreaming of creations to come.

Calling All Cookie Construction Workers

Do you decorate gingerbread houses for holidays other than Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day or Easter? Please leave me a comment and let me know.

You prefer making gingerbread castles, churches or cathedrals? Tree houses? A bat cave? I'd love to hear about it.

Edible Architecture 2009 will officially begin with Haunted Gingerbread House Night in October. There will even be a gingerbread house blog contest! Check back for details.

(See, now aren't you glad you read all the way to the end?)

Friday, May 8, 2009

See Sean Connery & Gina Lollobrigida tonight on TCM 12:15 a.m. in 1964 film "Woman of Straw"
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