November 24, 2005

Thanks Given

Yesterday I battled with desperate shoppers, miraculously at Whole Foods at 2pm on a Wednesday (don’t they have to work?). It was a brutal battle, just to stand in front of the cream cooler, not to mention a wide circle around the stuffing display. Every check-out was open with a line of three or more waiting.

In the isles I witnessed confused young men, shopping lists in hand and one girl talking on the phone, “Mom…Mom…so water chestnuts? Mom….just tell me what I need to bring.”

Once out of the store, the roads were filled with two kinds of drivers, people going so slowly they might as well have been studying the fall colors and those people driving at a panicked speed, zipping around all the stunned, slow movers. It was pandemonium. Never again will I attempt to grocery shop the day before Thanksgiving.

But I did it, and once safely back at home, with all the necessary fixings for homemade pizza last night and a simple spread of our favorite thanksgiving carbs for today, I started feeling a little of that thankfulness.

Today, SB and I had our own, two person meal, with stuffing, potatoes, yams, and cranberry. Eaten while we watched Muppets from Space, an SB family tradition, muppet movies on Thanksgiving. After which, SB headed off to work and I escaped out the front door to enjoy Georgia’s late November weather, sunny and in the 60s (could this be real?).

On my walk I thought about Thanksgivings past. How much fun my family had in Amsterdam in 1999. The time my old friend John and I attempted to make a Tofurkey and found out that they are small four legged creatures, cat sized but with wings. The year my sister and I celebrated with a random group of my friends and feasted on homemade pasta. And finally, the many years growing-up eating varieties of nut loaf and proving that a vegetarian diet doesn’t equal starvation.

Here’s hoping that your day is filled with wonderful food (from soup to loaf), friendship and laughter.

November 23, 2005


London Stencil Art

London defines urban in a classic and established sense. I would not hesitate to call it home. In all the ways that New York City disappointed me, London impressed. Our trip was fantastic, having a nice mix of perfect moments and difficulties to overcome.

I have posted my 20 best London photos. I may post a few more in the near future, maybe from SB’s collection.

The above photo is of stencil art on a London corner. Stencil graffiti seems to be the hot thing right now, all thanks to Bansky. I also browsed a few sneakers only stores, meeting the demands of a crazy cult of sneaker collectors. I was excited to see this urbanity in real life, like so many trends I read about on-line but don’t get to experience first-hand.

November 9, 2005


On Saturday we are off to London for 9 days. This will be my first trip to the UK. Initially I wondered if we could fill all that time in the city, but after cramming for London through every guidebook from our local library, I am now convinced that we don’t have nearly enough time.

My sister sent me a guidebook Art / Shop / Eat London. Which is exactly what we plan to do…. probably in the order of Art, Eat, Shop.

November 3, 2005

Knowing the ending

Sight HoundSight Hound by Pam Houston – I knew the dog was going to die. It was obvious from page one. I tried to not like the characters, to not care about what was going on. I fought this book for the first 50 pages. Then Pam turned on all her charm and I couldn’t help myself. I’ve read and own two of Pam’s other books. Her writing makes me feel like she’s my friend. I knew this friend was going to loose the best dog she’s ever had. While it is fiction, all of Pam’s books are barely fiction. On her web site she has photos of her and Dante, the dog that changed her world. It was heartbreaking and touching and funny, just like pet ownership, love and friendship.

I’m not sure I can recommend this book because it made me cry and cry. It is not a book you want to read in public, at a coffee shop or airport. This is a book for a rainy afternoon at home, alone with your favorite pet. Pam Houston is a fantastic writer. If you haven’t read Cowboys are My Weakness, start there. If you know Pam, then you must read Sight Hound.

November 1, 2005

Remembering Clearwater

Clearwater Beach Hotel

A little over a year ago, SB, took me to his favorite beach hideway. A wonderful, classic hotel, on the beach in Clearwater, Florida. He had visited many times as a guest of one of the employees. She was the mother of a childhood friend of his and always gave him a family rate.

Our stay at The Clearwater Beach Hotel, was by far, the best part of an otherwise difficult vacation. Shortly after we returned to Wisconsin, SB heard that his friend’s mother had been laid-off from her hotel job of ten plus years, along with the rest of the staff.

Last month we learned that the next incarnation of the hotel was underway. Now called the Sandpearl Resort, they are in the process of demolishing the hotel and building a giant new resort complex.

We took many beautiful photos of Clearwater Beach and the hotel. We thought it would be nice to frame three of the best and hang them in our new home, as a way of remembering a lovely place. You can find all our photos in my Clearwater photo directory. If you have opinions on your favorites, let me know.

  • Eating salted avocados with a spoon in Madison.
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