February 24, 2011

Empathy and Compassion

With all the political unrest here in Wisconsin over the past ten days, and even prior to that, with the last few election cycles, I’ve been thinking a lot about compassion and reflecting on a talk I went to last year by Jeremy Rifkin. “Empathy is the invisible hand.” This video does a nice job of summarizing his theory that we, as a species, need to move towards becoming and embracing our empathic nature.

February 23, 2011

Around Town

Frozen Wubba

For 2011 I vowed to see live music at least once per month. Before I met SB I loved going to shows and seemed to always know who was coming to town and what shows were must sees. SB and I went to many of the same shows before we even knew the other person existed. I like to think of he and I, at the Barrymore, oblivious to each other but still together. Maybe I’ve been watching too many romantic comedies…

As February closes its blustery doors, we’ve been to two shows, Ben Folds at the Overture in January and Tennis at the High Noon this week. One show was all reality tv tie-ins and piano destruction and the other was all indie kids and understated sounds. I enjoyed them both a ton and am so excited to continue the reintroduction.

In other around the town happenings, I got to be a food critic for a night, when I joined Madison A to Z at Los Gemelos for some darn good Mexican fare. Read the review Reviewing food is tricky, subjective and can be easily influenced by good company but it is sure fun to sit around and talk about food.

Finally, while the whole state protested this past weekend, I entertained out-of-town guests with great local food and a zoo trip with close tiger encounters and sparring giraffes. I pretended to be on vacation with friends who actually were and found distraction from the politics.

February 11, 2011

Living Mobile

Living Mobile

For years I’ve admired these simple glass “vases” from CB2 but being practical and trying to be frugal, I never bought them for myself. This Christmas they were under the tree, complete with flowering air plants and a little dirt for grounding, all from SB.

We talked about where and how to hang them and I learned that air plants, Epiphytes, don’t like direct sunlight. Not only do they not need dirt or very much water, they don’t want too much sun either. They define low maintenance.

After carrying them all over the house, I decided they needed to become part of a mobile. With the mobile expertise of my mother, the vases, plus a clear glass fish “vase” are now mobilized and hanging in the corner of our living room. I used bent coat hangers for the rods and clear fishing wire for the lines. Photo of complete mobile

February 10, 2011

Mustache Inspiration

My birthday is a week before Valentine’s Day, so I’ve long associated hearts, pink and lace with the good feelings of celebrating another year. This year, when the Paper Source catalog arrived with these fantastic heart valentines on the front, I knew I needed to incorporate some mustache and hat wearing hearts into my birthday. Thanks to some great crafting and baking help from my mother, we created a hat wearing heart cake.

The cake was a black magic chocolate cake, with raspberry jelly layers and a cream cheese frosting. The hats and mustaches were made from black fondant and the red frosting was made from mixing some of the raspberry filling with the cream frosting. The eyes and eyebrows are “glitter” gel from a tube. I used a heart cookie cutter to mark the outlines of the hearts.

Hat Wearing Hearts Birthday Cake
February 9, 2011

Circle and Square Throw

Circle and Square Throw - Front

In the great blanket challenge of 2011, this is blanket number two. Wooo! I really enjoyed working off this pattern from Knit Picks. The instructions all made sense and it had this very smart i-cord edge, which, now complete, looks like a seamless cord running around the whole edge of the blanket. I also like how the front and back are equally appealing, yet different. This blanket took me four weeks and came out the same week as the baby. The next one is due a week from now, so I’m going to be a little behind the baby curve for probably the next three babies.

  • Eating salted avocados with a spoon in Madison.
  • Blogging since 2003.