Saturday, December 22, 2007

Costumes, Dancing, Great Interiors....

Absolutely not to be missed this Spring, new BBC adaptations of Jane Austen's works on Masterpiece Theatre:
Persuasion: Jan 16
Northanger Abbey: Jan 20
Mansfield Park: Jan 27
Pride and Prejudice: Feb 10 to Feb 24
Emma: March 23
Sense and Sensibility: March 30 and April 6

However, notwithstanding costumes,dancing,interiors etc. nothing would induce me to watch:
Miss Austen Regrets, a drama based on the life of Jane Austen. Feb 3

Friday, December 21, 2007

Snow, snow, tra la la

Ipswich is at its most beautiful today. We had several more inches of snow yesterday, and today, no wind or sun, so everything has remained blanketed by snow. Sheba and I walked at Appleton Farm late this afternoon. Our usual trail had ski tracks on it and the snow was high enough that it was a little difficult to walk - better for skiers or snow-shoers than for walkers.

Everything was in monochrome, black and white. Looking over the fields from the top of the hill, the sky shaded from a medium grey behind the trees to lighter greys as you looked up. There was the slightest hint of pink at the crest of the sky.

Apart from the noise we made walking, it was completely silent.

The town was lovely, too. It's very common for houses here to have candles in the windows at Christmas. The town looks wonderful at twilight - houses with candles lighting the windows and everything - houses and gardens - covered in snow.

Picture by COG, of course.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Happy News

Not a great picture, but the only one we could find of Daughter of .... and her new fiance, hereafter called 'Fiance of the Daughter of...'

Congratulations, Kids, the COG and The Bride of COG are very happy for you.

(By the way, the COG took the Son of COG out of this picture with photoshop).

Oh happy the lily that's kissed by the bee....

I've been reading the words to Ruddigore online. Especially the Finale for Act 1, where the casts sings Hail the Bride of Seventeen Summers. It's such a funny song. Here is Rose, who wants to be a bride, singing to Richard, who has just made her marriage to Robin impossible.

Richard, of him I love bereft,
Through thy design,
Thou art the only one that's left,
So I am thine!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Bride Makes An Old Family Recipe

After shoveling snow in the rain with the COG and The Son of, The Bride made potato soup, by an old family recipe. The Bride's mother must have made it at least once in these circumstances, because The Bride has a strong association between shoveling snow, and then eating Potato Soup.

In The Bride's mind, of course, this has a mythic quality: The warm family kitchen, the creamy soup with patches of yellow from the quantitites of butter used in the soup, the faint brown sprinkles of celery salt on the top. Also, in memory, The Bride's mother always, without fail, made the soup after shoveling snow.

The Bride would normally never dream of using celery salt and The Kitchen Police (aka The COG and The Son of) would normally protest. But for this one recipe, it is necessary.

Naming Sisters

The Bride has been adding labels to her blogs and has encountered a problem. There are two Sisters of The Bride and they are both important to her. She does not want to name them Sister #1 and Sister #2. If you don't immediately understand why, then you do not have siblings.

Younger and Youngest don't appeal either, because The Bride doesn't need to be reminded who is the oldest.

So, henceforth, Sister Pink refers to the Midwestern Sister (because she looks pretty in it) and Sister May refers to the Western Sister (because she was born then and the colors she looks pretty in don't work). Sister Rust? Sister Dark Bluey-Green? I think not.

The Bride also has two brothers, but she will cross that bridge when she comes to it.

Snow, Beautiful Snow

We awoke this morning to a beautiful, proper snow storm. Son of COG tried to go skiing but announced, coming back into the house, that it was too windy to ski. There are wonderful big drifts around fences and walls and big trees. The Bride, reveling in memories of the wonderful snowstorms of her Northern childhood, feels quite cheerful and is humming winter songs.

The COG, on the other hand, is walking around the house, peering out of windows and muttering under his breath about when to get up the snow. For, as it so often does here, near the ocean, the snow is already turning to rain. Clearing the drive too soon will result in a drive coated with ice. Too late, and the snow will have an impermeable crust of ice - too heavy for the snowblower. At exactly the right moment, the snow will have been a sponge, holding the frozen rain so that after snowblowing, the drive will be washed clean by rain.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

More on Yellow Paint

The colors of the yellow paints in my experimental wall are: Lemon Drop, Morning Sunshine, Hawthorne Yellow, Barley, Philadeliphia Cream, unknown dining room color, and Jonquil, and the yellow ochre. Based on name alone, I want Morning Sunshine, which is second from the left. Lemon Drop is underneath the dining room color next to the window. I still have one more color to try, as soon as I buy a test pot - Crowne Hill Yellow. All of these are Benjamin Moore colors, of course, except Jonquil which is SPNEA color.

Friday, December 14, 2007

The Bride Considers Yellow Paint

The Bride is trying to decide on a paint color for the guest room. Yellow, because the room is North-facing and cold, and because the Bride loves yellow. However, it must go with the red toile fabric she has already purchased.

The yellow on the extreme left is an historic color, Hawthorne yellow which is a favorite of the Bride's. The very intense one at the top is actually watered down yellow ochre acrylic paint. The top one right next to the toile is the color of the dining room. Unfortunately, the Bride can't remember what color it is or where it was purchased.

There are more yellows on the other side of the window, but this side is the best.

Decisions decisions. It's never easy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

New Couch

To go with the big tv, we now have a big couch. The tv room has become the most comfortable in the house.

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Bride Has A Birthday

The COG cooked Meatballs and Spaghetti, always the Bride's favorite birthday meal. The Son of COG made a Chocolate Souffle, shown here. Divine!

The Bride received a new 3d gen Nano, named Dulcibella, so adorable and tiny. And a new large screen to use with her laptop computer, named Bluebell.

The Bride will have to wean herself from Annabelle, her old ipod, which feels more like a pet, than technology. It will be wrenching.

Why why why does the Bride never learn not to name things?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Movies Movies Movies

We've been watching dvd's on the new tv with the new dvd player. It's not a hd dvd, but it enhances the dvd's in some way and there's a new sound system which is completely awesome. Much better than our old one. We watched the latest Pride and Prejudice and Master and Commander and part of LOTR. This latter reminded James of an hilarious French and Saunders skit. I've youtubed it here so you can see it too.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Deep Thoughts - On the Nature of Hell

This afternoon, the COG and I drove through Boston to the south shore. We spent a very long time in start-and-stop traffic in a tunnel that seemed to go on forever. I said to the COG, 'We're in Hell. This is what Hell is like: not a blade of grass anywhere, no birds, just polluted air and big cars whose drivers have road rage. Maybe we had an accident back there and we're really dead and in Hell'

He agreed that it was, indeed, his Hell.

Then we saw the light at the end of the tunnel and we rejoiced.

However, when we got to the end of the tunnel it was snowing hard. Visibility was bad, the road was slippery and all those angry, aggressive drivers were fighting to merge into 2 lanes from 3.

That was the perfect touch to complete the vision of Hell, making it even more hellacious. That little period of hope, of optimism when we saw the light, followed by the crushing of that faint hope under snow and road rage.

In the end, as it turned out, we weren't in Hell after all, but simply on the road to Ikea. We had a nice meal, bought some furniture and came home safe and sound.

I think that Hell, for me, would be a featureless filthy place created by human technology, with nothing of nature about it. Oh, and cold. It would be cold.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tantric Chanting Performance

The COG is up to his old tricks again. For several years, he has used a cd of birdsong and rain as his morning alarm. It's really lovely. This morning, he surprised me at 6 am with a cd of chanting Tantric monks and temple bells. I mentioned it to him this evening and all he said was, 'I didn't think you'd noticed. It was so quiet.'

Strangely, I didn't find it that quiet.

Ignore the initial noise, the chanting really doesn't get rolling until about 10 seconds in.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Large tv - update

To answer various questions. Yes, the tv can be wall mounted, but we will have that done professionally, once we are fully up and running.

We have ordered a new TiVo, but not received it yet. We also don't have the right cable box for receiving HDTV, although our service includes it. Once the TiVo arrives, we have to make a service call to get them to install the cable cards (they won't let us do it).

We have also ordered a new sound system, which includes a dvd player. We don't know what to do with the vcr, possibly will attach it to the old tv somewhere else in the house, along with the old dvd player.

Haven't tried Animal Planet, but we have plans to get the David Attenborough, Planet Earth from Netflix for Christmas watching. The American version had a voice over by Sigourney Weaver. We prefer the Attenborough one. I have no idea why they changed it for the USA.

Decorating shows are a little weird, as the people and furniture are actually larger than life. But weird in a good way. I'm looking forward to HDHGTV.

My worst fear, that it would be impossible to watch because of the size, was not realized at all. The picture is good, even on the non-HD programs. the celery makes a music on my spirit, too.

(apologies to Wallace Stevens)

Yes, the Vienna Vegetable Orchestra plays music on vegetables, and only on vegetables. I found them through following a link from The Thoughtful Dresser, where she commented that this was the way the earliest people began to make music.

Weird but wonderful.

6:30am Dec 3 - First Snow!

The view from our bedroom when I woke this morning.

Quarante-quatre (44) Update

In October, I made Forty-Four (1 orange studded with 44 coffee, left to mature in vodka with 44 sugar cubes for 44 days). It's done.

The first picture shows the brew before we filtered it through a coffee filter. I've put it on white paper to show the wonderful color.

The second picture shows it after decanting, before drinking. This time it's less sweet and more spicy than previous versions, so it's even better than before. It will continue to mature as it sits.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Happy Anniversary, COG!

The Geezer and I are celebrating our 35th anniversary today, each in our separate ways. He's been at work all day. I have wasted the entire day watching our new 52 inch flat screen tv.

Although the bottom picture may be a more accurate representation.

Who knew?

Did you know there is a place called Minneapolis, North Carolina?

Now I know why the weather forecasts on my dashboard for Minneapolis were so puzzling. Today, for example, my forecast said in the 50's and clear, despite complaints from family members and in the news about snow and ice storms in the midwest.

Apparently there's a Minneapolis in Kansas, too.