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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Happy days are here again. . .I think


You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you'll discover will be wonderful. What you'll discover is yourself.

Alan Alda

At the beginning of 2006 life got a little dicey: Dave was laid off from his job in February, Erica had open heart surgery in March, Audrey moved back to Chicago and took her wonderful cat, Squirrel with her in April at about the time Dave moved to the Twin Cities for his new job. So what would a woman in mid-life do in this minefield but get a mondo case of HIVES which lasted for several weeks. Looming in the future was giving my notice at the law school to leave a job I had enjoyed and preparing the house to be sold after 14 years. Erica left for med school in August, the house went up on the market in September after hours of lonely cleaning, sorting and hauling to the curb. So from August 'til October I was alone with the pets, bowl after bowl of ice cream, Without a Trace reruns and realtor visits. When I moved up to St. Paul in October last I spent the time before the holidays unpacking, adjusting and trying to make the holidays happy in a one-bedroom apartment with noisy neighbors above us, up to my ears in heart palpitations and EKGs and stress tests, all magnified by a nagging loneliness. Long story short, I couldn't bake cookies for various reasons for a few years, mostly due to this unsettled-ness. This fact came back to me as I was cutting biscotti yesterday along with the joyous realization that I was happily baking cookies again! Thus, the recipes that follow.

So the baking continues in between wrapping and cleaning. I found this recipe on Martha Stewart Living to use since I had bought dried currents to try a steamed pudding for Christmas. They are sturdy, sweet little cookies and I would definitely keep this recipe on hand. Alongside is an addition to my pitcher collection in bright yellow-green glass filled with this season's lemon verbena I grew.




Lemon-Currant Cookies


1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for baking sheets
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream (I used whole milk yogurt)
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried currants
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter two baking sheets, or line them with parchment paper. Combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl; beat until light and fluffy. Beat in sour cream and egg.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually beat the dry ingredients into the butter mixture until they are well combined. Stir in currants and lemon zest.
Drop heaping teaspoonfuls of dough about 1 1/2 inches apart onto prepared baking sheets. Bake until cookies are puffed and golden around the edges, about 20 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes on baking sheets before transferring cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

3333333344444444

Yesterday I made chocolate shortbread, also a Martha recipe. I have only made the traditional shortbread but this chocolate variety is really delicious. I did use the fork tines to make the 'rays' in a circle because I read recently that in Scotland that has been a traditional cookie embellishment for centuries. They resemble the sun's rays and have been made to coincide with the Winter Solstice.
Chocolate Shortbread

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. With an electric mixer, beat butter until creamy. Add flour, sugar, and cocoa; mix just until combined. (Chill dough in the refrigerator 10 minutes if it is too soft to handle.)
Pat dough into an 8-inch round cake pan; press edges down with the tines of a floured fork. Bake until firm, 30 minutes. Immediately score into eight wedges; cool completely. Turn out of pan; break wedges apart.


Like snowflakes, my Christmas memories gather and dance; each beautiful, unique and too soon gone. Deborah Whipp

Monday, December 17, 2007

the fabric of my days

*Look now! for glad and golden hours
Come swiftly on the wing. . .*


The week before Christmas! How did this happen?
Wednesday dear Erica comes home after finishing her first half of her second year of med school. What a brave soul she is and she will bring laughter and great Georgetown stories to warm up chilly Minnesota. Pashka-doggie who was rescued by Erica from the pound over 16 years ago will be so thrilled that she will wag her tail in a circle when she sees her!
Then on Saturday sweet Audrey
comes blowing in from Chicago bringing her hilarious stories from her work and her kind ways.
These daughter/friends bless
our little family more than words can express.
*It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour.*- A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

Saturday, December 15, 2007

“The best way out is always through.”

The year is 1966. I mention this because nothing stays the same.

Every Tuesday night we attended CCD classes at St. Joe’s parochial school. The attendees had one thing in common: they were forced by their parents to attend these evening catechism classes since there wasn’t a Catholic high school in my hometown. The only kids who seemed to enjoy the ritual were those who had their own driver’s license.
The saving grace for us powerless souls, however, was the co-ed dance held every few months. Much like the overwhelming number of students showing up for a final exam, everyone came to these sock hops. Some came to hear the local bands play as well as for the free food. I came to see a boy I’d had a crush on since junior high, when Eric’s family moved into an old rental house near the University. Our year together in ninth grade had given me a storehouse of personal information about him, which I dutifully chronicled in my diary. For instance, he played basketball, was friendly ('You’re taking geometry? Are you smart or something?' he’d once said to me in lunch line) and had an older brother who looked like a character on the t.v. series Combat. Stalking is not a new invention.

Mostly I knew that Eric liked Molly a lot. But ‘why’ was and remains one of the world’s oldest conundrums, at least to me. Although she was not unattractive, her clothes were not homemade, she had long hair and popularity, a lot of us wished Eric could see past her to us.

The dances were a study in the teen caste system, the religious mores we’d just been learning about and a whole lot of chaperoned free-floating hormones.. Many kids danced while the small pockets of the unworthy stood in groups, laughing too loudly. Immediately apparent was that even the nerdy boys got to dance because they had the power to ask a girl to dance with them. At most of these events Eric danced with a lot of people, except me, and when Molly finally arrived, he would spend the rest of the time with her. At one dance in particular I got tired of watching and decided to take matters into my own hands. In the late ‘60’s in a Catholic church basement it was acceptable for girls to cut in and dance with whoever they wanted, which is exactly what I did. I’ll never know if it was convoluted karma or 15 year old bravado but two things I’ll never forget. One was the look on Molly’s face when she turned to see who tapped her on the shoulder. The other is how good I felt walking away from the one and only time I ever danced with Eric when Molly cut in on me. Very few times since have I mustered such courage to do the unthinkable. Molly became a Montessori teacher in Washington State and Eric teaches math somewhere in Idaho. As for me, I still get the urge to step over the line every once in awhile.

This is what I remember about dance, this week's prompt for Sunday Scribblings. See other dancers here. The band pictured above is the once-popular Chancellors from Boise in the 1960's. Title quote is from Robert Frost

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

I will honor Christmas in my heart. . .

Granted it has taken me awhile to get into the spirit of things, but I FINE-ally did some baking and I can highly recommend this recipe that I baked off this afternoon.
Don't let the little matter of Weight Watchers scare you--they are the real deal, right down to the unsalted butter, smell delicious while baking and are lovely to look at, umm, what's left of them, that is.


Weight Watchers
Oatmeal-Pecan Lace Cookies
1 1/4 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup chopped pecans, finely chopped
1/8 tsp table salt
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg(s), beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350ºF and cover 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Mix oats, sugar, baking powder, pecans and salt together in a large bowl until well incorporated.
Add butter, egg and vanilla to oat mixture; mix well.
Drop teaspoonfuls of batter onto prepared cookie sheets and flatten each out, leaving at least 2-inches between each cookie.
Bake cookies until edges turn golden, about 8 to 12 minutes. Let cookies stand on cookie sheets for 2 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Yields 2 cookies per serving.
Notes: You can substitute any kind of nut for the pecans.


Saturday I attended a chili feed/auction for Dave's motorcycle association where I had a taste of Minnesota, in the form of Cathedral Windows. Maybe I've lived under a rock for too long, but I had never heard of them. Several other of the woman at our table were well acquainted with these pretty and apparently very easy, no bake gems.


For a lively post about 'competitive' cookie exchanges plus an interesting and time-honored recipe for Joy’s Cookies using almonds and sesame seeds (!) see Inland Empire Girl's wonderfully homey site. She's from my part of the country--northern Idaho/eastern Washington.

Now, if its holiday cheer you need, visit Julie Marie's post about her vintage Christmas decorations. She'll transport you right back to childhood, she will!

Have fun and remember to save a beater for me to lick.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Fröhliche Weihnachten!


On an ordinary day thrift shopping I came across an extraordinary find, made doubly fun by the announcement over the intercom that all Christmas items were half off. I bought this box of Christmas cards from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, circa 1985, 'For the Holiday: a Christmas Selection From the Wiener Werkstätte'box and all for $.30. The Wiener Werkstätte (Vienna Workshop) was part of the Arts & Crafts movement and its members were counterparts to the earlier European movement, with the likes of the Scottish artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh. They were artisans designing jewelry, fabric, clothing and everyday objects like furniture and pottery with the Arts & Crafts signature of minimalist and unique geometric shapes in 1900 Vienna. Founded by artists Josef Hoffman and Kolo Moser, some of the Workshop members included Gustav Klimt and Oskar Kokoschka. I'm especially interested in that period of German art, pre-World War I and then the Wiemar Republic and its golden child, the extraordinary Bauhaus. So, these little gems were created by Austrian artists who joined the Werkstätte in many ways like one joins a union or political activist group today, as was the custom during that time. Artists were inherently political and stood firmly along the lines they drew, literally and figuratively. The workshop existed from 1903-1932.

Couple and Cat in Snow / Fritzi Low-Lazar

Out in the Snow / Mela Koehler

A Doll for Christmas / Suzi Singer-Schinnerl
(which was always my wish)





Angel With the Star of Bethlehem /Franz Karl Delavilla

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Heroes & villains, Sunday & Scribblings



Next hurdle on the track
Its slender legs planted in the gravel
That ever-looming peripheral cloud says,
‘You can’t make it, you’re too big.’
Maybe next season.

¿Habla español? Si, mucho gusto!
‘But, you failed chemistry twice?’
The periodic table peers out from empty-eyed windows
Sedimentary, igneous, or metamorphic
Rock my world.

‘Success is for them, but
Let me show you what belongs to you, my pretty:’
Failure, remorse, crumbs of desire
Weak follow-through
Powdery residue of shame.

Piano fingers stroke the paintbrush bristles
Gilded thoughts recline on the highest clouds
Many colored ribbons of fairness circle and rise
Rain buckets full of tears sparkle in the sunlight
Preparing to nourish the next season.

Swirling leaves follow me down the street, turning cartwheels
In their wake a shadow lays down in front of me
I recognize myself in the chalk line~
The one who has set the highest standards.
‘It was you all the time.’



My take on 'competition' for this weeks Sunday Scribblings

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Is there a doctor in the house?

After spending a week looking like that mouthbreather Napoleon Dynamite, I think I might be over the worst seige by one of at least 400 varieties of cold viruses. So this week I stayed away from the ice rink to walk until I could breath through my nose again, opting instead for walking at the, the, the, oh, man, the mall. Because I don't like to shop there, ever, I feel quite overwhelmed by the Christmas musak and barrage of, shall I say, umm, merchandise practically falling out of each shop doorway at me. I'm there with a large portion of the senior population way before the shops open and its warm and pleasant enough, but by the time I leave, my eyes are glazed from seeing so much I couldn't, wouldn't, can't buy, buy, buy.

Let me back up to relate the following experience. Last week while walking around the hockey rink, over and over again (7 laps = 1 mile/ sigh) I had occasion to help an older gent find an unlocked door to the rink. He was tall, wore a beige jacket, slacks, dress oxfords and was the spitting image of my dad who 'has been dead lo these many years'. . .when we finally found the unlocked door, he smiled and wouldn't you know, he was missing some teeth, just like dear old dad! He only made one lap around the ice and we waved at each other when he left. His 'presence' rattled me and I had to shake my head as I finished my laps; what the heck would possess my dad to stop by a hockey rink on a Thursday morning in Minnesota? Well, so maybe he had a message? Nothing came to mind but, who knows, maybe I just needed to be reminded of his big schnozz that stuck straight out from his face or how he dressed up to go to McDonalds. While at the mall this week, every day I've seen the same guy who looks like the real Santa in every way: short, a little round, red shirt, red suspenders, long white hair and beard and even little glasses. When we pass in the mall he smiles and waves. And I call him Santa now.

Even though I'm no stranger to this type of occurrence I hesitate to recall that when I commuted to Chicago every day I swear I saw John Lennon a couple of times at the train station. He'd be looking at his newspaper and then look me straight in the eye. O.K., well, how about last summer when I thought I saw Jerry Garcia working on a road crew? I creep myself out, and yet, maybe admitting this could somehow get me a room in a nice hospital somewhere. . .I could use the rest!

Monday, December 3, 2007

winter dreaming

Out of the bosom of the Air,
Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken,
Over the woodlands brown and bare,
Over the harvest-fields forsaken,
Silent, and soft, and slow
Descends the snow.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Minnesota had its first big snow fall over the weekend with freezing temps, blowing wind and sleet. I'm laid up with a nasty cold so am keeping the home fires burning but wanted to send out my greeting for the new month and holiday season as it unfolds. [That's me and my mom in an earlier snowstorm--hope you can see her pincurls!]

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant; if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome.

Anne Bradstreet

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Happy trails!

The Beatles took that long and winding road, Willie and Waylon went on the road again and Buford took the high road at Gettysburg. Pop icons and generals have the luxury and authority to take any old road they choose. Real people, like me, have their little baby feet set down on a path in their first year. Once they let go of their parents’ fingers, the road becomes their new gloriously uncharted territory. Along the way we can unexpectedly experience boulders rolled onto our path—not the movie set variety either but the real and heavy variety. Vistas open up on other roads, too, expansive and never easily forgotten. The road signs are many and varied: hidden, neon, Sharpee letters on poster board, foreign language, upside-down, ancient, cautionary, and wisely heeded.


The beauty of trodden roads is, in fact, their memory deeply hidden inside each traveler, so that a few bars of an old song can transport you to both Elton or Dorothy’s yellow brick road or to Marrakech or a hurried walk down the long hall of a hospital made slower by the weight of the bleeding child you’re carrying to the emergency room.

When I travel I have a soundtrack of music to keep me company, my own Musak but less annoying. My road traveled has been mostly uphill but usually with a manageable slant to ground range. I’ve preferred the roads along Idaho rivers, to grandmother’s house, on fresh snow, out of the confessional, and to the recovery room. One thing I can depend on is that my feet always take the road home.
Many roads were taken here on Sunday Scribblings.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

'My painting carries with it the message of pain.'

So, I'm reading in front of the fire at Caribou Coffee yesterday when I see a jolly old guy bending over, looking at me closely. 'You looked just like my daughter sitting there and I just had to make sure. She'd have been reading a book too.' I apologized--because that is usually what I do, and I had a mouthful of pumpkin bread. [why?] That's what he asked too. 'Because I wasn't your daughter, I guess,' I mumbled. He assured me it was o.k. to be me [what?] and that in fact, he had just seen her on Thanksgiving; just didn't expect to see her here. Long, boring story short, it pays to look people straight in the eye to see if they are who you think they are. Incidentally, a corollary to 'don't believe everything you think.'

Turkey Day has come and gone, now just a sweet/savory memory. Sadly, our table was short one place as Erica had to stay in D.C. to prepare for exams. Audrey arrived on Thanksgiving Day and spent 4 more days. While here she and I made a pilgrimage to view the travelling Frieda Kahlo exhibit at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in honor of the 100th anniversary of Frieda's birthday. Not only were there many of her unique self portraits but there was a collection of never seen before photographs from her personal albums. Some of them showed her in traction after her accident when she was 18 as well as other candids with Diego Rivera and even Leon Trostsky. Seeing her works, born out of her pain--

“I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best.”

with her signature tiny brush strokes and sometimes surrealistic landscapes and still-lifes was such an emotionally charged experience for both of us, sending us straight away for tea and cookies.

While I write, at 5 am, this is the weather report in our part of Minnesota:
10 °F / -12 °C
Windchill: -5 °F / -20 °C
Wind @13 mph from the West (from Julie in N.Dak.!)
Clear

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Over the river and through the woods


We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of
our treasures.

Thornton Wilder


The season of the rolling out of pie dough begins, chopping celery and onions for dressing, listening to the cranberries pop as they cook, and all the while remembering those near and far with great fondness.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

from my house to yours!



Sunday, November 18, 2007

What I carry

Legs straight as tree trunks
Endurance tested for
High hurdles and escape
Tears collected in a flask
Ragged suitcase handles

Wanderlust
Fear of the wolf
Darkness
Not enough

Dealt a hand,
A life arrayed on a table.
Gypsy woman, child
Searches the heart of loneliness
For home.



See what other writers carry at Sunday Scribblings.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

'We're all fools for something.'

Today dawned cold and windy, with scantily clad trees, snow flurries and heavy gray clouds. But never fear. I've luckily found a new place to walk when the weather is obnoxious--the Roseville Skating Center. This is an indoor hockey rink with a free walking track around it covered with a rubber surface so its easier on the ole' joints. One mile equals seven laps. Outside the building is The Oval. And little known bit of trivia: The OVAL is positioned in Roseville, MN at a latitude of 45 degrees 02' North, longitude 93 degrees 12' West elevation 906 MSL. Roseville is located half-way between the North Pole and the Equator, which puts me that much closer to Santa's workshop, don'tyathink? But the best part, besides getting a better workout because I don't stop to look at every wildflower or bird, is that I can watch local men's hockey teams play pickup practice games and I can usually catch a glimpse of my beloved Electric 552 Zamboni. Who can resist guys with helmets on skates hitting a tiny disk around on the ice with funny big sticks? So now I just have to be careful to not fall down into the bleachers.

What better to do on a cloudy day than play with my button collection instead of the vacuum. These are some magnets I've made using vintage buttons on a great old tray I found at Salvation Army for $1. I have been inspired to collect old buttons ever since I saw Karen's booth at the Taste of Shoreview this summer. If you want to see some really cool buttons and artwork, check out her site at The Junk in My Trunk.















On fortune's
cap we are not the very button.”
William Shakespeare

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Call me ambidextrous, but call me!

Life is a series of ups and downs for sure. This littered path has birthed a wealth of philosophical admonitions and quotes, all influenced by what part of the compass the road runs.

It’s always something! If it isn’t bedbugs, its roaches!
Might makes right.
Six of one and a half-dozen of another.
Look both ways when crossing the street.
Right jab, left hook, then keep your fists up.

My grandmother Philomena, taught her children to be careful because ‘people are mean.’ A lot of the reasons she felt this way went to the grave with her, along with her old country ideas, memories in steerage and experiences with English speaking neighbors in her new home. Her life had been one of extremes.

Today politically we have exhumed the motto of the Round Table that might makes right without following King Arthur's goal of reversal of this logic. We now use this fictional concept to help define our dealings with the world outside our country. There’s that compass again.

My friend from the South who has reached the age of losing close friends and family continually recites the roaches vs. bedbugs quote. Accepting this either, or notion somehow evens the score for her.

Boxers learn early that if a right jab hits you straight on, you might just get the left hook to your chin if you’re not careful.

I believe we are indeed more vulnerable when we’re in transition—and I’m referring to our travels repeatedly from right to left and back again on a daily basis. Life in the middle might appear safer but what we learned in the playground in order to enjoy the seesaw ride you want to grab one of the seats. And I’m convinced that each one of us, when crossing the street, always smiles a bit when arriving on the other side, knowing we made it across safely.

This is my left-handed response to Sunday Scribblings.
Graphic borrowed from comic book genius, Robert Crumb.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

cuppa joe

So I am sipping coffee at a local coffee shop The Smooth Grind because the only things that change there are the homemade muffin flavors. Every Thursday a group of women gather from the Curves down the strip, put two tables together and yammer for an hour or so. I first noticed them at the end of summer because one of the members would bring boxes of tomatoes and zucchini and plastic carrying bags for each friend to take some home. I was so jealous. This Thursday I forgot what day it was but took a chance they were finishing up so I could read in peace. Actually three women remained for the duration so don't blame me for eavesdropping, which I did. I traded peace and quiet for wisdom.
I'm changing the names to protect us all but their story involved a couple named Barbara and Biff. All the women knew Barbara from way back but had really not seen much of Biff because he had mysteriously taken an early retirement and even more mysteriously spent the majority of his days in their basement. Remember 'basement' because it'll make sense later. Apparently B. & B. have been married forever and Barbara hasn't really changed much in her acceptance of life, marriage, and liberation of women in general and of the rest of her friends seated at the Smooth Grind this morning in particular. Her name was lobbed around the table until it reached one woman who spoke for them all by summing up Barbara's foibles: 'her mind just goes only so far.'
They began to whisper and there's only so far I could lean in before falling off my chair, but I did gather 'Lutheran,' and 'made her bed.' Every Barbara anecdote involved her being very attached to what Biff would think or say or do. Much tut-tutting, head shaking and some current psychological babble ensued before the spokeswoman admonished the group: 'Hell, we're all of us roller derby women! Look how hard we've worked to get things our way. And don't kid yourself, so have all the husbands! They got what they've wanted too.'

[ And the words of the poets are written on the subway walls. Thank you, Paul Simon.]

The laughter died down when someone else remembered one more anecdote about Barbara worth repeating. Whenever she's invited to hang out with these women, Barbara gets a certain look on her face then weakly declines because of what Biff might think. Question: 'how will Biff know you've even gone with us?' Apparently Barbara said, 'he will because he won't hear my footsteps upstairs and then he'll wonder. . . ' Well, this friend told the group, "I told Barbara: hire a babysitter to walk around upstairs for the time you're gone. Hell, he'll never know you left!' The laughter was contagious and I had to spit my coffee back in my cup or risk asphyxiation.

So, there you have it, words to live by. And the corollary, pick your coffee shops carefully. But I raise my coffee to all of us roller-derby queens!


Friday, November 2, 2007

Bambina

Blousy memories upon waking
In the pearl lit dawn.
Coins found under the swing
That hung from her mother’s clothesline.
Or were they from under the tablecloth
Near the cracked pot quietly inched away?
Pungent geranium leaves clung
Lashes flutter open and shut
Fingernail scrapes the window shade.

Bending to stroke her rosy cheek
Garlic and grated cheese lingers
‘Here bambina, you take-a this.’
Opening a black leather coin purse,
Thumb and forefinger magically twist and reach
Her hand cupped in his and then the coolness.
A chief’s profile looks away from them both:
The old man stooped from a lifetime of labor
The newly endowed child forgets her dream.



Some thoughts about money for Sunday Scribblings.
photo by Julia Margaret Cameron
Florence Fisher (After the manner of an old Italian picture), 1872

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Bingo!

So, this is my 100th post and you know what that means? Party time! Come for coffee and dessert and settle back as you find out everything you ever wanted to know about me. Just think of this post as an invitation to your old friend's house to see the slides from her extensive 60-day trip around the world. You don't want to disappoint her--you know how she can get--but this could go on for hours. You might want to call the babysitter.

Let me fill up your cup, have another piece of pie and read on.
(hint: there are only 50 instead of the obligatory 100 'things about me.' whew!)

1. I was born in a town called Pocatello, and raised in another called Blackfoot. Both in Idaho.

2. My grandmother called me Noni but I never found out why.
3. I was on a bowling league when I was pregnant.
4. I look like I could be Native American, but I’m not. If I were I’d be called ‘Long Raven Feather.’
5. I love dogs.
6. My first real job was cleaning motel rooms.
7. I’ve always wanted a vintage VW beetle.
8. I love slapstick, stand-up comedy and comic strips.
9. Knitting is my favorite craft activity but only seasonally.
10. I still have my sled, which is now over 50 years old.

11. I am a child abuse survivor.
12. Snakes scare me.

13. Fresh scones make me smile. Donuts too.
14. I watch art films. [La di dah]

15. I’ve had two close calls: one from an angry mother and one from Junior Mints.

16. I taught myself to cook.

17. The underdog is whom I root for.
18. I have a secret crush on Hugh Grant.

19. I was baptized twice before I was 5, once Methodist and once Catholic, so I'm good.
20. Once I met John Sebastian of the Lovin’ Spoonful and Rosie Greer of the L.A. Rams.
21. I’ve been a legal secretary, teacher’s aide, h.r. assistant, and worked on a potato harvest.
22. I do all of my own stunts.
23. I might forget your name but I’ll never forget your face and would always be able to pick you out in a crowd, or lineup.
24. I enjoy riding on motorcycles.
25. I met my husband when I was 16 in McCall, Idaho at a state Young Democrats’ convention.

26. I have had two c-section deliveries resulting in two wonderful daughters and a great scar.
27. A titanium rod as a result of a spectacular fall down the stairs holds my right leg and ankle together. (see #22 above)
28. Music of most any kind makes me very happy.
29. When I was eight I decided I wanted to marry Charles, Prince of Wales. Glad that didn’t work out.
30. I have a huge sweet tooth. (see #13)

31. I’m a loner by habit but also a loyal friend.
32. Libraries have always been my favorite places to hang out, work in and to take my children.
33. I once spent a year on a farm where I ‘owned’ a sheep named Toby and rode a horse named Paint.
34. Nostalgic and sappy, I collect small pitchers, old photographs, china cups and saucers, blue depression glass, buttons, and so on.
35. I’ve lived in seven states: Idaho, Washington, Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Minnesota.
36. I’m a big coffee drinker (see #13).


37. Baseball has always been dear to my heart. [My uncle played in the minors with the DiMaggio bros. I could hit a softball out of the playground.]

38. I used to ice skate on frozen cranberry bogs in Massachusetts.

39. In seventh grade I recited the Gettysburg Address from memory over the intercom at school. I’m still a little embarrassed. . .

40. I love to shop in ethnic and neighborhood groceries and bakeries.

41. I still have a sense of humor.
42. Growing flowers come naturally to me, passed down from my mother’s family.
43. Knowing as much about a topic is always my goal.
44. I am a people watcher and eavesdropper.
45. I do crosswords with a goal to just once finish the Friday New York Times.
46. I taught an‘art-goes-to-school’ program for elementary students where I introduced them to art history – fun for them, fun for me.

47. I’ve always worn my hair long.
48. I’m a dreamer—and usually have to scheme and think about something a long time before I do it, then ending up taking a nap first. Is that called ‘lazy’?
49.I am a reader and a writer.

50. I love ice cream.