Monday, November 24, 2008

Murderbones III and Buying Back Virginia

This past week saw me attending my third Murderbones on Monday, scarfing up some delicious "killer" apps. One of the featured authors was highly entertaining - his murder mystery was set in England in World War II and when asked why he wrote about this particular era, went into a fairly scathing diatribe about our current president, "who can't even pronounce 'Iraq'...." I had him sign his endnotes to that effect.

Why they call it "Underbones. . . ."

Tuesday, Jim and I attended a party at the Middle East featuring Jeanne Lafferty and Emily Scudder (Jeanne had illustrated Emily's book of poetry with some great crustaceans.)
Aside from some excellent Middle Eastern food and great company, Jeanne was selling some of her art. (See her great art website, We were happy to snap up a wonderful portrait of the beloved Virginia (of the 100 crimes), Jim's first canine love. Sleeping Virginia is displayed proudly on our mantel.

This weekend saw us (aside from shivering) trying to deal with our broken sink faucet (you haven't LIVED until you've washed dishes in the bathtub including baked on homemade macaroni and cheese!). Coincidentally our faucet woes occurred while Ciel and Jared are in the middle of renovations and ALSO have no kitchen faucet. I never realized how utterly dependent I am on the beloved kitchen faucet. Now, we have a new faucet and a new sink to go with it - and someday, our plumber will come!

Jim and Jared also managed to haul up the two ton washer/dryer combo that got delivered Thursday - to our backyard!

Monday, November 17, 2008

What a Difference a Week Makes - or Bare Trees

The leaves are falling, creating a slippery carpet of brightly colored splotches. The trees are shaking off their brilliant autumn apparel and settling down for a long winter's nap.

The rhino, sans lipstick this time, is flanked by a newly shorn tree featuring a large bird's nest.
A sop to the lamp obsession!
A leaf in the great circle of life. . . .

On one of our weekend perambulations Bonnie tried out for beach volleyball. She's a great "digger!"

Jimpy of Borg is sighted in Harvard's newest bicycle Quonset hut. What a great idea! We need one for our back 40 (square feet!)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Starbucks doesn't have anything on Babbaricci's!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Truffle Hunting

This past weekend I traveled to Cincinnati in honor of my Dad's birthday. Cincinnati, like other cities, sponsored an art contest some years ago, featuring pig statues. (Boston had cod and cows....) There are still a few pigs around in various locations - and this trip I encountered two of the pigs in unexpected places. Pigs, as you may or may not know, have been used to hunt truffles in Europe - they are slowly being replaced by dogs who don't like the taste of the truffles, however. So, to begin my weekend, I had a Starbucks espresso truffle drink, which was extraordinary. It was like drinking a liquid Babbaricci*!

The first pig I came across was an armored pig in the lobby of my "retro" hotel, the Mount Vernon.

I was struck by how similar the hotel was to Dad and Barbara's condo in the Belvedere. When I noticed the similar ornate doorknobs Barbara later explained both buildings were built by the same corporation years ago.

Dad and I spent some time celebrating our weakness regarding bookstores, eating in the lovely cafe at Joseph Beth booksellers (and yes, it must be admitted, buying some books...) and then celebrating another weakness, fine French wine, olives and cheese, along with Barbara. Dad has declared that he wishes his ashes to be sprinkled with Chassagne Montrachet - to which I responded that we might spare a few, few drops and drink the rest in a celebratory fashion. He promises to rise up like a phoenix and take vengeance!

Cincinnati too is enjoying some autumn splendor. On the way to watch Dad and Barbara sing at the UU (Unitarian Universalist) church on Sunday I enjoyed a few vistas with fiery foilage, too soon to be replaced by bare trees.

After enjoying brunch with Dad and Barbara, I returned to CVG for my flight home. Alas, my flight was delayed, and delayed, and then oversold. The flight went out of a part of the terminal I had never seen before, so the good news was I found my second pig of the weekend. The bad news was I spent 5 hours getting to know the pig up close and personal. Still, I ended up home with Jim and Bonnie by 10 pm, with a "comped" dinner and drinks, and a $200 travel voucher for my troubles. I can't complain! Next trip to Cincinnati is on Delta.
*more on these later!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

A happy birthday to my dad, aka "the far from frugal gourmet", who turned 76 November 3rd. Long may you wave!


In our tiny polling spot in Youville Hospital, at 6:30 am the line stretched down Hovey Avenue to Cambridge St. By 7:00 am, when the polls opened, the line stretched down to Cambridge Hospital. I have never seen this amount of excitement in all my years as a voter.

By 7:30, we had had our say and went back to enjoy a post-voting breakfast, counting ourselves lucky to have the opportunity to make a difference, and not to have to wait TOO long in line - with visions of free cups of Starbucks coffee dancing in our heads. Drink the vote!

Monday, November 3, 2008


All Hallows day dawned clear and chilly. The inmates of 8 Lamont Ave ventured out (after nary a single trick or treater appeared, enticed by jack o'lanterns, the night before. More chocolate for the treaters, I say....) The trees, still showing some autumn finery, were much admired. The chill, and a few bare trees, reminded us that winter is coming!

As we are wont to do on weekend rambles, we visited Divinity Ave, home of the rhinos. We were (okay, maybe I was) entranced to find that our horned friends had been adorned with halloween costumes of their own - "Sororitans Ditzae" and "Fratdaddaeus Inebriae". How's your Latin???

I particularly liked the lipstick.

Full disclosure: I happen to know for a fact that both of these rhinos are female!!! Still, an entertaining spectacle.
Bonnie was less impressed, preferring to drag Jim around in her "perimeter checks." We think she must have had some herding in her background - she definitely herds cats, and occasionally tries to herd us to the treat jar....

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Chocoholics Unite

One of my mom's favorite comic strips was Red & Rover. This past year I made her some t-shirts with favorite Red & Rover strips on it. This morning, I know she would have loved the strip. Hopefully in her next life she will be able to dine on the delights of the cacao tree....