Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Book: A Dangerous Fortune

by Ken Follett

To set the scene: It's late Sunday afternoon. I've just finished reading The Big Turnoff (review still to come, but it's a memoir, still my current favorite genre), and the library has closed. One more official day of TV Turn-off Week remains. Sure, our house is full of books, but are any of them things I want to start reading Right Now?

I pull a few off the shelf. A Jane Smiley novel bought at a bargain table that's sat untouched for years. A novel my Dad loaned me (whoops, thought it had been a gift). Some astrology books. Knitting books from the library. Nothing appeals. I wish I could go to the library and get the book I want to read next, The Plug-In Drug, just to torture myself, but that adventure will have to wait. The Professor suggests another Ken Follett novel. I read a page or two, not really interested, but then...

I got sucked in. So, I started this book Sunday evening, and I finished it today. That's what not watching TV will do to a girl (it still hasn't come back on in our house). I stayed up way too late reading last night and still managed to wake up this morning at 6:30 am and be at work by 7:30 am (ugh). I enjoyed the book. The one thing I will say is that Ken Follett is much nicer than I am. His villains suffer, but they do not suffer enough for me. I want them to twist in agony for a really long time, and I want a front-row seat to watch it, but I am consistently denied. Maybe I need to start writing my own novels so that I can bring some true wrath down on a villain of my own. Maybe after he has written a novel and spent so long with the characters, he has a soft spot for even the bad guys and that's why he lets them off the hook. Maybe he has an editor who censors out the full punishment inflicted on these villains. I do not know the answer, but it frustrates me.

So, not as good as Pillars of the Earth, and frankly a tad predictable because of having read it, but a fun quick read with the usual good triumphing over evil in the end. And fiction is becoming interesting to me again in a way that it hasn't in a long time, so that's a pleasant side effect. The Plug-in Drug is waiting for me at the library now. I think I will wander down to fetch it.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Book: In Defense of Food

Subtitle: An Eater's Manifesto

by Michael Pollan

This book is woefully overdue at the library, but I had to wait a while to get it, so I was willing to pay the fine for me and The Professor to read it, and since it was TV Turn-off Week last week (hmmm, have I mentioned that enough times yet?), I was especially concerned about having compelling books to fill the void left by the boob tube. I finished it Saturday, and The Professor's about half way through it. Soon, fellow library patrons, we will return it so that you can have your turn.

When I first started this book, I could only read it in small doses, because the overall message, while hopeful, is bolstered by some rather depressing facts about the industrialization of our food supply. I was pleased that Pollan referenced, albeit briefly, one of my favorite books and one that stoked my love of non-fiction, The Paradox of Plenty by Harvey Levenstein, which is brilliantly written, funny, enlightening-- all the things I look for in a book. I wish I had had Pollan's book 17 years ago when I read Levenstein's, although I don't think this new book could have been written then. What I like about Pollan's book is that it cuts through the BS about diet recommendations and says, you know what? Forget all that, we don't understand the science well enough and we might never; just make healthy choices and be done with it. And he's quite clear and simple about what those healthy choices are, which is refreshingly useful. Trying to follow nutritional recommendations has never really worked for me, but I think I can follow the simple rule to eat only food that my great-grandmother would recognize as food. That one's easy to remember.

I remember when my inner health-food nut was awoken from it's slumber by my dear friend Adi feeding me sprouted grain breads and different kinds of nut butter on our lunch break from the American Poetry Center one day. Not long after, I started taking macrobiotic cooking classes and got turned on to delicious things like Jerusalem artichokes and hato mugi (the most delicious barley in the world). I remember the first time I ate burdock and thought, How can I have not known about this delicious food before now? If only I'd had Pollan's book telling me, yeah, none of what you've been taught about nutrition is based on a solid enough foundation to put your faith in it completely, I think that would have helped me quite a bit even when I let macrobiotics slip away from me. Alas, I've had to muddle along without it, but now that I've read it, I hope to use these simple ideas to improve my diet even more.

The book is well-summarized by the seven-word description on the cover, "Eat food. Mostly plants. Not too much." I would summarize his recommendations for eaters in eight words. "Shop at the farmer's market. Plant vegetables. Cook."

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Book: The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken

I read about this book on someone else's blog (spoiler warning: she tells more about the books contents than I will). I have no idea how I even found and started reading that blog, but I thoroughly enjoy it. The writer, Tea, spins lovely tales, takes fantastic photos, and from what I can tell makes incredibly delicious and complicated homemade food. It's always a treat to see a post of hers pop up in my Google Reader.

Well, we all know how much I can't resist a good memoir, so when I heard about this one I went straight to my library('s web site) to check it out. Since it's TV Turn-off Week this week, I have been reading in the evenings, and I plowed through this book in only a couple days (Michael Pollan was, through no fault of his own, bumming me out). I haven't read the recipes in the back yet, but I do plan to make some homemade ravioli at some point, if for no other reason than to heal The Professor's relationship with this fine foodstuff. Apparently as a child, he was served some canned cafeteria ravioli in school, and since the rule at home was Clean Your Plate, he just sat there crying because they were so disgusting he couldn't force himself to eat them, until a kind teacher released him from ravioli jail and let him dump the vile things in the trash.

I'm planning to use mom's pasta machine (I know my limits), and heck, maybe even the KitchenAid again. Reading about food is hungry-making, though, and last night I finally couldn't stand it anymore, and we went out for dinner to a newly opened Japanese restaurant a few blocks from our house because the author mentioned gyoza as a ravioli-like item from a non-Italian cuisine. These were interesting gyoza, I think they contained either fish or chicken, not the beef I'd been expecting, but that was fine. I was all about the pasta wrapper anyhow.

About the book: I enjoyed it. Well written, compelling, and informative. I learned a lot I didn't know about ravioli and cooking traditions in general, I was drawn in by the family history aspects of the book, and I sincerely cared whether she'd achieve her goal of finding the lost recipes and recreating them successfully. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in food and culinary tradition (ahem, Kelly, Anne, Claudia). But I would caution you to plan to have some delicious meals ready to go because while you are reading, you are going to get hungry.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Bread again

Okay, this development might not be as exciting to anyone else as it is to me, but I had to share. I've been continuing to make bread since my initial post about it a couple months ago. I've been using the same recipe (whole wheat version) every time because trying to get it so that I have the recipe in my head and don't need the book, which is looking pretty ratty already from always being opened to the same page and getting flour and water splashed onto it. And I've started making double batches, because The Professor loves his bread, so we go through it pretty quickly, as in two loaves in maybe 4 or 5 days? Bread does not get stale around here.

Well, one thing I've noticed is that the loaf that gets made in the one terra cotta loaf pan I have always comes out way better than the one made in the metal pan. Okay, that's nice, but I only have one terra cotta loaf pan. But wait, I do have a terra cotta pie pan. So today I made my first attempt at a braided loaf just so it would fit better in the terra cotta pie pan. Check this baby out:

Isn't she lovely? I can't wait to tear off a hunk of that bready goodness and slather it with butter. Mmmm, mmmm, guess what's for lunch today?

And the regular loaf is looking pretty yummy, too (albeit washed out from the flash).

In other news, this morning I had my first astrology lesson. I met Bill Tuma last year through the Cleveland Astrology Meetup. As far as I can tell, a successful meeting of this group has never taken place, but Bill and I managed to connect on our own (thank you, Bill, for reaching out to me), and now he's teaching me astrology. In return, I'm helping him get his online astrology business off the ground, using my sharp administrative and get-it-done skills, donchaknow. I'm having lots of fun. Our first conversation about his business was last week, and I just had so much fun brainstorming and problem-solving with him, and it was especially nice that he was very open and receptive to most of my suggestions and to the homework assignments I gave him.

If there's a way I can do more of that kind of work, I think that would make me very happy indeed, which reminds me that I need to follow up with the brilliant Steve Coxsey, with whom I shared a little of my reverie last week via the Fast Track forum, a membership site started by Valerie Young for people trying to get their own business ventures going, and others who, like me, want to find work that is going to feed our souls as well as our bellies. Steve was kind enough to email me his reactions to something I wrote there to Armelle, another member, and he's given me some thinking to do. What did I say to Armelle? Just that "I guess you have to be careful having me as an accountability buddy, because I will not rest until you are living your dream life." Hear that, Bill? That goes for you, too!

Excuse me, now I need to go eat some bread. I need to get fueled up for my bike ride to work!

Updated to provide a link to one of Bill's astrology articles online.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

I rode my bike to work

That is all. Oh, and it's TV Turn-Off Week. Do join me in switching off the tube this week. I've started reading Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, currently overdue from the library. Loving it so far.

Monday, April 21, 2008

[We'll] dance to anything

Anyone else remember the Dead Milkmen's Instant Club Hit? There's a little homemade video on YouTube with some bizarre and non-sensical-to-anyone-who-doesn't-know-the-maker visuals, but it does have the song, if you want to enjoy a little walk down Memory Lane with me (I'm looking at you, Chris and Dave). There are two YouTube videos, so if you want to hear the whole song, pick the one by lamers1111.

Moving right along, the reason for the title: It was quite an eclectic little dance weekend for us here. Friday night The Professor and I kicked things off by going to Viva Dance Studio for the monthly swing dance. I am embarrassed to say that Friday was my first visit to Viva, but it definitely won't be the last. Of course the marvelous Loreto and his wonderful DJ skills made for a delightful time, but my highlight was dancing with Eddie (sigh), and hey, neat, just realized he used to live in Philly. Anyhow, we had a lovely time, and I will definitely get my butt out there again next month. I even got some work done on a new crochet project in between dances.

Saturday evening we walked to a nearby church about a mile from our house for some contra dancing. Everyone was very friendly and welcoming. It was a small crowd because of a competing special event in Oberlin, but we were actually glad to dip our toes in the water of a smaller pool. It was fun, but we left on the band break because we were tired from having spent the day working in the front yard, disposing of some shrubbery.



Before anyone gets all but-they-were-so-pretty on me, that's about 100 sq ft of prime real estate freed up in our south-facing front yard for growing things we can eat. Plus, at a recent lecture about landscaping we attended, there was a woman complaining about some bushes or a hedge or something in her front yard that she had disliked since she moved into her home 20 years ago but had never bothered to take down. I already endured those bushes for almost 5 years, and I did not want to be her in another 15. They were even worse when I first moved in, before I bonsai-ed them. Here, have a look:

I did rip out the ivy on Week One at the advice of the home inspector. Nothing growing on the house, a pretty sensible rule. But still, I let the pine loaf remain until I had a better plan. Now The Professor is planning a series of little keyhole garden areas, and he's even started to build a path. I'll get some good photos of that soon and share them.

But back to the dancing! Last night was the cherry on top, we got to see Anti-Flag at the Agora. It wasn't so much a dance event, but the music was great as it always is when these guys take the stage. High energy, the crowd going wild; it is always such a joy to hear them rock out. And even though I haven't been to a show since the last time they came through town and played at the House of Blues, the familiar movements of hands thrust deep in pockets, elbows locked, swaying back and forth from left foot to right, the bobbing of the head in time to the music, all came back to me with ease. Alas, The Professor was not feeling it, and he did not join in even when #2 said "Everybody jump!" or "Raise your hands in the air!" He even remained motionless for the grand finale of Drink Drank Punk. I don't know how anyone could stand still during that song; I was almost ricocheting off our little back corner (I'm old enough to know I don't belong in the mosh pit anymore). And now that I've had time to listen to their new album, I'm definitely digging many of the songs, and it was great to hear them live. I think "Good and Ready" is my favorite, with the title track following close behind. But the whole album is great. If you haven't gotten a copy yet, what are you waiting for?

We (I) did have a brief moment of concern when we found out Justin hadn't put us on the list of people who could come backstage to say hi after the show, and I was worried I wouldn't get to give him the present I'd made him, but luckily that back corner we'd staked out was right near where Justin came to greet some other people after the show, and we caught his eye and got whisked down to the basement for a little visit. It was great to see him, though, and he liked the present. This post is getting too long already, so I'll post photos and a little write-up about that project later this week.

Hope everyone else had a lovely weekend, too. I'm off this morning to visit my cousin and her new baby. I might even ride my bike, because it looks lovely out and No Impact Man depressed the hell out of me again this morning. I'm going to try to hang on to the weekend's happy dance memories a little longer, though, and I think I'll go play that Dead Milkmen song again just for kicks. "You'll dance to anything by Depeche Commode..."

Friday, April 18, 2008

Pants Progress Post Plus

Before we begin our regularly scheduled program, I have a few highlights from the week. I skipped Ladies Who Launch Monday night to work on a crochet project. It's a gift, so photos and details will happen after it's gifted this weekend. I was sad to miss seeing Kim and Jennifer, but I hope to see them soon.

Tuesday was E4S, which was fantastic as always. I especially enjoyed hanging out with Victoria at the registration table and chatting with Bill about solar power. Talking to the guys from Fresh Fork was also fun (as was the small world moment earlier in the week of realizing I know someone else involved in their project).

On Wednesday, the Project From Hell was completed at the J-O-B. Happy dancing ensued. I am so glad to have that off my plate as I'd been working on it since September. I also started a new fun thing helping someone I know get his online business off the ground. We just had an initial phone chat, but I got to do what I love: cheerleading, problem-solving, and planning what to do next. Oh, and encouraging him to contact the brilliant Rachel to do his site (not sure yet whether they'll work together, but I have my fingers crossed).

Yesterday I made bread for my man. It's delish, probably the best yet. I wasn't using warm enough water before, and my yeast wasn't rising enough, so this loaf was lighter than previous ones. It's nice to get better at bread-making. I also got a massage and watched a cute movie; review to come over the weekend, but for now I can say: James McAvoy, swoon.

And now for our regularly scheduled program.

Today I finally got back into the sewing room. The Professor helped me move all the stuff up to the attic that was deleted from the room when I did the organizational fine-tuning in there a few weeks back, so no pile o' crap to trip over on the way into the room. The mending that had accumulated on the sewing table was tossed aside, the stack of muslin squares next to the machine got their edges overcast (using that spiffy new foot, which I love) so they can be safely laundered in preparation for The Great Dyeing Experiment yet to come. All is well.

I got sifted through the pattern, because I had the original pattern, the edited-in-'06 pattern (yes, I've been on this quest for a while), and the newly re-edited pattern all out. I put away the outdated versions and made myself a list of all the corrections to confirm and/or finish making to the current version. After getting the first few crossed off the list, I hit a snag. I'm going to put more detail into this post than the average reader may find interesting, and then I'm going to send a big SOS to all the sewing peeps that I know asking for help and guidance. Sewing peeps, if you are reading this, please help! Thank you in advance.

In the final meeting I had with Cynthia, she recommended on paper something that wasn't pinned into the fabric mock-up, an additional little 5/8" tuck under the butt at the outer leg seam. Kind of lack plastic surgery but using fabric-- adding shape to the garment to give shape when I wear it. The idea made perfect sense at the time, and I had this great light bulb moment of Getting It when she made that change. The instructions she gave me were to then add that length that the little wedge took out to the cutting line at the bottom of the leg. I thought I understood how to do that, and I'm realizing now, um, no.

Here's the pattern piece I'm using (blue arrows indicate the snag spot):

And here's a close-up of the area. See the slightly darker triangle where the paper is folded over itself and how the fold goes from the outer edge to that line in the middle of the pattern piece?

So I thought, okay, follow those same guidelines for figuring out where to put the extra wedge at the bottom of the leg:

But wait a minute, this result doesn't look right (green arrows indicate new cutting line):

Gah! What do I do now? Even if I taper the line all the way from the 5/8" addition to length at the outer leg seam to the unchanged bottom point of the inner leg seam, the hem is going to be a diagonal, and that can't be right. Do I just add 5/8" all the way along the bottom? I am, for the moment, stumped.

Well, now I'm going to start calling people I know (Anne, your phone will be ringing soon) and probably even emailing Cynthia, although I don't expect to hear back from her right away-- she's a busy gal! I don't understand why I get so hung up on these little things. I wish I didn't, but my sewing confidence is low. While I'm waiting to hear back on the SOS, I might try to do something easy to just get my confidence up. I've been wanting to make some flax seed eye pillows, that's about as easy as it gets, so maybe I'll go find some nice fabric scraps and try that.

Meanwhile, how can I expect to get any work done with this cuteness distracting me?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Books: World Without End and Pillars of the Earth

I got almost all the way to Scotland and back with my knitting in my carry-on, but in Glasgow, coming home, they told me my knitting needles would not make it through security and that I'd have to check them. To be fair, they were kind enough to tell me so before I checked my bag, so I put them in the suitcase and pouted. I then indulged myself in buying two new books, including this one by Ken Follett, sequel to his Pillars of the Earth, which I had finished while on vacation. I actually started the first book before vacation officially started, which made for a bit of a problem, because I couldn't put the book down to do things like pack, so I packed very quickly the morning we left (but I didn't forget anything, so it was all good).

Pillars of the Earth
was good, a very compelling story, a real page-turner. The Professor's entire family had been encouraging me to read it for years, and I was glad that I finally did. I liked most of the characters, except the evil villains of course, who I dutifully despised. I thought the story was well-crafted and interesting. A nice healthy serving good triumphing over evil in the end.

World Without End
was equally compelling. I couldn't put it down and read it very quickly for the 1,111-page book that it was. It was a bit too similar to the original for me to enjoy it quite as much. It was much easier to know what was coming because of all the parallels, and that dampened my enthusiasm but only a little, because I still gobbled it up. It took a lot longer for good to triumph over evil in the second book, there were fewer swings of the pendulum between good guys and bad guys prevailing, and one of the main bad guys in the second book was not a guy at all but the plague. Sure, it's historically accurate, but watching everyone get killed off by a disease is much less satisfying than seeing them get their come-uppance in a more fitting manner, as they did in the first book. Still, it was good, and I recommend it to anyone looking to escape his or her life for a few days.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

PSA for locals: Tree school!

Next Saturday, the incredible Jen Braman, owner of Peace of Nature Landscape and Design, will be talking about trees at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes. If you want trees to thrive in your life, Jen is the woman to know. She is also smart, funny, and she has cool hair. Last year I attended a longer series of classes with her and another instructor called Homeowner's Tree Survival School, also at the Nature Center. If they ever offer that program again, I encourage everyone who can to take it. I learned a lot about trees. I haven't actually done anything to take care of the trees in our yard yet, but I am moving in that direction, and I've got way more knowledge about tree care than I ever did before. Here's the info from the Nature Center's email:

Homeowner's Guide to Magnificent Trees
Saturday, April 19, 10 to 12:30
Trees add value and beauty to your home. Learn how to plant, grow and maintain healthy trees with certified arborist Jennifer Braman, owner of Peace of Nature Landscape and Design. Class size is limited. Call (216) 321-5935 to register.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Compact: We Might Be Bagging It

Today's excitement was me driving all over hell's half-acre looking for an overcast foot for my sewing machine to use on these *&$#(@% pants. I went to the always disappointing and useless Pins and Needles first, because they are the closest and I was trying to conserve miles, but when they not only didn't have what I needed (after I called ahead to see if they did and was told yes) but started ignoring me mid-assistance for another customer, I left. I decided to just drive straight to the always helpful and well-stocked and -staffed Barnes Sewing Center, even though it's considerably further away. Well, straight is a bit of a stretch. I stopped and bought a map, too, and not just for fun but because I had only a vague idea how to get where I was going from where I was. I was driving The Professor's beloved Prius, Lyra, and my handy little pocket folder full of directions, which included Barnes, was in my car, so I finally bought the map book for the area just south of where we live. It will come in handy again soon, no doubt. So that's two new things I bought today, completely flouting the Compact, feeling no guilt whatsoever.

And last week, while I'm confessing, for lack of a better word, I bought Anti-Flag's new CD, The Bright Lights of America. I haven't listened to it yet, because I've been engrossed in a book (Ken Follet's World Without End, which I finished this morning, thank heavens), but we had to buy it to earn Anne's undying gratitude and do our part to help with first week sales figures, although I think we missed helping by a day (at least our hearts were in the right place).

In positive Compact-ish news, I took a glass food storage container with me to the bakery yesterday and got them to put the sandwich I bought in that instead of a plastic clam shell that they usually use (I've asked for my sandwich in a paper bag in the past, but it hasn't gone well).

Now I can overcast the raw edges on the seam allowances of the pants that will not be trimmed. It's not a necessity, but Cynthia Guffey does it, and by Jove, if Cynthia does it, so will I. The last two of her videos that I bought at the Expo came in the mail today. Sweet.

But yeah, it's looking like the Compact experiment might be coming to a close. I'm not willing to forego a necessary supply like a sewing machine foot when I need one, or a friend's band's CD when it comes out, or to resist buying yarn when I'm on vacation in Scotland. I don't think we'll entirely stop considering how we can avoid purchasing things, but I don't think I'm going to keep promising myself I definitely won't purchase anything, because it's just not working out. We might have cut our consumption as far as we're willing to go already. No final decision reached yet, but that's the update for now.

Now, to sew!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

I feel better now

Good things:

Taxes are complete, and I only owe a small amount to the state. I get some chump change back from the city, and the Feds owe me, but I'm just letting them keep it until next year. All my Roth contribution stuff got straightened out, no penalties, so I'm on track with contributing for 2007 and 2008. Yay. The returns will go in the mail tomorrow. No tears, no gnashing of teeth. It's a welcome change. I finally found a good accountant if anyone needs one.

I found out last night that my dear wonderful friend Marty will be visiting us some time this fall. Halle-freakin'-lujah. Marty left Philly for Seattle not long after I came here to Ohio, and I've missed him terribly. I can't wait for his visit, which I hope will coincide with a good dance event (Bohemian if we're lucky?), because I love to dance with my Marty. He's super fun. I am eternally grateful to him for teaching his special secret balboa move to Andy. Don't ask Andy to show it to you, because he only got to learn it for my benefit. It still makes me smile every time.

It's warm out. Didn't even need my coat today. The crocuses are up, the leaves of lilies and daffodils are starting to come up. There have even been blue skies and sun recently. Wonderful gifts after such a long grey winter. The Professor spent a chunk of time last weekend planting seeds in cups and putting them in the window. We might have some home-grown vegetables this year if all goes well. That will be awesome.

A big project at the J-O-B is finally getting tackled, and the end is in sight. I love crossing things off my list. I'm committed to working extra hours until its complete. Look for a happy dance soon.

I'm getting a massage on Friday. My right ITB has been sore for months. It will be nice to get some relief, even if it's only temporary.

That's about it. Happy things. I needed some.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

I'm sad

I got news this morning by email that last week a guy I knew from swing dancing killed himself. A funny, sweet, kind, awesome guy. A good person, a good dancer, a good soul. I hadn't talked to him in years, since I moved away from the city where I knew him, and since I quit traveling to dance events where I might have run into him. What a sucky, shitty, fucked-up way to start a Saturday. I've been having enough trouble this week coming to terms with the loss of a freakin' TV character in a show I've been watching on DVD, and now this news. Ugh. Rest in peace, my friend. I'll remember your fantastic sense of humor (quick dry wit, my favorite kind), your welcoming presence when I was a new dancer, your kind face. I didn't know you were so sad that you had to go this way, and I'm sorry for that. I would have done anything I could to let you know the world needs all the good people like you it can get.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Personal best and signs of spring

Today marks a record-setting event for me. In a few short hours, once I receive one last piece of information, I will have gotten everything to the accountant for my taxes before April 15th. I don't think I've accomplished that feat in maybe 10 years or so. It's been Extension-land for me for a long time. It helps having an accountant who gives you a deadline of early March, and if you don't get stuff in by then, you're fired. I was more prepared this year than ever before, having started to keep a simple pocket file on the shelf by my desk for anything tax related. As it came into my life, I just put it in the folder, and then when my early March deadline rolled around, it was mostly all there. Not everything made it into the folder, but a lot did. This year I'll do an even better job, and 2008 will be even less stressful. Progress is nice.

In other news, yesterday on my way to the J-O-B, I saw a little bird fall off an electric wire overhead into the street and then flap around on the pavement in the middle of the street for a couple minutes. I had stopped my car to figure out if there was anything I could do, and was trying to find something in my car to use to sort of shovel the poor guy to the side of the road so he wouldn't get hit in case he recovered from his fall. I didn't want my human scent on him in case it would make the other birds back at the nest kick his ass or something, but I didn't really have anything appropriate in the car. Anyhow, I finally got out of the car empty-handed just to see what the precise problem was (broken wing? hurt foot?), only to find out it was, in fact, two birds... getting it on. Luckily, upon my approach, they decided to move their assignation to the treelawn, and I got back in the car and continued on my way. Ah, spring!

The pants project was postponed (say that 3 times fast) last weekend, having been bumped so I could do the fine-tuning of the organization of the sewing room, which looks fantastic now, almost ready for some showing-off pictures. Everything is all labeled and accessible and stored logically. The pants will be much easier to accomplish now for having taken the time to set the stage. Stay tuned for photos and, I hope, bragging about how great they turned out.