Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oscar Party 2009 

The remains of the night
Originally uploaded by RSLS
The competition was tight, but Meredith came out victorious with 19 correct picks out of 24. She didn't go home with the trophy, as the babysitter was under 18 and therefore they had to be home in time for her to drive away before her license hit its nighttime expiration at 12:30 am.

A fabulous time was had once again by everyone, and The Girl and I finally got to bed around 3 am! Click the post party dining room table to see the full set and commentary.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 7:24 AM
Sunday, February 22, 2009

Kitchen Garden Update - Five Weeks 

The herbs are growing away, and I harvested some italian basil this morning to go with my eggs - yum!  After I  chopped the top off the basil, I was able to lower the lights closer to the garden so everyone could get their fair share of photosynthesis.  Click on the picture to go to the whole set.  There are a couple of other shots there from this week, including the harvest.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 10:30 AM
Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ready to Rock the Oscars! 

The house has been cleared of clutter, an extra leaf is in the dining room table, we have available seating for all the "Yes" RSVP's, the Jade Garden menu and past selections is ready for review, the beverages are set up on the kitchen island.  Plates, napkins and cutlery are on the table.  I've downloaded the nominated soundtracks and songs, as well as the live action shorts and 4/5 of the animated shorts, so early arrivals can view/listen to them if they would like before the show begins.

Now, to fill out the ballot...

Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:11 PM

Saturday Morning Shuffle 

Several of my blog friends and I used to take part in the Friday Random Shuffle, where every Friday we would press Shuffle/Random on our various MP3 players and list out the first ten songs that played - no skipping, no limiting the pool.  TCU has suggested we revive this pastime, which lapsed a few years back.  

Sadly, my weekday office locale isn't very conducive to iPod playing, so I'm instead proposing the Saturday Morning Shuffle.  To get things going, here are mine:

  1. Young Americans - Tina & The B-Side Movement (Originally purchased at an indie record store in Minneapolis, whose owner would buy the tapes direct from Tina when she came into the shop each week.  Later replaced with CD.)
  2. Why Georgia - John Mayer
  3. Bonnie Lass O'Fyvie - The Royal Scots Dragoons and the Band of the Coldstream Guards (I took my parents to this concert last year)
  4. I Quit - Hepburn (as featured on Buffy)
  5. The Champion of the Seas/Over the Isles to America/Pop Goes the Weasle/Rossie Castle - Bonnie Rideout 
  6. Oh Jesus - Tina  The B-Side Movement (I only have two of her CD's, but she beat the odds to make it into the shuffle twice today)
  7. Illuminati - Fatboy Slim (From Tomb Raider, of course!)
  8. Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos) - Joan Baez (NAF was once stunned into wordlessness upon encountering Joan B. at a diner.  All she could manage were a few odd squeaks.)
  9. Hark, the Herald Angels Sing - Vince Garibaldi Trio (Who doesn't love A Charlie Brown Christmas?)
  10. The Great Peace March - Holly Near (I've seen her several times, including at the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival when I was unlucky enough to be traveling with my psycho ex's dance troupe but at least with the benefit of being able to sit on the stage while Holly Near rehearsed.)
BONUS TRACK:  I kept the player going, and a couple of songs later, up came the Carpenters singing Close to You!  Yes, I have this in my iTunes collection and on the iPod.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 7:25 AM
Sunday, February 15, 2009

Garden 4 Weeks 

Garden 4 Weeks
Originally uploaded by RSLS
They're getting big enough now that I'm dispensing with the individual shots and sticking with the group photo. The parsley and mint have bounced back well with the new grow bulb, but the thyme still doesn't seem very happy. The italian basil, while topping the charts in height, has some brown tinges on its leaves. The purple basil is full, heavily leaved and healthy. Of course I bought this seed pod kit almost a year ago when I originally bought the garden, so maybe they just got tired of waiting. Click on this week's photo to see the set from the day of planting.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:11 AM

Morning Sun and Moon 

Usually when I wake up in the morning it's still that morning twilight, and when it does get light enough to see the sky it's usually still a little grey.  Not today - nothing but blue skies do I see.

Across the street the moon was bright as the sun was just starting to hit the tree tops:

In the backyard, meanwhile, the sun was just coming over the hill, but was still low enough to be visible below the tree branches:


Posted by Beth Henderson at 7:39 AM
Friday, February 13, 2009

Early Valentine's at Melting Pot 

The Girl is away with friends this weekend, so we had our Valentine's Dinner a couple of days early.  For once we had no problem getting the reservations we wanted at The Melting Pot in Framingham - I guess weeknights really are better, especially when there's a big date night event coming up.  I selected a nice red beverage to start - cranberry, club soda and lime:

Next up was the cheese course. We chose the featured cheese fondue, a Sam Adams Lager fondue. The meal started out with a cheese fondue. As you can see, it came with assorted breads, veggies and green apples for dipping:

While they do have a few larger rooms with multiple tables, much of the restaurant is made up of quiet little booths with high walls, making for a cozy environment of multiple private dining rooms. Since it was just the two of us, we got a booth. Better for romantic dining, as the rooms can become rather boisterous. They had lovely jazz piped in, which was quite lovely until the sounds of the live jazz trio started wafting in from the bar area. Fortunately the clash wasn't that bad.

After the cheese came the salad, followed by the entree course. We chose the Mojo style, which was light and citrusy. Here you can see some of the dipping sauces that come with it. The two red handles are my fondue forks with pork and beef cooking in the pot, while the pink handle is The Girl's. The blur at the top is the chicken on the end of The Girl's other fork as she's removing it for consumption. The 16 is the heat setting on the fondue element.

Wrapping it up was a flaming pot of white chocolate with bananas and a touch of caramel, with a platter of fruit and other sweets for dipping. Then we rolled ourselves back out to the car.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 6:09 AM

Front shadows 

Front shadows
Originally uploaded by RSLS
Before the snow all melted (almost) this week, the sun made its first appearance and placed some art on our front lawn.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 5:58 AM
Thursday, February 12, 2009

Mid-Winter Thaw 

On my drive to work this morning I enjoyed the sight of the piles of snow visibly sublimating into the fifty degree air. Here's another common sight in New England at this time of year - the heavy equipment being deployed to clean up the snowbank remains from the roadways. When the snow is still present in vast quantities, it just stays on the road edges, narrowing the travel lands and blocking pedestrian ways. But once it shrinks a bit, the road crews dive in to tame it.

Posted by ShoZu

Posted by Beth Henderson at 8:31 AM
Sunday, February 01, 2009

Kitchen Herb Garden, Round Two 

Kitchen Herb Garden
Originally uploaded by RSLS
The Girl and I planted a kitchen herb garden last May, and were rewarded with fresh herbs all summer, fall and into the winter. It finally wore itself out (and finished up all of the nutrient tablets), although the basil plants braved along for several more weeks after the rest had given up.

A couple of weeks ago I cleaned out the first round (adding all the plant material - lots of roots - to the compost), and started another set of herbs. From left to right (zig-zagging back to front) we have mint, parsley, italian basil, purple basil, dill, chives and thyme.

I've been taking pictures each week and adding them to the set, which you can see by clicking the picture.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 9:52 AM

The New Travel Pack 

Here's the new bag - that REI Vagabond 2.0. The Girl is convinced that it's not big enough for vacation trip, but then again we have to weigh her steamer trunk every time to make sure she's not over the limit.

One really nice feature is that it opens up like a suitcase, rather than just having the top access. Less rummaging and stuffing.

By the way, I'm posting this picture and text with mynew iphone app, Shozu. So far so good!

Posted by ShoZu

Posted by Beth Henderson at 7:36 AM