30 September 2008


Yesterday ended hilariously. We raked and weeded and dug and pruned frenetically through light rain showers and setting sun only stopping just in time to get to the nursery at closing time. The cutest guy--somewhere in his forties, but well preserved--greeted us and escorted us around the beds and sheds for the 20 minutes until closing. Such bounty and all 25% to 1/3 off. Michigan prices are unbelievably low compared to suburban Chicago. Like huge spherical, 2-gallon mums for $5.95! A later stop was Sam's Club and theirs were $16.95. We said, "So long," and that we'd be back in the morning and take time to first re-survey the terraced garden beds and to process what we'd seen and how much we can accomplish in today's allotted time.

Then, on to Sam's Club and increasingly mindless wandering. The brain cells were shot and our bodies and legs were throbbing from the exertion of the day. I had been on my feet for hours before the gardening. As I mentioned, my sister has the Tom Sawyer / Huck Finn thing down pat. She pranced around doing whatever and displaying her new wardrobe for my approval and critique, while I Murphy soaped her kitchen cabinet fronts, cleared the counter tops, and polished the windows. She had time for long phone conversations, and when another sister called to confirm plans for Thursday, JL complimented my industrious and said I was staging her kitchen. GJ said, "Don't take her home on Wednesday, bring her directly here!" JL said, "She may be back into her lying on the couch and reading phase by then!"

After Sam's Club we chucked all plans to make the Chicken Piccata--that will be tonight's menu--and headed for someone else's Italian cooking. Yum! Sinking into the bread and entrees, we entertained :) the young waiter and kept him busy refilling our glasses and bread basket! We left with JL wearing much of her dinner on her shirt front????? and with leftover in tow. (How many carbs can one exuberant senior citizen consume? Not me! The doctor warned JL that the new medication would increase carb craving...)

Even though we had not a thing alcoholic, our brain cells were long gone as we stumbled onward to Meijer's for some Clairol color touch-up--stay tuned, this cannot end well!--and got caught up in the greeting card aisle, laughing so uproariously that a complete stranger walked up and asked to see the cards. Our favorites were:

George Bush saying, "I have three words for you... Happy Birthday!" and, Two old ladies... The first says, "My husband always says why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free." The second says, "Well, I always say, why buy the pig when all you want is a little sausage."

The Shipshewana whoopie pies from Sam's Club were calling our names, so we managed to leave Meijer's and head back--exhausted to the point of dropsy. It must be familial--I repeatedly drop things when I try to bake or clean or sort after I have reached the point of exhaustion. JL grabbed the Ibuprofen and dropped a tablet into her water glass. After dumping the water and refilling the glass, she reached for the pill bottle and dumped the contents on the kitchen floor. As soon as she finishes "onesies" she may move on to "twosies." If not, it will be my turn, and I have never been that good at jacks...

29 September 2008


Am I just so thick that I never noticed this before? When you are reading a story and the character shakes his head--is it always negative? And, is a nod always positive? I think so... So, I guess it is redundant to say someone nods "Yes" or shakes his/her head "No?"

A nod is never, ever negative, but can a shake be "Yes" and "No?" I think not. A shake must always be positive when speaking of a head movement.

Small thoughts, but about all I can handle on this very physical day. Cleaning and staging my sister's kitchen. First she was offended, and then she decided to love it. I told her she has the Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn thing down pat. As I slaved away, she tried on new clothes and gave me a fashion show. Later as I continued to slave, she took a long phone call. We will soon move down the hill toward the lake and weed the newly arranged and terraced perennial garden, deciding what goes and what stays, what she adds this Fall and what waits for Spring. We will keep a notepad close by and make lists for today and for next Spring.

The geese love her lake point. She is currently running along the shore beating two pot lids together announcing to one and all that the convention is over. They've seen her act before and only swim or hop over to the other side of the inlet, not flying seriously away. Why don't they fly south for the winter any more? Global warming? Climate change? Evolved resistance to brutally cold days and winds of a Michigan winter? And, what happened to their natural predators? Why are there so many? And, what do they eat that makes them poop so much?

Small, very small thoughts a Michigan day. I always revert to Michigan-time when I visit JL. She doesn't aspire to walking and chewing gum at the same time, and is the queen of digression. So, when I visit I surrender my internally ticking clock and left-brained requirement for accomplishment and slip into a mild trance letting Michigan life roll over me and trying to remember to nod and say "uh-huh" appropriately

Later we will run to Sam's Club and Meijer to provision for teeth whitening and hair color touching-up. We are both in our home and self-improvement phase and want to hasten because this, too, shall pass.

We plan on Chicken Piccata for dinner with or without capers. We are both ambivalent about capers. We agree on angel hair pasta as a side dish. And, probably some steamed vegetables for the sake of good nutrition and to offset all the carbs that creep onto our plates while we are not looking.

makes 2 servings

4 chicken cutlets

2 T. vegetable oil

1/4 cup dry white wine
1 t. garlic, minced

1/2 chicken broth
2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 T. capers, drained
sauteed cutlets

2 T. unsalted butter
fresh lemon slices

fresh parsley, chopped

Season cutlets with salt and pepper, then dust with flour.
1. coat a saute pan with nonstick spray, add 2 T. vegetable oil, and heat over medium-high.
Saute cutlets 2-3 minutes on one side.
2. Flip cutlets over and saute the other side 1-2 minutes with the pan covered.
3. Transfer cutlets to a warm plate; pour off fat from the pan.
5. Deglaze pan with wine and add minced garlic. Cook until garlic is slightly brown and liquid is nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes.
6. Add broth, lemon juice, and capers. Return cutlets to pan and cook on each side for 1 minutes.
7. Transfer cutlets to a warm plate and return pan with juices to medium flame.
8. Finish sauce by whisking butter into remaining pan juices one T. at a time until butter melts and sauce comes together into a smooth consistency.
9. Pour sauce over cutlets. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and serve with angel hair pasta.

28 September 2008


Just happened upon a book of solutions. My sister bought it at the hospital resale shop for 25 cents: Fast Fixes and Simple solutions, Surprising Uses for Ordinary Household Items by the editors of FC&A Publishing
  • can't get that watch / bracelet fastened without help. Secure the first side to your wrist with Scotch tape--voil'a!

  • heating pad is not to be found? Soak the center section of a disposal diaper with water and microwave until warm. They don't leak.

  • scrape your fingernails over a bar of soap before heading to the garden. Dirt won't stick and wash up is a breeze.

  • sticky resin all over your hands after cutting back the evergreens? Rub mayo all over your hands and wash clean.

  • use a plastic child's sled to haul around your garden tools and bulky plant food/soil.

  • like the moss, old-fashioned look of a cottage garden? Mix moss with buttermilk and water in a blender. Spread around hard surfaces. Moss grows quickly.
  • pour boiling water over the weeds that grow in sidewalk cracks--they die!

So much home-spun wisdom--buy the book!

27 September 2008


My all-time favorite joke goes something like this:

Not feeling well, a husband visits his doctor to have his symptoms examined. The doctor regrettably announces that the man has a very rare and extremely terminal disease--having less than 24 hours to live. Shocked, the man goes directly home to tell his wife.

She throws her arms around him and says, "Honey, whatever you want. Just tell me. Anything."

Well, of course, he wants sex. So... and... and... and...

Exhausted the wife pushes him away and says, "Look, SOME OF US have to get up in the morning..."

And, why are farts so funny? Do we laugh to cover embarrassment? Men are oblivious and most women just don't fart. We grew up instucted to say we had passed gas! So very proper in our dysfunctionally, straight-laced family. My young son would never ever admit to it, even if we were the only ones in the car and I was frantically rolling down windows in order to survive through the next intersection. He shed tears of denial.

My late brother-in-law Art was the champion. One visit he was dozing on the couch--me at the other end--when he let one rip! As I exclaimed indelicately he chuckled from his slumber. A few Christmases later I presented him with a sleeping bear pillowcase that says, "Sleeping is an art." My sister JL says that he grew up hearing, "Gene, Gene made a machine. Joe, Joe made it go. Art, Art let a fart and blew it apart." I doubt he was even embarrassed. Boys aren't.

And, poop fascinates guys. I was middle-aged before I heard my nephew say that he was going to drop a few kids off at the pool. How clever! We were taught to say that we had to "move my bowels." Give me a break! Who teaches little kid to say something like that? JL says its the appropriate medical description... Still, my kids grew up saying, appropriately, "poop" or "#2."

26 September 2008


This is my favorite room ever. I want to live in this room. It has everything I need--books, sunlight, peace and quiet, and beauty. I even like her clothes--just wait, they WILL come back in style. I have been on this earth long enough to know for sure that life is a cycle and everything comes around.

This ad is (c) 1994, so I have been holding onto this piece of paper for a long time. The ad is for Waterford crystal, but if pressed I wouldn't have remembered that part. Like the Energizer pink bunny ads-- people that follow advertising stats early on determined that people loved the commercials but had a hard time remembering whether it was Duracell or who. They made some subtle changes to hard-wire the Energizer brand into our brains.

Anyway, I prefer Swarkowski. Because of our Austria connection. I don't own much of either brand. For years I wasn't a crystal-type girl, but that changed. Now I have a few crystal vases and bowls and candlesticks. Our house is now more traditional country rather than straight country. By country I don't mean geese with clothing on my front porch. I always went for the pine primitives and folk art--mostly reproduction.

I got lucky. A good friend who had a wonderfully pristine, primitive country collection decided to retire to Florida. I got first pick. That summer we skipped a vacation and the money was spent on her stuff. No regrets. I may have wandered a bit away from her style, but I still love the stuff in my basement!

25 September 2008


I spent much of today making my purple tutu! For me! Really. Don't worry, you won't see me at the grocery store, on the street, or on the basketball court with Kobe. It's a wrap-around with enough gross grain ribbon to tie a great big bow. I will dazzle! Wait until the 3+ year old asks for Grandma to dance with her. I'll be styling.

My husband's reaction reminded me of years ago when my teen-aged daughter walked in on me piercing my own ears--a second set of holes so that I could wear my little diamonds and still be able to wear all my favorite earrings. She yelled, "Dad, you won't believe what she's doing now!"

JE mentioned to her husband MA that I was making myself a tutu. He did the "hum-m-m" and head-shake thing. She was wondering... He then asked, "What's a tutu?"

I think I will get my $4.00 worth out of the netting I bought!

24 September 2008


Service League of Crystal Lake's Designer Showcase at
The Dole Mansion - Lakeside Center.

Maybe I wasn't supposed to take pictures? One of the docents joined us in this room and while I refrained from taking pictures, she didn't leave us alone. She didn't say anything directly. No apologies. What is a designer showcase for other than to give us ideas. Oh, maybe to get business for the designer while raising money for the charity? I paid twice, so that must get me something.

I just wanted to show my husband the headboard made out of a wooden door. Lori O'Callaghan of Junk Warehouse gives classes and for $300 you get the class and all the supplies. The pediment on top is $125 extra. We are going to make this for our master bedroom.

And, the fireplace mantle--I wanted to remember the simple sherbet cup arrangement--each filled with stones and topped with a flower bulb. Notice there are 5. My best friend RvH says you are always supposed to go with an uneven number in a display. I have lots of displays with even numbers of objet d'art and they look good...

23 September 2008


Earth Wind & Fire

For because of our faith, He has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be.
Romans 5:2
Life Application Bible

God, make a fresh start in me, shape a Genesis week from the chaos of my life. Don't throw me out with the trash or fail to breathe holiness in me. Bring me back from gray exile, put a fresh wind in my sails! Give me a job teaching rebels your ways so the lost can find their way home.
Psalms 51:7-13
The Message [Bible] Remix

Going through the motions doesn't please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shaped lives ready for love don't for a moment escape God's notice.
Psalms 51:16-17
The Message [Bible] Remix

22 September 2008


John C. Reilly

Since seeing the musical Chicago, I have said repeatedly that John C. Reilly's solo, Mister Cellophane, should be the anthem of the middle-aged woman--Ms. Cellophane; because we are invisible. I love it!

How freeing! We no longer have to worry about how we look or what we say or who others think we are. We are no longer pleasers. We are emancipated at last. Free at last. Free at last. Thank God, we are free at last!

Mister [Ms.] Cellophane
If someone stood up in a crowd and raised his voice up way out loud
And waved his arm nd shook his leg You'd notice him
If someone in a movie show yelled "fire in the second row,
This whole place is a powder keg!"
You'd notice him nd even without clucking like a hen .
Everyone gets noticed, now and then,
Unless, of course, that personage should be nvisible, inconsequential me!
Cellophane, Mister Cellophane should have been my name !!!!
Mister cellophane 'cause you can look right through me alk right by me
and never know I'm there!
I tell ya Cellophane Mister Cellophane should have been my name .
Mister cellophane 'cause you can look right through me, walk right by me
and never know I'm there. . .
Suppose you was a little cat residin' in a person's flat who fed you fish and scratched your ears? You'd notice him .
Suppose you was a woman wed, and sleepin' in a double bed beside one man for seven years... You'd notice him .
A human being's made of more than air with all that bulk, you're bound to see him there .
Unless that human bein' next to you is unimpressive, undistinguished you know who. . .
Should have been my name Mister Cellophane 'cause you can look right through me, walk right by me and never know I'm there.
I tell ya Cellophane, Mister Cellophane should have been my name Mister Cellophane
'Cause you can look right through me, walk right by me
and never know I'm there. Never even know I'm there.

21 September 2008



When JE was a little girl, she sometimes had trouble going to sleep. We would put a bit of perfume on her wrist and she would fall asleep inhaling the scent. That required deep breaths and focusing on something simple. This was a solution that she treasured.

So… as you are recovering from an illness, if you have any sleepless nights or days when the required naps don’t come easily, spray your pillow case with a bit of this lavender mist. Relax, inhale the scent, and drift into your dreams

Happy Birthday, LP. You have always been the grandma I wanted to grow up to be, and now I am! Blessings and long life.

LAVENDER: Means remembrance, sweetness, rarity, dignity, beauty.

20 September 2008


5 Little Girls and How They Grew

5 Strong and Healthy Women

The difference was... that she was old enough to understand the nature of the story: that everyone had one, but that it was thrust upon you, as often as not. That what counted was what happened after that, the combining of the aftermath with the original story.

Nobody grows up in a home such as ours. You just wait to be done with it, and you hope you'll have the opportunity to grow up later.
For Love by Sue Miller

... the process of confiding is so powerful. Research shows that when people begin to confide, their blood pressure goes up, they begin to tense and sweat and their immune system is less effective, but after they're through, all their vital signs improve. It actually requires energy not to tell stories.
Confiding by Susan Baur

For because of our faith, He has brought us into this place of highest privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to actually becoming all that God has had in mind for us to be.
Romans 5:2
Life Application Bible

19 September 2008


In my next life, I am going to be precious. Back in the early 90s there was an article in Fortune magazine about Texas millionaires and their second wives. These women were educated, beautiful, and younger. The first wives raised the kids and supported the guy as he built and many times lost his fortune. The second-third-fourth wife's main responsibility was to present herself well and to be unfailing supportive. She was his prize. She was precious.

Since I have an existing healthy husband who is neither Texan nor a millionaire, I can afford to wait awhile before I begin remolding my image, personality, and big mouth!

18 September 2008


I have been blessed with so many new authors and great books lately. Sometimes it seems that everyone writes such depressing novels, and then voila', a whole rash of great books. I was blown away by Donna Milner's After River, and then I discovered Cecilia Ahern's wonderfully light and well-written novels--from an Irish perspective. First P.S. I Love You, then Love, Rosie (also published as Rosie Dunne)--a novel written in a series of letters and emails that spans almost 50 years. Next I plan to read her If You Could See Me Now.

Then, I found The Kept Man by Jami Attenberg. Wow! She can write. I also thoroughly enjoyed A Ticket to Ride by Paula McLain--set in my growing-up era and in a similar location to my family's home. I was a very good girl and did not have the experiences that Jamie and Dawn had, but certainly saw similarities to stuff my friends went through.

16 September 2008


This photo of my mantle reminds me of a Jim Croce song from the ‘60s,

“If I could save time in a bottle…”

The days and weeks and months and years go so quickly, don’t they?

Treasure each moment of today.
Happy Birthday, Dad.

Not all the lyrics were appropriate for this celebration, but I do love this song!

If I could save time in a bottle
The first thing that Id like to do
Is to save every day
Till eternity passes away
Just to spend them with you
If I could make days last forever
If words could make wishes come true
Id save every day like a treasure and then,
Again, I would spend them with you
But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find them
Ive looked around enough to know
That youre the one I want to go
Through time withIf I had a box just for wishes
And dreams that had never come true
The box would be empty
Except for the memory
Of how they were answered by you
But there never seems to be enough time
To do the things you want to do
Once you find themIve looked around enough to know
That youre the one I want to go
Through time with

***Jim Croce***

15 September 2008


If it's good enough for Kobe Bryant's wife, it is good enough for me!

Happiness is the fruit of the desire and ability to sacrifice what we want now for what we want eventually.
7 Habits of Highly Successful People
Dr. Stephen R. Covey

Deferred satisfaction? A counter-cultural idea. I want it now! I want it all! I need; I want; I have to have. New, improved, cutting-edge... Market manipulation. Consumer beware--they've got your number.

Mine, too. Just stock it in TJMaxx or Marshalls, or especially Home Goods and I am on it! I need it. It is the perfect gift, accessory, implement, decoration... Last week I organized my gift closet. Well, not an entire closet, but part of one walk-in closet. I have stuff. Lots of stuff. Good stuff.

The problem was that I had gifts in the basement, the buffet, and in that closet. I didn't know what I had. I went shopping at home. I've got great stuff.

I have great projects. There is that purple tutu that I am making so that I can dance with my 3 year-old granddaughter. Usually she has me tie a scarf around my waist while she wears a dress or tutu, and then we dance. We spin and hop and wave our arms around. Sometimes we collapse on the floor. When I see her in November and she asks me to dance, I will whip out my purple tutu and dazzle her. She loves girly-girl things.

I have never been a girly-girl before, but I will be now. I have two granddaughters. And, I will be a tomboy for my little squishy guy. We can slide and kick and run and swing. There are mudpies and sand castles in our future.

I digress... Then there are the lovely sage green pillow covers that I am making for my daughter-in-law--in two textures and sizes. I have written 2/3rds of a book [with photos] on our trip with the three-year old to Paris, when she was just 2. I can hardly wait to finish the story and get it published at Ritzpix.

I buy lovely framed pictures on clearance at TJMaxx and Marshalls, remove the dicey picture and frame cards and photos and still life arrangements clipped from magazines. I don't even want anymore stuff on my walls, yet I persist.

I have two blogs and will amp up for a third that will be short stories that I have written and will write. I cook. I bake. For us and for friends who are sick, grieving, entertaining...

I have a cookbook with about 200 recipes and counting. I made personalized cookbooks for my daughter and daughter-in-law a few years ago, and keep updating them with more entries. I gave a wedding gift of a selection of my recipes--they have divorced and the bride got custody.

I keep flexible with yoga and I love HGTV. We just joined NetFlix and subscribed to the premium cable channels.

Is this happiness? Yes, it is. But it would all be so, so shallow if my hope and joy were not centered in Christ. There really is a God-shaped hole in each of our souls that can only be filled by walking with the Lord. I know that to be true.

As within, so without.

13 September 2008


I think John Ortberg taught me this formula; or it could have been Bill Hybels. With apologies to Albert Einstein, this is like the theory of relativity, for life.

[This is not John Ortberg!]


Not to discourage risk taking and dreaming and strategizing on how to best tackle life and all its intricacies. Just keep this formula in mind and when you feel angry or frustrated, even depressed, examine your expectations and reflect on those plans. And, remember in Proverbs it says, "All progress is the result of adversity."

12 September 2008


David Foster Wallace hanged himself on September 12th. He was a great writer--strange, but genius. I found his work in my last class before I graduated with a B.A. in Organizational Communication in 1998. He astounded me--scared me a bit, too.

We were using an anthology in the Post Modern Lit class. We were assigned an excerpt from Lyndon. I read it all and kept referring back to the notes to make sure it was fiction! It was so believable. Perverted the truth unforgivably, but the detail! I chose another of his stories for a final paper--Little Expressionless Animals. The story astounded and devastated me. Foster Wallace was only 25 years old when he published this story along with several others in Girl with Curious Hair.

And, I was floored to see he was a professor at ISU in Normal, IL. Funny--normal? How did he fit into that cornfield culture? Whatever did he find to do? Obviously, write!

I need to know more about David Foster Wallace; to read again and more.

11 September 2008


One of our all-time favorite salads was adapted from Macaroni Grill's menu--sauteed spinach salad. It is quick and easy--requires serving as soon as it comes out of the wok as it cools so very quickly.

1 bulb Garlic
1 - 3 T. Olive oil
8 - 12 oz Baby spinach, triple washed or wash, spin, and thoroughly dry
1 half Lemon
1 - 2 T. Parmesan, grated
To taste Salt and pepper, freshly ground

1. Cut the top off the garlic bulb to expose some of the cloves and peel away excess papery layer.
2. Place garlic in small heat-proof dish.
3. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 - 15 minutes or until cloves are tender when you prick with point of a knife or fork. Cool.
4. Reserve garlic oil for sauteing the spinach.
5. Cover your hand with a small plastic bag and squeeze the garlic bulb from the bottom until all cloves are release; set aside.
6. Heat reserved garlic oil in a wok or medium large skillet until bubbles a bit.
7. Add half to all of the spinach and quickly toss using tongs. Repeat with additional portions, if necessary.
8. Shut off the flame when spinach appears half cooked--some leaves will still be crispy.
9. Squeeze lemon juice over spinach and toss together.
10. Salt and pepper.
11. Use tongs to remove to a shallow salad bowl or individual small plates.
12. Sprinkle with roasted garlic cloves and Parmesan.
13. Serve immediately.

Serve fresh focaccia or French bread alongside. Spread the roasted garlic on the bread.

HINT: The garlic olive oil is great rubbed onto pizza crust before assembling the rest of the ingredients. Even frozen pizza will be better if you rub some of the garlic oil on the edges before baking,

10 September 2008


Even in Michigan they sometimes lie and tell you they are selling you Red Haven peaches and then the axe falls as you peel and slice peaches that are not cling-free. You cut around or wrestle with the pit knowing that you don't have the BEST.

Tonight my sister and I made a double crust 9" peach pie (to take home for my pie-loving honey), an 8" peach pie with crumb topping, a darling 4" double crust pie for tomorrow's breakfast, and prepared filling for two future pies--freezing the filling in individual 9" glass pie pans. We will be able to recall the waning days of summer and the bountiful harvest and cooling nights while enjoying those Red Haven pie at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

For the double crusted pies, we used glass pie pans and then prepared Martha Stewart's pate brisée and added bit of extra sugar--not as much as the pate sucré requires, but we did sweeten it up a bit. We mixed 5 cups of peaches for the big pie with about 1/4 cup of flour, 1/3 cup of sugar, and a dash of cinnamon--sprinkling a bit of tapioca since the peaches were really juicy.

Here's the secret--we microwaved the the 9" pie for 8 - 10 minutes, or until the filling just started bubbling. Then we baked the pie at 400 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes until the crust was golden. We should have brushed the top crust with beaten egg whites for good looks, but she was still a mighty attractive pie!

NOTE: I ended up staying an extra day, so we didn't cut into that pie for 48 hours, but it was the freshest and most delicious peach pie I have ever tasted. Don't know if it was the superior peaches or the microwaving, but those peaches were solid and had dynamite flavor. The crust was almost like shortbread, but not quite as rich.

Martha's pate brisée calls for 2-1/2 cups of flour with 1 cup of butter and I have always followed her recipe. Next time around, I am going to use 3 cups of flour and see how she goes...

07 September 2008


I spent part of last week high up in the Sears Tower working for a private equity firm. A really interesting experience--same old executive assistant work, but nice people and a beautiful environment.

Shocked myself by being a bit intimidated by being so high in the Sears Tower--visions of 9/11 and the World Trade Center. But, the security is tight and you sure could not beat the views! The first morning was clear enough to be dazzled and then it was overcast. By the second day we were literally in the clouds as Hurricane Gustav arrived in Chicago.

I was beat by Friday--not enough sleep three nights in a row--but the weekend has been restorative. Watching great movies and reading great books. It has been awhile since I have been able to say that. The first novel of a former real estate professional, Donna Milner's After River, was shockingly wonderful. She is at work on novel #2 and I cannot wait. Sure hope she is not a one-trick pony. Then, I started Fire in the Blood another translation of a newly discovered novel by Irene Nemirovsky. Wonderful! Last year I read and enjoyed Suite Francaise for a multitude of reasons--her personal story and how the novel was discovered and came to be and then translated. At that time I meant to research whether any more of her magnitude of work had been translated. Fire in the Blood is a newer release--the manuscript thought to be partial, and then discovered by researchers. Really a magnificent book.

And, we rented a few DVDs and got two absolute winners. P.S. I Love You has it all--romance, humor, sadness, joy, silliness, and beauty. And, Autumn Hearts a Canadian film based on the book Emotional Arithmetic by Matt Cohen with Susan Sarandon, Christopher Plummer, Max von Sydow, Gabriel Byrne, et al. Another deeply moving and beautiful film. Must have gone straight to video, but it is a keeper--a classic that I must own.