28 July 2010


from House Beautiful

Wouldn't I be just here, if given half a chance...

25 July 2010


Creative or inventive cooking has been on a short sabbatical, but today CA and I both dived back into the soup...

Yesterday while I finally went to see The Kids are All Right with RvH, CA visited the Woodstock Farmer's Market in search of some local corn and tomatoes. Two weeks early for the tomatoes, he was told, so we'll wait until then for a panzanella salad. Good news, though the sweet corn is at its peak. He also found some lovely fresh peaches

Today we've been doing a bunch of just hanging out, but CA was inspired to make a rustic peach tart.

24 July 2010


Inadvertenly another French film, kind of... No subtitles to make me feel smart.


The film is set in New York City where a woman in her late thirties (Nora Wilder, played by Parker Posey has little luck finding love until she meets Julien (very cute Melvil Poupaud), a quirky Frenchman, who sweeps her off her feet and opens her eyes to a lot more than love.

The film screened at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival, and ultimately garnered five award nominations, among them the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.

A lot more entertaining that The Kids are All Right, which I saw in a theater earlier in the day. Not sure about Parker Posey... She got the angst of the unmarried NY career (?) woman right, but she's not a favorite.

23 July 2010


I'm coming up for air. I took two complete days off from life--cooking, exercising, socializing... CA was out of town at Gigi's and I was able to dive under the radar. Bliss.

And, our driveway is on its way toward resurfacing--the blacktop kind. That is, if the rain ever ceases. I'm actually loving the rain. Our landscaping is lush and our flowers are perky. Our front window and back French doors actually steamed up today. I've never seen that happen before today. A true indication of the humidity level here in northern Illinois.

Yoga today, but not tomorrow because I always take Saturdays off. 6:00am yoga today. Painful, bleary-eyed yoga today. Friday's yogi is gentle and kind and takes into consideration that it's 6:00am yoga. Bliss.

22 July 2010


I've Loved You So Long
(Il y a longtemps que je t'aime)

117 minutes

After more than a decade apart, estranged sisters Juliette (Kristin Scott Thomas) and Lea (Elsa Zylberstein) try to rebuild their fractured relationship. But the task is hardly easy, considering Juliette's past: She's been in jail for 15 years -- for killing someone. As she settles into small-town life with Lea's family, the locals can't help but talk. Writer-director Philippe Claudel's feature film debut garnered him a Golden Globe nomination.

Well done. Kristin Scott Thomas may have been a risky choice in this French film. She does introspective, distant, and secretive well.

21 July 2010


94 minutes

So single-minded is antiques dealer François Coste (Daniel Auteuil) that he's failed to make a single friend over the years -- a point his business partner (Julie Gayet) is willing to wager on. With a prized Greek vase at stake, Coste must find a best pal in 10 days or pay up. The arrogant Parisian turns to a gregarious, lowbrow taxi driver (Dany Boon) to teach him how to make friends in this buddy movie (without the buddy) from Patrice Leconte.

Love it! The antiques dealer, François is clueless as to why he has no friends, and how to make friends. Probably Aspegers! Anyway, it's all very French and very hapless. You can't resist François, no matter what his acquaintances/associates say!

16 July 2010


A story within a story that encapsulates another small story. Clever; sweet. Beautiful French women.

11 July 2010


I want to see this movie, because I always admire Annette Bening and Julianne Moore's acting abilities. That alone would have been my motivation, but then I read this  review in the New York Times and was captivated by this paragraph...

It is almost impossible to find the right shorthand for these women. Their speech patterns and habits certainly seem familiar. The screenwriters’ ear for the way therapeutic catchphrases and hazy insights recalled from college reading lists filter into everyday conversation is as unerring as Ms. Moore’s offbeat comic timing or Ms. Bening’s tactical use of silence.
The Kids are All Right
New York Times Reviewer A.O. Scott

10 July 2010


JL arrived yesterday--2 or 3 days after we first expected her. She's been caught up in Ground Hog Day, the baby version, and couldn't break free from her time warp.

We've talked and eaten and shopped and read and talked and eaten and shopped and now we're cooking. steak tacos, again. Her first sampling. CA has already grilled the steaks which we purchased at Caputo's and aged a bit with kosher salt before hitting the fire. We did the NY Strip steaks this way the last time we had steak, and mama mia! The ration is 1/2 Kosher salt to 1 lb. of meat, then you cover the meat lightly and refrigerate 24 to 48 hours.

We'll eat on the screened porch and wile away the evening, lingering over food, drink, and conversation. The plan has been to slow things down and focus on adult time--conversations and activities, with a healthy dose of sleep, of which JL has been deprived lately.

To continue the movie references... JL is reading Prince of Tides and we've decided to watch the video tonight. Always reminds me of the revelation that my brother's dog was called Prince, although years after I was told it was actually Prints. A non sequitur, for which I'm known.

For KT's enlightening, in case you're reading...
non sequitur:
 It is a comment which, because of its apparent lack of meaning relative to
what it follows, seems absurd to the point of being humorous or confusing

Fun quote:
It seems we never had time to get things done because our days were filled to the brim with lingering. Breakfast became a longer and longer linger.
p. 95
Michael Tucker

09 July 2010

LIVING ONE DAY AT A TIME, The best is yet to be!

Yoga, speed walking, reading, grocery shopping, simple meals... We're home sweet home and glad of it.

All my efforts on the screened porch and deck are paying dividends this week. We have a wonderful retreat literally at our doorstep.

Next week brings a flurry of activity, but for now we're living the good life.

06 July 2010


JA is just three, but he's got rhythm beyond his years. We're all wondering where this will lead.

04 July 2010

CRUGAR, A wide place in the road.

You probably have to be from the midwest or the plains states to recognize these buildings--grain elevators. Handy, necessary, and dangerous.

CA worked two summers as a high school and college student helping to build the concrete parts of this complex. He's allergic to the concrete dust and spent a miserable time with congestion and oozing rashes, yet he loves the fact that he helped build these silos.

The dangerous part comes in being an amateur and working on a high-rise concrete project, and in the operations after. Just a few summers ago Gigi's friend's son was sucked into the vacuum system of an elevator he managed--it was clogged and he ill-advisedly climbed into the corn to work the clog loose. He didn't survive.

03 July 2010


An eventful day. Calm, yet eventful. Gigi is transferred to the small hospital in her community for rehab. LFW flies in from New Orleans to join CA and I for the holiday weekend.

Our walking route along Mt. Zion Road:

   Mt. Zion or Crugar cemetery at the 1-1/2 mile mark.

This photo is just because; I've always been amused by this signpost.
This is not a road, it is a driveway, and I guess Mary Ellen lives here.

I've been a failure at exercise for two days. My yoga classes were not attended. My beautiful walking path didn't lure me. I'm committed today, so LFW and I head out in the heat of the day. We walk, fastly, to Mt. Zion Cemetery and do the turn back--three miles total. We chat and expound. Time flies. It's hot.

LFW is interested in eating at Chanticleeer tonight. CA and she choose the BBQ pork ribs, a Saturday night special. I opt for the broiled tilapia. The food is predictable, but the ambiance is comforting. CA and LFW know they are home when they can eat out at Chanticleer.

It's a comfortable, balmy summer night and I enjoy reading my book on the patio until it's too dusky to see. Fireworks are booming over Eureka Lake, but we've been scared away by the traffic and crowds. This holiday weekend is dedicated to Gigi and her convalescence. We're happy to be together, catching up, sharing memories, and making new ones.