Sunday, April 10, 2005


That word describes the weekend perfectly. The weather was gorgeous...high 60s, low 70s...and sunny. The first mowing of the grass occurred. We planned a stone patio just off the garden and hope to get estimates this week. If it isn't too expensive, it's going to be sooo nice! Tom wants to plant shrubbery around it for privacy, but I want fragrant herbs. We should be able to compromise.

And tomorrow we've got a plasterer coming to replaster one of the front bedrooms. We started to strip the wall paper about a year ago and Tom was going to attempt the plaster work himself, but decided that it would be better for someone else to do it. I agree. Plaster work is so messy and I'd rather someone else clean up. It should be done by Wednesday. And then we (Tom) can start painting and refurbishing the windows.

The stress part of the weekend came because I've been dumping my stuff in that front bedroom and it's got to be totally empty for the plasterer to work. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm a packrat. And I acquired quite of bit of extra stuff from my grandmother's house (my mother's family saved everything). So I've got lots of fabric that would be good for rags and tons of Irish linen handkerchiefs, a couple of kalinskies (the dead fox wraps that were popular in the 30s or 40s), old hats, old sewing implements, some kitchenware and stuff. I tried to throw it away, but couldn't. Just like I couldn't bring myself to toss out some old silk dresses. I might be able to use the fabric to make a quilt. Or something. Sigh... So now all that stuff is in the other front bedroom which will become my "studio." It's a bit more organized than it was in the other room and I did take a quick inventory.

Foodwise...we had dinner at a friend's house last night and it so good. Everything was vegan (except the chocolate cake) and the recipes were from the Millenium cookbook. Millenium is a vegan restaurant in San Francisco. We started with some sort of tortilla torte that was served with a mango salsa. The main course was a polenta lasagna with mushrooms, spinach, a puttanesca sauce (sans anchovies) and a cashew cream. And there was a fennel, artichoke, and parmesan salad (okay, so that's not vegan). Yum, yum! I may have to find that cookbook and get it. I keep looking for different ways to cook tofu.

Tonight's dinner was Grilled Salmon with Thai Red Curry and Basmati Rice. It was served with a slaw made with green cabbage, cucumbers, fresh mint, and cilantro, with a rice vinegar and soy sauce dressing. The Thai red curry was quite tasty. Of course, anything made with curry and coconut milk is good. For dessert, I made mango with sticky rice, to use up the leftover coconut milk. For our listening pleasure, we played a CD by Vas (Feast of Silence). It's Middle Eastern in flavor and reminds me of Dead Can Dance's music.

And in knitting news, I finished the heel on the Top Down sock. Woo hoo! I think I've finally gotten the hang of picking up the wraps. A nice trick is to knit through the back loop when picking up and knitting the wraps. Doing so hides them quite nicely. And my stitches are behaving...not many have jumped off the needles lately. One did today, but I caught it before it could get away. If I'm lucky, maybe I'll have a sock finished by next weekend. Actually, I might finish the pair next weekend. We'll be in Charlottesville for the Charlottesville Marathon and Half Marathon. I'm not running; I've only run 7 miles since the Marine Corps Marathon last year. I feel guilty, but not too guilty. Tom is running and that means that I'll get some good knitting in. And I'll get to visit the knitting shop on the pedestrian mall. I can't remember its name, though. And it should be fun since I know more about knitting now than I did last year. Can we say "stash enhancement?"

Because of the renovations on the front bedroom, my spinning wheel has been relegated to (gasp) the closet. She'll come out again after the dust clears. And my husband is talking about taking a weekend climbing trip the last weekend in April. That will be a perfect time for me to knit, spin, and putter about in the garden.

It's late; I need to be up early tomorrow (the plasterer is coming at 7:30) and I need to clean up dinner and finish some laundry.

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