Tuesday, May 23, 2017
The thing that I like most about it is something that is also true of the author in general. It is optimistic. The evidence for climate change is overwhelming and long standing. It goes back literally a century or more. So he doesn't engage with those who want to go down that rabbit hole. It is all about how to address where we are and how to move forward, and he does this from the viewpoint of a planetary scientist.
I liked the perspective of climate on planets over the time that we can study them, and the valuable information that we have from space exploration. He and I have literally grown up in the age of being able to get out into the universe to explore it and not just sit here at home. So that was a cool perspective, full of knowledge that I did not possess.
So take some time and learn a bit about what the future might hold for our beautiful home planet.
Monday, May 22, 2017
Sunday, May 21, 2017
I always took it for granted that I would have time after my retirement. That I could do more of the things that I love once I didn't have to spend a third of the day at my place of work. Having cancer changed all that and it wasn't even a given (and really, still isn't) that I would get out of my fifties. Yikes, that really sounds young to me. So in a lot of ways it feels pretty good to be nearing sixty. I am thankful to be alive.
When I turned fifty, I realized that I really needed to start doing the things that I wanted to do in retirement more if I expected to be any good at them when I had more time. That is why I started this blog, I wanted to write more. This past year I have really gotten back into quilting in a big way. The way I was 20 years ago, but with a better sense of what I need in order to maintain the momentum that I have. So today it feels good to have a birthday.
Saturday, May 20, 2017
First and foremost, it makes me think of when we brought our first child home. We were so bad at it! We couldn't even hold the baby right, much less figure out what it was he wanted. Which we were clearly doing badly because of the amount he cried. Once we got a couple of weeks into it, we improved and he was more accustomed to being out of his warm wet previous environment, we settled into the sleep deprived haze that characterizes becoming a new parent. It was never that way again (well, all the babies cried, and one of them more than the first, but I never felt as helpless as I did with my first).
And then there is becoming a grandparent. I really liked what someone said to me the other day. Her grandfather was excited about her being born, but he wasn't excited about being a grandfather--so he had her call him by his first name. Which she did and still does. So that is the route I am going to go.
Friday, May 19, 2017
Hailee Steinfeld, who garnered an Oscar nomination for her role in the Coen brother's version of True Grit, further reveals her versatility as a whip-smart yet socially moronic teenager named Nadine. Her one and only friend since childhood is the perky and slightly better-adjusted Krista. Her older brother, Darian is the golden boy who can do no wrong. Her widowed mother, Mona (played by Kyra Sedwick), works hard to support the family as a frazzled mom. The whole family is surviving the sudden death of the father, and no one is completely adjusting well to those roles.
Nadine is the typical smart kid who sees everything through narcissistic eyes, falls for the bad boy, but has a really decent kid who likes her for who she is. She makes her brother's life unbearable, and then he makes hers just as challenging because he starts to seriously date her best friend. There is a lot of material to work with here, and if you like the genre, this is a good one. It also has Woody Harrelson as a not creepy teacher who actually helps Nadine to cope.
Thursday, May 18, 2017
Tuesday, May 16, 2017
So here I am starting up again.
My youngest son has been taking an American Indian art history course, and since I read everything to him, I have been learning too. The only Native American art that I had previously had knowledge of is the West Coast tribes, so the end of the semester has been a bit easier for me to follow. I have always loved the Hopi Kachinas, but did not really understand what they represented. The Kachina doll is a sacred object, and to make one is to pray to the spirit world. This kachina is Koshare, which is the clown or trickster. Like Enki for the Summerians, or Eshu for the Yorumba. Koshare is represented at ceremonies, passing through the crowd and pointing out the foibles.
Monday, May 15, 2017
The maze of streets are filled with little galleries, and it is an area associated with art and artists.
Tian Zifang is the earliest recorded painter in China. Mr. Huang reworded the last word ‘fang 方' into ‘fang 坊' meaning mill, quarter, lane or workshop. The stele with Tianzifang written on it was hung over the entrance of Lane 210 in 2002.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
But come home they do. In this case all five kids. The golden boy of the family brings home a woman who is wholly unsuited to him and he brings out the worst in her. Which becomes abundantly apparent under the scrutiny of his entire family. But not to worry, they just picked the wrong sibling. There are scenes that will remind you of Much Ado About Nothing, and once you get over being annoyed in the beginning, it is a good movie.
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Friday, May 12, 2017
Thursday, May 11, 2017
Wednesday, May 10, 2017
So here is what is cool about this (and what may be it's demise in the end)--we walk right by this every day, as do our dogs. What made ducks think this was a good idea? I am a bit worried that they will abandon it altogether for this reason, but the ability to watch small ducklings grow up and leave the nest makes me hope that I am wrong about this. I am pretty fascinated by birds, and love seeing them in the yard, and am happy to have a few families raised here every spring and summer.
Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Sunday, May 7, 2017
They have been able to easily pass bills to repeal Obamacare when they knew that they didn't have the votes to defeat a veto, but they have not spent quality time figuring out a solution that they could live with. They themselves that is. A healthcare bill that would impact their healthcare. No, instead they pass something that the Koch brothers could have dictated in their sleep and call that governance. Bought and paid for. That is what we have instead of the governance our forefathers foresaw.
Saturday, May 6, 2017
This year I got to spend more time with her than I have since the year that she lived with us for a month, which was literally three decades ago. We ventured to Shanghai around the time of the Spring Festival. We were shepherded around by her son, my nephew, otherwise we would have been in difficult straights, but at no point did I really worry. We were in good spirits, we could navigate the subway, and we were able to really enjoy the place and the foreignness. Perfect, all in all. So it is fitting to spend a little time talking about her on this day, her birthday.
Friday, May 5, 2017
Thursday, May 4, 2017
This is a good low carb recipe that is well away from traditional shrimp bisque.
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 2 cup stock
- 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 pound uncooked medium shrimp
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- Fresh cilantro, cubed avocado
- In a small saucepan, saute onion in oil until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in flour until blended. Stir in the stock, cream, chili powder, cumin and coriander; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Cut shrimp into bite-size pieces; add to soup. Simmer 5 minutes longer or until shrimp turn pink. Gradually stir 1/2 cup hot soup into sour cream; return all to the pan, stirring constantly. Heat through (do not boil). Garnish with cilantro, avocado and additional shrimp if desired. Yield: 3 cups.
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
I knew that I needed some guidance to make any progress in this arena, but I didn't really have a sense of how far behind I was. Not only have I not been in a quilt guild for many years, but I haven't kept up with who is who in the quilting world. The class was more about figuring out what I did not know and how I was going to try to move forward. So hard, sobering, and a little bit of excitement.
Tuesday, May 2, 2017
There was a really interesting video piece on the differences between people of northern China as compared to people from southern China, to the point that made me really aware that even within a highly homogeneous population, people still search for differences that make them better than or different from others.
The caption on this painting is emblematic of the museum's works:
Monday, May 1, 2017
So there is the need to be politically active and let our elected officials know exactly what we feel about the way they are running our country. The corollary of that is that there is definitely a need to celebrate and protect workers and work conditions that is humane.
Sunday, April 30, 2017
The museum itself has an unassuming front, with a very friendly greeter at the front desk. The museum can be seen in about half an hour, but it gives you a sense of what the past held for a Shanghai resident of some means. The rooms are almost spacious.
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Friday, April 28, 2017
I was looking high and low for a piece of my sewing machine equipment last weekend and while I never found it (after hours of looking, I decided the better part of valor was to give up and order it on eBay), I did find these 12 appliqued quilt blocks (11 of them in one box and the last one in another. Why I did not store them all together, I will never know). Wow! What possessed me to spend hours and hours sewing these, only to put them away in a cupboard rather than sew them together and quilt them? I cannot answer that, but in a stroke of luck, I am signed up for my first ever machine quilting class and hope to get an idea of where to go with the quilting, but finding this was kind of embarrassing. And it gave me a window on my former self. While this has been a really hard year and a half, life wasn't all smooth sailing before. And I definitely have my quilting mojo back.
Thursday, April 27, 2017
Joaquin Phoenix plays yet another hard drinking, burnt out college professor (what is up with that? The college professors that I know are largely very enthusiastic about what they do and highly engaged with their students!) who is the new philosophy professor at a small liberal arts college. He gets involved in a friendship that merges into a relationship with a student (ok, again, not good). They overhear a woman telling her sympathetic friends that a particular judge in her custody hearing is dirty, that he is in the pocket of influential people and that she is going to lose. And here is where the story goes off the rails, because Joaquin Phoenix' character decides to kill the judge. Maybe there are people that morally bankrupt, but really, I do not want to know much about them. And really, I didn't learn anything for my trouble, which is regrettable. If you have to see every Woody Allen movie then see this, but otherwise watch Midnight in Paris again. A much better use of time.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
The hardest things are two-fold. The first is that when cooking for a crowd, you really do need a side dish that is a carb or the meal seems lopsided. We had a dinner for an out-of-town guest and the people who invited him to come this week and my spouse took a large scoop of risotto before he realized that is off the list of acceptable foods. Oops! The other is that eating in restaurants can be a little tricky. Interestingly, the higher end the restaurant, the better the choices. In some places, salad is the only real option. In others, where there are good low carb meat options, but you can get caught. I ordered scallops and they came with a bit of bread crumbs on them. I ate them, because I am not going to be a crazy woman when it comes to all this, but my first thought was "what??". And my second thought was that the prosciutto and spinach deviled eggs were delicious and that I am going to have to make them at home.
Monday, April 24, 2017
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Saturday, April 22, 2017
Friday, April 21, 2017
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
In one garden we were in, I saw people getting photographs of loved ones that utilized these beautiful frames for the portrait.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Williams was a songwriter and a performer with equal parts talent at both. He wrote memorable songs with his own stamp on them--but the drink is what took him down, and he died at the young age of 29 years. I had no idea the scope of what he wrote that I like, and no idea that he died so young.
Monday, April 17, 2017
2 oz. Vodka
1 Tbsp. Cherry Preserves
1/4 oz. Elderflower Syrup
1 oz. Meyer Lemon Juice
4 Sage leaves
Add ingredients to an ice filled cocktail shaker, saving two of the sage leaves out. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds, then strain into ice filled glasses and serve.
Sunday, April 16, 2017
The thing that I do not know is how does a person rate such a dwelling, versus those that live in more modern but also more congested apartment buildings. I would be far happier myself living with less newness and more tradition. Here, amidst China's impressive surge of urbanizing its population over a very short time period, there are still vestiges of the way things used to be in the 1930's heyday of Old Shanghai.
Saturday, April 15, 2017
Friday, April 14, 2017
Thursday, April 13, 2017
After Austria’s annexation to Nazi Germany in March 1938, the 185,000 Jews there were subjected to what amounted to terrorism, which resulted in intense pressure to leave the country. In order to do so, the Nazis required that Jews have entry visas or boat tickets to another country. However, the majority of the world’s nations refused to budge from their restrictive immigration policies.
Unlike his fellow-diplomats, Ho Feng-Shan, who served as the Chinese consul-general in Vienna during 1938-1940, issued visas to Shanghai to all requesting them, even to those wishing to travel elsewhere but needing a visa to leave Nazi Germany.
Many of those helped by Ho did indeed reach Shanghai, either by boat from Italy or overland via the Soviet Union. Many others made use of their visas to reach alternate destinations, including Palestine, the Philippines, and elsewhere....