Friday, February 29, 2008

No Daring Baking This Month

I'm sorry to disappoint my fellow DBers, but I just didn't have a free weekend day this month to make Julia Child's French Bread. Check out what all of the other Daring Bakers did at the Daring Bakers Blogroll.

Neglected Blog

I have seriously neglected my little blog for the past 2 weeks. Part of it is because of the ongoing winter that's giving me the "blahs", though I actually have done quite a bit of knitting. I finished a cute faux fair isle baby hat for my nephew-to-be and have almost finished one toe-up sock for myself. I just haven't taken pictures of any of this so I haven't posted.

I also need to take some pictures of the bedroom project. D has removed all of the carpet and some of the baseboards. He's called to see if we needed a permit to build the closet and it turns out that we don't, as long as it's "just a closet" (which they emphasized a few times).

We purchased a chandelier for the dining room which hopefully will come in soon. It's a unique hand-forged wrought iron chandelier that is oval in shape. We purchased it at Westford Home Lighting and the saleswoman recommended this particular chandelier based on how I described the style of the room and that I wanted a cool-toned metal. Once she said that this particular chandelier was made in Vermont I was sold! It's from a company called Hubbardton Forge.

Now I've got to get some art and window treatments for the dining room and I'll have one room in the house officially done! I'm thinking of doing a couple of John James Audubon prints of birds that are native to our area such as the ones below. I think the color of the robins will go particularly well with the colors in the room (and what I wouldn't give to see a robin at my bird feeder these days--hopefully soon).

Thursday, February 14, 2008

My morning commute...

Lately I seem to leave the house later and later every day. I've never been a morning person, and winter is especially tough for meas far as getting out of bed. But this morning I left the neighborhood while the kids were still at the bus stop--first time that's happened in a while!

I usually listen to NPR in the morning, but for the past week or so they've been doing a Valentine's Day fundraiser, plus I'm a little sick of primary coverage, so I switched over to music. I've been listening to the same Boston station for the past 5 years and overall I really like it. My favorite feature of this station, 92.9 WBOS, is called "Sunday Morning Over Easy" where the DJ plays a great mix of mellow tunes including many artists that don't usually get much airtime on the station. It was on this program that I first heard the Catie Curtis song "Dad's Yard" which was my dance with my dad at my wedding.

Lately WBOS has been shaking things up a little bit and has surprised me (pleasantly) with the music they've been playing in the morning. Not the usual mix of Coldplay, Jack Johnson, U2, Radiohead, etc., but they've thrown in things like vintage Beastie Boys (I started my drive the other day to "You've Got to Fight for Your Right to Party"--flashback to middle school). This was the soundtrack of my commute this morning:

Landslide, Smashing Pumpkins
Pepper, Butthole Surfers
Here Without You, Three Doors Down
Basket Case, Green Day
Hard Sun, Eddie Vedder
Santeria, Sublime
The One I Love, REM
Sure Shot, Beastie Boys

I had to look this up because I certainly couldn't have named some of these songs and artists if I tried--especially the Butthole Surfers--that's a song that goes back to college and there's something I like about it..."They were all in love with dying, they were drinking from a fountain, that was pouring like an avalanche, coming down the mountain."

The other surprise on my morning drive was 4 white-tailed deer on the side of the road as I drive through Carlisle. I'm no stranger to deer where I live, in fact there were brand new deer tracks all over the lawn this morning after yesterday's snow. That said, I don't usually see them at ten of nine in the morning. Also, at least 2 of these deer had been collared, presumably by the USGS Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit (if this study, which tracks the movement of deer, is ongoiong).

Another truly exciting tidbit is that there was a new bird sitting in our maple tree on Tuesday morning. I'm pretty sure it was a mouring dove. It was sitting on a branch all huddled up and looked very cold. I'm looking forward to watching the spring birds move back into our neck of the woods. The cardinals, blue jays, juncos, chickadees, and woodpeckers have all been around through the winter. I think this weekend it may be time to put up the birdhouse (up nice and high and out of reach of the cat). Once the weather warms up and the cat is outside again I'll have to take down the birdfeeders--by then there should be plenty of "natural" food for them to eat!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Recycling Roadtrip

In keeping with the theme of yesterday's post, here's a video about where your trash and recycling goes. According to the recycling truck driver featured in this video, about 30% of what people put in their recycling bins cannot actually be recycled. Yet another reason to buy less stuff!

Watch the video here. (Note: the video is 5-10 minutes as far as I recollect)

What also struck me about this video is the point the woman makes about joke gifts---I love joke gifts and have bought and received so many over the years, but they tend to be stuff that's funny but not at all useful. I'm going to re-think giving joke gifts and from now on make sure it's something useful or edible, not something that will end up in a landfill. The other thing is, sometimes I'm tempted to buy things because I think one of my friends or family members would get a kick out of the item. From now on, I think I'll just snap a picture of the item (or find one online), email it to the person, and tell them that the item made me think of them.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

The Story of Stuff

D's colleague sent him a link to a terrific video called The Story of Stuff. It's about consumerism and consumption, and really it's a wonderfully informative and thought-provoking piece. Makes me want to put myself on a shopping moratorium! Click here to watch it, and enjoy! Note: The video is at least 10 minutes long.