Monday, December 29, 2008

Tag! You're it!

Here's a tag for all of you. What did Santa bring you? Put it on your blog and leave a comment here, so I can check it out!

I'll start. On Christmas morning, I received:

--A red Le Creuset tagine (which I've wanted forever)
--Espresso spoons (12)
--Electric handmixer
--Wind-up alarm clock
--Kitchen timer

Now, for your edification...

...more pics from my holiday home.

Even more Fitz and Floyd (with my beautiful little bronzes by Onelio Marrero)

My nativity set (made by my paternal grandmother)

My foyer (featuring the only houseplant that ever survived my tender care, Jolene the peace lily)

My kitchen table (more holly!)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Here I am...

...looking rather silly (and sans make-up) in my little elf hat that lights up.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas...

...at Min's house. A few pics from of my decorations:

My Christmas Time tree (yes, I forgot the tree skirt):

Close-ups views:

More pics from my house. First, the den mantelpiece (I cut the holly, myself!):

Some of my Fitz and Floyd (and my keys):

Some more of my Fitz and Floyd:

The dining room table (yes, there are nudes throughout my house):

The glass Christmas tree forest in the living room:

And these are the decorations I did for the office foyer:

And the office Christmas tree (I don't know why the pics are so dark):

I blame Mike for all the Fitz and Floyd. He collects the Santas and Nutcrackers, and I just fell in love with them, so I started collecting some of the teapots and cookie jars.

Ho, ho, ho!

Friday, November 21, 2008

It is a very cold day today.

I'm wearing my faux Russian fur hat, the new black velveteen car coat that I bought on sale from Fabulous Furs for forty bucks, pinkish-plum leather gloves, and a fluffy seafoam/black/pink/purple scarf that an on-line friend knitted for me.

I'm in the middle of decorating my house for Thanksgiving, and it looks like a stuffed turkey preserve blew up in my den. Ah, the holidays.

I'm hosting a pokeno party tomorrow night, and I want the house to look festive. I'm serving soup and crusty bread, since it shows every intention of being cold this weekend, too. I'm making tomato florentine soup for the ones who don't like spicy food, and sausage and lentil soup for the ones who like a little bite with their broth.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I am a vision in red.

More or less. I'm going to Memphis to speechify this afternoon, and the black ladies in Memphis love me in red or purple (I wore purple yesterday), so I'm wearing red just for them. Red/pink tweed suit, red three-inch ankle-straps, fused red glass pendant (made for me by a friend), pinkish-red pillbox wrapped in dark red georgette, red wool swing coat, red leather tote bag, red leather gloves with pleated cuffs.

Something about my style must appeal to black women of my generation or a little older, because 9 times out of 10, if a stranger compliments my clothes on the street, it will be a black woman around my same age. I was shopping in Kroger last Thursday for the reception I catered at church Friday night, and I had on a high-waisted black/white polka dot dress with a decollete` wrapped bodice and a gathered skirt, a shiny black handbag hanging in the crook of my elbow (I dislike shoulderbags, as a rule), and a pair of high heeled black peep-toe pumps with big white buttons on the toe. A black woman came down the aisle toward me, and, as she passed, she practically gushed, "You look so beautiful!"

Now, it's a cute dress, it has the added advantage of making me look like I have really nice breasts, and the shoes matched perfectly, but I wasn't even wearing a hat! @):-)

Monday, November 17, 2008

Free Books!

Simon and Schuster UK is giving away free books on LJ! So, if you have a LiveJournal account, get over there and claim one:


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

To all the veterans out there, I appreciate your service.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Congratulations to President-Elect Obama...

...and to the Congressional Democrats. w00t!

Now for the buzzkill. For the first time since Reconstruction--140 years, people--both houses of the Tennessee General Assembly are controlled by Republicans. We are so screwed.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Obama's grandmother has died.

My condolences to the family.

And if you haven't early voted, get out there tomorrow and cast your vote! It's what patriots do.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

I'm wearing a really cute hat today.

A little black wool cap of a thing with a couple of long red feathers and a little puff of blue feathers. It will please the folks for whom I'm doing a training this evening. :-)

I'll try to get a picture.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I am so doing this on Sunday.

Dead Men Walking Nashville
Zombie Walk Downtown
Ours has become a zombie-fixated culture. With Hollywood churning out scores of gorefests each year--some laden with socioeconomic metaphor a la Romero and others just an excuse for gratuitous, bare-breasted bloodbaths--it makes perfect sense that dozens of Nashvillians are planning to don their rattiest garb and amble through the streets this Halloween season. In conjunction with World Zombie Day on October 26, several cities across the globe will host what are known as zombie walks, in which dozens of undead denizens wander their city in support of a cause. This year, Nashville zombie impersonators are asked to bring at least one nonperishable food item for donation to the Second Harvest Food Bank--and no, brains don't count.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I know I'm terrible.

I haven't updated in ages, but real life is kicking my ass right now. Give me a week and a half, and I'll resurface. With hat in place.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The irony.

It threatens to consume me.

Happy Banned Book Week, everyone!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Out of Gas

My gasoline situation is reaching critical. I have only an 1/8 of a tank left, and I cannot find anywhere selling gasoline. Plus, I don't want to drive around searching for it, since that uses what little gas I have.

Friday, September 12, 2008

You know...

...when the National Weather Service tells you to evacuate the coastline or die, you really should evacuate the coastline.

Stay safe, Flist!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

How fabulous is this tote bag?

I just bought it on Etsy. The side panels come from an Earth, Wind and Fire album. I love it!

Dragon*con Report, Part 2

First, the dark fantasy panels. Here are my impressions of selected authors who sat on one or more panels that I attended:

Laurell K. Hamilton
I don't want to offend anyone who really likes LKH, but she came off as a shrill, preening, self-aggrandizing harpy in the panel I attended. She has a huge chip on her shoulder and can't handle criticism. She seemed to really resent the readers who bought her Anita Blake books and then expressed their dissatisfaction with the later books in the series and the sex-saturated direction the series has taken. But LKH still cashed their checks, dontcha know. ;-)

Rachel Caine
RC was delightful. I saw her on at least three different panels, and she was funny and approachable and had a much better perspective on her work than LKH. She was very insightful about the genre, as a whole, and trends in bookselling. I also learned that Rachel Caine is a pen name, which I had not realized before. She recently contributed a story to an anthology called "Ripple Effect", and all the proceeds from the sale of the book go to the New Orleans public library system.

Selina Rosen
I've never read SR before, but let me tell you something. She's hilarious. Vulgar beyond my ability to share in polite society, but absolutely hilarious. She was on the same panel as LKH, and she provided comic relief and a little respite from LKH's endless polemic on people who have the temerity to read her books, but lack the judgment to adore her unconditionally.

As you can tell, I took a real dislike to LKH.

Suzy McKee Charnas
I've not read SMC before, but I have now ordered "The Vampire Tapestry", based just on hearing her speak at two of the dark fantasy panels. She's very intelligent and experienced in the genre, and it shows. "The Vampire Tapestry" has been re-issued in a new printing, and she is apparently going to write or has already written a sequel.

Elizabeth Donald
ED is a new author for me. I went to her reading, just to check her out, and I liked the excerpt that she read so much that I bought her newest book, "Abaddon" at the reading and had her autograph it. I have also ordered her two previous books, which are in a single volume called "Nocturne". She writes paranormal romance, primarily, and some horror. She also participated in the ghost fiction panel, which was very interesting.

Moving on to general sci fi...
I attended readings by Mike Resnick and Eric Flint. MR actually read three of his short stories (he gave me an autographed copy of the one called "The Boy Who Cried Dragon"). EF didn't do a reading, but he answered questions for over an hour.

MR and EF also appeared on the panel Politics in Sci Fi with the infamous John Ringo. JR is somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun, gets a hard-on at the thought of heavy armaments, and is competely incapable of either moderation or diplomacy. Fortunately, he's funny. Otherwise, he'd be completely unbearable.

JR also appeared on the panel Women at War with several women writers of sci fi. However, I knew the panel was doomed, doomed, doomed, when they chose JR to be moderator. As my friend Vickie noted, more than once, "John Ringo is a session-killer". And he did it to this one, too. Before it was over, we had left the topic of women at war far, far behind, and JR was standing up in front of the dry erase board and diagramming the tactics of the Mongol heavy cavalry, just because he thought it was cool. The two women vets sitting next to me in the audience were not amused.

That said, one of the funniest thing that happened at the con happened at this panel. JR is a marginal sexist, in the way that only those who passionately romanticize the military can be, and he said something really questionable about women soldiers. I don't remember exactly what it was, but the audience ooooh'd, and someone called out, "Is anyone wearing the shirt?" At that point, two different guys stood up, one wearing a red T-shirt, and one wearing a blue T-shirt (and a leather kilt in which he looked verra hot). Both shirts said, in white lettering, "Oh, John Ringo. No."

It was hilarious. :-D

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Dragon*con Report, Part 1

I had a blast. Except for the panel with Laurell K. Hamilton. But more on that later.

Lately, I've been really pleased with my breasts. A combination of putting on a few pounds (increased breast size being the only advantage to weight gain) and buying some fabulous new bras. Well, there's nothing quite like the Cavalcade of Cleavage at Dragon*con to give someone with perfectly respectable C-cups feelings of severe boobage inadequacy. Holy moly, Batman. It was like chubby girl cleavage on steroids, everywhere you looked. And you had to look. It was expected. Hell, it was practically required. Otherwise, said chubby girls would not have worn painfully tight corsets and/or strategically placed duct tape, over which their breast flesh rose and flowed like flood waters in the Delta.

It was both horrifying and strangely fascinating.

I met one of my flist while I was at the Marriott. Somehow, she recognized me and came up to say hello, at which point I emitted the piercing Southern Woman Squeal of Recognition. People dressed as furries all over the hotel turned and yipped when they heard it. ;-) Anyway, I met her husband, and we had a nice, quick visit, before I headed off to the Dealer's Room. Or, as I prefer to call it, the Land That Traffic Flow Planning Forgot. It was bad. Really bad. But I survived. And I shopped.

One of the most fun things I attended was the Evil Genuises for a Better Tomorrow Annual Recruiting Drive and Bake Sale. There were three actual scientists who took the role of evil geniuses and who each described his plan for world domination. Then they all took questions from the aspiring evil geniuses in the audience, while their minions made ice cream with liquid nitrogen. Chocolate. It was pretty good, too.

They also gave out awards for best publication (an on-line comic), best musical act (a steampunk band), and, finally, the best application for membership in the ranks of evil geniuses everywhere. This year, Dictator Barbie was the winner. :-)

Next up, panels and the vaunting egotists who attend them.

Monday, August 25, 2008


"My Fair Zombie" is not going to happen this year. Two of my zombies can't get their costumes done in time, and the banner was never ordered by the person who was assigned to get it. Sigh. I am very disappointed. :-(

I'm going to try to come up with a clever headdress like I did for Dragon*con last year, but I may not have time. I ordered a solar system mobile from amazon.com, but I didn't order it until today, and so it may not arrive in time, even though I paid a ridiculous expedited shipping price. If it arrives in time, I'm going to attach it to a hat and put a little sign on Pluto that says, "Will orbit for food".

Since I have ended up with so much zombie make-up on hand, I've been rethinking my Halloween costume. I think I'll come to the office Halloween party as a Republican zombie. In fact, I might try to coop some coworkers into doing a group "Zombies for McCain" costume. I'm trying to think up with a clever campaign slogan for a sign. You know, something like "A braaaain in every pot" or "Leave no braaaains behind" or "Building a braaaain to the future".

What? Surely you had figured out that I'm a yellow dog Democrat by now? ;-)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Scotland, Part 4

On our last day on Iona, I finally found one of those "thin places" that Matthew kept talking about. I walked up to the North Beach, where the monks of St. Columba's abbey were slaughtered by Viking raiders (not an uncommon occurrence, apparently), and it was the most beautiful place you can imagine. The beach is a combination of white sand, pebbles, and huge striated mounds of granite--red, green, and blue-gray. If the boulders had had a weft, they would have looked plaid. ;-) The water in the bay is crystal clear, so the white sand bottom makes the water look aqua, dotted with dark mounds of granite. Stunning. Just stunning. There was a beautiful multi-tiered tidal pool in one of the granite mounds on the shore, and I climbed up to the top of that mound and just sat for an hour or so, looking out over the surf.

And that's when I found the thin place between the temporal and the spiritual.

I'm glad it happened before I left. I had really been struggling to find the vaunted spirituality for which Iona is famous, and I was afraid that our time on Cumbrae would be the only real spiritual highlight, but this was a good day. Not only did I find the thin place, but, despite my meltdown on the stairs, Staffa turned out to be a wonderful experience. We reaffirmed our baptismal vows on top of the island and sang songs to the rest of the boat's passengers on the way back to Iona (whether they wanted to hear us or not), including the Navy hymn, "Eternal Father Strong to Save", because it started raining, and the sea became a little rough. I thought the lyric was appropriate:

Hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea.

I did such a good job on my packing (I brought old clothes to throw away) that I was able to pack all my new clothes (except my fleece jacket and boiled wool hat, which I was wearing) and my souvenirs in my two little round vintage American Tourister suitcases and a burlap tote bag that I picked up in Inverary. I am traveler; hear me roar! :-D Which leads me to my only nitpick about this trip...suitcases. I have a theory of traveling. If you can't handle your own suitcase--up hills, on stairs, whatever--then your suitcase is too dang big, and you need to get rid of some stuff and pack a smaller suitcase. Now, for the the elderly, of which we have a few (or Carol, who broke her foot on this trip), I make an exception, but if you're middle-aged or younger and healthy, then you should be able to carry you own suitcase and not expect the men of the group to do it for you. Yes, I'm talking about the women on the trip, who brought giant suitcases full of stuff they really didn't need and expected to have help managing their own luggage.

Other than that, it was an unequivocally marvelous experience. :-) Next year, Canterbury and walking the Pilgrim Pathway!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Because it's only fair to give Team USA equal time...

Opening ceremonies:

Closing ceremonies:

If you didn't know it was Ralph Lauren, you'd still know it was Ralph Lauren. ;-)

Ye gods.

Have you seen Team Canada's Olympic uniforms?

I have no idea what the Canadian Olympic Committe was smoking when they chose those uniforms, but I'll bet they have a twelve-step program for it somewhere.

Now I kinda wish I wasn't boycotting the Olympics, so I could see what other fashion atrocities are being committed in the Opening Ceremony. ;-)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

My Fair Zombie

I just bought this jacket for $12 on Ebay to use as part of the My Fair Zombie costume that I'm putting together for Dragon*con:


I've also put a bid on a pair of cheap long white vintage wedding gloves, since the sleeves on the jacket are so short. The black grand exit skirt that I'm wearing has a lace train in the back, so I may add a black lace ruffle to the sleeves to give them a little more length, so that I don't have any arm showing when I'm wearing the gloves. That way, I only have to put zombie make-up my face.

Scotland, Part 3

We finally arrived on Iona, after a harrowing trip down a one-lane road out in the middle of nowhere. We stayed at the St. Columba Hotel, which was a very small hotel on an island devoted to the religious retreat, so it had tiny little rooms. OTOH, there was lots of hot water and interesting soaps, the food was amazingly good (many of the vegetables came from the hotel's organic garden), and the views from the hotel common room were just outstanding.

And I had my own room. wOOt! No more motorboat full of bears. :-D

The only downside to being in Scotland was that it was cold as kraut. If it was this cold and rainy in the height of summer, I have to wonder what winter is like. It's no wonder the Scots were so cranky and contentious. They were cold and wet, all the dang time. ;-)

Our first full day on Iona, we took a walk to the abbey in the morning, then had prayers with the community. After that, we did more walking around the island, more prayers, then tea with at Bishop's House that night.

The daytrippers were much in evidence on the island. In fact, Iona wais so crowded with tourists during the day that it was hard for me to find a place to just sit and be quiet and listen for the voice of God. I could have struck off for the hills, but I didn't have a map or any idea of where I was going, so I was hesitant to wander off, even though it is a very small island.

Several of us took a nice boat trip one morning, while the rest of the group hiked to Columba's Bay. The water in the Iona Sound and surrounding ocean was the most beautiful color of blue (on the rare occasions when the sun shone), and we saw harbor seals, all manner of birds, Columba's Bay (we sailed around the island just in time to see our group come hiking over the hill), and Balfour Bay, which was the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson's book, "Kidnapped". And no wonder. It was absolutely stunning, with white sandy beaches, blue/green water, and steep stone cliffs. Our captain, Mark, anchored in the bay and made us cups of hot tea, while we talked nature and U.S. politics.

And just to show that pride goeth before a fall, I was so proud of myself for packing light and for bringing old things that I could throw away as I wore them to make room for my souvenirs. Alas, it turns out that Scotland was so wet and cold that I steadily bought clothes the whole time I was here. I purchased a boiled wool hat at Argyll Castle, two pairs of socks in Inverary, and a wool hat, wool gloves, a fleece jacket, and a wool sweater in Iona. And I wore every bit of it.

The next day, we spent time on both Iona and Mull. It warmed up a bit, and the sun was out almost all day, which turned the water around the island all kinds of beautiful, jewel-like colors. We visited Torosay Castle, where a charming older woman by the name of Jaquetta Digby James, wife of a British war hero and sister to the former U.S. Ambassador to France, gave us a private tour of the house and gardens, and Duarte Castle, where Lachlan MacLean, 28th Chief of the Clan MacLean, gave us a personal tour of the keep.

It had been a wonderful trip, up to this point, but I was still looking for the thin places that Iona is famous for. I expected Iona to be the spiritual highlight of the trip, and it hadn't been. Cumbrae, the Cathedral of the Isles, and the modified monastic rhythm that we experienced there were much more spiritually satisfying. Iona seemed just so, well, touristy. People come to Iona to say they've been there and nothing more. Plus, we weren't really part of the community. We were merely curious outsiders, looking in. It didn't help that we seemed to be going ninety miles a minute to be tourists ourselves, and I felt like I was losing what we had on Cumbrae as a community of Christ. No one else seemed to be as bothered by it as I was, so I decided that I would strike off on my own again after we got back from Staffa the next to see if I could find what I was missing on this leg of the journey.

The next day, we took a boat to Staffa (inspiration for Mendohlson's Symphony for the Western Hebrides), and it was an unmitigated disaster. Well, maybe not unmitigated, but I made a big baby of myself. I didn't realize that you had to climb to the top of the island on an aluminum staircase bolted onto the side of a cliff to get up to where the puffins are. As you may or may not know, I'm terrified of high, open places, and I have terrible vertigo. But I was determined to get to the top, because we were going to have a reconfirmation of our baptismal vows up there and then see the puffins. Unfortunately, the climb was so terrifying that, by the time I got to the top of the stairs, I was sobbing like a small child, and I continued to cry quietly through the whole reconfirmation liturgy. I tried to stop, but I just couldn't. The thought that I would have to go back down those same stairs facing out over the drop to the ocean wasn't helping me to gain my equilibrium. I did manage to calm down before starting off to the other end of the island to see the puffins, but I had to detour from some places on the path, because they passed too closely to the edge of the cliffs.

Surprisingly, the trip back down the stairs wasn't as terrifying as the trip up. I crouched low, gripped the rails, and kept my eyes focused on the rock face, and I managed to make it down without a resurgence of tears. Several people offered to help me down, but that would have just made it worse. I tend to panic a little, when someone touches me while I'm on a high place, because I'm so afraid of falling.

Anyway, the puffins were adorable, the island was beautiful, and we saw some huge dolphins on the way. It started to rain on the way back from Staffa, so I was pleased that I had my poisonous yellow rain poncho with me. Others were not so lucky.

Next Up: More Iona, and God finally says 'hey'.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My Fair Zombie

I don't think I've mentioned that I'm going to Dragon*con over Labor Day weekend, and my group of women friends has decided to go in costume as a Zombie version of the Ascot Opening Day Scene from "My Fair Lady". I, of course, am providing the hats. These are the ones I've selected from my collection to use:

This is the one I'll be wearing.





We may embellish them a bit more.

I'm going to try to modify this outfit to go with my hat.

I already have a long black skirt and white gloves. I just need to find or make a black/white jacket to go with them.

Scotland, Part 2

After church services on Cumbrae, we loaded up the bus and headed for Inverary. Now, I should offer a disclaimer at this point. My mother was a McDonald. Inverary is Campbell territory. If you don't understand why that's an issue, Google the Massacre at Glencoe. ;-)

I should also note that, by this point in the trip, I've eaten my weight in haddock. But that's okay. It's good for me, and, after all, I never get haddock at home.

The first morning in Inverary, I led morning prayers, complete with a brief, made-up-on-the-spot homily on justice, after which we had a group tour of Inverary Castle, ancestral home of the Dukes of Argyll, who are those dastardly Campbells I mentioned before. Interesting note about Inverary. The town originally sat on the hill occupied by the castle, but one of the Dukes of Argyll decided it was a better spot for a ducal residence, so he rebuilt the town on the shores of Loch Fyne and burnt the old town to the ground.

BTW I bought a cute hat at the castle...blue boiled wool with crewelled flowers on the crown. :-) I love my hats.

After the tour, the group members went their separate ways for the afternoon. I toured Inverary Jail, where I learned all about appalling prison conditions, and I bought some souvenirs--a Harris tweed cap for my father and some whiskey and heather scented soaps for my women friends. Later, we had evening prayers at All Saints,
the only Anglican church in Inverary.

That night, we went to a local oyster bar for dinner, because Loch Fyne, which is a tidal loch, is famous for its oysters. You could see the oyster and mussel farms located at various places throughout the loch.

The next day, we loaded up the bus and headed for Oban. On the way, we saw red deer stags in a field (I was thrilled) and all manner of Highland cows. Or, as the Scots say it, Highland coo.

Next Up: Oban, Iona, and the biggest still I have ever seen.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Scotland, Part 1

I went to Scotland on pilgrimage with my church, so understand that we're Episcopalians in a Presbyterian land. ;-)

We flew into Glasgow and spent some time at Paisley Abbey and the Kelvington Museum, trying to stave off jet lag. The Kelvington is enormous and is home to Dali's Christ of St. John of the Cross, which is a gorgeous piece of religious art and Matthew's favorite. Matthew is one of our canons and lead the pilgrimage.

After Glasgow, Ken, our bus driver, drove our little bus to Largs, site of the decisive sea battle between the Norse and the Scots in 1263 (and source of the story that explains why the thistle is the national symbol of Scotland), where we took the ferry (Caledonian MacBrayne) to Cumbrae. Cumbrae is a small island with a tiny little fishing town, Millport, and not much else, except the College of the Holy Spirit and the Cathedral of the Isles, the smallest cathedral in Scotland. We stayed in the seminarian's dormitory at the College and followed a modified monastic schedule with morning and evening prayers and occasionally compline in the Cathedral. During the day, we went on various pilgrimage excursions.

One day, we took the ferry to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute and went to visit St. Blane's, a ruin of a monastery on a hill way out in the countryside with a spectacular view of the Firth of Clyde. I cannot possibly tell you how lovely it was. The dark pink foxgloves were growing everywhere, and it was one of the few sunny days we had in Scotland. We celebrated the Eucharist in the midst of the ruin (with Victorian silver, I might add). And while we were doing so, the workmen who had been chiseling out the mortar as part of maintaining the ruin stopped working and sat quietly, until we finished.

Then, Helen, who is warden of the Cathedral of the Isles and was our worship leader on Cumbrae, arranged for us to go a little dock on the other side of Bute, where we all had a ride in vintage wooden launches, kind of like the ones in the old Bond films. I chose the fastest one, and boy, was it fast. We went racing across the Firth like megalomaniacal villains were in hot pursuit. :-)

The next day, we took a walk on the Cumbrae beach with Helen, and she talked about the Celtic concept of God being manifest in the sound and smells and textures of the island. We collected stones, built a cairn on the beach, and had prayers over the cairn.

The day after that, some of us took the ferry back to Largs and visited Skelmolie Aisle, which is all that's left of the Largs kirk, while the boys, Jack, 9, and Owen, 11, and their dad went fishing with Ken. The Aisle was the Montgomery family chapel and is decorated in an elaborate Renaissance style. And then we had ice cream. :-)

The last day we were on Cumbrae was Sunday, and we helped Helen with the service. Helen taught us this absolutely wonderful Peruvian Gloria to sing during the service. She did the actual preaching in the service, but some of my group, including me, made up the choir, Pete swung the censor, Kate carried a 14th century cross in the procession, and Matthew, our canon, celebrated the Eucharist. It was a most appropriate way to end our time on the island.

Cumbrae was a wonderful, spiritual place, and I was very sorry to leave it.

Next Up: Inverary, and those dastardly Campbells!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Here are my five strongest impressions of Scotland.

1. It's cold, and it's wet. To misquote Mark Twain, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in the Inner Hebrides."

2. The only way to avoid stepping in sheep poop is to stay on the bus.

3. There is no Mexican food in Scotland. I don't know why this surprises me so, but it does.

4. The Glaswegian accent is charmingly unintelligible, until you're trying to figure out what the gate agent is saying at the airport.

5. Caledonia MacBrayne would be a great pen name for a writer of historial romances.

There will be stories of my Scottish adventure coming soon.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I leave tomorrow...

...for two weeks in Scotland. I'll talk to you all when I get back.

Monday, June 9, 2008

It's Monday...

...and we all know what that means. Hat pics!

This was Sunday's hat. I was quite the lady in red.

This is my new fascinator. I haven't quite figured out how to wear it yet.

And yes, I know I need to work on my eyebrows. :-\

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Cadged from Calling Dr. Bombay...

Fun with paint swatches!

Color Sense Game

My primary color family is Pop Art**, with a secondary color family of Water Beads. I think they hit it pretty much on the head with the first choice. The second, hmm, I dunno. I'm not all that big on serenity. I actually like Al Fresco the best. All that yummy green. :-)

**The most dynamic of our Harmony Families, Pop Art is for the lighthearted and daring, for those who don't always play by the rules, and for those who live to laugh out loud

You'll thrive in these palettes if stripes and humor energize you and if you are a pleasure-seeker who welcomes company, imagination, and smiling multi-colors.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Sad Face

I'm a little disappointed with my fascinator. The one that I had chosen is black/white, and the one that I received is red/black. However, seeing as how it was a free gift, I feel a little churlish complaining about it.

I'll post a pic soon.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I have started walking again.

Because I simply must lose a little weight. Plus, the Charlotte Airport debacle has shown me that I am in very bad shape for running through airports, trying to make connections.

And that is simply intolerable, especially with my Scotland trip coming up.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Sad News

Yves St. Laurent has died at the age of 71. :-(

The Mondrian Dress:

I'm back from Savannah.

And trust me when I say that I will never fly U.S. Airways again, for as long as I may live.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Happy Memorial Day!

I don't usually post recipes in this blog, but it's a holiday. Straight out of the Betty Crocker Cookbook (which my mother gave me when I set up housekeeping):

Peanut Butter Cookies
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened (I use margarine for this recipe)
1/2 cup peanut butter (I prefer smooth for cookies)
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon soda

Cream butter, peanut butter, and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla. Add dry ingredients. Scoop a generous teaspoon amount, roll in granulated sugar, and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Flattened slightly with a fork dipped in sugar. Bake at 375 degrees for 9-10 minutes.

Variation: Chocolate Hazelnut Cookies
Substitute 1/2 cup Nutella for the peanut butter and decrease cooking time by one minute. These cookies will be slightly larger, thinner, and crisper (more crisp?) than the peanut butter version.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Out of the Blue

I just received an email from a milliner on Etsy from whom I had bought a hat a while back. She was convinced that she owed me a free hat, because I wasn't happy with the hat I bought before. I wasn't unhappy; it just wasn't exactly what I expected.

It happens.

Anyway, she's offered me my choice of one of her fascinators, $25-50, for free! I'm not going to accept, of course. But if I was, I'd take this one:


It's called Ladies of the Night. :-)

ETA: Belle insisted that I choose one. I caved. Soon, Ladies of the Night will be mine.

I have my issues with "Sex and the City"...

...but these photos by Annie Leibowitz of SJP and Chris Noth in Vogue are fabulous:









What Min Is Reading on a Rainy Day

  • Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew'd, Alan Bradley
  • A Fatal Grace, Louise Penny

Min's Five-Day Forecast

Min's Current Conditions

My photo
Nashville, TN, United States
If it was a perfect world, I'd be out of a job.