January 1, 2012 § 2 Comments

Here’s to baking more bread, reading more old books and wishing I had some smoked salmon lying about to make this my breakfast atop my bagels.

“Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.” — C.S. Lewis

Happy 2012!


Coming Soon | Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

September 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

I read this book a few years ago and am SO excited to see the movie rendition. As a novel about a boy’s adventures, struggles and journey dealing with his father’s death in the September 11th attacks, it’s fantastic piece of historical fiction. Learned about this from LA Times’ Books.

great lengths

August 31, 2011 § 1 Comment

Well hello! School has not overtaken me, in case you were concerned. But I have been getting used to my new dog duties, workouts, husband, food, teaching, tutoring, reading, grading, cooking, cleaning, errands schedule.

The huge eye candy Madewell fall catalogue “lookbook” arrived yesterday. What a gem.

Excuse the size of that picture below, but long skirts have been catching my eye. I’m slowly getting over my memories of them as a matronly, prairiesque eighties style and mustering up some bravery to attempt this highwaisted, long skirt look.

And n a few completely unrelated notes…

This fantastic layout is not only super fun to look at but has some great ideas for looks and libations.

In case you forgot I am a nerdy English teacher, I’m excited about this book  coming out. Look into this woman’s education and experiences. She is quite impressive.

breakfast {waffles}

August 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

My waffle iron arrived yesterday! I seasoned it {Duh. because I’m so old school like that –wholeheartedly sold on the superiority of cast iron} and we will be enjoying waffles this weekend!

I’m also getting ready for school next week by listening to some of my collection of literary podcasts. #nerdalert. I’m hearing about Poe from NEA’s The Big Read, and Edith Wharton from Slate’s Audio Book Club. Plus  a little fun with NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts and Slate’s Culture Gabfest.

true life: woe is penny

August 5, 2011 § 1 Comment

It’s a hard knock life around here sometimes. In addition to the partial bath she was subjected to the other day when she wandered into something smelly, Penelope had an unfortunate experience yesterday as well.

I was working on my syllabus for the year and on the phone with a coworker for at least 30 minutes. P is always nearby during the day, either sleeping at my feet or chewing a bone on top of them (Yes, on my feet. If you’ve been a guest in my house, you know bonetoy on foot chewing is P’s stamp of approval.) Anyway, whenever I wander into another room, she follows me. As long as I’m there for at least 90 seconds, she will usually lay down on the floor wherever I end up, folding laundry or even just reading something from the printer in the study.

As I was on the phone, I walked into the study a few times and then back into the “kids wing” of our house that we keep closed up and at about 80 degrees since no one is ever in there except if we’re retrieving books from our excessive collection on bookshelves in one of those rooms. During the phone convo, I headed back there to look at some books we were discussing and shut the hall door again when I left. We usually keep this hall door closed, but sometimes if it’s not closed all the way, it will pull shut with a knock each time the air conditioning kicks on in that part of the house to maintain its balmy 80. As you can imagine, it doesn’t kick on very often. Phone convo ended and I resumed working on my syllabus. I heard the familiar door knock back there sometime well after the convo ended, but didn’t feel like getting up and leaving my train of thought to fix the door. When I heard the ol’ knock again, about an hour  or so after the convo ended, it sounded different. More like a knockscratch. little doubleknock.
Was that the dog? Why’d she go back there? What’s that door doing?

Wait, not on her bed. Not under my chair.

Two little feet on the floor behind the door making two little shadows in the sunlight coming from the other side. Little sniffy nose moving around.

Oh well hey there! Guess you knew I’d find you and didn’t feel like making a racket. Thanks for the tiny little scratch after an hour had passed to patiently request exit from the lonely sauna back here.
Sorry you have a bad mommy.

Let’s hope I’m a better mother to humans.

Why you lock me up?

reading room

July 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Sorry, bloggie friends, I’ve neglected you. Last week, my friend Caroline came to play. We ate pancakes, went to the lake and played with cocktails. She was my roommate sophomore year in college, the year I met the man I married and when I rudely came home late from our smitten little forays, she’d always left a lamp on for me. The same year, she crashed her car and broke her leg skiing. I brought the gimp her morning coffee and took the top bunk. Oh yes, we had bunk beds as well as a constant stash of hot tamales. She’s been a precious friend ever since the year of green carpets, community bath and endless granola and as a fellow teacher, gets to enjoy the summer vacay as well!

I’ve had the blessing blessing blessing to be tutoring a ton in July. It must be what I’m made to do because I love every aspect of it and I feel like most people think that’s crazy. Planning with the parents, chatting with the kids, reading their books and working their math problems.

Books books books. I’ve also been reading on my own. (As well as playing on Pinterest finding cute pictures…beware, it will suck you in)

Maybe I can get  a print of that painting, by the way?

In the Garden of Beasts is historical fiction at its finest. It took me a while to get through, though, because it’s not really a light read. There are a lot of German names to keep track of. But it was a very interesting story about the personality and premonitions of the American ambassador to Germany in the 1930s, the years preceding WW2. The information about the interworkings of and interactions between the major characters in various positions within the German government and military were facinating as was the insight into the conflicts among officials in America. The Epilogue about the man’s legacy being largely determined by which side of the ocean you were on was arguably the best part of the book. The Coda and Larson’s footnotes were absolutely hilarious. I want to be friends with him now and would totally stand in line at a book signing. The research he evidently did for this book is mind blowing. Again, it’s not a beach read but it was a fascinating and rewarding read.

I’m only about 80 pages into Cutting for Stone and was immediately hooked by Verghese’s writing. It takes place in Egypt, India and America, forcing me already, like The Tiger’s Wife did, to not only learn some history but fill in some gaps in my shameful geography knowledge. I’m reading this book because it was one of the few new fiction works on my overly ambitious wishlist @ IndieBound that was available to reserve through my library’s E Book site. The synopsis there is great, and evidently was enough to make me want to read it, but I think many reviews and synopses give too much away. So research it at your own risk. I will let you know my final thoughts once I’m done!

I’m going to go read now. Since I don’t have access to an elephant, maybe I’ll see about sitting on my dog.

witanddelightcrushculdesacawelltraveledwoman }

tuesday morning treats | peony perfection

June 29, 2011 § 1 Comment

My peonies are blooming along just beautifully in my mint julep cups that I just got with the last of my wedding credit, yes dontjudge we’ve embarked upon our fourth year of marriage, and I was able spread out the two bunches of four stems each into four vases all over the house. Happiness.

By the way, since inquiring minds want to know, I improved my Bedside Table page over there on the left in case you’re looking for a good read. Would love to tell you more about any of them! Check it out.

Also, you must go check out a blog I just discovered, The Simply Luxurious Life. It’s filled with great pictures, sorry but a must for me when I peruse blogs, but it also has great advice and insight on living life. I think today’s post is great. Go now go.

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