Friday, January 28, 2011

trouvée: joie de vivre

This photograph just makes me smile ~ such great spirit! A recent acquisition, with no date or inscriptions.

So many good things, so little time:

* The Diary at the Morgan
* Stieglitz, Steichen and Strand at the Met
* Marin Watercolors in Chicago
* and a little Eye Wonder !

My friends, here's wishing you a happy, cozy weekend.

Be well.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

cold weather cooking

Ahhhh, old man Winter. You are so harshing my mellow! However not to be completely outdone by cold and ice this past weekend, the gentleman and I decided to have a little fun in the kitchen. Making good on my promise to to be more adventurous on the fungi front, I bought a box of mushrooms at the market on sunday. And the gentleman turned it into wild mushroom risotto. Divine! We served it up with a salad of delicate Boston lettuce and fresh Texas grapefruit, dressed with a simple vinaigrette. Then paired it with a good Italian Pinot Grigio. Yummmmm.

Some other culinary inspiration:

* a rosé in winter (yes!)
* beets and blood orange
* and tomato jam from The Blue Chair Jam Cookbook (this is what I am going to do with next summer's tomato harvest)

And before I forget, Chris Storb's wonderful blog about Mount Pleasant has moved here!

From my igloo to yours ~ cheers!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

a winter walk II

January, quiet, quiet. Even time seems frozen with inactivity. The gentleman has been hankering for a house tour (me too, for that matter). Perhaps a virtual tour will suffice for now? Hmmmm. . . time to start making plans for springtime outings.

A few interesting tid bits:

* The Hellcat
* Oliver Twist's workhouse
* and The Gift Outright ~ Robert Frost for JFK (and a Dedication, never heard)

Be well.

Stay warm.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

a winter walk I

Hello tuesday! A cold icy day, following a long, cozy weekend. Household chores and paperwork consumed most of our energies. We also spent some time rearranging our library, and contemplating a cataloging system. Oh, and setting up our new computers. (!!!) After 10 years of service, I finally put my old MacBook to rest (yes, you read that correctly, ten years). We also invested in a MacBook Air for traveling (although we have found it rather nice for watching movies in bed, ahem).

Yesterday afternoon, after two solid days of housekeeping, we thought a little fresh air might be in order and headed out for a walk along the old C&O canal. It was so cold that our noses froze after about 5 minutes. We persevered for a while longer however, and enjoyed the quiet calm of the winter landscape.

To be honest, I think the best part of our walk was coming home to a warm, clean apartment.

Friday, January 14, 2011

trouvée: two girls

Other than the fact that I found these two anonymous ladies in the same box (and that they have similar paper borders), there is really no reason to think they belong together. I just feel that they do. They don't appear to be related, but then who knows. Each is wonderfully striking in her own way. {click to view larger}

Perhaps of interest:

* Charles Ryskamp: a life of collecting
* and a second season for Downton Abbey !!!

A quiet weekend of house chores and healing is in store for me and my gentleman. Until next week. . . cheers!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

mid winter days

We escaped the worst of yesterday's east coast storm, and woke up to just over an inch of snow. Picturesque, but hardly treacherous.

My cold seems to be waning, and I now am turning my mind to thoughts of cooking. Every year I tend to select a food item to perfect ~ last year quiche, the year before frittata (I believe I single handedly kept the local egg farmer in business). I know I have toyed with the idea before, but this is: The Year of the Mushroom. I am not talking about those garden variety grocery store mushrooms. I am talking serious wild mushrooms. Now, I don't plan to start foraging (never fear) ~ there is an intriguing enough selection at the local farmers market. I'll start there. And in the mean time, I am dying to get my hands on a copy of The Wild Table!

Funny thing is, when I was a kid, I despised mushrooms. . .


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

on birthdays

These two photographs were taken the day after the blizzard, on my birthday. I spent most of the morning nursing my cold, but late in the afternoon the gentleman insisted we take a drive. The wind was blowing snow over the roads, filtering the late-day sun in the most extraordinary way.

We ended up at a local antiques mall, known more for its piles of junque and used books than for fine antiques. Housed in an old chicken barn, the place is a family favorite and has yielded some real treasures over the years. With only 45 minutes before closing, we quickly scanned the booths, not expecting to find much. But then, out of the corner of his eye, the gentleman spotted the loveliest bird cage Windsor chair, c. 1810. The price was right (plus the 20% after-Christmas discount) ~ so happy birthday to me! Our first joint acquisition of a piece of furniture. After some research, the gentleman believes it to by Samuel Gragg of Boston, almost identical to this chair.

Exciting furniture finds aside, I have generally celebrated my birthdays without much fanfare. It is nice to have a day you can call your own, when you can selfishly revel in doing nothing. Sandwiched between Christmas and the New Year, my birthday is generally lost in the shuffle. Friends often apologize for passing it by, but honestly, I really like the quiet.

Monday, January 10, 2011

winter days

I always plan to take on so much in January. Thank you notes. Over-ambitious reading lists. Catching up on emails to friends. Organizing the apartment. Here it is the 10th and I have done none of it. I am surrounded by a pile of tissues, and the gentleman is flat on his back with a fever. However, Lisbeth Salander has been keeping me company, as well as the residents of Downton Abbey (I am completely engrossed!).

For you Anglophiles:

* don't you just love a good mystery?
* The Gardens of English Heritage (a favorite wedding gift)
* and Thomas Lawrence visits Yale in February

Thank you for kind all your wishes on my last post! I am on the mend, slowly, slowly.

P.S. There are more blizzard photographs in my winter set on flickr.

Friday, January 7, 2011


The last of the blizzard images. I promise.

A chest cold is getting me down, so I think it will be a quiet weekend. But, for those of you feeling more sprightly, the Washington Winter Antiques show promises to be quite a diversion (be sure to check out the sunday morning appraisals session)!

Have a good one. . . and be well.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

the snow

It sifts from leaden sieves, / It powders all the wood. . .
(Emily Dickinson)

Waking up to a blizzard in the early hours of December 27 (the top image taken at 6:47 am). An extraordinary phenomena of nature to be sure.

Some additions to the winter reading list:

* Ape House, by Sara Gruen
* The Forgotten Garden, by Kate Morton
* and White Heat, by Brenda Wineapple (which I found quite by accident at the Book Thing last fall)

Good night, and happy reading.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

blue skies and birch trees

A bit more from our Christmas Eve outing on Blue Hill Mountain. The calm before the storm.

Some things of interest:

* crowd sourcing (transcribing the writings of Jeremy Bentham)


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

stopping by woods

With two gentlemen and a little dog, on Christmas Eve in Maine. A soft December snow fell the day before we arrived, not so much to impede travel, but just enough to make things look pretty.

Our return to Washington was delayed a week, but we are home now. Once I have sorted through the piles, I'll have more to share.

Happy New Year!