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When I started my retirement travels - the first of which was my solo overseas trip to Italy in 2009 - I wanted a way to share it with family and friends as it happened. Hence, "My Travel Journal". However I realized I wouldn't always be on a trip and wondered what to do with the blog in between times. My daughter pointed out, wisely, that travels can also include trips to the kitchen to try a new recipe, trips to visit family, trips to my neighborhood Starbucks, or a fun day trip with a friend. You're welcome to join me on any of these journeys!

P.S. I've set up separate pages for each of my major trips (see tabs above).

I recently added an "Italian Word a Day" thingie which shows up at the bottom of every page. You see the word and can click to hear it pronounced. I've been enjoying it and I think my accent is improving as time goes by.

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June 05, 2011

Am I Delinquent?

I guess so...my son informs me it has been a while and even one of his friends mentioned to him that it was a long time.  Doesn't seem all that long to me, but I'll see what I can think to record.  It was nice to hear that someone I don't even know is enjoying and following the blog and it would be even nicer to get comments, shared stories, reader's own recipe ideas, etc., from people other than my poor long-suffering family.  So if you read my posts and something reminds you of a funny or interesting story, feel free to share it.  If you experiment with one of my recipes and are pleased with the result, I'd love to hear about that.  And if you have a favorite recipe or two you'd like to share, that would be great too.

Right now, I'm at my older daughter's home (Heather) in Maryland.  She broke her arm last Saturday falling off a horse and her husband and my granddaughter Sophia were already booked on a flight to Ireland for a christening of his brand new nephew, so I said I would come over and stay with her while they're gone.  I had already been thinking about coming over cause I hardly ever get to have my daughter all to myself and I'm selfish enough to think that would be real nice.  So, here I am and even though it's not quite as planned, it is nice being with her and my grandson Johnny.  Heather broke her humerus bone and the normal treatment for that, apparently, is to put a stiff something under the lower arm and a stiff something under the upper arm, and then wrap the whole thing in an Ace bandage and put it in a sling.  It sort of horrifies me cause, of course, any time it gets nudged or jiggled or anything it gives her a lot of pain.  She will see the doctor again on Tuesday and we're hopeful he'll move her on to "step 2" which is an upper arm brace type thing that, at least in the pictures, looks like it would be much better than what she has right now.  So that's pretty much where I am now.  She and her family are also moving into a new house in three weeks, so I told her I would try and get her breakables packed for her and have been working on that.

I'll be here probably until Thursday and then will go to my daughter January's new "place of residence".  They found a little rental house that sounds so nice for them - nothing at all fancy but not an apartment!!! Over a very unpleasant lady!!!  :)

On the homefront (Huntington), we have yet another new business that just opened - The Bottle and Wedge which is a delightful beer, wine and cheese store, along with having all sorts of special bottled sauces, jams and jellies, dips, marinades, all kinds of goodies.  I don't know much about beer but these are not the standard "grocery store beers".  And the cheeses he has so far are very enticing.  The shop is located in Pullman Square (same place as "my" bakery) and Pullman Square is really beginning to come back to life.  The bakery has open mike every Saturday and that really draws in a lot of people.  And, of course, so does what the bakery sells! :)  I took a picture of the outside and inside of the new shop, but only the outside photo is worth posting.  The second photo is just two really pretty demi-baguettes I bought at the bakery shortly before I came over here and they just looked so nice I took a picture of them.  Tasted good too!

Also, before I came over here, I was in kind of a cooking mood and tried that vodka pasta sauce recipe again.  It was better this time and as I worked on it, I wrote down what I was doing, but, of course, I left my little notes at home so can't update the recipe yet.  But I will and it really is quite tasty.  In fact one of my neighbors was in Starbucks one evening and sat down for a visit (a young med student) and told me how much he enjoyed the smells coming from my apartment sometimes and mentioned the night before which just happened to be when I had made the vodka sauce.  Here's a picture of dinner that night:..

and making half a recipe instead of a quarter, I had enough to eat it twice and then freeze the remainder for probably another one or two servings.  Maybe I should take my neighbor a helping.  

And I also got into a needleworking mood although the trip over here has kind of deep-sixed that for now.  But the woman who commissioned the quilt block cross stitches from me has a real life sampler she sent me a picture of and asked if I could replicate it in miniature.  Worked a long time getting a pattern for that and started stitching it, but discovered I was stitching on 28 count rather than 32 count so have put that one aside to ponder for a bit.  Even on 32 count, I think it would be a little large, but then I always remind myself her dollhouse is really big.  But starting on that got me digging once again through all my old patterns and I found several things I want to start working on and pulled out a rug I started a looonnnnggg time ago (probably at least 6 or 7 years ago and after the first burst of activity never worked on again.  It's on 40 count silk gauze and I've started working on it again.  Here's what was finished when I pulled it out:

In some ways, it's a much simpler pattern than the rug I stitched for January's roombox and the Aubusson I've been working on off and on for a while (not nearly as many colors for one thing), but it's just so striking and Oriental that I really like it.  I brought it with me but haven't worked on it here - just too much going on.  But I'll get back to it.

Oh, and one other neat thing - after Jamie Oliver filmed his first American food revolution TV show here in Huntington, what? two years ago? Jamie's Kitchen became Huntington's Kitchen, still using his program to teach cooking and nutrition and such and has been doing quite well I think.  Anyway, they've reopened their fresh market on Fridays and I heard they had local eggs so went down a couple of Fridays ago and bought half a dozen of those plus a basil plant and an oregano plant, both of which are still alive and well.  I went back a week or so later and this time a woman was there with two little goats in a cage and had some goat cheese samples which were delicious.  I asked her about buying some and she said that they don't sell the cheese direct - they sell shares in the goats!!  You buy a share or half a share and then you get a certain amount of cheese each month delivered to Huntington's Kitchen for pickup.  I'm still pondering that - I loved the cheeses I tasted but don't know that I could use up even half a share a month.  Might think about seeing if a neighbor would like to go in on it with me...

And that pretty much brings me up to date - just finished a marathon session of Craz y Eights with Johnny and Heather.  The last round went on so long that we finally had to set a time limit and agree that if the hand wasn't over by then, we'd continue tomorrow night.  And, amazingly enough, it wasn't finished, so we made sure we'd remember where to pick up again and are all eager to get back to it. :)   

After spending this coming Thursday evening with January and Maggie, I'll go on to Chris's Friday afternoon, spend the weekend there and then go back home Monday unless something should happen with Heather's arm.  Sure am anxious to see what Tuesday's appointment with the doc brings...


Christoper said...

Oooo.... can't wait to explore the bottle & wedge store... with good bread next door (and great cookies...!) How on earth are we supposed to tackle moderation, when faced with those temptations?! My nickname should be Oscar, I suppose...

Mary Lynne said...

Maybe you mean the Cookie Monster? He's the one who always growled "cookie". Oscar was just a grouch and loved trash - that's sure not you! :)

Mary Lynne said...

Marlene, an on-line friend in California, sent me a nice note that I thought I'd post...

"So sorry to hear about your daughter's fall from the horse resulting in a broken arm. You are a good mommie to gallop to her rescue! I love the rug you are working on and hope to see more of it. I guess you have no time to stitch because of Crazy 8's, though! That vodka sauce sounds delicious -- look forward to your latest rendition.
Love, Marlene"

Thanks, Marlene - I got a chuckle out of the "gallop". :)

January said...

Hello Mama!
I also hear the siren call of the Bottle and Wedge - you know how I feel about delicious beer. Mmmmmmmm...beeeeer. :) I guess you're coming over on Thursday, then? Perfect! Can't wait to see you!

Christoper said...

My reference to Oscar was tangential, I suppose---I meant as in Oscar Wilde, who said "The only thing I can't resist is temptation." ;)

Janet said...

Glad to see your new post! I do read it regularly - especially enjoy the pictures (I even showed the Biltmore pictures to my husband) - and missed reading about your new adventures. I commented to Chris that I missed your blog and should have expected that he would tell you. :) I fully accept and agree that if one reads a blog, one should contribute and I will endeavor to do so.

Christoper said...

Welcome to the "group" of occasional posters, Janet! ;)

Diane Adams said...

Loved all your pics and stories. I read them all the time. I did get a pic of my newest rug on the group site. Its amazing how fast its coming along. The pattern I was given is crappy. Had to blow it up to see and figure out what DMC colors to use cause she didn't give me all the pages - she got the pattern out of a magazine. Oh well it looks like its going to turn out pretty good.

Mary Lynne said...

Thanks Diane! I'm going to post a link that may or may not take people to a picture of your little rug so they'll see how cute it is. Only thing is, I don't know if it will work for people who aren't members of the petitpointers' group.

But here it is: http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/10199783/sn/1412796690/name/Circus+Rug.jpg

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