Thursday, September 30, 2010

On Top of the World, Looking Down

You can take the girl out of the '70s, but you can't take the '70s out of the girl.

With apologies to Linda and Richard Carpenter. Go
here for a better version of this classic hit and to get the tune stuck in your head for the rest of the day.

Such a feelin's comin' over me

There is wonder in most everything I see

Not a cloud in the sky

Got the sun in my eyes

And I won't be surprised if it's a dream


I'm on the top of the world lookin' down on creation

And the only explanation I can find

For New York City's ever crowding problems

is creative use of spatial relations

(Can you see the free parking spot, or the hammock swinging in the breeze?)

Something in the wind has learned my name

And it's tellin' me that things are not the same

In the leaves on the trees and the touch of the breeze

There's a pleasin' sense of happiness for me

(I think it's just the endorphin rush from all the exercise. This is just the view from the gym and then up close!)

I'm on the top of the world lookin' down on creation

And the only explanation I can find

Is the love that I've found ever since you've been around

Your love's put me at the top of the world

(That would be the love of NEW YORK! Just to be clear.)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Auntie Nettie Reads A LOT 2010 - 3rd Quarter

If you are just finding the blog, please note that this list was maintained mainly so that I could remember what I've read this year. The record does not fully represent me or all of my interests, so don't judge me by my reading habits. My interests change quite frequently. Also, I don't do book recommendations or link to major retailers or publishers. Except for the ARCs listed below [thanks major publishers!], most of these books came from MY library or the library -- the most magical place in the world!

Go forth and use your library card and READ!

July 2010
Hailey's War: A Novel by Jodi Compton (ARC)
Crystal Line: (Crystal Singer Novel) by Anne McCaffrey (reread)
Jane Bites Back: A Novel by Michael Thomas Ford
Insatiable by Meg Cabot
After the Fall: A Novel by Kylie Ladd (ARC)
Murder at Longbourn: A Mystery by Tracy Kiely
The Postmistress: A Novel by Sarah Blake
The Spellman Files: A Novel (Spellman PI #1) by Lisa Lutz
Curse of the Spellmans: A Novel (Spellman PI #2) by Lisa Lutz
Needles and Pearls: A Novel by Gil McNeil
Leaving the World: A Novel by Douglas Kennedy (Galley)
Huck: The Remarkabel True Story of How One Lost Puppy Taught a Family--and a Whole Town--About Hope and Happy Endings by Janet Elder (ARC)
52 Loaves: One Man's Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and a Perfect Crust by William Alexander
Nancy's Theory of Style by Grace Coopersmith
Revenge of the Spellmans: A Novel (Spellman PI #3) by Lisa Lutz
The Spellmans Strike Again: A Novel (Spellman PI #4) by Lisa Lutz
Hurricanes in Paradise: A Novel by Denise Hildreth
Turning Tables: A Novel by Heather and Rose MAcDowell

August 2010
Black Magic Sanction (Rachel Morgan #8) by Kim Harrison
Everything Nice: A Novel by Ellen Shanman
Bone Appetit: A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery by Carolyn Haines
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake: A Novel by Aimee Bender
A Fortunate Age: A Novel by Joanna Smith Rakoff (didn't finish)
Eighteen Acres: A Novel by Nicolle Wallace (ARC)
Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet
Strangers at the Feast: A Novel by Jennifer Vanderbes (ARC didn't finish)
The King's Mistress: A Novel by Emma Campion (ARC)
Jane Slayre: The Literary Classic with a Blood-Sucking Twist by Charlotte Brontë and Sherri Browning Erwin

September 2010
For Emergencies Ring Super by Ellen Emerson White (reread)
Life Would Be Perfect If I Lived In That House by Meghan Daum
The Search by Nora Roberts
Zombies of the Gene Pool by Sharyn McCrumb
Ghouls Gone Wild (Ghost Hunter Mysteries, No. 4) by Victoria Laurie
Sea Escape: A Novel by Lynne Griffin
Homicide in Hardcove: A Bibliophile Mystery by Kate Carlisle
Abrabam Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
Juliet: A Novel by Anne Fortier
Sizzling Sixteen (A Stephanie Plum Mystery) by Janet Evanovich
Maybe This Time: A Novel by Jennifer Cruise

The Second Quarter List for 2010 can be found here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Recipes from Forgotten Bookmarks: Johnny Appleseed Bars

Are you like me and secretly delighted when you find objects tucked into the pages of your library books? I've found things like train schedules, bookmarks, empty gum wrappers, and library patron receipts. My favorite was a really lovely poem that I've had embroidered to hang over my bed.

I know I've not the only one fascinated by what people leave behind in books. I remember spending a whole evening of one of my Library Science classes talking about this. We talked about what was cute, how sad some things were, and then the subject turned to the disgusting. (There's the archetypal story of the raw piece of bacon.) Beyond the classroom, many a listserv conversation explored the lost and left behind in the library books. Now a days, there are also many a blog dedicated to this subject.

It's not just librarians who find things in books. Used booksellers have their own tales to tell. One of them, Michael, has started a blog called Forgotten Bookmarks.

I was browsing the blog one day recently. My thoughts had turned to baking, as a hint of fall was in the air. I was also in an adventuresome mood, ready to take a safe risk ... so when I saw this recipe, I decided to take a chance on ...

Johnny Appleseed Bars

1 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 c oats
2/3 c brown sugar (packed)
1/2 c oil
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Mix together and press half of dough in 9" square pan [I used a 8x8 pan]

Sprinkle with 1 c nuts 2 c thin sliced apples [I ended up using 3-5 apples to get about 2 cups]

Spread rest of dough over nuts and apples, press down with pancake turner and smooth top

Bake 350 degrees - 25 min.

Cool and sift conf. sugar [skipped the powdered sugar]

Cut in bars

Since I had to compress this recipe into a smaller pan, the cake was really thick. I didn't even try to cut it into bars. Plus, when I tried to flip it out of the pan, it started to crumble. Instead I just divided it in half and tucked it into Ziploc containers for various friends at the Big J.

No one complained about the messiness of the baked treats. Apparently, it was better as a crumble than a set of bars. The reports I got was that all the flavors blended together in a big apple crumble yummy delight.

Could be eaten at room temp with a side of yogurt, or heated up and served ala mode.

Since I just went apple picking I'm going to try it again, but doubled on the dry ingredients. I'm also going to bake it in a 13x9 pan. Hopefully that will yield thinner bars.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Seen on the River/Road Trip 2010: Come & Sit a Spell

Usually I'm an armchair traveller ...

not anymore.

Even when you're travelling, you have to sit for a spell and take it all in.

Life's a beach. You just have find your restful shore.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cool Cousins in the Media

So, I don't usually use this forum to proselytize so much, but I'm making an exception. Because this time it's about family, and when it come to family, you tend to want to brag.

Meet my cousin Josh. (Actually my mother's first cousin's son Josh. So, that makes him my cousin, once removed, or something like that. WHATEVS. He's family.)

My cousin Josh seems to be cooler than most of the whole extended family tree put together. Josh is a skateboarder and photographer, and one of the real people selected to put a face on Mormons in a new public relations campaign.

Ironically, although Josh and I both live and work in and near New York, we've never actually met. How sad is that? He's too cool for me anyway, so it's just as well.

Go here to learn more about my cousin Josh Maready, his/our faith, and to get more information about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, aka Mormons.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Summer Fridays/River/Road Trip 2010: The Fair, Crafts

You know Auntie Nettie can't go to a county fair and not spend some time in the Arts and Crafts section!

On top of being air conditioned, this hall was nice because it had stuff for little people to play with, and room for them to run around. While I was off quickly looking at all the quilts, homemade clothing, baked and canned goods, and the yarn crafst, the girls were able to run around and ride bikes, trykes, and big-wheels. It was good for them to be able to be entertained, while I was oggling and admiring the work and talking to other craftswomen.

Look at these cuties -- Amber is entertaining thoughts of being Cinderella and Elle just doesn't know what to think.

I think there were more quilts at this County Fair than there were at the quilt show I went to last October with Kelli. In relation to all of the other crafts in the hall, the quilting and sewing objects far outnumbered yarn craft. It's a regional/cultural thing -- like the canning displays.

Looking at some of the crochet objects that won ribbons, I feel like I could have had a good shot at placing in the crochet category. If I was up against experienced knitters? Not a chance. Plus, look at the lace work. You don't see that too often.

The crafting theme carried through the afternoon. Over in the food hall/entertainment space, they had covered 8-ft. tables with coloring areas. One minor problem? A standard 8-ft. table is just a TAD too high for 2 year olds. Poor Elle. she did her best though. You've never seen such colorful dinosaurs!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Summer Fridays/River/Road Trip 2010: The Fair, UnCanny

After running around outside in the heat and the dust of the petting zoo, we headed into one of the exhibition halls, where local businesses, charities, and crafters had booths. One of the dentists handed out balloons-- a hit with little people, and a handy way to keep tabs on active little ones. In a BRILLIANT marketing manuever, one of the other businesses was handing out free ice pops. I have to say, they were a hit. (Don't worry, Elle had both balloons and posp -- I just don't know where there are in this picture.)Nathan was a little bored -- but what can you do?Speaking of cans .... (see how I sequed there?) ... I was highly amused by the booths dedicated to the 2010 Canstruction contest, with canned goods destined for charitable donations first being used to create scultural displays.At first it is hard to see what is being spelled out in canned goods, if you step back and squint, or in my case, take a photo of it, the meaning becomes clear.Isn't this the antithesis of love and hope?Speak it from the pulpit -- charity begins at home.This was my absolute favorite. What a good marketing device for a local sushi place, complete with menu, a dab of wasabi, and chopsticks! (Can they be California rolls? I doubt it. I've never heard such California bashing as I did while in Utah and Idaho.)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

September Equinox

In honor of the September Equinox, I thought I would post some video of summer, slip-sliding away into fall. Or of me, falling down ... or something like that

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Summer Fridays/River/Road Trip 2010: Barnyard Bubbles

Now, I love my nieces, but everyone related to me, MIGHT understand why I find this stare-off quite hysterical. Genetics will out.
Let me set the scene: My last summer Friday off was while I was out West on the River/Road Trip, and I got to spend the morning with Christina and the kids. We headed out to spend a few hours at the local County Fair.

It's HOT out West in the daytime, so the fair action usually gets underway after dark. That does not work with three little kids and nap schedules, but it does work to keep the fair grounds pretty uncrowded. We were able to enjoy kid-friendly attractions like a bubble tower and the petting zoo without a lot of company.

There's nothing like sun, a breeze, and soapy water to entertain kids of all ages. Elle had a hard time keeping her shoes on while avoiding the bigger kids and mommies and aunties with cameras.

As for the animals at the petting zoo, it's totally understandable why even the draft horses were unusually grumpy. It was HOT! The pigs had the right idea. I'm not sure why they were the only ones to rate a wading pool. (That poor little buffalo calf. He looked so pathetically sad.)

Petting zoos aren't the easiest place to manuever with a baby buggy, so I let Christina take the girls through the hands-on activities, like butter churning, steer lassooing, and the favorite, and face painting. Nathan and I stayed near a fan and out of the hay! Was he ever happy to see Mama and get into the air conditioning!