Thursday, March 31, 2011

Happy Third Birthday Elle!

Hey Elle!? Can I interrupt your birthday candy consumption to tell you a few things?
I love how you are growing up to be such a wonderfully loving big sister to Nathan.I also adore how you like to hang out with your big cousin Drew, even if he doesn't seem to appreciate it as much.I love your fearless spirit -- one that likes to hang about and horse around with your crazy Auntie Nettie.I'm glad we got to spend time together over Christmas. Just "you and me -- Not Amber. Not Nathan. Not Mama. Just Elle and Aunt Nettie!" I hope you had as much fun as I did.

I'm glad that you helped your Poppa rake the leaves in the backyard, and then helped Mama out with the shopping. You picked out all kinds of yummy groceries for the family. Thanks for helping take care of the dishes and the cooking too.

I'm glad we got to hang out at the farm. You did such a good job taking care of the horse, picking out the crops, the chicken eggs, and then raking the field. Your Grandma Ollie Jane would have loved to have you around as a little helper. You must help Grandma Virginia when you see her on the ranch to be so good.

But Elle? We are a little worried about your penchant for the Pirates and the Construction Workers. Not that there is anything wrong with a good Pirate (your dad is one after all), and girls can be builders too ...

How about you stick to butterflies, rainbows, dancing around in the breezes, and stay out of the drivers seat for a little while longer? Please? I'm already gray enough and we don't need to talk about the family driving record.

Happy Birthday my little Elle! I love your snuggles and I love you so much,

Auntie Nettie -- who made this orange because "write" now, that is your favorite color.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Auntie Nettie Reads A LOT 2011 - 1st 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 my reading habits. My interests change quite frequently.

Also, as a general rule, 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 a public library.

Go forth, use your library card and READ!

January 2011
Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'easter: A Novel by Lisa Patton
The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
Salting the Roses: A Novel by Lorelle Marinello
The Lies That Bind: A Bibliophile Mystery (Book 3) by Kate Carlisle
Piano Lessons: A Memoir by Anna Goldsworthy
The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella by Stephenie Meyer
Spun by Sorcery (Book 3) by Barbara Bretton
Wicked Appetite (Diesel 1) by Janet Evanovich
Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffen

February 2011
Love Letters: Novel by Katie Fforde
A Slender Thread: A Novel by Katharine Davis
Fated: A Novel by S.G. Browne
The Mistaken Wife: A Novel by Rose Melikan (didn't finish)
Slow Love: How I Lost My Job Put on my Pajamas & Found Happiness by Dominique Browning
Nocturne: A Haunting Story of Forbidden Love by Syrie James
4 books from my own collection (re-read)
Twelve Rooms with a View: A Novel by Theresa Rebeck
13 rue Therese: A Novel by Elena Mauli Shapiro
Whisper Falls: A Destiny Novel by Toni Blake
Bikini Season by Sheila Roberts
Undead and Unwelcome by MaryJanice Davidson
Undead and Unfinished by MaryJanice Davidson
And One Last Thing ... by Molly Harper

March 2011
Jane Goes Batty: A Novel (2) by Michael Thomas Ford
Raven's Bride: A Novel by Lenore Hart
Undead and Unworthy by MaryJanice Davidson
The Mischief of the Mistletoe: A Pink Carnation Christmas
by Lauren Willig
The Atlas of Love: A Novel by Laurie Frankel

And Furthermore
by Judi Dench
A Secret Gift: How One Man's Kindness--and a Trove of Letters--Revealed the Hidden History of the Great Depression
by Ted Gup
The Pioneer Woman: Black Heels to Tractor Wheels--A Love Story by Ree Drummond
Pictures of You by Caroline Leavitt
Pale Demon (The Hollows, Book 9) by Kim Harrison
Night Road: A Novel by Kristin Hannah (ARC)
River Marked (A Mercy Thompson Novel) by Patricia Briggs
Radio Shangri-La: What I learned in Bhutan, The Happiest Kingdom on Earth by Lisa Napoli (ARC)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

YouTube Tuesday: Secret Garden

A Clip from the 45th Annual Tony Awards with the original Broadway Cast of The Secret Garden with the incomparable Rebecca Luker, John Cameron Mitchell, Mandy Patinkin, and the much missed from the Great White Way, Robert Westenberg. I had the privilege in seeing him in Les Miz, Into the Woods, and The Secret Garden and still haven't see anyone to compare with him, even after all this time. He is much missed in New York.

One of the best parts of this clip is the excerpt of the duo, Lily's Eyes with Mandy and Robert, which makes me well-up every single time.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Photo of the Day: Garden Stars

New York Botanical Gardens, March 2011
presented with this comment:
Even though the orchids were supposed to be the stars of the hour, sometimes Mother Nature likes to award her own 'stars.'

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Auntie Nettie's Attic Merchandise 2011 - March

Remember what I said in February? About how I've been busy on a work project?
Yeah, well, March was just more of that ... times two. In good news, it is almost over. (They promise me!)
There actually might have been more crafting, but I was taking out some of my stress in scratch baking. It's cathartic to beat eggs, cream sugar, blend ingredients, whip, smash, blend, etc. I haven't figured out how to crochet and mix ingredients at the same time, so I had to prioritize. I think the various departments that have been eating extremely well this month would rather have baked goodies than crocheted creations.
Here's the March wrap-up, such as it is:

ANA 2011-10: Black/Grey Cabled Scarf
(as of 11/2012, no longer available, donated to Hats for the Homeless)
In blurry close-upANA 2011-11: Pretty Pinks Cabled Scarf
(as of 11/2012, no longer available, donated to Hats for the Homeless)
In blurry close-upANA 2011-12: Great Grape Ribbed Scarf
(as of 12/2011, no longer available)
In close-up

Yes, there is a trend this month. I was learning how to do crocheted "cabling" using relief stitches, working in front and back of various stitches. The fist two are based on a pattern in my Encyclopedia of 300 Crochet Patterns, Stitches and Designs. The last one I worked out on paper, and once I put the edging on, turned out about how I imagined it would. I want to try it in more of a smaller ply wool so it's more masculine.

Still in progress:
2010: Stuffed Animal/Multi-fiber chevron blanket
2011: Potential Mobile of Hearts (created as part of ANA 2011-08 group)
& Crocheted Posey Purse in cream

As ever, if you see anything you'd like, just contact me for sizes, availability, and costs.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Letters from Ollie J - March 26, 1992

Just a quick note about some Mormon/LDS terminology here:

Per (the official LDS Church site) Patriarchal blessings: "...
are given to worthy members of the Church ... and contain personal counsel from the Lord. As a person studies his or her patriarchal blessing and follows the counsel it contains, it will provide guidance, comfort, and protection. " These blessings are promises and guidance, but are not expected to reveal all, or to always be completed fulfilled in the manner or time frame one might expect. The link above will provide even further information.

For one reason and another, which we won't go into, I don't have mine ... but then again, one never does completely live up to family expectations anyway.

26 March 1992

[The Farm
Pikeville, NC]

Hope you are fine and enjoying life.

Its been rainy here today. Uncle Hyrum, Alice, and I went to Temple Tuesday spent night and worked Wendsday[sic] The two days we got 8 sessions each. Felt quite rewarded for our efforts.

I have a cold and got some medicine for it Monday so am coughing and Blowing it out.

Hope to feal[sic] better soon. Uncle Henry is slowly getting better. Had Blood Clots after his first trip home. Rushed him back to hosp’l where he stayed a few days over a week.

I have been sorting through things. Found your Mom’s Patireal[sic] Blessing. It was interesting. Oh hope you have your by now. They can be such a joy and comfort to read. See about getting your soon if haven’t all ready got one. Then read it often.

How are classes going now? And time is moving fast so want[sic] be long before time to sign up for more for another year.

Bet your big Coat Came in good all the Cold wind and snow I have heard about in NY.

We haven’t had enough snow to count her[sic]. Warm. Cooler tonight.

Hope you had a quick trip home a few weeks ago.

We surely have missed many visits etc with so many miles to separate[sic] us.

Thanks for your letter and I truly ment[sic] to answer it well before now. Time just passed us by.

I have quilted a few quilts some for others and one for me. Have another I’d like to quilt. Not sure when.

Want to sew some for myself but eyes are weak. Doctor said I had Glocoma[sic] and a growing Cateract[sic]. Don’t sound good but Could be worse.

Take care of yourself. Listen to the Spirit and God will bless you.

I Love you and so does your parents. Wish the best for you in all things


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Photo of the Day: Orchids Again

Orchid Show, New York Botanical Gardens, March 2010
presented with this comment:
Since I've been too busy to get to the gardens, I'm posting these as an incentive to myself to get there asap!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Amazing Adventures of the Shushing Librarian - Planning to Party

Hey there. It's me, The Shushing Librarian, back after a brief absence. Did you miss me?

I'm afraid I was just swallowed up by winter and my work.
You could say, I was toast.I finally got a break, and went out to socialize with some friends.
We all got to talking about how "berry nuts" we were feeling.
After a few glasses of wine and some laughter, the conversation turned,to how we might spice up our lives.We went all the way around the table, and I will not scare you with some of the things that certain people brought up (*Ahem*Amelia*ahem*).

My ideas were more pedestrian. One of my biggest dreams is to be able to travel to exotic locations, ride an elephant, relax, drink daiquiris while being fanned by palm fronds, and to catch up on all my reading.
I'd love to be able to take a walk in a picturesque location, and maybe meet my Casanova while walking down a country lane.While we'd all like to travel more, we decided to try and "spice" things up this year with more realistic goals; see friends and family more, take in more concerts, museums, and not work so hard.

I'd like to spend more time pursuing musical aspirations, delving into the oeuvres of my favorite composers (even if they are grumpy dead white men),
maybe try my hands at the ol'Steinway again.wouldn't it be awesome to be part of a piano ensemble ...
The Shushing Librarian and the Mysteriously Abstract String Quartet.
Can't you see it? Now playing at Carnegie Hall?!

What are your dreams and aspirations for 2011?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Letters from Roa S - March 21, 1994

The soft-focus photo at right is of Grandma Roa and Aunt Jerry at Grandma's house in the late 2000s. However, it's pretty representative of Grandma; the chair, her apartment, surrounded by photos of family, paintings, and close to family.

This letter from Grandma Roa references my trip to Costa Rica, and also my brother Jed's mission to California. Grandma may not have been so into some part of Utah's main religion, but was proud of both boys' service, especially seeing as she shared that apartment house with innumerable sets of missionaries.

The stories of my brothers' missions to California and Brazil are really theirs to tell. I have some very fun letters to and from them during these times, but will let them tell those tales to their kids when, and if, it's appropriate.

3 21 94

Ogden, Utah

Dear [Granddaughter],

I was going to have this answered by the time you got back from Costa Rica. I hope you had a good time & saw a lot of new things. At least you got away from the snow for a few days now you guys know how its been here a few winters. I am glad we haven’t had it bad this year but like I said it will snow in May like it has a few times befor[sic].

I got a letter from Jed today he said he has been real bissay[sic] & likes it in Victorvill[sic] as it is out of the Smog & they have a car there I don’t think he liked going up & down hills on his bike. He’s worried about the heat but I don’t think it will be as bad as he thinks.

It took me a while to read all of the paper you sent then I got down to the bottom & saw you had done the writing doing good girl keep it up one of these days you will get where you want to be. At least I hope you can do better than your grandma & not have to worry about everything all the time.

I’m sending your Easter card early like I did Jed’s.

Have a good Easter and get back to work.



Sunday, March 20, 2011

Recipes from Aunt Flora -- Crazy Cake

Crazy Cake

2 cups flour [white]
1 1/3 cup sugar [white]
1 tablespoons cocoa
1 1/3 teaspoons soda [baking]
2/3 teaspoons salt
8 tablespoons oil [used olive]
1 1/3 cup water
1 ¼ teaspoon vanilla
1 1/3 tablespoons vinegar [white, distilled]

Sift dry ingredients into mixer.
Make 3 indentations in dry ingredients.
Pour oil in one, vinegar in one, water and vanilla in one.
Mix well and bake for 25-30 minutes at 325 degrees.

None of my measuring spoons is in thirds, so I was guess-timating on the quantities.

Because no pan size was listed, I used my standard 13x9 pan and started off at 35 minutes as the batter was thin. The timing was just right.

I may frost this with a thin powdered sugar glaze and take it in for the office to tell me what it tastes like. A cake with no eggs!? Maybe more like brownies.

Later that night -- I had the munchies, so I had to taste test the cake, right!? No frosting needed. It's super moist and light and fluffy. Luckily I do have some self-restraint. My colleagues may get some ... eventually.