Monday, February 15, 2016

Catching Up!

Every now and then, Lisa of "Lisa's Yarns" does a "check in post. I thought I'd give it a try! 

Cooking -- Oh yes! Recent forays into the kitchen have brought about coq au vin (my own combo recipe -- a cross between Julia and Ina), valentine cookies and cornbread. It's smelling mighty nice around here! Also on the menu, flourless chocolate cake, my contribution to the Valentine edition of Cork Poppers! (A post on wines of Northern Italy is coming soon!)

Watching -- Downton Abbey, of course! (How 'bout that dinner scene a couple of weeks ago?!) And catching some movies. We saw "Youth" (with Michael Caine, Paul Dano, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz), "The Big Short" (both of which completely confused me yet were very good. They almost require a second viewing just to get your brain organized enough to process!). The third movie was "Brooklyn," which I dearly loved, beautifully textured, a wonderful story of love, family and taking the leap into new experiences. The last one was "The Audience," not a film, really, but Helen Mirren's National Theatre stage performance. Mirren was again a remarkable Queen Elizabeth II, this time portraying her at various ages, meeting with her various prime ministers. Outstanding, as were the two mini-films that were part of the presentation, including a lengthy interview with Mirren on the part.

Supporting -- Haven House, a local homeless shelter for families, by attending a fundraiser in which Rick had to ride his bicycle (along with a bunch of other guys from his club) inside on their trainers or rollers (those things cyclists use to cycle in the winter when the snow is up to their elbows!). He looks pretty relaxed here but he was sweating up a storm! Collectively the guys biked over 2000 miles and raised over $3,500.

Making -- Rick's valentine present, his annual poetry book. (A post on that one is coming soon!) Also working to finish up a scarf two years on the needles. Or is it three? It's off the needles now and I just have to do the final beadwork. Hopefully before spring!

Moving -- To the beat of my physical therapist's drum, trying to make my knee, leg and IT band hurt less. Although sometimes after PT, I swear it hurts more! But I'd do anything I could to please her so I go through my little exercises and stretches in reasonable good humor.

Enjoying -- A visit from my friend Suzanne who comes down from Canada every January (or February, as the case may be) to celebrate Christmas! As I mentioned, we've been hitting the movies and did the old home town tour, including going inside one of our classic vintage department stores which is being renovated as office/retail space. It was nice to see some of the original details maintained. They're doing a lovely job.

Listening -- To Rick and his trio perform at Home Away from Home on Valentine's Day. This is an adult foster care home here and one of the trio's members wife lives there. I have to say for a few guys who just like to play, they aren't half bad!

Tasting -- Wines of Northern Italy! I'll be back soon with our ratings of the Barbera, Barbarosa, Barolo and Pinot Gris wines from this nation. And a hint -- all were fabulous!

Anticipating -- Spring. All things considered, it has been a pretty good winter -- and February is halfway through! We're finally getting some snow again here in Michigan and as I write this, the temps are cold. But it will be short-lived, I think. I'm eager for spring to bring its blossoms.

In fact, some shoots have appeared! I fear they will get too beat up by winter to actually bloom, but you never know! Isn't that what spring is all about?


Joanne Huffman said...

All in all, it sounds like things are going well - friends, food, good wines, and a relatively easy winter. I enjoyed your catch up.

Mae Travels said...

Great post... off to go birdwatching!

mae at

Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

JEANIE! I see that creativity never slips past your magical hands and heart! I hope you had a crazy love Valentine's Day! Is it freezing where you are? It was brutal here for a few days, but we went out anyway and had a blast. Love all of your work and thank you SO MUCH for coming to visit my post. I finally got those comments to work again!!!!! Anita

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I loved reading about what you are up to lately! Phil and I went to The Big Short. We had both read the book and work in the finance industry so that helped us understand it - but I can see how it is confusing to others (and everyone we talked to that doesn't work in finance said they were very confused by the movie). I really want to see Brooklyn but don't know if I will get to it while it's still in the theater. I read and loved the book! Phil's mom picked that for her January book club and then went to the movie and she said she actually liked the movie better than the book, which rarely happens!

I'm looking forward to seeing your Valentine's Day gift for Rick! I got Phil a V-day/early 1/2 birthday gift. I got him a racquetball racket and goggles as he's been playing that with friends lately but doesn't have his own gear. So it was a pretty 'practical' gift. He got me a bud garden so I am excited to watch it grow and bloom!

Janet said...

I like the idea of a "check in" post. You've been busy, too. Thanks for your report on the always helps to know what others think, and not just the critics.
I hope your Valentine's Day was love-filled and wonderful.

Sally Wessely said...

Great post. The idea of a check in post is a great one. I loved reading about the movies. I hope to see the ones you suggested. Also, I am really looking forward to spring!

Joyful said...

My you have been busy but it looks like you're having fun doing all kinds of good things. I do have to try and make flourless chocolate cake one day. I've had some and it's good. Have you tried taking turmeric to help with inflammatory pain? You can buy a concoction at the health food store or just the spice and put it in all kinds of food. I find it easier getting the stuff from health store and drinking it in smoothies.

Marilyn Miller said...

I do hope the green blooms through the cold and snow. I am sure the music wonderful. Friendships are the best. Working in the kitchen can be so special, especially when you can share with those you love. Like your summary.

Kitty said...

I second all the comments above. And take heart - spring is coming. I picked a white violet in my back yard Sunday and we haven't had winter yet! Have a great day and thanks for all the pictures. Love to you and Rick.

Bella Rum said...

I've made Ina's coq au vin before. In fact, methinks it's time to do it again. We loved it.

I bet Rick loved his Valentine's Day gift. H got my favorite chocolate covered cherries for me, but I'm afraid I didn't get anything for him. I feel a little guilty.

Can you believe that I never watched Downton Abbey? I can get it on Netflix, though. Maybe I'll binge watch it.

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I've been planning to stop by for two days, but unfortunately life got in the way. I had weekend company who actually resented me spending time on the computer, so I had to play host to some very "needy" guests.

What a PERFECT post, and way to catch everyone up on what you are doing. Not sure why I don't think of that, especially since I seem to blog every day. I could cut down my blogging time if I did catch-up posts.

I like how you categorized the different aspects of your life.

KUDOS to your husband, because he did a fantastic job cycling. Yes, I'm well aware of that "machine" that requires one wheel must be removed. I dated a cyclist for several years, and he knew all the tricks and had the most expensive bike on the planet (or so it seemed). I remember the day (this is 1990s prices) he bought a new SEAT for his bike and paid $539.00 USD and that was before taxes, too. I'll never forget my surprise when the salesperson gave him the price. I could eat for two years for that price.

I look forward to reading your take on various wines. I know NOTHING about wine, except I've never liked most that I've tasted. It was all too sour for me. I had a dessert wine I liked once time, but apparently, I don't care for dry or sour.

Thanks for your visits and continued support of my art. I apologize I've been lax in visiting, so look forward to keeping up with you now that I've found how "cool" you are!

Victoria Zigler said...

Sounds like you've been busy. Good busy though by the look of it... I'm glad! :)

I hope the green shoots manage to survive whatever's left of your Winter weather.

The French Hutch said...

Hi Jeanie, so glad to see you out an about enjoying all the things you love! Seeing little spring sprouts always bring out the best in me knowing spring will come. Friends, favorite comfort foods are helping us through these longs dark dreary days. I made an old standby yesterday, homemade soup and cornbread and the house smelled so good and felt all warm and cozy while the wind whistled and the rain poured. A good day to enjoy home………….

bj said...

This is a great twist on a Bits and Bobs post...:)
enjoyed it all very much...and, yes, he looks like he is sweating big

Barb said...

Always fun to catch up with what you and Rick are doing. You've been busy - but, in a good way.

O-town Ramblings said...

I love reading about what you're up to. How did you ever find time to work? Your creativity and many interests are inspiring to me. I'm still trying to see The Big Short. It didn't play in theaters very long here. I may have to wait until it's out on Netflix.

Thanks for this catch up post. I love the idea and am going to use it if you don't mind.

Angelsdoor * Penny said...

Dear Jeanie,
It is always so enjoyable to see what you and Rick have been up to. I can almost hear the music of Rick and his trio..
Thank you so much for your comment.. You made my day! I am so sorry it has taken me so long to visit.. I had been under the weather.
Wishing you a lovely week.

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

What a great blog concept! Love it! So much to admire here. We have seen the same movies! We loved Youth so so much. And Brooklyn too. Love Ireland and my Irish roots. I have to see it aain. And thanks for mentioning Helen. We will have to look for that. Love her so much. You are such a good visitor and commenter! I just love it when you come by!

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

Sounds like you have been so busy. Loved this post all about what you are doing and the fun you are having with your friend. Take care of that knee and do your exercises and hopefully everything will be okay.

Have a great weekend.

shoreacres said...

You know, that snow won't hurt your flowers one bit. They're made for it. Below freezing temperatures are one thing, but snow is a nice blanket, and it looks like you got the best kind -- nice and fluffy.

I watched one night of Downton Abbey, and that was it. Even reading Arti's wonderful synopses didn't get me enthused enough to watch another session. Ah, well. If I ever break a leg, or if we ever get days and days of rain, it's always there, waiting on the interwebz. It's rather like entertainment money in the bank, now that I think of it.

Roses, Lace and Brocante said...

Love the thought of a check-in post Jeanie and yours is a wonderful catch up of what's been happening in the Marmalade house!
Oh I saw Brooklyn too and loved every moment, it even brought tears to my eyes in parts when I think back sixteen years ago when our daughter left NZ for France.
Rick has been busy and what a kind lot they are doing that fund raising - restores ones faith in humanity.
There's nothing nicer than a yearly catch up with a good friend - my oldest and dearest friend from our junior school days lives in Brisbane.
She came over last year for a family do and stayed with us for a couple of nights on her way through.
We talked the legs off the iron pot!
Always enjoy your cork poppers too.
Auditions sounds great, I hope I haven't missed it here.
Shane x

Annie said...

nice. i feel like i just spent a little vacation with you.

~*~Patty S said...

Kudos to you for being able to do all that you AND articulate it so brilliantly Jeanie!
Wishing you a lovely weekend.

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