Friday, March 30, 2007

Books Read in March

Arnaldur Indriðason: Tainted Blood
Kazuo Ishiguro: Never Let Me Go
James Lee Burke: A Morning for Flamingos
Rennie Airth: The Blood-dimmed Tide
Alison Lurie: Love and Friendship
Pat Barker: The Man Who Wasn't There
P.D. James: The Skull Beneath the Skin
Amanda Cross: The Players Come Again
Iain Pears: An Instance of the Fingerpost


Wednesday, March 28, 2007

A Cautionary Tale

Kate indulged in a little catnip yesterday. She's an angry, wild-eyed drunk.

Afterwards, she slept it off.


Sunday, March 25, 2007

Kate's Big Sunday

Look who was hanging out this morning in the canal by our garden! And isn't the duckweed attractive?

What a fulfilling day it has been for Kate the Cat! You'll notice that I took this photo while also trying to prevent her escape.

Kate is now recovering from all the excitement by taking a big nap.


Monday, March 19, 2007


Well, a little. It was gone in less than an hour. I took Kate out to enjoy the soft, fluffy flakes, but she quickly became disgruntled, decided that I was a soft, fluffy flake, and demanded that I return her to her bed INSIDE the window.

Here's a hyacinth that I bought last year as a forced bulb and set out after it had finished blooming.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Knitting Happiness

Saturday evening, I was just mindin' my own bidness and checking my e-mail. I saw that I had an e-mail from Afghans for Afghans, a charity that sends donated, hand-knit and crocheted clothing and afghans to Afghanistan. I recently sent in some hats for the Afghan Mini Mobile Circus for Children campaign. Well, whenever a knitter sends something to Afghans for Afghans, he or she is entered into a drawing for a $50 gift certificate for I think you see where this story is going . . .

I won a $50 gift certificate to YarnMarket!!!!!

I was happy enough just to get to knit a couple of cute hats. Now I get to do some yarn shopping too! Hmm, I'm thinking that I have to try another project with Crystal Palace Taos.


Friday, March 09, 2007

The Kim Show, Episode 3: Den Haag & Delft

On the Sunday of Kim's visit, we went to Den Haag (The Hague) and Delft.

First, we dropped by to see Queen Beatrix, but apparently she wasn't receiving guests. I know. We should have called to let her know we were on our way.

Then we stopped at the fish stand that makes the best gebakken lekkerbek (fried fish) EVER!

And then we stopped for frites!

On Monday, Kim was on her own. She went to Amsterdam while Simon and I did our usual stuff -- work. But then we met up that evening in Leiden, and Kim took us out for rijsttafel, a traditional, family-style Indonesian meal. (Thanks, Kim!)

And then the next day, Kim left. (Sniff.)


Wednesday, March 07, 2007

We Interrupt the Kim Show for Important Knitting Updates

I'm finally cabling and have discovered -- as I've read and been told many times -- cabling is not as complicated as it looks. Not at all!

For this scarf, I'm using lovely, lovely Taos (color 11) by Crystal Palace Yarns, and a pattern for Taos from, which seems to be the official Crystal Palace website.

And I've finally finished the socks in Dancing by Knit Picks. With these socks, I suffered from second-sock syndrome (SSS) for many months. According to, SSS is "an affliction that prevents the victim from knitting the second sock of a pair." (How do you like my froggy pjs? They're my faves.)


The Kim Show, Episode 2: Maastricht

On the Saturday of Kim's visit, we got up early and headed for Maastricht, about a 3-hour train ride from Leiden. Located in Limburg, Maastricht is the southernmost city in the Netherlands. With its proximity to Belgium and its Catholic history, Maastricht seems much more continental (i.e. French?) than most cities in the Netherlands.

On the way to the center of town, we walk through an antiques market. Kim can't believe that I'm looking at baseball cards.

Kim poses by a sculpture in the Vrijthof.

We visit St. Servaaskerk, the church that houses the relics of St. Servaas, the first bishop of Maastricht.

We had hoped to tour the sandstone caves on the edge of town, but they had already closed for the day. Instead we took a walk in the "Dutch Alps" -- that's what the Dutch call Limburg because, as it's actually above sea level, there are a few hills.

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Monday, March 05, 2007

The Kim Show, Episode 1

Our pal Kim -- guidebook in hand, sightseeing plan in mind, and exit strategy in place -- visited last week.

Kim and I walked around Leiden, going to Pieterskerk, the church the Pilgrims attended while living in Leiden; the area where Jan Steen lived and worked for a while; and the area where Rembrandt grew up and went to school.
Note: it's sunny-ish!

Always the editor, Kim was delighted by the frequent use of "nowadays" in English translations.

That evening, Simon met up with us, and we went to La Bota, a very popular restaurant near the Pieterskerk.

Episode 2: Maastricht


Thursday, March 01, 2007

Books Read in February

Kate Mosse: Labyrinth
Gabriel Garcia Marquez: Chronicle of a Death Foretold
Ian Rankin: The Flood
P.D. James: Unnatural Causes
William Trevor: The Old Boys
Mary Shelley: Frankenstein*
John Le Carré: Smiley's People**

*Why? Because one of my students had to read it for school -- I can't believe that I'd never read it before.

**I'm now hooked on Le Carré even though I've been reading his Smiley books out of order.

Kate the Cat just tried to help me by walking across the computer. Maybe she just wanted you to know what she's been reading (Of Mice and Men, etc.).