Saturday, December 15, 2007

We're enjoying a brilliant winter morning after yesterday's fast moving, intense storm. Some views from Fritz's house:

Out our bedroom window

Out the kitchen window looking up at the Center

Out the dining area window looking at the barn

We're in expectation of getting slammed again later today and all day Sunday with as much as twelve inches of snow and icy sleet. We’ve reluctantly canceled the Sweat gathering for tomorrow in concern for the safety of our guys on the highways (the conditions of which were horrific on Wednesday and Thursday). In consolation for losing the Sweat, we think that A the ceramicist and B the chef (still very much an item) will come over for supper if the roads are passable, which they tend to be up here because maintenance of the local town roads is of a pretty high order.

Plowing and sanding were uppermost on my mind yesterday because a huge load of blueboard for our walls and ceilings was to be delivered. Our general contractor was not happy with the ability of the guy we currently call on to prepare the road up to the new house for big trucks. Fritz knew of an alternate, who performed up to the GC’s expectations, and we now have him on call, particularly for early Monday morning when the blueboarding and plastering is scheduled to begin.

The inside of the house has been cleaned and neatened. Finishing details were going on during the latter part of the week and the in-corner shower enclosure for the upstairs bathroom was in place. We have somewhat sadly but necessarily accepted the fact that the photovoltaic system for generating our own electricity cannot be installed on the hillside above the house until the spring. A drilling machine has to be gotten up the hillside to bore postholes in the ledge for 18 pressure-treated 6x6 posts on which the panels will be supported; it won’t make it up the hill in ice and snow.


Thanks to Matt at Matterdays for this Meme:

1. When you were born, how much did you weigh?
7-1/2 pounds. I was actually a double seven-and-a-halfer, as I was born art 7:30 in the morning.

2. What's you're sugar poison? Iced coffee in the summer. I’m slowly weaning myself off sugar wherever possible, although oatmeal cookies with raisins are going to be hard to completely give up.

3. If you had to choose between meat and cheese for the rest of your life, which would you choose? Then be specific.

Cheese—I love the stuff. Particular favorites: blue cheeses (stilton, gorgonzola), extremely sharp cheddars, manchego, havarti, tomme de savoie, camembert and brie.

4. What, is your opinion, is the worst song ever? The Little Drummer Boy—there you get my least favorite song and my Grinch moment all in the same answer.

5. Who was your favorite teacher growing up and why? In grammar school, Mrs. Bowler, a lively and very kind woman who was a rare “lay teacher” in the Catholic school my parents sent me to and a welcome relief for one year from the strict, totally humorless nuns.
In high school, Brother Francis. He was a tall, handsome S&P-haired southerner on whom I most definitely had a crush. I think he knew it, too, and was not displeased, although nothing ever happened.

6. What personal activity, when performed in public, bothers you the most? Smoking and littering. I know smokers have nowhere else to go than outside these days but as a mild asthmatic, the smoke still affects me outdoors. Littering just seems like pollution to me.

7. Ok, there's a $50 bill lying on the ground. You pick it up. Dumbfounded by your incredible luck, what do you selfishly purchase? MORE opera CDs.

8. Do you have a recurring nightmare?
Sometimes it’s a nightmare and sometimes a benign dream, but I often find myself dreaming of being in a huge, very complex building with long, winding hallways and many cul-de-sacs. I try to find my way out of it and have many adventures along the way but I never get out of it. This has been going on for years. Any theories on the meaning?

9. Name one place on Earth you've never been, but vow to visit at least once. Northern Italy, with a stop at the Church of Sant’Anastasia in Verona where my family’s ancestors are buried in the first chapel on the right after you enter the church.

Students of mine went there once and brought back some pictures for which I was very grateful, but I want to go myself. It's the oldest surviving church in Verona, having been started in the mid 13th century and completed in 1481. Photos of the exterior and the interior looking toward the apse and the high altar.

I also have to attend at least one performance in the legendary La Scala opera house in Milan, and there 's also Firenze (Florence) and Venice that we'd have to see.

10. You notice that question #9 wasn't really a question. You feel smart for catching such a small detail. What else can you do really well that reminds you how smart you are? This question invites a somewhat arrogant answer, but I believe I put together really excellent lecture programs with good visual and audio support and deliver them in an interesting, entertaining and informative manner.

I will not tag anyone in particular; feel free to pick up on this, and please let me know if you do.

I can't believe how much snow you have! It's beautiful.
Gosh I miss the snow! Seven years in Minneapolis and three in Connecticut and eight in NYC and environs leaving me desirous of a nice blizzard. There is nothing more peaceful.
I'm totally with you on the cheese comment, and share a lot of your choices. One of my cheesemaking projects of the new year will be to try my hand at making camembert. It will be my first cheese to use white mold, and my first experience with trying to get a rind to develop.
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