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» Sunday, April 08, 2012An Egg-Citing Weekend
Last year I did something I found very pleasing: I spent Good Friday afternoon in quiet meditation—no doing chores, or dubbing off something, just inspirational reading. After the mess I ran into on Thursday, I didn't know if I could do it this year. However, I made enough progress on Friday morning to feel vaguely confident that I could do so again. Traffic was so fidgety that I just barely made it home, changed clothes, and had gathered my reading and listening supplies before it was noon. However, the ride home was super-pleasant because it had been cloudy all day and low 70s all day. When I got home I was able to open the door out to the deck and enjoy a nice breeze and hear birdsong.
And it was so pleasant. I put on some low instrumental music (Aureole and then carols from St. Thomas in New York) and did the Mass readings from Thursday and for Good Friday, and also read the Lent and Good Friday chapters in Madeleine L'Engle's The Irrational Season, which follows the liturgical year. The rest of the time when I was reading, it was a continuation of the Monks of New Skete book I had begun earlier. I also listened to five of the six Lent talks that BBC radio broadcast this year (sadly, I missed one), my favorite being the mathematician who spoke about there being no conflict between science and religion. Online I also found a Stations of the Cross as narrated by Mary. An excellent afternoon.
We had supper at Panera, then stopped at Barnes & Noble where I purchased Madelyn Alt's latest in paperback and the new "BBC History Magazine" (there's an article called "How Did the Tudors Smell?" by the author of The Time-Traveler's Guide to Elizabethan England, which has just come out in paperback) and the April issue of the British "Country Living." Later we stayed up to see Julie Scardina on The Tonight Show. She brought on two tamarinds (small primates), a hyacinth macaw, and three sun conures who fell in love with Kristin Chenowith's head. :-)
Saturday we were up early to go to the Farmer's Market. This was the first day of the regular market, which means the vegetable vendors were back in the mix and the whole setup moved from Mill Street near the railroad tracks to the north side of Marietta Square. It was sunny, but there was a nice breeze, very comfortable for strolling! We bought fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and sweet corn, and strawberries for dessert on Sunday, more goat cheese, homemade chicken salad, some double chocolate chip cookies, two bunny-shaped dog cookies for Willow for Easter (I know...like she'll know), and James got a tiny sweet potato pie and some boiled peanuts. We tasted some pot pie and bacon. Goat Cheese Guy had two little kids with him this time, a brown one about a week old, and a little white one someone said was born yesterday. Even the tiniest children could tell it was new and petted it oh-so-gently. After about ten minutes, it fell asleep.
We passed on having breakfast downtown, as it does get expensive, and brought the produce home. Then we headed out for the day, first to the hobby shop for a while, not forgetting to pick up James' dress shirts next door at the dry cleaner, then to MicroCenter to return the stylus I didn't like, and finally to Michaels, where they were having a 30 percent off everything coupon day. You can't use the the coupon on sale things like you can at JoAnn, but this is the time to get those inexpensive bits of things that combine to make something bigger. In this way I have two nice gifts and some other stocking-stuffer type things.
We also had a 10 percent off everything coupon for Cost Plus World Market, so we went over to see if there was anything interesting. Now, we have been talking about what type of a sauce to use on our lobster tortellini that we have for Easter dinner, and looking into some recipes for light sauces online. A straight tomato sauce would overwhelm the lobster taste, as well as anything garlic and butter. Cost Plus had different Italian sauces on sale, including brandy sauce and vodka sauce. These both had cream in them (the vodka one also has cheese) and we thought these might be more suitable. Also got some Japanese buckwheat noodles, summer sausage and salami at two-for-one, and some chocolate spread.
We were home by three and could watch episodes five and six of the Barrington, RI, house on This Old House before supper; we had Papa John pizza, which was on sale if you ordered online. Excellent, and leftovers for lunch to boot. Later, James went downstairs to the Man Cave and I dubbed off last week's Castle and watched Easter Unwrapped as well as the version of Little Men with Mariel Hemingway. It was okay. I didn't like the kid they got to play Dan, and they worked in a silly "horse taming" metaphor into the subplot, and apparently John Brooke died from smoking (Laurie and Amy were not in the story, although in the book it is Laurie who sponsors Nat, not John). And what's with Nan hanging around Nat? Nat always liked Daisy best!
I spent about an hour online waxing nostalgic. One of the people on This Old House was a woman who owns a home goods store in downtown Providence. She said she was located in "an old department store." So I plugged her address into Google Maps. I'm not sure, but she's either in or next door to what used to be Woolworths. I can tell because she's right across from the Alice Building, where I got my very first pair of glasses. I walked out of the building and the first thing I saw was the big bold, red Woolworth sign. If it's another store I don't recall which. I can look at that big green space where the Outlet Company was, see that the building that Read-All Books and later Strawberries was in has been knocked down for a parking lot, find the old Shepard's building and the iconic clock as well as the Arcade and the old Providence Gas Company building and the building where Newberrys was, but I am less clear on the stores I disliked: Gladdings, Peerless, Kennedys, Cherry and Webb, because they all carried only clothing. :-) I can still point out where Paperback Books was, even though the building front is radically changed, and I think they knocked down the building where my godfather's shoe store was.
Later had a fun conversation with Jen, Mike, and Emma on chat. I've been being good and signing off at one, but it was Easter, after all, and I didn't want to go early as we were discussing movies and the lack of imagination in American television. James and I didn't get to bed until three and my silly alarm woke us up around nine or something. Ugh. James got up but I stayed in bed dozing until 9:45, waking to the lovely smell of peppermint chocolate-chip scones. I found these at Cost Plus after Christmas, along with pumpkin spice scones. James said he wanted to try the peppermint ones and they were delicious, especially with chocolate artisan butter.
After breakfast we headed to Kroger to do the weekly shopping, running into Juanita's intended, David, in one of the aisles, brought the spoils home, then went on a more pleasant trip out to Books-a-Million in Acworth with yet another coupon. Now that "the ditch" is finished, it's a nice straight shot up Windy Hill to Macland, then right on Old Lost Mountain Road which becomes Mars Hill. This isn't exactly country any longer, but there are large properties interspersed with developments and it was a mostly nice ride until we got close to the store, as the intersection is very busy. We saw more rose bushes on OLM/Mars Hill, huge masses of them covered in bright scarlet roses. Lovely! Plus it was cool enough to drive with the windows down. We listened to a March segment of "The Splendid Table" on our drive. This is the only show I know that can make asparagus and wines sound tasty.
A nice stroll around the bookstore netted us some magazines and John Stossel's new book for James and two gifts to put away and a fantasy book in my purchase. We tried to stop at Hobbytown on the way home, but they were closed, as was Michaels. Oh, well. We were home about 3:30 and I settled in to watch Here Comes Peter Cottontail and then the Addie Mills story The Easter Promise before supper.
We used the brandy sauce and it was a bit more tomato-y than we expected, but did not overwhelm the lobster filling of the tortellini all that much. We had a cucumber and tomato salad on the side, and strawberry shortcake for dessert. Willow had wet dog food we had picked up at Kroger this morning, one of the two rabbit cookies, and got to lick out the strawberry bowls. Schuyler got some millet. A very nice day, ending with Frozen Planet and Mythbusters.