Monday, February 23, 2009

Two Weeks in Florida

We spent the last week of February and the first week of March in Seagrove Beach, Florida, in the Florida panhandle. The weather started out disappointingly cool. However, it improved dramatically later in our stay.

My sister and brother-in-law joined us for several days. My cousin and her husband brought their dog along and stayed in a separate nearby rental.

My plans for this vaction included finishing the pieces of my Nantucket jacket, starting a caridigan for Niepa, doing some bicycling, hiking, and studying French. Happily, I accomplished all of these.

I was very happy with the house we rented because it was large enough that the two couples were comfortable and didn't get in each others way. However, being in this part of Florida causes you to spend lots of time thinking and talking about real estate, and I'm not completely comfortable with that.

As you can see by my garb, it was quite cool the first week we were there.

But the azaleas were in bloom! In February!

We found a pastry shop with pricey but delicious almond croissants.

Appalachicola oysters were $4.99 per dozen. The co-diner and I had this as an appetizer 3 days in a row.

On the drive home we stopped at Greenbrier's Restaurant in Alabama. I had the barbecued pork. The presentation was nothing special, but the taste was delicious.

The co-diner, who usually shuns fried food, chose the catfish and declared them excellent. Notice the basket of hushpuppies served with each meal.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Finished Object: Lifted Twill Hat

Pattern: Interweave Knits, Winter, 2008

Yarn: Sheep Shop Yarn Sheep Number Two

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Book: "The Color of Water"

I first read this book about a decade ago at the insistence of a co-worker who thought it was wonderful. She was right. James McBride is a bi-racial man whose mother was white, southern, and Jewish. She fled her abusive father for New York, married a black man with whom she had 8 children, and immersed herself in the black religious community in Brooklyn.

My rating: ***** (out of 5)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

DVD: "Margot at the Wedding"

I admired Noah Baumbach's The Squid and the Whale, about two children enduring their parents bitter divorce. Unfortunately I can't say the same about Margot at the Wedding. Nicole Kidman plays Margot, an overbearing, self-centered, spiteful writer who uses her family's experiences as plotlines, regardless of the consequences. She attends her sister Pauline's (Jennifer Jason Leigh) wedding because her former (and perhaps future) lover lives nearby. Of course, once she gets there she is openly repelled by her sister's fiance.

My rating: ** (out of 5)

Book: Lush Life

Life is anything but lush in the lower east side eighth precinct. Detective Matty Clark, a beefy Irish cop, and his empathetic partner Yolanda struggle to solve a homicide plagued by false eyewitness testimony, an interfering troubled father of the victim, and just plain bad luck. This is not my favorite genre, but I did find this book enjoyable. The author, Richard Price, is one of the creators of "The Wire," a highly acclaimed television show that I have not seen.

My rating: **** (out of 5)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Knitting Weekend in Ludington

Two weekends ago I joined 8 other knitters for a weekend in a condominium on Lake Michigan, just south of Ludington. I went skiing at Ludington State Park before joining the group. The skiing was enjoyable, but not great.

We spent the weekend knitting, visiting, eating, and shopping at the local yarn store which was having a sale of merchandise from another shop that had gone out of business. Each afternoon we would see deer walking between the lake and the house. It was a very enjoyable weekend.

Photos by Tina