Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Morning Staff Meeting

Thanks for attending the Monday Morning Staff Meeting. What's going on with you this week?

Can you believe that I'm just now getting some of the Christmas decorations put away? Well, we did have some holiday parties that extended well into January, but still......

How about you? Are there any nutcrackers still on the mantle?

A recent trip to IKEA netted me some Christmas ornaments that were on sale at a ridiculously low price. Their ornaments this year were red and white with hearts and that says Valentine's Day to me. I thought, "Oh good, I can be lazy and leave the little tree in the dining room and decorate it for Valentine's Day.

Perhaps my laziness will continue and I'll decorate it for Mardi Gras, Easter and the Fourth of July.

The only problem is, how do you dust a Christmas tree?

I got it, I can decorate with dust bunnies!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Last week I reported about walking the Appalacian Trail with Bill Bryson. I was tuckered out just reading about it.

This week I headed out on the water with Nathaniel Stone and that's the title of his book, On the Water.

The dust jacket mentions the phrase, "in the timeless style of William Least Heat-Moon" which makes me leery. Heat-Moon's book, River Horse, is probably the best real-life adventure story I've ever read. I was not prepared for this book to be of the same caliber.

I cannot imagine that this book is languishing on library shelves and that it does not carry the small gold icon that Oprah awards her book club choices, not that I'm a big fan of Oprah's, but that kind of thing would give this book the attention it deserves.

It's not a dramatic life or death adventure, but it is all about life.

As a ten-year old, pouring over an atlas of the United States, Nat Stone discovers that the eastern United States is actually and island. You could take a boat from New York harbor and travel up the Hudson River, across the barge canals and down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico and up the eastern seaboard, completing the circle and ending where you started.

As an adult, he decides to do just that, rowing his way around the island that is the eastern part of our continent.

Stone writes with clarity and humility. This journey is not about challenge or achievement . He's not out to find himself or prove anything except that he can survive on his wits and the supplies he can carry in his small rowing shell. It's about living simply, living in the moment and being open to all that comes your way.

There are small moments throughout his life that he captures mentally, saying to himself, "Remember this".

Yes. Find this book. Read this book. Remember this book.

On the Water by Nathaniel Stone. Published by Broadway Books, a division of Random House.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Read what Laura at Piece of Cake has to say about good energy.


I know those kinds of homes. I've been in homes where good energy seems to emimate from the walls, seeping up from the floors. I'm afraid it doesn't much happen around here. We're mostly tired or frantic.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Our friend George has been cooking some wonderful things over at his place. If you haven't visited, check it out. By the way, I love the title of his blog.


Look at his sidebar and you'll see a list of categories. There are lots of great recipes there.

I'm still determined to make his Dark Christmas Fruitcake.
I just need to get a few ingredients.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Anyone who has been reading this blog for awhile knows that I'm on a lifelong search for the perfect piece of pie. This was my stepfather's goal and when he died the task fell to me.

Well, someone's got to do it.

But now I stand in shame, humliated by the fact that I missed National Bake a Pie Day. It was Saturday, and no, I did not bake a pie.

I'll just claim ignorance and besides, in my world every day is bake a pie day.

Today it's pumpkin pie. Just because.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

I'm turning the meeting over to you. Anything you'd like to discuss? What have you been up to this past week?


Ang. said...

I want that kind of house, too. Maybe someday we will get there.

Last week I sprained my ankle and contracted a throat infection. In between that, we had an snow (ice) day and lots of basketball games. I am looking forward to a more normal week this week. Although its snowing now. Hopefully the kids stay in school all day! I need to find my house again and get all of my eggs washed up. My buckets and baskets are all full so there is nowhere to put today's eggs.

Dodie said...

I am going to read that book. Sounds pretty interesting to me.
Also I received an email with pictures of over 1800 small islands off the east coast of Ontario and New York. Very beautiful pictures of homes on the islands. An ideal retirement place, or several places. Some had only one home and some had more. Very small islands.

chocolatechic said...

My Christmas decorations were put away before the New Year.

This week, I'm battling a boy with a horrid attitude, and a girl with a sweet one...generally it is the other way around.

I suggest blueberry pie. Just because.

Lisa D. said...

I usually have Christmas decoration out for a long time, but this year they were all gone before New Year's (very dry tree, and not as many other things out this year).
I spent the last week trying to get some of the clutter and extra stuff out of my house. We have a tiny house with 4 children and far too much stuff.
This week will continue along the same theme. It feels good to get rid of some things I've been hanging on to for far too long.

Vee said...

Yes, I'd like to discuss the Brandied Ginger Carrot recipe... As you may remember, I do not eat cooked vegetables...very few that I really can't say how good they are, but I do wish to report that two of the three of us give the recipe a thumb's up. And I give it a thumb's up for its ease. I baked chicken, potatoes, and the carrots for supper last night...very easy. Loved it.

Now I often tell myself to "remember this." So now I am more intrigued by the book. Some authors truly don't like Oprah's seal of approval. Perhaps he is one.

bv said...

in a past life i would give little talks about decorating. my thought is decorate for the 4 seasons. nature is the guide. after thanksgiving the beautiful fall would become winter with lots of big natural green bouquets. Christmas would be mingled in. now whatever screams christmas is put up but lots of candles, white, silver and greens are hanging around. some shine brings life to the gray days. this plan allows one to go slow. Ordering up On the the moment is always my goal.

Mary said...

I have been working on a peaceful house. Is it the January mission that is built into us women? I packed Christmas away (except for the bowl of ornaments I just discovered in the dining room) and have been sorting, putting away and purging. The big focus of this is the sewing room. I am mailing away fabric to some friends, finishing ufos as I find them, making pillowcases for donation and the best.............. Getting ready for an all day sew in retreat at Tammy Tadd design in DeKalb. If you ever get a chance, she runs the best retreats.

Mary said...

I have been working on a peaceful house. Is it the January mission that is built into us women? I packed Christmas away (except for the bowl of ornaments I just discovered in the dining room) and have been sorting, putting away and purging. The big focus of this is the sewing room. I am mailing away fabric to some friends, finishing ufos as I find them, making pillowcases for donation and the best.............. Getting ready for an all day sew in retreat at Tammy Tadd design in DeKalb. If you ever get a chance, she runs the best retreats.

Green Gal said...

Thanks for the book suggestion! I will have to add it to my list. Your review reminds me of three other books: Blue Highways (by Least-Heat Moon), Into the Wild and Travels with Charley--three of my favorite stories. Great post :-)

Jenni said...

There are two spots where I'm leaving the garland and evergreen sprigs up for a while. (You can see one on the header of my blog, and I may change the blog header to show the other soon.) It looks so pretty and adds some color to the drab days of winter that still stretch out before us. I did take the garland off the stairway, but it is still piled on a table in the living room waiting to be boxed up. The best way to dust a Christmas tree that I've found is to walk it out to the garage and use my husband's air compressor on it. We have three little alpine style trees that stay in our living room year round and do double duty as Christmas trees and this is how I usually dust them. Sometimes I put them in our big double shower, spray them off good, and then leave them in there to dry.

Laura said...

If you are at all interested in Wales, there is a book called "A Walk Through Wales" that is really good. The author is Anthony Bailey.


Marfa (Crafting Marfa) said...

Wow, its been a long time since I've been up to reading my favorite blogs; one of them, of course, is yours. I've been ever so busy with the holidays, then trying to create a blog that made me happy (I created and deleted at least two!), and then we all got very sick here at home for a whole week. It was a nasty flu that left us completely drained of energy and begging for mercy.

Like you, we finally put away our Christmas decorations (including two trees) today. I tell you, by now I was starting to question if I should just leave them out for next

I did create a new blog that is more to my liking so far. I hope you take some time and check it out. I think you'll like it, being that you're a crafter like myself. It was so good to read your blog again! I promise not to stay away again for so long. Oh...almost forgot, you can visit my blog at (kinda catchy using my first name and

Millicent said...

So...What makes a piece of pie the perfect one? My husband loves to bake pies and has several specialties. Last spring he entered our county fair and had the 2nd best pie which was also the 4th best dessert. I'm going to look for the book you reccomended. It sounds great!

Pamela said...

I look forward every week to your Monday Morning Staff Meeting. I mostly read quilting blogs but yours is one I read "just because". You're like a neighbor I don't have - if you know what I mean.
The favorite pie in our house is apple-pumpkin. It combines two of the best pies into one. Yum!

Ruta M. said...

I sawed up the last bit of the Christmas tree on Saturday for our woodburner.2 bags of decorations are still in the sitting roon not 5ft from me and the other 2 bags have made it upstairs but not into the loft. Every year I think I'll be better organised but it never happens. Oh and I spotted one white decoration still hanging from a lamp in the kitchen. That might get put away one day.

Louise said...

I noticed today we still have our "river lights" outside. Our front yard is all decorative rocks, and a dry "river" flows through it. We put lights on that at the holidays, and it's really quite pretty. I'm not sure how we missed them.

I think you need to worry about National Bake-a-Pie Day when it can be any day with you.

And to the next post, I need to go to Good Will more!