In lieu of trying to belong to any number of societies: Chesterton, Sherlock Holmes, the Inklings, and so on: I propose and establish one of my own. Don your intelligence cap at the door; dust off your logic and imagination; did you bring your inspiration and encouragement? We are shapers, my friends; lit lamps; light-bringers. Bring quotes*; poetry should be uplifting and thoughtful, or witty and clever, (or both). Humor is encouraged; laughter is invited back. Pull up a chair. Anyone for tea?



A bit of Doctor Who

So here are a few quotes from that good old show:
(actually today I'm catching up on Quantico, but you've gotta spread the love... Besides, when in doubt, go with Who)

“Come on, Rory! It isn't rocket science, it's just quantum physics!"

“The Doctor: This is bad, I don't like this. [kicks console and yells in pain] Never use force, you just embarrass yourself. Unless you're cross, in which case... always use force! 
Amy: Shall I run and get the manual? 
The Doctor: I threw it in a supernova. 
Amy: You threw the manual in a supernova? Why? 
The Doctor: Because I disagreed with it! Now stop talking to me when I'm cross!” 

“You should always waste time when you don't have any. Time is not the boss of you. Rule 408.” 

“Big flashy things have my name written all over them. Well... not yet, give me time and a crayon.” 

“When you're a kid, they tell you it's all... grow up. Get a job. Get married. Get a house. Have a kid, and that's it. But the truth is, the world is so much stranger than that. It's so much darker. And so much madder. And so much better.” 

City life

Breath at Dawn
(Petrarchan Sonnet)

Time courses through these busy streets each day,
This early morning is a breathing space
Before the milling crowds come out to race.
I like the city best not on display.
I wrap my scarf to keep the wind at bay
And walk the early riser’s steady pace;
The few who share this hour know their place
And I, at times like these, know why I stay.
The hum of life is moving all around
In stories behind eyes and windows here;
It smells of promise, coffee freshly-ground,
Of dampened pavement, sunrise drawing near;
And slowly as the city finds its sound
The tumult of the day will reappear.

Original work by Olivia, all rights reserved. Previously published in Soul of Wit, which you can buy here, an ebook of microfiction that includes this and other short works by myself, as well as a bunch of other authors. None of the profits go to me, in case you're wondering.


 This world is stunning. And I've only seen a tiny fraction of it.
#pinchme This is where I live.

courtesy of Ben

I did it again

perusing stores beauty
Yesterday was gorgeous, both weather-wise, and with the things it contained. So nice, apparently, that I forgot to post here!

I opened the coffeeshop in the morning, and worked till about noon. Then I walked around Michaels for a little while and bought some delightful things that I hadn't planned to spend money on, but...

Went home and had a relaxing afternoon with a short nap and some internet/pinterest time. And then Ben called and asked if I wanted to go view a house with him. Of course!

So we met up at the place, walked through and chatted about it, and then decided we wanted supper. We found the nearest Noodles and Company, conveniently near the river, and ordered take-out.

The air was blustery and delightful but not yet chilling. We parked in a good spot we remembered, and set off down the sidewalk, noodles in hand. We walked past pretty streets and over traintracks.

We got to a bridge and started over it, eating our noodles and chatting about life. The views were amazing. I'll put up some pictures in my next post. We wound our way around then headed back.

It was the perfect spontaneous evening, and on our way back, we met Amy at cuppajava. Had a good time walking about, chatting and laughing a good deal.

More to come later!

Culinary Calisthenics

or cooking something marvelous for the first time.

'Poor man's Tom Kha' or What-Have-I-Got-in-my-Cupboardses?
by ME

one small onion
one red chili (cayenne) thoroughly deseeded
(although I myself wouldn't mind extra heat)
two large cloves of garlic
a couple inches of fresh ginger
zest and juice of a lime

Proof positive that one doesn't need fancy contraptions, just one good knife.
Chop all of those up very finely, mix on the cutting board, continue chopping.
Add lime juice, chop and meld.

Heat a little olive oil in a pan, throw in the finely-chopped flavor-base, and cook to meld flavors. The steam off this is glorious and pungent.

While it's cooking, open a can of coconut milk, and when the mixture begins to get dry, add it in.
As you bring this mixture to a simmer, add a couple of tablespoons of fish sauce, a cup or so of broth or stock, slice several mushrooms, chop up a few green beans, and cube a fillet of fish. 
When it has reached the simmer, add the fish and the mushrooms, chop a few leaves of basil, and a bit more cilantro. Grab some rice stick noodles.
When the soup has returned to a simmer and you think the fish is cooked (hardly any time at all),
add the green beans and the rice stick, broken up a little. Bring back to a simmer, add the last of the cilantro and basil, another squeeze of lime, and a touch of salt to taste.

a bar-room-brawl of a smell.
ruffian in a cashmere cardi
all the greens: basil, cilantro, lime, green beans. 

Tom Kha (or as close as I could get), a Thai soup practically guaranteed to cure mind, body, and soul.

On this blustery day...

Have you ever read Poppleton in Fall? It's a delightful perusal. Here's part one.
I pulled out a bunch of favorite picture-books on my short visit to Mama's house.
The best of picture-books are part of my very make-up.
Cheers to Trina Schart Hyman, Peter Spiers, Cynthia Rylant, and the rest.
(you can click on the images and page through to see them better.)


Beating in fingers
Thrumming through minds
Soothing and stirring
Ever it winds

Changing forever
Its own self remaining
Traveling always
Never taming

Throbbing like a heartbeat
Ripple up and down
Moving through lines with grace
And resting unbound

Rivulets of sound
Vibrations that soar
Dancing without feet
A joyous roar

Heart-strings and brain-waves
Kettles that blow
Movement and timbre
Tempest and slow

Pierced by horns
Strings pull you in
Keys open eyes
Wood sways with wind

Pattering rhythms
Shattering walls
Like laughter and rivers
Commended to all

Penetrating edges
Fluttering heights
Cascading onward
Like a shower of lights

Tumbling jewels
Like notes on a string
Gift to the eardrums

I make the world sing

original work by Olivia, all rights reserved

Deep Breath

I'm unwinding from a crazy day. The morning was nice. Woke up at the parent's house and puttered about getting breakfast (bacon!) and putting stuff together so that I could head home before long. Mama and I were able to chat a little, and I look forward to a slightly longer and more relaxed visit sometime soon.

After driving back to the cities, I headed to work, and that's where the day got laughably crazy. But I'm home again now, and I have a pot of rice on the stove. I'm boiling an egg, and listening to my Breath playlist. I think perhaps a movie is in order. And lots of sitting.

I'm excited to be able to go to church tomorrow!

It was a gorgeous fall day out-of-doors today. I didn't get much chance to experience it except early this morning when I took a stroll through Dad's gardens. I startled a rabbit out of the herbs, and picked a few peppers from the veggie patch.

As I drove I saw the trees beginning to turn various colors. A lone goose flew overhead and took my breath away with the stark autumn glory of it all. Flocks of grackles and murmurations of starlings swooped through the air, and the sky continued softly grey. There was just enough of a cool, buffeting breeze that I was able to wear my gold corduroy jacket; and my turquoise scarf blew about and flew behind me very artistically.

I looked up from the road and saw an American flag flapping against the darkening sky, above me on an overpass. It made me smile involuntarily with gladness at the hopeful sight.
I also cried while listening to Burn Us Up.

And my day was lightened with laughter by a little Archie Goodwin:

"I was aware, from tones and expressions and the atmosphere, that we were at a crisis, but I didn't know what kind, so all I could do was meet his eyes and look loyal and confident and absolutely intrepid."

-The Black Mountain, by Rex Stout

It's even funnier in context. You really should get the audiobook. The voice is unbeatable.

Overnight in the country

Here's some art I was working on last night for my niece's fourth birthday. (Eventually to become Rapunzel from Tangled.)

Today I worked in the morning. It was crazy busy for a while and I absolutely loved it. It slowed down toward noon, and I headed home soon after. Threw together some things for an overnight trip and hopped in the shower before Ben came.
When he got off work and showered and grabbed stuff too, he came and picked me up and we headed down the road toward the Parent's home. We had a great talk in the car.
Driving through the country I was thinking about city and country. I'm very glad to be living in the city right now, and so far wouldn't change it. But it's great to have a country-place and small town to come back to for holidays and all that.
This time it was to celebrate a bunch of family and extended family birthdays. It was a chance to see Sis and the nieces and nephews, to see more of the extendeds, to spend a night in Mom and Dad's house again.
And for the boys, a chance to get up ridiculously early tomorrow morning to go hunting for ducks and geese.
Just in the last day or so the world has changed it's face and become autumnal. Trees begin to change. There are a few sodden leaves on the sidewalks. Crazy rainstorms sweep through, leaving the sky cloudy, and the air wet. The lighting is different. Fall is here.

Tis Autumn

Can't believe I forgot to post this last night! . * :

"Life starts all over again when it get's crisp in fall." - F. Scott Fitzgerald

dressing up the house
Do listen to some Vince Guaraldi, and breathe in the brisk air, and feel free to have a Pumpkin Latte, or some cider, just because.
and myself for the occasion
 The first day of fall and the Baggins' Birthdays! I made molasses cookies and seedcake before I headed off to work...
Carrying on family traditions!

"Bilbo and Frodo happened to have the same birthday, September 22nd. 'You have better come and live here, Frodo my lad,' said Bilbo one day; 'and then we can celebrate our birthday-parties comfortably together.'" --A Long Expected Party, The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien
when you work over teatime: Earl Grey and Seedcake

Quiet days

 “The cup of tea on arrival at a country house is a thing which, as a rule, I particularly enjoy. I like the crackling logs, the shaded lights, the scent of buttered toast, the general atmosphere of leisured cosiness.” code of the woosters Wodehouse

 pumpkin curry soup and plum cake
 getting ready for the first day of fall tomorrow, made some pumpkin chocolate chip muffins as well.
 thunderstorms and cozy evenings


Links I enjoyed today:

Vikings highlights

Nigella cooking-shows
love her wise words at 16:13-16:35

Sarah's new post

Fried rice for yesterday's after work hot supper

breakfast this morning

Plum cake:

must have curry and thai soups
goodies for deliciousness with less dairy

for seedcake!
lovely packaging

gotta love the library