Lovely Ladies Luncheon League

March 29, 2017

Circling the Sun

Filed under: All This Month...,Page Turners — LLLhost @ 8:10 pm

Funny how time goes by, circling the sun in the blink of an eye. The ladies have been busy with their hectic lives, many glasses of wine and margaritas to contemplate our lives. Family obligations have kept me from keeping up on the reading, and from writing here or anywhere. I wonder if I will ever find a routine and find the time to share how incredible the journey is with these fine women. With all the madness and chaos around us these days, the pages of a good book allow an escape. Right now I am taking one day at a time, one page as I can. I was inspired to quickly share this little gem, Circling the Sun by Paula McLain. A story celebrating a woman far ahead of her time, flying around in a unique time and place. We all need that for ourselves, a sense of independence and the will to be brave when the world around us is fighting against us as strong women. All I can do is one day at a time, one book at a time and one post at a time.

circling_the_sun_-_p_2015

So many books, so little time.

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Book Club May/June 2016 ‘Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’ by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik

Filed under: Page Turners — LLLhost @ 7:53 pm

Remarkable women

Notorious RBG

 

Excerpt from the New York Times Review

“Notorious RBG” began in 2013 as a saucy Tumblr blog by Shana Knizhnik, then a law student, shortly after the Supreme Court decided Shelby County v. Holder, which discarded a crucial provision of the Voting Rights Act. (For the hip-hop unlettered, Notorious RBG is a play on the Notorious B.I.G., the rapper who was murdered in 1997.) Justice Ginsburg read her dissent from the bench, which in the genteel, marbled universe of the Supreme Court, is most unusual — the equivalent of shaming your spouse in front of dinner guests. More unusual still was that she’d read two other dissents from the bench the day before.

October 11, 2015

Book Club October 2015 The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich

Filed under: All This Month...,Page Turners — LLLhost @ 10:00 pm

Book Info:

Having survived World War I, Fidelis Waldvogel returns to his quiet German village and marries the pregnant widow of his best friend, killed in action. With a suitcase full of sausages and a master butcher’s precious knife set, Fidelis sets out for America. In Argus, North Dakota, he builds a business, a home for his family—which includes Eva and four sons—and a singing club consisting of the best voices in town. When the Old World meets the New—in the person of Delphine Watzka—the great adventure of Fidelis’s life begins. Delphine meets Eva and is enchanted. She meets Fidelis, and the ground trembles. These momentous encounters will determine the course of Delphine’s life, and the trajectory of this brilliant novel.

butcher

 

 

 

Fermentation Fest 2015

Filed under: All This Month...,Road Trip — LLLhost @ 9:45 pm

After and incredibly long haitus from blogging, I am roaring back with the 5th Annual Fermentation Festival 2015. On the final day of the fest, we wandered the backroads of Wisconsin in Sauk County’s through beautiful working lands and natural landscapes.

The DTour is dappled with temporary art installations and stands selling fresh, locally grown produce. There are educational sites, Farm Forms, Pasture Performances and more!

Standout moments—Brenda Baker’s laundry on the line, Monday is Wash Day and the Driftless Brass Quintet reminding us that it’s Blue Skies from now on! Sometimes, there is no place like home. I am happy to a Wisconsinite…keep fermenting until next year!

NothingButBLueSkys1

The Driftless Brass Quintet

CanndBeets

Pickled beets, my favorite!

CannedVeggies

Salad in a pickled jar

Billiards

Bails of billiard balls

Candy bail of hay

Wrapped candy in the corner

Ball_LittleGIrlandCow

and just because kids and cows are so cute…

 

April 27, 2014

Merging Muses II

Filed under: Artists & Wise Women — LLLhost @ 8:16 pm

My new exhibition is up and almost ready for the opening reception on May 2. The show runs from May until August at CoffeeBytes in Madison, WI.

Moroccan Montage: Merging Muses II

Moroccan Montages:  Merging Muses II  May-August 2014 at CoffeeBytes in Madison WI

 

Also currently on display until the July is a show at the Academic Staff Gallery on the UW Campus.

Montages & Moments: Memories & Miscellany

Academic Staff Gallery Exhibition:  February 2014 – July 2014

 

 

April 16, 2014

Art Blooms the First Weekend in May

Filed under: Artists & Wise Women — LLLhost @ 9:58 pm

As we gathered tonight at Francesca’s for half-price cocktails and appetizers, we realized that the first weekend of May in Madison kicks always kicks off the Spring/Summer art season. May 2nd is Gallery Night, a Madison tradition hosted by MMoCA (Madison Museum of Contemporary Art). There is a a wide range of exhibits, opening receptions, special events, demonstrations, and refreshments throughout the city as doors open to galleries and art venues all across town. It’s an especially busy night for our ladies.

On the 2nd as part of Gallery Night, Linda Endlich and Paul Baker are exhibiting montages from a previous collaboration called Merging Muses which began with Paul’s photos from a trip to Morocco. Several images not in the original show will also be on display.

May 3 is Paula White’s  photography opening at Steep & Brew.

Finally, Sunday is the East side Art Walk, including Absolutely Art and Laura Meddaugh & Paul Meddaugh

One final thought, although we had a spectacular night, we did miss the stunning Janet Mock on campus tonight. Worth noting and worth exploring another time.

March 25, 2014

Book Club April 2014 — Driftless by David Rhodes

Filed under: Page Turners — LLLhost @ 12:09 pm

Book Info:

David Rhodes’s long-awaited novel turns an unblinking eye on an array of eccentric characters and situations. The setting is Words, Wisconsin, an anonymous town of only a few hundred people. But under its sleepy surface, life rages. Cora and Graham guard their dairy farm, and family, from the wicked schemes of their milk co-op. Lifelong paraplegic Olivia suddenly starts to walk, only to find herself crippled by her fury toward her sister and caretaker, Violet. Recently retired Rusty finds a cougar living in his haymow, dredging up haunting childhood memories. Winifred becomes pastor of the Friends church and stumbles on enlightenment in a very unlikely place. And Julia Montgomery, both private and gregarious, instigates a series of events that threatens the town’s solitude and doggedly suspicious ways. Driftless finds the author’s powers undiminished in this unforgettable story that evokes a small-town America previously unmapped, and the damaged denizens who must make their way through it.

Novelist David Rhodes Returns With ‘Driftless’  Story from NPR

Driftless by David Rhodes

 

Madison Public Library Book Club Kit Description: 

Narrated with humor, suspense, and empathy, a diverse cast of characters in small town in Wisconsin get entangled in family secrets, legal battles with a corrupt milk cooperative, gambling, dogfighting, and a miracle cure, amongst other things.

Madison Public Library Discussion Questions for Driftless:

  1. Driftless is, in part at least, a character study.  Which character do you find the most compelling?  What was it about the way the author portrayed the character that made the character so compelling?  Which character was least compelling?  How so?
  2. Have you met any Driftless characters in your own community?  Based on your own experience of the rural Midwest, were any characters difficult for you to believe?
  3. It could be argued that one of the main characters in the novel is the rural Midwest itself.  Did you find the portrait of the rural Midwest authentic?  In what ways did you find it particularly authentic?  Was any part of the portrait inauthentic or stereotypical?  Why?
  4. Would you recommend Driftless to someone from New York City or Los Angeles as a way to understand Midwestern culture?  Why or why not?
  5. David Rhodes sets his story in the small town of Words in the “driftless” region on Wisconsin.  Talk about the significance of the town’s name and setting.  What is the significance of the novel’s title?
  6. Driftless is composed of short chapters, each with a title.  How does this affect the reader’s experience of the novel?
  7. Driftless begins and ends with July Montgomery’s story.  Talk about the ways July is important to the Words community and to the novel’s structure.
  8. The story that develops around Grahm and Cora Shotwell introduces some of the changes farmers have faced in the past 30 years.  Does the Shotwell’s story ring true?  How so or how not?
  9. Encounters with a panther, not uncommon in the past few years in the Midwest, weave through the novel.  What does the panther and various characters’ reactions to the panther suggest to you?
  10. Several characters undergo transformational experiences in Driftless.  Talk about these.  Relate a similar experience you or someone close to you has had.
  11. Driftless explores serious themes–isolation, spirituality, marital discord, aging and death among them.  But the book’s tone is often wryly humorous, and Rhodes seems to be gently poking fun at his characters and their experiences.  Do you have a favorite example?  Was the book’s tone upsetting to you, the reader?  Was it satisfying?  How does Rhodes sustain his humorous tone?
  12. David Rhodes describes the inhabitants of Words as “attached more firmly to the past than to the present and only tentatively engaged in the future.”  This statement is certainly true of many characters as the novel opens.  What changes happen by the book’s end?  Talk about yourself and your community in terms of this statement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honey and Pine Nut Tart

Filed under: Food for Thought — LLLhost @ 11:44 am
Tags:

At our most recent book club gathering, someone brought the most amazing tuscan style tart in honor of our Italy travels. Everyone deserves a bite so I am sharing the recipe. Martha Stewart certainly knows how to sweeten our lives!

 

Honey and Pine Nut Tart

Honey and Pine Nut Tart

Honey and Pine Nut Tart from Martha Stewart

Two types of honey lend this luscious tart its elusive taste. Intensely floral leatherwood honey, which could easily overwhelm the buttery shortbread-like crust and mild pine nuts, is tempered by mellow acacia honey.
Yield: Makes one 10-inch fluted tart
Source:  Martha Stewart Living, September 2008

Ingredients

For the Filling

  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 5 ounces (1 1/4 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup acacia honey*
  • 1/4 cup Tasmanian leatherwood honey*
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 1/2 cups pine nuts (6 ounces)

*NOTE:  Store honey at room temperature for up to 2 years. If it no longer flows freely, place the bottle in warm water; the gentle heat will return the honey to a liquid state.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Make the pasta frolla: Whisk cream, egg, yolk, and vanilla in a medium bowl. Pulse flour, sugar, salt, and baking powder in a food processor to mix. Add butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. With the machine running, add cream mixture, and process until dough just comes together. Shape dough into 2 disks, and wrap each in plastic. Refrigerate 1 disk until firm, about 1 hour; reserve remaining disk for another use. (Dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or frozen for up to 3 months; thaw before using.)

  2. Step 2

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. On a lightly floured surface with a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. (If dough is soft and sticky, transfer to a baking sheet and freeze until firm but pliable, about 5 minutes.) Cut out a 12-inch round, and fit it into a fluted 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. (Patch any tears with scraps of dough.) Freeze while making the filling (or cover and freeze for up to 3 days).

  3. Step 3

    Make the filling: Bring sugar, honeys, and salt to a boil in a medium saucepan, whisking until sugar dissolves. Add butter, and whisk until incorporated. Transfer honey mixture to a medium bowl, and let cool for 30 minutes. Whisk in cream, egg, and yolk until incorporated.

  4. Step 4

    Place tart pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Scatter pine nuts over bottom. Slowly pour filling over pine nuts, redistributing pine nuts evenly with your fingers. Bake until crust is golden brown and center is set but still slightly wobbly, about 1 hour. Transfer tart to a wire rack, and let cool completely. Remove from pan, and serve immediately.

March 11, 2014

Book Club March 2014 — Flight Behavior, Barbra Kingsolver

Filed under: Page Turners — LLLhost @ 11:08 am

Out of our mutual admiration for the way she writes, we chose Flight Behavior by Barbra Kingsolver as our book for March.

An unsettling tale having to do with science, faith, and the everyday balance between reason and conviction. The story is about a restless farm wife on a failing farm, who thought she had settled for permanently disappointing life. She attempts to escapes temporarily, by becoming infatuated with a younger man. As she hikes up a mountain road behind her home toward their secret tryst, she encounters a silent, forested valley filled with what looks like a lake of fire. A seemingly small miracle in the moment to her, the event actually cascades as it brings outsiders to the community with their various explanations and draws rural farmers into unexpected acquaintances. Everyone with a stake in what this debate means.

Flight Behavior takes on one of the most contentious subjects of our time: climate change. With a deft and versatile empathy Kingsolver dissects the motives that drive denial and belief in a precarious world.  (From the publisher.)

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

February 13, 2014

Craftacular Spectacular

Filed under: Artists & Wise Women — LLLhost @ 11:12 pm

February is, of course, the month of chocolates, red hearts and creative crafting. This last weekend, in anticipation of the big heart day, we made it to the 9th Craftacular event at the Madison Masonic temple. Tis the season for creatives and clever crafters. One of my favorites is the effervescent Laura Meddaugh, colorist extraordinaire.

Laura Meddaugh booth at the 2014 Craftacular

Home is Where the Heart Is” came to my home to my heart.

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We then joined in our own creative crafting of clever valentines and heart shaped cookies with cream cheese frosting and far too many sprinkles.

Smile making for young and old.

Two Hearts

Cookie Hearts with Sprinkles

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