Movable Type 3.2
July 30, 2009
I'm preparing for a trip to Ireland in September: my aunt and I will be flying into Shannon and then renting a car and driving around. I'm trying to figure out where I want to go. Any recommendations for places to make sure we see, or popular destinations that you don't think are worth it?
July 22, 2009
What's with Google Reader?
Okay, I sincerely hope that I am not the only one having this problem. Does anyone know how Google Reader decides how many unread items to keep? It seems like it used to keep them for about a month, but recently it's down to a week, or less. And if they just said "We will keep them for a week," then fine, I'd know how to manage my reading. But there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it - it will suddenly delete a few hours' worth of posts for no apparent reason. Or is there an apparent reason that I'm just not seeing? Maybe it has something to do with the ridiculous number of feeds to which I subscribe. Is there some magic number of unread posts under which I could be sure to keep my account to prevent these mysterious deletions? Or is it as arbitrary as it seems?
July 21, 2009
Cooking with Laura
Over at Eat Close to Home, Em is starting a collaborative project designed to cook through the Little House Cookbook. Come join in! It looks like it will be loads of fun. I dug out my book and am definitely planning to take part - now to decide what to make . . .
July 20, 2009
Another New Widget...
I practically live in Google Reader, so I often come across things I want to share. I do some of that in the Daily Reading posts, but Google has recently improved some of the social aspects of Reader, so I figured I would try sharing things there as well. If my code worked correctly, you should now see a "Recommended Reading" box over to the right. It will show the last ten things I marked "Share." You can also read my shared items here, and if you use Google Reader you can "follow" me by searching on "Katie Welsh" or "katelinnea AT gmail DOT com" in the people search. Or, hey, you can get an RSS feed of the items here. I've only been using this feature for a few days, so I can't make any promises about content, but so far it's been a mix of news stories, recipes, cartoons, book reviews, etc.
July 19, 2009
A Saturday Breakfast Inspired by Food Blogs
Last weekend, Jack and Caitlin came for breakfast - I LOVE cooking breakfast - and I decided that it was a good opportunity to try out a few of those food blogger recipes I'm always bookmarking and never actually making. (I'm not the only one who does this, right?)
So I tried Pioneer Woman's Cheese Muffins:
And Smitten Kitchen's Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Sauteed Apples:
As you can see, I had a little trouble getting the pancakes to cook evenly - Jack would say it's because of my weird pancake cooking methods, which I maintain are completely normal - but they were delicious anyway:
Close-up on the sauteed apples, which were good enough to just eat on their own:
Yes, I left the peels on, partially because I'm lazy and partially because they taste good that way.
July 18, 2009
New Books Widget
I know my sidebars are horribly out of date, but that's one of those things that I sort of vaguely notice and then never seem to have time to do anything about. So. I'm going to try. I noticed this morning that Ezra Klein, one of my favorite policy bloggers, now has a little Amazon Widget showing what he's currently reading. So if it's good enough for Ezra, it's certainly good enough for me. You should see my new widget over on the right. I'm hoping that it will prod me into actually only reading a few books at a time and finishing them. We'll see.
I also rebuilt all the archives to make this show up everywhere and delete remnants of old things that had been deleted from my templates but were still showing up on some of the archive pages. Including, you know, my John Edwards banner from the primaries. Yeah. In doing this, I seem to have also messed up my Weather Pixie. Oops. I'll try to get that fixed when I'm updating other stuff tomorrow.
July 16, 2009
Booking Through Thursday: TBR
Do you keep all your unread books together, like books in a waiting room? Or are they scattered throughout your shelves, mingling like party-goers waiting for the host to come along?
Mine are mixed in, for the most part. When I made that list of 50 books last week, though, I put most of them in fairly easy-to-access spots so I would be able to find them again without ripping apart the house.
(Yes, I've started one from that list. Hoping to finish it this weekend.)
July 15, 2009
Daily Reading (7/15/09)
The Annotated White House Flickr Feed. Hilarious.
July 10, 2009
Review: Love and Peaches
Love and Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson
This is the third (and last?) in the Peaches series (so named for the peach orchard at the center of the series), and it wasn't as good as the second, which wasn't as good as the first. But it was a quick read and I like finishing series, so whatever. These are follow the model of Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants et al. - a group of teen girls who seem very different on the surface end up helping each other deal with various Big Issues and Important Lessons as they grow up. I had a harder time warming to the girls in this series - they just didn't seem real enough. And there's a slight mystical element that seemed kind of unnecessary. But I shouldn't be so negative - they're a decent read, just nothing wildly special. If you (or a girl you know) love the Traveling Pants and want more in that vein, give this series a try. The first is Peaches.
July 09, 2009
Review: A People's History of Christianity
A People's History of Christianity: The Other Side of the Story: A History of the Grassroots Movements in Christianity that Preserved Jesus's Message of Social Justice for 2,000 Years and Their Impact on the Church Today by Diana Butler Bass
The basic premise of this book as that the current "progressive" or "generative" Christianity movement is not as new as people think it is, and that churches and believers today lose something by not having a better sense of their history. Bass sets out to rescue some of this lesser-known history and relate it to today. She discusses many figures and movements who were interesting or important but have been obscured or just neglected by the "official" narrative of church history. As with virtually all books of history that strive to provide a specific message for today, this book suffers a bit from having its information molded into place for its message. Bass also tends to jump around a lot - the sections are roughly chronological but the chapters alternate between religious practice and social justice, and each chapter starts with an anecdote from Bass's own life before jumping back to its historical topic. I'm sure the latter format was designed to make it easier for readers to relate to the book, but I just found it distracting. All that said, though, there was some really good information here, and Bass is a pretty clear writer, so if you're interested in church history, I'd give this one a read.
July 08, 2009
Quote of the Day
"It's not that I don't like people. It's just that when I'm in the company of others - even my nearest and dearest - there always comes a moment when I'd rather be reading a book." - Maureen Corrigan
Over at Toddled Dredge, there's a new meme (sort of) about the books we have sitting on our shelves, unread. Now, it would take me all day to list all my unread books (I love used book sales!), but I'm going to pick 50 to list here, and try to read them (or admit that I'll never read them and give them away) by not this coming birthday but the next one (7/31/10). To make things interesting, I grabbed only books that happened to be in my living room (where there are no bookcases but still seem to be books, always) and my dining room (where there are actually two bookcases). This has tilted the list toward non-fiction, and specifically history, but ah well. Are there any on my list that you particularly loved or hated? Let me know!
1. The Last of the Mohicans by James Fenimore Cooper
July 05, 2009
More on butter tarts...
A few people have asked for the recipe, but I don't want to share it without permission. I got it from Beck, and I just found this one on her recipe blog. But it's a little different from the one she sent me. So. I've asked her which version is the preferable one, and I'll let you know what I hear.
July 04, 2009
July 03, 2009
I mentioned my love for butter tarts in my Canada Day post the other day. I was introduced to them by a Canadian friend who brought some to a party we both attended in Ohio. (Ah, for the days of $30 flights...) She didn't have a recipe, though, and of course you can't buy them around here, so after that one taste I was butter tart-less. Until! This week a lovely Canadian sent me a recipe, so I tried it out:
They're not the prettiest things ever, but boy do they taste good. As Rachel pointed out, they're sort of like mini pecan pies without any pecans. I cheated and used prefab pie crust, and it was a bit too thick, so next time I'm going to do it all from scratch. (I was just too tired last night.) And the great thing about them is that they only use ingredients that you'd normally have around the house anyway. (Assuming that, like me, you consider real maple syrup to be a staple. And assuming that, unlike me, you're not mysteriously out of flour and eggs.) I listened to Canadian music (mostly Alanis Morissette) while making them, which I personally believe adds to their authenticity.
And now I have something new and different to bring to my family for
July 02, 2009
Booking Through Thursday: Celebrities?
I don't make a point of reading them or anything, but I've read a few. Shirley Temple's was great, as was Kristin Chenoweth's. (Review of that one coming soon.) For years, I said "Patti Boyd should write a memoir!" because hey, she was married to George Harrison and Eric Clapton. And then she did write one, and I still haven't read it. Ah well.
Nonexistent memoirs I'd like to read (in alphabetical order): Christiane Amanpour, Nancy Pelosi (oh, wait, she does have one), Aaron Sorkin, Bradley Whitford... umm. That list was much shorter than I expected, but I can't think of anyone else off the top of my head, except for people who are known for being writers, and generally when a writer writes a memoir, I don't think of it as a "celebrity memoir." I'm sure there are others I'm just not thinking of.
The 2009 Support Your Local Library Challenge (Updated 7/2)
(I'm going to bump this to the top whenever I add to it.)
Hey, why not? Might as well jump in to the 2009 Support Your Local Library Challenge. I'm going for the third level: 50 library books finished in 2009. I'll add to this post as I read. (Date in parentheses is the date I finished the book.)
1. Mia by Laurence Yep (1/11)
July 01, 2009
Happy Canada Day!
Whee, it's Canada Day! I'm not Canadian, but I've found that many good things are. A random, non-comprehensive, not-in-any-particular-order list of Canadian things (and people) I like:
1. Yarn Harlot
I'm sure I'm forgetting things, but I have to get ready for work...