Saturday, January 30, 2010

January 2010 Reads by Middle Sister

Here are my January 2010 books:

Death Walked In by Carolyn Hart
Murders of Richard III by Elizabeth Peters (a re-read)
Where Serpents Sleep by C. S. Harris
Knitting America by Susan Strawn
Murder on Bank Street by Victoria Thompson

Plus I started reading Anna Karenina for my online book group; I'm in Part 2 of 8, but it's 817 pages long, so I have quite a ways yet to go.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Books I've Read in January 2010 (KFS)

Why wait until Sunday, Middle Sis? I have a few moments, so I thought I'd go ahead and make the list now!

  • Ice (Linda Howard)
  • Deeper Than the Dead (Tami Hoag)
  • True Blue (David Baldacci)
  • Breathless (Dean Koontz) - although technically this is a December book (started it in December/finished it in January)
  • Messenger: The Legacy of Mattie J.T. Stepanek and Heartsongs (Jeni Stepanek) - am finishing this now

I already have a few piled up on my "To Be Read" pile...

And I hope you realize a heck of a lot more reading has been going on, what with magazines and blog posts and online reading...

Books Read in January 2010

Hey, Big Sis, want to list all the books you've read in January on Sunday? Li'l Sis, I'm not sure you've had much chance to read, given your crushing work schedule, but feel free to add titles if you've had any chance to read.

posted by Middle Sister

It's D's Homecoming Day!

It's Daisy's Homecoming Day! I adopted her Jan. 29, 2004, and she came home on Jan. 30 (because the Humane Society thought they needed to spay her, but when they shaved her belly, saw her scar that indicated she's already had the surgery). The name they had given her was Tanya, but my coworker Deb and her daughter Rachel were visiting the HS at the same time I was filling in the paperwork, so I let Rachel (then 5) chose the name: Daisy or Fanny.

Her card on the cage said she was sweet. Sometimes. Affectionate. Sometimes. It didn't say she was a pistol. Sometimes. But I love a girl with spunk, and she gets the Daisy Crazies and flies around the house, scaring the dogs. I love my little stripey stinker!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It's K's Birthday!

My girl is 9 today. Happy Birthday, lovey!! She's the sweet girl for whom I waited all my life.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sisters, Sisters, There Were Never Such Devoted Sisters...

C'mon, sing along with me!

February's Prevention magazine has a short blurb that reports you're most likely to be happy ...if you have a sister! People with 1 or more sisters "reported better social support, more optimism, and greater coping abilities, according to the British Psychological Society. Sisters appear to encourage cohesion in families (Danielle Kosecki, Prevention, Feb. 2010, p. 20)." So there you have it--we're good for each others' health!

And yes, I'd love a piece of the upholstery (it's the old dining room upholstery, which is red and gold) for the back seat for the dogs. I measured it when I bought it but have forgotten. Let me remeasure and I'll let you know. Red and gold would match Mr. Knightley very well.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

K in Mr. Knightley (a.k.a. Big Red)

Pupgirl, being nosy, on her way to Home Depot on Saturday, 22 January 2010.
Posted by: Mid Sis

Monday, January 18, 2010

Feline Renal Failure--A Big Step Forward!

You two may not know that my little, old girl cat, L, has kidney disease. She had a really bad kidney infection in summer 2008, and a second really bad kidney infection in summer 2009. During the first bout in 2008, she lost 25% of her body weight, plunging from 8 lbs to barely 6 (and sometimes not making 6 lbs). She's been skin and bones ever since.

In September 2009, the general practitioner vet put her on Azodyl, a kidney probiotic that is supposed to help kidneys do what diseased kidneys can no longer do on their own (this after a urinalysis and ultrasound showed that the kidney infection had been successfully treated). He had put his own dog on it after the dog got valley fever and almost died, and it had helped his dog's kidneys turn around in a month.

Last week, the acupuncture/Oriental Medicine vet was concerned with L's thyroid (she thought it might be high, but turned out it's normal), so we decided to run blood work. L had had blood work done 10 months earlier. Then, her two kidney values, creatinine and BUN, were very high. These results showed that her creatinine level went from 59 to 44 (still very high, but 15 points lower) and her BUN level, which had also been high, was normal. Normal!

I noticed in November 2009 that L was starting to act like a cat, for the first time since I rescued her in May 2005. Trying to sneak outside, eating grass, rolling around on rocks, not hiding in cupboards. I'm so happy she's feeling good, and so sad that she's felt so sick the past 4 years. That little kitty has had one hard life, poor little thing.

I'm hoping that if the Azodyl keeps working, maybe her creatinine can lower to normal (there's still along ways to go), and if that happens, maybe she'll put some weight on. She'll never be 8 lbs again, but I'd be thrilled with just 6.5.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Beat you to it, Little Sis!

Missy, we miss you!

This dog belonged to our mom's best friend. Jackie died and her husband kept the dog for a little while but eventually decided he didn't want to keep her (update this story if I get it wrong, ladies!). Little Sis jumped at the opportunity to take Missy in and she became part of our family!
This weekend I'll try to post a picture or two of our Belle and of Bart, too, if you don't, C.
We've been very blessed to have some wonderful pets in our lives, and P, you have some other pix you could post, too, I'm sure!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Wow, quite a review! I went to Porcini's in LIttle Falls a week or so ago--they expanded the restaurant, it was lovely! I had the vegetable lasagna (had to bring some home). SOOO good! That may be my new favorite dish there.

Restaurant Review #1 - Anthony David's, Hoboken, NJ

Anthony David's - 10th and Bloomfield, Hoboken, NJ

LOVE it! I went to dinner here last year and had some delicious pumpkin tortellini. All I could think was, "I hope they still have them on the menu!" And there they were, just waiting for me to order!

Here's the menu (and I've highlighted my choices in red bold type - and no, I did NOT eat all three desserts - we ordered them with multiple spoons and forks to share!):

Cured Meats - prosciutto, sopresatta, cappacolla and Grana 13
Autumn Vegetables - fennel, peppers, olives, artichokes 13
Artisan Cheese Plate - chefs daily selection of 3 13

Mussels - orange, cream, Pernod, and fennel 13
Sicilian Bruschetta - roasted eggplant capanada and pecorino 9
Grilled Octopus - cannellini beans, fennel, tomatoes and garlic 14
Spicy Tuna Tartar - toasted chick peas, catamala olives 13
Warm Potato Tart - prosciutto, caramelized onions, and micro greens 10
Anjou Pear Salad - Gorgonzola, candied walnuts, watercress, shallot vinaigrette 11
Golden Beet Salad - goat cheese, candied walnuts, and a wild berry vinaigrette 11
Blood Orange & Goat Cheese Salad - pignoli, wild arugula, crostini, balsamic 13
Crisp Romaine Salad - Caesar vinaigrette, parmesan and crostini 10

Lobster Risotto - saffron, and crisp peas 31
Truffle Risotto - Parmesan and micro arugula 33
Maine Lobster - Chanterelles, sweet corn, and potato gnocchi 33
Veal Bolognese - Porcinis, fresh herbs, arugula and tagliatelle 25
Pumpkin Tortellini - butter, sage, shaved pecorino 24
Wild Mushroom & Garganelli - proscuitto, herbs, cream and pecorino 23
Spicy Lamb Sausage - fennel, onions, herb tomato sauce and pappardelle 24
Spicy Tagliatelle - prosciutto, peas, arugula, tomato sauce 23
Rock Shrimp Risotto - oven dried tomatoes and peas 24

Peppered Ahi Tuna - warm spinach, and mashed potatoes 25
Pan Roasted Chilean Sea Bass - speck, brussels sprouts and herbs 36
Pan Roasted Salmon - artichoke potato hash and avocado salsa 27
Grilled Lamb Tenderloin - gorgonzola mashed, cherries, wilted arugula, demi 32
Crispy Duck Breast - pumpkin polenta, wilted arugula and cherry demi 29
Black Angus Sirloin - wilted greens, pecorino potatoes and crispy cippolinis 34
Seared Sea Scallops - creamed corn, blood oranges and micro arugula 28
Pork Tenderloin - stuffed with cacciatorino, parmesan, potato hash, porcini demi 32

Homemade Bourbon Glazed Donuts 8
Homemade Pumpkin Cheesecake with whipped cream 8
Cabernet Poached Pear, crispy vanilla gelato 9
Cardamom Baked Apple, maple bourbon glaze and vanilla gelato 10
Strawberries, Challah crumb, whipped cream and Chianti reduction 8
Fried Bananas, gelatos, Chianti cherries and candied walnut 8
Warm Homemade Brownie with pistachio gelato 8

They put fresh crusty Italian bread and some White Tuscan Bean (similar in texture to chunkier hummus) on the table - mmm! It's BYOB, so we did, to the tune of 8 bottles of wine! (There were 10 of us, and 4 of us weren't drinking!)

Others in my group ordered the scallops, and I tasted them - yum! My boss ordered the Maine Lobster Risotto - said it was delicious. My colleague ordered the salmon - she did everything but lick her plate clean, and she's a picky eater!

I've only been here twice but it's one of my favorites in Hoboken!


So, Middle Sister, LOVE the idea of this blog! I'm so glad you've been dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century! It's a blog, for Pete's sake, not a Hummer or artificial intelligence!

So, "very opinionated and with big mouths," huh? Yea, okay, I can live with that description of me...

So, the only rule is no politics... I can deal with that... Except for just this one little comment - I really think --------- Ha! Fooled ya! I think that's a great "only" rule except for this one: Not ONLY can you wear your pajamas when you visit, you can wear your fuzzy slippers, too!

Well, I'm off, to Anthony David, a restaurant here in Hoboken, where I ate only once before, but man-o-man, was the food to-die-for!!! How about a restaurant review tomorrow???


Big Sis

Where Serpents Sleep by C. S. Harris

All right, sisters, you know me. I'll admit up front I do not read mysteries, my reading material of choice, in order, if a particular title is part of a series and I want to read it. Many see this as a reader's heresy. I do not. Many authors don't hit their stride until 2 or 3 books in, and if the first book stinks, well, there are too many good books out there to read to waste time on stinky books.

Title: Where Serpents Sleep
Author: C. S. Harris
Location: London
Time: May 1812

Plot Synopsis: A Quaker shelter for 'soiled doves' is burnt down, but the crime reaches into the very highest echelons of England's government and titled society.

Full Disclosure: Mostly read during a 4-hour bout with insomnia, 1-4 a.m. (Me, insomnia! I never have insomnia! Dang perimenopause.)

Now, Where Serpents Sleep is by no means stinky, but it is book four in the Sebastian St. Cyr series (say that three times, fast), so I entered it with no preconceptions.

Ms. Harris does a good job in sliding in enough information for the novice to keep track of everyone and what has gone on between them in the past without distracting the reader from the story unfolding in front of their eyes. But maybe I've read too many of these or I'm too cynical, but I guessed the basic plot twists 100 pages before they were revealed (if not more). But despite that (and my belief that a good editor could have shaved 50 pages off its paperback length without sacrificing anything), I enjoyed it. Perhaps a little grim in parts, but not gross, nor did it wallow too long in the seamy side of London. Not enough gore for fans of forensic television shows, but certainly enough for me (wimpy me). I will probably revisit Sebastian St. Cyr and his world.

Bookmark salute for vivid recreation of early nineteenth century London (This ain't Jane Austen, gentle reader)
Minor quibble: Quaker minister's dialogue inconsistencies

posted by: Middle Sister

And we begin!

Three sisters, all very opinionated and with big mouths, sharing, complaining, gossiping (only anonymously, of course), and supporting each other, across thousands of miles. But we promise, no politics!!! (I think this should be our first rule, maybe the only rule?)

A virtual coffee klatch. And yes, you can wear your pajamas when you visit!

Oops, sorry, forgot to put coffee in the title for you, Big Sis.

posted by Middle Sis