Sunday, July 15, 2007

If this isn't a beautiful sight, I don't know what is and stories that keep coming back

This is the sight of a husband making homemade pasta. What could possibly be more fun to watch?

There was some fun on Saturday, as well, although I was the only witness. Yesterday's excitement involved two beautiful pileated woodpeckers knocking holes in our oak tree and tussling with each other.

We're still having regular storms, so the eldest did not come home this weekend and when we're not listening to thunder and rain, we've been cleaning (me), cooking (husband), reading (kiddo and me), running errands (the guys) and doing laundry and writing when the computer's plugged in (me). It's been quite pleasant.

I love this quote from "Where They Hide is a Mystery" by Simon Van Booy:

"And I suppose that the wind is just air? And not laughter's laughter?"

It's just occurred to me that the stories in Simon's book, The Secret Lives of People in Love, have stuck with me more completely than anything else I've read, this year. Bits and pieces of different stories come back to me at odd moments. I think that's the best kind of read, don't you? Is there a 2007 read that has continued to come back to you, throughout the year?


  1. Pasta looks great! What did he stuff the raviolis with?

    Those woodpecker pictures are so cool! I've only seen one woodpecker in my life...he stuck around for awhile too, but never came back. Annoying little sucker.

    The Time Traveler's Wife has really stuck with me. It hasn't been long at all since I've read it but I can tell that one will stay with me for awhile.

  2. We were supposed to get a typhoon but we ended up not being in it's path so it's back to hot and icky again.
    For books I've read this year that have lingered, probably The Diary of Anne Frank and The Makioka Sisters. Images of them pop up from time to time.

  3. Chris,

    He used two different fillings - one with spinach and one with mushrooms. I'm assuming they were in some kind of cheese, but I'm not sure because I haven't tasted them, yet. It was fun just watching. :)

    You know, I don't think I'd seen a woodpecker before we moved here and I've managed to photograph at least three different types, since I got the camera. They're so pretty! They like trees with rotting limbs and some of them make a hammering noise - those two were oddly quiet.

    It's funny how I spotted them. Because it's been heavily overcast, I decided to open the blinds all the way to let in more light. And, there was stuff falling from the tree. I thought maybe a squirrel was up in the oak tree, playing and knocking things down, but I looked up into the tree and I spotted one of the woodpeckers. So, I snuck outside. I was so shocked to see two of them. I'm still scratching the mosquito bites - that's what you get for being in a hurry and skipping the insect repellent.

    Oh, yes, The Time Traveler's Wife is awesome. I had trouble picking up another book after that one.

  4. Nat,

    Well, I'm glad the typhoon didn't hit you, but sorry it's nasty outside. It's been cooler here, but it's still really unpleasant - just a little too humid and airless. Wind would be really helpful. :)

    The Diary of Anne Frank is so good. I was startled at how mature her writing was. I'll have to check to see if I put The Makioka Sisters on my wish list - I'm pretty sure I did, but I'll make certain. Oh, yes, I'm number one at PBS!! Cool!

    I think it takes a really special book to return to you in images, don't you? The more I think about it and flip through to find favorite passages, the more I realize I underrated Simon's book. It should have been a 5/5.

  5. Homemade pasta? If he keeps bringing back new skills like that, I'd be a little less upset about his traveling, if I where you.

    Naw. I'd still be p.o'd that he went to Australia without me.

    It hasn't been very long since I read it, but as I said in my review, Firestorm at Peshtigo is a book that's not going away any time soon.

    To Kill A Mockingbird has been with me at times since I originally read it three or four years ago.

    Amazing literature stays with you like that.

    And now I'm going to have to add Simon's book to my list. *sigh*


  6. Homemade pasta, yum!
    And I would love to get a nice rainstorm.. and so would my lawn.

  7. I suspect the read to come back to me over and over and over will be The English Patient. I just can't shout its praises enough!

    I just drafted a lengthy post about it and now blogger refuses to publish it for whatever reason.


    Can't wait to read Simon's book! It's hovering near the top of the TBR!

  8. By the way, those woodpeckers are GORGEOUS! And the pasta looks supa-tasty.

  9. I'm so tired of all this rain and watching for a break in the weather to mow the soggy yard! The woodpeckers are beautiful; thanks for sharing. And what a wonderful quote...I need to go back and find your review.

  10. I'm suddenly in the mood for ravioli and a good book about ravioli. I think I have an obsessive personality or something. hehe

  11. Anonymous9:11 AM

    Yum, pasta! And, yes there are several books I've read this year that have really stayed with me. One was The Hummingbird's Daughter. Just loved it.

  12. CJ,

    He's always done stuff like that; hubby is very creative (and extremely messy) in the kitchen. When we were newlyweds, I actually cooked but he'd go out to the kitchen to play, a couple of hours after we ate and I'd end up cleaning twice. So, we came to an understanding - he cooks, I clean. I'm still not happy about Australia.

    I'll have to look up Firestorm at Peshtigo. It's been a while since I read To Kill a Mockingbird, but you're right . . . that's definitely a book that's stuck with me.

    Simon's book has surprised me, the way it keeps coming back to haunt me. I don't think you'll regret finding a copy. :)


    I think we're going on a month of rain, now, and it's getting tiresome. I'd happily send you some of ours!!

  13. Andi,

    I forgot you were reading The English Patient! I loved it so much that I got some extras to hand out, when I read it (pre-movie).

    You can see both your messages came through. Quite a few of my comments have disappeared, lately - not sure what the deal is.

    If you don't love Simon's book, I'll eat my socks. Hahaha. And, I'm not saying that merely because I'm barefoot.

    Thank you. And, the pasta was very good. I had a late-night snack. I'm particularly fond of the mushroom stuffing. :)


    Isn't it awful? Hubby managed to mow the front yard between storms, last week, but the back yard is over a foot high!

    I reviewed Simon's book for Estella's Revenge. Here's a link:

  14. Heather,

    It's hard to look at pasta and not think, "Umm, yeah. I'll have some." I ate the leftover dough. Shoot, even that was good! I keep telling myself I'm going to start reading some of my foodie books, soon. I have a tidy little pile. :)


    It's really good; I tasted some of that ravioli, last night. Yummm.

    Thanks for reminding me about The Hummingbird's Daughter! I wrote the title down, somewhere, but hadn't bothered to put it on my wish list. I've added it, now. :)

  15. The Ravioli's look yummy!

  16. I like your husband's apron. Spinach stuffed ravioli? Heavenly.

    Those are nice woodpeckers. The only ones we have around here are just plain brown and I can't get a picture of them to save my life.

  17. Myutopia,

    They're really good. When it comes to being fed, I married very well. :)


    He has a bunch of aprons - one of the statue of David . . . you know, the torso down to the top of his thighs (from Florence). He thinks it's hilarious; my description would be "obscene". LOL

    Yep, spinach and ricotta in some and mushroom and ricotta in the others. Actually, he said he decided to just throw some together, so there are a few with both the spinach and the mushrooms. Heaven is right. They're really good.

    We have a lot of woodpeckers because we have a lot of rotten wood. You wouldn't believe the size of some of the limbs that have fallen on our house or in our yard during storms - 15-20' long. Our oak trees are huge. Plus, I guess woodpeckers are just common in the area because we were at the theater, a bit ago, and a red-headed woodpecker flew right in front of our car and landed on one of those little landscape trees. They're just beautiful.

  18. And I instantly knew that quote. His words have a way of really getting into your concious and subconsious. Just beautiful phrasing and imagery.

    A pasta making husband! Too cool. The woodpeckers are so cute. We've got some in our trees. One completely circled the tree outside the kitchen one day. Sadly before blogging.

  19. I am so jealous of that pasta-making husband! You lucky girl, you.

  20. Are you sharing recipes? I've ALWAYS wanted a pasta maker, you luck!

  21. Carrie,

    I wondered if you'd remember that one. I couldn't have put it better. His words climb right into your soul, don't they? :)

    I highly recommend marrying men who cook, but it's also nice if they can clean. Unfortunately, it looks like a battlefield, everywhere my husband walks. Or sits. His car is really scary, like a roving trash can. I've forbidden food in my car to prevent it getting that same junky look.

    Aren't woodpeckers pretty? They have a tendency to really stand out. I wonder if there's some reason for that, in nature. Like they taste bad. Isn't that the usual reason for bright coloring?


    I'd loan him to you, but it's kind of nice having him home (or on the same side of the world, for that matter). He also made some coconut macaroons, using the recipe Lotus posted. They're yummo, too. :)

  22. Bellezza,

    The pasta maker is not that expensive - the cheapest one from Williams Sonoma. You should get one.

    I don't think hubby used a recipe. He does wing-it cooking, for the most part, but I'll ask. :)

  23. That's a wonderful quote, and I, too, love a good read that lingers and then keeps coming back to you, and I have a pasta-making husband, too! What a nice "all's right with the world" post.

  24. Thanks, Robin. Cool! Two pasta-making husbands. I think my husband is a fantastic cook, in part, because he loves to eat. When we met, I actually thought food was just a necessary evil. Don't tell my mom.

  25. Oh Bookfool, I know it's very bad of me, but I wish I could check out your husband for a couple of weeks, like a library book. I'd bring him back on time. Really.

  26. Bybee,

    You crack me up. Yeah, sure, take him. After two weeks, I promise you'd be ready to send him home with a Korean Wedding Chest just to get him out the door. His messes are unbelievable.

  27. I remember seeing that David apron in Florence, but couldn't think of anyone who would want it.
    That ravioli looks fabulous.
    Books that come back to me: A Fine Balance did that to me a few years ago.

  28. Nancy, I am going to have to show the picture of your hubby making pasta to my hubby...hopefully it will bring out the inner chef in him! :)

    I love the picture of the woodpeckers...we have one that is planning on building a nest in one of the columns of our pergola, everyday I hear him knock away at the wood. As much as I love to see him/her I dread to think of what they may be doing to the fine day it may just collapse on us!

    You asked:
    Is there a 2007 read that has continued to come back to you, throughout the year?

    What a great question Nancy...I would have to say I keep thinking of the book "A Golden Age". It covers the 1971 war in Bangladesh, a war I was old enough to remember, it's a truly great book but unfortunately it won't be released in the US until the winter of 2008.

  29. That ravioli looks fabulous, hope it was yummy! Now I'll have to read the Simon book...intriguing quote!

  30. Lotus,

    I think cooking is something that you have to desire to do - but, hey, give it a try. You just never know. ;)

    I'd definitely worry about a woodpecker hacking at any kind of wood that supports a structure. Maybe you need to replace that column; it could be an indication that you have some rotting inside and he's digging for insects.

    Oh, dear! I'll have to put "The Golden Age" on my wish list and then just be patient, then. Thanks for sharing that title. :)

  31. I used to make my own pasta. I tried ravioli once and it was a complete disaster. Then I made it using wonton skins and I was much more successful.

    As for woodpeckers, my husband's personal nemesis is the cockaded woodpecker. He's convinced they're trying to drive him insane with their incessant hammering. Alas, they are a protected species in these parts, so he can't exact his revenge.

    Kudos to you for marrying a dude who can cook. And fresh pasta at that!

  32. Raidergirl,

    Now you know one of the very strange people who have bought that apron. I told a friend about it and she said, "Oh, darn, I missed that!" I just shook my head at both of them.

    The ravioli was perfect.

    I've got A Fine Balance on my wish list. It's always nice finding that books you've already decided to locate are favorites. Thanks for sharing the title!!!

  33. Gentle Reader,

    It was delicious. I think we wiped out the leftovers, tonight. :)

    Simon's book is wonderful, in my personal opinion. I hope you'll read it. So far, I only know one other person who has read the book (Carrie at My Middle Name is Patience) and she was also quite taken with Simon's writing.


    I don't know if we can even obtain wonton skins, here! How fascinating (and creative).

    Woodpeckers can be really noisy, that's for sure. We have a lot of hammering going on around us, but I actually like the sound. Sometimes, I'll hear them knocking and go outside to search, but I usually end up just spotting them because of their coloring. The sound sometimes appears to be coming from every angle.

    Yes, very wise of me to marry a guy who cooks. LOL We actually cooked in the dorm kitchens together on weekends when we were dating. My most vivid memory is the success of our turkey pizza, made from leftovers his mother sent back with us after Thanksgiving. Ah, memories.

  34. yum! Fresh pasta! What's not to like?

    I put up on a new link on that freebie you were asking about as well as posting a new one!


  35. Thanks, Amy!

    The pasta was really good. :)


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