Thursday, September 30, 2010


There have been a few small additions to our house in the past two weeks which I thought I would take a moment to mention, especially as they are all little things, the sort that so often go unnoticed but which, in fact, make up the bulk of our lives.  On our front porch, we have a ceramic cardinal (of the avian variety, not the Roman Catholic.  Apologies for the washed out quality of the photo.  In September the light changes and one of my two cameras seems to be in the moribund way.)  I was given this statuary to my great delight.  I brought it home and placed it atop Laurie's writing desk.  I knew it was far to garish for indoor decor, but would suit our garden area nicely.  I thought I would get a rise out of Laurie by initially placing it in the house in a major focal point.

As is so often the case, it went completely unnoticed in that spot the following day.  So, right before work, I called Laurie to a position where the cardinal was directly to the right behind my head in her view and said, "You ever have one of those moments where there was something you didn't see and someone points it out to you?  And then you can never unsee it?  Like a ceramic cardinal?"

Laurie staggered a bit and braced herself.  She said it was as if I'd conjured the thing out of thin air.

Also in my haul of bird effigies was the eagle you see here.  It lives on the shelf above my desk.  But I was more interested in pointing out to you the book set in the center of the photo.  It is Remembrance of Things Past by Marcel Proust which I am planning on diving into sometime early next year.  Yes, while simultaneously working through the Harvard Classics.

What's this now?!!?  The wine rack is filling!  At the suggestion of a shoppie, we bought Emergence which is a cuvée from the central California coast.  48% Syrah, 29% Mourvèdre, 23% Grenache.  Brooding and earthy boasts the label.

Really we need to start entertaining to give an opportunity for me to write reports on these wines.


  1. Your first pic just looks like it's suffering from flare. If there's direct sunlight coming into the lens it lowers the contrast and washes everything out. Shading the lens is all that's needed to avoid it.

    So... early next year -- looks like you're in! Nice. Glad to hear it.

    Wine... I wish I new more about it. I bought my wife a monthly wine club membership last year for Christmas. We really enjoyed it, but found she's developed a sensitivity to the sulfites, so we have to go with organic wines with no added sulfites from now on.

  2. What are the symptoms of a sensitivity to sulfites?

  3. I've known three people with the sensitivity. For my wife it's just that she gets really hot, uncomfortably so. Someone I knew years ago would get a burning sensation in her jaw that was really uncomfortable. And my daughters's godmother said -- if I recall correctly -- that she has something closer to anaphylactic shock.

    Sulphites are added to many wines as a preservative, and they're naturally occurring in red wine, though at a much lower level. My wife is okay with red wine so long as there aren't added sulphites.

  4. The cardinal would also look cute in the middle of your bird bath.