Interlude

April 2, 2013

Cooking with my Rival Crock Pot

Cooking with my Rival Crock Pot

I’m getting ready to leave on a month-long adventure.  I’ve been spending the last couple of weeks tying up loose ends and making preparations.  This involved eating up some of the food in my freezer and pantry — a flurry of rhubarb pie baking to use up the last of the frozen rhubarb.  And cooking chicken in my crock pot with nine cloves of garlic, knowing that if it sat around for a month, the garlic would be old when I returned.

Stack of recently read books

Stack of recently read books

I hauled out the lawn mower and gave the yard its first shearing of the year.  Always something of a milestone for the year.

One of the more pleasurable preparatory tasks involved managing my library account — suspending my list of holds so that my reserved items would not come in while I am away.  And hastily reading the stack of books currently checked out.  There were some good books there —

  • Susan Wittig Albert’s journal from 2008 called An Extraordinary Year of Ordinary Days (I love that title)
  • Gretel Ehrlich’s book about traveling in Japan in the year following the devastating tsunami called Facing the Wave:  A Journey in the Wake of the Tsunami (in which she stands as witness to the heartbreaking and excruciating pain of loss and the unexpected joys of survival)
  • Mary Coin by Marisa Silver, a fictionalized story about the lives of Dorothea Lange and the migrant mother in Lange’s famous WPA photo.
  • Eighty Days: Nelly Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World by Matthew Goodman about two young women, journalists and single, who in  1889 – 90 travel around the world by steamship and train in an effort to match or beat Jules Verne’s ’round the world in 80 days.  One woman travels east, the other west, and both beat the fictional travel record set by Verne’s hero.
  • Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction by Tracy Kidder and Richard Todd, one of the best books about writing that I’ve read in a long time.  Kidder and his editor Todd have around 40 years of experience crafting nonfiction books and articles, so they are worth listening to.  If I ever were to write more seriously, I would write nonfiction, so I found this book very inspiring.

I expect that I will write more about my adventures when I am back home, but while I am away for the next month I plan to take a (needed) break from writing new posts for my blog.  I will not be leaving you in the lurch, however.  Starting tomorrow (April 3rd), my blog posts will feature a new project, which will unfold in serial fashion over the next 30 days.  So please do continue to check in daily.  And although I am taking a break from posting and writing, I will be reading Comments from the road.  Your comments will keep me from getting homesick, so write (often).

Take care.