Grillo Center Labyrinth

Grillo Center Labyrinth
Meander and Meet....designed by George Peters and Melanie Walker of Airworks For more information contact Susan at susan@well.com

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Saturday Morning Walkers - March 25, 2007

Hi everyone!

Lots to cover this week! I'm sorry that I missed our Saturday morning walk. I was taking a CPR class which is required for my nanny and doula positions. It was an excellent class and I highly recommend that everyone considers taking CPR. The company that gave the class is called Colorado Heartsmart - it was held in Boulder and the cost is very reasonable. Check them out at www.coheartsmart.com.

It sounds like a bit of rain didn't stop our friends yesterday - after coffee at the Eye Opener Cafe in Niwot, a few people ventured out for a walk in the rain. Even though I wasn't there to note books being read, I do know what some of us have been reading.

Book Report

Cass - just finished reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon - she really loved it and so did my book group when we read it a couple of years ago.


From Publishers Weekly

Christopher Boone, the autistic 15-year-old narrator of this revelatory novel, relaxes by groaning and doing math problems in his head, eats red-but not yellow or brown-foods and screams when he is touched. Strange as he may seem, other people are far more of a conundrum to him, for he lacks the intuitive "theory of mind" by which most of us sense what's going on in other people's heads. When his neighbor's poodle is killed and Christopher is falsely accused of the crime, he decides that he will take a page from Sherlock Holmes (one of his favorite characters) and track down the killer. As the mystery leads him to the secrets of his parents' broken marriage and then into an odyssey to find his place in the world, he must fall back on deductive logic to navigate the emotional complexities of a social world that remains a closed book to him. In the hands of first-time novelist Haddon, Christopher is a fascinating case study and, above all, a sympathetic boy: not closed off, as the stereotype would have it, but too open-overwhelmed by sensations, bereft of the filters through which normal people screen their surroundings. Christopher can only make sense of the chaos of stimuli by imposing arbitrary patterns ("4 yellow cars in a row made it a Black Day, which is a day when I don't speak to anyone and sit on my own reading books and don't eat my lunch and Take No Risks"). His literal-minded observations make for a kind of poetic sensibility and a poignant evocation of character. Though Christopher insists, "This will not be a funny book. I cannot tell jokes because I do not understand them," the novel brims with touching, ironic humor. The result is an eye-opening work in a unique and compelling literary voice

Another recommendation from Cass - Stiff - The Unusual Life of Cadavers by Mary Roach

From Publishers Weekly

"Uproariously funny" doesn't seem a likely description for a book on cadavers. However, Roach, a Salon and Reader's Digest columnist, has done the nearly impossible and written a book as informative and respectful as it is irreverent and witty. From her opening lines ("The way I see it, being dead is not terribly far off from being on a cruise ship. Most of your time is spent lying on your back"), it is clear that she's taking a unique approach to issues surrounding death. Roach delves into the many productive uses to which cadavers have been put, from medical experimentation to applications in transportation safety research (in a chapter archly called "Dead Man Driving") to work by forensic scientists quantifying rates of decay under a wide array of bizarre circumstances. There are also chapters on cannibalism, including an aside on dumplings allegedly filled with human remains from a Chinese crematorium, methods of disposal (burial, cremation, composting) and "beating-heart" cadavers used in organ transplants. Roach has a fabulous eye and a wonderful voice as she describes such macabre situations as a plastic surgery seminar with doctors practicing face-lifts on decapitated human heads and her trip to China in search of the cannibalistic dumpling makers. Even Roach's digressions and footnotes are captivating, helping to make the book impossible to put down.


From Susan - I read Brooke Shields' memoir about her postpartum depression, Down Came The Rain - it is a very moving and disturbing account of her struggles with depression following the birth of her first child.

From Publishers Weekly
In 1980, when she was 15, Shields starred in The Blue Lagoon. In the movie, her character accidentally becomes pregnant, and when her son is born, he intuitively finds his way to her breast as Shields looks on with love and contentment. The irony of this scene isn't lost on the grown-up Shields, who not only did not become pregnant accidentally—numerous IVF cycles and a miscarriage preceded the 2003 birth of her daughter—but suffered a devastating aftermath to that birth. "I was in a bizarre state of mind," Shields describes, "experiencing feelings that ranged from embarrassment to stoicism to melancholy to shock, practically at once. I didn't feel at all joyful." Shields assumed she'd bounce back in a few days, after resting from her difficult labor. Instead, her feelings intensified: "This was sadness of a shockingly different magnitude. It felt as if it would never go away." While Shields denied anything was wrong, the persistence of friends and her husband persuaded her to seek treatment through medication and therapy. This brave memoir doesn't shy away from Shields's most difficult moments, including her suicidal thoughts, clearly showing the despair postpartum depression can wreak. While the writing is sometimes repetitive and clich├ęd, it does emphasize the depth of Shields's depression. This tale will bring awareness of a problem that so many mothers have been afraid to discuss; look for this book to touch off a flurry of lifestyle pieces.

Podcast recommendation - do check out Diane Rehm on WAMU, the Washington, D.C. NPR station - www.wamu.org - either go directly to the site or go to iTunes and search for Diane Rehm. I used to listen to Diane when we lived in Maryland and am so delighted to be able to listen to her archived shows on the computer or on my ipod. She conducts interviews in a most intelligent and civilized manner.

Food and Dining Report

I wanted to tell you about the restaurants that Jack went to last week in Los Angeles and this week in Toronto. He absolutely loved an Italian restaurant called Pace in the Laurel Canyon section of LA. http://peaceinthecanyon.com/. It was Italian again in Toronto - Verona Ristorante - http://verona.sites.toronto.com/. In case you haven't noticed, we are passionate about Italian food!

Speaking of Italian cooking, I made a fabulous dish this week - Jack had this last year when he was in Las Vegas and the chef was nice enough to send me the recipe.

Veal Milanese from Trattoria di Lupo in The Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas

1 pound veal scallopine, pounded thin (could substitute turkey cutlets)
4 ounces baby arugula, washed and dried
6 ounces (1 large) vine ripened tomatoes, diced
1/2 teaspoon parsley, leaves roughly chopped
1 ounce parmigiano-reggiano shaved
1/4 ounce lemon juice
1.5 ounces creme fraiche
1/2 fennel bulb, shaved
1/2 ounce fresh squeezed orange juice
1 cup bread crumbs, untoasted
2 ounces olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Season the veal with salt and pepper and lightly coat them with creme fraiche.
Then dredge the veal in the breadcrumbs. Pan or ddep fry the veal until golden brown, then season lightly with salt and rest on a paper towel to absorb the residual oil.
Mix the diced tomatoes with 1 ounce of the olive oil, the parsley, a few drops of lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Mix the arugula, fennel, orange juice and remaining ounce of olive oil together in a bowl and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Place the veal on a platter or individual plates and divide the marinated tomatoes over the cutlets. Top each with the salad mixture and then garnish with the parmigiano-reggiano. Veal should be warm or room temperature.

Another tasty treat is Giada de Laurentiis' Balsamic Glazed Drumettes - good for a party - http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_35997,00.html?rsrc=search

A yummy dessert from Giada - Individual Orange and Chocolate Cheescakes - http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_36219,00.html - in addition to the orange zest/sugar topping, I shaved some dark chocolate and sprinkled on top.

Some health related tips:

We're anticipating a rough allergy season ahead and Jan recommends using Freeze-Dried Stinging Nettles - they are available in pill form and she gets them at Vitamin Cottage. You can probably find them at most health food stores http://www.umm.edu/altmed/ConsHerbs/StingingNettlech.html

Mary recommends an on-line source for vitamins and supplements - www.ourhealthcoop.com - good quality products at very reasonable prices - check it out!

Have a great week!

Love,
Susan

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