Grillo Center Labyrinth

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

Friday, December 14, 2007

Saturday Morning Walkers - December 2, 2007

Hi everyone!

Well it does look like winter has arrived. The Saturday Morning Walkers opted to spend our walking time yesterday staying warm over coffee, etc. at Caffe Sole. We did plan our upcoming month's walks - I'm doing Saturday the 8th, Christie is doing the 15th, Jan is doing the 22nd and Mary is doing the 29th. We did a lot of catching up after the Thanksgving holiday and did talk a bit about getting ready for the upcoming holidays. Chanukah (also known as Hanukkah) begins at sunset on December 4 and lasts for 8 nights until December 12. For a bit of an education about Chanukah check out this site geared to children Of course, we have Christmas and New Year's celebrations coming up as well. Be sure and scroll down for some great suggestions for enjoying the holidays and keeping them simple and low stress.

Oh - almost forgot to mention this - I was contacted and interviewed by Tony Kahn, the host of Morning Stories, a podcast out of Boston's public radio station WGBH that I featured a couple of weeks ago. He happened to see the posting on my blog and was very interested to know about our walking group and the labyrinth. We had a wonderful conversation - I'm not sure how it will be used on their podcast but I will keep you posted. Once again the website is

Book Report:
I finished listening to Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer - I do recommend it although I did get bogged down at different points along the way. It is a fascinating story - it is hard to imagine it as a movie though - guess I'll have to check it out.
I also finally finished reading Jane Hamilton's When Madeline was Young. It was not my favorite of her books and almost quit along the way but I ended up getting pretty engaged with the narrator's character and was glad that I stuck with it.
Check out earlier posts for professional reviews of these two books.

I just started the memoir that Rae recommended last week by Julie Powell, Julie and Julia - I'm already enjoying it so much - it is a great book for all of us "foodies". It actually grew out of a blog that Powell wrote as she worked her way through all of Julia Child's recipes in Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Hmmm - quite an inspiration!

Rae and her book group (which is co-ed, by the way) read and highly recommends Ian McEwan's latest book, On Chesil Beach.

From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Not quite novel or novella, McEwan's masterful 13th work of fiction most resembles a five-part classical drama rendered in prose. It opens on the anxious Dorset Coast wedding suite dinner of Edward Mayhew and the former Florence Ponting, married in the summer of 1963 at 23 and 22 respectively; the looming dramatic crisis is the marriage's impending consummation, or lack of it. Edward is a rough-hewn but sweet student of history, son of an Oxfordshire primary school headmaster and a mother who was brain damaged in an accident when Edward was five. Florence, daughter of a businessman and (a rarity then) a female Oxford philosophy professor, is intense but warm and has founded a string quartet. Their fears about sex and their inability to discuss them form the story's center. At the book's midpoint, McEwan (Atonement, etc.) goes into forensic detail about their naïve and disastrous efforts on the marriage bed, and the final chapter presents the couple's explosive postcoital confrontation on Chesil Beach. Staying very close to this marital trauma and the circumstances surrounding it (particularly class), McEwan's flawless omniscient narration has a curious (and not unpleasantly condescending) fable-like quality, as if an older self were simultaneously disavowing and affirming a younger. The story itself isn't arresting, but the narrator's journey through it is. (June)

Website of the Week - - check out discount coupons for all sorts of products - may help save some money while you're gift shopping.

Podcast of the Week - - WGBH Forum Network Live and Archived Webcasts of Free Public Lectures
in Partnership with Boston's Leading Cultural and Educational Organizations.
Presented by WGBH in association with the Lowell Institute.

Vocabulary Word of the Week - omniscient - from Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
New Latin omniscient-, omnisciens, back-formation from Medieval Latin omniscientia
circa 1604
1 : having infinite awareness, understanding, and insight 2 : possessed of universal or complete knowledge
— om·ni·scient·ly adverb

Cooking and Dining Report: not a whole lot of cooking going on here this week.

I made this last Sunday - Easy Spaghetti Bolognese from the Williams Sonoma Catalog - it is a recipe that was actually designed for use with the All Clad Slow Cooker which features a ceramic insert that you can brown things in on the stovetop and then put back in the base to finish out slowly. I do not have such a device so I just did it on the stove top and cooked the sauce for about 45 minutes after browning the meat. Jack awarded this a gold start! It was so easy and delicious. Great for a cold winter night!

Tips for the Season: a general suggestion to save on time, energy, fuel costs and wear and tear - shop by catalog or online! On line merchants often eliminate their shipping costs if you order by a certain date and they will sometimes wrap your gifts and send them directly to the recipient.

A great gift idea for that person who has everything - an antique map of the place they live or a special place they love - visit Art Source International on Pearl Street in Boulder or order from their website -

A suggestion from Barb - check out the Wine Merchant Catalog - - great gift ideas here.

Need a gift for a family with kids? Consider a family membership at a local museum, zoo or aquarium.

Have a teenager you have no idea what to give - gift cards and gift certificates are a great solution - especially Itunes gift cards!

Give a donation to an organization in someone's name - a great one is or
How about a membership to audio book site or dvd site

I sure hope you'll send me any other great suggestions for gifts or tips for making the holiday season enjoyable.

Have a great week......


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