Grillo Center Labyrinth

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

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Saturday Morning Walkers - September 1, 2008

Happy Labor Day!

Hope you all had a lovely and relaxing holiday weekend. We had quite a turnout on Saturday morning for our walk that Jan led around Twin Lakes in Gunbarrel - Mary, Andrea, Laila, Terri, Gaye, Barb and Me - Chris joined us for coffee at Page Two Cafe. Following that, Gaye and I joined Barb in the Voter Registration Drive being orchestrated by Dickie Lee Hullinghorst as part of her campaign for State Representative.
Barb is working tirelessly as Dickie Lee's campaign manager. This voter registration drive will continue throughout the month - I'm going to do it again next Saturday morning. Anyone care to join the effort?

Book Report:

I just finished The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perrotta - he wrote Little Children (perhaps you saw the movie) - I highly recommend the book. It is eerily timely - do check it out!

From Booklist
As is evident from his previous novels Election (1998) and Little Children (2004), Perotta seems to enjoy putting characters with divergent belief systems together in a bag, as it were, and shaking it up. That is the technique he uses in his latest novel, to satiric effect. Ruth Ramsey, divorced, is the human sexuality teacher at the local high school; she believes in being honest with her students, telling them that some people "enjoy oral sex." She lands in hot water when an evangelical church, offended by her curriculum, forces the school board to include a section on abstinence. Tim Mason is the beloved soccer coach of Ruth's young daughter, Maggie. He is also a reformed stoner/loser and an entrenched member of the church that attacked Ruth. Things get interesting when Tim, in a moment of crisis, leads his team of girls in prayer, and Ruth publicly drags her daughter from the soccer field. Ironically, Ruth and Tim find they have more in common than they thought, and a shaky—at times humorous—interchange begins. Perotta focuses on the small, personal motives behind life's big shake-ups. A finely wrought novel that will be in demand.

Mary suggests Playing for Pizza by John Grisham - this is apparently a light-hearted departure from Grisham's usual legal thrillers.

“Fans of John Grisham live for his legal thrillers, but now and then he serves up something unexpected. That’s exactly what he does, with great success, in Playing for Pizza.” —USA Today
“Enthralling.” —People
“Score another one for Grisham...This is a fish-out-of-water tale that perfectly suits his strengths as a storyteller.” —USA Today
“A light-hearted story of football, food and love.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch
“Football in Italy? Who knew? Grisham means to have a sweet time with this story of a fallen NFL quarterback. And he does.” —Daily News (New York)
“Delightfully comic...a deeply satisfying story.” —The Boston Globe
“Charming...the author's love letter to Italy.” —Publishers Weekly

Terri enjoys and recommends James Patterson's Women Murder Club series.

Gaye just read and enjoyed Mercy by Jody Picoult - she's one of my favorite storytellers.

From Publishers Weekly
What could have been a competent, topical novel about a mercy killing becomes, in Picoult's (following Picture Perfect, 1995) hands, an inspired meditation on love. The setting is Wheelock, Mass., a slightly eccentric town where most of the residents are of Scottish descent, where weddings end in a blood vow, the name MacDonald is "painted on an alarming number of mailboxes" and police chief Cameron MacDonald doubles as clan chief and protector. On a seemingly ordinary day in Wheelock, Jamie MacDonald, a cousin of Cameron's, drives to the police station and announces: "My wife here, Maggie, is dead, and I'm the one who killed her." Cam finds himself saddled with a murder case and a conflict of interest: his cousin has given in to the pleas of his cancer-ravaged wife to kill her, and he's come to the clan chief to confess. But as police chief, Cam must also prosecute. On the same day, Cam's wife, Allie, the local florist, hires Mia, a violet-eyed beauty with a genius for flower arranging. Allie gets involved in Jamie's case, and Cam, who has spent his life in service to his community and his clan, falls in love with Mia and begins an affair that will bring his marriage to the breaking point and change it profoundly. Like Jamie, Allie is the marriage partner who loves more. "It's never fifty-fifty," says Jamie. As Jamie's court case proceeds, Picoult plumbs the emotional core of both marriages. The pace of the trial is slow, but Picoult pays loving attention to her central characters, fashioning a sensitive exploration of the balance of love.

Website of the Week - - "Silobreaker is an online search service out of the UK for news and current events that delivers meaning and relevance beyond traditional search and aggregation engines. Its relational analysis and explanatory graphics provide users with unparalleled contextual insight into the news stories of the day.'

Podcast of the Week - check out and search for DNC speeches for a podcast from the DNC with select speeches you may have missed last week.

Vocabulary Word of the Week - aggregation

1: a group, body, or mass composed of many distinct parts or individuals
2: the collecting of units or parts into a mass or whole b: the condition of being so collected
— ag·gre·ga·tion·al \-shnəl, -shə-nəl\ adjective

Cooking and Dining Report

Here are a few more recipes from Susan's kitchen:

From Mark Bitten of the New York Times, Grilled Steak with Garlic (Fleica) - this recipe originated in Romania - I used Flank Steak but you could use skirt steak, strip or rib-eye. It is a very simple preparation.

From Frog Hollow Farm, Grilled Peaches with Ice Cream - take advantage of luscious local peaches with this simple but elegant dessert.

This Plum Torte from The Splendid Table has become an annual treat at this time of the summer when Italian Prune Plums appear - unfortunately, we haven't seen any yet so I improvised and did it with peaches - pretty good! Do let me know if you happen to find them where you shop here in Colorado.

From RecipeSource by way of Mark Bitten of the New York Times, Low Country Oyster Loaf - wow, this was terrific! One tip, I would let it sit for 10 minutes or so before slicing - I think it would hold together a bit better.

Quote of the Week: from a Barack Obama speech on February 5, 2008,
"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek."

Have a great week ahead!


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