Home Biography Portfolio Workshop Contact Ed

Hello, hello! I'm glad you stopped by. There's a little bit of chaos going on here as we're doing some electrical work on the house as well as getting ready for a sit-down dinner for 22. It's part of a progressive dinner that we plan with our neighbors every year. We go to one house for the first course, then travel to another for the next course and so on. We usually host the main course since we have the most space. It's great fun and a good way to get to know the neighbors. I'll try to get some recipes from this year's party and post them soon.

When we're not working on, in or around the house, we're planning ways to get out of the house. We love to travel and recently came back from Spain and Portugal. The most fabulous part was experiencing  the architecture of Antonio Gaudi, whom I've admired for many years. The workmanship alone was amazing and sad, too, in a way since it can never be duplicated.

One of the advantages in being over 50 is we can book tours with Elder Hostels. Their programs are very reasonable and educational but also allow for free time to explore on our own. We traveled with them to Spain this year and two years ago to Japan.

When we were in Japan, we spent some time with Ed's relatives. This was his first time back since emigrating to the U.S. when he was 3 years old and they made quite a fuss over us. They showed us around and fed us much too well. 

Speaking of food, here is a recipe for a Japanese sponge cake, kasutera, (castella)  that is sold all over Japan. It was probably brought over by the Portuguese when they first arrived in Japan in the early 1500s. It is very popular and some regions are famous for it. There are even souvenir charms or keychains shaped like the cake slices. The cake itself is usually packaged in a brick-shaped box and beautifully wrapped. The Japanese are great givers of omiyage (presents) and never visit without bringing some food gift.

Other popular food gifts include many forms of wagashi or Japanese confectionery. They may be an acquired taste for many people but the jewel-like shapes are an art form in themselves. Japanese are very conscious of the changing seasons and some wagashi are only available certain times of the year.

I can go through books like Ed goes through nails. Luckily for me there is a good public library nearby, otherwise we'll need to add another room to the house to shelve all my books. Some of my current favorites:

The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency
Tears of the Giraffe
Morality for Beautiful Girls
Kalahari Typing School for Men

by Alexander McCall Smith

A charming series set in Africa featuring a lady detective, Precious Ramotswe of Botswana. Not your typical action-packed, bullet- dodging, heroine-in-danger mystery adventure but more of a collection of vignettes of African life and culture.

Blowing Zen
by Ray Brooks

An true account of how a burned out English yuppie went to Japan to refocus his life and unexpectedly ended up as a world- renown shakuhachi (Japanese flute) artist, albeit with much dedication and practice. Brooks' experiences in a foreign country are touching, occasionally hilarious (especially an encounter with the yakusa) yet never condescending. It's surprising to the many Japanese he meets that a Westerner could study the ancient art of the shakuhachi when they themselves are losing interest.

Some good websites for books:

Daedalus Books - Good quality publisher's remainders
Jessica's Biscuit - Discounted and out-of-print cookbooks
Bas Bleu - Undiscovered gems
A Common Reader - Book reviews, new discoveries

Some other favorite things:

We never miss the Cirque du Soleil when they come to our town. It's hard to describe - magical is the word that comes to mind but you have to experience it yourself. Each year, they surpass themselves with new themes and acrobatics. You can watch them on TV but nothing matches actually being in the audience.


| Home | Biography | Portfolio | Models | Set Design | Special Effects |
| Workshop | Projects | Carol's Corner | Kevin's Room | Contact Ed |