December Radio Playlists 2013

The name of the show: Blackbeard's Delight
Your host: Prof. Kitty
The station: WVEW 107.7 Brattleboro, VT

December 5, 2013

  • Paranoimia: Art of Noise
  • Real Life: Tanlines
  • All That We Perceive: Thievery Corporation
  • The Forest: The Cure
  • An Anniversary Away: Reverie Sound Revue
  • Sun Children: DJ Nickodemus f. Real Live Show
  • Polythene Pam & She Came in through the Bathroom Window: The Beatles
  • Our Lips Are Sealed: Go-Go's
  • Happy: Pharrell Williams
  • Tarzan Boy: Baltimora
  • Wet & Rusting: Menomena
  • Rasputin: Boney M

December 12, 2013

  • Can't Get You Out of My Head: Kylie Minogue
  • La Cucaracha: Kumbia Kings
  • Never Tear Us Apart: INXS
  • The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned): The Decemberists
  • Life in a Northern Town: The Dream Academy
  • Sycamore: Bill Callahan
  • Corrupted Endeavour: Jessamine
  • Digging in the Dirt: Peter Gabriel
  • Lose It In the End: Mark Ronson & the Business International
  • Jique: Brazilian Girls
  • Who Loves the Sun: Velvet Underground

December 26, 2013—recap of 2013 songs! plus other things that go with them

  • Tonight's Today: Jack PeƱate
  • Out of My League: Fitz & the Tantrums
  • Keep Moving: Jessy Lanza
  • Renaissance Girls: Oh Land
  • L.E.S. Artistes: Santigold XXXchange remix
  • Afterlife: Arcade Fire
  • Mirrors: Justin Timberlake
  • Heaven: Club 8
  • Get Lucky: Daft Punk
  • Safe & Sound: Capital Cities
  • 24 Hours: Sky Ferreira
  • Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone: Bobby "Blue" Bland

My intro to snowshoeing

My beloved and I once received a pair of snowshoes each as a Christmas gift. They were something I'd always wanted but would never buy for myself: the perfect gift. I was secretly pregnant at the time, and that winter to get healthy exercise I'd don my snowshoes in the early morning and pad around the country farm where we lived. I especially loved to find some snowbound drama of predator and prey, where perhaps one steady set of tracks would meet another leaping set of tracks, with signs of scuffle and blood, and nobody to know or witness except one puzzled woman on snowshoes. They seemed like secret stories left in plain sight for me to unravel, and accessible only because of my particular footwear.

When we moved into town I put the snowshoes away for a while, until another perfect Christmas gift, cash, allowed me to purchase a bright headlamp. I pictured myself using the headlamp to snowshoe on a local woodland trail in the gloaming, trudging along, perhaps alone or perhaps with my young daughter, and soaking up the quiet muffled tranquility of the coming dark and the deep powdery snow. This actually happened soon afterward, when I spent one magical late afternoon with my child in that very gloaming in those very woods. Then the snowshoes got put away again.

Until this year. This year when the snow came, I kind of freaked out because I couldn't run in it. I am now so addicted to running and regular exercise that the problem of SNOW threw me for a loop. How do I run in this stuff? What can I do instead? How am I going to survive until spring? After a few days of worrying and some helpful Facebook support, I realized that winter was here and I should probably roll with it. And if I want to get out and exercise in the snow, I should use my snowshoes!

This past Sunday was a perfect opportunity. We'd just had our first significant snowfall when about a foot fell overnight and then cleared up by dawn leaving a winter wonderland. At the time of my traditional Sunday long run, I geared up with snowshoes and headed into the woods.


One person has been here before me...

It was so fun to be active in a new way, and the woods were lovely. I even practiced some run-walking on my rather wide snowshoes. Snowshoing is hard work though. I could run about 7 miles in the time it took me to snowshoe 2.

That brings me to yesterday morning, when the group that I run with during the warm season turned out to be a group of snowshoeing beasts. Through our email forum I was invited to join their annual Ascent to the Star, which is an early morning snowshoe up a nearby mountain to the top where a Yuletide star is lit up (in bulbs) year after year.

Above: Using my trusty notebook to plan everything I would bring; At the last minute I added a thermos of hot tea.

We met at 5am and headed up the mountain in fresh snow under a full moon. 22 people and about 6 energetic dogs were there. It was an amazing experience, with great camaraderie among the trekkers, some jokes about our slow single-file ascent resembling the Hillary Step (I was thrilled to be in a crowd that makes casual Everest references), and immense and rewarding physical effort to make it to the top by snowshoe.

Here's my reward, a photo of the star from beneath. It's at least 20 feet tall.

When we got there we toasted to health, wealth, and happiness and made remarks about which of the 3 was most important. I had a welcome slug of Bailey's Irish Cream. Coming back down the mountain was a blast, since we were all motivated to get home and warmed up as quickly as possible. We took a lot of shortcuts and slid down very steep slopes on snowshoes and backsides, which I learned has the elegant name of glissading. At the bottom, my new friends even helped push my car out of the snowbank where I'd managed to lodge it when I first arrived.

The experience was one of those incredible group activities that is so satisfying, even though so simple. I felt proud and accomplished afterward just for getting up really early and putting one foot in front of other for 2 miles up and back a mountain. What an amazingly achievable pleasure, to set a physical goal and then reach it and feel proud! What's next!?

Dinner Salad with Chicken, Gorgonzola & Pomegranate

Recently (possibly after perusing food pictures on Pinterest), I had a vision of a delicious salad that could be a whole dinner. I made a sketch to demonstrate.

Basically, lovely greens with all manner of delicious toppings. I forgot to draw pomegranate seeds, but they were also a critical part of my plan. Here's my recipe!

  • Orange juice, such as 1 orange's worth squeezed
  • Grape seed oil or favorite salad dressing oil
  • White balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & pepper
  • Arugula, washed and torn
  • Salad greens mix, such as Olivia's mix with baby spinach
  • 2-3 chicken breasts
  • Ghee or butter or oil, your choice
  • 1 pomegranate, firm skin
  • 1 ripe avocado, cut into chunks
  • Gorgonzola or blue cheese, ready to crumble
  • Cucumber, cut into chunks
  • Radishes, cut into chunks
  • Pumpkin seeds


  1. To prepare dressing, heat orange juice over the stove in small pot until reduced by at least half. Let cool, then combine with grape seed oil, white balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Heat ghee/butter/oil in a cast iron skillet or nonstick pan. Add chicken breasts and turn to medium-low heat. Cook until finished throughout (you can slice it open to check) and a slight golden crust has started to form. Cool and then cut into chunks.
  3. Meanwhile, heat smaller cast iron skillet or pan and toast pumpkin seeds at medium heat. It takes about 3 minutes for them to start to crackle and seize up and brown, which is perfect.
  4. Meanwhile meanwhile, remove arils from the pomegranate. I read that one way to do this is to cut the pomegranate in half, turn it over a bowl and whack the skin side with a wooden spoon until all of the arils fall out into the bowl. I'm not sure if this is the most efficient method, but it is very satisfying.
  5. You are ready to assemble the salad! I set out all of the ingredients separately, including washed arugula and salad mix, and then had each person pick and arrange as desired.

Above, deosil from bottom left: radishes, pomegranate arils, cucumber, salad dressing, avocado, random cornichons

Above: chicken chunks, toasted pumpkin seeds, salad mix, arugula, gorgonzola is camouflaged in the upper left-hand corner

Above: young girl's plate: chicken, pomegranate, radish, greens

My plate: EVERYTHING. Particularly the crumbled gorgonzola, yum. With the green lettuce and the red pomegranate, it looks kind of festive, no?

Do you make dinner salads? What makes them "dinner" ? I used to think it was crumbled bacon and pieces of hard-boiled egg.

Living room update, December 2013

We've been working on our living room since April, and I'm pleased to report that we're done with the current phase of renovations and upgrades. Let's review!

I'm going to concentrate on our front closet, which was our most obvious upgrade.

This is the "before" picture. Wall paper peeling off to the right, nasty unused closet by the front door on the left.

We ripped everything out. Here it is partway done--the closet doorway still exists.

Closet doorway has been removed and pinkboard/insulation put in place.

Sheetrock installed. Because we wanted a bench in the former closet area, the dudes were able to switch around the existing floorboards to fill in where the closet door had been. All gaps would be covered over by the bench. Note we have a new front door now.


Painted, trim put up, and bench with coatrack has been built in.

Here's our beautiful boot-bench. We don't have space for a mudroom, but this will be a tidy way to stow boots and extra shoes.

Custom coatrack that goes above the bench--before finishing paint.

The former closet area, still some weeks from completion. We still need to do 1. floor refinishing 2. bench refinishing 3. wall touchups.

Here's the same spot today. We love it! I painted the bench to match the other trim and gave it a coat of matte sealant. That thing is full of boots and sneakers and a diaper bag, but it looks tidy!

In an insomniac moment recently I started plotting out the rest of the living room using Polyvore. It's livable, but we could still make it prettier. From this "Living Room Look," we already have the fluffy rug, black couch, and pinao. I would love to get my hands on a large-ish ottoman, a credenza, and a metallic Moroccan pouf. A little gallery wall area would also be cool.


Here is my Polyvore mood-board for the imaginary built-in I envision on our "entertainment wall." Dare to dream!