Friday Five

1. Surya, the orangutan, and Roscoe, the hound, form an instant bond. Sometimes you just know when you like someone. I guess it’s no different for primates and dogs. Guaranteed to make you smile.

2. The first session of The Writers’ Salon was last Saturday. It was everything I thought it would be and more! I’d always envisioned an intimate setting filled with great discussions and ideas. This is a far cry from my previous teaching days which were comprised of a lot of eye rolling and audible sighing. (It’s true that I had been the one doing most of the eye rolling and audible sighing.) The writers loved the space – the classes are currently held in The Toy Museum. Once you get past the fact that Raggedy Ann is staring at you while you read an excerpt from The Great Gatsby, it’s pretty kitschy and fun. One writer told me that she felt really inspired. I take that as a huge compliment!

This Saturday’s session is going to be about POV / Narration. This is a biggie. POV is the engine that drives the story. It’s what allows the author to be a storyteller instead of just an organizer of plot points.

I’m even thinking ahead to summer sessions and starting some kind of webisodes. I have to research the technology behind that because I’d like to have those sessions be more like a web conference call. Any savvy folks out there care to recommend a platform? Skype?

3. My tax refund rolled in a couple of weeks ago, so I rolled on over to ABC Carpet to pick up an area rug, I’ve had my eye on. This room has really muted shades so it could use a punch of color. If you had described this rug to me, I would have thought, no way. Giant poppies? On a rug? Generally the only places I like flowers are in gardens or on little girls’ hair clips. But when I unrolled this at home, I loved, loved, loved it. I guess my tastes are becoming more refined as I get older. It’s also entirely possible that I have the home decorating version of beer goggles.

Reggie shows off the new rug.

4. The last soup hurrah. In what is probably one of the final soups of the season, I present minestrone. It’s got everything you need in a great soup: beans, pasta, veggies. I enjoy kidney beans and cannelloni beans, but, shoot, use whatever you like. I also sprinkle a little Parmesean cheese right on top. Get yourself a hunk of crusty bread and you’ve got one heck of a meal.

5. Since last week was International Women’s Day, I thought I’d give you a quick update on the status of my Kiva loan to Ms. Gantogoo Dorjsambuu from Hentiy, Mongolia. She requested a loan to buy an electric sewing machine to help her make more coverings for gers, traditional Mongolian tents. I’m happy to report that Ms. Dorjsambuu has repaid 35 percent of her loan!

Kiva reports that over 80 percent of their borrowers are women who perform 66 percent of the world’s work, produce 50 percent of the food, but earn just 10 percent of the income and own 1 percent of the property. Starting their own businesses and enabling them to keep their businesses running helps them improve their lives where advocacy for women is rare.  If you’re not familiar with Kiva, check out their page to learn more about how microfinance works.



  1. That rug is fantastic–no beer-googles there. And of course, what rug wouldn’t look good under Reggie?

    Oh, I remember ABC when I lived in NY–it was always such a dreamy place.

    Thanks for sharing the information about Kiva–I wasn’t familiar with them but am very interested now to look into this…


  2. Reggie definitely has tuxedo-good looks. He goes with every decor!

    I hope you get a chance to visit the Kiva site. It’s an inspired idea. I love that 8 investors from around the world are helping Gantogoo. And when the borrowers repay your loan, you can reinvest by choosing a different person or you can withdraw your money.


  3. I saw the photo of Reggie, and my brain read: “Giant puppies? On a rug?” I had to go back and read it again…LOL!

    I usually use broken spaghetti my minestrone instead of beans.

    I’ve heard of the Kiva program before…thanks for letting other people know about it…



    1. Now giant puppies on a rug would be one unusual rug!

      My grandmother used to use broken spaghetti in her minestrone. I’ll have to try that next time. I’ve heard some people even add green beans instead of kidney beans or white beans. I think that would be good too.


  4. I also read giant puppies – and I thought ‘but that dog looks real’! So sorry, Reggie.
    Glad your writers’ salon went so well – congratulations! Wish I was close enough to come to that…
    Sunshine xx


    1. Isn’t it funny how one letter can make a big difference? Sounds like a good topic for one of your language posts.

      Thanks for the vote of confidence. I’m so excited about the classes. Interest seems to be picking up!


    1. Reggie is currently perfecting his sultry look for future modeling gigs. He’s looking a bit scraggy these days so I think it’s time for a trim. (But don’t tell him I mentioned that!)


  5. Congrats on a successful session of The Writer’s Salon! Here’s to many, many more!

    (Please don’t tell me soup season is almost over. I’ll be glad to see the cold weather go, but not the hearty deliciousness.)


    1. Thanks, Maura! I tried to cram in so much information to this weekend’s class that we ran over the alloted time! But I think that’s a good problem to have.

      It’s snowing right now, so maybe there’s another soup in the immediate future…


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