Category Archives: Uncategorized

Good News Monday: It’s Now Legal to Grow Hemp

Well, sort of.

Back in December, President Trump signed the bipartisan 2018 Congressional Farm Bill, which treats hemp as an agricultural commodity and removes it from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s list of schedule 1 drugs.

However, the Farm Bill also empowers states to regulate (or ban) the production and sale of hemp within their borders.

Anyone who follows US politics will not be surprised by the inconsistency.

 

Downsize Abbey

Dear Clever Readers,

May I enlist your help with a creative challenge? DH and I are in the process of moving into our newly built, smaller home and it needs a name — something amusing that seems “fancy” and looks nice on cocktail napkins.

The house name should sound grand (because it  isn’t) with an element of tongue-in-cheek whimsy, along the lines of “Fawlty Towers.” Currently, the front runner is “Tiddly Manor.” FYI, the building style is Arts & Crafts, it has a tiny yard, and it’s more urban than rural or suburban.

Any ideas? You’ll win my undying gratitude plus a small prize, and of course your cleverness will be duly recognized in these pages. Thanks, and love, Alisa home-sweet-home-3104968_640

Two Exhibits and a Hotel Surprise

Ah, the holidays are over and I can finally finish writing about our fall trip (late October/early November), which we wrap up with a few days in London and Paris.

One day, as we stroll through the Marais in Paris, we stumble upon a weird but surprisingly entertaining museum with both permanent and temporary exhibits dedicated to hunting and nature.  It certainly makes a change from the Louvre, D’Orsay etc. even if you’re not into taxidermy (which I’m decidedly not).img-0789

More my style is the wonderful Atelier des Lumières installation, an immersive experience quite unlike looking at art hanging on a wall.img-0829Still photographs cannot do justice to these huge projections of paintings by Gustave Klimt and more, set to music to create an intensely dramatic adventure which surrounds you with ever-changing sound and images. Do check out this website if you can’t get there in person!img-0817img-0810img-0816img-0827img-0822We’ve bookended our short trip to Paris with some time in London, arriving October 31. Highlights include a tapas dinner with friends at Ibèrica on Great Portland Street (who roll their eyes at our having chosen Devon rather than, say, Cornwall), lots of walking, and the new production of Sondheim’s musical Company at the Gielgud Theatre. Highly recommend you see this show if you can.

We return from Paris on my birthday and our hotel has a nice surprise: They’ve upgraded us to the ridiculously huge Governor’s Suite — essentially the size of a nice London flat, with kitchen, dining room, two bedrooms, two baths and a generous sitting room. img-0844img-0839My favorite find is the enormous copper bathtub, perfect for indulging before the long flight back to the US the following morning. img-0837First week November, 2018.

It’s True: Copenhagen IS Wonderful

Can’t resist the cliché pic of all time! And despite the corny Danny Kaye song, we did indeed find it completely engaging.

Copenhagen is Scandinavia’s largest city, dating back to the 11th century. The reigning monarch Queen Margrethe II can trace her ancestry back to the Viking Age, making Denmark the world’s oldest kingdom. Cobbled squares, charming narrow streets, many parks and lovely old buildings provide a beautiful backdrop to a lively, modern city famed for its excellent restaurants and air of welcome.

IMG-0695It also has the dubious distinction of being one of the world’s most expensive cities, as we soon discover. It’s extra confusing to figure out what things cost, since 1 DKK is equal to about 15 cents US, a calculation I cannot do in my head.

IMG-0694Having booked this side trip rather unexpectedly, DH and I are woefully underdressed for the frigid, wet weather.  On the plus side, the city isn’t very crowded, but it’s easy to see why anyone who actually planned ahead would likely choose a different time of year to visit.IMG-0697We only have about 3.5 days, so we cram in a lot of walking, sightseeing and eating out, plus two nights at the opera (a fabulous production of Il Trovatore and a less-fabulous La Boheme). Definitely a highlight of our month away.

Day One: We check into our excellent hotel, 71 Nyhavn, which overlooks the harbor. IMG-0726We walk around to get oriented, taking a long trek to see the famous Little Mermaid, which is both smaller and closer to shore than I’d expected. Even in this freezing weather, she draws a crowd.

IMG-0701Dinner at Hummer restaurant, a short walk from the hotel, is delicious. They make an oatmeal-crusted whole wheat bread I need to replicate.

 

Day Two:  It’s Sunday and not much is open, plus the opera is a matinée, so we hit the Thorvaldsen, National Museum,  and Jewish Museum before our 3 pm curtain. We walk over to the opera house (OMG is it COLD!) and take the ferry back, which is much faster. Apparently you can’t pay on the boat, but the ticket taker takes pity on our ignorance and lets us ride for free. Good thing because I do NOT want to swim back to Nyhavn.

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Ugly costumes in lobby, but building is quite beautiful.

Dinner at Havfruen, featuring seafood (the name means “mermaid”) and an odd playlist of 1960s American rock music, is again near the hotel (hey, it’s too damn cold to be very adventurous).

IMG-0724IMG-0730Day Three: We do a little shopping, explore the Round Tower (very cool) and the botanical gardens to kill some time before our late lunch reservation. IMG-0737

Street view from the Round Tower

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Schonnemann’s is a landmark restaurant known for its traditional specialties, open-faced sandwiches and many kinds of schnapps. It’s been recommended by two different friends and is not my favorite type of food but turns out to be quite good and, although a tourist destination, it’s also popular with the locals.

 

Tonight it’s back to the opera house. We’ve now figured out the app for booking the ferry so getting there is a lot more pleasant. Too bad the production kind of sucks — it’s REALLY hard to screw up La Boheme.

Day Four:

Today we visit the Rosenborg Palace which is so dark inside that you can barely tell what you’re looking at, The National Art Museum, and — because we’re unlikely to come back here and should “check the box” — Tivoli Gardens amusement park.

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The sky has brightened by the time we get to Tivoli. It IS kind of amusing to watch the little kids squealing while slamming their bumper cars into each other, and it’s less tacky than most of these sorts of places. Anyway, it’s a good distance from the hotel so it provides an excuse for our last long walk.

 

We’re actually tired of seafood so we opt for a nearby Italian place called La Sirène.

IMG-0769.jpgIt’s dark, quiet and quirky, and the most fun part of dinner comes towards the end, when somehow we end up chatting with the group at the table next to us. They live up near Oslo, are about our age, one couple has a daughter who lives in Dallas, and all are opera lovers, so we find a lot to talk about.

A delightful conclusion to a very delightful getaway.

Last week of October, 2018

 

Good News Monday: 2018 is Almost Over

And good riddance! For many of us, 2018 has been a challenging, even tragic, year. Nasty global politics hasn’t helped either.

But let’s take a collective moment to celebrate the good things that DID happen in our lives. Thank you all for reading, “liking”, and following this blog. I wish you a happy, healthy new year filled with joy, good food, good friends, family harmony, meaningful work, great shoes, and lots of chocolate.

Cheers!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Good News Monday: Ethical Fashion Doesn’t Have to be Expensive

Some wardrobe thoughts for the New Year, especially once those post-Christmas credit card bills start arriving.

https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/affordable-ethical-fashion-brands

Caveat: I haven’t personally explored these brands, though they look intriguing.  If you have any experience with them, please share!

brass needle through red cloth button

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com