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Dec. 25th, 2016

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Joy!

This has been a challenging year, but this morning we gathered--two daughters, one-soon-to-be-son-in-law, one dog, Danny and I--to eat doughnuts, open stockings, and then presents. In honor of Julie's songwriting talents (see below) Julie got artichokes in her stocking; Becca got avocados, and Joe got a stalk of Brussels sprouts. I love my family.

Whether this is your holiday or not, may your day be peaceful and sunny, your health good, your toes warm and your home full of delicious smells and more-delicious foods. May the year ahead exceed your hopes for health and good work.



And Julie's pre-op Artichokes for Christmas carol:

Dec. 19th, 2016

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Wow

Yesterday was the last day of Dickens Fair, and I went off to do my sewing thing. But because it was Sunday, and Julie's sweetie Joe holds "Cockney Church" on Sundays, after I got things set up I toddled down to Mad Sal's Ale House to watch the fun. The last day there is a Nativity scene (including a large man playing the baby Jesus in a union suit and...a kilt?) and much song, interspersed with Joe's lovely, highly researched by totally goofy homilies on texts from the Bible.

Here, for example, is the Nativity, with Julie dead center, playing a slightly crazed Virgin Mary:


What I wasn't expecting was for one of the homilies (read by Mad Sal herself) to turn into Joe's proposal of Marriage to Julie. RIght there in front of the audience--and The Guv 'imself, Dad (God).  It was wonderful. Not a dry eye in the house.



And I understand that Julie was so overwhelmed with joy that she got sick after the fair and puked in the car driving back to Davis. Joe cannot say he doesn't know what/who he's getting. Me, I'm waiting for the video to show it to Danny.

Nov. 27th, 2016

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Chalk One More Up to November.

This has been a tough week. In addition to Julie's surgical adventures, we lost Danny's lovely father, Emil Caccavo. It's hard to sum Emil up in a sentence or two: he was funny, passionate about social justice, a teacher, an entrepreneur (he always had a terrific idea for a new scheme). He was a father and a husband, loved by his family, and damned near everyone who knew him. The kind of guy who'd flirt with the waitress just enough to embarrass his kids.
He was 99 1/2, and the end was a long, gentle decline rather than an abrupt or traumatic stop. He'll be deeply missed--but he left the world a better place whan he found it, and not everyone can say that.

Nov. 24th, 2016

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Thankfully: Julie's Sprung


Portrait of a woman lighter one appendix and full of delicious painkillers. And on her way home.

Nov. 23rd, 2016

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WTF November (WTF 2016, for that matter)

Along with the awful that was the election and threatens to be the next four years in my country (a country which I love and in whose potential I believe), and the deaths of some people I loved and admired... my daughter Julie went to the hospital last night with what turned out to be a ruptured appendix. The offending item has been removed, strong antibiotics are being applied, and we have reason to believe that she'll be up and dancing in what will seem like an age to her, but will really be pretty quick.

But as I keep quoting, first at Julie and then at November in general: "You really delight in these sadistic strains on my blood pressure, don't you?" (from The Little Mermaid, if you were wondering.)

Oct. 28th, 2016

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All Whitehall in a Nutshell

Or rather, all Whitehall in a single ebook. If serialized fiction--and waiting for the next chunk of it--is not your bag, but you were interested in Whitehall, the episodic story of Catherine of Braganza, Barbara Palmer, and King Charles II, you're in luck.

Whitehall is now available in ebook form! Wherever, as the phrase goes, fine ebooks are sold. Really: run right over and pick up your copy today.

Sep. 15th, 2016

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Two Out of Three

The top layer was in the fridge...

Sep. 14th, 2016

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Covering the Books

I never seem to get the smooth, finished look of the fondant that I imagine. Still, they're supposed to be old books, and they look like old books, so...

Tonight: gilding and embossing.

Sep. 12th, 2016

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I Did Say There Would Be Photos

Three cakes (small - spice) (medium - chocolate) (big - yellow) have been made and rough-shaped and crumb-coated.

Tomorrow night: the coloring, rolling out, and application of fondant.

Wednesday evening: decoration.


In the beginning there was batter.


Post baking, cooling, thinking upon its fate.


Three tiers, three books.

Must see if there's a way to create "marbled" edges. Hmmm.

Sep. 10th, 2016

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Caking Books

This week we're celebrating the Bookbinder's Museum's first year in our beautiful space as part of Third Thursday (the Yerba Buena/SOMA cultural celebration that happens--you guessed it--on the third Thursday of every month).

So I'm making a cake.

As a stack of books. Old books (16th century, give or take) and new (19th century).

There will probably be process photos, because you know I do that.

You have been warned.

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