Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Nature always helps, casualties and survivors.

My brother's funeral today, far away, and I decided to mark it with a morning at the Preserve, walking and thinking and noticing. 

I had a first ever sighting, of a young red fox, galloping down the trail toward me until he noticed me and vanished like magic into the trees.  He was limping badly,and I wondered how he'd come by the injury. 
Not my first sight of a fox -- usually they're in parking lots, where they've discovered dumpsters and foolish humans who offer to feed them -- but in the real wilderness, and looking a lot better than his parking lot cousins, despite the limp.

Recent massive storms have broken a lot of old trees, and lifted some giants clean out of the ground. 
This is a sample of the kind of twisting damage done by high winds, more and more common here.  I didn't venture further into the beechwood, in case a late falling tree put paid to me.  There were some, in the interior, maybe a hundred feet tall, lying flat, their roots completely in the air.

And then there were little survivors like this miniature butterfly about half an inch across, on the wildflowers.  He was leaving as I clicked, so he's a blur of activity.  Which about sums him up, probably.

Nice way to spend a difficult morning.  I woke this morning at 6 a.m., the time the funeral was taking place in a different time zone. So this walk seemed appropriate, to mark the day.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Stress Buster Bread, at least that was the plan

So, awaiting news of the car in the shop, and driving very nervously in a rental, amazing what even a small collision will do to your nerves, especially in a high traffic environment such as my region, and feeling very shaky, literally, over family news and events, very sad, very difficult to process, I decided that Yet More Baking might be a good thing right now.

Keen and astute readers will no doubt have observed that I still have not baked bread. Still on all the alternatives to baking my regular bread, which I love, but I'm Not in the Mood.  That's one of the luxuries of living alone, that if you aren't in the mood to bake bread you don't even have to explain it,you just do what you are in the mood for.

Which turned out to be zucchini bread from the Silver Palate cookbook.

The lengthy list of ingredients, these women really went to town, daunted me only slightly. But I had no ground cloves, subbed ground ginger, realized that the farmshare this week had no zucchini, but three cucumbers.  So I figured, well, only I know about this, who's to complain if the zucchini bread is in fact cucumber bread, maybe a cookbook writer would call it Mock Zucchini Bread. 

Anyway, I thought I'd just grate the outsides of the cucumbers, leaving all the seed part, and it took all three of them to make enough shreds.  The seed part I sliced and put into apple cider vinegar as a salad component, waste not want not.

Then I figured I'd better let it sit in a sieve, to drain a bit, cucumbers being more watery than the zs.

So far so good.  And the book said to whisk together all the dry ingredients.  Which I did,luckily noticing in time I'd misread the spoon size for the baking powder, and since the bp was still lying in a little mound on top of the other ingredients, was able to rescue most of the excess, anyway, I whisked and whisked and it was all nice and evenly distributed.  I use a whisk instead of sifting, suits me better.

Then the next instruction was to mix the SUGAR with the oil, vanilla and eggs.  Well, heck,why didn't she say so before?  and since when does sugar not count as dry?  so, grumbling savagely about glackity cooks, I beat and beat, just the eggs and oil and vanilla, then folded in the walnuts -- fortunately I had walnuts, so I wasn't tempted to chuck a cup of thumbtacks in, you will assess my frame of mind at this moment -- and got all the dry ingredients folded gently in.  And here, despite the earlier instruction to put this all in a single big loaf pan, she suddenly chirps that the mixture goes into the pans, plural. Well,I grimly decided if it was too big, too bad, and poured it into my Big Loaf Pan.  Into which it fitted, in fact.

And baked it for the requisite long time, fortunately remembering it was there and not getting all involved up in the studio on other pressing matters.  And after all that it turned out really well.  I had the usual battle to get it out of the pan after it cooled a bit, but exercised the cook's prerogative of eating the bits that wouldn't part from the bottom of the pan.  And they were pretty good, if I say so myself.

But I found that my new approach, of setting out all the quantities of everything ahead of time, instead of my normal one of seizing the container for each thing as needed and measuring out from it, had the effect of using up every measuring cup and every bowl in my kitchen. So, though I did this to allow for my high stress level and difficulty in keeping things organized as a result, I think I'll go back to my old method which ends up in fewer dishes littered all over the sink and counters.  Gosh, there were more than I use for Thanksgiving.

So baking bread is now postponed again, while I enjoy this lovely nutritious NonZucchini Bread.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Ds do their Bit

We Dollivers have been observing with simpa commizer, well, we have been sorry about things for Boud lately.  So, since she seems to be thinking Doing Stuff is a good thing at this time, we all thought we'd pitch in.

We arranged with Elton and his close friend LittleDoll, sorry, he renamed her, we didn't get a vote, to play along while we did this huge job of organizing the bookcases upstairs.  Some of them.  They get used a lot and the books and tapes never go back where they were, and you know how it is.

Still togged up for the Fourth, you lookin' at us? it's still July, feller,  here we are lugging and rearranging and generally being a terrific help in this occupational therapy.

Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, It's Off to Work we Go, was the main theme, and Elton went into a medley of Smoke Gets in Your Eyes, except it was dust, and Sixteen Tons, that was a heartfelt one. Anyway, we report that she seems to be doing better with all the work going on.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Little things for this little mind!

I'm struggling a bit at the moment, what with the family events and the auto collision, and having to get the car in to the body shop tomorrow and drive a rental, arhrhrh, for a few days.

So I decided that I needed to do simple undemanding things so as not to add to the stress level around here.  Today was farmshare day, so that meant the afternoon was devoted largely to pickup and then processing all the veggies and sharing the ones I can't deal with.  Nothing like chopping and organizing and shoveling into freezer bags and deciding which to eat right away, which to cook later, for occupying your mind  harmlessly.

I delivered eggplant to my neighbors who love it, since I can't seem to learn to digest it, and they fell on it with joy, then sent me home with tonight's dinner -- spicy curry in a container, with several flatbreads, newly cooked as I chatted with them!

Then my evening DVD viewing required something very very low key, no tension nor anguish at all.  Those who've been reading here will realize that this is about a year since HP started to come to the end of his life.  At this time he was in hospice care and our lives were changing forever.  So there are a lot of flashbacks about that, as well as current affairs.  And the sadness of knowing that he would have known just what to say to me right now.

Soooooo, I watched a wonderful children's video "Mouse and Mole" very simple, very funny animation, officially for children, but wonderful for stressed out adults, too. 
Voiced over by Alan Bennett and another Brit actor, equally brilliant.  With Bennett, you can't go wrong, really.  I highly recommend this.  It's as sweet and funny as Wallace and Gromit with fewer special effects.  And it left me in a much calmer frame of mind.

Then I looked out and there were crowds and crowds of tree swallows, barn swallows and many kinds of dragonflies, zooming about over the house.  Which told me there was a great crop of insects to be caught, and I wonder if we will have a storm as promised, if they're flying this low. Wonderful to just watch them.

Speaking of dragonflies, I saw this feller at the Preserve lake the other day, and all my researches have not yielded his species. 
Seems to be a dragonfly (my picture shows the orange dragonfly plus his reflection in the water, a bit confusing at first), judging by the biplane wings and their blunt shape,and if any blogista knows better than I what he is, please let us know.  We have many types of dragonflies in this region, but this is the first bright orange one I've seen, with a black body.

So that's me.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Sometimes a treat helps

I was just thinking what would be a nice thing to do for myself right now, and concluded that sadness requires chocolate cake.  Not normally a big fan of chocolate at all, but just then a little baking seemed like a good plan.

So I made Wacky Chocolate Cake, which you've seen everywhere, usually called Crazy Cake or some other such insulting term. It's actually quite good and very easy, and deserves a better name.

I wondered briefly if I had the gitupandgo to make some sort of frosting, and idly leafed through recipes but even the simplest was more trouble than the cake itself, so I gave up and sprinkled some confectioner's sugar around.

I'm also revisiting The Provincial Lady, do this every couple of years, her various diaries too funny, and after I'd baked the cake and settled down with a slice, I picked up Provincial Lady in America, and instantly came upon this very appropriate comment: "almost every sorrow can probably be assuaged by a respectable meal. (Mem: try to remember this and act upon it next time life appears to be wholly intolerable.)"

Perfect timing. So that's where I am.

Brief sad news

My brother died during the night. He had been taken very ill several days ago, and how he's at peace. I will be walking the labyrinth in his memory.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Farmshare and sausage thing

This is the elegant name of the dish I cooked today.  Still very shaken up from the collision yesterday, waiting on the adjuster, got the police report number, all that. Also grappling with other bad news of relative's serious illness, but I haven't blogged about that because it's not my news to discuss.

Anyway, I thought, since among all the excitement yesterday I did pick up my farmshare, which had zucchini, corn, eggplant (three beauties which I gave to a friend since I can't digest them), yellow squash, sweet peppers and bell pepper, this called for something to cook that might use a lot of them and then freeze the results.

So this is what happened: Italian hot sausage, a first for me, the non meat person, and cubed zucchini, squash, peppers, garlic, Worcestershire, can of tomato chunks, tomatoes not in yet at the farm, sausage cooked in olive oil till done, drained,then the rest added bit by bit, so the veggies are all tender but not overdone.  It worked well, and I have four containers for the freezer to take out when I'm in the mood to eat but not cook.

I can probably blend a container, too, removing the sausage first, then add it back in, like an interesting soup.

Oh, and I'm entertaining good names for this recipe, if anyone wants to try naming it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Good news bad news, things not to do in a heatwave

Since I wrote this morning's innocent little post, there has been a rapid series of good news and bad news.

Bad news: really nasty intestinal thing too boring to go into, happened, but narrowly cleared up in time for me to go to the farm for my CSA.  So that was good news.  Plenty of corn in my share among other good things. Good news. So I went off to HS's condo to deliver some to his door as promised.

Then one of his neighbors, as I was driving up the lot, backed out at speed and tore off the rear end of my car.  This was bad news.  First accident in years.  Not in traffic, nobody else involved, nobody injured.  This was good news.

But I was out there in 100F heat making police reports and insurance reports, while the other driver refused to wait and drove away.  Bad news.  I insisted on getting her info before she left, and just managed to catch her license plate number as she vanished.  Good news.

 Friend of mine who lives in same complex came home, invited me in to get cool and drink cold water and calm down.  Good news.  Police officer totally on my side in this situation, said, as soon as he heard the name of the other driver, oh, say no more, I know her.  I'm ticketing her for leaving.  This is sort of okay news, I don't like people suffering over a stupid act. He checked the car, concluded it was drivable, tore off the bit left of the rear and stuffed it into the rear seat
interesting series of images here, the bits of the bumper and various reflections, so I could go home in the cool and do the insurance stuff.  Done.  Adjuster will call with instructions.  Car works, lights work, it's legal to drive.
What's left of the rear end

On the totality:  no person was hurt, though the other driver screamed at me that it was my fault!  I explained that the law says when you leave a parking place you are in fact responsible not to hit ongoing traffic.  More screams of rage and I just kept on insisting she give me her insurer, etc.  and despite her claims that I've always hated her (I don't even live there, haven't set eyes on her in maybe ten years, then only to say hello in passing, perhaps she thought I was someone else), I just kept on asking for the info until finally I got it. Phew.

All in all, a bit more action than I would have fancied on a hot day.

What to do in yet another heatwave, turtles and tees

Going up to 100F yet again this week, so there's a need to find something interesting to do that doesn't involve going outside.

So the turtle came out again, except that I think I brought on the heatwave, because I had put it away during the last one, figuring I'd wait till cooler weather before working in hot wool, and I did various other bits of stitching and art.  Brought it out the day before yesterday, and the mercury shot up immediately.  Oh well.

This irregular zigzagging will be blended into another color, rather close to this one, another green, and we'll see how it works out.  The original person who drew this out for me did it in a hurry, trying to take care of a lot of people fast, so I redrew it to straighten it out a bit.  The extra lines won't matter, since they'll disappear under stitching.

Then there was a need to slash and cut, so I got a couple of old tshirts which were too long for my taste, and
I just cut off a strip at the bottom, and like this much better.  The blue one (I happen to be wearing it right away, so you have a model showing this, interesting study in acrobatics, taking your own picture without a mirror, also had cuffs I didn't like so I cut them off, too.

Same with the yellow -- cut off the bottom, but I liked the sleeves already. 
The cut off bits have become hatbands, see one sample here.  And the slashing design I did by drawing the shapes on the wrong side of the fabric (I used geometric stencils) then cutting edge to edge to make a series of strips.  The blue one I did horizontally, the yellow one vertically, just to see how it went.  The nice part about tshirts is that you don't need to finish them, since they can't ravel.  Also they're fun to play with.  And my pix are not so good, so this will encourage readers to think heck I could do better than THAT, with or without a heatwave.  So this is all good.  In fact they look pretty sharp in action.

I have several I've stamped and/or embroidered at other times.  Tshirts are one of those here goes nothing kinds of activity, and life definitely needs them. Well, mine does!

Now I have to make a swift journey to the farm for my farmshare before coming home to play with my food.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Mystery flower and local fishermen

Today was cooler than it's been --  high eighties and higher today, felt positively cool.  So I did a lovely long walk down the island and back.  Of course once I stopped walking I realized it was actually quite hot, and my face was about to explode.

I spotted this flower, no idea what it is.  It's wild, growing by the pond, and is not purple loosestrife nor mallow, nor iris, not waterlily, my entire inventory of pond plants I know.  Anyone identify this, by any chance?

And here's a doughty family out fishing.  

Right after I took this shot, the lady of the group managed to swing her rod and hook herself in the back of the shirt.  Quite undaunted, she unhooked herself from her own line and went on casting.

Though it looks like an unlikely place, in fact there are some seriously large fish in this water, and some people catch for food. When HS was little I used to bring him here fishing, since I thought little boys ought to be able to say they went fishing as a little kid. Thankfully we never caught anything, since I think fishing is terrible for the poor fish, and would have been so guilty if we'd hooked any!  This is one of those dilemmas of parenthood.

Before they built a little wooden bridge at the end of this spit of land, it was like a peninsula, and the only place in town I could let dogs off the leash.  They used to run like maniacs up the island and back, except for one who accidentally learned to swim when she flew off the end, not realizing there was water there.  Big shriek from little dog, who paddled back to shore and insisted on being rescued from this terrible fate.  Never got her feet wet again. Not being a water person myself, I could see her point.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Rubber ducky!

Summer exhibit at one of the libraries I use (I go to three of them, how does anyone manage with fewer?  good collections at one, brilliant events at another, book group at third), anyway, here's a nice collection on display in the little glass case that's low enough down for little kids to see in without their parents having to lift them up all the time.  The thing that looks like a lightning flash is the overhead light reflected in the glass, no way around it.

I didn't even know you could have a collection of rubber duckies!  this one is too cute. Spent way too much time pointing and grinning.  I wonder if this young collector will get bigger and bigger stuff as he grows up. Like old cars in the driveway that he's working on. Or electronic gear everywhere that he's working on..

Pointing, but not grinning, at recipe book I got from same libe, looked like interesting, nonfussy foods, wonderful photography, of course. And found it was a snare and a delusion, not to mention a big lie.  To me a recipe tells you what ingredients to have on hand and how to proceed from there.  It does not involve telling you to add ready cooked frozen items, and cans of that ghastly mushroom soup beloved of food advertisers, and cake mix.  To me that's not cooking, that's assembling imitation toy food.  So there. 
I will withhold the title, to protect the guilty.  And flounce away and get my recipes from MC and Jean and other such real cooks.  And Julia, and Sheila Lukins.  And Jacques Pepin.  It's no harder to cook their way than by keeping the food packaging industry in business.

Speaking of Sheila Lukins, my favorite hot biscuit recipe is from Silver Palate, and I've done variations on it, including that one giant loaf thing I showed you recently, which went down very well.  Made it again yesterday and this time added in a handful of fresh picked basil and oregano, all chopped fine, and the kitchen smelled wonderful while it baked, and that too is going down a treat.  I did similarly with the Pepin Tibetan flatbread last week, and liked that, too.

Mainly I'm coping with finding cooking methods for the great vegetables I'm getting every week in my farm share.  Lovely redskin potatoes, which made up a great salad, steamed and cubed and tossed with a horseradish mixture, along with green beans.  Beautiful long yellow squash, very tender, sliced, steamed, needed nothing but a big shake of black pepper, mixed with corn kernels and some cucumber with a dash of vinegar.  All these are recently farm share hauls.  I'm finding my half share is just fine for me, except that excess corn is promised to HS, since that's going to be a bigger feature. 

The farm people tell me the crops are about two weeks ahead of schedule this year.  Strawberries long gone, raspberries just over this week, blackberries coming in next week, and eggplant.  It's really good to be eating my way through the seasons this way, aside from the interest of finding myself with a different selection each week.  The farm ladies do the selecting, picking, packing, sharing, labeling, everything, and all I do is show up and say thank you.  It's great.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Workshop and breaking news on Canadian blog

Yesterday I taught a workshop to about 50 people of all ages (many small kids with moms in tow as assistants) in our summer community workshop program.  This was the XBook, making a book from a single sheet of paper.  We provided colored papers, markers, crayons, scissors, and I brought in my samples and stages to show and teach, and a bunch of nice eyelash yarn in brilliant colors to do the binding.  I figured that this was a good choice,small project, fairly easy to master, and then you can make multiples, just what kids like to do once they get going.

There was a great output of original ideas, and the library held onto samples from each participant, letting them take their favorites home, for use in publicizing the fall Festival of the Arts.  It's so wonderful for me, as one of the founders of the summer art program and the Festival, to see how merrily it's rolling along.

And the cadre of teen volunteers
is a huge part of why it was fun for me yesterday instead of frantic.  They met me early, I showed them the procedures with the book then when the crowds arrived,
they fanned out to make sure everyone was able to manage.  Teen heroes!  and they did cleanup too, cheerfully.

Some people worked right through cleanup!

This is just a sample of the output of the group
Breaking news on the blog front:  there's a great new blog, opened by a writer in Canada, known to you as Jean from Cowtown in my comments,  news, views and interesting material from Alberta,  and you must check this out: go here

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hit Back! Candy your limes...

So the heat is excessive again, as they say on the radio, well over 100F today. I went early to the library to get a movie or two,and a book or two. Have you read Maureen Jennings? great detective stories set in 19th century Toronto, with her policeman hero Murdoch. Tv series also starring Murdoch, but the books are very well written, worth a visit. So she will assist with the entertainment during the heatwave.

I admit I have renewed admiration for our founding fathers,who sweltered in exactly this weather all that time ago, without AC, behind tightly closed doors and windows to avoid spying, and in lovely woollen clothes. And hats. And they still turned out documents that made sense, as far as they went.

Meanwhile, back at the weather. We have to think cool. And like a flash it came to me: why, take the extra limes you got at a great price, and have been using for baking and cool drinks, and make candied lime slices.

This seems like a good idea, if you like messing about slicing stuff and boiling stuff,which I do, liking to make jams and pickles and that kind of thing.

So, scorning to look up a recipe for this, I just made a simple syrup, equal parts water and sugar, sliced up two limes with my newly sharpened Big Knife,

and boiled the slices in the syrup till it boiled down a bit and they softened up a bit.

Then I lifted them out of the syrup with tongs, look out, it's boiling, and put them on a sugared sheet of tinfoil, more sugar sprinkled on.

The syrup I saved to use as,well, syrup, like on pancakes.

These don't taste like the commercial fruit slices where you wonder if there's any fruit there, but are really quite strong tasting, very citrusy/ironish, not to everyone's taste, but fine by me. And you can also bury them in sugar to flavor the sugar for future baking purposes.

Stop me before I candy again...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Food ahoy! here come the lemon/lime squares, and copyright

Today's breakfast was blueberry oatmeal pancakes, wonderful blueberries from the farm, you can use any old pancake recipe, I guess, and if the berries are right, it will work.  Drizzle of good honey over it.  Perfect summer breakfast.

Picture shows MC's recipe card on top of the oatmeal pancake page, so you can scrutinize both. And I checked with the recipe writer, MC, who generously gave me permission to post the recipe for her lemon squares here.  These are the ones I varied, using lime juice, the other day, and several blogistas have inquired about it.  It's from a forthcoming book, whose completion date is well into the future,and since she says there will be plenty of other dessert recipes, she's fine with sharing this one as a kind of advance gift from her book.  She reads this blog, so will be happy with any comments this elicits, I expect.

This post entailed one of those roundabout procedures I specialize in:  I took the picture of MC's recipe card in my book, had to do that downstairs, because that was where the best light was and the camera, then put away the book and the recipe and came up to upload and write my blog. 

Then realized I shoulda brought the recipe with me, if you are to get anything remotely resembling the original, my memory tending not to run to entire recipe cards.  So I went back down, and closed the front door (usually open, storm door shut, to let light in).  And I noticed that the knob was loose again. 

So I went off to the kitchen and rummaged around my tool drawer, got the right screwdriver, special small one to navigate around knobs, tightened the knob, put back the SD into the drawer, trotted back upstairs.  And realized I now had to go down again and GET the recipe card...excellent aerobic exercise, this cooking business.

So here, finally, quick before I lose the card, it goes:

LEMON SQUARES (I subbed lime juice last time, worked fine, I guess orange would, too)

Heat oven to 350 degrees

1 cup flour, half cup butter, quarter cup confectioner's 10X (icing) sugar, 2 eggs, 1 cup granulated sugar, half teaspoon baking powder, quarter teaspoon salt, two tablespoons lemon juice (or lime, or maybe orange)

Blend flour, butter and confectioner's sugar. Press into 8x8x2 square cake pan, building up sides (this is to contain the topping you will pour in eventually)  Bake 20 mins.

While that's happening, beat all the rest of the ingredients together.  Pour over the now baked crust, bake 25 minutes more, or just till you touch the top and don't leave a fingerprint.

Take out of oven, cool, try not to scoff the lot before it cools.  Cut into 2 x 2 squares (this stuff is rich, you won't want big slices, just many small ones...)

Enjoy, and thank MC for your luck in getting this great recipe, which is actually fun to do.

On another issue entirely, I need to ask the cooperation of blogistas: if you happen to see any of my blogposts appearing on other blogs, with no attribution to me, please be aware they've been stolen.   I just discovered by accident yesterday an entire blogpost, my copyrighted words, pictures, pictures of Ds, my copyrighted art dolls, all swiped and appearing in another blog as if written there.  Nothing on my blog is ever to appear anywhere else, pictures, words, nothing, without getting my agreement ahead of time.

I did instantly challenge the transgressor on this occasion and he took it down without an argument, claiming that it was only a link!  I explained that a link directing people to my blog is very welcome, and generous, and quite different from taking my professional work and simply entering it in your own blog as your own.  Not sure he got it, but anyway, now he knows.  I put links in my own blog to other places now and then, as a courtesy driving traffic to other artists' blogs, so they get the hits on their own work.  When people do that for me, I love it.  That's different.
I mentioned earlier that MC gave me permission to post the recipe above, but please be aware that the copyright protection extends to that, too.  Her permission is for you to use and enjoy the recipe for yourself and family, not to swipe it and use it elsewhere.  She didn't mention this, but I thought it timely that these things, both permission for her recipe, and the swiping of a blogpost of mine, have happened over the course of a single day,and I may as well mention it here.

My request to blogistas, who all know all this stuff, most of us being very aware of copyright, and some of us even being lawyers and designers and folks like that, is, if you see anything that seems to be mine appearing anywhere other than here, would you please give me a headsup?  I'll take it from there, and I'll be very grateful for your eyes.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Birthday Dear Country!

The Dollivers, Elton and all, wish us all a Happy Fourth of July!  big plans for today involve keeping cool, eating great Jerseyfresh food, mostly from the farm half a mile from here
and avoiding indoor fireworks.  With the Ds in residence, this is not always an easy task.

The other big thing today, Elton informs me, is that a Great Leap Forward happened in particle physics, namely the isolating of the Higgs boson subatomic particle.  Elton knows all about this and he thought it was why the Ds were all dressed up in sequins and lace.  They fell about laughing at the thought, and explained  about Independence Day,  that this was  a great reason to have new outfits, in red white and blue. Brocade, lace and sequins, to be exact.  Elton being a brit, went along with the color scheme at least.

After a great lunch,

assistance with corn by Marigold, Duncan explaining it all interfered with his scheduled nap, they gathered around to
sing all the appropriate songs for the day.  Elton had searched everywhere for a good Higgs boson tune, and had to settle for Particle of my Heart, before swinging into It's a Grand Old Flag, I Could Have Danced All Night, The Star Spangled Banner, and finally by special request as always America the Beautiful.

Canadian doll went along gamely with all the shenanigans, with a ringside seat at the piano keyboard. Happy Fourth, whether or not it's a holiday for you, dear blogistas.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Almost into the Fourth

Happy Fourth, to people who celebrate it, Happy Wednesday to all other blogistas.

Since I live in a ferociously historic part of the US, surrounded by historical markers and battlefields and cannonball pocked churches -- Molly Pitcher plied her water bucket only a few minutes from here, George Washington marched up the road a few miles on the other side, for the Battle of Trenton, a pivot in the War of Independence,local churchyard full of names of the signers of the Declaration, all that, it's all very close up and personal.

I did all my socializing already, expecting stratospheric heat again tomorrow -- oh, and to those kind people inquiring anxiously if we have power, after the massive storms and heat stress on the grid and so on, the answer is: yes, we're blessed with an excellent power company, and so far have been just fine. Unlike about one million other East Coasters who are sweltering in 100 F heat, with no AC, and no other power either.
The lime squares went over a treat, by the way, and I've emailed a request to the recipe author seeing about whether she will post it. She's in the throes of writing a cookbook, and I didn't want to do anything without her knowing about it and deciding what was best.

Meanwhile, farmshare day today yielded perfect Fourth of July food: corn freshpicked, tomatoes, blueberries, cucumber. A friend had given me a quarter water melon. So, with my Bad Hot Dogs and all the stuff that goes with them, I am all set.

Good books, including Jeffrey Eugenides Marriage Plot, I must write about him soon, he's brilliant, and various detective books that don't matter. Some good detective movies, including Morse, and a corny old Scottish sitcom, Monarch of the Glen, fully of hoary old cliches (lords of the manor officially Scottish for hundreds of years, actually talk like very U public school Englishfolks, the peasants talk like Scots, you know the kind of thing)but the scenery's lovely.

Happy Day, everyone! fireworks, Sousa, all that. The Ds are doing something secret and patriotic, but I have not been let into it yet, have to wait.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Tea, and Art! perfect together

For an account of this afternoon's fun, with art being picked up, and friends having a great chat, and Duncan and Marigold getting what they think is only their fair share of attention from the cat loving friend, go here