Monday, August 31, 2020

Caramelized onions and future plans

 I got an email from my library cook book book club, Bite Club,  mentioning quiche using caramelized onions and leeks among other things. No leeks, not a fan of quiche with a crust, but anyway.. 

I had found myself baking bread,  reluctantly, as planned (whole-wheat, white, oatmeal), and thought well, caramelizing onions is slow and dull if you do it right, so while I'm waiting for bread to bake, now's the time.

Grated a couple of frozen onions -- no tears that way -- and the last of the farm potatoes, salt, garlic, curry powder. Olive oil, then a knob of butter on top

 Started it hot to sear as usual, turned it way down and scraped a bit now and then, otherwise left it alone while I had a pot of tea and a cookie.

By the time the bread baked, the onion stuff had reduced to this. Not as brown as onions alone because of the potato.

Then the bread put in an appearance

I couldn't resist showing off the spiffy stove. And noticed that the cleaner hinges also let the door open a lot more suddenly. This nearly resulted in clouting my knee and skidding the loaf off the rack faster than I expected.  But all is well.


The connection between fresh bread and the lovely onion potato mix is that before long there will be cheddar cheese and onion sandwiches, toasted on the pan where the caramelizing happened.  It already smells great.

Supper is planned, almost accidentally. Also a couple more.

Stove Capers solution

 So, unwilling to start taking the door off, and still annoyed about the spider webs, I wondered if there's another way to get inside that glass sandwich.

And see what I came up with. A flexible 18" metal ruler with a cork backing, end wrapped in Scotch tape to avoid scratching. 

Slid it in the slot, waved it about inside. It easily accessed all the corners.  I did remove the shelves but needn't have, as you see.

 I seem to have demolished the spider webs.  And if they start up again, I know what to do.

I expect this is what the mother of the designer did with her oven instead of taking the door off. After biffing him one for the design fail.

Done.  If this is useful please follow suit. 

That's not rust on the broiler pan, it's the water deposits from many years of baking bread and adding a cupful of hot water to the hot oven as I put in the dough, to create steam and give a good crust.

Which reminds me to bake bread today. And be able to see in, as it's baking, what a treat.

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Gardening and future planning

 Too tired for my scheduled exercise, sat about for a bit, then thought I'm not too tired to water the downstairs plants.

Famous last words.

I watered, then a few minutes later noticed a small flood around the plants. There ensued mopping, moving, wiping, discovering that the plant sitting inside a wicker container was busily leaking. 

When I tried to move it to the patio to see what was what, the wicker container fell apart. Ah.  So new saucer for the plant, then I turned my thoughts to the hanging spider plants in the kitchen.

 And, here's the planning part: since I have to climb steps to reach and lift them off the hook to water in the sink and drain, then muscle them back up again, it's time to think again.

The smaller one, aside from needing to be repotted, is lighter and less likely to drag me off the steps with its weight when watered. So that can hang there for now.

 I'm starting to have other plans for those hangers now, involving S hooks and dowels and kitchen utensils. Watch this space.

For the bigger plant, I found a new pot, desperately needed, poor thing totally rooted and weary, and repotted it with fresh soil. In a bigger pot. Which I definitely am not going to climb up and down with.

 A handy studio stool is now in a new home. The plant is looking around at her new friends.  And a dreaded task is done.  

While I was doing all this hauling and sweeping after the potting was done, I thought I might as well, on a roll now, package and label my seeds.

 They're now in a dark kitchen drawer away from the stove. I might even start them in winter just to get a bit of foliage, we'll see.

All in all I might as well have done the exercise. Funny how you find energy for what you feel like doing, but just too tired for what you don't feel like. And I'm rationalizing that all this frenzy of activity counts.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

Stove Capers

 If you're cooking and baking a lot as I seem to be, the stove starts showing it. And if you haven't let your lovely cleaning family in since March, it looks a bit pathetic. 

So I improved the shining hour and the top has emerged looking much better.  The stove door glass, after ammonia, fans, open windows, soaking, scraping, wiping, cursing, sighing, yielded to force majeure and now you can see through it.

Which reveals a little problem, namely spider webs.

 These are a constant in this climate so it's not surprising. There's a narrow gap at the bottom of the door, through which they moved in.

 You can't actually get into the inside because it's so close to the floor you can't insert anything to clean with. I've tried wire with cloth attached, small bottle brush, and everything meets the same problem. Physics.

So I thought, maybe I even have to take off the door and insert something like a yardstick or something, with a rag firmly attached, and wave it about? 

Bothering my silly little head, no doubt there's a Better, a Manly Way to do this. Aside from the fact that I would need a burly man to lift this heavy door off its hinges without dropping it. 

YouTube. Official instructions. First this is a two person job. Remove the door. Okay, I unearthed the manual, I know how.

And then, here comes the Manly Official Way to clean inside the door of a high end appliance. See the yardstick, cloth attached, being waved about?

Does this strike anyone as a major design fail? Someone who had never cleaned an oven "designed" this.  This is the best they can do? 

If I had a burly man in residence this might be what he gets to do this afternoon. I bet he's glad he doesn't live here.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Urgently needed cookies

 I'm conscientious about always having a little something in the house to go with a cup of tea, because, weekly, Handsome Son comes with groceries late in the day, and refreshments are called for.

I used to invite him weekly to a three course from scratch dinner, the leftovers from which were my meals for the next couple of days. These went over so well I learned to reserve some of the meal, or there might not be any leftovers! 

Now my energy level has changed, my shopping obviously has, so it's Nice Baked Goods and a Pot of Tea with its own Cosy. 

Anyway I'm so tired of banana bread and chocolate cake and muffins of all nations, so I sought out a new cookie. New to me, that is. You've probably been baking them for donkey's years. Cornmeal cookies.

Anyway it's one of those recipes that goes several times around the block nattering about how many times it took to get it right, what their spouse thought, if the kids liked it, how their mother inlaw admitted defeat and finally gets to the actual recipe. 

I realize this is all about making room for advertising which is income. Also that a lot of steps online cooks put in are just to leave their mark but don't matter to the food. And I've left their credit in my pic so you can follow up if you want

This is actually quite good. It includes caster sugar, which I don't have, but I figured it's just fine sugar, and I shoved some granulated sugar in the grinder and turned it into fine sugar, which I declared caster.

 It also makes more volume when you grind it, and I remeasured and now have a bit of backup caster sugar in the cabinet along with the regular granulated. 

It uses brown sugar which I likewise don't buy, just add a spoonful of molasses to granulated, works the same.

And I did the flour half white half whole-wheat, as well as the cornmeal, that is.

She gives extensive instructions on how to mix, but really just cream the butter and sugar, add in the egg, the dry ingredients gradually, done. It makes little difference beyond that.

Here's the result, usual party overflow on a separate little sheet.

And cooling on my single rack, with a stand-in broiler rack playing the role of wire rack. 

The bit that fell off in transit is cook's privilege, eaten right away.

Crunchy outside, honey-like inside. Pretty good. Yes, adding these to the repertoire.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Update and Great Winnowing redux

 Yesterday was an adventure involving Appie, next door's cute fluffy runaway, Twitter and the neighbor who wanted the Party on the Patio.  Read on.

Yesterday he had a ton of kitchen cabinets delivered, I mentioned he was renovating, and in the excitement one of his dogs, always wanting to run into traffic, took off.

I found out when he was driving about looking totally upset, asked me to keep an eye open. I did. No sign.

 Little while later I was catching up on Twitter and there's her pic, being petted at the police station. I tweeted I knew her, owner on way, which he was as soon as I showed the pic to his partner.

 Dog's home, he's very grateful. She'd been picked up about 150 yards away. In traffic. She's chipped, no tags, so they used Twitter having failed to find the chip (!)

So today we were chatting as I was out Winnowing, and a third neighbor showed up, the subject of distancing came up, she said nobody gets near her, no visitors. I agreed, said my max was son and me. Patio Party neighbor agreed, not worth it. So all's well. He's got it. 

And while we were all happy I asked him to carry the shelving unit to the dumpster for me. He's always willing, so I think after I found his dog, he was pleased to do a thing.

So today being the first lovely cool sunny day in months, I was able to get to the Great Winnowing redux. It was interrupted by the pandemic stopping donations to the thriftie, also anxiety also tiredness after all the January Winnowing. 

I'd stopped before getting to the outside storage area which gets to be the place stuff waits till I know what to do about it. No before pictures, too depressing.

I really had a great time lugging stuff about,  and ended up being able to dispense with the rusty ancient shelves, the picture shows the more attractive underside.

And here's the result.

 Painting gear in the car, as God is my witness I will never paint another wall again,  with a large pet taxi,  destined for the thriftie. 

Meanwhile back in the storage area, on the left is the gardening gear everyone in the neighborhood can borrow, that will stay when I leave. It's a sacred trust! And the stepladder probably. 

Stuff on the right comes with me, and do you spy two little Sterno stoves? Camping gear but useful in a power outage in an all  electric place with a patio. No fuel, but sufficient unto the power outage be the concerns thereof.

I had originally thought of hiking on the Preserve today, but this sort of overcame me, and served several good social purposes, what with seeing one neighbor I haven't seen in person for ages, and reinforcing friendship with the Patio Party friend. Not to mention flinging stuff about is exercise.

 So next, lazy afternoon on the patio, crowd of one, reading  Mrs Pargeter's Public Relations.

I finished an Izzy see Here

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Distancing, pressure and farm joy

 Recently I've been thinking again about moving, possibly next year, to a rental, already got my choices in mind. I'd been thinking that one of the best things about this neighborhood is the free friendships, people chatting, helping etc.

Since covid it's changed. People still friendly, but all in their bubbles. I go days without even seeing anyone. Can't be helped. But if I move, I won't be any more alone than I am now at this rate.

And a perfect unit for me came available this week. All kinds of advantages. Ground floor, nearer Handsome Son but not in his face, friends used to own it, another friend lives right there.

 But this is not a time to put the house on the market. Next spring maybe. The idea being to move, then list the house.   This rental was available less than a year ago. Job losses have sadly affected renters. Sooooo, son more or less on board. Next time this unit is up, or a similar one in that development, I'll go for it. I suspect this rental will be available again. The reason for a rental is that I don't want to leave Handsome Son stuck alone having to sell a house. Just emptying a small rental is much more within reason.

Then, amidst all this musing, friend one stopped by, said just a chat, hadn't seen me (he lives nextdoor), very nice. Wondering if old times might return. Read on.

 Couple of hours later, text from mutual friend two,  saying they're planning a little party for friend three. On my patio next weekend. Probably five people. On my 8x10 deck. Which accommodates two safely. Chinese food, which I don't do, guest of honor an acquaintance likewise, all arranged before mentioning it! I think they got a bit carried away. 

Sooo this may explain the little visit ahead of time. Advance diplomacy. Anyway I restrained my initial amazement  and just texted that it will be a long while before I'm comfortable in groups.

 Then sat quietly reading through the subsequent litany of texted reasons why it would be FINE, and four people (where'd the guest of honor go, not in the list) isn't really a GROUP,  and well if I'm really not comfortable OUTSIDE with FOUR CAREFUL PEOPLE she understood. No thought that maybe I had other plans. Or that it's too hot for me outside.

I put into practice something I often forget: don't debate. Don't give multiple reasons as I did above, because they'll be batted away one by one. Just stick with polite no.

Anyway at the end of all this I thanked her for understanding (!),  said that was kind. And let her have the last word: they'll wait till I'm comfortable! Might be a long wait.

So today a restorative trip to the farm happened.

Lovely canteloupe, six desserts there, new supply of tomatoes, may freeze some for later sauce, first peaches. 

All taking a cool bath, not so much because of handling, probably three people at most, but to wash off mud and wildlife. 

And today's lunch salad, still with the chicken farmer pie for main, is dandelion greens, chives and sliced tomatoes.

I made a new dressing: olive oil, white vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, grated lemon zest, hot pepper seeds. Very good.  Now that the dandelion is getting bitter, needs some opposition. I just made this little quantity for now.

After this really good lunch, with a peach in prospect, the saga of the patio party is starting to look funny. 

Sunday, August 23, 2020

Substitution reigns

 So, since my personal shopper is not adept at buying fresh mushrooms, the last lot, way past its best, showing his inexperience, and I can't explain how I choose chicken, I must be very picky, I thought I'd try some canned goods as substitutes, failsafe shopping.

Some meals you cook, some you assemble, and this was to be about assembly. And since I couldn't be bothered to make a pastry for this pie I thought, ha, all that big talk about not using potato flakes as mash, take it back, because you're about to. 

The idea is a pie with chicken, mushrooms, onions, garlic, carrots, and a lid of mashed potato. If the meat were beef, it would be cottage pie, lamb would be shepherd's pie, what would chicken be? Chicken farmer pie?

Anyway, here's the mise en scene, as drama folk say.

And by the time I'd rinsed the mushrooms, drained the chicken, steamed the carrots, chopped and slow sizzled the onions and garlic and mixed the mash, added the cumin and fresh minced Thai basil, it felt a lot like cooking to me.

Always good to cook in cast iron. I originally thought the souffle bowl would be good, but it turned out to be too big, so it became the mixing bowl. 

Here's the doings, next time I'll precook the mushrooms on top of the stove, and add more salt

And here's the lid, paprika shaken about, little design forked (!) in, this was fun, like playing with that chocolate bark I did for Valentine's.

Verdict: not too bad. Four meals here. And if I still like it at the end, I have enough ingredients to do it again. But I think real mash next time. And maybe I'll venture to the Asian store for good mushrooms. They get them from Kennet Square, good regional source.

This isn't designed to be a food blog, but my life's a bit more solitary nowadays, like a lot of us, and it's an interesting topic.

 Except for the friends who wait patiently for me to get on to something they want to read!  Years ago I was one of them. So I try for variety. And since there's my parallel blog Art blog, there's stuff going on over there, too. 

Always something.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Bread displacement activity

 I need bread, but this is what happens when you just aren't in the Mood to Bake Bread.

You enter into a cupcake period. I've made cornbread into cupcakes, worked okay. So.

 Now there's walnut chocolate chip sort of muffin or cupcake things

And banana ginger sort of muffin or cupcake things, fresh ginger minced and slung in

 The freeform ones are the result of running out of muffin tin space, since it seems that one banana bread loaf recipe is more than even 12 completely filled muffin places' worth. Which meant sitting their cupcake cases on a sheet. But I expect they'll eat, as home cooks say. They took about 40 minutes to bake, almost as long as the full loaf. 

I can point virtuously to the walnuts! Whole-wheat!  Bananas! Ginger! proving that all this is wholesome breakfast food, just like toast. Or something.

Friday, August 21, 2020

Thoughts of proxy food shopping

It's proving surprisingly tricky to create a weekly shopping list for Handsome Son to use.  He cooks, but differently and less elaborately than I do, so some items I can't convey very well to a shopper unfamiliar with them. And I don't always know the label name of the item.

The results are a bit comic. There's macaroni here as a result of my needing rotini and being unable to recall the name, so asking for curly pasta.

 And he texted me to ask if potato flakes are the same as instant mashed potatoes. Since I use them for thickening and for breading instead of crumbs, I'd forgotten that. 

But he's such a good guy. Since we establish he can never go wrong buying Gala or Fuji apples, he meticulously gets some of each every time I list them.

And he figured I would no longer be interested in Goya after their CEO's disgraceful speech, so my beans are nowadays house brand.

 When I realized the store he works at, and shops for me, has mixed cheese ends, he varies what he chooses. Hence the provolone recently, also Swiss, Muenster,and plain old jack.

 I used to shop high end for cheese, and would study the display before deciding. But I'm not asking him to make special trips and then read my mind to figure out what I want. So it's either sharp cheddar or ends, and it does fine.

 I've adapted to what I get at the farm, online and via Son. I'm still dining pretty well. And I'm lucky.

 This personal hero works two jobs, one remote gig in software, formerly his full-time pre-recession occupation, one at the grocery store, and still has fun, down the shore today, and never fails with my shopping. So what's a bit of curly pasta between friends?

Speaking of dining, while I was outside reading my meters to send pix to the utility company who can't send readers right now, I thought I may as well pick the few green tomatoes. Saving farm seeds to try next year.

The farm tomatoes are so much better, and redder, and more numerous, that I may declare the home season done, toss the foliage, and have fried green tomatoes. Breaded with potato flakes.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Never a dull moment

 The dear little car continues to present puzzles. I noticed that though there was an odometer reading visible when I bought it, it went away after I had it in for service and duping the key. Instead I had a screen called A with some unrelated number on it.  Seems to me it's good to know your actual mileage at all times, so.. 

Much study of the owner's manual, YouTube videos and various online discussions later, it turned out that the figure was a trip counter. And it's one of several choices on the same screen, including the odometer reading.

Now it doesn't look like a technological advance to me, to have to push multiple buttons to find out, separately, two  things that used to show together on my 99 Civic.  

And it was heartening to observe the number of guys as confounded as I over this issue. 

Anyway despite the diagrams I found online being too small to decipher, would not enlarge, because screenshots on people's devices. Even using my page magnifier didn't help, anyway, I took a shot.

By And spent quite a while unknowingly setting and cancelling cruise control because I foolishly thought the nearest buttons were probably related to the setting button..noooooo, they're in a completely different place.

Finally got the operative screen working, but instead of the array promised, it just toggled back and forth between two functions neither of which is identified in the manual.

Then joy, a new screen, with various choices. I scrolled through and suddenly it's all in Spanish. Still no odometer reading. I don't mind the Spanish, since the meaning is pretty claro. And the trip counter now read A zero.

Soooo off to get gas today, once again struggling with the gas cap release, till the attendant reached in and yanked it open. 

Home  again and I thought I will not be defeated by this vehicle. I'll show it who's paying the bills. Tried again. Yay, the odometer reading showed up; I seem to have driven about 500 miles since March, still in Spanish but I didn't want to push my luck. I expect it will reset itself behind my back anyway.

Meanwhile it's still full-on allergy season, and I'm adding to my tools my favorite again, local honey.

 This is raw honey, packed with pollens and other stuff that gets filtered out to make it look golden and clear. But it's as good for allergy congestion as chewing on local honeycomb.

Local is important, because the bees have processed and rendered harmless the same pollens and other stuff that cause the trouble. I think it's similar to vaccinating with killed viruses. Anyway it relieves congestion a treat for me.

Handsome Son had similar issues when he was small, and was also allergic to decongestants. So I'd get honeycomb from the local farm and have him chew on a little bit, and you could literally see him breathing better and feeling more cheerful. He liked it, too, always a strong point.

 This isn't medical advice, just what we've found. I don't use it exclusively, but it's definitely a player in first do no harm.

And nature's on it again, the Thai basil starting to go to seed.

 I'll save them along with the tomato seeds for next year. More potting soil arriving today, for houseplants and maybe another potato container. White potato this time. I have better luck with white spuds.

I do better with growing than with electronics. But I have to admit the new car is keeping my brain active with problem solving. I just don't think I should have to. I just want to peacefully drive from a to b. Or should I say A to B.

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Conservation and consumption

 Today's lunch, farm food. Potzan Toms.

 Potato cubed, roasted yesterday with berbere spice mix, seasalt, olive oil, ready to finish up today. Roma plum tomato, diced, ready to add and dress.

The seeds to dry and save for next year are on one side. 

Potatoes warm, tomato room temperature, all dressed with vinaigrette mixture. It's really good to have this just warm. That way the flavor is best. 

This dressing is officially Mary Moon Dressing around here. It goes amazingly well with the berbere mix, too.

Civic duty covid style

 I don't have a TV, so I  found the Democratic convention roll call online. It's always been the best part of the convention for me, and this year really showed us to ourselves.

As an old white lady, an immigrant, a get out the vote activist, a caregiver, a fighter for special needs children, an artist, a women's nonprofit organization leader, a small business owner, a public broadcaster, an opportunity maker for other people as well as myself, and a Jersey Girl, I present our governor, Phil Murphy

And I'm all in for Kamala. Oh, and Joe too, since he's part of the deal.

See, we  can all do nomination speeches this time around. 

US readers, whoever you vote for, please protect our vote and use it. 

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Food for me and my mosquitoes

 Today's huge outing consisted of a trip to the farm around the corner

 for tomatoes and white potatoes, on the way to return a library book. I decided to get gas tomorrow, enough excitement for one day. Also I have to review how to pop the gas cap again.

Then home for a macaroni salad with provolone cheese sauce, and a fresh tomato, all dressed with a mixture of olive oil, cider vinegar, freshground black pepper, pinch of seasalt, pinch of sugar, shaken like I was playing castanets. It was good. More for tomorrow, too.

After all this mad excitement, a lovely summer afternoon on the patio, knitting my diagonal scarf, listening to Prunella Scales performing Lucia's Progress.

 Pot of tea, cornbread. Watching all kind of butterflies and wasps and moths all over the butterfly bush. Then the mosquitoes got me in range and proceeded to enjoy afternoon tea on my arms. 

So I retreated indoors.

We might be gaining ground on the USPS fight, with the concession today from the PGM. Which I will believe when I see it.

I've been writing and messaging and signing up a storm this week. All my legislators, the Gov, the State AG, the chairman of the USPS governing board, and the PGM hisself. Today our AG  announced a lawsuit against the  USPS.

And  yesterday I had a word with my letter carrier to assure her I had her back, as in doing all I could.

She's as important as anyone else in this. She's a treasure. In fact the reason I was able to catch her to talk was that she brought my mail to the house instead of leaving it  in the mailbox cluster at the corner.   Because I think she noticed the package of medications, the sound of pills unmistakable. Hot weather, wanted to save me a few steps.

This is the lady who not only knows everyone on her route, she knows their pets by name. And who told me that if I didn't pick up my mail one day she was coming in to check.  She's worth fighting for. As is the constitutionally guaranteed USPS.

Climbs down off soapbox, resumes knitting.

Sunday, August 16, 2020

One person's disaster is another's reminder

 My neighbor, whose history with refrigerators has been more of a comedy of errors than he deserves, came over this afternoon to announce his high end very expensive stainless steel fridge has yet again broken down.

Three months ago he had to store a lot of perishable food in various friends' fridges including mine, and I thought that was the need now.

 Not immediately, the freezer is kaput, the fridge working for now. Wondered if I still had the bag of ice I stored for him last time around, forgetting I'd given it back.

Which reminded me to tell him I didn't have room to do that again, on account of the art materials stuffed along with food in my chest freezer.

Last time there was a freezer event at his house, another neighbor and I heard what sounded like hammering in his kitchen. We had keys, he was away, and we went in to see.

And were met with ice cubes flying out of the ice maker in the door at high speed, bouncing and ricocheting all over the kitchen, hitting us sharply as we struggled to sweep up the ice floes on the floor and hope the fusillade would stop. Those things sting.

 It slowed down some, we called him to advise him to get home.  Which he did, after angrily calling the repair people who'd just replaced a no-freezing ice maker which had flooded the kitchen with ice water while he was at work.

Now the freezer is working and the fridge has gone again.

So now he's ordering a new one. Earliest delivery mid- September..

I don't have the heart to mention I'm still using the GE that came with the house. In 1992. Working fine.

And I'm reminded that papermaking is on the Summer's agenda.

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Cornbread, castiron

Cornbread baked in castiron

That is all ye know on earth

And all ye need to know.

Keats in a different context but it works here, too.

Friday, August 14, 2020

Beenzen beans

 Lunch today: bean fritters made with pinto beans mashed with an egg, bit of cornstarch, bit of cornmeal. Rolled about in cornmeal because I'm running out of things to roll fritters in. And a great big pinch of berbere. 

This is an Ethiopian spice  mix, which requires that you are in no hurry to get there. Long list of ingredients, where you decide what to use for the ones you definitely can't get unless there's an Ethiopian grocery in your life.

 Then you pretty much empty your entire spice repertoire onto the counter, and get grinding and mixing and sneezing and getting quite high on the scents.

Since beans are by definition fairly bland, likewise cornmeal, it's fine to add the berbere with panache.

I had this with those farm green beans I mentioned, steamed,  and made a dressing pretty much swiped from Ms Moon.

Oil, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, minced garlic. I don't think I'll have them any other way after this. Thank you Mary, lovely stuff. I didn't have shallots, but I managed.

Today's lunch

Tomorrow's lunch, together so I remember they should be together. I need visual aids.

Little walk down the street and I came upon a little fantasy world, like a housing development for imaginary characters.

 I wonder if the gnomes I saw the other day  couple of houses down from this Acorn Glen are planning to move in. Or looking for decorating ideas.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Nowt so funny as folks!

 Yorkshire saying, funny meaning peculiar. I was just reading people on Twitter explaining people's jokes to the people who wrote them, and it reminded me of a couple of hilarious encounters of the weird kind right here in this blog.

As you know, I use Boud as a screen name, largely in honor of a long gone cat Boudicca, named for the British warrior queen who came very close to defeating the Romans at the battle of Colchester. Small but deadly. Boud the cat was six pounds at her heaviest, and a handful in both senses. 

She would do awkward kid tricks like run and put her tiny paw into the insignificant little hole in my oriental rug, caused by a cinder falling out of the fire. Usually when I had guests admiring the rug before she pointed out its flaw. After that it was all oh what a pity it's ruined..

Anyway I had a series of emails from a lady who found the name Boud on my blog, said she'd been directed to it by a website about genealogy.

 She wanted me to tell her all I could about her ancestor Elizabeth Boud. I explained it wasn't my name, and she got angrier and angrier that I wouldn't help her.

 I asked for the website so I could get in touch and have them remove the false lead. She refused, and said you're the kind of person who makes genealogy hard, refusing to share information. We're probably related, you might be a distant cousin.

 I couldn't dislodge the idea, so I quietly retreated.  She's probably still complaining about this vital contact who wouldn't share!

Then there's the floor lady who had read my posts where I crowd-sourced my choices of laminate flooring, showing pix ofaof sample colors, and having people reading this blog help me choose.

 It was during the caregiving years, I couldn't leave Handsome Partner to go to see samples at the store. So they kindly brought some to the house, knowing I was serious, needing to replace carpeting which is dangerous for a wheelchair and a Hoyer lift. Anyway I needed input and blogistas got right into it with me.

This lady tried to book me to lay flooring at her house. No amount of explaining I didn't do floors worked. I offered to tell her the company I'd used and been pleased with. Then she accused me of fobbing her off to any old workers when she wanted my work.. again, quietly strolling away was required, leaving her threatening me with reporting for refusing her business. I wondered if there were a Floor and Rug Police Force somewhere.

Amazing what contortions people can get themselves into with no outside assistance.

Back to today. Books ahoy!

My latest library drive-by loot: 

Stormy days this week, so I'll be occupied. 

(Ed.note to Marilyn: notice Meg got me Bel Canto. She got a copy for herself, too,so we're on.) 

I just looked up and there's the afternoon hummingbird whipping around the butterfly bush. It's a female. Solidarity!

Anyway, Beautiful Metaphor calls. Wait till I write it then check.

 Tea next. Sadly no cake left, sigh.