This morning, when I think both Mrs. Moon and I were asleep at the switch, since the sun completely failed to rise, instead, pitch dark and slashing rain everywhere, all the houselights on, I trudged gloomily to the kitchen to put on the kettle and found the primula had done this
Monday, November 30, 2020
Sunday, November 29, 2020
Arne and Carlos, pandemic style, no crew, just Norwegian speaking Arne operating the camera with one hand while, in English, explaining the function of a drill to Carlos who has never held one before, with the complications of trying to remember the English for DON'T DRILL THROUGH YOUR FINGER. It's a live video, and one of the best comic turns for a while.
At one point, Carlos -- they're out in the snow by the lake in Norway in winter -- finds that he can't screw two pieces together because there's ice in the joint. So he grabs Arne's hot tea, not his own, I notice, and pours it over! It works, too.
Just go to YouTube and see how a knitting designer assembles his first giant star for the outside of the house. He had said it was easy, expecting Arne, the handy one, to do it. Not how it worked out. And their dog photo bombing throughout. They have the first candle lit, for the first Sunday in Advent as you see.
Friday, November 27, 2020
In the mail today:
One early birthday present from me to moi
For the reveal, go to Art, the Beautiful Metaphor It's my other blog, and some people aren't aware that it's as active as this one. So if that's you, why not stop in and see what's there?
And, perfect timing, December will be here any minute, an Advent Calendar.
Complete with original decoration on the envelope, which is now enshrined here, traditional gallery for grandmas to put favorite artworks from beloved grandchildren of any age.
Very nice haul from a mailbox usually more inclined to yield grocery ads, catalogs, health magazines, invitations to visit retirement communities and explanations of hearing aids.
Thursday, November 26, 2020
Happy Thanksgiving to people in the US who are also celebrating on the day.
And for people being in electronic touch, I remember way back in the medieval period, when I was growing up in England, with family all over the known world and we finally, after years of waiting, long story, another time, got a telephone.
The number, which you usually recited on answering it, was Middlesbrough 44444. That was it. Because of the family diaspora, at holiday times my mom wanted to place transatlantic and transcontinental calls. At that time you had to book them, way ahead, and were instructed when you could expect to make the connection, Probably days later.
Anyway, it involved dealing with snooty London telephone operators, who never missed a shot at us poor Northerners..and they'd ask for your number and you'd say, British style, four double four double four. Little pause, and she say, aow, yew mean, dabble foah, dabble foah, foah.
So next time we'd remember that and do the double four double four four thing and this operator would crisply say, thet's foah, dabble foah, dabble foah. Could not win! All this for a four minute call, all that was allowed, most of which we wasted asking about the weather. Is it hot in Africa? Well, yeah, it's Africa! is it cold there in Canada at Christmas? well, yeah, it's Canada at Christmas. Etc. Vital communication.
I was once engaged, another story, another time, to a man whose mother was a total delight. If I could have had her as a mother in law without marrying him, I'd have done it. Anyway, their number, in a village in Cheshire, was Hooton 2. She had a posh fluty voice, and when you called she'd come on with Hoooton Twoooo. Her sons used to say they thought they'd been connected with an owl.
Here's a lovely new find on YouTube
VoxTox, who simply sits and talks entertainingly at the camera on books, history, quirky little known stuff, the environment, feminism, why we should write bits of Wikipedia if we know women who ought to be recorded and acknowledged in there for their accomplishments. She's lovely. Crisp British speech, which I run at 75% in order to catch it, having lost the knack of understanding them furrin folks. It's largely about what she's saying, no changes of scene or special effects or pictures, so you can treat it as radio or podcast and do other things while she's on. I found it by accident last night, and was so happy.
Then today, not being Thanksgiving celebration day, since we already took care of that, and Handsome Son is at work, I realized I had nothing to eat for lunch.
Meaning nothing planned and cooked. There's quite a lot of prepped nothing in the freezer. Soooooo, I made a vichyssoise soup, with fresh picked thyme, still going on out there, and chives, recovered after the recent raid.
And here's the result, with just a dash of milk added at the end. It's quite rich enough, because there's butter and oil already in there. And the flavor is just lovely. All the veggies, onions, celery, leeks, potatoes, are from Misfit Markets, and they have definitely lived up to their billing. The potatoes were this week, the leeks and celery from a previous one.
My recipe didn't work out exactly as per instructions. You're supposed to roll it out flat, then roll it up like a jelly roll, and slice through to make the cakes. Mine wouldn't roll up, too rich, I think, maybe because I was using wholewheat flour, too, not as soft as white, so I just cut them out with a glass. And as always, there's an extra which needs its own little tray.
Despite all this, they came out well, and I got about 17. I supposed I could have stretched it to 20, but it's okay, really.
Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Thanksgiving has happened chez Boud. And a lovely one it was. We had a crowd, see below
Is this not a sight to gladden the heart? Piping hot, served to me without my lifting a finger. What a treat.
We finished up with the Victory Cookie and pots, plural, of tea. The VC started as eight pieces, and after eating and sending home with Handsome Son, now is two lonely pieces waiting for me to take care of them, not too hard, I think.
This was the most relaxing holiday I think I ever had. The cheese and cracker starters were lovely, just chatting and munching, no concern about things in and on the oven, timing them, watching the clock, just enjoying. Handsome Son had everything organized, declined my offers of help.
Both very happy about various political outcomes and feeling much better about everything, especially the prospect of a vaccine not too long hence.
*The Dollivers knitted and named by me, adapted from Knitted Babes, by Claire Garland, aka dotpebbles on line, likewise the parakeets, her pattern, my adaptation. The Dollivers have many outfits, mostly designed by me. Knitted dresses and Bette Davis' hat from patterns in Knitted Babes. Straw hats by me.
The dogs are from the Knit Your Own Dog book, by Sally Muir and Joanna Osborne. The polar bear you saw a few weeks ago is from their Knit Your Own Zoo book. Great fun.
As is a lot of life at the moment!
And here's what also happened: Handsome Son said he thinks this is how we will do holidays going forward. Fine by me.
Monday, November 23, 2020
The house cleaners were here this morning. So an outdoor time was needed. And though the day started out grim and dark and rainy, it suddenly broke out into sun and wind, and after a couple of boring errands, I was able to get to Plainsboro Pond, and do the walk of what used to be known as the Island.
This is a lovely walking path, water on both sides, different view every time you turn your head. Several runners today and one old party creaking along on an ancient bicycle, having a fine time.
Now, with the bridge joining to a long walking path for runners, walkers, bicycles, running several miles, it's become a favorite place. No dog running now, though. It was windy today, but the trees on both sides of the path create a shelter from the wind, very welcome to this walker this morning. Once across the bridge, I turned and retraced my steps back to the other end, because that's where I was parked. Sometimes I do this walk the other way, park on the street you saw earlier, then start at the bridge, and end at the entrance, then loop back. It's a couple of miles, I suppose, round trip. Long time since I measured it with a pedometer.
Sunday, November 22, 2020
It's official. Chez Boud, Thanksgiving will be celebrated on Tuesday, since that's the day Handsome Son is free.
He's doing the shopping as usual, so we simplified things. He has asiago cheese and bread sticks to start. Then heat and eat ready cooked food, his choice, I won't know till I see him, and ginger ale.
I've made the the pomegranate juice to serve in Fancy Glasses and the dessert giant cookie. There will be tea, too, he being a tea drinker, true to his roots. I'll haul out the red cloth and the white cloth to go over it, and the cheeseboard, and I'll polish up the best wine glasses, all the doings.
It will be wonderful. Cleaners coming Monday, great timing, so even the house will be ready.
And, since we're early with our celebration, I'm getting in early with my thankfulness.
We're both keeping well, up to now, solvent, housed, know where our next meal is coming from.
His main job, food store, is unaffected, essential worker, though requiring high level of precaution. His part time gig, once his full-time job, is in software, so it's online anyway, continues as usual.
I'm old but keeping well, very capable of living alone and enjoying it, a blessing during a time like this.
Our work to eject the present administration has been successful. Rocks ahead, but not the despair we were feeling just a few weeks ago.
I'm thankful for faithful friends who haven't fallen away when things are tough, neighbors who are fun to be around.
And I'm thankful, too, for the readers of my blogs, long distance friends, who take part with energy, commenting, advising, suggesting books, emailing me with their own pictures and even sending me things they know I'll like and use. You can't know how much it means to have your friendship and know you're reading here.
Such generosity of support over the twelve years I've been blogging and recording some major and dramatic events in my household. Also some funny ones, where I did not cut a dignified figure, but oh well.
Thoughtful and timely gifts that have kept me going. From lint for art use, cashmere combings for spinning, Kool aid for dyeing, books, all kinds of yarn, fabrics, stitching and knitting materials and tools, handmade books, lace, scarves, ecards, and here's the latest, from dear C
She'd followed the flour tortilla adventure, and thought it would be nice for me to make corn tortillas, too.
But since the official masa harina is available in big quantities, she kindly not only measured out enough for a single person's recipe, but handwrote the recipe, and sent it off like a care package! The note will be inserted into my Big Binder right away, for safety. Is this not a gesture to make a person happy? Yes, loudly!
And yes, it's all a two way street, but here I'm talking as recipient.
Then I looked at my plants this morning and saw this bud just beginning on the white primula.
See it down there, right at the base of the leaves, juuuust visible? Hope in plant form.
All in all, plenty to be thankful for, and I am, I so am.
I wish you all a happy week, coming into summertime for some blogreaders, winter for others. Let's find joy even in dark times, if we can.
Saturday, November 21, 2020
I've been walking outdoors most days as usual, but I haven't been doing much other exercise. Walking's fine, but it's just one form of movement, and it's good to have more. I was getting bored with the Hasfit series, good as it is, and tried a couple of yoga ones, which were good, too, but today I thought I should do something involving not being in a chair.
So I found this mother and daughter channel. Really good stuff. And, instead of a young athletic person instructing older people how to go on, she has her mother working out alongside no, great illustration of what to look out for, how to pace it. I don't know the age of the mother -- often people are presented as seniors and turn out to be my son's age, but never mind.
I just did the ten minute walking workout this morning and I'll do more of these. It's walking types of movement, but sideways, backwards, using arms, lifting alternate knees to touch, a variety of movements, punctuated by marching in place. I think this is a great one for people who don't walk outside, too, especially when the weather gets a bit trickier, and there's ice. And it exercises your thinking, too, to keep doing the actions without mixing yourself up. At least for me it does. Not gifted physically.
Friday, November 20, 2020
Misfits box arrived today, this morning, several hours earlier than expected. Usually I think I'm the last stop of the day in this area. Only one minor problem, a dented can, which they're attending to now after I sent them a pathetic picture of it.
Thursday, November 19, 2020
The weather has turned cold, and there's nothing I like better than a hot bowl of soup, for making a person feel fit for whatever happens.
Today it's green soup, carrot tops, leek greens, tons of garlic, couple of red potatoes, chicken broth, basil pesto, seasoned with Bill Veach recipe curry powder, (let me know if you want me to give the recipe, it's very good, and fun to make at home) turmeric, kosher salt, and with added pumpkin water and beet juice, dash of lemon juice. The beet juice is very fugitive, so where you see a rather lurid red here, the color will vanish on cooking and become green. Likewise the seasonings were very golden, and they blended in to the green. And I added in a handful of noodles.