Thursday, June 22, 2017

Or not so

Finished the 2013 season of GBBS on netflix last night. Am very disoriented because it's listed in n'flix as Season 2 and I had previously watched their Season 1 which turns out to have been the 2014 GBBO. Ack! The only explanation is that they are trying to undermine our mental stability. I can't say that I lost out on any plot by watching them in reverse order. There is nothing but timeless baking, cruel challenges, charming participants and occasional nature beauty shots of the English springtime countryside. Thank god.

Father's day happened. Nod got his kayaks the weekend before and we had an adventure getting them onto the car carriers and strapping them down in gusty winds. Turns out it's easier without the gusty winds. We're still learning about tying options for the incredibly long straps we have. But we got 'em successfully loaded, transported, unloaded, in the water and back. The water at our chosen lake was a pleasant temp and we all got a turn or two paddling around. It's lovely being so close to the surface of the water. Small fish jumped and a giant grey heron flew back and forth.

At the request of the paterfamilias I baked some kick-ass strawberry scones. My scones tend to spread out instead of rise high. I think I'm adding too much liquid and will try cutting back the yogurt. But even spread out they were delicious.

I am crossing my fingers whenever I think about my poor dumb 2006 wagon that got two new head cylinders in April. I would like it to have no further mechanical challenges until at least 2019 please. But the clicking in the front axles while turning is not encouraging.

Got through Four Roads Cross and it ended well. I did think it could have been cut down to a novella to better effect. On to the October Daye series! The first one went down easy. Currently I'm rolling my eyes at the second one. I *never* guess whodunnit and this time I'm convinced I had it in the first third and would like the protags to wake up and see it already. We'll see if my impatience is well placed or not.

Mowed the back last night. It looks good and I did the side yard as well. It was satisfying to accomplish. Roofing season seems finally to have ended. They picked up the last of their piled up supplies from the front yard this week. Road work has taken the place of roof work to inconvenience us. We'll see if the curb/driveway gets done by the end of the week. It's been cut and scraped down for a few days so the nabes and I are wondering when the new stuff gets laid down.

I don't know if our tomato plants in the garden have any chance of producing fruit. They're both flowering but I haven't seen any tomatoes yet. July will tell. Kale and parsley continue to be the big winners. I made a couscous salad last night with lots of parsley. Like tabouli with a lemon/olive oil dressing but using couscous instead of bulgar wheat. The recipe was on the back of the couscous box and called for -- of course -- an entire box of couscous. I didn't add it all to the salad because if I had it would have been hard to find the veggies. I made a very tasty salad and now need to find a use for the rest of this stuff.

Monday, June 12, 2017


I'm working my way through Max Gladstone's fifth Craft book, Four Roads Cross. I like that universe and yet am finding it a bit uphill. But then there's another monster fight scene that draws me on. I should get through it this week. More summer genre -- I have a McGuire book cued up and ready.

I walked the dog this morning before breakfast. It was a good idea and I'll try to go a little earlier next time. All movement is good movement. Swam a bunch at the skinny dipping lake on Saturday. I would have liked to stay for moonrise but my carpool buddy needed to get home.

Baking is another summer theme. That's British Baking of course. I wish the earlier seasons were on Netflix, maybe later. Finished 2014 and just started the 2015 season. As a friend of a friend observed, this is the show to put on if you wake with a nightmare in the vast wee hours. I particularly like how Paul warns Mary not to eat items that are raw or ruined (salt instead of sugar!!!).

I need to find the vulture myth story that made me cry. Something about flying up to the sun and changing from white to to black/bald in service of others on the ground.

Fascinating page on plants that are Not Edible. Some of these are truly wacky looking. And the names! Rattlebox, Fate Tree, Horse Nettle, Hairy Crabweed! I like the tone here "Edibility is doubtful, botantical references vague, identification difficult. Best avoided."

Thursday, June 8, 2017


#whynotvisit memes are so excellent. The periodic church references are a delightful spice.

I was inspired by and went to the dailydot to get some more. Oh the love.

the forest of memes

visit the jungle

visit the ocean

visit the cave

visit the sky


visit north pole


Lots of buds yet to bloom. I like the double color. I'd love to plant a darker red next to it. Because what is better than flowers? More flowers!

Friday, June 2, 2017


My gardening joy this year is my hollyhock plant that grew right where I wanted it, on the side of our front steps. It's more than four feet tall now and has buds galore. Yesterday I noticed some color showing on three of the buds. Dark red/pink.

Here is the top bud cluster being all fractal:

Today the roofers will replace the roof on our rental house. I hope this plant will not be in the line of fire as the old shingles, nails, etc. rain down. I think it's close enough to the front door to survive. As it came back after being mowed down last year I figure it's already gone to the school of hard knocks and will be able to pull through. I sure would like to see the blooms.

Gone to the Bees
Nice site about pollinators including many species of native bees. There's a pdf about building nest areas for different species. I almost want to grow cane just so I can make a bundle of dried canes as a bee nest.

I like the note about helping native bee populations by keeping some farmland as native habitat.
Studies across the US have found that for certain crops "one-hundred percent of the pollination needs can be met if twenty-five to thirty percent of the landscape is left in natural habitat."

On Mulberry St.
I saw the sidewalk littered with purple berries last weekend and knew the time to forage had come. I made sure to grab a step stool and a container and got about three cups of mulberries from over the public path. They are pretty mild, not a huge amount of flavor. But like many fruit objects, adding lime juice and a few teaspoons of sugar made for a bowl full of goodness. I ate the last of them yesterday.

I run up against it here and there but I have made some conscious effort to let go of this in the past 15 years. Perversely, I have been trying to stir it up recently to see if it could get me exercising more. My perimenopausal middle is more pronounced this summer. I haven't had a lot of success with these thoughts. Belly? I think. Oh well, I think. But I have found one area it works for me: upper arms. Hail Michelle Obama, our lady of the guns. May your spirit lead me to pushups and tricep dips and help my arms be toned rather than flappy.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Duck 50

Nod made me a party on my birthday. He told me that he'd reserved a park shelter and invited some folks. Before we went to California I woke one night and my brain decided to spend some pre-dawn time worrying about what we could offer guests as far as food/entertainment. Dumb brain. Then we were traveling.

Oh NorCal, you were so beautiful for our visit. The friends were beautiful too. The family time was great. It was wonderful to share this part of the world with our kids who are now old enough to appreciate and remember it. And if you go to the Bay Area in summer, just throw that fleece layer in the suitcase. It doesn't weigh anything and you will probably need it.

Teeny family on the beach at Tennessee Valley cove.

Family+friend once again heading away from me in Clarion Alley, San Francisco.

We came home and did school/work things. The day before my birthday there were thunderstorms and I pouted. I thought about cancelling because the grass would be wet and it might be muddy and it wasn't going to be very warm.

But I decided we could light some charcoal and toast hot dogs and marshmallows. (Works for 5 or 50.) And that would be kinda entertaining and I got on board. In the event it was chillier than I expected but a good quorum came out and stayed way longer than I expected. I cut the last two pink roses and put them up with some crepe paper. Lots of kids ran around. It was a fun party!

On my birthday: I jogged. I smelled honeysuckle after the rain. I got a bunch of promising looking novels at the library and started a murder mystery that has sucked me in. I finished reading a long letter from SWW - no better present. I drank some wine. I got some book and tv recommendations. I put on Jane Siberry's The Walking and it had me singing and made my heart swoop. Such great stuff.

That anniversaire was better than I expected all around.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017


Going to California this weekend. I am a little avoidant and a little panicking about the prep I haven't done. I just emailed the Danish with my itin. Proof that this blog is an external thought tool for me. Worry in writing and then take action. I'm worried we're going to spend the whole time looking for buses while the graduating senior skives off to be with his friends. (Which is what I'm sure I did as a graduate.) Well, we will enjoy each other's company and eat well too. I'm really looking forward to seeing the wonderful and dynamic AM.

I need to make a big stir fry to use up all the stupid fresh vegetables I just bought. I guess if I stir fried it all I could freeze it for the delight of future me.

I mowed front and back on Sunday and Monday. It can just grow long while we're gone. The pet sitter is booked and we'll give her the key tomorrow. The dog needs an allergy injection but she's already bathed.

Breathing in and out. Have you see the lovely geometric figure that expands and contracts to help steady your breathing? The gif is at the bottom of a post by The Bloggess. Nina Paley has a snake goddess animation that I think could be used for the same purpose. Here's her gif. I wonder if the html will break...

snake goddess6gif_5