Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Welcome Yule

Art by Swedish illustrator John Albert Bauer. That is one magnificent gift-bearing goat.

I hung some lights in our picture window last night. I tried scotch tape and they fell down. Then I tried packing tape and they fell down. Last night I put four nails in the top sill and hung loops of string then used wire ties to get the light strings strung. Festive perseverance is my name. I am happy to have lights up both because colored lights are pleasing and because peer pressure on our cul de sac. All the neighbors have decked their halls.

No tree at home. Everyone in the fam but me said they wanted one but then they didn't make a plan to go get one so here we are. My MIL has sent a photo of the one she bought so we'll get to bask in its glow in Austin. We're leaving on Sunday and that is perfectly fine. I'm sure we'll all be packed and wrapped and so on by then. Our dear music teacher pet whisperer is tending our livestock while we're gone. That makes me very happy.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019


Not my picture, moon setting over the Front Range in Colorado. Sorry twitter poster, I didn't get the name of the photographer. Colorado is one of the snow dumped states this week. We had some wind and should get some yuck (wintery mix!) tomorrow for turkey day.


Annoyed my spouse with the woman's film The Chaperone on PBS. Feh, I can watch matronly entertainment! I do what I want! I finished it the next day. A fine cast and a very wish fulfilling found-family ending. Ah well. Actress playing Louise Brooks is a bonbon for sure. (Haley Lu Richardson)

It has a minor character named Floyd, I wonder if that moniker is going to come back at all. I just came across the first name Ransom and I like it.

A very brief search tells me that Floyd is an English speaking attempt at reproducing the Welsh name Lloyd. Well, that's anticlimactic. Stumbled across a French dancer with the first name Loïck and that is another transcultural name. It's a take on the Germanic Ludovic.


I'm gathering my psychic forces to cook a prime rib roast tomorrow. Also making a big salad with dressing and cranberry sauce plus bringing rolls and pickles/olives. We're joining our former next door neighbors and it should be jolly.

Monday, November 18, 2019


Time Travel

Blondie and I wearing mustache stickers from the pizza restaurant vending machine. Another world.

Older, wiser, curlier and tireder. B&W hides the grey, right?

I was reminded of the saying, "three moves equals a housefire" this weekend. Made pie dough but couldn't find my rolling pin. Pie is on hold. I know I packed it but I don't know which box labeled 'fragile' that it might be in. I guess it's time to crack a few open and note what's actually in them. Or buy another one.

I still don't have a regular singing outlet. I think I have to start the kind of group I want to be in. I've been reading today about how to start a community choir. The sites I've found are UK and Australian. I may try to work up a flier for the library to look for a musical director type to work with. I wonder if singing in the library is a good idea. I loved the rounds group I was in circa 1997 in the East Bay. It was led by a woman who went on to pursue a nonprofit prison singing program. We did a broad range of old and new music with some great international stuff. We paid her for 8 week sessions I think.

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Wind it up

I agree that our calendar system is super arbitrary. For example I'm always surprised when reminded that Sept Oct Nov Dec are not the 7th 8th 9th and 10th months. You've got at least another year of the 10s if you want. But the number changing does get our little monkey minds engaged. Here are some greatest hits of my 2010-2019:

  • Three moves so we lived in 4 different houses 
  • Children made it from 6 to 15 and 9 to 18 years old in 9 days! They are physically healthy, have friends and get good grades. I am deeply grateful for all of this 
  • Kids attended four different schools: 2 elementary, 1 middle, 1 high school
  • Three different jobs on the same college campus
  • 667 books read, many others started but not finished
  • Taught myself to knit, completed several sweaters/scarves/hats/mittens. Others not completed include the sweater that is on the needles and waiting for the first attempt intarsia to be ripped back and tried with the pattern BIGGER
  • Three cars

I haven't fallen in love with anything videowise lately. Community is my latest laundry folding reliable watch. Seth Myers Lobby Baby is good. My Name is Dolemite is a total who's-who, everyone wanted to work with Eddie Murphy. It's pretty entertaining from what I saw going in and out of the room while cooking. Youngest is a Marvel and Mouse bigfan and wants us to get the new Mouse+ streaming channel. I'm willing if we close down one of the others. Negotiations continue. Nod is laughing his fool head off at Big Mouth. It doesn't hit for me although some of the jokes are very funny. I don't want to laugh at puberty although I see it's a rich mine for the writers.

Jenny Slate is charming and has good things to say. Her Drunk History appearances are quality. When her stand up special transitioned to chat with her relatives I got uncomfortable and didn't finish. I love her recent piece in The Paris Review (blog?), The Code of Hammurabi. My favorite quote:
It says that in order for the men to thrive, women must be kept in line and controlled. It says, This starts now. It says women are worth something great to us, and because of that we must say that they are less than us, and we must never let them know what it is about them that we are trying to take for ourselves. It says, Women can’t. They must not. It says, Women are property. Men decide what women can do with their bodies. Men own women. We are all separate and must stay divided. Women are beneath, less than, but also, watch out for them, really do watch out! But act like you are not “watching out” or scared—act like a good guy who is protecting the holy object.
That sense of abase/worship is well put. I find that living in a patriarchal society it's hard to get that concept into words.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Raven, Sayers, Swift, Spell and Snow

My raven costume was based on Martha's. I used thin black cardboard instead of felt for the beak. Tried a bottom beak but I preferred it without. Cut out some wing feather pieces for my arms but that fell by the wayside as well. It was fun.

Resource for later. A website that assembled materials on all the references in Sayers' Gaudy Night. It's full of French, Latin and even some Greek if I remember correctly. Plus plenty of flung quotations and insider British academic stuff of the era. What a worthwhile project and a generous gift to share with the rest of us.

My Gown
Comfort video watch: Taylor Swift's You Need to Calm Down, lyrics only. The fully staged videos is a hoot too. But I just enjoy the hot neon colors and rainbow graphic word dancing of this version.

A Small Spell
Reflect on the issue you want help with. To be spoken just before lighting a match:
Kindle and increase my hope
Every light and spark bring clarity and possibility
I offer fire and attention
And ask for more

Bentley snowflakes
Oh wondrous rabbit hole, thank you very much to Dame de Pique's tumblr collection including Wilson A Bentley's snowflake microscope photos. Ah bliss. Also, I had never seen the capped column flakes before. Amazing!

Friday, October 4, 2019


Happy October to all! Temps have dropped and I might be clapping my hands.

Holy shirt, I started jogging again. I've got a whole entire week under my belt.

Albuquerque beckons. We're going to youngest's choir concert next Wednesday night then hauling ass to drive to ABQ the next day. We'll be staying with my mom for a visit. Out in the early dark to see the hot air balloons go up. Might need a nap here or there. We'll squeeze in some enchiladas, and some northern NM hiking. Then gotta haul it back to Kansas to make it in time for L to take the PSAT that next Wed am. Seems short but it'll be better than no fall visit at all.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Work it, stretch it

You've Got It
I have been listening to Dinah Washington today and it's a good thing. Here's You've Got What it Takes with Brook Benton.

Chipmunk seen 9/25/19 on the steps west of Price. First one I can remember seeing on campus. Scamper scamper. It's been an amazing year for lizards and I see them almost every day in a variety of sizes (2 - 8 inches).

PT stuff
Yoga pose stretches for back.

My knees have been giving me tweaks of pain behind the kneecap. Usually when I'm climbing stairs and I put weight on my leg that is only slightly bent.
I like these stretches to support knees. I have done the standing ones at work.

Rotational movement exercises.

Random undergarment link
Cotton bra:

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Beer quest

Move to quaff
I've decided that I have a new exercise goal: drinking more beers and the occasional cocktail. I enjoy those nutritionally useless beverages and need to a mover la colita if I want to consume them. This reminds me of The Danish's husband and the goal he picked for a self improvement course: become more sexy. These are worthy aims, convention be damned. Possibly aiming for indulgence will help me get back to regular movement. Thinking about the health benefits certainly hasn't done it since May.

I'm going to take myself to see Ready or Not which I regard as a book end movie with Knives Out (release date at end of November). I do love going to the movies. I hope to get someone to go with but am determined to see it this weekend with or without co pilot.

Oldest has been elected to Homecoming Court, one of the 9 women and 9 men. At Friday's football game halftime they will crown a king and queen. K has been delighted to be elected and says that she loves everybody on court so all their extra activities (music video - I need to get a copy), rehearsal, etc. have been fun. Last year there were two menu elected as king and queen. This year there is a traditional minded older woman organizing things and apparently she is enforcing the gender roles. Well, she can sweep the tide if she likes. I put a couple of tucks in a borrowed dark blue gown for K last night. She showed me her tiara. I'd like to get a picture at home before the events. This is grandma catnip.

Cone time
Speaking of cat stuff, I've been coning Zing this week. She scratched a chunk out of her neck as part of her autumn allergy itchiness. I found a soft cone that she tolerates MUCH better than I expected. She can eat with it on and drink out of a smaller bowl (not the big dog bowl) but I don't think she can fit through the cat door opening to use the cat pan. I'm not keeping it on her all the time but trying to  supervise any time with it off. Vet appointment Saturday for both beasts. I expect that we need to re-start allergy injections for dog. She has continued gooey ears, and has been licking her paws. Am not happy about it but will deal.

Eye candy
Edited to add that any day is better with some pictures of the absurdly beautiful Priyanka Chopra. Here's Tom and Lorenzo's selection of her fashion lewks with their appreciation of her lush and sometimes tacky glory.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Eggplant love drivin' me mad drivin' me crazy

My post title sounds so porny but I'm quite chaste and fervent in my nightshade appreciation.

Budget Bytes is such a reliable site for streamlined and dependable recipes. She pares things down to the essential steps and they work consistently for me. Last night I made Eggplant Frittata after writing myself three reminder notes. I really wanted to find out what it tasted like. All the thumbs are up. My changes (because entropy): I did not use the oven to roast the vegetables, just for cooking the eggs. I peeled the eggplant because I don't need to eat that. I used canned tomatoes because picking cherry tomato skins out of my mouth is bleah for me. I added more parmesan because yum.

I heated olive oil in the pan and added first the onion, then the eggplant, then the zucchini and after they were all softened added a can of petite diced tomatoes and the garlic. Cooked a few more minutes and then topped with eggs and ovened for 30 minutes. Veggie daughter and I would eat again. I would also use this as a great basic stovetop ratatouille recipe without the eggs. Mmm, now I'm thinking about pasta.

My right eye, that started with all the trouble, is a little irritated, a little puffy underneath. It is gummy in the morning. I'm not ready to spend more money yet on medical attention but I'm monitoring the situation. I'll go in if it worsens. Maybe jogging would help...

Book 'em
Finished Water Logic last night. A fantasy series with occasional magic and book reverence and farmers and formerly talking ravens (oh ravens). The most radical thing about it is still the fact that in this universe women are 100% people, it is egalitarian in all things.* The assumption that every female human's impulses and aspirations are worth exactly what the males' are continues to surprise. I wish I could visit. Lucky for us all, the fourth concluding book is in the world and on my shelf. I will start next week.

*My book talk friend tells me that Nicola Griffith wrote a police procedural series that she says are science fiction because women are treated the same as men in that universe. Must try.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Eye opener

First week of classes and we opened with a deluge. Students were posting video of the cascades of water coming down the steps on campus. Much better weather after Monday morning. We're 80s and clear now which is early, sometimes we don't see mild temps until mid September. Climate crisis effects here are more severe storms with more water dumped and lower overall temps so far. That's my anecdata from one summer.

I went for a walk/jog Monday after work and saw a good sized black snake that looked like it was made of rubber except for the way it was skedaddling back into the rocks as I passed. It was a reptile day. I also rescued a v. small lizard from a staircase. Maybe it could have gotten back to the ground but I had seen another one dead on that walkway and didn't want it to starve. It took a few minutes of scrambling, lizards are fast!

My eyes continue well except for a quick stupid experiment with eye liner. I have since thrown out that eyeliner and my bottle of makeup remover. I'll do experiments with fresh containers maybe at the end of September.

Quillifer is a pleasant meandering book. I am a little impatient with its length and breadth and it would have been a better vacation choice. Fantasy in the pre industrial Euro model. I'm interested in our green protag and just remembered the opening storytelling framing. I'm surprised there haven't been more recent call backs, I wonder when that will happen. I may skim more aggressively. Water Logic  awaits!

Nod's getting the seven year itch with his work. It's been ten years since his classes started. Maybe it's just as well since it's not been as much of a money maker as we had hoped. I am sure that there is some sort of hybrid job (teaching? repair+?) that could do more for him.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019


We had a large bat in our bedroom last night. It wasn't giant but it was larger than I expected, it looked like it had a 15" wingspan. I saw it flying around our ceiling fan when I came out of the bathroom after brushing my teeth. Waving my arms at it and clapping had no effect. Nod got a broom but we both wanted to avoid hurting the beastie. I wanted a butterfly net which we do not have [note to self]. Settled on a sheet to throw over it. That worked and Nod was able to knock it down, sorry bat, and fling it on to the grass outside. It was gone in the morning and I hope it was able to get back to bug chasing directly. I was pretty squeaky about it, not terrified but activated for sure. It felt so good when there was no longer a bat flying around our bedroom ceiling.

 We visited the Belfry when our little vixen friend was in town. I was very happy with my large strong cocktail. Hers was purplish and had thyme in it and actually tasted kinda nasty but it had a very seductive name so [shrug]. I wish I lived closer so that people would look for me at the Belfry.

That's all the bat content I have today.

My eyes are on steroids and I'm so much happier. The swelling and redness is gone and hope is back. I was really weary and feeling ground down at the end of last week. Good to have more energy and a better outlook for the busy work season.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Demon Persistent

Eye infection in sixth week. Both eyes. Two antibiotics have been tried. Next is steroidal drops. Then I get to see the opthamologist if that won't help.

Wallofgreens had ridiculous prices for both the medicines I tried to buy there. I am switching back to the grocery store pharmacy because they have better prices even though it's further from home.

Having picked the wrong pharmacy I had to leave a message for the doctor that it needed to be changed. And cried in the parking lot because this is all hard and makes me feel very sorry for myself. My eyes feel tired and I can't wear eye makeup and it's a &*(*&ing drag.


Finished Tam Lin by Dean. It is not the same as Perilous Gard by Pope which is what I was thinking of. Apparently one could spend the next decade reading novelizations of Tam Lin. I don't recommend the Dean unless you attended college in Minnesota in the 70s or 80s. Even then it's a bit long and lacks something.


I'm comforting myself with The Good Place podcast. It's doing the trick. I've tried my hang-in-the-window-tv-antenna in three different rooms so far and no dice. Apparently we're further down in a dell as far as broadcast TV reception goes. There is an antenna installed on the eastern peak of the roof, I wish I could use that but lack the cable and the no-how. We may need to toss another one up there before the end of September when TGP episodes start again (fourth and last season).

Wednesday, July 31, 2019


I returned from a lunch break and took my vitamins and put in my antibiotic eyedrops*. Then I put on my glasses and hooked my earpiece over my right ear. It made me feel practically cybernetic. My frames are the same shape as those I linked but my side pieces have white on grey zigzags and raspberry interiors. I have discovered the position for the wireless earpiece that allows me to forget it's there. Vastly preferred to headphones squeezing my ears.

*DEMON, BEGONE! from my eyeballs. I cast you out of both eyes, from the upper lids and from the lower lids. I command you by the power of Cipro to leave -- and never come back!
This infection started the week of the move and I waited three weeks for it to clear up on its own.  Cipro drops sting for a while and it tastes terrible as it drips down the back of my throat but I will pay this price four times a day to banish my (low grade) tormentor.

My physical self is pretty much getting what it needs at the new house. The smells are okay, the temperature is mostly okay. I hear others' movements much less than the old house. It's a surprise since it's wooden floors again. But with the fans, rooms on different levels and a different degree of insulation, this house is much less like living on a drumhead.

I felt oppressed by our continued lack of a dishwashing machine and my continued role as chief dishwasher on Monday evening. I informed spouse and the present child that I needed help and resented the job. I felt much better afterward even though I washed dishes again last night. I care more than the others so I can wash or nag. Nod committed to replacing the faucet this weekend in preparation for a rolling dishwasher. We might even buy new (shocking). 


I learned last night that my husband's old workmates thought he was 'soft' because I hadn't taken his last name when we married. I called them troglodytes and pity their tiny brains. But I also feel a little threatened. The world is full of humans with little insight or empathy.

This discussion touches on names and a family freakout about lightly nontraditional naming of newborns. It's interesting to read the outrage some commenters felt about various aspects of this person's interaction with his grandfather. I think his lie-now-to-preserve-a-relationship policy is justifiable. I agree with those who felt queasy about the children being asked to join in the deception. But it feels to me like a family story that will have a good ending.

Friday, July 26, 2019


College radio bounty
The lovely kjhk has brought me Jack Stauber and I am cautiously exploring. The one that caught my ear was Oh Klahoma "Saddest little baby in the room". I also like Dead Weight and Getting My Mom On.

Here's another entry from a different group, Broadcast: Echo's Answer. Super calm mood of robots (?) out on the fjord. Happy geeky listening.

Back on the horse
I've almost finished a book! This is exciting because it's taken me some time to get around to reading again after 1) being always in motion when moving house and then 2) getting my brain back to operational after it ground mostly to a halt after we had finished moving.

The book I'm almost done with, The Severed Streets by Cornell, is good. I am concerned about a development that I feel I cannot discuss without spoilers. The next paragraph is thus in white type if you wish to imbibe.

Killing off Jimmy Quill seems like dirty pool. I have the feeling he's going to get resurrected and it had better be good. The fact that Costain stole the Bridge of Spikes while 'off stage' from the omniscient narrator's timeline was a little crummy too. I'm waiting for this to pay off or leave me with lip curled. 

Looking forward to the next Elemental Logic book, Earth Logic, which I will start as soon as this one is done. My video chat book group meeting is scheduled for a week from Tuesday.

Updated to add: I finished that book and the author convinced me by the end that his treatment of that character was plot central. I am also on the fence about the inclusion of a real life person as an incidental character as well. These reservations will not keep me from reading the third, I totally want to find out what happens. I am having fun with this series.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Easy now

Squoze out, at low power, depleted. I'm still at that end of the pond. But my stye and eye infection have almost completely cleared up. I'll try eye makeup again next week. My face is better, still dealing with some acne and some psoriasis (what a combo!) but calmer. Surprising myself, I've been skinny dipping and to a museum gala and gotten up to some even more scandalous activities in the last week. For a couple of days going to work felt all uphill and I was sad. But now things are swinging more toward normal and I am in the neighborhood of contentment.

I've not got my basic chores down yet in the new house. Every load of laundry and sink of dishes feels like an extra effort. Speaking of those dishes, we have not got a portable dishwasher yet. So hand washing is another thing that feels like extra effort. So many to dos. I guess I need to write all the damn things down and prioritize. Then I can have at the top items and keep track of things for later when I get to that day and have that energy.

As part of my short attention span entertainment recovery project I finished Mary Poppins Returns and Wreck It Ralph Breaks the Internet. MPR felt a bit long. It had quite the Disney stamp and is clearly a successor to their 1964 movie. I loved the opening/closing song 'Underneath the Lovely London Sky'. I wonder if I would have liked this movie as a kid. Emily Blunt gave us a convincing Mary, except she should have been a bit more scary to the children. That's on the writers and I guess a stern authoritarian nanny is out of style. Her accent was delish and I really enjoyed the lightly suggestive Music Hall number. I didn't get many of those lyrics and intend to listen again. The Jane/Jack romance was only hinted at. I'd rather have seen more of that and less of sad dad.

WIRBTI made me want to watch the first one again. Being inside the Sugar Rush game is a lot of the appeal of that one. I enjoyed the gritty fantasia in the race game and the mall of the internet, but they didn't have the same tug for me. Super mega composite Ralph at the end was lightly disturbing in several ways. The princesses were a hoot but I have quibbles about the tone being too different from everything else. I like the moral of the story - you can be scared of and upset about a friend leaving. But if you let them leave your friendship can evolve.

I haven't had enough attention span and leisure to read much since moving. I have started making lists of books again and surely I'll be able to get back to it soon.

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Fold Up and First Principles

This looks like the start of the first fruit of the vine. A good omen for growth and harvest to come.
(The leaves get droopy in the full blast of afternoon western sun. But they perk right up when it passes.)


We're done. It was a full 24 hours after we expected to be. Hitting the wall on Sunday evening and realizing that more was needed was a bad end to a hard exhausting day. But Monday we got the remaining taken care of. Spent most of our returned deposit on haulers, it had to be done.

I've had rest and breakfast and coffee and think I'm going to live. But I have a stye under one eye and am generally depleted. I expect that will be my state for a while.

There are many things in many wrong places at our house. I'm going to do my best to tackle one little corner as I can. Sustained chipping away will be done.


Interview by Nicole Cliffe of Alanis Morissettte. As a fan of women and birth stories I really liked this article. AM's four parenting boundaries are sticking with me:
1. no one can tell you what you are thinking
2. no one can tell you what you are feeling
3. no one can touch you or do things to your body
4. no one can touch your stuff

Why not add in Kottke's kid's summer camp tenets. Two that I can use are:

  • Focus on what is personal, real, and lasting.
  • Emphasize honesty as the most direct path towards a life of substance and meaning.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Move it

Moving equals mental exhaustion from trying to remember 40 things I don't usually have to worry about. Both Nod and I forgot to get the bin out for trash pick up this morning. I felt sorry for myself but then realized that I could pay for a special pick up from the city. It's booked for Monday morning and I'm happy to spend the $30.

Our furniture including the piano was moved today. I came to work and Nod supervised. I did a lot of prep work yesterday so it was all very egalitarian. Nod was wigging out with anxiety yesterday that I didn't share. It seems to be based on not having room in the new house for everything we currently possess. I think I did my processing earlier as anticipatory dread. I was far more freaked out about not having a place lined up to move to than about having to downsize. For me the whole process is unpleasant and draining but can be endured. The fact that we have beds to sleep in at the new house tonight is a major step forward.

I have a couple of social breaks already scheduled this weekend. I'll be working three days next week and moving and cleaning the other days. Nod wants to have a yard sale next weekend and then have the remnants hauled. I don't like throwing a sale but will support the cause as long as we can get the hauler booked for the mop up.

A San Francisco friend and I are going to have an online meeting Sunday to talk about Fire Logic by Laurie Marks. We both read it in the past - it was originally published 2002. I loved the series and read the first three. Then the author had an accident and it wasn't clear whether she would be able to complete the fourth. She did and they've been reissued. I'm delighted to be visiting this universe again. My kind of optimistic feminist fantasy. 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019


Pumpkin child coming through.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Crest the wave

I'm taking a moment to appreciate the progress and momentum we've got going. Documents acquired, signed and returned! Grant for closing costs received! End of rental lease negotiated! A pile of achievements. Countdown until closing. On to the next tasks, we jump through or dive under each coming wave and look out sharpish.

My vigorous pumpkin child continues to make me proud. Tiny flowers are forming (see circles below), more tendrils are curling, the big leaves keep getting bigger. I will mulch again and tell it how beautiful it is. I'm proud of the front garden that I'm leaving behind.

The mulberries are mostly done. I realized finally that there are two trees hanging over the backyard fence, one has black berries as expected and one has white-ish berries. I thought he squirrels were eating the white mulberries raw but it turns out they were not that dumb. They and the birds and I have had a bounteous harvest this summer. Picking them off the tree in the backyard was worth the mosquito bites and the stains that turned blue on my bare heels.

We won't be moving several of our appliances. The glass stovetop on our range got a crack in March and it grew over the next weeks. Another intersecting crack appeared and then the big front burners stopped working in May. We've been making do with the small burners since then. The oven works fine although June in Kansas doesn't make me want to use the oven. This range was bought in 2003 and has done its duty. The oven drawer got dented in our move five years ago and has never closed correctly since. I am happy to wave goodbye to it and glad we could limp along with it until the move. In fact it is satisfying in a weird way to use it up so definitively. Our fully functional old washer and dryer may go to a friend or we'll offer them to the owners/next tenant. The fridge is not ours, stays with the house. I will be very happy to never hear its loud fan rattles again.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Sticky Chase

Pie development
Thinking about a new to me combo: Sweet Cherry Rhubarb Pie. Uses 4 cups sweet cherries, 2 cups rhubarb.

Sugar science
I have made and loved candied citrus peel in the past but it's been a while. I've never had the problem described in this article. I think I only cook mine in the syrup for a short time. The recipe in the article comments is accurately described as dead simple:

  • soak strips of orange peel from 2 oranges for a week, changing the water daily. Then 1.5 cups of water, 1.5 cups of sugar, simmer for maybe an hour.
I don't think I'd bother for only two oranges. I want enough so I can feast and give some away too.

Document chase
I am usually good at getting vital documents together for official inspection. I don't always get everything on the first try but I make lists and take careful care of the important docs. We're getting a slew of documents together for our loan process officer and it's driving me a little crazy. There are some that have to be ink signatures, not done by email and I worry that I've gotten one of them wrong. If so I will need to ask my mother to sign something else and mail it to me and I dread that. She's having pain from recently diagnosed stenosis (pressed nerve) in her spine and waiting, so far fruitlessly, for placement in a physical therapy clinic. I don't blame her for being easily overwhelmed and not having bandwidth for my document bullshit. I will cross my fingers as I submit the questionable document and hope they don't make me go back to her with more requests.

I think we're moving forward and going to close on time. I would like a fanfare of trumpets and for the closing date to appear in letters of flame on the wall but it seems that everything is much more fluid and amorphous than that.

Unexpeced counter-tenor
Driving home from Topeka I listened to what sounded like early opera (maybe Spanish? the only lyrics I heard clearly: Sant Esperanza) sung by a soprano. I haven't had any luck finding the piece but fell down a rabbit hole reading about counter tenors and castratii. So here's a beautiful performance in a courtyard: Antonio Vivaldi "Vedro con mio diletto" from Il Giustino by Jakub Józef Orliński (counter-tenor).

Wednesday, June 5, 2019


Front garden blooms ahoy.

First open coneflower amidst oregano and lemon balm

Lavender with more lemon balm, spearmint, peppermint and moonflower looming

Close up!

Natural history links

Kansas Native plant guide, grasses.

Feather Identification by photo.

This one is a bit different. Camas used as food. A blog post about native American harvest, cultivation and preparation of the root of this iris cousin. I'm poking around the rest of the blog now.