Wednesday, July 26, 2023


Weak as water

Yesterday evening I feel asleep for a bit at 7pm. I was just weary. And it spooked me. The weather continues hot and maybe that's the cause. Nod says it's lack of exercise. I considered the possibility but it's probably not covid with weariness as the only symptom. Ennui?

You can't wake up if you don't go to sleep

We went to see Asteroid City in the theater on Sunday. (Vox review here by a writer who says they don't like Wes Anderson's style in general but did appreciate the wisdom, melancholy and impishness of this one.) For me it was weird and good. WA invoking lots of acting mojo and layers of storytelling. I got the impression that the 3 little sisters and T.Hanks were filmed separately. I wonder if that's true. The kid characters were all hilariously written and the three littles were very funny. We saw people in pink going in to the Barbie theater. And I overheard the ticket checker saying that the day before had been their busiest day since Avengers End Game. There was also some very bad taste decorations for Oppenheimer in the movie theater entry way - an arch of black and white balloons with countdown numbers around them. I have been going back and forth on seeing that one in its first run. But the 3 hour length has decided me to wait for streaming. 

Big plans

We have two estimates for the big sewer line replacement job. Maybe we need another one to make the holy three? Next will be deciding who to sign up with.    

The written word

Finished Knots and Crosses, the first Rebus novel by Rankin. I liked it mostly and will try the next one. Its late '80s origin both adds (police/military culture, post divorce dating, 'bachelor' living standards) and detracts (villain's fatal repulsive element was unneeded) from the whole. Because of the traditional protagonist (UK male police detective with traumatic past) it reminds me of my peak mystery novel reading era, age 13-17. 

Last week I finished a fantasy novel by P Briggs: Raven's Shadow. This turns out to be the first of a pair, and was a fun read with inventive magic history. My friend JL says it's one of his favorites so we're going to discuss once I finish the second book. I've got my request pending in the library system. It feels good to have access to boooooks.    

Mt. Mountain National Park

Deadloch's last episode was as satisfying as the previous ones. But now it's over - alack and alas! I love the Kates, the writers.  


Family and friends will be visiting us in the next few weeks. It's exciting! And a little scary - I hope to avoid the feeble invalid feeling and get things ready. The Danish is bringing her passion for opera. It is going to be a festive whirl. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Swedish Delights

 Found the Swedish Spoon! I'm intrigued. Here are a few recipes, the first two use sour milk:

Quick pan bread I think I'd leave out the sweetener

Fresh sour milk cheese 

Swedish beetroot salad

Swedish Dream Cookies call for baker's ammonia. I had never heard of that! I wonder if it's at all connected to the northern euro salted licorice weirdness. After more reading - It is the primitive version of baking powder and it sounds like most bakers chucked the old stuff because of the smell (which is supposed to dissipate by the time the baking is done). It produces a more crunchy/crumbly result than modern baking powder according to the Swede. 

I'm totally baking the Chewy Apple Cake with Cardamom as soon as I can stand to have the oven on again. I will try it in a tart pan since I don't have a springform. 

She included an historical photo of late 19th c. or early 20th c. apple harvesters and now I've fallen down a Swedish museum photos rabbit hole. Search results for basket / korg. Museum home page. Who wouldn't love Maria Lunback? Or how about this whopper of a baby.

Thursday, July 13, 2023


 Hand painted cup from early in the 20th century. I love the girl and the sassy dog running away from her. 

I wonder if she's calling the cows with her horn.

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

Heat / Maintenance

Swamp cooler came on just before 9a on July 11. The forecast highs are expected to be 100 or above for the next week. And lows will be in the 70s which is what ensures that we will be warm for the duration. There's a chance for thunderstorms in the afternoons but it doesn't seem like cooling monsoon. Hopefully  

We've learned more about how to use the swampies plus fans for best results. Nod wants to check into getting a refrigerated air unit for our bedroom. There's something called a ductless mini split (sounds like a liver condition? skin-baring skirt?) that would work. I'd also like to get an exhaust fan for the garage that our bedroom shares a wall with. 

Our sewer line needs to be replaced and I've got one estimate. I have another company to call. 

I was very brave last Sunday when I was stung by a wasp on the sole of my foot. We were at a city pool which was refreshing and very retro. We get a discount because we're over 50 so it's almost free. Lots of families and a very relaxed atmo. Nothing fancy, no diving board or slide but I will be happy to go back. And I will watch for wasps more carefully when I do.   

Prints by Lizzie Wenger

Thursday, July 6, 2023


My husband loved to drive to the end of town in Lawrence, Kansas and look out at the farm fields. It was the notion of being able to access a defined edge. In a similar vein, please enjoy the photographic ramble through some footpaths and very nice wetland areas on the outskirts of London in Peripheral Postcodes by Diamond Geezer. "Trout Lane's lovely at this time of year, a cyclepath bordered by buttercups and butterflies" I don't know about you but I wish I was on Trout Lane right now. The post also includes photos of a bridge over a multi lane highway and the footing of an electrical pylon tower in order to cover the entire 'peripheral postcode' category. I am not one, but I do admire a complete-ist. 


Sad news that Once Upon a Town is shutting down their tumblr because of changes made to the template which don't play well with their large format b&w photo files. It's a pity.  


Patricia Lockwood has my number even though I don't always understand her. Article on David Foster Wallace. Her explanation of why DFW's nonfiction pieces are so relaxing to read while his fiction is uphill both ways:

In non-fiction the game is to really think something through. That was his task and he did it with joy, simultaneously obedient to that editor floating with his desk in mid-air, and performatively pushing its limits. The thing about an essay is it’s going to be read now. You’re not so much worrying about it being a touchstone for the future. So he relaxes, plays restful microtennis, lets us read.

And something else, too: it is a break from the book. An assignment comes as a kind of relief: not just you in your own mind. It takes you out into the world, even to the state fair, to see the clog dancers. The book is the thing that will not let you leave the house, because it might let you write it that day.

I haven't and won't read the doorstop novels, IJ and TPK. But I did love the essays. 


Last week I hit the wall working from home. I felt penned in and deprived of society. I've done a few things intended to rebalance. I feel a little like a cat extending my paw under a door and seeing what I can snag.