Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tourists and Local Fare

Our friend stopped as part of his summer road trip with his two daughters. We went to the Lake Champlain Chocolates tour--lots of free samples provided. We also went to the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory and took that tour, then on to Dakin Farms so the girls could get some maple sugar candy and we could all graze on their free samples of cheeses, summer sausages, jams, honey, condiments. Cheap dates, all.
The LCC tour reminded me of the an article in Sunday's Burlington Free Press. It was about the mother of a bride creating a complete "localvore" wedding for her daughter and new son-in-law.
The flowers were all provided from her own and friends' gardens. She found a local grain grower and used their flour to make her own lasagna noodles then stuffed that with locally grown mushrooms, frozen kale from her own garden, and locally produced cheeses. She made apple and blueberry pies and a lemon tart. The lemons were harvested from a Meyer lemon tree she has as a house plant. You get the idea. She did get chocolate from Lake Champlain Chocolates. I'm not sure if that counts as cheating on the whole otherwise pure Vermont theme. A Vermont company, yes, but the chocolate itself is definitely not grown here. I guess where chocolate is concerned, one is allowed the exception.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


There was an article in the local newspaper about the latest fad of people in city neighborhoods setting up small chicken coops in their backyards. I wonder if they realize before hand just how much a rooster crows during the day. I used to think they just sounded off at sunrise to wake up the farm and then just weren't heard from for the rest of the day. When I moved to the country seventeen years ago, I found out that is not the case.
One of my neighbors told me that ammonia poured around the garden perimeter will repel woodchucks as well as coyote urine--at considerably less cost. I heard a gun shot the other evening so I'm wondering if Little Chuckie had moved on to another neighbor's garden. Most of the gardeners around here would not have a qualm about shooting a woodchuck. Years ago it was not at all uncommon to see dead woodchucks draped over fence posts--I guess as a warning to others. I haven't seen that for some time and I certainly don't miss the sight. There's a whole lot less open farmland though.
A good friend of Mike's is driving up from Rhode Island with his two daughters for a brief visit. Mike's daughter is planning a trip to Vermont (from South Carolina) with the three boys, who will spend a week with us in mid July. The summer is filling up fast. I guess I'd better make plans to stock up the kitchen shelves with teenagers coming.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Woodchuck Visits the Garden

A cute little baby woodchuck made his way into my garden and thought that it was just a real nifty all-you-can-eat buffet. The lettuce--gone. The rudbeckia and about half of the liatrus--gone. The one little pepper already in progress--bitten into and spit out. How rude.
Mike put an empty coffee can in the garden and shot at it with a B-B gun in an effort to scare the critter away but that had only limited effect. I went to the garden center and bought a spray that is supposed to taste nasty. It cost around twelve dollars and the ingredients list included herbs, spices, and oils. I suppose I could have made it myself. Mike said it sounded like something I would eat for supper (not being receptive to my vegetarian efforts). I also bought some coyote urine. Would you believe that cost nearly $18?
If I actually harvest a tomato out of that garden it will have cost me about a hundred bucks. I'm thinking the farmers' market is the way to go in the future.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Kristen had her ninth birthday today. It seems like not that long ago--certainly not nine years--that I was rushing to Rutland on a Saturday morning to be with my daughter after getting the call that she was on the way to the hospital. A mere thirty-three hours later (and nine days past the projected due date), Kristen made her appearance.

I went to visit on Tuesday and took her her presents. She didn't wait to open them. She wasn't all that surprised, but she was happy.

I also got to see her complete her test for her yellow belt in her karate class. I posted a copy of the video her grandfather took of the yellow belt exercise on Facebook.

Dane was disappointed that he did not get to come home with me. He wanted to "see Mike," go to the "museum," and stay at "a hotel." Well, I was disappointed, too. It's definitely getting to be time for some grandma days.
These pictures are from the last visit here. Of course, after a few grandma days, I take on pretty much the same posture, minus the teddy bear.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Love You, Honey (in case you read this)

The other night Mike and I were cleaning up after supper. I had a bag of compostable garbage--the kind that has to go to the transfer station because it is heat treated to turn it into compost…NOT the kind that goes into my garden compost bin. Any way, as I was filling a dish pan, Mike holds up the now empty bag and asks if I wanted to rinse it out or just throw it into the household trash.
“OMG, no! You tossed that stuff into my garden compost??” I was horrified, horrified.
Mike looked at me with an “I was trying to be helpful here” look and said, “I hope you are not going to mention this your blog. I don’t want my compost incompetence exposed to the world.”
Silly man. First of all, I’m pretty sure the entire world does not read my blog. Second of all, it was mildly distressing, yes, but I pulled myself together. I’m not crazy. I can get past these little upsets. And third of all, why would I even write about what he did with the garbage and how I can’t believe that he has lived with me for seventeen years now and he hasn’t learned the garbage rules. I have other things on my mind, important things. If I was going to rant about something it would be a much bigger issue that which compost bin to use. Geez.
Okay. It’s the screen door. Our kitchen-dining area has a French door with a screen we put up in the spring and summer. It’s a screen, designed to let air pass in and out but kind of keep the insect life on the outside. Mike believes that the screen blocks too much cool air so he likes to open the screen to let cool air into the house. I’d really thought my harping about the bugs entering with that nice cool air had worn him down. Now I find out it’s just when I can see that he closes the screen. Here’s how I found that out.
The other morning Mike got up and went out to the kitchen to start the coffee. I was still in bed, but I was awake. I heard a bird thwack into the picture window in the living room. Sometimes that happens, a bird flies into the window from the outside. This time, however, I hear Mike muttering something as he comes down the hallway. He goes right past the bedroom, though, and that is weird. Then I hear some minor thrashing about and wonder aloud just what the heck is going on. A woodpecker had flown into the house, hit the inside of the picture window and then , in total confusion and panic, flew off down the hall with Mike in pursuit. He got it out unharmed. How did a bird get into the house? Does this happen to other people? The door was open because it was SUCH NICE, COOL MORNING AIR. He didn’t admit it, but I heard that door very quietly close before I got up to pour my own coffee.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Finishing Touch

I picked up a hanging planter for the finishing touch to the deck. I hope I can manage to keep it looking good. Summer is not that long, after all. I don’t fret over plants in the ground, but for some reason plants in planters throw me for a loop. I have bad planter booju…a word I made up, but it’s not a good thing.
However, the nursery owner was effusive in his praise of my good taste in picking this arrangement and a random nearby customer was sure that I must be an artist for my eye in selecting this particular pot. I’m such a sucker for flattery. I plunked down the money on the spot. It’s always embarrassing to think about afterwards!

Monday, June 21, 2010

I picked strawberries. Luscious. I have put a whole bunch in the freezer for smoothies and such, but it seems a shame not to eat them fresh as much as possible for the short season we have them available…so we are doing our best.
I took some strawberries along with a container of chicken salad and a potato salad to my neighbor for her supper. Her husband is in the hospital awaiting five way by-pass surgery. It is not considered an emergency so he has had to wait five days for a surgery time, but they would not let him leave the hospital for those five days either. I just can’t imagine what an anxiety building exercise that must be. I don’t consider a hospital a fun place to pass the time. On the other hand, the things that modern medicine can fix now is quite amazing.
Still, I hope to avoid any kind of close relationship with medical personnel as much as I possibly can…

If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.
If turnips were watches, I’d wear one at my side.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Fools Rush In

There is some information about the derivation of "Fool" as the name for a fruit dessert, for what it is worth, here. I noticed that other recipes online called for two to three times as much heavy cream as I used in my recipe. I'm not a big dairy person, so I think a smaller amount works fine.


Probably no one had a doubt that I would indeed buy the American Girl doll for my grand daughter. I couldn't resist taking her out of the box and playing dress up with some of the clothes I had made. The story on Julie is that she is a San Francisco girl growing up in the hippie era.
I actually visited Haight Ashbury the year after the infamous summer of love. There was really not much to see except shops and vendors. Such is the story of my life--a day late and a dollar short, always.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wrapped Up

I've made my first attempt at furoshiki. Probably the ribbon and flower is not a traditional element, but there you go. Mike has eye strain from rolling his eyes, but oh well. I had fun.

Friday, June 18, 2010

This and That

I wish someone would explain the attraction of peonies to me. I really don't know why I keep this one in the garden except for the fact that it was the only flowering plant in the yard when I moved in. They grow like crazy through the spring, get pretty little buds, then open into huge blossoms right before a heavy rain (Always!). The stems are too weak so the blooms immediately topple over and rot on the ground. I actually do have a support cage around these, but obviously, it was not up to the job

The deck is finished and things around it are generally cleaned up. I washed the kitchen window first thing this morning because I was so tired of looking at water spots and streaked sawdust. And here I am enjoying a shady spot on this beautiful (hot) sunny day. Now it was worth all that effort.
I was joined by a rose breasted grosbeak also enjoying the newly refurbished deck. This morning there was a fawn running in circles in the meadow to the back of us--just running and jumping and having a grand old time. We couldn't see the doe, but she had to have been nearby in the trees. It's been a few years since we have watched deer in the back and we are hoping this a good sign for their return.
My birthday has been sufficiently celebrated. Mike took me out to dinner. I chose the Asian Bistro and ordered crispy duck on a bed of broccoli--a real treat that ended up being two meals. My friend Ginnie took me out for lunch today. I had an appetizer plate: pita, hummus, black olives, and roasted tomatoes with garlic. That was something I will definitely put into my "vegetarian inclined" recipe file because it made taste buds and tummy quite happy.
I didn't have a birthday cake, but it was a birthday after all so I made a blueberry dessert. Blueberries are a healthy food so that counter balances the whipped cream, right? And it was a birthday treat so that automatically nullifies any calories anyway, right??
Blueberry Fool (serves 4)
1 cup blueberries
3 tbsp. sugar (divided)
1 tbsp creme de cassis
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp grated lemon zest
1. Combine the blueberries with 1/3 cup water is a saucepan and simmer over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until berries are tender. Add 2 tbsp of the sugar and the liqueur, stir, then let cool. Pour into a bowl, cover, and chill for at least an hour.
2. Whip the cream with 1 tbsp of sugar and the vanilla until soft peaks form. Gently fold in the blueberries with a rubber spatula.
3. Serve as cold as possible. Chilled dessert bowls make this extra refreshing.
Now, after all this talk of food, I am happy to report that after seven weeks on my healthier eating plan, I have lost seven pounds...even with the dessert above and the French toast I made for guests a couple of weeks ago. It's not rapid progress, and as anyone can see above, I still have work to do. But it is in the right direction and I have no sense of suffering like I'm on a real diet, so I am satisfied.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Our deck is finished!!
Now for the cleaning up. Ever notice how you spiff up one thing and three other things get dirty in the process. I'd wanted to wash the siding around the deck and wash the windows that were splattered by the pressure washer, but I woke up to a rainy, drizzly day. It was a good day to dust and vacuum inside. I guess it is just as well since my back is pretty darn achy from the painting on the stain, and my hands are sore.
The sore hands bother me because I treated myself to some expensive merino wool to make a shawl and I'll have to wait to get it started.
Old age, not for wimps, as they say. At least it teaches a certain patience.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Men at the Doctors

Mike's doctor sent him for some screenings after his last physical. Mike had no complaints or concerns, but he has reached a certain age apparently where the medical profession feels compelled to look for stuff.
It was major effort on my part to get him to go for a physical several years ago, but he has been good about going since. He also sees a dermatologist on a regular basis now. He always comes back and says, "Great! Everything's fine...What? This bandage? Oh, he just scraped off a suspicious spot. It's not the bad kind of cancer" OR: "Why are we being charged for surgery? Oh, they took off some polyps during my colonoscopy. No problem." Granted, these have been small things that were easily fixed, but he might have mentioned it, I think.
After the tests, he got a report from the doctor. Everything looked fairly good but there was a mention of small tumors on the kidneys of "unknown origin, probably not concerning."
"Mike, did you happen to ever mention to your doctor during any one of your physicals that poly cystic kidney disease runs in your family?"
"No. Why would I? My mother had that and she lived to be 80."
Does this make sense to anyone? Does it make sense that he will not ever put on sunscreen? Does he think he's George Hamilton?? It doesn't make sense to me, for sure. Maybe I'll have to accompany him on his next doctor's visit.

Monday, June 14, 2010


I am done with the American Girl doll clothes for a while. I have a couple of patterns that I bought, but I have been adapting them to get a better variety. I have learned quite a bit about patterns and alterations through this exercise. I'm sure my grand daughter will appreciate it although I do expect she'll ask why I didn't make underwear. She's like that.
Between sewing and my sanding duties on the deck, I managed to tidy up my two clothes closets. Up and down here are two shots of the closet I share with Mike. He uses a very small section, but he actually has more clothes now that he is retired since his work wardrobe was entirely jeans and tee shirts. There is little call for anything fancier in the antique motorcycle business. He had to buy "normal" clothes when we started doing some travelling.
Mike will have to do some wardrobe sorting himself very soon. He has lost about sixteen pounds. I've lost a whopping three. There are some things in the scheme of male-female differences that are just plain fundamentally unfair. But, hey, at least am going in the right direction, however slowly.

My casual, everyday closet is pretty small. I don't imagine I'll ever have anything like a walk in closet. What a heavenly experience that must be--but then it probably wouldn't inspire me to keep accumulations of clothing and such under control.

This month's Real Simple magazine has an article on organizing stuff according to whether you are right brained or left brained. I didn't really need to take the quiz to find out I totally live in a left brain world.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Barn Sale

I saw an ad for a barn sale today--sewing supplies--so I made a trip to the next town to check it out. Good thing it really was in a barn, although I had some trouble locating the right place--it was raining again today. There were boxes of material. I bought a supplies of assorted zippers, seam binding, lace and ribbons and a box of large fabric scraps. The fabric will mostly be used for doll clothes, but there were also several pieces that I can use for furoshiki. That is how I am planning to wrap presents this year and some gift giving occasions are coming up in the near future.

Friday, June 11, 2010

I have been sewing away and finished some American Girl doll outfits and a couple of aprons over the past few days.

I am not by nature a very mechanically inclined sort of person. I like to sew, but I have been known to put off the taking apart of my machine to give it it’s life-giving elixir. If I spend an afternoon in my sewing area, Mike is bound to ask about the last time I gave the sewing machine a good oiling. Now, I hear his voice in my head, so I try to be better about that maintenance responsibility.

Whenever I expose the guts of the machinery, I am totally surprised by the amount of lint that accumulates so I’m telling myself I have to get more committed to the care of feeding of an old machine that has served me well.

I learned the hard way with an old car that machines really do require oil to keep running. During the gas shortage back in the ‘70’s the lines for gas were always so long that I never felt I could ask to have the oil checked and hold other people up. Unfortunately, I never checked the oil myself either. One day I was driving to school in the little Buick Opal and a tremendous noise started coming from the front end. The radio wouldn’t even go loud enough to drown it out. Then the car just stopped--blown motor. At least now I do have the oil changed in any car I own on a regular basis. Live and learn.

It was raining early this morning so I cleaned closets. I bought a pair of jeans and two tops yesterday. I found a pair of jeans to take to the resale shop and two tops that I no longer wear.

I demoted a few things to "for garden or camping" status. A filled a bag to go to Goodwill. My deck working clothes are just going into the trash when the job is done. I think I have arrived at that point where the closets are now manageable. I retired five years ago and have been slowly weeding out since then.

Mike and I spent the afternoon sanding the deck. There is light at the end of that tunnel! We may actually finish the job before the end of July. I'm throwing a cookout party in August if we do. In the meantime, a Friday night cocktail and then a take out pizza for supper seem in order for today.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

3 Rs: Reading, Religion and Ranting

Our town library was not very busy on Monday when I was volunteering. It gave me a chance to scout out some books for myself. I came home with The Imperial Cruise by James Bradley for Mike. Any one who tracked my book borrowing and purchasing might conclude that I am really into history, particularly the military history of the United States and western expansion. They would be wrong, though.
I brought home for myself Anne Tyler’s Noah’s Compass, Michael Pollan’s Food Rules and Jon Krakauer’s Under the Banner of Heaven. I’m usually more of a fiction reader, but I’ve enjoyed Michael Pollen’s other books and this one took about an hour to finish. I like that one of his rules is to enjoy yourself enough to occasionally break the rules. “All things in moderation…including moderation.”
Jon Krakauer is an excellent writer, in my opinion, and Under the Banner of Heaven is about religious extremism. The focus is on the Mormons, but it really speaks to any kind of extreme fundamentalism. Even though I’ve just started it, I can tell it is another one of those books I won’t be able to put down for any length of time and won’t be able to stop thinking about for a long time to come.
My parents were devout Catholics and I was raised being told that was the one true religion. When I found out that there were other religions also believing themselves the one true religion, I just thought it was most logical to conclude that there was no such thing as "THE one true religion." I was nine at the time, so you could argue that was the work of a really immature mind. I have to say, though, I really haven't been convinced otherwise in the intervening years.
The Catholic church had a saying about giving them a child until the age of seven and he was theirs for life. That didn't hold true in my case. Could it be that as a "she-child" I felt pointedly excluded? That is something I really have a hard time with--that women can be such ardent followers of patriarchal blowhards. That is just sad to me.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


A recent post on A Slower Pace got me thinking about recycling once again. Mike calls it my hobby.
My children grew up with recycle bins under the cellar stairs. There was one for newspaper, one for cans, and one for glass (which then had to be further separated into clear, brown, green), and one for plastic like gallon milk jugs and shampoo bottles. The first time my daughter came home from her college dorm, she said, "Mom, there are people in the world who don't recycle!" She'd been amazed to see one of her roommates toss an empty shampoo bottle into the trash. You try to protect your children from the cruel realities of life, but eventually they have to leave the sheltering nest.
One of the things that really put me over the edge at work was colleagues who tossed paper in the wastebasket when we had a paper recycle bin in every room. I mean I can feel my blood pressure spike just recalling that. Just pure laziness in my book.
My family thinks I am a bit of a trash Nazi. I do not let them throw things away at family gatherings at my house since everything has its proper destination. My son is the one exception since he knows to ask where to put detritus when clearing the table.
We have an all-in-one recycle bin for clean paper, bottles, cans, plastics (#1-7), and cardboard. Here's a quirk in the system: cans are recyclable and paper labels are recyclable and they both go in the same bin, but if the label is left on the can it is separated out later in the process and is not recycled. I remove the paper labels before putting them and cans in the bin.
I through fruit and vegetable scraps in a backyard compost bin and cover that with grass clippings and leaves. It takes a couple of years, but I get nice compost to spread on the garden. For the past year and a half our waste district has compost collection. They provided covered containers and will accept:
table scraps, bones, egg shells, dairy, salad dressing, and sauces
fruits and vegetables
bread, rice, pasta
meat and fish, including shell fish, and cooking oil
coffee grounds, filters and tea bags
paper napkins, towels, tissues, and noncoated paper plates and cups
oily pizza boxes, soiled newspaper and paper bags, wax paper,
flour, sugar, and potato bags without plastic liners
dryer lint, pet and human hair
Our garbage pail pretty much holds only styrofoam and plastic packaging, coated frozen food packages, plastic caps smaller than an inch, and used toothpaste tubes. It takes a while to fill up.
I do get a bit aggravated when we are in Florida as they do not have all-in-one recycle or any kind of household composting. I have to keep the stuff that cannot go in the disposal and might smell too quickly in the freezer. The city of Venice does provide garbage pickup twice a week covered by taxes, though. We have to arrange a private pickup service or cart stuff to the transfer station ourselves.
Okay, reading this over I can see I am a bit fanatical. There are worse obsessions to have.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Retire These Thoughts

When I first started teaching, our teachers' union had a workshop on the state retirement plan for teachers. My eyes tend to glaze over and my attention wonder when anything financial is under discussion, but somehow I did take away from that session the image of a three legged stool. The presenter said that the state teachers' pension was only one leg of a three legged stool. The other two legs were social security and personal savings. The intention was to get us thinking that the quality of our retirement was more under our control if we planned wisely and saved for the life we wanted for our retirement years.
Well, who at the tender age of 21 or so believes they will ever retire? And who, on a beginning teacher's salary in those days, was very successful at socking away spare cash? And once a young family starts to grow, who even has enough for mortgage and groceries, let alone spare cash to stash in a piggy bank? No one in my social circle, for sure.
But as time passed and salaries rose and bills got paid off and retirement got nearer and nearer, I suddenly got the wisdom of saving some money, even investing some money. At one point just before we retired, it looked like Mike and I would have a pretty easy time of it. Our mortgage was paid off, our cars were paid for, Mike had managed to sell his half of his business, we had money in the bank and in investment accounts. A year later, the financial picture was hardly so rosy.
Okay, so our stool is a little bit wobbly. Our savings and investments have been way less productive than we had hoped and planned. Last summer we had a lot of unexpected hits with things going kaflooey with vehicles and the house. Those things will happen. Still, we have managed to maintain a comfortable lifestyle and are content in retirement. Our wants and needs are fairly simple.
Oh, but now I have to worry about managing guilt. Don't I feel guilty that I have a pension when so many people do not? Don't I feel guilty that when I am soon enough eligible for social security, my signing up would be tantamount to taking money that could be spent improving schools and the quality of education for the children who are, after all, the future of this country?
Don't I feel guilty that, should I become seriously ill in the future, Medicare will prolong my then useless life at the expense of health care for the working poor who will be essentially footing my bills?
Yes, I feel bad that some people have lost their pensions or never had them. Will giving up my personal pension be a better solution than working to change a business climate that no longer accepts any responsibility for the future of its employees? I think not. And it seems to me that the people who cry the most about having to support social security are the same people most likely to vote against school budgets and blame public education for the country's problems anyway. Don't play that "taking money away from education" card with me. Please.
As for Medicare...from what I can tell, it is not patients who getting rich from the money spent. It's hard to believe that critically ill people are bilking the system for their own gain.
So that's it. I'm just not going to feel guilty. I'm off the enjoy another day.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Pleasant Weekend

Our company arrived Friday evening and we had a leisurely dinner and wine and conversation. They brought Lindt Dark Chocolate with a touch of Sea Salt. One word: HEAVEN!
Saturday, "the boys" left for a BMW motorcycle swap meet. Jeannie and I went to poke around an architectural salvage store and the antique mall situated above it. Jeannie purchased a little soap dish and a large green glass blown vase to put by their newly refinished fireplace. We went to the Four Corners of the Earth Cafe where we had my favorite sandwich and iced tea. Then we went for a nice long walk along the Burlington waterfront. When we all got back, we played bocce in the backyard--great fun, but just for the record, the girls had a quite spectacular win. A rout, really.
We got up late this morning. A steady rain and cool air blowing in the windows made sleeping in just about the perfect activity for starting a Sunday. I made a big breakfast which included bacon for a treat. We get McKensie bacon here in Vermont, sliced to order at a local market. It's not cheap, but I can honestly say we have never had anything else that compares. I made an oven baked French toast served with Vermont maple syrup that set back our diets considerably, but no one will have to eat again until tomorrow.

The Recipe:

Rustic bread, sliced (I used Deli Pane Bello that is baked in Burlington,
but any chewy kind of bread would do, I'm sure)
6 fresh eggs
1 1/2 cup half and half (I used all soy milk, though)
1 1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon cinnamon and a dash of nutmeg

Arrange the bread in a 13x9 buttered baking pan. Whisk the eggs, liquid, and flavorings and pour over the bread. Cover and refrigerate over night.
In the morning, preheat the oven to 350. Sprinkle 1 1/2 cup blueberries over the top of the bread. Combine 1/2 cup butter and 1 cup brown sugar with a pastry blender and sprinkle that over all.
Bake for 40 minutes. This easily serves 8.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

When I am appointed Queen and Supreme Ruler of ALL, we will have beautiful sunny summer days and rain during the night. See what we have to look forward to? Oh, and thee will be no oil spills and the Gulf Coast of Louisiana will be spared any further disasters. I await my appointment.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Spinach Pie and Books

Tonight's supper was spinach pie with an olive oil crust that I had ready to bake in the freezer. I used the crust recipe from the Vegetarian Times and the filling recipe from the revised Moosewood Cookbook. It was quite good, but I hope the leftovers hold up since this was a large pie and it is rich. A small piece and salad filled me up. Mike made himself a sardine sandwich, but he forgot to take a picture of it. Simple recipe though--slice a whole wheat roll, open up a can of sardines and drain the olive oil before plopping on the roll. Top with a slice of cheese. Maybe someday I'll try one.
I finished The Postmistress by Sarah Blake. Well, sort of finished as I did a whole lot of skimming. It just seemed to wander so much I found it really hard to get into. I have now started Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls. I'm finding it fascinating, can hardly put it down--hence the supper of sandwiches or freezer fare.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Grandma Doings

I bought this little chest at a yard sale last weekend. I cleaned off the stickers and painted it. I plan to give it to my grand daughter to use either for doll clothes or maybe art supplies--whatever she wants to put in it.
She has dropped major hints about wanting an American Girl doll, Julie--something only a grandmother who is well past the struggling young family stage could possibly provide, a grandmother who has, in the past, been known to be a fairly easy touch. Will it happen? Most likely.
I got a post card in the mail today from Circus Smirkus. I took Kristen when she was about four and I'm thinking that Dane is about ready for a trip to the circus this summer.
Isn't it interesting that I substituted for six days and I can spend the money earned at least twelve different ways? I do look forward to doing some fun things with the kids, though! And it is so true...when I'm done having all the fun I can stand, I can ship them back to their parents. What a great concept.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


It has been a rainy day here. We needed the rain since we have had no precipitation to speak of since it snowed last month. This has been the perfect kind of rain for the garden, too--slow, steady, gentle. I hope those baby vegetable plantings out back are drinking up. The flowers were ready for a good drink as well. I'm just glad I don't have to drag out the hose today.

Mike's sister and her husband are coming for the next weekend so I have a list of preparations to make for that. It will be a good time and we look forward to their visit. Hey, maybe we can go all Tom Sawyer on them and get them working on scraping the deck. Or...maybe not. Maybe we can come up with something a bit more fun to do.