Sunday, July 31, 2022

Grateful Joys

This fuchsia was a Mothers Day present a couple of years ago. It continues to amaze and delight me.

And hurrah for self-sown hollyhocks that grace our porch steps.

The fig planted in the greenhouse is heavy with fruit.

One of many Angel Wing Begonias descended from one of my grandmother's.

Volunteer Morning Glories-always beautiful--usually welcome.


Saturday, July 30, 2022

Iconic Food Memories (repost from 2015


In a recent POST I talked about re-reading the Oz books in search of a soup sea -- and not finding it. Through the wonder of social media, a Facebook friend steered me to Kabumpo in Oz, one of the later Oz books by Ruth Plumley Thompson, and at long last I re-read the scene I'd remembered for close to sixty-five years.

Two hungry travelers are delighted to come upon a sea of vegetable soup and they encounter the king of the sea, a being made of soup bones with a soup bowl for a crown and a silver ladle for a scepter. He sings to them and then (and this was the important part for me) he wafts two hot, crispy, buttery rolls across the waves to them. 

It's the rolls I remember. Why? Because the day I read that chapter back in the third grade, when we went to the lunchroom, those same rolls were served -- big, puffy, yeasty, buttery rolls, made right there by the lunchroom ladies. It was a kind of intersection of real life and fiction and (obviously) I haven't forgotten.

Those rolls are part of a pantheon of remembered foods -- remembered and pretty much impossible to recreate: Aunt Mamie's (or more likely her cook Esther's) mayonnaise -- yellow, sweet, and lemony;  Memaw's (my grandmother Lane) Sunday chicken and dumplings; Ba's (my other grandmother) corn pone -- baked on a flat iron griddle to a brown crunch on the outside and a gooey, creamy interior that was the perfect place to put quite a lot of butter. 

Then there was the wonderful pink mamey sherbet at Cuervo's Cafe in Ybor City -- I've seen pictures of mameys but never encountered them except in that sherbet; the sandwich we bought from a guy with a little truck on the Appian Way in Rome -- roast pork, fragrant with garlic and rosemary, slapped between two thick slices of crusty peasant bread; the delicious heart attack of a sandwich from a pub in the Cotwolds -- brie and bacon on a thickly buttered baguette . . .

I could go on (I just remembered the leftover cold boiled shrimp a friend and I purloined in the middle of the night during a Girl Scout campout -- dipped in tomato-ey Catalina dressing, they were incredible. The stealth probably added to the flavor.) But I'm making myself hungry . . .

What about you? Do you have any foods lingering in your memory?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Friday, July 29, 2022

Kitteh Has Some Thoughts


Talk about disgusting.

This... this filthy beast has tracked mud (I hope it's just mud) on the bed and is lying there, oblivious to decency. And The Woman does nothing.

Well, I, for one, am not putting up with it.

Told you. Cory. The Woman lets that beast ride roughshod over common decorum and simple hygiene. What can you expect from a creature that runs around the mountain howling like a banshee? Pathetic, I call it.

Thursday, July 28, 2022

I Can't Even

 Along with the JESUS IS LORD sign, there's a Trump/Pence sticker, an American flag/Madison Cawthorne sticker, a sticker for a local gun store, and a Semper Fi sticker--the Marine Corps motto.

(Semper Fi--always faithful. According to the Marine Corps website, it means "an eternal and collective commitment to the success of our battles, the progress of our Nation, and the steadfast loyalty to the fellow Marines we fight alongside.  . . . it is a warriorhood that is lived.")

What I wonder is how this individual balances these loyalties to guns, hawkish and profoundly flawed politicians--even enablers of insurrectionists, and warriorhood with his devotion to the Lord who famously said: Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the children of God.

While I was wondering about this on the way home from the store, I passed a house down the branch that is sporting two new flags-American and Confederate, side by side. 

I can't even . . .

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Art and Play Date and Art

This is a painting I did with acrylics. I asked Meema to draw a hippo for me to paint. She did but I wanted him looking at me so that where I put his face. I also gave him some long grass to eat and water to stand in.

My playdate friend didn't come till eleven so while I was waiting, I colored in this book. I have had it FOREVER, since I could only scribble, but Meema washes the pages off and it's all new again.

This is me and Meema at the beach. See my bangs? And Meema's curly hair? I forgot to give her legs, but she says that's okay.

At last it was play date time! We played down at my house for a while, under the big willow.

We had some lunch.

Then we went to the house. We played with the dolls in The Room and did dress up but then we played with the Castle People.  There was a HUGE rainstorm and then my friend went home. Louise took her.

When she was gone, I did some more art--this time with my acrylics.  You saw the hippo and I did some other stuff with dots and blobs that I folded to make a design. 

It was a very good day.


Monday, July 25, 2022

Dealing With the Heat

Get up early. Now's a good time to water outdoor potted plants. Brew tea for iced tea. If something must be cooked, do it now. Decide what sort of salad to have for supper and do the prep. 

 This below is a slaw of sorts: bagged vegetable slaw, a bit of Chinese cabbage, red peppers, purple onions, cucumbers, black beans (1 can, drained,) mango slices, and some fresh basil. The dressing was mayo with a bit of lime and orange juice. We topped it with roasted almonds and had quesadillas on the side. (They had to be done at the last minute, alas.)                                                    

We rely on fans in every room, and we close the east facing windows. The Room has blackout curtains (ugly as homemade sin) on the east, installed back when Josie had to have semi-dark for her naps.

The naps are just a memory, but closing those curtains keeps The Room much cooler during the morning. 

Several months ago, hearing that the summer heat was likely to be worse than usual, we ordered bamboo shades for the dining room. I couldn't bear the thought of anything that totally blocked the view, and these were a nice compromise. They finally came, just as temperatures soared, and John installed them.

I'm happy to say they work beautifully--lowering the temperature but still allowing a look beyond.

What's more, they lend a touch of the exotic tropics to the dining room. I find myself thinking of gin and tonic, daiquiris, or gin rickeys. . .   


Sunday, July 24, 2022

Now Those Are Some Horny Cattle

Spotted in a pasture near Josie's pre-school. 

I'm guessing they're Ankole -Watusi or some iteration thereof. Pretty amazing.

I have to wonder though--how would one transport these critters? Those horns wouldn't fit in an ordinary cattle trailer. Or in a head gate, such as we use for worming or doctoring our cattle. 

And you sure wouldn't want to anger one.

NOTE: Where I live, cattle with horns are called horny, those without are called muley.


Saturday, July 23, 2022

Shout Out for a Blog Friend



A blog friend and author has a new book coming out. I haven't read it yet so can just give you a little blurb from her blog. 

"Who is this man dressed up in Renaissance garb who looks like he is winking? Luís Vaz de Camões, a Portuguese renaissance poet and some say Portugal's greatest poet, who is famous for  Os Lusíadas, his epic poem about Vasco da Gama's voyage to India. 

Why does he look like he's winking? He lost an eye when, as a soldier, he fought the Moors. As was not uncommon, back in the day, he was a soldier and wrote poetry. His sonnets are considered on a par with Shakespeare's, Dante's, etc.

What does Camões have to do with a cozy mystery? Well, someone in Braga, Portugal, claims to have an original manuscript of one of his sonnets, possession of which leaves a trail of death. And, you guessed it: Carla is a suspect. "

Elizabeth's blog has shared fascinating details of her life in Portugal and I expect that her book will be equally rich. Here's a chance for a bit of armchair travel.

And here's a link to a Trailer for the new book.

Friday, July 22, 2022

Me, Josie

It was my next to last day of summer camp and of course we got ice cream. They had waffle cones again! Also a new flavor that Meema was all excited about--Espresso with chocolate chunks. I had my favorite one scoop of vanilla and one of chocolate.

This is where we sit. Meema does not want ice cream in her car.

I had to check on the babies when we got home. They were playing in boats and paddling to Dragon Island. Meema said they'd been a handful the past few days. 

So I had a talk with them and they promised to be good. But Margo said she still wanted to go outside and climb a tree.

I told her to BE QUIET because I needed to brush my hair.

Yes, I am being careful, Jayna and Sandy.

We read some Calvin and Hobbes. These were my daddy's favorite books and they are mine too. Calvin is very funny.

And I did some art but ran out of time. Until kindergarten starts though, I will spend a lot of days here with Meema and Grumpy or with Grandma and Apa. There will be lots of time for art. And Calvin and Hobbes. And those bad babies.