Sunday, May 23, 2010

Delicious Anticipation

This looks to me like it's going to be a white peony blossom. A big one. And there are a LOT of buds on the single plant. I planted two peonies years ago, one for me, one for my Lovely Daughter. I think mine fizzled and hers throve. Year by year it differs in height, number of blooms and so on. I always put a wire cage around it, as it gets pretty tall, and this is a bumper year. It's literally as tall as I am (I hear that snickering in the back, neveryoumind) and has many fat rich buds.

I like using terms like "grotto" and "grove" in my stories, and I have a pretty good image of what I mean -- and this is pretty close to the mark. I can't always spend much time in my own little grotto (when the State Bird makes its appearance one needs netting and gear, hard to read through) but this year I'm going to put some seating around my little firebowl and if necessary hang a citronella candle from my shepherd hook. You can SORT of see it, on the right, if you "biggify".

But that's not all I'm anticipating. No, I prowled around at the back and I've discovered that there's quite the thicket of what discovered to be black raspberries. You might remember my query from last year, which several wise folks identified....and I brought a few of the ripe berries inside to examine. Mr Dearling promptly popped some into his mouth and declared them very "mmmmmmmm"; he is still Among the Living so they were determined to be what I thought. I didn't get a great many last year, but there are a LOT of these this year:

In truth, there are a LOT more canes, and all of them (including some small short ones) are loaded with these little clusters of Future Noms. Some of them, behind the garage, are going to take protective gear and thick gloves to get to, but I mean to do it. I'm sure there are about a gazillion lovely recipes for black raspberries around - my plan, what I'm anticipating, is buying some genuine cream and splashing it over them. There are things about which I'm a purist.

Further Anticipation: I am waiting for the Lovely Daughter, and we're heading out to the WORT Block Party. That's our indie community radio station, and one of the only two radio stations I listen to regularly (the other is the public radio). The block party is always raucous, fun, crowded - and my Favorite Food Cart will be there. I've been jonesin' for a bowl of Black Bean Chili these many days, and today is the day. So I'm off to fill that particular anticipation and will resume upon my return.

NOTE: it's a finorkin' 120 degrees outside (ok, so I exaggerate)!
NOTE: just exactly what DOES "jonesin'" mean, and where did it come from?

OK! So it's the next day (truth in advertising). Here's the front door of our super-cool radio station. It's called "Back Porch Radio", and it's listener-sponsored. Most of the DJs are volunteers and it's eclectic to say the least. On Sunday morning they have a program of medieval music that is perfect for tea-and-newspaper time; there's a show hosted by Bill Malone, our local bluegrass &c expert; there are shows in Spanish and shows in Chinese. I love WORT -- DISCLAIMER: (and this is NOT a plug, just a fact).

But only guess what? It was HOT! Perfect weather for a block party, but NOT good weather for the black-bean chili. No way, Jose'.

So Lovely Daughter and I made a beeline for the Santa Fe trailer and had -- their home-made, fresh icy-cold, fresh gazpacho! And it did the trick, hit the mark, filled the void, &c &c. In honor of the occasion (anything would do) we also shared an order of Chips and Guacamole - better of which you can't hardly find nowhere. I'm lucky in having raised my daughter to be pretty much immune to embarrassment where her Maternal Unit is concerned, because I shamelessly wiped every last molecule of guacamole out of the container with my index finger. (I also raised a lady - she offered to get me a spoon. I declined.)

I took a picture of it. I really-o, truly-o did. But I ate it.

So last night was the first truly hot night of the season, and it is a little early. So when I got home, I turned on the fan (which Mr Dearling, who also ANTICIPATES, had brought up), pointed it at the sofa, and stretched out for a wee nap. I've said it before, I'll say it again - now: when they make Napping an Olympic event I am SO bringing home the Gold for America.

THIS HOT! Stretch-out-long cat hot. It's like my mother always said (and you've heard it before): "When it's hot out, arrange your limbs so they're not touching." It works.

And as I'm writing this Monday I can report that it's very hot today too, and I have turned on the "cool" in my writing room. I had it on for about 45 minutes; I've turned it off because I'm about to climb into my air-conditioned car and run a few errands: drop off a S***load of magazines in the Trade Bin at the air-conditioned library, drive through the bank (so I can stay in my air-conditioned car). Then I think I'm going to stop at (air-conditioned) Joann Fabrics. I need a thimble, I can't find any of my utilitarian ones. And shopping for thimbles is almost as bad as shopping for underpants. They think grown-ups have bigger fingers, and little children only use thimbles for fun or show or poking their brothers or wossname.

I can see that the heat is making me cranky, so I'll stop here....but with a close-up of Mistress Evangeline in the Heat.

'Nother DISCLAIMER: the light behind her is our ever-burning lamp. It's a very non-bright compact-fluorescent, therefore puts out no additional heat. I are green.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I am finally Off my Duff. I am finally back, finally reviving my poor little blog. I've been keeping my little black blogbook all along, jotting notes for things to include. If I had a buck for every time I've thought "Oooh, that is SO going in the blog" ....well, I probably wouldn't be here because I'd be sipping absinthe in a garret in Paris and writing The Novel. So I've been waiting for the First Day of the Month or the First Day of the Week or some such.

Well, it's the fifth day of the week and the 20th day of the month - "Dr. Phil" is just beginning, does that count? But the TIME is RIGHT. the past, when I've had a Momentary Lapse, I try to stuff in everything that's happened in the intervening, resulting in overly-long posts. GOOD NEWS, I'm not gonna do that. I'm going to start NOW, put in a couple highlights - and continue putting one foot (finger? keystroke?) in front of the next.

Last Wednesday I went to the Raw Milk Rally on the Square. The law to make the sale of raw milk LEGAL had passed through both Houses and was on the Governor's desk. I won't even discuss the ridiculousness of the NEED for such action; it sticks on my craw on several levels. A kindly dairyman brought a great cold milk can full and was serving it out. This is me, PUBLICLY defying the law and drinking a full glass of rich, sweet, creamy FRESH milk, in Defiance of the Law.

Well - the Guv vetoed it!! So what that means is, it is now illegal for a family dairy farm to sell the fresh milk from their herd. The Guv said some BS about how he's "protecting the health" of the citizenry.

WARNING: small soapbox. Given MY choice, I would rather have milk from cattle who are cared for by the farmer and his family; who spend their days socially grazing outdoors on grass; who are milked by very clean milking machines into sterile holding tanks....&c &c. The alternative is milk from factory farms where the cows do NOT go outdoors but live in concrete barns or holding pens. Their feed is prescribed, and full of additives like hormones to keep the cows producing LOTS of milk a lot longer than they would naturally. They also get antibiotics to keep them healthy, vitamin D is added to the milk (they don't get any sunshine).

The thought of multigenerational family farms being forced to close breaks my heart. The fact that the top prize-winning cheeses were made from raw milk is not lost on me. Furthermore, I resent being told that the guvmint is safeguarding my health. I'm 67 and I KNOW there is a potential for illness from raw milk. I KNOW smoking is bad for my health. I KNOW I can get disease from hangerbers from icky places. I KNOW I can get splurged crossing the street.

Having had the opportunity to enjoy raw milk a few times in the last few weeks, I was bitterly disappointed that my chance to buy it if I so choose has been removed from me. I mean to try to find a way to obtain some now and again; now it's the principle of the thing. And I HOPE those In the Know can figure out a way to try this again.

The other thing I've done recently was attend Costume-Con 28 in Milwaukee with my dear friend Jen. In a word it was five days of great fun at a nice hotel. I "dressed" now and then, and LOVED seeing the incredible variety of costumes made by Those Who Sew. I have to admit, I got lost driving to Milwaukee (missed a turn shown on my mapquest and wound up in Whitefish Bay) but in this 21st century I just whup out my cellphone, called Mr Dearling and managed to get there. I may expound at greater length in future because I do have some splendid pictures; at this point, suffice it to say there was some truly brilliant....


Talk about cool glasses! I mean, this is really top-of-the-line stuff. And my fascination with all things Steampunk was revived and energized, and I'll keep y'all up on where I go with that. In the meantime, I have...

Turned 67, given loads of museum tours, spent some time in the 19th century, given a few programs "in character" for senior centers, enjoyed the end of winter, enjoyed the start of spring, enjoyed my cats, enjoyed Mr. Dearling, seen "The Lion King"!! and most recently reconnected with my first-born grandson, who hasn't fallen far from the tree. I'm going to go collect him even as we speak........

But I am BACK and mean to stay that way.