Monday, July 27, 2015

Around OakMeadow

Around OakMeadows

This morning I had a brainstorm.  We were taking the van through the car wash and it suddenly came to me how nice it would be to have a people wash.  One would shed one's clothing in a dressing room, sit on a comfy bench on a conveyor belt which would move us through a nice warm spray down, then suds us and pass us through all those dangly ribbons of jiggly washcloths, we would be rinsed down and finally blown dry. Then dress and you are ready for the day. Granted there are some details to be worked out but there you are. 

I hear Garrison Keillor will be retiring from Prairie Home Companion next year. After 40 years, I will grant you that he has earned it but by gosh I will miss knowing what is going on with the Lutherans in Lake Wobegone. 

Finally finished the repair on the border of the baby quilt and while I can see clearly  where the repair is, it isn't all that noticeable if you aren't looking for it. I hope to get it all basted and ready to quilt this week.  

This year has been such a good reading year--I've read so many really good books. But the last two that I tried to read were just not up to snuff. I used to feel that if I started a book, I was under obligation to finish it to the very last word.  Fortunately, I have learned that not finishing a book does not mean that your time in Purgatory will be extended as you will be required to finish every unfinished book to the very last word there before moving on. I have a very enjoyable Bruno, Chief of Police murder mystery going and am enjoying Bruno's French village and his cooking and his friends.  I continue to hiss at foolish Isabelle who continues to spurn Bruno.  Joe and I are reading aloud each evening, David McCullough's 1776 and so far it is excellent. 

I have a couple of salad recipes that I want to try this week. One is a grilled veggie and pasta salad and the other is grilled chicken and zucchini & cherry tomatoes. It is just too darn hot to cook and eat  anything but chilled soups and salads. We are going through lemonade by the gallon--seriously I make a half gallon jug at least twice a week. Iced tea too. We still haven't gone over 100 degrees but at 98 degrees and high humidity who wants to cook?

Two weeks until our Alaska cruise. I am looking forward to a week of cooler temperatures. 

That's all the news from OakMeadows where the birds all wait for me in the mornings to fill up the birdbaths and feeders and the squirrels get fat on peanuts.  

Sunday, July 26, 2015

July Meditation

When you arise in the morning, think of what a privilege it is to be alive, to think, to enjoy, to love. 

Marcus Aurelius 

July Poetry

I taste a liquor never brewed 

I taste a liquor never brewed, 
From tankards scooped in pearl; 
Not all the vats upon the Rhine 
Yield such an alcohol! 
Inebriate of air am I, 
And debauchee of dew, 
Reeling through endless summer days, 
From inns of molten blue. 
When landlords turn the drunken bee 
Out of the foxglove's door, 
When butterflies renounce their drams, 
I shall but drink the more! 
Till seraphs swing their snowy hats, 
And saints to windows run, 
To see the little tippler 
Leaning against the sun. 

Emily Dickinson, 1860

Saturday, July 25, 2015

July Goals

     Daily Bible Readings 
     Saying of the Desert Fathers

     Chair Dancing DVD daily
     WW breakfasts

Quilting: Finally get the baby quilt basted 

     1776 by David McCullough
     The Resistance Man by Martin Walker
     Harvest for Hope by Jane Goodall
     All the Single Ladies by Dorothea Benton Frank

     German Chocolate Cake for Paul's birthday 
     Stuffed Weiners
     Chicken Parmesan
     Cutlets, GMP, GB

     Hang new door wreath
     Start looking for new bed linens for guest bedroom



Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Around OakMeadows

One swallowtail. It is beautiful. But other than a few little yellow sulphurs, that's it for our butterflies. Just incredible that in the 11 years we have been out here we have seen the butterfly population just crash. So very sad. 

Speaking of sad, our daughter had to put her dear cocker spaniel down. It was time. She was old, old, and sick and was never going to get better. Daisy had a wonderful life and was loved and cared for to her very last breath. Oh that we all could be so fortunate to be surrounded by loved ones and have someone come to your home and give you a sedative overdose when the time comes. 

I made a blunder when trimming the batting from around the edge of the baby quilt and snipped 2 inches into the border.  I've been racking my brain trying to figure out how to fix it.  I think I will take out the seam along the whole border and piece in a patch. It won't be as perfect as if I hadn't botched it to begin with but if one is looking for perfection, might as well pass right on by me. 

Hot and Humid! That's all there is to say about July on the Texas Gulf Coast. No storms in the Gulf so there's that to be thankful for. 

I am watching Wolf Hall on Netflix DVDs.  Oh my, is it ever good! I only have 2 more episodes. I wonder if there will be another season?? Everyone knows about Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn but 
there are so many other interesting characters--Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell.  Can't wait to get the next DVD and find out what happens next. 

Now one assignment: Everyone needs to go clean out your clothes drier's exhaust vent.  I thought that  the heating element in my drier was broken and that was why my clothes were not getting dry. So I called the repairman.  He found no problem with the heating element or anything else.  It turns out that my exhaust vent was clogged and the safety switch was turning off the heating element so that it wouldn't catch fire. So I paid $149 to have my exhaust hose cleaned out which I could easily have done myself. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

July Cooking

Glazed Carrotswith Orange and Cranberries

1 pound carrots, peeled
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dried cranberries 
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoons unsalted butter 
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Slice the carrots 1/4 inch thick on the bias. 

Combine the carrots, orange juice, chicken broth, orange zest, cranberries, sugar, and salt in a 12 inch nonstick skillet. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and continue to cook covered, stirring 
occasionally, until carrots are almost done, about 5 minutes. 

Uncover, return to a boil, and continue to cook until the liquid is reduced, about 2 minutes. 

Stir in the butter, continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the carrots are tender and the glaze is a light, golden, about 3 minutes. 

Off the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with pepper to taste. 

Saturday, July 18, 2015

July Meditation

Dwell on the beauty of life.  Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them. 

Marcus Aurelius