Monday, June 26, 2017

cleave to gentle things

Our Norwegian guests packed up and left Saturday morning, leaving Carm and I feeling a little deflated and antsy. Luckily they’ll stay with us again for a few days at the end of the week.

The restless energy got us out of the house to the grocery store on a quest to find a large glass jar with a tight fitting lid - limoncello was on my mind and I had a recipe picked out. Once home, I washed two lemons and suspended them in cheesecloth over some vodka. It will sit like this for at least 40 days, at which point I’ll add the zest from two more lemons and some simple syrup to soak for 15 minutes, then it will be strained, bottled, and put in the freezer. I can hardly wait although I don’t hold out much hope that it will be as good as what we brought back from Italy.

Back at the store: we found the jar quickly which left us still at loose ends. Carm convinced me that Liquidation would be a good destination. I protested saying that I’d be sure to buy something (I always do)... sure enough, a cute pair of faded skinny jeans for $12, plus some pretty ‘lounge’ pants for $5 found their way into my cart.

Sunday I finished going through the Europe photos to select out 48 to include in the little album that I have. Well - that was an impossible task. Narrowing down to 48 would mean I’d have to exclude some of my Sagrada Familia photos, amoung others. I ended up starting over with 96 as my goal. Once I had a good subset I sent them on their way to Costco for their $0.10 print special.

I took a break at one point to make a snack - using the actifry of course. The ‘Deep fried’ dill pickles were easy to make and super yummy.

You might wonder with all this actifrying going on if we are ballooning into even greater dimensions. Actually, we are both losing weight :-)

I used it again last night to make a stir fry of red pepper and asparagus with asian sauce. YUM. It is so easy to use and I love how it cooks things - it didn’t steam the asparagus into soggy green things, but roasted them to perfection. Tonight I’m making mushroom gnocchi and am debating if I’ll try making it in my new, favorite toy.

It has been a beautiful day today and I’ve spent the last hour or two out on the swing. It is cool and would easily pass for September - socks have been on my mind. Not long ago, a ‘Great Crested Flycatcher’ landed near me - I’ve never seen one before and had to run for my book.

Be mild, and cleave to gentle things,
thy glory and thy happiness be there.”
~William Wordsworth

Saturday, June 24, 2017

fetter (cousins)

Carm and I were out and about yesterday (Friday): getting the temp sensor on the car fixed; breakfast of eggs Benedict; return shoes (yes, again); pickup clipper blades from sharpening; groceries; LCBO; … and  on it goes. Unexpectedly Carm’s phone rang (on the car’s bluetooth system) - it was my Mom - my dad was not feeling well and Bjorn & Ingeborg were on their way from Quebec City, due to arrive in an hour and half - could we call them and have them stay at our house for the night?

Of course!!!

So we dashed to Costco (our last planned stop anyway) and stocked up on some groceries for company and raced home, hoping that our house wasn’t too messy/dirty. Once home I dashed through the house, picking up and tidying, did a quick wipe of the guest bath and we were ready. Thankfully Carm had done a really good vacuum the day before.

The dogs started barking - they are here.

I didn’t realize it at the time but Ingeborg is afraid of dogs. I would have locked them in the bedroom but instead let them rudely mob our guests. Bella quickly wormed her way under Ingeborg’s hand, assuring her that our pack means no harm. Bjorn took a photo of her with the three dogs this morning to send to their kids thinking that they wouldn’t believe their eyes.

We had a lovely afternoon of visiting, sharing a bottle of bubbles, and then a leisurely supper (hello actifry potatoes!), followed by a congenial evening. I should mention that they are from Norway but speak excellent English. Communication was no problem and we managed a few laughs :-)

After supper Bjorn dashed into ‘their’ room and came back carrying a giant box - what the heck? Could that have been in their suitcase? To our delight it was a grill for making lefse - they obviously remember our trials with giant batches of lefse at Christmas. With this we may be inclined to make it more often. We just have to figure out how to make the electricity work.

Our busy day and their time change sent us to bed early.

Carm got up in plenty of time to make sure they had coffee and we sat around having breakfast until it was time for them to leave to see my parents. They’ll be back again in a week (or sooner if we are lucky).

Lets travel back a day to Thursday afternoon: I just spent 15 minutes looking for Grace’s spare food dish ring that I had STASHED somewhere on the camper. I searched all the cupboards and hiding places before I found it with the DVDs between her cage and the TV. Logical right? I read a bit of an article that talked about forgetting and how we aren’t meant to remember everything. Yeah, I get that, but why the heck can’t I remember things like this rather than all the words to ‘Muskrat Love’. Seriously.

I’ve cooked a few more things with the Actifry. Last night supper was a mix of peppers, mushrooms and broccoli that I served with pasta with tomato sauce. Easy, no stirring for me, and totally delicious. Today I tried some tofu which turned out better than the griddler, and played around some more with caramelized onions. It’s getting there but I think I need more water to steam the onion a bit before I add the balsamic vinegar. Still - pretty darn tasty and it raises a hotdog to a ‘whole nother level’. Tonight I roasted some potatoes which turned out better than I could have dreamed,  and tossed that with roasted pepper, onion, and mushroom. So far the experimentation is going well but soon I’ll start cooking some regular food too ;-)

The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”
~Friedrich Nietzsche

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

in any weather

With a quiet groan I rolled over to look at the clock. 12:30 am: summer. I thought of getting up and going outside to do a celebratory dance, but rolled over, turning my back on the clock, and went back to sleep. It could wait until morning.

I didn’t actually dance, instead I buried my nose in what is left of the peonies. We’ve had rain on and off the last few days and it has battered the lovelies. Petals lie in heaps. If only there was something that I could do with them. I thought of floating them in my bath but the idea of ants is off-putting. Plus I figure fishing them all out at the end would seriously put a damper on the mood.

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I’m out on the swing, at least for now. The hot weather has broken, leaving us with wind chill. It is a mix of sun and cloud – I wouldn’t mind being in the sun but the swing is firmly set in the shade.

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I’m in reorg mode (a bit) – what should I do with my wedding dress? It was cleaned and then stored in a special box so should be in good shape, but I can’t see any of my family wanting to wear it (it isn’t heirloom quality). I’ve scoured the internet looking for consignment shops with no luck. Should I just send it to Salvation Army?

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“In any weather, at any hour of the day or night, I have been anxious to improve the nick of time, and notch it on my stick too; to stand on the meeting of two eternities, the past and the future, which is precisely the present moment; to toe that line.”
~Henry David Thoreau