Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hot Dish Chronicles, part 2

Inscription on the inside cover:

3/9/82 Dear Irene--Enjoy cooking the Congregational way!! Love, Pattie & Florence

My new Pyrex casserole dish has officially been christened with a Hot Dish recipe I found in the above 1980's Fargo, N.Dakota 'church' cookbook from a local yard sale. It had been a rainy week when I found this and luckily cool enough to turn on the oven. This hotdish recipe included a hamburger/tomato soup/noodle mixture with a can of cream corn and grated cheese baked on top. Wonderful comfort food!
The week I bought the blue casserole dish I can't seem to quit talking about, I found the rectangle yellow one (possibly from the same family kitchen?) at the same thrift store. Now I'm always on the lookout for small Fireking, etc. pastel pitchers. So far I have these two. I'm of the mind that blue should be next.

My tomato crop is slow and still has black spots which seem to only be topical, but are really delicious. 'Celebrity' is a winner.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Happy Birthday, dear Phyllis!

The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been.
Madeleine L'Engle

Today is the birthday celebration for my friend Phyllis over at Granny Smith. Please stop in and wish this dear lady a happy day! You'll be able to read all about the life and times of this artistic, talented, wise friend, wife, mother and grandmother.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Friday's sweet Flowers

Here are sweet peas, on tip-toe for a flight
With wings of gentle flush o'er delicate white,
And taper fingers catching at all things
To bind them all about with tiny rings."
John Keats

Interestingly, the origin of the sweet pea in the wild has been greatly disputed. The first written record appeared in 1695. Francisco Cupani, a member of the order of St. Francis, noted seeing sweet peas in Sicily. There is no documentation of whether the sighting was in the wild or in the botanical garden in the village of Misilmeri (near Palermo) that was under his charge. It was not until 1699 that Cupani passed on the seeds of the enticingly fragrant, small bicolor flowers (blue and purple) to Dr. Casper Commelin, a botanist at the medical school in Amsterdam. In 1701, Commelin published an article on sweet peas, which included the first botanical illustration.
Historians presume that Cupani also sent seeds to Dr. Robert Uvedale - a teacher and aficionado of unusual and new plants - in Middlesex, England at the same time as he sent them to Amsterdam. This assumption is based on a herbarium specimen that Dr. Leonard Plukenet made in 1700, noting the plant’s origin as Dr. Uvedale’s garden.
Although the exact origin of the sweet pea is uncertain, the original Cupani variety, a bicolor with purple upper petal and deep blue winged petals, is available to gardeners still under the name Cupani! (courtesy Texas Cooperative Extension, Texas A&M University)

That first sweet-pea! I wonder where it is.
It seems to me I laid it down somewhere,
And yet, -- I am not sure. I am not sure,
Even, if it was white or pink; for then
'Twas much like any other flower to me,
Save that it was the first. I did not know,
Then, that it was the last. If I had known
--But then, it does not matter. Strange how few,
After all's said and done, the things that are
Of moment.

from Renascence Edna St. Vincent Millay

Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday, Monday

Its a rainy Monday, so I will leave you all with some Yogi Berra wisdom:

Yogi's pizza order arrives. The server asks him if he would like the pizza sliced in 6 pieces or 8. Yogi's reply:

6, I can't eat 8

Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Parrots

Thursday, August 16, 2007

What a lovely surprise when I realized that while I was chasing cats and 'chilling' I had received this award from AnnieElf, a very inspiring and colorful lady who can be visited at Scenes From a Slow Moving Train. This brightened the rest of my week and I'm really happy to pass this on to several other friends I think you'll want to get to know:

Marianne at Marianne's Knotminding. She is a friend indeed; kind, giving, knitter extraordinaire, very supportive and we share many interests besides having the same name.

Phyllis at Granny Smith. This friend will inspire, amaze and support you. I feel lucky to know her. She is multi-talented and has lived life to the fullest.

My 'old' friend Chris who posts at Life in the Slow Lane. We became friends way back when we had babies at the same time. A piano teacher/quilter, she's lived in England and Canada and is now living back in Idaho. Best way to describe Chris is 'lively.'

One more thing, the days are getting shorter here; therefore, I start to wonder how the critters are faring. . .are they gathering and putting away? This morning on my walk I saw a red squirrel on the move and three ravens, two large, one teenager, sitting serenely in the top of a tree. They preened and once in awhile moved toward the younger to inspect the lay of feathers and perhaps share a snack. Anyway, it was all very calming for some reason.

On the way home I saw this on a neighbor's mailbox which gave me more questions to think about.

3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

always leave 'em laughing

To be sure, one never knows where the day will lead. Yesterday I sadly deposited Erica at the airport, saying goodbye after a whirlwind week. Dave is still away on his class reunion bash, calling periodically to regale me with all the events and people he's visiting while in Idaho. Today dawned as one that had great promise, cooler temperatures, perhaps a walk on a trail around Snail Lake, coffee and a scone as a reward, a dip in the community pool; you know, the usual 'while the cat's away' drill.

Then the day took on a different hue when I noticed Bean, the cat, slinking around the corner. It really seemed like a great notion to chase her and watch her fly across the room. . .except for the split second the toe of my shoe caught the carpet off guard, throwing me across the room, landing on my knees. Suffice it to say, the bigger you are the harder you fall. Of course, it was the knee bone that is connected to the leg bone that was broken several years ago in four places and is now held together with a rod from knee to ankle, held in there by screws. I mention this because any 'weighty' jarring of this knee sends my leg on a roller coaster ride of pain, around and around that titanium rod.

A pathetic visual of the rest of my day shows me on the sofa eating leftover pizza, a bag of frozen cranberries on my knee and when necessary, doing a Frankenstein walk to the bathroom or when pulling Pashka down the driveway.

I'm hoping tomorrow will be better, and that it doesn't rain!

Birds sing after a storm; why shouldn't people feel as free to delight in whatever sunlight remains to them? Rose Kennedy

Monday, August 6, 2007

Wonder of wonders, I have a house guest this week while Dave is away at his 40th class reunion in Idaho. . .my very own youngest daughter, Erica Joy(to the world)! Her middle name sums her up in my estimation, clever me, waiting for the spinal to wear off pondering a lovely middle name for this little peanut born with a monk hairdo that would make Friar Tuck envious. She brought so much joy in her first few hours in the world, grabbing the nurses finger when she was being 'removed,' easily taking to nursing, a sleepy little bundle. Erica who had a washing machine sounding heartbeat which sentenced her to a life of watching and waiting for her heart to right itself resulting in open heart surgery at 24. Now she is a strong(willed), beautiful, self-reliant, energetic, smart, committed, Simpson's loving, hilarious, fair and generous young woman.
We intend to eat and laugh our way through this week. I'm keenly aware that this time together will fly by. Next week she starts her second year at Georgetown Medical School and we probably won't be together again until Christmas. I'm a very fortunate, doting mom indeed!

Homer's Brain: Use reverse psychology.

Homer: Oh, that sounds too complicated.

Homer's Brain: Okay, don't use reverse psychology.

Homer: Okay, I will!

Friday, August 3, 2007

Friday Flowers

Stumbling over the ruts left by their wagons
Around Appaloosa hills before sundown
melts into the valleys,
Dust swirls around my sandals
whispering each name.

Traveling without a compass, I think I see
an unhinged cavalry horseshoe
Jutting out from the new earth,

A headstone of blanket flowers rises
Bright colors a mixture of Native blankets and tears.

Scattered stars in a black Dakota sky
remain the silent witnesses.