In my mind, I'm five years old having a high old time wandering and wondering. In reality, I'm now approaching my late 60s, wowza! I tell you a lot of creativity is still to be found in this old young self. In you, too, whatever your age. Welcome to my barefoot world!
While traipsing through the backyard early one morning last week I came across first-time visitors. Mushrooms! Mama would've harvested them. She would've thrown a quarter into the stewing mushroom pot, and if the quarter didn't turn black, then she would've eaten them. I wouldn't be surprised if there is a scientific basis behind the coin changing color to signify mushrooms are poisonous. When I was a kid, I ate the mushrooms my parents gathered on the oaks and sycamores along a certain creek in the hills right after good winter rain. They were tasty but kind of slimy, what the Husband might say in jest, "Awful mouthfeel." Daddy taught me which mushrooms to look for and where to find them, but I could never trust my judgment so I mostly held empty buckets and carried full ones back to the car. I love those times.
Early this morning, which was 5:51 a.m. in California, we were as close as we'll ever get this year to the star of our solar system, the Sun. Those in the know call this point on Earth's orbit perihelion. Now, you, my friends, and I are in the know. I learned about it at Earthsky . (Gotta love the Internet, and access to it.) I slept through the perihelion but nearly an hour later an earthquake woke me up. The bed and house seemed to be floating on choppy water for a few seconds. I'm not sure if it's my imagination or if I actually heard a faint rumble. Reports said it was a 4.3 on the Richter scale. There were several smaller aftershocks, but I didn't feel them. We're within spitting distance (well, we can quite easily) of two major faults in the area: the San Andreas and the Calaveras Fault. It's only the jolting or rolling ones that I feel. It's great to be alive, tripping through the Universe on the Earth.
A red leaf. I forgot everything else I saw yesterday morning. The first sunflower in bloom. The wispy pink and white morning glories. The white African daisy with its dark purple center. The red leaf. Fall in summer. "Hey!" said the sunlight. Red leaf in bright light. Red leaf in some light. Red life in shade. "Hey!" said the sunlight. When I previewed the photos on the computer I saw it then. Had I looked away? Had I blinked? A shiny black bug on the red leaf. Where did it come from? A black-and-white map? An overview of a terrain of some sort? For reconnaissance? A red leaf. It's Mosaic Monday , so I thought I'd try something different today. Good cheer, Everyone!
I was sitting in front of the computer about to start today's post when I heard it. Pop! Huh? I looked over to the left where the sound came. What do ya know? A California poppy pod makes a sound when it opens. Pop! And, the seeds go all over the place. Yesterday, I harvested a pocketful of poppy pods and left them all on a small oval plate on top of the radio. The poppy pod that popped was not on the plate. Did the pod jump off the plate as it opened? So it seems. That's my story for today. Much more interesting than I was about to write. Pop! I wonder if that's how poppies got their name. All Seasons is where I'm heading now. The meme is hosted by Jesh at The Jesh Studio . Come join me if you like.
"I want to be there," said the Husband. Me, too. The other day I was missing the sight of granite, miles and miles of exposed surface of batholith mountains. In particular, the Sierra Nevada mountain range. More specifically, Desolation Wilderness in the El Dorado National Forest, west of Lake Tahoe. Every year, for nine years, the Late Great First Husband and I backpacked the Sierras. At least one trip was to our favorite spot, Pyramid Lake in Desolation Wilderness, above Horsetail Falls, off of Highway 50. These photos are from my first backpacking trip up Horsetail Falls. The original prints were overexposed. Thankfully, I kept the pictures and was able to "clean" them up a bit in Photoshop. Talk about following the First Husband with complete trust while carrying 25 pounds, more or less, of food, gear, and reading material on my back. I don't know what it's like today, but back then, once you got to the base of the falls, the way
1. The Husband and I successfully fulfilled our monthly date for vacuuming, dusting, and mopping the house. Three months in a row. Definitely a whoop-de-doo! for us. The carpet feels so good beneath our bare feet. 2. Here's another thing I'm proud about doing today. I successfully pulled a curly dock weed, more than 60 inches tall, from the middle of a young butterfly bush. Poor guy. The two plants' roots were stuck together, but not entwined, so I was able to pry them apart. Hopefully the young butterfly bush was not too traumatized. 3. I need to go out and check the seeds I planted last week. They may need a drink of water. 4. But, first I need to go cook our main meal for us. I do miss not cooking. 5. Here I am again. The seeds got their sips of water. I saw two sunflower sprouts. Yippieeee. 6. After marinating locally produced grass-fed beef stew in a concoction of spices, vinegar, oil, and whatever else for a few hours, I sliced the meat thinly a
1. Frost! I thought we were done with it. 2. Mama called the icy stuff snow. "There was lots of snow on Marie's roof," she'd say as I stumbled into the kitchen to fix breakfast. She'd be almost done with her big bowl of different cereals mixed together. 3. Now it's me or the Husband that opens the kitchen curtains on chilly mornings to see the icy roof next door. "Lots of snow." 4. Flutter, flutter, flutter. A whole lot of tiny birds flew out of the tree on our front yard. I watched them all fly as one up into the sky, circle about, then take off to the northeast. 5. Then I noticed the light of the rising sun. Wowza! 6. And, then I wondered why everything was drippy wet. I looked up at the roof next door. Frost! 7. For once I was wise and went back into the house to fetch a shawl. And, my camera. Of course. You never know when the fish may be out. 8. This afternoon I asked the Husband, "What kind of guy are you?"
"Knock on wood, said Dr. Eye, who then knocked on the side of a medical supply cabinet. I turned to my left. Nothing but eye examination machines. All metal. I looked back at the cabinet. "About the closest to wood," Dr. Eye said, somehow knowing what I was thinking. "Maybe this," I said, leaning over to tap a small box, probably made of balsa, on the cabinet. "It probably does have the most wood in this room," Dr. Eye said, tapping the box. Someone asked me if I felt confident about Dr. Eye taking out my lens and inserting an artificial one with my current prescription. Totally. Four more days. :-) Linking with All Seasons at The Jesh Studio.
"Come upstairs with me," said the Husband when he came back from a trip to the gas station. "You've got to see something." "Is it snow?" I asked. I was in the kitchen prepping garlic for lumpia filling. "You'll see." Snow! This is the first of the season. No wonder it was cold this morning. Well worth it. I'm heading over to ABC Wednesday . Come join me, if you like. :-) Happy Thanksgiving, Dear Friends!
I baked a lemon bundt cake this morning for my county fair entry, which I hope shall reach a mellow, not so loud, lemon tart flavor when the judges taste it this Wednesday afternoon. This cake has several firsts for me. It's the first time I've entered a cake in the fair, I tried a new recipe, and I experimented with the recipe twice (I wrote about the first attempt last month). I added a lot more lemon zest and a heaping measurement of sour cream to the recipe for more lemon flavor and less dryness. And, yes, I used a bundt pan this time. Thank goodness that the Husband hung out in the kitchen while I was working on the cake. He looked up things on Google: How many tablespoons equal 1/4 cup? How do I make lemon syrup? When do I douse the cake with lemon syrup? Which end of the bundt cake do I display (the Husband had it right—the bundt ridges must show)? and How do I store the cake if I'm not serving it right away? Sorry, no photo. The cake is nothing truly excit
The Husband and I encountered danger yesterday—strawberry sauce. Oh my gosh! I modified a recipe that called for 2 cups of diced strawberries. The recipe probably meant a dry measuring cup, but I overfilled a two-cup liquid measuring cup. The strawberries went into a small saucepan with juice from a medium-sized lemon, a half a cap full of limoncello (in place of vanilla), and about 2/3 to 3/4 cup of superfine sugar. The sugar is a guess because I poured directly from the box, stopping only when it looked like it would be too much. I brought the concoction to a boil, stirring occasionally, then simmered it for 15 minutes. We ate the strawberry sauce over a slice of toasted sourdough bread and a healthy sprinkling of ground almonds. Mmmmmmm. Once upon a time, I would've eaten all of the sauce in one sitting and then promptly fall asleep in a drunken daze. The Husband said the sauce caused his eyelids and the bags under his eyes to sweat. When he was a kid, sweet tart
Snip, snip, snip. The past two mornings I've been trimming the daisy bushes in the front yard. A lot of daisies to be deadheaded. I chose to wait for the California poppies to go to seed before starting the task, so I reasoned. Snip, snip, snip. Glub, glub, glub. A female Ruby-throated Hummingbird has been Molly the Cat's and my companion these past mornings. She, the hummingbird, loves drinking the flowers of the Hot Lips Littleleaf Sage by the driveway. Cool name, Hot Lips. Remember Major Hot Lips Houlihan? Click, click, click. "Want to see a hummingbird's nest?" I asked, as I plucked the camera out of the bowl in the hallway. The Husband got up from the breakfast table and followed me out the door. I discovered the nest minutes before in the tree in the front yard. That's an upside to deadheading daisies. I think the hummingbird was used to my presence because she didn't seem to mind that I was standing nearby. Click, click