Saturday, October 31, 2015


give or take a couple -

and I was starting to think we'd run out.

Friday, October 30, 2015

eggs on Friday

very often, and I've gotten pretty good at making an omelet.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

more about vinegar

It's always fun to see what new books our library director has bought, and you will never guess what I saw behind my desk yesterday!  No, you won't.

Imagine, I just posted about vinegar the other day!  I put my name on it, but meanwhile I did some peeking inside:

I'll have to get some more Bragg cider vinegar - it's supposed to have a mother in it. Then we'll see what we will see.

Monday, October 26, 2015

the vinegar that never happened

That's wine in the jar. It has to be close to a year ago when I thought I'd just let a bottle of red wine go sour, thereby making red wine vinegar, right?  I started by leaving the top off when I thought of it. That didn't do anything, so then I just left it off completely. For weeks and weeks. Bugs may have fallen in; I didn't check - the bottle was painted black. But it still smelled like wine after all that time. I got an idea that maybe sunlight would make it happen, so I poured it into a clear jar. That was quite a while ago and it still smells like wine. Today I found this which seems to say it's not that simple.  So, I give up. I could swear that during my youth, there was once some wine in our house that went bad.

Maybe they're making it differently now; kind of like the ultra-pasteurized cream that two months after you bought it is still (miraculously) good.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

ah, the wisdom of Bertie Wooster

"I have often wondered, when I read about fellows getting horsewhipped on the steps of their club, why they didn't just go up the steps and into the club, knowing that the chap behind the horsewhip wasn't a member and wouldn't have a chance of getting past the hall porter."

                                                   -  The Cat-Nappers, by P. G. Wodehouse

Thursday, October 22, 2015

{pretty, happy, funny, real} with Leila

Today was one of those balmy October days I can't resist - so I stayed out as long as I could. I cut back the hydrangea and brought several dried blooms inside with me. Leila's mention of her brown ones made me think of it, but ours weren't entirely dried; I thought some were pretty enough to bring in.

Some are also on top of the corner cabinet in a small crock I found downstairs last week, but it's too dark up there to photograph.

I strained the raw milk yogurt from the other day. This was after four hours; it's still got that lumpy-ish quality, but I'm happy with the experience and it does seem to have a bit of tang after all.

I picked up a P. G. Wodehouse from the library which I knew would be funny. Bertie Wooster is so ridiculous. I remember a radio series on a local NPR station many years ago with Richard Briers as Bertie and Michael Hordern as Jeeves - I loved it. Who doesn't enjoy a good laugh? Anyway, I've been poking through Leila's Library Project suggestions, and recently finished Gentian Hill. It would be hard to describe that book - it was like no other, is all I can say. But now it's time to laugh with Bertie.

Because I was outside a lot today, I did not finish washing the windows as I'd intended. That's the real, but I don't have a photo of it. Everyone knows what that looks like, anyway.  :D

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

raw milk yogurt

Debra and I went to lunch at a local place we love, and then stopped at a health food store because I've been wanting to try kombucha. Afterward, we were back in the car sitting and talking, and Deb saw the sign in the store window - Raw Milk. Back into the store we went.

The dairy case was empty but we still wanted information, and when we asked, the girl went to the back and returned with two bottles! The last two.

I wanted to make yogurt with it, and having made it once has of course made me an expert. But the method I used that other time is not what you're supposed to use with raw milk, I discovered. (The internet is wonderful, but you end up with so much information and so many "sure methods" - then you have to take a plunge and decide which way you're going to do it.)

It seems that raw milk tends to make a thinner result than pasteurized. It may be more fussy about incubation temps than pasteurized. And it may take longer than even ten hours to thicken up. I really didn't want runny yogurt, but it seemed that we (Deb was going to make some, too) might have no choice.

Meanwhile, she got the idea to get one of the West ladies' DVDs  from the library - the dairy one. They make yogurt, from raw milk, and it's thick!  I'm not sure why theirs alone came out thick but they were putting in one cup of yogurt per half gallon of milk, so I wondered if maybe that was it. Anyway,  I heated it to 110, mixed some of it with one cup of store-bought, and whisked it all together carefully.  I then used the same method as for the regular yogurt, incubating it in the crockpot with warm water.

After six hours I checked it - it was more like buttermilk than anything. Now, the West ladies had used a smallish cooler and they poured boiling water over their jars into the cooler. Theirs was thick in six hours. I turned on the crockpot again, but it was taking too long to heat up - so I boiled some water and poured that in and decided to leave it all night.

It was much thicker in the morning! I really wanted to boil more water and leave it all day while I was at work, but I wasn't sure if I should do that. But I think next time I will. I'm not going to splurge on this stuff regularly, but I mainly wanted to learn.

You know, some people insisted that all you have to do for raw milk yogurt is stir some yogurt into it and leave it out on the counter for forty eight hours.  I'm really tempted to try that, too.

The taste?  If you've ever tried Fage, that's what this reminds me of. Fage is more like a luxurious pudding, and not tart at all. So, it's okay taste-wise, but I'm in this more for the experience. And the bacteria.

Monday, October 19, 2015

a close call

I have two feet left of yarn - just enough to thread the needle and gather up the remaining stitches on the knitted hat. Wow! 

And to think that when I was unwinding the hank some of it got tangled and knotted and I had to chuck it. Wow again!  

Too bad I'd ended up getting another - I was getting worried and thought I'd better. So much for using up my stash; I suppose I'll have to make a matching something-or-other. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015


"Blessed be the Lord for the precious things of heaven, for the dew, for the deep that coucheth beneath. And for the precious fruits brought forth by the sun, and for the precious things put forth by the moon."

                                                              Elizabeth Goudge,  Gentian Hill

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

new checked placemats

I recently made which go rather nicely with these old Vera napkins (that I never liked but don't mind so much lately).

Monday, October 12, 2015

perfect holiday

Today was the most perfect of days, and our most brilliant tree in the back yard is definitely brilliant.

And for Columbus Day supper, Neapolitan Zucchini Soup, tomato and genoa salami sandwiches and neapolitan Klondike bars. Because Columbus was from Genoa and we from Naples (or it's environs). After a migraine the other day, it was all I could manage. But still fun! (the main thing)

Sunday, October 11, 2015

don't fight

"Again, don't fight; if you fight, you'll crack. You can't fight foul language, foul smells, sweat, dirt, and all the rest of it. The only thing you can do is to live amongst it both with acceptance and withdrawal. That sounds paradoxical but it's perfectly possible. You're not befouled by another man's obscenities and brutalities, though you may feel you are, but only by your own, and if you have strangled your own, then the door of escape is open for you and you can go through it to the fortress when you wish. There is a fortress, you know."

                                                    -  Elizabeth Goudge,  Gentian Hill

Saturday, October 10, 2015


Dolly listens to Bill Evans in a sunny spot on the ironing board.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

even happier

Well, last night's post was a bit premature. This morning my problems returned as before, and then a friend sent me a link about Akismet. They work with Wordpress in dealing with spam.  And a nice fellow named Nick has just assured me that it's been fixed (although he can't go into details) and it won't happen again.

So here's a pretty fall image I snapped while zipping along the road the other day (after a bit of photoshopping).

And we can forget about the whole thing as if it never happened. Hopefully.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

a happy solution

Back in the early days of email, I found a small site which offered email services and had little problems with it for several years. Meanwhile, five years ago I started this blog. I never had any problems commenting on blogs which weren't on blogspot. My comments always appeared.

About one year ago my email service ended and I had to find another; gmail seemed the best bet - people like it, and it's a google thing, as is blogger, so it seemed to make sense for me. But since that time, I have not been able to leave a comment on non-blogspot blogs. 

Well, I could leave the comment, but it would never appear. At first, I didn't notice, of course. But once in a while I'd go back to see if anyone had replied, and my comment wouldn't be there. I didn't know what to think. I emailed the situation to one blogger, and she found my comment in her spam folder; but I wasn't about to email these people every time I wanted to comment! I mentioned it on another occasion on the Colette site, and Sarai's husband, Kenn, suggested I leave off my URL when I comment. He thought maybe the web was used to my URL belonging to that particular email address, and now that I had another one, there was a problem. It made sense, so I tried it. It worked of course; I just left that line blank. But there was no link to my own blog. That was okay for the most part; I was happy that at least I was able to comment, and that was the main thing. But it was too bad that nobody could see my blog, and decide whether they liked me or not. Kenn also had said that maybe after a couple of months the "system" might get used to my newer email and I'd be able to include it, but - no. After a year, it still hadn't made any difference.  

I asked two friends who are both knowledgeable on computer matters, but they had no idea. I emailed my problem into a local weekly radio program on computer issues, and they never addressed it either time!  

Today at the library we had a young fellow come in to give a class on the new version of Publisher, and I decided to ask him. He really didn't know why I had this problem, but he thought it might be the URL, and suggested I google "URL shorteners". I'd never heard of such things. He mentioned one called Bitly.  I was glad to have any new idea, but didn't really think it was the URL per se - still, when I got home, I did the search. I found Bitly, but couldn't resist choosing one named "tiny"  and lo!!!  It worked! I have commented on two blogs this evening, and leaving a link back here which I haven't been able to for over a year.  Hurrah, as the English say!   I can't believe it. And I'm telling you in case you have the same problem.

Now I just have to figure a way to remember this new funny URL which doesn't spell anything. But that's okay!  That's nothing. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

apples and ice cream

Apples again.

I saw an image on pinterest of hollowed-out apples with vanilla ice cream in them. This sounded very good, except I thought it would be nicer if the apples could be softer. Partially cooked, at least, but not falling apart. So, one day I steamed a few, mainly because the oven was in use. But they got too cooked and were too soft. So the next time I had them in the oven for twenty minutes or so. It was a mix of different kinds from the reduced produce section (not our own apples). Of course, they ended up cooking at different levels. There were three of us, so I picked the three best and served them with a drizzle of maple syrup over the ice cream.

They were pretty good. A little messy, and a little sweet, but nice.

Monday, October 5, 2015

much better than it looks

I'm still dealing with our apples; today I made more applesauce and then thought I'd try something else - these apples aren't pie material, but a crisp or something, maybe?  I thawed some butter and made one of Margo's press-in pie crusts, then mixed up some apple with cranberries and cinnamon. Just some brown sugar sprinkled on top, not even mixed up.  No topping.

When I took it out I could see the fruit amounts were a little sparse, but it was too late to add any more. Or was it?  I grabbed cold applesauce and plopped some on top, very carefully mixing it. So that's why it looks messy, but it's very tasty!  A good thought.

Friday, October 2, 2015

feast of the guardian angels

They come, God's messengers of love,
They come from realms of peace above,
From homes of never-fading light,
From blissful mansions ever bright.

They come to watch around us here,
To soothe our sorrow, calm our fear:
Ye heavenly guides, speed not away,
God willeth you with us to stay.

                                            -  Magnificat,  October, 2015