4 April 2012

An early April Fool:

The Tuesday before last, I ran to Owen's on my bike, and moved the plastic and cash I usually carry in my pockets to my wallet.

Come Friday I got a "courtesy notice" from the library, and wanted to renew my books in case I didn't get them returned before the following Wednesday. Went to my wallet for my library card — the wallet wasn't there. By nightfall I'd looked everywhere it might conceivably be, and a lot of places it couldn't possibly be several times each, so bright and early Saturday morning — the last day in March — I started suiting up to ride back to Owen's and inquire at the lost and found even though there's no way it could fall out of the pocket I carry it in.

So I was all ready to go, and pulled my cycling shoes out from under Dave's mother's sewing machine (which we use as a sideboard in the kitchen) — and there was my black wallet lying on the black shoes.

All I can figure is that I must have set the bag the wallet belongs in beside the shoes, then tossed the wallet on top of the bag.

Never mind that I've been keeping the bag in the laundry room ever since we started upheaving the parlor.

I went to Owen's anyway and bought milk, onions, ground beef, and a huge pork roast — we'd better have left-over pork roast for supper again.

I made the ground beef into porcupine loaf, with couscous instead of rice (pasta is less glycemic than rice, on account of the high protein content), and put it into the oven Sunday morning. Cooking all day was overkill for couscous — particularly pre-cooked couscous. I didn't like it much, and will try quinona next time. I do like quinona in rice-and-lentil casserole.

What with upheaving the parlor and finally baling the old newspapers, I had some stuff to leave off at the emergency room, and though the books had been renewed, it would be polite to take back those that I was done with. So Tuesday morning I suited up, loaded the bike, and rolled off when the boys were about halfway through scraping the old carpet padding off the parlor floor.

Then I looked down at my front wheel, came back, and pumped up my tires. Didn't manage to get the chuck on the back valve without letting out all the air; I wonder why that valve is so much harder to get at? It looks the same as the front valve, same number of spokes — nope, I went out and looked back and forth: the back spokes are slightly closer together, and the two that the valve stem is between remain parallel as they go one to the left and one to the right, while the corresponding spokes of the front wheel diverge slightly.

Dropped off the magazines etc., tried not to take the boardwalk for granted, put one book into the bin, a librarian hastened to take it out while I was leafing through the other to make sure I hadn't left anything in it, so I handed that one to her directly. Returned to the bike for a forgotten water bottle, decided I might as well go on since I still had one book, realized I hadn't planned my tour beyond this point.

So I topped off the water bottle and headed for Marsh, to check it off my list of places where I haven't looked for Hormel Low Fat Corned Beef Hash. Stopped by the used-book store, but wasn't in the mood for browsing. Only thing that caught my eye was a row of Anne Perry books, and while I highly recommend her to anyone who hasn't read any of her mysteries, she doesn't wear well, particularly in sequels.



5 April 2012

Couscous loaf is pretty good sliced cold. Porcupine loaf doesn't slice at all.

Marsh shares a building with a chinese lunch place, but I settled for a container of yogurt and one of the fruit bars I'd brought in case of emergency. Looked around for a place to sit down while eating, realized that Marsh provides a number of small tables near the deli for exactly that purpose.

I think maybe I should resume carrying a spoon. Eating pudding with a pocket knife and fingers isn't easy.



6 April 2012

I planted the multiplier onions yesterday. Because the heat kept me out of the garden last year, all the sets I had were those I'd set aside in case of total crop failure. So I thought that I'd set aside the firmest and fattest in case it happened again, but my storage conditions are none of the best, and upon examining the sets, I saw that if I wanted any crop at all, I would have to plant the firmest and fattest.

So they are planted right at the edge, where I can tend them even if the rest of the garden goes to weeds.

It's amazing how much easier the ground was to work after I raked off the dead weeds and other mulch.

Stuff is drifting back into the parlor. We've got all the furniture back in place, except for the pictures on the walls, but the books are going to take a while. I'm thinking of putting a book on the shelf, then going through all the boxes to pick out books of the same category.


7 April 2012

Books still a mess.

I'd better lay out my clothes tonight — if I get up at 7:00, I'll have fifteen minutes to dress and step off. But which clothes? On the one hand it's Easter Sunday, on the other, I'm going to be in the kitchen.

The pink cotton print with red roses, I think. It's springlike, has short sleeves, and should look good with one of the church's red aprons.

Feels strange not to be making devilled eggs.

I baked rye bread yesterday and buckwheat bread — same recipe, minus the caraways seeds and with maple syrup instead of molasses — today.



9 April 2012

I didn't hear any weather last night — I was awake until 01:00 and got up at 04:00 to take my thyroid pill — but the ground is all wet and my laundry-basket chair had been folded up. The folded chair is the only sign of wind (at least as viewed from the window); there are no new limbs down, and the foot-wiping scrap of carpet is where I left it.

Indoor carpet holds up amazingly well when used outdoors.

Dave and I feel that the simple menu at the Easter party was better than the elaborate meals we've gotten accustomed to when eating at Alice's house.

I complained of being sleepy when we got home — not surprising, since I got up two hours early and then had chocolate instead of a nap — and Dave said that I'd been plenty awake in the afternoon, talking continuously. I greatly fear that I was babbling.

When getting into the car in the morning, I wanted to take the Moser Roth chocolate bar that was in the pocket of a shirt hanging on the coat hook. I couldn't find it, so I dashed back to the kitchen for another bar. Then when I put the chocolate into my pocket, I discovered that I'd already moved the one that had been in the other shirt.

On the way down, I ate the mint chocolate rather quickly. Moser Roth's mint is almost milk chocolate and can be taken in big pieces, not to mention that I'd had nothing but sugar for breakfast and not too much of that. Then I nibbled away more than half the 70% chocolate, crumb by crumb, and forgot the rest in the cup holder. On the way back, I remembered the chocolate and reached into the cup holder intending to take another crumb: hello, this car was parked in the sun! I didn't splash chocolate out of the wrapper onto the car, but it took a while to clean up my hand.

Dave declined my offer to let him lick chocolate off my fingers.

After all that work making scrambled-egg casserole the ovens malfunctioned and the eggs weren't ready until it was time for the easter-egg hunt — about five minutes after I'd have left if I hadn't got distracted with rinsing serving dishes. They didn't eat all the bread and cake, so I guess nobody left actually hungry. We did have fruit cup and juice.

Not one slice of my bread was taken. Martha promised to dispose of it for me. I should e-mail her and say that Alice discovered that buckwheat bread is pretty good warmed up in the microwave and completely saturated with butter. Alice prepared just one slice for the whole group and had some left, so those were pretty small servings! I ate two.

For breakfast this morning, I had an entire slice, toasted twice and topped with an egg fried in butter and shredded parmesan.

When I went out to hang the first load of wash, I discovered that the doormat is not only where I left it, it's perfectly dry!

Grass is a little dewy, though, and the edges of the concrete are still wet.


Wind rose considerably before I hung the wash out — I gave up using the laundry-basket stand the second time the basket blew off it, and I had to retrieve the doormat from the garlic-chive bed. The second time it blew away it landed on the lawn just beyond the garlic chives, so I left it.

Didn't need to leave anything out very long.

Threatened to buy hot-and-sour soup for supper, and Dave called my bluff. Got it from the lunch place next to Marsh (I bought a bag of salad at Marsh first), and we both thought the soup was kind of feeble. Dave remarked that it was the first time he'd ever added salt to hot-and-sour soup. I found it neither hot nor sour. I presume that watery soup is just what most lunch-purchasers have in mind.

The fried noodles were excellent.



10 April 2012

Slowly putting the books back. How did I come by Mrs. Claude Harshman's 1890 copy of McCall's Home Cook Book? And is that cousin Beulah?

It was with the rare books; I'm moving it to the commode in the kitchen. Considering that it was printed on very cheap paper and has been in a kitchen for much of its life, it's in surprisingly-good condition.



11 April 2012

Aha! I put ironing two shirts at the top of my list of things to do today, and while digging down to the ironing board, I found my split mittens!

They had been on the piecrust table all winter.

Underneath the piecrust stuff and two dictionaries, I find my jacket-style jersey, laid out for basting; perhaps I can do that first, since it's only ten o'clock.



12 April 2012

Got both jobs done. This morning I put the antique books back into Grandmother's secretary, and emptied three book boxes. Found two more fragile cookbooks, so I got Beulah's out of the commode and put it with those two, on top of the first-edition Webster dictionary and the ABC and XYZ of Beekeeping.

Asparagus shortcake for supper. I haven't decided whether to serve the gravy on toast or mashed potatoes. Laid three eggs out to get warm though I want only two in the gravy; if one of them peels neatly, I'll put it into a jar of pickle juice.



16 April 2012

Washday again. Two half-loads.

Right windy, and it's probably time I brought in the second load.

Yesterday, we went to the new "deli" where Bogey's used to be, and found it only one step up from a vending machine. But it was a step up from a very good vending machine. (We knew it was a place for golfers to grab a snack after a round when we decided to go.)

So tonight we're going with the runner-up: carry-out from Little Caesar's Pizza.


I wanted to move my baking hearth this afternoon — I've never been happy with fire so close to the barn — but after a quick culta-eze in the garden and a few chops of the hoe at the new soil Brent dumped along the weedy edge of the garden, I'd had all I could take of being out in that wind.

I did get most of the weeds out of the upwind side of the garlic, but didn't feel like feeling in among the thrashing foliage to clean out the other side.

Only one multiplier is up, but last night was the first substantial rain since I planted them.



17 April 2012

A visual migraine started while I was suiting up to go to Aunt Millie's. Thought I should write that down somewhere in case I wonder when my last visual migraine was.



18 April 2012

Yesterday I noted that the Joe Rickets strawberries that our deer had overlooked were just loaded with flower buds. Last night, Dave's IP camera caught the deer standing in the raised bed with all four hoofs again.

Then it wandered off toward the other raised bed, where the Big R strawberries have been in bloom for some time, but it appears not to have gotten there.

I dashed off to inspect the strawberries; there are still plants loaded with flower buds, but even if they develop into berries, it's nearly certain that we won't get any of them.

Rode my bike to the bread shop and back yesterday, but didn't get any walking in, if you don't count the trip across the parking lot.

It's easier, when I come from Wooster Road, to leave the bike beside the steps and walk the rest of the way. The steps appear to be exclusively for my personal convenience; I suppose there was something to walk to from there when the gas station was built. If you want to get to any of the places on the lower driveway now, it's easier to walk through the mowed grass alongside Route 30.

I was going to say "walk along the fence.", but suddenly I can't remember whether there is a fence along the road or not. Must be, since I walk under the sign beside Indiana Restaurant Supply, not around it. Bit awkward to get the bike under when I have to duck nearly to handlebar height.


I submitted "Water Stop" to Ellery Queen this morning. The bot sent me a receipt almost instantly, with a tracking number so I can check at intervals on the status of the story.

I find it disquieting that there are six digits in the tracking number. At least the first digit is still "1" — but the second one is "9".


Every time I knuckle the microwave, I think of the Jetsons episode in which Jane got "pushbutton finger" and they had to buy a maid.

Hamburger soup for supper, made entirely from ingredients.



19 April 2012

Yum! Lavinia's asparagus casserole is good chilled, too.

I shouldn't call it Lavinia's, because I didn't reduce the ingredients in proportion when I halved the recipe given in yesterday's Amish Cook column, and instead of making a roux, I shook the milk and flour in a jar the way I always make gravy, and spread the butter around in the casserole. And I used white-wheat flour; I'm sure she used white flour.

I use cornstarch when making asparagus shortcake because the delicate flavors call for a smooth sauce, but I thought a casserole could benefit from the heartier sauce that whole-grain flour makes, and I was right.

Recipe summary: layer chopped boiled eggs, cooked asparagus, white sauce, cheese, and bread crumbs in that order, and bake at 400F until the bread is toasted. The white sauce is half milk and half broth from cooking the asparagus.

If I make it again, I think I'll stir the cheese into the white sauce.

Oh yeah, I'd better get up and write "cheddar cheese" on my shopping list.

I was thinking of riding my bike around the Sprawlmart loop tomorrow because we need about one pannier of stuff from Aldi, but the National Weather service says there's a chance we'll get some rain.

Only showers, though, and I need a good long sprinkle to bring up my onions.

Two onions are up, wee fine sprouts.

I've got the garden under control, and I'm picking away at the asparagus, the herb bed, and the raised strawberry beds. If the deer doesn't notice them, the Big R berries should give us a crop. They have escaped into the garlic-chive bed, and I plan to encourage them.

The chocolate mint needs to be picked back, and is invading the marjoram. (I think it's marjoram; at any rate, it was good in the hamburger soup.) The marjoram seems to have overwintered all right, and I have two parsley plants — both will go to seed soon, so I'd better buy another. The garlic chives need to be harvested by digging them up by the roots for a while. The culinary chives aren't making a pest of themselves, but would probably benefit by a thinning.

I can't find the German thyme; the common thyme has a lot of dead stalks but is growing vigorously. I picked some apple mint out of it.

Descendants of the oregano are growing as weeds in one corner of the garden. I taste each one before I pull it up, in case one of them is the real thing.

That corner also harbors a volunteer potato, and another plant I think might be a potato.



21 April 2012

More potatoes; I bought a small bag of sprouted sets at Aldi yesterday. It's a good thing I already know how to plant potatoes; the instructions on the package were for tulips and daffodils. I put them eighteen inches apart, which filled up one full row. But the row started somewhat more than eighteen inches from the frame, because I lined it up with the garlic, which must have lost something off the south end.

I marked each potato set with a trowel of the potting soil Ace calls "composted cow manure".

The remaining Joe Rickets berries are in full bloom, and have been for a couple of days. The Big R berries have set fruit, but still have a lot of flowers.

I meant for the common thyme to spread into the lawn, but instead the lawn spreads into the common thyme. I broke off several stems of thyme pulling grass this morning, but the plant doesn't seem to miss them.

I have an un-opened package of the dried thyme I bought last fall. Must not have done much cooking this winter. I hope the herb merchant has fresh paprika this year. The farmer's market opens — downtown — on May the fifth, according to today's newspaper.

It past naptime.


I was annoyed that I fooled around until the rain started without planting potatoes yesterday, but the ground was perfectly dry on the surface when I planted the potatoes today, and there were no new onion sprouts. The rain did fill up the rain barrel, so after my nap I hauled a sprinkler can of water out to the garden and poured some on each hill of potatoes, then gave a light coat to the row where I planted the onions. I didn't sprinkle, because the can doesn't work. It poured pretty well.

When I went to the garage for the watering can, I found the blue hat that has been missing for days. I'd hung it on a peg. It usually turns up on the ironing board, or behind the cedar chest.

Realized, on the way back from Owen's, that I've ridden two days in a row. After supper, I dashed out for a bag of salad, and also got a carton of eggs because they were on special and we've been eating lots of eggs of late.

And I got part of a walk this morning when I went out to see why there was a parade of runners and walkers past my door. All I saw was a police car and three or four bicycle cops (two of them might have been the same guy twice.) The two I got close to had "Warsaw" painted on their bikes. They seemed to be exchanging important information, so I didn't try to see more than that. Their cargo boxes are surprisingly small; not much more than a first-aid kit would fit.

I did see runners streaming from Union Street to a "Finish" arch in front of the park when I was coming back, but by then I was keenly aware that I'd run out before breakfast, so I didn't walk down to see what was going on. When I came back from Owen's I saw a small box trailer with the name of a running club stenciled on it in the park parking lot, but no other sign of the events of the morning.



22 April 2012

Cool! I accidentally opened two instances of Virtual Magnifying Glass, and discovered that Magnifying Glass will magnify Magnifying Glass.

I have walked up Sunday Lane well over five hundred times even if you only count Sunday mornings, and church isn't the only place that Sunday Lane leads to.

This morning I noticed a greenhouse of bonsai trees that I had never seen before. Hope I don't get run over, walking that zonked out!

A box trailer that I think is the same one was in the park parking lot today.


My blue hat has wandered off again.



23 April 2012

Not far; it's on the treadle sewing machine, next to the stuff I emptied out of my pockets after church.

In the intervals of doing the wash, I'm Getting Serious about sorting the cleaning rags we scrabbled out of the linen closet when we realized — after the carpet installers asked — that it had carpet on the floor. We have an amazing number of worn-out pillow cases, particularly when you consider that for years I've been tearing pillowcases apart before their final washing.

We also have a lot of linen rags, and I knew that we had more than one old diaper.

I can see an end to sorting out the books — but except for the box of Bibles, everything that's left is hard to sort.

And quite a lot of what's already back on the shelves needs to be re-sorted.

I should take most of those Bibles to the church and put them on the welcome table marked "free". One King James, one Phillips, and one Revised Standard would be worlds aplenty for us.


Back from blood draw and shopping, and feeling groggy because I had only half a nap. Luckily, Dave is in the mood for a frozen entree.

I brought the light clothes in slightly damp before my half-nap, and put the blacks on the rack. It's way too windy to leave clothes out when I'm not home.

Allowed half an hour for a fifteen-minute ride, but forgot the wind — and didn't realize it was out of north — so I just barely made my appointment on time.

And I forgot to take the Martin's ad, but all that is on it is the sale on Marie Calendar dinners, and I remembered that. They fit my panniers beautifully; I just set the bag on top and poof! they went down and filled it completely. I considered going back in to complement the packer, but wasn't sure I'd remember which one.

Took ages to locate the Cajun mirapoix (Seasoning Mix), but that was my only reason for going to Martin's, so I persisted until I found it. Also got some frozen gumbo mix and a bag of fresh kraut.



24 April 2012

Last Friday, I engaged in a stocking hunt on my way to Aldi. One discount shoe store had no hose at all, the other had only the same texture-striped hose that I want to replace. I stepped into Carson's, which is like three stores run together: very large, and very complex. I had no idea which way the hosiery might lie, and knew that there was a negligible chance of opaque hose, so I left without poking around. Perhaps I should have persisted — at J.C. Penny's I found rayon hose that were just perfect, except for being "crew length". I compared them to my calf, and there's no way they could be pulled high enough to stay up.

There are lots of people who do wear mid-calf hosiery — how do they do it? Spirit gum?


Grumbly gripe. I flunked the make-up blood test I took yesterday, and have to have an ultrasound the day after tomorrow. Sounds as though it won't be any more fuss than a mammogram.

I'm keeping up with my exercise. I rode my bike on both Friday and Saturday, walked to church on Sunday, rode to the blood test yesterday, into such a ferocious wind that I was barely on time despite allowing fifteen minutes extra.

So I guess I'd better at least take a lap around the block today.


I had occasion to look up the plot of Brewster's Millions in Wikipedia earlier today, and now it occurs to me that the protagonist of the story was foolishly greedy. In 1902, a million dollars was many times as much money as one needed to retire to luxurious idleness — it's still almost enough to retire young on — and he disposed of that in hope of gaining only seven times as much?

On the other hand, he got shut of a wife who wanted only his money and gained one that loved him for himself. I'm sure that in the book he was shown having sensible reasons to take up his uncle's challenge.

I was surprised by the date. My recollections of such stories — it's practically a genre — have a victorian feel to them, and one would expect "forced to spend frivolously" to have particular appeal during the thirties, but the defining work of the genre splits the difference.

At this point, I wish this were a blog so that y'all could post comments. Better yet would be a newsgroup, so that the exchange of comments could grow into a conversation.



25 April 2012

Threads Magazine came today. I was about to add it to the five other copies of Threads in my To Be Read pile, then realized that it was a good hour before I needed to start supper and decided to sit down and read the whole thing right away.

So I read the letters to the editor, then got up to find a bookmark to put on page thirteen to remind me that I wanted to read the online article on how to use pins the right way, then went to the computer to read it right now. So I typed in ThreadsMagazine.com, up popped the home page, clicked a button marked "blog" which didn't bring me to Threads Daily blog, typed "Threads Daily blog" into the search box, got a bunch of articles about the blog (all of them almost content free), finally found the blog proper — no clue as to how to find the entry about pins. Looked back at magazine, typed Susan Khalje into the search box, got a list of everything Khalje ever wrote that didn't include How to Use Pins the Right Way, retyped the name plus the word "pins" and finally got a list that included what the magazine implied that I could just go to the web site and click on.

Whereupon she spent three full screens saying "dump bent pins". When she finally got around to actually using the pins, it was only seven more screens, half of them pictures. This was a proper how-to, but she covered only pinning for hand sewing, didn't mention that machine sewing wasn't included, and baldly asserted that this one method would do for every occasion.

No, I am not going to sign up for Threads Online. And I don't think I would bother even if it were free or I could pay just by shoving money into the monitor.

So now I'm writing Banner and the magazine will go onto the pile.


Late this morning, I glanced into the parlor and saw Al nervously pacing back and forth on top of the "barristers" — piled-up glass-front book boxes. There is just barely room for a cat to stand up up there, and he did a good job of getting all the spider webs off the ceiling. All we can think of is that he jumped from the library table to the secretary to the bookcase — but there just isn't room on the secretary's lamp shelf for a cat to make a mighty leap without knocking over the lamp.

I brought the step stool in. He refused my offer to help him down, but when we saw that he was working up his nerve to jump, I took him off by force, then handed him to Dave. Cats don't land as hard as people, but that's a long fall; even if he managed to hit the sofa cushions (which seemed to be what he was aiming for) he'd have to land just right.

I was delighted to see spots on the patio as I was getting ready for my nap, but when I woke up, Dave's weather station said only 0.02 inches of rain, the grass was wet enough to feel cold but not wet enough that I honestly needed to wipe my feet,

[at that point it was time to cook and I hadn't pre-heated the oven]

and the garden was perfectly dry.


Still only two sprouts in the multiplier row.

The stray books in the parlor are now confined to the coffee table, and that is clear enough that I can use the dictionaries if I want to. Have yet to arrange for light; may move the library table and its lamp, may move the pole lamp that we never use, may just put a bigger bulb in the lamp at the other end of the love seat.

When you read the compact edition of the O.E.D., light is very important.

Still a lot of arranging to be done among the books in the barrister.

I discovered yesterday that we have a copy of Brewster's Millions. It's an edition from when it was a best seller, but I filed it under "classics" instead of "old books". I suppose I could Wikipedia the actor whose picture is on the frontispiece and find out just how old the book is. Nope, no article on Robert Ober, and all it says about the play is that it debuted in 1906.

Google turned up a 1909 newspaper with a gossip item about Mr. Ober tippng a cabbie $19 because he was still in character.

So the book can't be older than 1906, and might have been printed in 1909. If I could find out when the play folded, I'd have it bracketed but I've lost interest.

Besides, that's far from the oldest book I've got.

One of the hits I got was ABE Books: because it was a best seller, there is little collector value, but our copy is in better condition than many of those being offered.


Exercise streak broken. I rode to Owen's to pick up my thyroxine yesterday, and took a walk too, but went no farther than the asparagus today, and after checking the forecast, I've laid out driving clothes rather than riding clothes for my trip to ultrasound tomorrow.

Hope I remember to scrub the cottonwood gunk off my feet before bedtime; they might make me take off my shoes.



27 April 2012

Didn't take off anything but my hat. Turns out I've got "early kidney disease", which is practically normal for seventy-year-olds, and all I have to do is refrain from stressing my kidneys, which a sensible person would do anyhow.

I remain quite pleased with the service at KCH.


I was sorting my inbox and noticed the message Dave sent me when he was messing with the story that I later sent to EQMM, so I clicked on the link to see what it looked like now, read a few screens, found a place where I'd left out a comma, and resolutely closed the file. I don't want to know about things I can no longer fix.

Then I checked the status at the magazine's website. Unchanged. I suspect that when it works its way to the top of the slushpile they'll send me an e-mail, but I can't help looking. Response time was about six months, the last I heard.

I wonder whether their slush folder has a search function that lets the editor drill down to stories with specific traits when he has an empty spot — searching for a small file when one has a small space to fill would be easy enough. I gather that they commission stories when they want specific things, though — it would cost quite a lot to read several zillion stories, and the odds are that nothing would suit. (Personal experience with clip art talking in that last clause — and I was searching collections of high-quality works.)


Just before lunch, I rode to Owen's and back for a gallon of milk and a few other things. We shall have baked "ribs" cut off a pork butt for supper — Hope I remember to put them in the oven at 3:30.

Lunch was fried-cheese Spamwich. While waiting for it to brown, I read the "Winona Happenings" that came a few days ago. Newly-elected councilman Philip Hood "believes the Lake City Greenway should mean safe traffic for the Winona Lake biking community, and . . . "

First off, [froth froth lather lather lather] there ain't no "biking community" in this here town!  STOP SHOE-HORNING THE WORD "COMMUNITY" INTO EVERY COTTON-PICKING STATEMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If you want refer to cyclists or to people who ride bikes, you don't have to pretend that they all live together and hold meetings.

Next, what in flim-flam does Ashley Brewster mean by "safe traffic"? (Just Googled: Ashley is a high-school senior who hopes to major in journalism when she goes to college.) Could be, of course, that she is quoting Phillip Hood.

Whoever said it, I hope that "traffic" means riding back and forth in the long skinny park without ever crossing a road.

If it means anything else — well, the only death on a bike that I remember being reported in the paper since we came here eleven years ago was caused by a bike path — the driver not only wasn't expecting a vehicle to come off a walkway, odds are that he didn't even know there was an intersection there. The rider knew, I deduced from his obituary, that one needs to be extra careful at such intersections, but gratuitously setting up an avoidable situation where one moment of inattention by one person can guarantee a collision is criminal malpractice in road design.


Oh, this is cool — I was reading UK.rec.walking, and found:

> Sorry, had to share this with someone, but
> there is a severe weather warning of STRONG
> SUNLIGHT for the West Highlands.

> Got to be a first. Must remember to take my
> shades and sunblock when I head for the
> Arrochar Alps tomorrow.

I'd been thinking about foggy, foggy Britain earlier in the day. Dave's doing another round of hamburger cream, which I attribute to his years in Texas and his appropriate-for-Britain complexion.



28 April 2012

Ironing a shirt can be complicated. First I have to find the ironing board; the first thing I took off it was a pile of socks that belonged in the box of wool scraps. In attempting to get the box off the top shelf, I knocked down a box of leather scraps, which scattered a pile of formerly-sorted Analogs all over the floor, leaving me no place to walk. Tried for the other box that had been piled onto the wool scraps, knocked a bolt of black cotton broadcloth off the shelf below — easy enough to put back, but I left it until I was through messing around with the shelves. Tried again for the cotton-flannel scraps, that one went flying too, but by now there wasn't much to knock over.

Somehow managed to catch the wool scraps, put in the socks, and put it back where it belonged without further disarrangement. Then I peeked into the leather and flannel before piling them back onto the wool, and discovered a home-sweet-home sampler that belonged in a box under the bed.

This involved re-arranging a pad of very large sheets of tracing paper.

So now the Analogs are scrabbled back into a pile and the ironing board is as buried as ever. I think maybe I'll read the copy of Threads that is on top of the pile.


Irony:  when we were putting the parlor back together I saved all the document-sized boxes to sort papers into — and now the room is so full of boxes that I can't get at the papers.

Dave found my sprinkler bottle — after I'd ironed the shirt. I left "sprinkler bottle" on my shopping list; I'd like one that sprays a little finer.

Rain stopped along about noon, but I think we got a significant amount.



29 April 2012

Significant rain yesterday, and the garden soil is wet, but there is still no sign of leaves on the potatoes. Today is bright and sunny; perhaps that will do something.

I hope they've been busy making roots all this time.

The two onions still look healthy. I should go through the can of seeds and fill out the rest of the row. The garlic, also, fills only part of a row.



30 April 2012

Swapped monitors this morning. XP works much better with the rotatable monitor, but I'm not sure the monitor that XP was using can be made compatible with 98. This document is kinder stretched-out sideways, and I can't find a place to select the correct resolution. (Lots and lots of incorrect resolutions are available.)

Discovered that XP's rotate-the-image facility doesn't work on DosBox — but then DosBox doesn't work on PC-Write anyway. (It theoretically does, but every document has to be in the same folder with DosBox, which is simply impossible when I have so many categories of documents.)

Cold and wet out, so I did the wash. Turned out that I could have dried the sheet, had I washed it, but we have plenty more; there's no hurry to get it clean. One load of lights, half a load of whites, a few blacks. I'm leaving the blacks until after nap time.


Whereupon I threw in the shirt I'd been wearing and my pajama shirt.



2 May 2012

The cake is out of the oven. I used fructose instead of sugar, and cut the amount in half because fructose is twice as sweet as sucrose. I should have remembered that with cake it doesn't work that way, and put in a whole cup.

Oh, well, with four ounces of chocolate and a pint of chopped walnuts in half a cup of flour, you can't go too far wrong.

I've got an event marked on my calendar every day this week, but it's cheating to count yesterday's "wind watch". I have Grandmother's gold watch, and the jeweler who cleaned it said that it should be wound once a month to keep the works working.

Today, of course is "bake cake" and we might go to the new Japanese restaurant for supper.  [A third of a cake later, we decided to have Marie Calendar tonight and Japanese some other day.]  Tomorrow is the radio-club meeting; I'm not 100% sure I will go. Friday is the "First Friday" celebration downtown; I'm pretty sure that I won't go to that.

And Saturday is two events at the same time: The farmer's market is holding its grand opening downtown, but I've promised to help clean the church kitchen, which needs it so desperately that there's no chance of finishing before the market closes. I should go downtown anyway, because I need the exercise.

What should have been on the calendar for Monday: close this file and mail it.

I took a close look at the greenhouse on my latest trip up Sunday lane, and there is freshly-disturbed dirt all around the foundations. Perhaps I haven't been that oblivious!

We've decided to get rid of the piecrust table. Anybody want a three-tier whatnot lampstand?