Friday, 21 August 2009

This and that

It rained today. And I do mean RAINED! I could see the storm coming, and got about this close to the bus stop after work before the dam broke and I got SOAKED ...It was much nicer observing the storm from the dry comfort of my balcony after I got home! The skies were so dark in every direction around the city. Here's the view from my balcony:Just after I took this picture (around 5:30 pm) there was a spectacular KABOOM! and a glorious flash of lightening. I love storms. However, I wasn't quite fast enough to catch a picture of the lightening. While out on my balcony, I noticed my Scarlet Runner Beans have finally started to make flowers ...... probably just in time for the first frost! I hope the hummingbirds get to enjoy them for a while first. My two little Christmas Cacti are just covered with new growth ...Living out on the balcony for the past two months has certainly been good for their health! I know I have certainly enjoyed sitting out on my balcony with my morning tea and again at the end of the day. Not today, though. It was too windy, and I was hungry. Heading into the kitchen, I snapped a picture of one of these quilted placemats ...I can't remember if I've posted a picture of one of them before or not. And I'm too lazy to look back at previous posts to see. Or perhaps I was too hungry! I needed some quick hot comfort food to get warmed up after getting soaked in the rain on the way home, so I fried up some perogies ...And heated up some corn ...Alas, it was frozen niblets, not even this year's fresh corn. But it really hit the spot today! After I ate supper, I thought I would take a couple of pictures of stuff around the apartment, such as this new little table in my entrance hallway ...See the little "knight in shining armor" book end? One of my wacky friends decided I needed a knight in shining armor and presented me with that half of a set of book ends for Christmas several years ago. Sir Knight has a working thermometer in his shield. Very handy! I thought a single book end looked a bit silly without a book, so I put that mini-book beside it. It's a peverse sense of humor thing. Last weekend I put up these little decorator cubes ...That's officially TWO sets of things on my walls now. This is a record for me. Usually I move into a place and forget all about putting stuff on the walls until someone asks why my walls are so bare! I figured this was a safe place to put my eagle feather and sage bundle, both of which are very special to me. Oh, I also found a bedside lamp for the enormous sum of $10 at Jysk (like Ikea) ...It's the first lamp I've ever had where the lightbulb sticks up ABOVE the lamp shade. Is that normal? I've had a difficult time figuring out how to arrange my bedroom. I tried several possible layouts, and kept waking up in the morning with my head at the foot of my bed, or all of me lying sideways across my bed. Someone suggested I would continue to have restless sleeps until I arranged my bedroom furniture so that my head was pointed toward Mecca. (I want to point out that I totally do not intend any disrespect for any particular belief system here.) Apparently, EAST is the appropriate direction to aim my head for restful sleep ...Fernando the well-worn teddy bear doesn't really care which direction his head is pointed.He sleeps just fine every night. What with all that bedroom furniture moving happening, my poor Little Brother Sewing Machine got moved out of, back into, out of, and back into my bedroom numerous times. Now that the bedroom layout has been resolved, my sewing machine has a sunny (when the curtains are open) permanent corner to live in ...Look! I even hung up my thread holder, and organized all my thread spools on it! So far, Stanley the Button Jar has not expressed an opinion about this new location.Someone (not mentioning any names, of course, L.!) expressed the opinion that my bedroom was not "girly" enough. Excuse me? There is PINK in the quilt on my bed! There's a lovely red feather boa ... don't ask! ... hanging over my dresser! SOMEONE needs to re-evaluate the definition of "girly"! Mm hmm. The opinion came with this sign ...which is apparently supposed to solve the problem. Yup. Hanging a pink sign with the word "princess" on it makes me more feminine. Go figure! Speaking of feminine, I have made the acquaintance of a couple of great guys down the hall in my apartment building, and we had a delightful little Scrabble soiree earlier this week. I made some of this ... Fig and Cheese Spread ... for the occasion ...
Sorry about the out-of-focus picture. A considerable quantity of wine was consumed prior to taking this picture. Sorry I can't share a picture of the actual food. First, we were too busy drinking wine and playing Scrabble to pause for photos, and second, we ate it all! It was really good! Here's the recipe:

8 to 10 dried figs, quartered
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, snipped finely
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 pkg soft goat cheese

Put figs in a small saucepan, cover with water, and simmer 5 minutes or so, or until softened. Drain and cool. Saute onion in butter in a skillet until golden brown. Stir in cooled figs and thyme. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes, then add balsamic vinegar and cook another couple of minutes until figs and onions are glazed. Spoon glazed figs and onions over goat cheese and pass the crackers.

We decided Philly cream cheese could be substituted if you're squeamish about eating chevre, but we all really enjoyed the chevre. It was excellent with both red and white wine, and would probably even taste delightful with beer. Speaking of drinks, do you have one of these stainless steel water bottles?
If you don't, you NEED one before next summer! I've been using this little beauty for several months now. I just fill it up with cold tap water, and it STAYS COLD all day! Beats the heck out of buying bottled water and putting all that plastic into the garbage. Well, that's about all of the "this and that" I can think of for now. I'll close by sharing this thought ...

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Some photos

I'm up to my eyebrows in work this week ... the organization I work for is hosting a one-day Seniors Info Fair that takes MANY days planning and organizing ... so no time for witty stories or pictures of my balcony flowers or "Jack's Beanstalk". Instead, I'll leave you with ...... a photo from my very first summer vacation. Yes, the stamp on this photo says 1959. I'm ancient, remember! From left to right: Auntie Mae, Auntie Della, Uncle Ramie, and Grams Hattie. The little darlin' Uncle Ramie is holding is me. I'm also going to leave you with ...... a photo from my organization's Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon earlier this year. Where there is food, that's where you'll find Yours Truly! Don't you just LOVE my name tag? They were part of an ice-breaker game. Laters ...

Sunday, 2 August 2009

First of August Mysteries

Why is it so hot? Why has it been so hot for so many days in a row now? I've had four cold showers so far today ... and no, NOT to cool off any frisky thoughts ... just to COOL OFF! I've guzzled about 4.3 gallons of ice water so far today. And I'm STILL TOO HOT! Why do I hate summer heat so much? Here are some other mysteries I am pondering today ...Why do I get such a strong urge to create something with WOOL ... hot heavy wool ... in the hottest part of every summer? Is this urge part of some strange fibre disease? Here is the wool rug I just finished crocheting. It's very heavy, crocheted with double strands of 2 frogged wool sweaters plus all the little bits and pieces of different colours of leftover wool in my stash basket. (It does lay flat ... I had just thrown it down for the photo here and hadn't arranged it carefully.) Here's another mystery ... should I add a fringe to its outer edge? To fringe or not to fringe, that is the question! Here's another mystery I'm pondering ...Why has my herd of cows grown yet again? This little cow ... actually it looks a bit "bullish" to me ... front and centre arrived this past week. People, I do not want to collect more cows! There are two ... count them ... TWO cow cookie jars on this particular kitchen counter now. Even I can't eat that many cookies! (Quiet L.!) There are a couple dozen assorted cows in various other kitchen locations. That's enough already! If I were to choose a kitchen collectible myself, it would be roosters or sunflowers or lemons. (The giver of this latest cow is computer illiterate, so I know I'm not hurting her feelings by writing this.) I'm also wondering ...... what is the purpose of this latest cow? It seems it's meant to hold something. What? Here's another current mystery ...What is this flower? I thought it was a snapdragon. At least, it was AMONG the snapdragons at the garden centre. Its leaves, what few of them there are, look rather snapdragon-ish. It has heavy bunches of hollow bright yellow "grapes" with a slight lemon scent.It's very pretty, and looks wonderful in balcony flower pots, but WHAT IS IT? Here's yet another mystery I am pondering ...When do beans grow? I planted a pot of Scarlet Runner beans to make my visiting hummingbirds happy. This bean plant is now at shoulder height and still growing rapidly. It's shooting up 6 to 8 inches every day. I know this because I have marked and measured its progress. I sit out on balcony every evening and watch this bean plant, but I've never actually SEEN it growing. When does it grow? When I'm away at work? Or not looking?

Too many mysteries to ponder on such a hot day ... I think I'll go have another cold shower and another tall glass of ice water.