Archive | June, 2009

Another Friend Gone

29 Jun

Ellie emailed me today with news that Celia is dead.

About 15 years ago Jay was wrongly accused of a misdeed at his former job.  He was charged with a felony.  We spent a year’s plus adoption savings retaining the best lawyer in town–and the charges were dropped. But the lawyer kept the fee, and eventually Jay was pushed out of the job in an academic atmosphere that was smarmy at best.

He was without work for several months. He had a specific list of items “the perfect job” would have, which was the subject of much prayer. Not that he would have refused a job not meeting those criteria, you understand.

The summer came.  The Black Sheep Handspinner’s Guild, of which I have been a member for over two decades now, were having a picnic down at Stewart Park, where there used to be  a merry-go-round.  It was owned by Black Sheep members. We had Isaac then and everyone with children (and some without) liked to ride the horses. Over and over and over.

Anyway, as we were laying out the picnic, Celia and I were talking and she asked if I knew anyone who needed a job.  Well, yes, I did.  Jay needed one.  She spoke to him then and there, hiring him part time essentially on the spot.  It soon turned into a full time position.  And guess what?  It is the job he still has.  It is the job he still loves.  It is the job that still meets each and every one of the items on Jay’s list of “the perfect job”.

All thanks to Celia.

Isaac’s Graduation Quilt

29 Jun

Unveiled for public display at the party Saturday:

Isaacquilt

About six months in the making.  I started in January.

The Graduate Himself with Dad and Mom:

HSGrad

New Blogs on the Blogroll

29 Jun

One of these days I will get around to writing about books I have read in the last month or so.  Really.

One I am reading now is The Book Whisperer.   If you have children, or teach children: read it.

Donalyn Miller has a blog, too.

Watts Up with That? is newish on the blogroll, too.  It is a science blog written by a meteorologist uncovering all sorts of interesting information that tends to be covered up.

This, for example:

“Dr Mitchell Taylor has been researching into the status and management of  polar bears in Canada and around the Arctic Circle for 30 years, as both an academic and a government employee. More than once since 2006 he has made headlines by  insisting that polar bear numbers, far from decreasing, are much higher than they were 30 years ago. Of the 19 different bear populations, almost all are increasing or at optimum levels, only two have for local reasons modestly declined.”

29 Jun

Isaac is now a high school graduate.

The first three and a half hours of Friday began thusly:  I was up at 5.30 AM.  I read a few chapters,  then took the dog and cat out to poo,  brought them in and dried them off.  Wrote some on scent and smell.  Woke husband.  Cut lettuce, chard, spinach and the incidental dill in the sprinkles and rain.  Cleaned the sink and filled it with cold water.  Rearranged the fridge contents to accommodate lettuce. Washed, trimmed, sorted, spun dry and bagged lettuce.  Got kids up and going. Cut up and cooked a cup of bacon ends. Thinly sliced 4 onions and cooked them in bacon grease.  Sorted chicken quarters and counted out enough to keep dog full and quiet while company is here (2 days and Sunday).  Freezed the rest.  Picked up the Scarlet Tanager feathers and their container that falls out of the freezer when I opened the door.  Planned how many cups water are needed for jello jigglers.  Wrote this.

_________

My parents, aunts and niece came down Friday afternoon.  We had supper: smoked salmon-cream cheese-dill  spread on bread squares;  spinach, swiss chard, onion, bacon, cheese, thyme and rosemary quiche; green salad; brownies.  Hot, freshly brewed coffee and cream.  The fresh broccoli and garlic scapes sat forgotten on the stove.

The graduation itself was held indoors in a gym overflowing with people and heat.  The thunder, rain and overcast skies that had been the weather of the day disappeared as soon as the program started; sunlight poured through the high windows, adding to the steamy heat of hundreds of bodies.

Jay’s mom and sister D returned to mom’s home, the rest of us came to our house and Isaac received a camera from Aunt Janice and his quilt from us.  And we ate chrries, brownies and drank more coffee.  Then the visiting adults left for Mom M’s to stay the night.  We got Janine.

Friday night my left hip and knee hurt terribly when I went to bed.  Too much just standing, I think.  I got up and made potato salad around 11.30PM  Then at 1AM I went for a walk, hiding, as usual, behind telephone poles, behind or in  shrubbery, and down in ditches when cars would come zooming by.  Then fell asleep for a few hours.

Saturday neighbor L came with the two batches of cupcakes she had made for the reception: peanut butter and molasses. Prior to her coming I got out the venison and chicken which had been marinating for three days, picked chives and stirred them into the potato salad, made dressing, etc.   I made seven-minute cream cheese frosting and L and I started frosting cupcakes and decorating them with sprinkles.  Janine  and Isabelle took my place eventually so I could make chocolate buttercream frosting.  L made a small batch of vanilla buttercream for the last partial dozen. There were 10.5 dozen cupcakes in all!

Later, Isaac cut bread, Janine spread smoked salmon spread on the bread and Isabelle to cut dill to ornament same.  There was some time spent on emotional outbursts by the youngest child. Isaac and Jay were busy with tables and chairs.

At noon family came for lunch.  At two friends came.  At 9PM or so the last friend left. What a wonderful time!

Sunday most of the day was spent recovering from the wonderful time. 🙂

The Sweet Potato Noodle Comparison

21 Jun

Angela bought these “yam noodles” made of glucomannon and they sounded bizarre since I have used sweet potato noodles since a Korean friend taught me to make Jab Chai  years ago.  When Isaac was in low single digits, that’s how long ago.

So she came Saturday and we had a tasting.  She used her two varieties of noodles–which do not need cooking– to make the same cold noodle salad  garlic shoots, sesame seeds and Wegman’s  Thai peanut sauce.  Really good.

gluconoodles

Above, the straight glucomannon noodles.  Below, the noodles which  had tofu in them and therefore white.

gluco with tofu

And lastly, true sweet potato noodles, which are dry and have to be cooked, since they are normal noodles and have calories.  This is Jap Chai: the noodles with venison, garlic, onion, peppers, sesame oil, soy sauce, garden greens.

sweetpotato

They may not look much different.  But the two top noodles are like eating styrofoam or stretchy plastic.

New Bird

19 Jun

The rain total by yesterday evening was 1.1 inches.  Almost predictably, Isabelle returned from walking Hawthorne in the afternoon with a new nestling.  This time it was Hawthorne who found it, and brought it to her.  She indicated it was enclosed in his mouth and that he ran with it over to her as if to say “Look what I found!”

But he was very gentle and there is nary a scratch or bruise on the bird, who has been eating lots of pieces of soaked cat food and pooping prodigiously. It is wonderful that baby bird excrement is encased in its own little sac and that the nestlings themselves lift up their little ends up to the edge of the nest so as to indicate their intent and not foul the nest.

For perspective, note that the red container it is in is three inches in diameter.

newbird

We think it is a robin, but are not 100 percent sure.

Jay and the Foxgloves

16 Jun

Jay and Foxes

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