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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Presenting Emily's cinnamon rolls

The last week has been crazy busy. It's the end of the year for Emily and the end of middle school for Laura. Moving on, as they say.

Today was shopping for shoes and for an appropriate dress to wear under a white graduation gown. Tonight Emily's service learning class is hosting a movie night and holding a bake sale.

Emily's contribution is cinnamon rolls, which were accomplished in stages, between shopping. I was weaving all morning, and paid little attention to all the motion. First they made the dough, then went shopping for shoes.

Laura scored a pretty little pair of sandals,  which she modeled briefly between lunch, punching down the dough and leaving to shop for the dress. They swirled back in with Aunt Janice, made the dough into cinnamon buns and disappeared to laugh about shoes and dresses.  

A little later I followed the laughter to the studio, and found the conspirators laughing until the rolls cooled enough to be frosted. Having sampled a heel that would not go to the sale on my trip through the kitchen, I announced time, and went away.

Now supper is being prepared so we can eat and I can take Emily to the school by 5:30, to be picked up at (groan) ten. Suddenly Laura whirled into the room and announced the rolls should be on my blog.

Blurry, let me take another.

And there you have Emily's cinnamon rolls.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The height of spring

Another weekend, more plants at the greenhouse.
Pig gets his nasturtium.
Color to be determined.

Lamb gets a begonia taller than he is,
and some sort of daisy. 
Emily says it is not a gerbera.

Grandma's chives have been in this pot since 1990.
I believe they live on rain water, now.

Sedum are up, and so is a hosta.
The Solomon's Seal are about to bust their buttons,
and the allium right behind will soon be tallest of all.
That's the beginning of the new flower tower,
and one and one half inches of water in the rain gauge
turned into a rain barrel full to the top.

Color is the best part of spring!

 All my dad's colchium put up more and more leaves every spring.
The ground cover is curly thyme, and it has done an amazing job.
The new shipment comes to the nursery this week, and I'll buy as much as I can.

Anemones forever! 

And ever.

And ever.

This is a checkered lily my sister planted years and years ago. 
Although she planted it very near this spot,
we found it out in the lawn two years ago, 
when we were working on the lily of the valley bed.
She bought two. They never multiplied, 
and the other one made a chipmunk happy years ago.

The gold finches are gold.

This woodpecker is nesting in the woods behind the house.
She feeds at all the feeders, and regularly empties the suet feeder of the calcium enhanced suet in there.

If you made it this far, it's the end. 
On the way into the house.
If I can stop hanging over the rail.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sometimes I just like to drive fast

An essay on not losing your edge.

All the years I exhibited at art shows, I drove at least thirty thousand miles a year, in all kinds of conditions. I learned how to drive in everything; only ice kept me off the road. I always drove fast.

Driving is a pretty boring occupation; the sooner it’s over the better. I drove standard transmission cars from the onset of my driver’s license until I drove extended vans; I know how to handle a vehicle, from a sporty little turbo six speed to a high profile van.

Oh, and I rode a motorcycle for years, too. Now, that’s a vehicle to handle. When put to it, I could lay sparks on the road.

That was all a long time ago. Now I drive a car friends call The Red Bullet, but it’s just a sturdy, automatic transmission, compact crossover that sits the road.  If I’m in a thoughtful, meandering mood, I obey the speed limits and enjoy the ride. My dad and my sister would be so proud. Dad taught us that if our passenger’s knees moved, we were a careless driver. My sister still obeys the rule of the knees.

The roads I drive to work wind steeply into the valley. In the olden days, good motorcycle roads. On a morning the blood needs a little pumping, a fine road to handle. Two handed driving, eyes open for wildlife, and those motorists who brake at every hill and curve. They certainly ruin a good road.

The road I take almost every morning is posted forty miles per hour. Many years ago it was fifty, but too many teenagers didn’t know how to drive it that fast, so it’s forty, now. I’ve never exceeded sixty, on a fine day with a tail wind. But the one day I hit the sweet spot going into the last bend, what came up the hill but two village patrol cars. Two!

The first rule of exceeding the speed limit is: don’t give them the satisfaction of braking. As a courtesy, I do lift my foot from the accelerator. As we crossed at the curve I had the sight of two flat light bars blazing, one in my rear view mirror and one in the passenger side mirror.  They were out of sight in a second. I knew the soonest they could turn around would be the Boy Scout camp, and I would be nailed before I passed the golf course and stopped at the stop sign.

It never happened.

I recognized one of the officers, and the next time I saw him he said don’t do That again, and I would know what he meant. I generally don’t. But sometimes I need to be sure I haven’t lost my edge.