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Monday, August 29, 2016


So help me, the day after I cash out my house, I am going on vacation. At the risk of jinxing all, we have two interested folks at the moment. Unaware of each other, but each slower than slow. Their realtors have indicated to my realtor there is a lot of interest, but both parties proceed slowly. 

I know there are people like that, but I try not to be involved with them. To quote Charlie Brown, "Aaaarrrrrggggghhhh."

There have been close to fifty people through the house, and on the whole what they are looking at seems not to compute. I cannot believe so many are so far from 'the country.'

"We wondered if there would be yards," said one tourist. "We are looking for a neighborhood," said another. 

In the meantime, Laura hung three shelves to hold the tchotchkies I brought with me. Emily hung the pictures, and sent Laura packing with the little level Laura was anxious to try. When Laura and I started in with the shelves, I bemoaned the lack of a level and Laura came back with the cutest little level. And, it worked.

After the two of us hung the long shelf, level, I had the chutzpah to suggest how to proceed with the two smaller shelves.She completely ignored me, and her level as she flipped the other two shelves, made marks, held out her hand for a drill bit or the screwdriver (she's become proficient with the electric drill, chucks, that kind of stuff), and fitted the shelves to the wall.

Here's a quiz. The shelves are grouped by decades, except one. Give up?

The lace skirted ballerina on the bottom shelf was made in occupied Japan; the four soapstone babies were presented to my father on my birth in 1943. The red vase and the white ballerina stood on opposite sides of the banjo clock in my grandmother's living room, from my earliest memory, and from the twenties, according to my mother.

Up top, the cast iron elephant with one missing ivory tusk was given to my great grandmother, certainly before the turn of the previous couple of centuries, and Paddington came for my mother, but not in time, at the end of the last century. It seems there is a theme there, too.

I do need a vacation.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Flan, you say

Laura is not adventurous about food. When she was small and at her mother's house, her siblings were quite resourceful at concocting meals from food bank donations, but soup and beans don't give pre-teen cooks much latitude. When there was a perceived delicacy to hand, the same siblings described its make-up just short of cockroach legs and mouse tails. It's only in the last year Laura has tried cheesecake and found it worthy.

I ordered flan at a restaurant once, and Laura looked carefully, but declined my offer to share. Since then flan has been bandied about: "Well, you could send us to bed with nothing but flan to eat." "Mind your P's & Q's, young lady, or you'll have nothing but flan and water for supper." That sort of thing.  Emily has had flan, Laura not.

We took inventory of the refrigerator this morning, preparatory to a short grocery run, and found Emily left us an unopened half gallon of 2% milk, and the dregs of a full gallon. Milk has not passed my lips in fifty years, and Laura doesn't drink it, either.

"Well, we could always sacrifice it to the dreaded flan," I observed. We  fired up our computers for recipes. 

Because she had no confidence in the custard part, Laura stuck with finding caramel sauce. I went through recipe after recipe for custard cups, caramel on the bottom, caramel on the top, a fluted spring form pan...I was close to giving it up when I found what I knew my grandmother made: 12 eggs, five cups of milk, sugar and vanilla, in a glass baking dish. Now we needed twelve eggs to go with the milk.

All Laura's attempts at caramel sauce included sweetened, condensed milk. I'm fairly confident our grandmothers didn't have sweetened, condensed milk available, so I turned Google pages until I found the real deal: brown sugar, butter, milk. I made the custard, Laura the caramel. We knew it would be so good, we each ate little tiny suppers, in anticipation.  We weren't wrong.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Up, up, and away...

Emily, packed for college.

The access road between Emily's dorm and the dorm next door.

Not Emily's dorm.

Some poor (grand)parents beginning the long slog to the dorm that is not Emily's.

And a freshman, who also brought a television and a refrigerator.

Our team, who had to climb four flights.

Last load.

I had to drive to the bottom of another hill to park, and wait for a shuttle.
I stopped to take a picture of a field of solar panels by the athletic field.

I was dropped off to climb the hill to Emily's dorm.
I must find out about this. A residence unit, and a dog in charge.

The team at work.

The view from Emily's room. Her room is at the end of the hall, not off the corridor, and a tad larger than the hall rooms.
I walked from that intersection to the dorm, then up four flights of sixteen stairs each. Fortunately, I could rest often when I stood aside for loads of belongings coming up the steps.

Close to done.

The room mate arrives.

And it just kept coming.

While we still could shuffle out,

Hugs, and we left.
Summer officially is done. Tomorrow I will call Ruth and we will go to lunch!