Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Yesterday

 Yesterday actually was an amusing day. You couldn't tell that from my slogging determination to lay the park to rest! I also had a very short shopping list to fill.

Today is far too late to remember what was on my list. I can say, the list was divided between Dollar General and Kreigers. The former plebeian, the latter more esoteric.

Oh, wait, I just remembered two crucial parts of the list. Cornstarch and paper towels, if I could find them. My last roll of a three roll pack of paper towels is essentially gone and no replacement at Dollar General the last several months.

Cornstarch, that essential of our grandmother's cupboard, came from Kreigers, which I found when I stumbled again on my crostata recipe, last spring. And I had five peaches to turn into peach crostata sooner than later.


I pulled into the left lane to turn left for Kreigers when suddenly my head swiveled to check all my lanes, and I pulled back into the right to go to Dollar General first, and then complete the square back home.

Sometimes the covid shallowness of my life just needs a kick in its ass. I reversed my route!

Way at the end of the Dollar General aisle, a single pack of toilet paper graced the stack of empty shelving. Par for the course, and I continued along. On a whim I swing right into the baking supplies aisle, looking slowly up and down. All the way, up and down.

Why? Obstinance. You cannot buy spices at Dollar General. You cannot buy buttermilk. But, might as well look. At the very end, on the left, top shelf, box after box of cornstarch. Out of my reach, of course.

A man was stocking shelves at the other end of the aisle. "Young man..." said I, and he came and reached me down  the most important purchase on my list. I only bought one one pound box. That could be a mistake, since the first was used since May, and does not have the requisite two tablespoons of cornstarch left in the box!

Continuing to the back of the store, I stopped and stared at the package obviously enclosing twelve rolls of tp. Either the separation between top and bottom was indistinct, or this was the only package of paper towels I've looked at since March. Literally the only package, since floor to ceiling and left to right, it was the only thing on the shelves. And, six rolls, not two. 

Into the cart, through checkout and home, to have half a tomato sammie for lunch, and get on with my peach crostata.


Hot water bath and cold water plunge, and the skins slipped right off. These weren't cling free stones, but the peaches cut easily away. The slices filled the measuring cup right up to the four cup mark. I was on such a roll I used brown sugar. Praline, yes! One went into the oven, one the freezer, ready to bake.

I set up the cooling rack and watched the oven carefully. I like mine baked to a nice shade of chocolate/peanut butter! The timer rang and I still left it two more minutes.

I reached both hands into the oven. I didn't pull out the rack. It sort of sticks and I need to find out how to solve that. I also did not have a solid grip on both handles of the pie plate. 

I rose to standing, lifting my arms a bit more, reaching to the right to put down the plate.  The pie plate slipped through my fingers, did a complete somersault and landed. On the floor. The pie plate landed, unhurt, on its bottom.

The crostata landed folded in half, like an omlette.

A big spatula in each hand, I beat the five second rule. By a lot.


It didn't unfold as neatly as it folded, and I've snacked on the crusty deliciousness of the missing edge. It is the best peach praline crostata I've ever made!


Monday, August 10, 2020

Reconciliation

 Promised:



Delivered:




Yesterday, Cathy and I hopped into my car for a Road Trip! I wanted to see the results of the Park Service shifting an acre or so of soil in the Peoples' Park, last October. Perhaps you remember:


All that remained snarkily undisturbed was the tiny corner with the old bubbler, framed by the spruce and the veterans' flagpole, now
completely hidden by untrimmed trees and bushes.


Cathy and I walked the sidewalk in the first picture. The entire area was full, but not crowded, with people. There is ample parking in the lot on the right hand side of the first picture. The corresponding grassed area on the other side of the road actually is brown dirt and earth moving equipment. It probably is destined for more parking, but I did not verify that.

There were people taking pictures with the National Park sign. There were people taking regular pictures. There were people walking dogs. Lots of people and dogs. There were people with kayaks. There is a launch point into the Cuyahoga River behind the Boston Mill Visitor Center, the tan building in the first two pictures. There were people enjoying a lovely and warm August morning.

There were an abundance of millenials, and their children. Like my parent's generation, and my own, they were people who needed a place to park the car while they spent the morning or afternoon walking and enjoying the water, the woods, the trails.

I'm sure they appreciated a decent path to get from the parking lot, to their destination. 

I called the park and talked to a ranger today. I can not believe the tangle of weeds growing e.v.e.r.y.w.h.e.r.e is intentional. If they wanted to grow pollinator attracting plants, how could such an awful result have happened?

And the ranger said, the groundscape is a good idea gone bad. Apparently "Land and Resource Management" brought in many truckloads of dirt that was of poor quality and full of non-native invasive seeds. Actually, he confided, they have been pulling the invasives. The landscape department will have another go at it.

So yes, another chunk of Boston history is gone. No one cares except those of us involved.  On the whole, anyone who has title and ownership of anything can tear it down and do something different. The People never had legal title to the property, and the fact The People used and maintained it for over a hundred years is of of no interest to the government. And so it goes.





Saturday, August 8, 2020

Nostalgia

 My sister stopped this morning. She is the sort who is up at dawn's early light. She was on a return trip from an orchard in Hiram. I was getting out of the shower.


I think one of those tomatoes will make my chili mac a tad more chili. Take that, mac. For lunch tomorrow, and the next day, tomato sammies. The quite pink peaches will explode in my mouth, and the other three will be crostata.

Jan and I are our end of the family. My children and grandchildren. are not far flung in location, but they are in interest. She's almost eleven years younger, so when I'm gone, it's on her.

I was updating the towels for sale page today, and told myself I'm out of Good Ideas right now. I gave that page a rest and reopened the Characters page. I'll work on if for awhile, just in case someone is interested.

Why was I taking a shower so early in the morning? Because I am going to church tomorrow. I do miss those folks. But then I'm nipping straight out and taking Cathy down to Boston Park at Riverview and Main.

If you've followed this blog for a bit of time, you'll remember I was my township clerk for thirteen years. And, I've lived in this township since 1988, so, a bit of history.

Over all this time, I've watched the Cuyahoga Valley National Park nibble away acre after taxable acre of the township, until it's down to a thousand or fewer citizens to fund the emergency services and police who respond to every distress call and accident in the park.

The Boston Park was a project of mine; it was an undocumented bit of history. I interviewed the citizens, read the documents, wrote the story. And so it was, until a life estate expired and the National Park could take control of The People's Park.

I need more pictures for the township web site. Cathy is wingman.

That was some digression. Back to church. The service is an hour earlier, nine in the morning. I must be up earlier than eight. Say seven. I can face the shower at seven, but that cannot include washing my hair.

Tomorrow afternoon, after the tomato sandwich, I will work on my own little page of history. And work on the current basket of bobbins, denim. Or is this jeans?


This beetle was napping on a zinnia leaf today. It's rather orange, as in red and yellow make orange. Who knows if red and yellow ladybirds are starting a sub species.


Thursday, August 6, 2020

I can only listen

 I cannot imagine what we will become. I've listened recently to mothers and grandmothers discussing the start of school. It is that time. Laura would have been practicing marching band songs and routines already.

Now the talk is to return in some manner or distance learn. I heard a high schooler saying her younger sister was a happy computer nerd who could sit home and learn everything; she needed to raise her hand.

I read a long column over the weekend by a high school principal in an underfunded district and an even poorer school. He and his staff were the last link the students had to normalcy. They spent the summer scrabbling for Chromebooks and broadcasting equipment. His team of six high school teachers disinfected and set up classrooms, using shower curtains. Then one of them contracted Covid...and died.



Fortunately no one asks me what I would do. I suppose like the high school student, it is all individual decisions.

In the meantime, Governor DeWine tests positive for corona virus.

The State Department lifts the "Do not Travel" advisory. I suppose a million people will book missed vacations. I travel more than anyone I know. My little "Sharp Brake" advisor and tattle tale installed under the dash shows in July I traveled extensively. Two trips for hearing aides and one for Francis' graduation. 

I have taken pictures, mostly no further away than my steps and put there between paragraphs. Pig will have a zinnia soon.


By the time I got to my phone, the full moon nearly slipped away.

I have a new header. Every time I go by the pond at the golf course, I think I should stop for a picture. I also crane my neck for the heron. The one time I saw him I chased him half a dozen U-turns, trying to get a picture. He always was camera shy, but seems even more so, with no golfers about.

On the way home today, I put on my flashers and pulled over. And as I watched and drifted up the road, looking for a good view of the very derelict looking tree and rough course, there was the heron's head and neck above the weeds, on this side of the lake.

I was looking down at the phone to make adjustments when I heard a car coming down the road as fast as I have. Great grey wings and the heron was gone. I took the new header picture anyway. That golf course certainly is sad. 

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Raining and cold

It has rained for two days and two more days in the forecast. Nancy called me this week, a nice surprise. I'd noticed tents on the lawn of the Methodist church and she said yes, their General Conference has authorized outdoor services. No card playing, though.



Talking to her was so nice I wound up saying I'd come to the service today, though I did add I had no chair. She immediately countered, there are chairs available and someone would surely bring me one. We crossed texts last night. I told her it would be wet and cold today, so count me out. She texted services were cancelled.

At the informal graduation gathering last weekend, Ruth and I made tentative arrangements to get together this week, and settled on Friday. That morning she called to tell me her trepidation level was high and she has decided not to go.  

Cathy and I did go to lunch yesterday, and then we stopped at Kreigers.  That pleased me; I've done most of my grocery shopping for the month (of August), but I suddenly wanted more tomatoes for more Bruschetta Spaghetti.


So there's that! And this morning my sister called. She had two big red tomatoes from her twenty four plants, and could she drop them off on her way by. Sadly I said no. Not that I wouldn't make a big batch of Bruschetta, but then I'd have to go back for more spaghetti.


By the way, they could have posted a simple "Masks Required", like every other store and business. This bit of signage says to me they are not in favor of this order.

And finally, I spent the day tying the knots. Tie, tie, tie. Then I pulled all the knots through all the heddles (not a bad job), and trimmed off all the loom waste and tidied up to tie onto the apron tomorrow.