I wiped away the weeds & foam. / I fetched my sea-born treasures home... Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Good, the Bad, and the Pretty?

Driftwood Statue of Liberty on cover of local guide.
I love it!
Hi!  I didn't do a Memorial Day post. I was feeling sad that I couldn't leave a little flag on my dad's grave. My parents' ashes were buried, unmarked, on a windswept promontory overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, in the  garden of a  Cape Cod church we called the Moby Dick/ whaling church because it dates from that era.[1845?]. It's the perfect spot but somehow putting his flag out on my deck isn't the same as being there. I don't  know why.  So along with truly frigid temps it was a somewhat sad weekend here.

I kept busy with projects: I made the Shower Melts, recipe:   HERE   You can also browse through my Bath- Little Luxuries file on Pinterest, though the general gist is always the same.

Cornstarch, water, essential oils. 

The result is like very hard to handle drywall spackle. And it gives that creepy chalk on the blackboard feeling as you mix it, eew.

I doubled the recipe, 2 Cups of cornstarch.

Drops of essential oils: bergamot, lemon, lemon verbena, eucalyptus. I subbed the eucalyptus for peppermint oil from the recipe because peppermint gives me migraines.

You don't have to pack the spackle into the ice cube trays. It sort of settles in a minute or so. The water on top can be wicked off by laying a paper towel on top.

I had the red heart molds on hand, a gift from a young man who was a house guest one summer. He'd make pink lemonade hearts in them for our drinks.

The trays go in the freezer. No clue why this works, but it seems to do the trick. Bring the trays out and let them warm up for only about 90 seconds. Pop out and let the cubes dry, then pack into jars.


BUT they have no scent whatsoever. I used way more scented oil than the recipe called for, but nada. Maybe my oils lacked scent because they are all natural and organic? We're used to bright artificial scents instead? But really. Nothing. Too bad because I wanted to make them for little gifts for friends.

And then there is the drywall spackle issue. I kept imagining this stuff clogging my drains. Permanently.


Since it was so cold I went ahead and made Kelley's Roasted Veggies Pasta. I did cherry tomatoes for about 4 hours at 200*. They came out nice but cooked away to nothing much. I think big beefsteak slices or Italian plum tomatoes would work better. 

Then I roasted 1/2 a bunch of asparagus cut in 2" sticks, 1 summer squash  cut into half moons, a sweet onion cut into moons, garlic, and [just because] pine nuts. Single layer, bit of olive oil and lemon pepper [I use one of those grinder mixes.] They should roast 35 minutes at 400*. I overcooked them due to some little quotidian distraction/ crisis . But they were salvageable. 

Toss with rigatoni and a little butter or olive oil, cubed Brie. Parm on top.

The look is not foodie mag perfect but the taste was delicious on a a drizzly cold night. Easy to do too, except the watch-your-timing issue.


And the pretty: This quilt is back from the quilter! 

My quilter did a gorgeous job. There's a lot more work to be done now, first bind, then wash and dry. Then  eyes for birdies, 60 + rosettes to sew, beads for stamens. This is a huge, king sized quilt, for no obvious reason. 

I used flannel instead of batting to make the post-quilting handwork easier, maybe. An experiment. The quilter used the flannel with no comment. We'll see how it all washes.
Mo is always a happy little guy! He loves the cool grass.

Have a great week.



gone to the beach...

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Something for the Weekend

Hi! Happy Summer! Years ago I followed a Yahoo writing group and for awhile, in its heyday, every weekend the  organizers of the group would have a post called Something for the Weekend. It always included book ideas, wine, maybe food or an activity. I loved those posts, usually written by my faraway friend Cat who lived in Scotland. We'd hear about pear cider and village fetes, it was very fun.

So in honor of those earlier days of internet friendships I thought I might sometimes do a weekend post here. This is the official start of summer at the beach, and I suppose everywhere. Rain or shine, summer is here. The weather gods are laughing hysterically, they have sent us endless drizzle, dense fog and cold temps.

I got out a summery cashmere turtle neck.

Mo wore his raincoat.

I love when the shops stock up their crappy summer toys and patio stuff and sunscreen. So happy and hopeful. When my kids were small it was so exciting, shopping for new beach pails and shovels, a new boogie board, maybe a wiffle bat and ball. And oooh, bubbles! And a kite!

And the market had peonies, gasp/ sigh. Too $$$ at 7.99 for three stems.

I stopped in the el cheapo wine shop with my coupon [all the shops issue summer coupons for Memorial Day].  Isn't this the cutest packaging ever---I wish they sold t-shirts!

I got a bottle for a friend's birthday. It's not a brand I ever drink, but if it's not good she can always do mimosas or bellinis, right? I know she's having a houseful of guests this weekend, and can use it.

Food: This comes from Kelley ~

Roasted veggies tossed with pasta for a weekend dinner, because it's supposed to rain, rain, rain. I'll long-roast the pretty heirloom tomatoes, single layer on an olive oil drizzled cooky sheet. Roast the halved tomatoes at lowest temp [my oven it's 200*] until caramelized. Maybe 6 hours, but keep checking! Store in olive oil with garlic cloves til needed. Then I'll short / hot roast the squash and asparagus separately. About 35 minutes at 400*. Toss with some cubed Brie and parm, a splash of white wine, maybe some herb sprigs? Yummy.

Books:       The Dry  by Jane Harper  Australian murder mystery. Very well written and engrossing. Drawback: I immediately knew who the murderer[s] were. First novel by Harper, I'll look forward to more from her.
                The Kind Worth Killing  by Peter Swanson   Oddly gripping despite the fact that none of the protagonists is very appealing.  Plot is reminiscent of Hitchcock's film Strangers on a Train.

[and again a rec from Kel] : Razor Girl  by Carl Hiaasen I haven't started it yet, but it looks like another crazy romp from Hiassen. Kelley can update us?

Projects for rainy weekend days: I don't have anything quilt-y to show you this week because I've been working on a duvet cover and pillowcases for friends. My friends have a relentlessly grey decor in their lovely home and it took us ages to find a good grey batik for their bedroom.

This has taken me all week! I'm losing my touch, and finding it hard to wrestle the equivalent of 12 yards of fabric [king size] and a 72" zipper. Took me three tries and two zippers to get the zipper set just right! I want the pieces to be ''perfect'' for these special friends.

On the hopefully easier side of projects, I plan to make these shower steamers: here
Since I cannot have a bath anymore, just showers, due to hip pain/ limited mobility, I so miss my bubble baths and array of bath salts and bubbles and scented gels. These are supposed to be set on the floor of the shower, to at least create a relaxing scent. Made with cornstarch and essential oils. I ordered bergamot, eucalyptus and lemon verbena.[more on this project later!]

And look! Gluten free, hahaha.

Saturday morning I'll hang out my wooden Stars and Stripes, as I have for all these years since my dad made it for me. If it's an okay day I'll put all my little flags along the deck rail too. The Thunderbirds [ the Air Force fighter jet team] are supposed to perform at the airshow this year, so exciting, but the fog has kept them grounded. No amazing practice runs along the beach , too bad.

beach entry pots of flowers

Mo is ready for fun, rain or shine!

So there you have it, something for the weekend. What are your plans?



gone to the beach.....

same weekend a few years ago.....

Inspiration? Zoe buys this for You Know Who!