Friday, October 31, 2008

Spider Soup For Hallowe'en

The eggs started to boil and I took them off the flame to sit for 25 minutes. That, by the way, is the best way to make hardboiled eggs. Put 'em in cold water, bring that just to a boil, turn off the heat and let the eggs sit for 25 minutes in the water. Then ice-water 'em and pop 'em in the fridge.Add Image
About fifteen minutes in I looked at the cooling pot and noticed this unfortunate:

Was he there all along? Don't know. Can't imagine he crawled into hot water on purpose.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

You Gonna Eat That?

Are those nuts? They look like nuts. In fact, they look like almonds. Are they almonds? Are they your almonds? I don't find almonds around here too often...they look good. Are they good? I bet they're good. I remember having almonds once, and they were good. Sure would be great to have some almonds again sometime, but you know, not much around here but acorns....acorns are okay, of course, but they're not almonds. Once in a while it'd be nice to break up the monotony of...what? oh no, I couldn't, I mean, you shouldn't be encouraging me, I could have rabies...okay maybe just a handful.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Spirit Photography

As I was sorting through photos I came across this remarkable image. I mean, I've always known these two are a coupla really great people, but ...can anyone else see the haloes floating a short distance above their heads? Who'da thought??

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Late Bloomers

The garden hoses are drained and tucked away; now it's time to gather up the glass flowers and bring them indoors. I like having them outside in the flowerbed all summer. We made these at the Corning Glass Museum; there's a movie of it here. That was part of our Upstate Adventure Trip a few months ago. Corning is a great little town surrounded by beautiful country, and the museum is wonderful whether or not you're especially interested in glass; if you like color, design, engineering, industrial arts, history, ancient Roman'll love it. There. Now I feel better for not mentioning it earlier, when I was going on about Cooperstown. We love ya, Corning!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Delicious Pest Control

Looking for ways to discourage ants from excavating an apartment complex throughout the backyard brickwork, I came across numerous claims that ground cinnamon would send them packing. This seemed too good to be true, but easy enough to try, and darn if it hasn't worked like a charm! Didn't cost any more than a can of pesticide; I used about six ounces on 144 square feet of brick, just sprinkling it on and brushing it into the spaces between, as you can see there. I didn't worry about Miss Fi strolling about and lying on it. And, it smelled delicious outside that afternoon. That was almost three months ago. This week there was a small troop of them at work in the garage, carrying off the cat food night after night. I sprinkled a few tablespoons of cinnamon on the outside of the garage, at the point they were coming in, and...that was it, they didn't come back. Poof! So, let me offer up my anecdotal testimony of the efficacy of this particular home remedy.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Happy Birthday Ken!

Happy Birthday to my DH, who is the simply the best. And who is still in Florida, but not for much longer...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Frame More Beautiful Than The Art

And now, more old news, about stuff we did ages ago:
We took a Circle Line tour (I think it was my first) to see the river art project by Olafur Eliasson.
If you didn't get out to see his "Waterfalls" installation along the river in New York earlier this year, it's too late now. The exhibition is over, and you'll have to content yourselves with YouTube movies of the event. It was beautiful to the extent that moving water always is, isn't it? But somehow, despite the ginormous size of the constructions, the work as a whole felt dwarfed, overshadowed by the NYC skyline. The river was just too big for them. The one under the Brooklyn Bridge seemed best situated of them all, but still the eye, my eye at least, is drawn to the bridge. As a marvel, as a spectacle, as a suggestion of human scale...the bridge and the river and the skyline all attract my attention first. That was a little disappointing, because we'd seen and loved an earlier work by the artist:

In November of 2003 we were in London at the right time to visit "The Weather Project," Olafur Eliasson's mesmerizing, immersive installation in the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern. That was a memorable experience, perfectly suited to the site and thoroughly compelling. (You kinda have to take my word for it, as it was hard for me to take a good photograph in a dark, foggy, cavernous hall lit by mono-frequency lamps and mirrors.) Other people took pretty good movies.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Wrapped In The Blues

This amazing length of cerulean coziness arrived in the mail late this summer, a surpise gift handmade by a talented friend. I've had it hanging in plain sight ever since because it's just so pretty. Look at this funky yarn close up; what look like spangles are just satin-stitched squares of thread, surrounded by soft flufffliness. Fluffness. Yes, those both sound better than would the correct word. So it feels great. Let the cold weather come.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Chlorophyll Shortage In Vermont

It's stunning how beautiful a chemical reaction can be.
When the tree leaves stop producing chlorophyll for the year and the green stuff starts to break down and disappear, the other colors of the leaves, hidden all summer, are exposed and have their moment in the sun: yellow from xanthophyll, red from anthocyanins, orange from carotenes, and brown from tannins, the leaf's waste products. New York's Buffalo Museum of Science has a really good explanation of it all.
We were in Vermont with my brother and sister-in-law a week ago and this kind of sight was unavoidable. Besides a lovely walk in the woods on the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller estate, we visited Ben and Jerry's factory in Waterbury and the Hope Cemetery in Barre. (Check out Neil's page for great photos of the cemetery markers.) There was a roadside waterfall, milkweed seed pods ready to be picked, and good barbecue to eat. A fine weekend all around. More photos on my Flickr page.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Nature Loves A Spiral...

...and here she puts a decorative scar on the very last of the tomatoes.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

I Have One Question

It's the twenty-first century, right? (That wasn't the question. That was rhetorical.) I look around at my house full o' wonders. Over there is the clothes-washing machine...there the clothes-drying machine...but why am I still flattening my clean clothing by hand with a heavy piece of hot metal? Where is my clothes-ironing machine? That was the question. Now I'll just go ahead and answer it. I hate the smell of perc and don't want to dry-clean my clothes anyway: too expensive, too toxic, the list goes on. And clothing steamers, while they might be nice for the occasional delicate knit item, are time-consuming, humidifying, and just can't put a crisp crease in your duds. We wear a lot of cotton, and there's no getting around it. So whereas washing and drying have come a long way from when I was a kid helping my mom put wet clothes through the wringer in the basement sink and then hanging them out to dry on clotheslines held up with long bamboo poles (where they would often fall off into the dirt or get caught in the rain,) I'm ironing things exactly the same way she taught me, with a device that looks, feels, and works exactly the same way. And it takes just as long to complete the task now as it did then. The only difference? Now I'm listening to an iPod while I do it.