Canadian astronaut wrings out a washcloth in space

Canadian astronaut wrings out a washcloth in space

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What I Did This Week

IMG_1668That title sounds like those essays our english teachers made us write on the first day of school: What I Did Last Summer. I was a weird kid who loved to write essays on any topic. Once I wrote a three page poem, translating Beowulf into modern, hip lingo (um, hip isn’t even hip anymore, is it?). Anyway, it was the sixties so I doubt its ‘hip’ now. I wouldn’t know because my teacher kept it. She must be long gone by now, and so is my cutting edge version of Beowulf. I’m sure the world can go on.

It was gorgeous here this week – in the eighties and nineties – and the humidity was very low. The mornings were so beautiful. I wish I could bottle it and bring it out in July when the thermometer reads 102° and the humidity is 90%.IMG_1678

It was perfect weather for painting. I love to paint and especially on such beautiful mornings, but I do wish our porch railing would hold its paint.IMG_1669I’m not sure what they did when they built our porch/deck, but my guess is that they painted the pressure-treated wood while it was still fresh and possibly damp. They probably didn’t get good paint adhesion, and as a result it pops and peels and cracks in certain places every year. Herm replaced the  bench seat, and we don’t have the same problem with it now, even though it’s a flat surface and receives a lot of weather.

After we finished painting, I propped up my feet and relaxed with an audio book until the sun caught up with me. It was heaven!IMG_1663

We won’t have much shade back there until the crepe myrtle leafs out. And since we committed crepe murder last year, I’m not confident of how much shade there will be this summer. We could live to regret our impulsive decision to whack it back. It was a beautiful tree, but it outgrew its spot and was scraping against the house and roof, and Herman was tired of dealing with it. I can’t blame him. When we bought it, the tag claimed it would only grow twelve to fifteen feet. It was at least twenty-five feet and still growing.

This is a bloom on our camellia shrub.  The light was just right.IMG_1709

The only blemish on several days of the sweetest mornings and softest breezes and perfect temperatures happened when our new neighbor came out to power wash his house and tuned into Rush Limbaugh. He turned the volume so high that the entire neighborhood could hear, which was probably his intention. Gotta luv the burbs.

How to Make Crème Fraîche

cremefraiche2Image: Home Made Happy

A few weeks ago, my husband asked me how to make Crème Fraîche. I’ve never made it from scratch so I looked around for a recipe. How hard could this be? Well, it’s even easier than I thought it would be. Easy as falling off a log is an apt description. With only a quick, little search, I found Home Made Happy and a simple recipe with beautiful photos.

I found a slightly different recipe for Crème Fraîche at Serious Eats.

Once you’ve made your homemade Crème Fraîche, you’ll find oodles of ways to use it.

exps46606_TH1789925D34C_cloneSmoked Salmon-Dijon Creme Fraiche Canapes Recipe photo by Taste of Home

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butternut-squash-soup-lgHow about a swirl of Crème Fraîche on your Maple Butternut Squash Soup?

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summer-berries-with-cumin-meringues-and-creme-fraiche-430-ssHow about a dollop on Summer Berries?

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Salmon with Wasabi-Crème Fraîche

And here’s a video showing how easy it is to make Crème Fraîche.

red is your color, dahling

100_1847A few days ago, I decided I had to get out of the house. It’s been a long time. We ran a few errands: post office, grocery store, etc. I couldn’t go inside around (possibly germy) people so I waited in the car, but it felt great to be outside again.

On our drive, we happened upon these horses with their red blankets. They’re only a few minutes from our house.100_1851 This is one of my favorite things about living out here. If we go in one direction, we’re only a couple of minutes from the country while grocery stores and pharmacies and other necessities are only a few minutes in the other direction. We’re on the edge of civilization. We can get there quickly to take advantage of all the good things, but we don’t have to contend with traffic and long lines, etc.

Herman pulled over, and I rolled the window down and used my little point and shoot camera to take these pics. It was a guessing game at best because I didn’t have my glasses on and could barely see what I was shooting, which explains this next one.  Herman says he was probably just scratching his butt. I guess a fella’s gotta do what a fella’s gotta do. Herman also asked, “Where’s his fourth leg?” Odd picture.100_1850

Snow Pics

On Friday, we woke to fresh snow. I took a few pics from the vantage point of my porch.

When we lived in Maryland, there were long stretches of times when I would walk every single day – no matter what – even if it poured buckets of rain. Those were the days when I was dedicated. I’d find my old, squeaky walking shoes that were reserved just for the rain, BUT I never, ever walked in ice and slush and snow. I tried only once and it was way to treacherous. It was asking for a broken something or other. So I watched and waited as the guy in the first photo below jogged (slipped and slid) his way around our cul-de-sac. He never did fall… at least not while I was watching. Good luck, buddy!

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good for what ails you

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Going a little lazy on the photo up there, I clipped one from Simply Recipes.

Because we’ve been under the weather for a while around here, a friend brought us a loaf of apple cake, a quart of greens and three different soups yesterday: pasta e fagioli, chili and chicken noodle. With every bite, Herman kept saying, “She’s old school.” I think he meant that she cooks like our mothers’ generation, but who knows? His eyes were rolling back in their sockets at the time, and he had this strange, beatific smile on his face.

The rain continues and I need to walk a little. I’ll give it a try if it clears today. This body has been dormant for so long, I’m afraid it will not even know what to do.

Coming back!

Wanna see something pretty?

imageI’ve been in the hospital for a few days, but my room just became a lot more cheerful. These arrived a few minutes ago. My DIL sent them. I wish you could see them in person. I took the pic with the iPad. It didn’t do them justice.  They’re gorgeous.

I had to laugh when I read the card to my husband and my nurse. She had them sign it from herself and “The Gang.” I told the nurse that she puts up with that “Gang” 24/7. It’s a three-ring circus with three kids and a husband, and she’s the ringmaster, keeping all three rings going at all times.

Thank you to my DIL and her “Gang.”