Old West Lawrence is filled with the most interesting looking homes. Last week I got to actually look inside one. Wander around. Open doors. Explore. Seeing that house and finishing up reading "The Snowman" has me thinking I should probably write some sort of scary mystery/crime novel. Can't you just see this as the perfect setting for it?
From down the hall you see the door knob slowly turn...
Someone might have to race up, or tumble down these stairs.
This woodwork would probably hold some sort of clue that would be quite obvious in hindsight.
This chandelier could shake ominously as the lights flickered during a storm.
The heroine/mystery solver/all around main character in the book would sit by this window with a shotgun in hand ready to defend her home against man and/or beast.
I haven't come up with any kind of story line yet. Just lots of potential climactic moments. I better let the home owner know that I will need to spend more time here, in the evening, when it's dark, all alone, without a phone, so my imagination can lead me in the right direction.
When I stumbled out to water the pots on the back deck this morning at 5:49am I thought I saw some whitish shapes on the hibiscus. I was sure I must be seeing things. It's dark at 5:49 in the morning on my back deck at the end of August. Plus I didn't have my glasses on.
I don't know what to call this. Other than ridiculous I mean. But these are my first hibiscus flowers. I got a little bit carried away. And seriously, don't you think it's weird that I posted photos of the buds last night and they were open this morning? Did one of you come over here and spray secret hibiscus opening spray on them?
If you did, thank you.
I am hoping that after the rainy weekend I may... I repeat may... see some action from this hearty hibiscus that has been in a pot on my deck all summer but has yet to produce a flower.
This little beauty is a morning glory, but not just any old ordinary morning glory like I have shown you before.
Pssst. Lets keep that on the down-low in case any customs agents are reading this. I mean I think it's ok to bring a couple of flowers home so you can tranplant the seeds to your garden. But I have never officially asked anyone. I am a "beg forgiveness" person, not an "ask permission" person.
When I was over at Hammerpress the other day trying to convince them to let me run the big machine that goes clickety - clack - clack, I saw the coolest book. Have you heard of Gregory Blackstock? He "draws order out of chaos with a pencil, a black marker, and some crayons".
I want to draw chaos into order so I picked it up. When I saw the extremely endangered hawaiian crow I knew I should buy it. When I saw the steeplechase racers shoe on the back cover I placed it on the counter. I thought it would be the perfect present for my sister.
Good thing I didn't buy 2 of them. I guess I'll have to keep this one for myself. I have been wanting for some time now to draw ants but needed a large scale model. He provides many.
Gregory Blackstock you are a genius and I am sure glad my sister already had your book.
Because I had blueberries in the refrigerator, and because it was raining, and because I saw this, I did this.
About 40 minutes later it turned into the perfect weekend breakfast when accompanied by freshly made coffee and the Sunday paper. Moist with a crunchy top and just the right amount of sweetness. Everything I want in a breakfast food.
I also knitted 3 rows, ripped out 3 rows, knitted 3 rows, and still could not figure out what I am doing wrong with my Umaro Throw . Happily tomorrow night is knitting night and I know there will be just the right person there to help me solve this dilemma.
Rain (rayn) n. 1. condensed moisture of the atmosphere falling in separate drops.
I have been so wanting a gray and rainy day. A day to knit and bake and nap. Yes, yes, I know I do those things on non-rainy days too. But they are BETTER on rainy days. Infinitely better. A little precursor of days to come.
Working along at a snails pace in my Bergen travel journal I have discovered something.
If I allow myself to let go of the desire to FINISH it, I enjoy each moment more, imprinting deeper the memories as I relax into the rhythm of cutting, writing, and playing. There are enough deadlines in life. No need to create more self-imposed ones.
This is me, letting go. Working by candlelight at 9:22pm on a Friday night.
I popped in over at Hammerpress last week when I was exploring in Kansas City.
They are really nice there. They always say YES when I ask if it's ok to take pictures. They never seem to mind if I pick up and look at every single thing in the store. They don't give me the old evil eye when I run my hands over the samples that are there for that purpose. This last time I could tell the woman behind the counter really WANTED to say yes when I asked her if it would be alright if I ran the printing press thing-a ma-jiggy. I'm almost positive if I would have called it by it's proper name she would have let me.
We've had a wee bit of a reprieve from the triple digit heat of earlier this summer. For this I am grateful, as are some of the foot soldiers in my garden.
The oxalis, purple salvia, and hostas come back each and every year with no effort on my part. I do give them a little fertilizer when I think about it. The thriving of the yellow impatience is a miracle (given my habit of overwatering). My poor oak leaf hydrangea has a bit of leaf scald but I am told it will pull through.
There are no guarantees in gardening. That's what makes it such an adventure. What fun would it be if everything looked great all the time?
I set out to make myself a peach-blueberry custard pie today.
This is the kind of pie you would be served if you were driving through the back roads of Louisiana in 1979. Just the sort you would get if you were on your way to spend a week with your Aunt Lois and your tire got punctured on a single lane country road.
So you would have to walk up to the well worn house with the shaded porch and ask the man sitting there if you could use his phone. And the screen door would fly open when you mentioned you were a Moss girl and the woman would say "you come in here right now Carol Jean and let me cut you a wedge of pie".
In other words, this ain't no fancy pie. But it will fuel the imagination if you take a nap after eating a piece. It's the kind of pie that takes you back to your roots. If your Dad was born in Louisiana that is.
Peach-Blueberry Custard Pie
9" single pie crust - unbaked
4 large ripe peaches, 3/4 cup fresh blueberries, 3 eggs, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 T. flour, 2 T. butter, 2 T. crisco.
Peel and slice peaches and place in pie crust with blueberries. Cream sugar, flour, shortening, and butter. Add eggs and beat custard mixture well; pour over fruit in crust. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes then lower temperature to 325 degrees and bake for an additional 50 minutes.
Small project #2 completed.
This is the wakefield scarf . I used 2 skeins of Claudia's Hand Painted Yarns in a fingering weight. Each skein was 175 yards. This colorway is called "eat your veggies".
It's going to look right smart with my in between seasons coat. Plus it's not too bulky to wear indoors with a jacket. I used a lifeline with this project after I ripped it out several times because I made mistakes I couldn't live with. Now that I know what I am doing though, I will definately make this pattern again.
If you are looking for a sweet, quirky, 94 minute escape from the reality of everyday life get yourself to a theatre where Moonrise Kingdom is playing.
I can't remember when I have enjoyed a movie more. All whimsy and light. I'm still smiling thinking about it. Upon arriving home I informed Chris that he had to write a review as well in order to provide a well rounded perspective on the film. Here is what he came up with.
"It was kind-of-like Stand By Me meets the Cohen brothers by way of a detour through The Cowboys with John Wayne. Some dialogue was a bit quick so you have to listen carefully. Fun bits of action were well done and the director/co-writer didn't get in the way or allow the film to be over produced".
Guess who will be writing all future movie reviews?
Please ignore that rude fence that got in the way of my picture taking. Does that M not make you want you to sit down and practice your cursive writing because you know in your mind if you just practice and practice and practice some more you could do it exactly like that?
If I could change my name to Michael's and write it just like that my life would be complete.
When you plan your trip to Fervere be sure and check the hours. They are limited. But oh, it's worth working around their schedule.
This is my loaf of orchard bread in this bag right here (their logo reminds me of the man from "Caps for Sale", but I digress). I have had several of their breads. All of them delicious, but orchard is my favorite.
It makes the perfect breakfast. Nutty, fruity, and chewy all at the same time. I like mine lightly toasted with a generous drizzle of honey on it. You knew I was going to say that didn't you? I am so predictable when it comes to bread and honey.
This whole area of town deserves a day of exploring. The views to downtown are great and I saw some interesting buildings. I am seriously going to have to cut back to half-time on my day job so I can have more time for my true calling. Messing around.
I have been trying to think of something to make with the remnants of a can of crystallized ginger bits that my sister in law left in my cupboards when she was here for Thanksgiving last year. It's important to look in your baking cupboard regularly to see what's there that might be about to expire so you can use it up. When I happened upon this recipe that I had printed out a month or so ago, I got out the mixer and pre-heated the oven.
These are Ginger Walnut Chocolate Blondies. They are good. Really good. In addition to helping you use up your leftover ginger bits, they will also get you in the mood for fall. Yes. I said it. Fall! Pumpkins. Mums. Warm, fragrant, spicy baked goods. It can not come fast enough for me.
You may remember her from way back at the beginning of the summer. I have been waiting to catch her in concert ever since I spotted that guitar and figured she was a song writer.
She was strumming and singing last weekend and we stopped to listen for a spell. She has a throaty honest voice that is not going to make her a million bucks but is darn nice to listen to. While we were hanging out for a few minutes this whipper-snapper came by.
I told him I only posted photos of cats on my blogs but I would make an exception in his case since he was so polite. He held all his barking until the singing was done and then broke out with a few appreciative woofs.
Allow me to introduce you (IF you don't already know him) to Detective Harry Hole.
If you like the kind of crime novel that you can't stand to listen to but can't stand not to listen to because you MUST find out what happens even though it might be a bit on the gruesome side (think criminal minds, the girl with the dragon tattoo) you are gonna like Oslo police inspector Harry Hole.
I didn't want to start the Harry Hole series with book #7 - The Snowman - but it's the one my library had so I jumped right in. Boy am I glad I did. This has me on the edge of my drivers seat on the commute to and from work. PLUS part of it takes place in Bergen, Norway. Where I just was! With my sister! I wish I would have known about Inspector Harry Hole while I was there. I could have met with the author, Jo Nesbo, to talk plot developement over a bowl of fish chowder.
Two CD's down and I am hooked. I am circulating a petition to the library to buy them all on CD.
I made some lavender syrup this weekend. Now before you get that look on your face like someone just washed your mouth out with soap, I beg you to reconsider the culinary uses of lavendar. My discovery began with a lavendar martini at Fatty's Restaurant in Eagle Rock California about 4 years ago. Then I had lavendar ice cream on a warm walnut streudel in Greensboro, North Carolina. I almost had to be hospitalized from delirium after that. Seriously. It was mind alteringly good.
So when I discovered these people this weekend. I had to do this.
If you want to try it here's the formula:
1 cup water
2 cups sugar
1 Tablespoon dried lavendar buds
Put all ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Let it boil for around 10 minutes until it gets "syrupy". I do not like to store my syrup in the refrigerator so I always add a shot or two of vodka to this after I remove it from the heat. I read somewhere that keeps it from growing stuff and it's always worked for me. Let it cool a bit then strain it and pour it in a bottle.
What I have been doing with mine is making lavendar lemonade. I add a half a shot of the syrup and a shot of absolut citron to some lemonade and shake it all up and pour it over ice with lemon slices.
I wore an apron when I made it. Made me feel downright domestic in just the BEST way.
These budding business women told me Saturday at the farmers market that there indeed will be no lavendar honey this year. It has something to do with the decrease in the number of honeybees all over the world. They suggested I might like the orange marmalade. Hello? I like anything these 2 are selling and of course bought a jar.
While I made the purchase my research assistant/personal chef got word from one of his contacts that there were Elvi (I think that's plural for Elvis and if it's not it should be) in town for a parade in conjuntion with an antique car rally. He suggested it might be "photo-worthy". He is always thinking that one.
We reached the event and I jumped out of the car cameras in hand when I hear this lady yell "Hey YOU". She informed me that she was the one and only official Elvi photographer and I best take my cameras and go home. With great care to select just the right words, I told her it was a public event and anyone could take pictures.
Once that drama concluded we proceeded on to see one single Elvis, one Elvis Junior, an a lot of cars with some shiny chrome.
This was my breakfast today. There might have been some bacon involved too.
I know it's rather on the generous size, but I had a busy morning. I did some investigating down at the farmers market about the lavendar honey, heard Elvis was in town and had to sort out the merits of that rumor, got involved in a fracas with a woman in cat eye glasses, and selected and arranged the sunflowers you see on the table above. This was all before 10am. As you can see the rejuvinating powers of Chris' pancakes were needed and well deserved.
Full details on the honey, Elvis, and Mrs. Cat Eye to follow ....
When I pull out of Angies' driveway after a visit, she always comes to the door to wave goodbye and close the garage door. Everytime I pull out I honk the horn and she jumps like its the first time I have ever done it. I am very juvenile and think this is hilarious.
Today she told me when I was leaving "...don't turn on the horn when you pull out!" I of course ignored her and honked in my usual fashion. She jumped and got that totally startled look on her face like it was the first time I had ever done it. I laughed like a hyena. I can't help it. I'm laughing right now just thinking about her jumping.
I honk. She jumps. I laugh. She laughs. Who said comedy had to be original?
These clouds started out looking pretty ordinary.
Today I got an e-mail about a workshop with Rebecca Ringquist , which of course made me totally re-evaluate where I am at with that adorable dropcloth sampler I started working on when I was on the plane going to Budapest. Crapola! That was awhile ago.
So I started looking, which turned into rummaging, that developed into a full blown rampage until I finally located it. Who comes into my house and hides these things from me?
Yes, I now recall that I had some difficulty with a few of these stitches. Even with the help of my handy dandy pocket guide to crazy quilt stitches, I still struggled a bit. So when I got that e-mail today and watched the "meet Rebecca" intro I was hooked. She's all about "telling her own sloppy messy story".
I would prefer to be able to take just this one on-line workshop with her. It appears that I will have to sign up and do a monthly membership fee. Hmmm. Well, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.
In the 30 minutes between going back to sleep after letting Lewis out this morning and getting up for good, here is what I dreamt about:
1. I was riding a recumbent bike on the highway to work and had forgotten to put on my seat belt.
2. I went to a party and was there for several hours before I realized I had not combed my hair before leaving the house.
3. There was a strange man in my backyard. When I opened the door to yell at him he indicated he was planting an old houseplant out there for me and I let him.
Tomorrow I am not going back to bed after I let Lewis out. Instead I will eat wheat chex with bananas from my Norwegian Cafe au Lait cup that I use as a cereal bowl.
In search of Lavender honey, I went to to farmers market this weekend. I submit these photos as evidence of my pursuit.
This fellow showed me that pockets were made to hook your thumbs on when your arms feel heavy.
Heirloom cherry tomatoes? Who knew.
"The red one is the prettiest".
I could swear the lavender honey people told me it would be ready the first weekend in August, but they were not there. No matter. I saw stuff to make it worth the trip. Maybe they will be there next weekend? Or maybe it will be that I will only ever have that one jar of lavender honey. And that will be ok too. I will continue to look. It can be my holy grail. I do not believe that overstates the sacred experience of eating that most rare of honeys on warm toast.
I did an investigation of the Mirth Cafe this weekend. As the "unofficial guide to all things Lawrence", I need to be able to respond to questions about this establishment.
The place was hopping at 10:15 am. Bill (bottom right corner) said it was because everyone knew that he was working. Mugs came to the table fast. Self serve coffee? Good idea!
I had the Blackstone Eggs. Eggs Benedict with the addition of fresh sliced, grilled, tomatoes and bacon. Oh my. The English muffin was a little crisp, but not too crisp which would have made it hard to cut. The bacon was a little smoky, the tomatoes were sweet, the egg yolk golden and runny, the hollandaise silky. Put all that together with some new potato hash browns and good coffee and you got the perfect start to the weekend.
Nancy I'll meet you and Meredith and Bob there anytime you say. Next time bring Marti too please. We have things to talk about.
I have come to the conclusion that plants can read minds.
It is the only way I can explain it's sudden perkiness. I wonder if I can sharpen and specify my messages to particular plants? I want to be sure no other plants get the messages intended for that bindweed that continues to torment me.
If you own an iPad and you do not have the SketchBook PRO app you are missing out on serious fun. I put myself in a time-out from using it for awhile so I could get my knitting projects done.
But then I had to go over here and read about the whole Zentangle thing and then I ordered the book and Amazon had to deliver it in like 15 minutes and here I am... back in the throes of doodling meditative drawing. When they do the next Zentangle book they need to include a chapter on how to do it with SketchBook PRO.
I better let someone know I am available to author that chapter.