Saturday, June 28, 2008

Elias and his new housemate roofus

Friday, June 27, 2008

Polyester? I want my feather bed back.

On our way

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Goodbye Boo

John Mark has been making many good byes lately and I have to make mine.

The first and easier is goodbye Minnesota. This state has taught me 4 things.

1. I do not belong in the MidWest.
2. I am not in the least suburban and rural.
3. I f I try hard enough I can do nearly anything.
4. There are kind and wonderful people in places I don't belong.

To all those Kind and wonderful people; specifically Dan, Redwing, Cicada, Phoenix, Timothy, Peat , Ben and the faeries at Kawashaway my thanks for being lights for me. I'll be in touch.

The second and much more difficult good bye is to Flopper. He has taught me a number of things through our 4 years of caring about one another. He knows what they all are and it would be a long list to put here. I can only hope that Benin and his experiences there are as life changing for him as he has been for me.

We'll be leaving tomorrow.

If life is a book then we are closing this chapter. In a few days I'll be in DC and a new chapter will begin. As a historian I believe in closing paragraphs so here is the one for this chapter.

If I were in charge of things; things would be different. They would however probably not be better and in all likelihood would be worse. Adventure and life occur when we are not in control, when trees that have stood for what seems an eternity crack and fall. I have not fallen but am in motion. For teaching me that motion is necessary, that tears are honorable, and that I am kind; Thank You. For having the courage to believe I could care for myself and the honesty to make me do it; Thank You. The worlds waits for us and we have much to do in it.

You really could'nt leave room in the back seat for me?

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Silly Eli

One of the problems with living alone is that I don't get enough cute pictures of Elias where I'm in the picture. He's a great arm rest.

My three nieces all of whom look distressingly like me.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Technology is the equivalent of magic for me says I'm a High Nerd.  What are you?  Click here!

Seriously computer codes might as well be alchemical for all I know about them.

Row Row Row Your Pots

Make shift flood protection in India. I love the BBC.

I'm going to sleep right here until you pay attention to me. Despite the speaker jack on my nose.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Embroidered Loveliness

It seems that Roman Catholics once made beautiful liturgical garments. Here are some of the more amazing pieces I saw and snuck pictures of when the nun wasn't looking. As a result a few of the Pictures are blurry

The details are among the most amazing I have ever seen. The nuns embroidery shop closed in 1968 when burlap came into fashion and their entire stick of silk thread was put into storage. As a result I bought 20 skeins of 60 year old silk that looks as bright as the day it was dyed. I don't do embroidery but one never knows what urge will next take me and it's not as though the silk is going to go bad in the next few decades.

Miscellaneous Grotto in Stearns County

Bottle Club

Wow Fisher's is a bottle club.

So apparently you bring your booze and if you are a valued customer they give you a locker to put it in between visits. The supper club sells "set ups" or everything in a mixed drink that isn't alcoholic. Apparently there is a separate easier to get license for this sort of establishment and it was once very common in MN.

Spunk Lake in Avon, MN. we arrived during Spunk Days and drove into town flanked by people in lawn chairs waiting for the parade to begin.

A Fairly Good Place For Quite Some Time

So my friend Dan has been telling me about Fishers Club in Avon, MN for the past year and tonight we are finally going to go there. Apparently the place is owned Gerrison Keilor and is somewhat legendary in these parts. It is located on Middle Spunk Lake and is only open in the summer owing to the fact that no one wants fried fish in a Minnesota Winter.

Here is the Menu.

Apparently the little place has a bit of charming history to it.

"George “Showboat” Fisher had just retired in 1932 from ten years of major league baseball, playing for the Washington Senators and the St. Louis Cardinals. He was 33, loved hunting and fishing, and didn't want to get tied down with a year-round job so he opened Fisher’s Club on the northeast shore of Middle Spunk Lake. The dance floor by the jukebox was added in 1937, and the sale of cold beer and playing of slot machines made the summer-only bar a popular place. So popular, that Showboat would spend most summer nights sleeping by the front door, with his shotgun and hunting dog as his only companions. This was to protect the day’s gambling takes.

Back then, ten-year-old George Jr. and his brothers Lewis and Dick would fish area lakes all week for Sunfish, Northerns, and Crappies, “Anything that would bite,” said Junior. His dad would give the fried fish away free at the bar until one summer night a savvy nightclub owner from St. Cloud walked in and told Showboat, “You should get walleye and sell it.” He took her advice, created a secret breading recipe, and the legendary Fisher’s Famous Walleye began. That recipe is used here today. It's still a secret, and no, we won't tell you what is in it."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Elias at Dog Camp

Elias went off to Dog camp while I was at my gathering this week and seemed to have a good time though he did get bit by another canine camper and needed to visit the vet. Here he is frolicking with the culprit; the large black dog.

And this is a rather beautiful stream in the back of the cabin he stayed at for the week.

So I accomplished a lot on the knitting side of things while camping in the Northwoods this past week. First I finished a megaltithic ruana which cements in my mind my distaste for bulky yarns. Worsted weight is where I draw the line. I'll have more photos of it later though it is the grey mass in the picture above. Second I finished another pair of Latvian Mittens. The pattern is 49 stitches across and fifty rows high. I did these on #2 DPs in Silky Wool, a yarn that may well be my favorite at the moment. I'm really fond of this color combination. They'll be going to my friend Dan as a parting gift. Now I need to decide if my first DC project will be a sweater or another lace shawl...

Monday, June 9, 2008

The view in the northwoods

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Saturday, June 7, 2008


Ella my new niece ; babies all look a bit lumpy. I'm just saying.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Mmmm This Sounds Tasty

The Splendid Table makes my heart happy.

Lynne's Renaissance Wine Syrup
May 31, 2008
Printable version
Copyright 2006 by Lynne Rossetto Kasper
Deep garnet colored, deep and lush in flavor, this syrup steps straight out of the banqueting scenes of Italy's golden age. Drizzle it over chocolate desserts, anything made with cream, from Panna Cotta to ice cream, and over seafood, meats, rice, pasta and vegetables. Don't be surprised by the spices. Yes, these were several of the plethora of unexpected spices which made food taste Italian in the era before the tomato and corn came from the Americas.
A little history: Glamour, magnificence, grandstanding and ruthless politicking hallmark banqueting in the Italian Renaissance. The food and the table were theater, art gallery, and power play all rolled into one. Only nobility could fling around rare finds and sugar and spice into nearly every dish they served.
Spicy syrups of all sorts gilded meats and seafood, meat pies and pastas, and even sweets. This recipe comes out of the court of the Este Dukes of Ferrara in the early 1500's. Then, Lucrezia Borgia reigned over the banquets of her husband, Alphonso, heir to one of the most powerful duchies of the north.

Cook to Cook: If using leftover wine, reduce amounts of other ingredients in proportion to the amount of wine you have.

6 whole cloves
1 generous tablespoon each whole fennel seeds and whole coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
1 bottle full-bodied red wine (3-1/4 cups) - Sangiovese, Zinfandel, Barolo, Cabernet Sauvignon
1-1/2 cups sugar
Generous pinch salt
1. Combine all the spices in a mortar or a blender of food processor. Bruise them to open up flavors, but don't totally crush them. Turn them into a 12-inch straight-sided sauté pan or skillet. Add the wine, sugar and salt.
2. Boil 10 minutes or until bubbles look glossy and your spoon or spatula leaves a narrow trail in the pan when you run it across the bottom. This shows the syrup is thick enough. As it boils, stir occasionally and scrape down the sides of the pan.
3. Set a fine strainer over a bowl, pour the syrup through it. Cool and refrigerate. Use at room temperature.


Now I wonder how long it keeps and whether lamb roasted in it would be tasty.

The Anglican Church in Zimbabwe

Just an interesting story from the BBC about what is going on between the pro Mugabe and opposition branches of the church in that country.

The US media hasn't been paying much attention to Zimbabwe but then it never pays much attention to Africa so I read the BBC instead.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

"The Shaker Cookbook" published in 1953 with the majority of recipes dating to the 1820's and 30's. There's a whole chapter on pickles which is rather exciting.