Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Ginger Ascendant


Simplicity is coming to our household. Especially to our mantel. My great grandmother’s precious cranberry glass pitcher—in the bookcase. My prized anniversary gift, crystal Frank Lloyd Wright candlesticks—waaaay back in the bookcase. Just about every thing that might possibly break—tucked away in a safe place.
            Because Ginger is ascendant. He’s taken up residence on the mantel, and he doesn’t always land there exactly where he planned. (He leaps from the tv stand or the library steps.) And why the sudden change in roosting place?
            Cold day comfort. At the urging of our daughter (nagging?) we have installed gas logs to warm up the chilly living room and, we hope, help with astronomical power bills. The room isn’t all that warms up. The fireplace bricks soak up heat and make the mantel “just right.” At least Ginger thinks so.
            I’ve left some few hard-to-break items. An Indonesian wooden head, the FLW chiming clock, a heavy (too heavy I hope) Chinese lamp, and Kuan Yin deep in the corner. She used to be on a lamp base, but Ginger decided that she’d be better freestanding—that was when she lived on an end table. She’s the goddess of compassion, so surely she’ll take pity and let me keep my possessions unbroken.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Brighter days ahead

I’m setting out to follow one New Year’s resolution. I’m going to shoot for blogging here a minimum of twice a week. I’ve promised myself and, much more important, I’ve promised my pal Linda. I cross my fingers.
January 20 seems like a bit late to be commencing on a resolution, but I’ve got cause. I’ve been sick with the-cold-from-hell. From New Year’s Day until last weekend I could do nothing but whine, sleep, and read—only now I can barely remember what I read! Now I’m in recovery, but not well yet. The Sunday beef soup was my first cooking effort of the year; I think it helped.
I know I’m not the only one to be laid low by this. My England-based son had it so bad that he perforated an eardrum. He reports that about everyone one in England and across Europe (he travels lots) is recovering or still suffering.
Linda, who lives in Massachusetts had it late in December. To think I thought—oh! right—when she said she’d been sick over two weeks. She was probably being conservative! Linda is an artist, an artisan, a craftswoman, lots of wonderful things. One, she quilts and then share her work on her blog. The squares become a visual journal. Here’s how she felt when she began to get well. She says it for me exactly! And she said I could post it here.

See it on her blog at , and then check out some of her other creations--all wonderful!

Now, for me, I’m on to brighter days and frequently blogging.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Local cooking, city style

Winter in Houston doesn’t mean piles of snow, trees full of ice, frozen roads. It means panic in the face of below 30 degrees F. and deep mourning over frostbitten plants. I’m no exception, but, hey!, every cloud has a silver or, at least, a yummy lining.

Last summer, was so proud of turning a parking lot front yard of a leased house into if not a bower at least a colorful, flowery place. No longer.

One day last week, I dragged my super-cold infected body to the front porch. Oh! Pain! And not from the cold. Into my clothes and out the door. I had to save my poor ornamental sweet potatoes. Harvest those tubers and root them for next year’s even better bower.

What a crop! I can’t root that many, and they look just like the potatoes at the market. Hmmm. Never heard that merely because they are called ‘ornamental’ they can’t be eaten too.

I’ve lived to tell the tasty tale. I concocted a fine kettle of soup using my city lot crop of sweet potato and rosemary, mixed with some beef, broth and noodles and served, appropriately enough in our winter snowman soup cups.

Local cooking, city style!

PS Help! How do I move pictures around in my text?