Thursday, February 25, 2016

JANUARY BIRTHDAYS



I’ve missed mentioning a lot of the holiday and everyday gatherings, and this is the Sunday dinner for the celebration of our three January birthdays.

Ganner is the Grill-MASTER.




Crunchy veggies with two dips





Low-cooked Snap Beans with Baby Yukons.





Three-Cheese Shells:







We served for the first time on the new kitchen counter (see my luscious pink walls!), cause we needed both tables for the crowd.   And since I meant to serve the hot things from the stove, and moved them over for convenience, we served from my pretty pots.

The green stuff is Watergate Salad, as opposed to Green PINK Salad---a whole 'nother palate palette---and there are olives and pickled beets.




Sweet Potato Casserole




Mandarin/Romaine/Vidalia Salad




And a surprise for all the Kiddos:  A big pot of Ganner’s Summer-cut Cream-Corn, put in a big Tupperware and frozen the minute it finished cooking last July.   It was marked “January” so we could share it all together.




There was a big Red Velvet Birthday Cake with all three names, and Homemade Vanilla ice cream.

Thank goodness there were four lively GRANDS in the house, or I swear we'd have all gone to sleep in our chairs. 

And a link to PINK.


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

SOUNDS IN THE NIGHT



Chris was away on a service call yesterday which stretched WAY into the night over in Illinois, and I don’t sleep well when he’s not at home.  The sounds of a quiet house are vast and different---the quiet shussssh and click of the clear cubes falling in the ice-maker, the faithful real tick-tock of the pendulum on the den clock, the whoooosh of the furnace clicking on at its needed intervals.

And there was a slow, soothing rain out there beyond my window, coupled with enough breeze to keep a constant tune amongst all the wind-chimes in the eaves.   The raindrops must have been enormous spattery ones, like one of those Summertime rains which tempts you out onto the porch to tuck your feet beneath you in the swing, enjoying the movement of the swing and dance of the drops.  Remember those stolen hours, with the rain just a hands-breadth away through the porch screen, and how you had to wipe an errant splash or two from your book?  And how that simple bit of weather changed the tenor of the day into something strange and memorable by the snug rarity of it? 

Image result for old porch swing


I could hear the rain landing on the patio, and in great thummms onto the “rain-tub”---Chris' idea---a #3 washtub  turned upside down just outside the window, to make almost the same music as Mammaw’s tin roof.   And occasionally in the night, the clops onto the big blue tarp thrown over the snow-blower after the last use last week were like intermittent herds of little horses, in a slow trot across my dreams.

Long about four-by-the-bedside-clock, the whole experience was complete, as I snuggled into all the pillows to the familiar call of a faraway train.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

HOW THEY LINGER IN MY MIND . . .

 


I’ve had a tune running through my mind this morning, as I find myself humming the verse and not being able resist breaking right out into a low-voice chorus.  Of course, by then, I’ve lost track of the Longmire CD that’s accompanying my kitchen chores, and I have to seek out the little remote with soapy hands once again. 

Maybe it’s what they’d call  a "catchy tune," and maybe it’s the words and rhythm of the story that are providing sound-track to my day.   And memory, as well, for I’ve sat in little small-town bars to listen to the band, or to have an evening of dancing with friends and strangers, my face pressed to the crisp starchiness of a cowboy shirt, or being two-stepped around a crowded, swirling floor of boots and skirts and saved-for-special jeans, with the scents of Polo and Shalimar and Brut wafting us along like the music of a carousel. 

And there WERE the lonelies, the drink-hoverers, the eager-eyed too-flash women past a prime of their own choosing, most of them filling-the-hours til the drink or tired or sadness sent them home to a depthless sleep and  the blast of SundayMorning.

As I've said before, ain't no poets like them as write Country Songs.






Sunday, February 21, 2016

WHAT'S IN A NAME?








I've always been fascinated by the terms for groups of animals or birds.  

Some of these must have been kindled by the sun-drenched ennui of idle poets on a Summer’s day.  I can just see a velvet-jacketed Shelley or Burns, elbow-propped in a pollened meadow, scribbling down lofty and more improbable nouns as the day wore on, chortling at their own wit.   Well, maybe not Shelley---he was never much of a chortler, I’d think, and most likely reached his apogee rhyming “wert”  with “heart.”

Or maybe the Hellfire Club, sitting around drunk on a havoc-less off-night, when the Dogs of War had slipped clean out the pet door to howl, leaving them bored and peevish as petulant children, shouting out odd, disjointed words. 

I declare, some of these are downright unfathomable, and others, the absolute personification of the raucous, the avaricious, the greedy, the charming, and the stunningly beautiful:


A Shrewdness of Apes
A Sleuth of Bears
An Obstinacy of Buffalo
A Bellowing of Bullfinches
A Wake of Buzzards
A Pounce of Cats
A Bask of Crocodiles
A Murder of Crows




An Aerie of Eagles
A Memory of Elephants
A Cast of Falcons
A Charm of Finches
A Flamboyance of Flamingoes
A Skulk of Foxes
A Skein of Geese in flight sounds ever-so-much more graceful than a Gaggle on the ground, don’t you think?
A Tower of Giraffes
An Implausibility of Gnus
A Glint of Goldfish
A Leash of Greyhounds
A Muddle of Guinea Pigs
A Kettle of Hawks
An Array of Hedgehogs  

 

A Bloat of Hippopotamuses
A Charm of Hummingbirds
A Cackle of Hyenas
A Scold of Jays
A Cling of Koalas
An Exaltation of Larks
A Leap of Leopards
A Loveliness of Ladybugs






A Lounge of Lizards
A Tidings of Magpies
A Bamboo of Pandas
A Pandemonium of Parrots
An Ostentation or Pride of Peacocks
A Pomp of Pekinese
A Gulp of Pelicans
A Creche of Penguins
A Bouquet of Pheasants




A Puddle of Platypus
A Prickle of Porcupines
A Gaze of Raccoons
An Unkindness of Ravens, or a Storytelling, but I hear their vocabularies are quite limited.
A Stubbornness of Rhinoceroses
A Parliament of Rooks
A Harem of Seals
An Exultation of Skylarks
A Murmuration of Starlings
An Ambush of Tigers
A Pitying of Turtledoves
A Blessing of Unicorns




And my absolute favorite, charming and true in its imagery:

A KALEIDOSCOPE of Butterflies:.




Monday, February 15, 2016

VALENTINE BRUNCH




A few scenes from our Valentine Brunch yesterday---Sweetpea set the table, and you can tell she had a free hand with the d├ęcor.   Somehow, about ten Princesses arrived with her in a pink bucket, and she scattered them around like place-cards.   Hers is the place with the goblet and Belle, and Ganner’s spot next to her has both Pocahontas and Mulan, for having so much in common to talk about---the outdoorsmanship and hunting and building that wall, and all.





All the rest is just us gathering for a good breakfast and talking non-stop.   Isn’t it wonderful how you can become exponentially more witty and smart in the company of certain people, and the puns and jokes and rated-G entendres were certainly flying yesterday.

We did enjoy it all for perhaps three hours until  that pesky snow storm sent our lovies home much too soon. We had just finished that lovely brunch up at Caro's half of the house, with all sorts of fruit and pastries and supreme scrambled eggs and bacon and grits, a sublime potato dish and nibbles from everybody's candy boxes, as well as unwrapping countless goodies and sweets and fun things from our treasure-bags, when the snow started in for REAL, going sidewise across the windows.  We'd just been watching the starlings and cardinals diving headfirst into the enormous Weather Bush (great big old evergreen shrub, round as a a tall green igloo, and apparently quite the haven amongst all the naked trees and bushes around the yard), and there seemed to be quite a kerfuffle of them in there, like an inside-out Christmas tree, raucous and shivery.

Looking out the windows was like a boozeless cruise in 10-Forward, with gigantic white cornflakes warping past our view.








We'd been talking and sipping and nibbling chocolate, talking our heads off and debating just a TASTE of those gorgeous pink rose-decorated cupcakes and maybe one more of the enormous strawberries---just laughing like loons and enjoying the fast and furious wit and fun. And then the wet blanket---FROZEN wet blanket, covering us like a beautiful cloud, and causing a reluctant-but-necessary exit in order to get home "before it really sets in," as it was projected for another five or six hours of the heavy stuff.





Caro called these “manky cupcakes,” after a Harry Potter reference to food, for they were demure and charming when she boxed them at work, and then they seemed to have shrugged off their petticoats en masse, on their way home, like naughty girls out from beneath Mama's eye, and ready to Charleston.





Everybody’s favorite---warm bacon-wrapped dates.  It’s a wonder there were any left for the picture, for we all snitched a few right off the cookie sheet.











So they texted "safe home," with quite an assortment of goodies and leftovers for their supper, as we stacked some dishes, wiped a counter, settled in with our NOOKS and Netflix Longmire, for the enclosing afternoon.   Cozy, zany, colourful FAMILY day, blizzardy cold outside, and rich as truffles within.





Thursday, February 11, 2016

FLAT STANLEY AKA HONEY



Our niece Honey sent us her “Flat Traveler” last week---the newer version of Flat Stanley, made by the sender in her own self-portrait.

We were asked to make her clothing “to fit our climate and activities,” and so Sweetpea and her Mama and I sat down on Saturday and cooked her up a tee-ninecy wardrobe to befit some of the places we wanted to take her, as well as a few outfits just to represent things in our state. 

She wore her little parka to make a snowman in our backyard.


As well as to bundle up warm for the FREEZING winds of downtown on the circle for a tour of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument:








Our wonderful Symphony Hall (wish it had been evening, for it’s splendiferous with all the marquee lights).
 


See how cold it was?---the buffalo fountain-spouts are frozen.  We were just trying to keep our noses from freezing in that FOUR degrees, and our little guest from flapping in the wind---it was Kick-Ice COLD, folks!
 


  
We went on a short tour out at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, with Honey in her little race outfit.






With some of the 265,000 permanent seats in the distance.   Another 165,000 are set up in the infield on Race Day---can you IMAGINE being in the middle of 400,000 yelling, cheering fans as those race-cars roar around the track?
 



And some of her little outfits for the week in Indy.   Amazing what you can do with imagination, a little Google, a Box of 96 Crayolas, and a pair of manicure scissors.  
 







This last one was because we all wore our orange T-shirts on Sunday.  And because PEYTON.

 





Flat Honey is in the mail with her new wardrobe (and minus Stanley’s grilled cheese and toothbrush tube of milk) headed back home to show her second grade all the sights.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

THIS IS HOW I . . . .



This is a lot like how I look when I wake up, folks, with a big old turkey-tail of pillow-head.   Only not with the cute, alert eyes and precious face.

I look in that mirror some days and see my Mother, and other days, it’s like one of those age-progression things they do to find lost people, and I mutter to myself:

Pebbles Flintstone, AS SHE’D LOOK TODAY!!!

Stay warm this snowy day, friends.