Eclipse Envy

Yeah, I admit it. I’m jealous of my many friends who are exiting north in search of the total solar eclipse that will sweep across the U.S. on Monday, August 21.

Indiana people, check out the map!  You’ll get about 86% at 2:24:37 in in Whitley County. But it will be 100% in Paducah, KY.  4 hours from Bloomington! Okay, still quite a commitment. Use this cool program from Vox to find out what it will be like where you are.   Here’s NASA’s map.

My good friend, Treacy, sent us an anniversary card with this amazing USPS stamp on it. This is as close as I’ll get to the totality.  But I’ll be outside on Monday at 10:21, you bet.

Dana pushed the video button on my phone and Dodger provided the creaky sound effects by sneaking into the kitchen cupboard while we were both occupied. Group effort!

If you go, you know I want to hear all about it!

 

 

Blue Apron #1

Blue Apron Whole Grain Pasta & Summer Vegetables, plus makings for a Caprese Salad

Anyone else curious about this? Thanks to my niece, Arispa, I received a free Blue Apron shipment. These are the ingredients for the first meal I tried. Note the adorable little packet of butter!

After much anticipation, the Blue Apron box arrived around 3pm on Friday.  I unpacked and took pictures, of course!

Condiments for the Yakiniku-Glazed Eggplant

The packaging is adorable, if not 100% effective. (More on this next time.) A couple of the cherry tomatoes went rogue and were squished among the rest of the contents.

Theirs.
Mine

Large portions. I’m okay with the difference except that there is more pasta to zucchini ratio in mine. 

My Caprese salad
Nice packaging.

The heirloom tomato was big and traveled well, but it was far from ripe. Actually crunchy on the other!

Decent meal. The salad was a nice touch. Lots of leftovers because thus doesn’t interest Hydra.

Not sure of the value of having to put the olives, especially since they tasted like regular black olives. Is be willing to work harder for kalamatas!

Hopefully,  I’ll post about the other two meals soon.  

Grape Haul

Must have picked 4 or 5 pounds of grapes from our vine today. Quite a nice surprise! There are about this many more waiting to ripen.

Just beautiful on the vine.

Dodger gets a kick out of picking them off the stem. Perfect size for him he ate 8-10 in one sitting!

Snowy Visitor

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Mom and I were sitting on the back deck the afternoon I arrived in Indiana. This pretty (homing?) pigeon watched us from the roof of the garage for a while.  Then she came down to check us out, though she wasn’t interested in the black sunflower seeds we offered her.

Mom says she looks like she was carved out of Ivory soap. And those red feet!

After a while she swooped through the yard and away over the fields, hopefully toward home!

25 Bookish Things About Me

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My most recent acquisitions. All about the art.

Thanks to LKD over at Gin & Lemonade – With a Twist for inadvertently giving me a really fun writing exercise for this lovely Saturday morning. You can read her elegant and funny list by clicking HERE.

  1. I don’t finish books that I’m not enjoying.
  2. This sometimes creates an embarrassing gap in my book list.
  3. I’ve kept a list of the books I read for probably three decades.
  4. I don’t usually give in to jealousy, but the green goblin squeezed my heart when I read about Pamela Paul’s My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Life Ensues.
  5. I will eventually have to read said book.
  6. I read most of my books on my Kindle Fire
  7. I read most of my fiction in bed, and I sleep better since the Kindle Fire, as it turns itself off and I don’t end up with the lights on all night.
  8. Most of what I read is borrowed from the library.
  9. I assuage my guilt about this by buying hard copies of books I like as gifts, mostly for my mother.
  10. I make a conscious effort to buy books because I know that the library won’t have new books if we don’t support publishing. Plus I love authors.
  11. The subject matter of most of the physical books I’ve bought recently is art inspiration/instruction, travel, history, and writing.
  12. Literary historical fiction is my favorite.
  13. I love the way that I find parts of myself even in books that seem to be about people very different from me, like Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese.
  14. Years ago, I decided to read books by both men and women, but to mostly buy books by women. I don’t mind if you judge me for this.
  15. I usually have 2-3 books in progress. Or four.
  16. I love when a book sweeps me off my feet like a lover who knows how to dance. These books never last quite long enough.
  17. I spent a lot of the summer between eighth and ninth grade reading The Count of Monte Cristo while sitting in the arms of a huge tree, congratulating myself on the fact that I really enjoyed it.
  18. I still like reading outside, but I seldom do so.
  19. I don’t have reading snacks like Lorna does, but if I did it would be coffee and chocolate. Or tea and homemade shortbread. Or iced tea and orange slices.
  20. I wrote a book and an agent shopped it around, and I’m deeply ashamed at how much the rejection rocked my faith.
  21. I have written more than 50,000 words on three additional books, but have not finished them. This still brings tears to my eyes.
  22. I have filled more than 50 notebooks since I started journaling when I was 13 (same age as Anne Frank). I know that they are nobody’s treasures but my own. I still write.
  23. The first authors I followed were Marguerite Henry and Ray Bradbury.
  24. I get a big thrill out of adding a new book to Goodreads.
  25. My Mom taught me that with a some effort what you read in books can lead to what happens in real life.

Okay, now tell me something bookish about you. Or make your own bookish list and post it on your blog or in the comments here.

I’m also so very open to book recommendations.  Pretty please?

Keeping the Peace

The planting instructions say that this Peace rose needs at least six hours of direct sunlight. I don’t think they had a Southern California heatwave in mind, though.

It’s 105 in the shade in the back yard, so goodness knows how hot it is on the west side of the house this afternoon. My smart mother suggested this easy fix!  I cut slits in an old busted up umbrella so the wind won’t catch it so easily and put it over the rose.

Temperatures are supposed to rise over 100 degrees every day for the next week.  Laying low on the edge of the desert.

Where There’s Smoke

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Samantha Fields talks about her process at the Museum of Art & History in Lancaster, CA on Tuesday, June 13, 2017.

Dana and I went to see the new MOAH exhibit “Made in the Mojave” with our friends Teresa and Mary last Saturday afternoon.  (Great new tradition, I hope!) I fell in love with Samantha Field’s work, especially these wildfire paintings, so I went back on Tuesday for her artist’s walk through.

She described how she does field research on storms and fires, how she preps each canvas with layer upon layer of superfine acrylic paint to create a smooth base. Some of the many photographs and sketchbooks she works from, including ones bordered by paint color samples, were on display.  She talked about the many layers of superfine paint with which she builds each image.

It was interesting, in spite of all the evidence, to hear some of the questions and comments from the assembled group that strove to confirm that making art is a matter of divine inspiration, inaccessible to most people.  I’m just an observer, but it seems that there is movement toward demystifying the creation of art these days. The curator, in her introduction to the exhibit, talked about the “makers” represented rather than the “artists.” I’ve heard this terminology before. We can all imagine ourselves making something.

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You think you know what you’re looking at in Fields’ work, and then a pair of headlights catches your eye. The world shifts. This, to me, is the secret of desert landscapes in life. You have to spend some time with them to understand them.

A few of us hung out after most of the crowd left to explore the rest of the museum. One young artist challenged Fields’ use of canvas rather than more modern, already smooth surfaces.

She explained that she hasn’t found anything more archival or flexible than canvas, even though she has to do so much to prepare it for her purposes. She once sold a large piece to a corporate client; it had to be taken off the frame and rebuilt in the space because of a narrow stairway. That couldn’t have happened with a rigid base.

Fields also told how a friend sold work done on a rigid surface. It went to a home in Malibu where the humidity caused the paint to bubble and slough off.  Heart-breaking!

“These,” she grinned, gesturing at her work, “Will be here in a thousand years!”