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I'm looking forward to Coronet this weekend. It's always nice when the site is so close to us. The dance competition will be Danse De Cleves (also called hearts and flowers). This version is close to what we do, but their style is a bit more choppy (punctuated? I can't find the right word to describe it).
Whedon hits it out of the park again with this very slightly anti-Trump get-out-the-vote commercial. I'm glad I saw that before I turn off the internet and TV until after the election. Seriously, did the earth slip into some alternate dimension? Did a radioactive comet get to close? Where did our sanity go?
We didn't get many tomatoes out of the garden this year, partly (I suspect) because of the squirrels breaking the branches and partly because of the drought. Most of hardier herbs seem to be surviving, which is nice.
Most of you may have seen it on facebook, but the site for Perfectly Period Feast (Burgundy) has been reserved. It's the girl scout camp we've used for some of the West Coast Culinary Symposiums, Camp Bothin (3125 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Fairfax California 94930). Pretty site with cabins that have bunks and showers!
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I love the spring. I planted tomatoes and herbs last weekend. A ladybug landed on my glasses yesterday walking back from the gym. The hawk that lives in the stand of trees across from my office was out flying in lazy circles this morning, and it looks like her mate has joined her. On the downside, dandelions are everywhere and every plant is gettin' their freak on. Even in the filtered air of my office I'm sneezing my fool head off.
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http://xkcd-rss.livejournal.com/344879.html Ouch. I haven’t updated this journal in a while, not because of facebook, but because my evil day job has eaten my brain. I don’t want to write about work, because if I let it spill over I fear there will be nothing else.
So here’s the not-work Friday Five (Wednesday wobbles?)
Dance: We’re about to move to our summer venue in Sunnyvale for 2nd and 4th Wednesdays. Let me know if you need directions. The 1st, 3rd and 5th Wednesdays are in Menlo Park.
Art: I’ve been a total slacker about the trencher project; partly because work’s been so crazy when I get home in the evening I can’t bear to spend any more time staring at a computer screen. I’ve been testing wafer recipes, and most of them were popular at the cook’s playdate last weekend. I’m going to try some of the waffle recipes. I made some marzipan waffles based on a late 16th century German cookbook and they were really good.
Garden: I’ve got the tomatoes in, and hope to plan some more basil this weekend. The violets have gone crazy, growing in every spot that has dirt. They’ve even taken over the cracks in the patio. The irises did not have a very impressive year. I need to figure out how to feed them. The plum tree looks like it will have a good year. It’s covered in fetal plums already.
Diet: I’m still down 50 pounds from my start weight. I’m hoping to do one last round of the crazystupiddiet this summer (after we get home from vacation in the land of poutine) and lose another15 pounds to get down to my long-term goal weight. It’s been 2 years, 6 months, 13 days since I started on this path. It’s been interesting. I made low-carb pizzas by putting toppings on portabella mushrooms last night. I really liked it, so I’ll try to add that to the repertoire of maintenance foods. Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] learnteach, [livejournal.com profile] gormflaith and [livejournal.com profile] lifeofglamour who have inspired me to stay on the path.
Happy: I’ve seen three swallowtail butterflies already this summer. There’s a tiny red hummingbird living in the trees between me and lady next door. The hawk that lives on the airbase near work was picking up twigs a few weeks ago, and the other day I saw her flying with a companion. My parents have sold their house and are moving to Iowa (this is mixed-happy, I think it will be good for them, but I’m worried about them moving got the land of snow). After having grown up in an era when sun-bathing was just something teen girls did, I’m happy to say the dermatologist said I’m perfect. I think I’m finally getting to the place where I actually like going to the gym. And of course, I have the best husband in the universe, which makes everything better.
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1. Go Celtics! Beat them as only Lakers should be beaten! I hope Garnett's shoulder gets better before the game on Sunday.
2. Rosie and Godric gave me a dozen duck eggs at Investiture. They are large and pretty, but at the moment, I can't seem to tell the difference between them and chicken eggs. Last weekend GM and I made Huevos Ivar  )for breakfast, one batch with chicken eggs and one batch with duck and even side-by-side I wasn't sure. The Duck eggs might have a little more yolk to fat ratio. This morning I made Grandma Koehler's coffee cake, and it had no noticeable differences for being ducky. I'm still grateful for the duck eggs, as I'd been wondering how much difference eggs might make. I still want to get some goose eggs next time Whole Foods has them.
3. ermine_rat, I've got a CD of knife pictures, please don't let me forgot it give it to you this weekend.
4. A new-to-the-West dance teacher popped up on the dance list. She's out in Golden Rivers and wants to start teaching. I hope she succeeds, I've been feeling a little guilty the West Kingdom College of Dance is so mists-centric.
5. The tomatoes have all got flowers, and the early girl and the cheery tomato plant both have little green berries already. The basils are doing well, and are trying to flower. The flower bed is in dire need of weeding, I hope to get to that next Sunday. The tarragon is trying to take over it's corner of the world, as are the sages. Good thing they aren't close together.
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Garden: GM and I skipped Beltane for no particular reason other than we were tired and needed a weekend off. I'm a little sorry we missed it, but on the upside I planted all the basil A'isha gave me. I dug a lot of weeds out of the herb garden and some out of the flower bed. I planted some peas, but I need to put some strings out for them to climb on. Perhaps I'll get to that tonight.
Pig: Last week I finally got possession of the pig I'd put a down payment on last January. He (she? who knows?) was 175 pounds of cleaned weight. I met with co-conspirator [livejournal.com profile] vittoriosa for a How to Cut Up a Pig Class. Loren, The Rib King and Professor of Mad Knife Skillz, does not have power tools so I discovered an unexpected benefit of home ownership: I can saw things up. Sawing through bone is easier than I thought it would be. While I'm pretty sure The Rib King alone would have taken my pig part in two hours, it took vittoriosa and I four hours to get Mr Pig in pieces, and get those pieces bagged and tagged. We put some effort into saving every piece* and having eaten the risotto [livejournal.com profile] madbaker made from the broth of roasted piggy bones, I think it was worth it. I'm not sure I'll want to cut the pig apart myself next year, it was a considerable effort, and kinda freaky. GM and I had pork chops for dinner on Friday, pork shank with sauerkraut for lunch on Saturday, and we're going to have tongue in Madeira sauce for an appetizer tonight. Tuesday dinner is going to be kidneys (or possibly Chinese take-out, we'll see). My parents are coming up in the next week or two for a visit, perhaps we'll have one of the pork roasts then. 
Cool Link: David Wong's How 'The Karate Kid' Ruined The Modern World  
Self-Congratulations: I'm patting myself on the back for remembering to send my grandmother a box of chocolates before mother's day, but I still need to figure out what to get my mom. Perhaps I'll just send her home with a lasagna after her visit. I also need to get various things into the mail. Maybe tomorrow.
Art: GM and I will be teaching "Table Manners and Table Service in Early Modern England" at A&S (June 11-13th at Ed Levin Park in San Jose, CA).

* It just occurred to me: there was no penis, so maybe we had a girl-pig.

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It's amazing how quickly our "free" weekends fill up with things to do. Especially since next weekend is going to be spent entirely in the car.
cut for kindness )
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1. Excuses why I haven't posted lately: My last lasagna was a total fail, and I've had a mental block about writing any other post until I did that one. It was sorta-based on this recipe, and it just wasn't good.

2. Stuff that's dull for anyone but me: Family health foo is continuing. We're going to visit GM's dad and brother for Easter. As far as I know Dad's unchanged, but the brother's refusing to talk about his last round of testing for ....whatever it is he's got that he underwent the nasty bone-marrow-killing chemo for. Both our moms are better, from surgery and accidents respectively, which is good news. Our short-haired cat, Cassie, is chasing moths in heaven. Fortunately the long-haired cat, Gypsy, does not seem depressed or agitated by her companion's absence.

3. The Garden: I picked about 20 snails out of the garden Wednesday morning. Strangely, a lot of them were in the rosemary and the lavender. Perhaps the snail community has learned the fennel is not a safe place. I've got three tomato plants in, and 'A'isha has promised to bring me her extra basil this weekend. I'm thinking of filling the space near DogLady's fence with sage plants. there's a lot of different kinds/colors of sage, and they seem to be doing well there.
The irises in the front yard are doing well.

4. Recent events: I had a good time at Crown. I wish the dance ball had been able to start a little earlier, but that wasn't unexpected. We did all dances scheduled, but due to the lateness of the hour, didn't really get to any of the unscheduled dances. Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] gormflaith who was pressed into service as a much-needed drummer.
I was totally impressed with the Heralds and Lists getting us through an 83 fighter list before dark. Wow.

5. Projects: I keep trying to kick myself into gear about the PPF2 coming up in November, but all my project-brain is getting eaten by the Trencher/Posey project. I'm not sure why I find it so fascinating. A friend has promised me space to hang it on his website, so right now I'm trying to figure out the best way to present information. I'm headed to the SF library this weekend to check one last woodworking source. I'm thinking about trying to make at least one set that's an SCA version of the Labours of the Months, loosely based on a set by Crispin de Passe the Elder. There's a set in the British Museum, but my search-the-database-skills seem to be lacking this morning.
We've had a new girl at dance practice for a few weeks, which is nice. If we can get 10-12 people consistently this summer I'd like to try Battaglia again.
I'm going to try making crabcake-stuffed salmon for dinner tonight.

ETA 6: I need to get one of those fancy little phones that surf the web and show videos so the next time someone uses the term costume-nazi (or similar) in my presence I can force them to watch Hitler finds out Americans are calling each other Nazis.

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GM and I did end up going to South Dakota last weekend. The visit to my brother's family went smoothly, and we all went to the WalMart portrait studio to get a picture taken. Mission Accomplished. We also went to see my eldest nephew in a community theatre production of Fiddler on Roof.

This weekend, GM's in Wisconsin at the Ring of Steel reunion. RoS is his old stage-combat troop. I hope he's having fun. I know I'm old&dull now; I woke up Saturday morning and realized the only constraint on my behavior (other than G-d and peer-like qualities) was 2,355 miles away and my next thought was ooo! I could have egg salad for lunch!

I made a veggie lasagne for next weekend {the usual sauce and no-boil noodles 1) drained ricotta with goat cheese, thin-sliced garlic, sliced zucchini, 2) cheese, pesto, chopped artichokes, chopped white-only leeks  3) portabella mushrooms cooked down with shallots, milk, and provolone, 4) chopped fresh basil, cheese, green garlic-stuffed olives, fresh tomatoes}. I also made Alton Brown's crepes. They are sadly disappointing.

The garden is in a terrible state. I've paid little attention to it all summer and the weeds are taking over the herb garden. Even more unhappily, last Monday I went out to look at the plum tree and thought "I should pick those this weekend" and when I went out Saturday morning, they were all gone. Not sure if it was the squirrels or the birds but not a single plum is left on the tree. 

GM's brother Peter is headed our way for a visit. I'm looking forward to seeing him, even though I have a small selfish wish he was coming in a less busy week. We're teaching a class in Cloondara on Tuesday, and I'm hoping that's the same day Peter will want to go to the city.

I like working from home. You see different things during the day than you do in the morning and evening. When you lean back at your desk to stretch you can think, in your best Wesley voice "My G-d what is that thing?", before running off to get the extensible duster.

Vignettes

Jun. 24th, 2009 08:33 pm
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I trimmed the herb garden this morning. Something is killing the snails. I hope it’s the birds fulfilling the circle of life and not my gardener taking it up himself to put snail bait out.

Dance camp is next week. I had hoped my sorting though the language and patterns of Playford’s dances would yield something interesting, but no. I’m looking forward to taking classes on the Gresley manuscript. I need to pack. I need to remember to pack my dance shoes.

My mother wants us to fly to middle-of-nowhere South Dakota so she can have a family photo op. I don’t really want to go, but it looks like I have to.

I sanded down two rooms in practically perfect apprentice’s new house, in preparation for painting. Fortunately I had brought over the shop-vac. I got to say the words no Laurel should say: “Apprentice! Come suck me off!” Paint dust is tiny, and sticky. Karma was served when I tripped over a curb unloading the car. Ker-splat!

I got to take a class on the 7 Worthies at A&S. The presenter started with an assumption of student knowledge I didn’t have, but it was a good class anyway. I so need to re-read the Decameron, and maybe Canterbury Tales too.

I think I had a better time at Crown than I have in a long time. Hardly any responsibilities; and I got to go to the coolest dinner ever. The Wulfheim household put on a 14th century dinner. _Way_ cool. And by tomorrow, I should be done with the laundry.

I just know I’ve seen a c1440-1480(?) painting of a woman in a garden , blowing bubbles. I can’t find it and it’s making me crazy. I dug through all the garden pictures project on GM"s computer, so maybe it's saved on a CD somewhere. I'll try to find it after dance camp.

I’d really like to know what’s going on, politically, in the kingdom, but I suspect I’m happier in ignorance.

I got bounced from donating blood this week. I'm faintly annoyed, it would have been my 4-gallon mark for this center.

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For weeks I've been having major envy of a woman I've never met, but who has a garden with lots of irises already blooming. She lives a few blocks from me, and I pass her garden every morning on my way to work. But when we got home from crown last weekend I finally saw a stem with a soon-to-be flower on it. I went out and counted last night and I have 13 iris heads waiting to bloom. I'm so happy. I was worried, between the late planting and the transplant trauma I wouldn't get any irises this year. So far, they look like they will all be purple.
In other garden news, I think I'm going to move all the Easter lilies aver to the little plot near the fence. I really want them away from the food plants. I think I'll plant something colorful around them, maybe snap dragons

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I'm feeling faintly proud of myself in that I've actually got some of the tomatoes and basil in the garden already. It's a bit early to have planted the tomatoes, but I knew if I didn’t get it done last weekend, it wouldn't get done until after collegium which is a little too late. I put in a Early Girl and a Brandywine, and promised myself I'll take more care pruning them this year. I still want to get a cherry tomato in for GM.

The perennial herbs (several sages, English thyme, fennel, rosemary, sorrel, oregano, St John's wort, lavender, and the little winter savory) have been trimmed into near-submission. The annuals (currently basil, dill chives and cilantro) and in the ground, and I still have space left for more.

The white rose bush in the corner of the herb garden has survived another winter. I've been trying to prune out all the dead parts. It's been neglected pretty badly. But I need to get more light and air into the herbs, so it's going to get a major whacking.

I need to spend some time in the flower patch, it's covered in pine needles and needs weeding. The violets are blooming and the woodruff is taking over the world.

The front yard irises are alive, but not blooming. I fear the transplanting trauma may keep them subdued this year. I've been envying the iris patch one of my neighbors has. It's blooming already.

I keep wanting to try to get more grass to grow in the back yard, but I'm pretty sure I won’t be able to keep it alive this summer. I hope we get more rain so we don’t have too much water rationing. Maybe I'll just go to the gym every day so I can shower there.

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They are really more gelatinous blobs.
I've got slime mold. Last night I went out to collect snails (got a half a quart size ziplock, a few of them were very big) and found several colorless blobs. Yuck. I scooped them up and put them in the bag with the snails. Does anybody know how to prevent them from coming back? 
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I've never watched the presidential inauguration before, I'm not sure why. I watched President Obama* take the oath of office this morning, mostly because it was on the TV screens at work. I set the Tivo to record the festivities, and maybe I'll watch it tonight, or at least let it run while I fuss about the house this evening.

Watching was a rather emotional moment, but I suspect that's partly because I was imagining Bush being taken away in chains. That's really too much to hope for, but I still nurture a small hope he'll pay for his illegal and immoral actions.  While I'm wishing, I should buy a lotto ticket so I can pay for my grandmother's medical care.

Speaking of bushes, I finally took the hedge trimmer to the mess out behind Rat's old shed. It's down to the stems-to-big-to-cut-through again. I really want to pull out the stumps, but they are so close to the fence I fear Sally (the dog next door) will start digging under the fence (again!) if I disturb that much dirt. 
The plum tree looks like it's going survive another year.
The ivy is way, way up in the oak tree. I'm going to have to get a bigger ladder to get it out.
Next Sunday, if I'm alive at all after the dance ball, I need to pull the weeds out o fthe herb garden before they get any bigger.

 

*President Obama! I love typing that.

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I had a nice weekend. Friday night I made two batches of brownies, and a batch of the dates-stuffed-with-marcona-almonds-and wrapped-in-prosciutto ("crack" for short, it's[info]j_i_m_r's horribly addictive recipe) because it was my turn to bring after-church snacks on Sunday.
Saturday morning I made the cheese bread from Guter Spise, but I left the kitchen before the timer went off and the bread was a little ...dark on the bottom by the time I got back to it. Oops. The cheesey top was still good. GM and I will have to eat it because I can't take bad food to church. They've been so impressed with my MadCookingSkillZ, and I hate to disappoint. I was kinda bummed about the food fail, because I get an inordinate amount of amusement in feeding medieval/renaissance recipes to mundane audiences. They really liked the ginger tarts from Epulario and the Ember Day tarts from Ancient Cookery at the brunch earlier this month.
Saturday afternoon GM and I went to a wedding. It was a very nice affair, comfy chairs, pretty site and a ceremony that seemed very personalized and meaningful to the principals. I like weddings. The caterers did another version of j_i_m_r's crack, cream cheese stuffed prunes wrapped in bacon and broiled. Mmmmm. There was a curried chicken tea sandwich I want to try to recreate.
Sunday I woke up early. I pared the brie and covered it with pesto and pine nuts, cut the grapes into the little bunches and stacked up the cheese and salami crackers. I couldn't decide what to do with the other brie, so I ended up covering it with chopped sun dried tomatoes. Maybe for the next party I'll do a mix of sun dried tomatoes and olive tapenade. The snacks seemed to go well and the crack was really popular, but next year I need to remember to take the brownies out of the pans. They were a bit stuck for the dexterity of desperate children. Other mental notes for next time, only one pound of milled carrots, but two boxes of crackers (triscuts or wheat thins) per pound of brie. And three pans of brownies.
Sunday afternoon I pulled the tomatoes, the marjoram and the evil basil out of the garden and harvested the first of the last of the good basil. Sniffle. The end of basil season is always sad. But there's a whole bag in the freezer for making festive holiday lasagnas. I was about to pull out the oregano, but GM argued there was no reason not to leave it until we can plant another one. I took all the dead bits out of the lovage, it might stay another year, but I think's doomed. I've not eaten much of it, and it takes a sunny spot. Soon I must trim the lavender and the rosemary. Hopefully I'll get some more gardening in next Sunday.
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Somebody, but lord help me if I can remember who, asked me about blackberry removal. learnteach's recent post reminded me. Normally I'd say trim the vines back as far as you can and dig out the rootballs. However, if you are looking for the nuke-it-from-orbit option, you need to get a bottle of Ortho BrushBeGone. It's really nasty shit, so follow the directions carefully, make sure there's no wind and wear gloves. You can get bottles of it at places like OSH or Home Despot, but have a plan on how you are going to get it home. Layer in several bags, or put it in an old bucket. Buy the smallest amount you can, you don't need much and your city might not let you put it in the trash.
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This morning's bag was 14 snails, a bunch of little slugs and two monstrous slugs. They weren't the bright yellow of banana slugs, so I either have leaf-colored mutant banana slugs or they just weren't ripe yet. I hate big slugs. The little ones I can just sacrifice a leaf from the plant they are on, but the big ones were on the ground where I had to touch their ickyness. These are the first monstrous ones I've found in my yard. I always thought they liked the moister air of sirst's garden. The slugs are on the move. It must be a sign of global warming.

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I like nearly all of Vincent Van Gogh's paintings of flowers, but the ones I like the best all have irises in them, like Irises at the Getty in LA and Vase with Irises against a Yellow Background in the Rijksmuseum. Thanks to Elisabeth René de Champagne the space under the roses will soon be full of Irises!

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I swear, my tomato plants grew 6 inches over the weekend. I was looking at them last Thursday, thinking if they were just a bit taller, I could force them up to the next wire on the tomato cage, and on Sunday the little buggers were past the expected wire. All leaves and hardly any fruit, I guess I should start trimming them back. Smoke in the air over the weekend from the fire down near Santa Cruz must have been good for all the plants, as the lovage is also trying to take over space from the chives, and the basils are popping out flowers.

A&S was a good event. Vyncent looked fabulous, I finally met the charming husband of

[profile] ldyanna, and my practically perfect apprentice was awarded with a Court Barony! Which is the best of all possible awards--shinny hat, cool title, and no meetings!

 

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Now that the herb garden is (mostly) planted, it's time to look at the flower garden. 
In the shady garden, the Foxglove went feral, and now I've got five small foxgloves, they are quite pretty. I've been hoping for several years it would reproduce, I'm not sure what inspired it this year. On the other hand, they are now blocking any sunlight from the boneset daisies and the cute little pink thing GM gave me last February.  The irises are happy and productive. The darwinistic battle between the violets and the woodruff is not yet resolved. 
The roses are blooming in the sunny garden, but I'd like to put something in with them to cover the dirt. It's a bright and hot spot, and does not get much water from the sprinklers. But we do remember to water the roses, so it's possible something would survive. I'm tempted to put tomatoes and peppers out there, even though it's the front yard and I'd be breaking the social contract of suburbia. I tried to cover that ground with strawberries a few years ago, but they did not survive. Suggestions?
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Last night I added some fertilizers and soil amendments to the herb garden and turned most of the soil over. I've got two tomatoes, an Ace and an Early Girl, in the ground. I moved the two non-tasty sage plants (white sage and another type I can't remember right now) to the planter between the hottub and DogLady's fence so if I send GM to the garden for ingredients he won't come back with the wrong leaves. This year I should make the plant map I keep promising him. The earthworms seem to be flourishing. 
This year's weirdness is that neither OSH nor HomeDespot had basil plants. Is there some basil drought I am woefully ignorant of?  I'll try the fancy plant place and the farmers' market this weekend, in case there is anything interesting, but I really need some basils.  

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