Everything sublime is as difficult as it is rare. Baruch Spinoza

Friday, June 30, 2023

Turkey Walk

There were seven turkeys ambling through the yard yesterday. I didn't have a good vantage point for a photo, this is the best I could do, capturing three through a screen. It has been at least a decade since I've seen turkeys, they were abundant at one time. I was pleased as punch to see them.

I make a point of staying away from politics, not because I think it's best but because I get so distraught I feel I shouldn't spend much time on it. I cannot avoid mentioning the so-called Supreme Court. Back to the fifties and not the music. Yesterday and today....it's sure not a brave new world. 

On a lighter note.... last evening I asked Mark to bring me my phone, telling him it's on the center island. He quipped, is it now the phoney island. Oh, my god. I married him, what can I say.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Howard and Murphy

Why I Love Bassets

In Pictorial Form


Drooly, yeasty beasties. Splatter paint the walls every time they shake their head. Demanding, endearing. Stubborn. Did I say stubborn? They are living, breathing cartoons. I am happy to have known them. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

All Quiet in the Western Metro

It's quiet here. Quite quiet. Keetah barked a lot and moved around the house, laid in doorways, generally took up a lot of space, both in the house and in our heads. We worried about her. I've always had cats, but my dogs were where my attention went. Having cats without dogs, starting in 2018, allowed me to know them in a way I'd never before taken the time to. Gatto misses Keetah. He is now mirroring her behavior with Mark. When Keetah heard the screen door open she would run to greet Mark. Now, Gatto is doing the same. He's off like a rocket, meowing as he goes. They are all clingy. Mark has a new dog in cat form.

It's been awhile since I graced this page with a food photo, so I think it's fitting that this is one of soup. Considering how hot it has been soup has not been on the menu. It's still hot, but just mid-80s hot. We both enjoyed it. I won't be making my Aldi trip this week. Mark has to get his CPE (continuing professional education) done by the 30th, so the BIG trip is postponed till next week. Alas, my debut must wait.

He may miss his girl, but Gatto is finding time for those much needed catnaps. Since I put the slipcovers on, to protect from kitty claws, he has loved sleeping there. The covers are soft. Like the landing he got when I let him in. He's been a real handful. He is starting to calm down, maybe in ten years he may act like an adult. My son told me I need to outlive Frieda and Gatto, he doesn't want their kind of trouble. I think he was only half joking. 

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Old...But Not Out


I have kept up with it, although sometimes I don't pay attention and need to catch up. I made two discoveries yesterday that I hadn't known about. One: If I get a digital book that doesn't come in audio I can use my Alexa app to turn it into audio. Alexa reads it. I don't care for reading digital books, now I don't have to. Two: Roku now streams live tv. It's been probably six months since I used Roku, so I turned it on yesterday and there is was...the option for live tv. We don't have cable available to us. We had satellite tv for about a decade and dropped it perhaps a dozen years ago. We use a digital antenna and Roku. Streaming through the device means bad weather, windy weather, does not disrupt reception. My kitchen tv is smart. I haven't used that feature since I bought it about three months ago. I'll look to see if it has live streaming. Isn't this exciting stuff!

We got some rain last evening. I heard while listening to the weather yesterday that the last time we had drought this extreme in the Twin Cities was 150 years ago. Now, not to be greedy, but more would surely be welcome. The rain broke the heatwave we have been enduring. On another note of interest, at least to me, I plan to go to Aldi next week. Why, you ask, is this a note of interest? I have not been inside a grocery store since the third week of February 2020. You read that right. First, when we went to lockdown, I had delivery. Then I went to pick up, which I will still use. I just want to go myself, with Mark's help. And the help of a cane and a cart to support myself with. Big stuff going on.

That's it. The story of life in my lane. Unabridged.

Thursday, June 22, 2023



We've had hot weather all week. Humid but not tropical. We desperately need rain. This is so un-Minnesota. Slowly, I am de-furring the house. No matter what, I could not keep up with the shedding the German Shedder put out. It's very strange to sweep or vacuum and have it stay fur free. I'm going to become downright lazy. We were able to give Bill's brother the dog food and almost a full box of Kirkland dog biscuits. He has an elderly lab. I'm happy he could use it, rescues don't want anything that's been opened.

Thank you all for your kindness, I really do appreciate you all.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023


Good Morning

The black cloud has moved on, allowing me to see the sunshine and smell the roses.

The cats have been clingy. Gatto went back to pacing the house and yowling for a few days. He seems to have stopped that. How difficult it must be, not understanding what happened to your buddy. They, like me, are coming around.

The event itself was traumatic, mainly because it was so unexpected. Then there is the fact that Keetah was the last of the animals from my mother's house. There is also the finality of it, as my long dog owning years have come to an end. I counted how many I have had since adulthood. Twenty. Twenty dogs who gave their all, kept me company. Some made me feel very safe, especially when we moved here and I had never lived where there wasn't pavement and concrete. Having a dog who would die for me made me feel secure and got me through the fear of what I had just done, uprooting my life for something very unknown to me. Now, that chapter is closed. Now I have cats, solely cats. Which is not a bad thing.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Farewell. Good Girl


Keetah had a heart attack and quickly died last Thursday while walking with Mark to the mailbox. It hit me hard. I am clinically depressed and a black cloud enveloped me. I want to let you know I am still vertical, or as vertical as I can be. I'm still poor company, so I will probably be absent a bit longer. 

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Deer oh Deer

About 9:15 last evening I looked up and saw this pretty in the yard.

 She was munching grass for about an hour before she left.

I see deer in the distance in fields around here but this is the first time I've seen one in my yard. I was photographing through a window from a great distance away so the photos are poor, but still, a deer! It stays light late, which is the only reason I saw her and could take lousy photos of her.

Yes, the tree is still laying in front of the house. Mark had something come up with a client, then horses took down a fence and....well, life.

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Gotta Love a Gatto

Gatto was a stray that showed up here about a week before he came into the house. As some of you know, it was late December and very cold the night I heard him howling on my porch and brought him in, frozen to the point of being nearly unable to walk. I posted him on a few sites but no one claimed him, so I kept the orange monster.

I was curious about the tail, never having see anything like it. So, I looked up curled tail on cats and found out about ringtail cats. Gatto's extreme aggression when playing is part of the genetics, I guess. I do hope he outgrows that, because it is aggressive.

I have no idea where he came from. I thought he'd been someone's house kitty, but a house seemed completely foreign to him. He was very friendly and absolutely clueless. I'll never know his story, only the story he's had since crying for help. He found my giant German Shepherd to be completely acceptable and the other cats, although they gave him snake eyes, didn't bother him in the slightest. Nothing bothers him.

 *The ringed tail is not painful.

The ringed tail is caused by a mutation of a recessive gene. The bones in the tail are not fused. American Ringtails use their tails for balance and to slow their jumps. They can curl their tails around a person’s hands while they are petting them. The tail can also be held straight when the cat wants, but a curled tail is a sign that the cat is relaxed and happy.

The American Ringtail Cat is set apart from others by their signature curled tail, but this breed is similar to other domestic cats in nearly every other way. They have a few wild traits left in them from their feral roots, but they are typical housecats.

Finding a kitten may be difficult because this is a rare breed. If you’re looking for this cat, be sure to check shelters and rescues in your area to see if one is available.

The American Ringtail is a loving, affectionate cat that makes a great addition to any household. They get along with kids and other pets and are always looking for ways to let their fun personalities shine.*

I am glad he found us. As much trouble as he can be, and boy....he can be trouble, he's also a good boy, he loves his dog and he loves biting my feet. 

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Roses. Septics.

My lovely old Madame in her glory.

I have two rambling roses left. All that remains of the dozens of roses I had. Time takes its toll on all things.

Onto a much different topic....septic tanks. We had ours pumped yesterday. It's more expensive now, like everything else. I consoled myself with the fact we don't have a monthly water/sewer bill. It's another sunny day, which isn't all that appreciated. We desperately need rain. Every day will be warmer than the prior, great. I seem to be in a bah-humbug frame of mind! Ah, well.


Monday, June 12, 2023

Cat's in the Bag

He does sleep sometimes. I swear, he does.

I did get myself motivated to use the eggplant. 

It's a casserole in a crust and it was very good. I changed it up just a little. The recipe called for sun-dried tomatoes, of which I have none. I did have a small amount of tomato sauce left from a few days ago and used that instead. I liked that. Otherwise, it's grilled eggplant, fresh herbs and lots of cheese! An oil crust isn't as fussy as a short crust.

It's another beautiful day, perfect except for lack of rain. Yesterday was cool and windy, the equines enjoyed it big time. There was no rush to get in the barn like usual. Mark pulled weeds and I worked in the kitchen, getting hooked on Clint Eastwood westerns. All Day. A moth to a flame. 

That was yesterday. 

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Lovely Morning

My blog friend, Lori, makes simple and delicious looking food which she tempts us with everyday on her blog. A few days ago it was chicken and gravy. She inspired me and since I found, through Boud, that yesterday was my half birthday I decided to have it for dinner, with wild rice. It was so good, thanks for the inspiration, Lori!

We got a little rain last evening, not enough to matter. It did give a short moment of hope, then it went away. We have a lovely, cool morning which I suppose was ushered in by the rain. Thank you rain, even if you hardly did rain.

If I follow through on my plans I will make a recipe I came across that I'd saved a few years ago. Eggplant pie. Sounds awful, right? I would call it something else. The only relation it has to a pie is a pie crust in a pie plate. Otherwise, think more like a pizza. That's how I'm approaching it. I have an eggplant which is on its last leg, I can't let it go over when I specifically asked for it. Not after I made Mark realize how good eggplant is. He would not like me for awhile.

Now that this is sorted out I will go make an olive oil crust, insuring I will follow through and not allow Mark to not like me. Isn't that a sentence!

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Books. Food.

I finished Stanley Tucci's book, Taste. There was a twist at the end I wasn't expecting. I enjoyed this book quite a lot. I realize it's probably because, by his own reading of his writing, I found we have some similar personality traits and humor. How could I not find it interesting! I am not the strict adherent to what pasta goes with what sauce and such, but I do understand the culture and the importance of food, both eating and preparing. And....like me he despises heat and humidity!

I am now onto this one.

I believe my blogging friend, e, recommended it. I put it on hold in February. I think it's popular. I'm not too far into it, but I do like the book. My blog friends have directed me to some good ones. 

We've had a few days of moderate temperatures, but no rain. It's bone dry. I had a pleasant conversation with Neighbor Bill this morning. We are both suffering lack of motivation. He said the soy bean fields are drying up and how he is worried about the future and the changing climate. I am right with him on that. The ostrich approach that most of the world has taken has brought us here. Ok, this part of the conversation wasn't pleasant, but the rest was.

In the spirit of Stanley Tucci I have a simple, simple meal that was last nights' dinner. It doesn't look like much but deserved a place on the screen, as Mark was in joy with every bite. It does not hurt to have someone who loves food sitting at your table. I'm pretty sure he married me for my cooking. I admit I did like his car. The creme fraiche I made last week was the star, along with asparagus. As Mark said, there's no chance of going wrong when those two are together.

That's my prattle for today. 


Friday, June 9, 2023

Mostly Beauty

Most of the peonies are done now. There is one bush just starting, but the rest are kaput.

I have about thirty peony bushes, maybe eight different varieties. I thin and transplant every few years. For some reason they like our miserable soil and thrive. 

We have another mild day. It needs to rain but the rain gods don't care what I or any other human has to say. I find this very annoying. 

I cannot let the indictment pass. I have made a habit of leaving politics alone, more for my sake than anything. How did President rise to the level of Monarch? How can a president pardon themselves? I don't know what will come of this. I do know that the deep flaws in our system of governance are bared for the world to see.

Back to our regularly scheduled programing.

Thursday, June 8, 2023


We have finally caught a break on the weather. It's both less humid and hot. Still no rain in sight. Other than the weather report there's not much happening around here. We did get two loads of square bales yesterday. If we don't get rain hay will be scarce, which means it will be even more expensive. 

Last evenings side dish became today's lunch. Warm at dinner, cold at lunch, on a bed of romaine. It was actually better warm. That may have been because of caramelized onions and fennel. I planted fennel bulb seeds this year and cannot wait to see how they do. I've only planted the herb which produces fennel seed. They have germinated, that's the start toward my first homegrown fennel.

My friends on the east coast who are living with the thick smoke in the air, I think about you and hope you get some kind of relief, hopefully a change in the weather pattern. Like maybe rain. 

Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Grazie Assai. For the Laughter

If I had crushes, I could have one on this guy.

I like him as an actor but I like him more as a writer. I started listening to this book late yesterday. I'm only two chapters in and have laughed often. He has a wonderfully dry sense of humor and what's not to like about a guy who writes a memoir revolving around food? Nothing as far as I am concerned.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

Poor Me

It has been miserably hot and humid. June is typically a spring month in Minnesota, generally mild, pleasant days with just enough rain to keep things green. It's dry as dust, this is not boding well for us.

We have been eating a lot of these cold pasta salads. They are so refreshing, I make enough for dinner and then for lunch the next day. Who wants to cook in this soupy weather? That said, I do have chicken stock cooking in the InstantPot, only because the bones were taking up much needed space in the freezer. Mark needs to go to town today so he will pick up a pizza. No cooking for me again tonight. I'll take it.

 I am making creme fraiche. You can see the fermenting action going on in there. I like it better than sour cream, which I also like. Just like this better. It's milder.

Our air conditioner is older than Methuselah, which means I use it sparingly. Before we became tropical I rarely needed to use it, which may be why a 1985 unit is still working. I used it just enough to keep it operational but not to wear it out. That's my story anyway. After the appliance deaths last year I'd like to keep this one humming along for awhile. The enormous trees that were in front of the house, providing needed shade on the south, are now both gone. They are missed.

I am a wilting flower, I've turned into someone reclining on the fainting couch with a case of the vapors. Cream puff. Don't tell anyone, there were people who thought I was pretty tough once-upon-a-time! No need for disillusionment.

Monday, June 5, 2023

Cat Days of Summer

The boy has a theme.

He moved in and took over 6 months ago. Although still a kitten he is growing up and is quieter. Until he's not.

Mark picked rhubarb yesterday and is meeting a sister today for breakfast, giving her the rhubarb. I get the next bunch. All the seeds I planted have germinated. I'm really pleased by that, lots of flowers, fennel bulbs and summer squash. Those flower seeds were old.

It's Monday so it's laundry day. The only thing from my scheduled life I have stuck to. The routine in my life was disrupted when my mother died and I made a trip to Saint Paul six days out of the week for eight months. That will break a routine. I'd stay home on Monday to do laundry. That's three years ago already. I know time doesn't change but it sure feels like it's flying by. I think it's because the time ahead is getting shorter and I think about it more. That is a waste of brain space, don't you think? Anyway....onto something I can do and enjoy. I think I'll make an eggplant gratin for dinner. I can use my new grill as an oven so I will do that. It has been hot and humid. Not my cuppa. The weather does not care. Perhaps I need to do as Gatto; chill out, sleep and eat. Make a little mischief.

Sunday, June 4, 2023


The flower gardens are in full, riotous bloom.
You get a glimpse of the iris through the screen on the porch.

La Dolce Vita

 The sofas need slipcovers because of a certain naughty boy.

I spent all day Friday mowing with Bill's mower. Phew! He has got the necessary parts to fix my mower so we are one step closer. It has been miserably hot, unbearable for me and almost the same for Mark. He had to spend most of yesterday fixing a pasture fence, the boys decided to go through the fence instead of the gate. That was a new move.

The peonies are in full bloom and so are some of the later blooming iris. I need to get myself out to take photos. It's just so humid, which may be why the peonies are so stunning. 

Otherwise, life is humming along. I have been surprisingly busy. That does not mean I'm getting much done, but I'm busy being busy. 

This is how I spend late afternoons. Either listening to or reading digital library loans. I was late coming to the online library, but I am so pleased I did. Better late than never is true. I finished Agatha, recommended by Boud. It was read by the author and I enjoyed it.  I have several books on hold that my blogging friends have recommended and which are obviously popular, so in-between I scroll through what's available. It is my afternoon indulgence. 

So my friends, be like Gatto and find your La Dolce Vita, however you may define it.

Thursday, June 1, 2023


As has been noted by some, Mark got the message. He didn't appreciate that phone call, then I drove it home. He is suitably humbled and will do as I have asked, put the cleanup as a priority over lopping saplings. He's a good man, but a deeply stubborn man. Aesthetics mean nothing to him, especially when he's on his own mission. He has always been the garden weeder because he is very adept at it. He can clear weeds about five times faster than I can. Yesterday he weeded the iris in front of the veranda and the plantings in front of the rest of the house. There is a large flower bed in this area, as well. He said he would do that one today. 

Mark has also committed to cutting up and removing as much of the tree as he can with his chainsaw. He said that will be most of the tree and he will do it this weekend. He has client work he needs to do, the 15th of a month is always one deadline or another. He committed to removing the falling down arena fence after that is done. The neighbor did me a favor, Mark didn't like it and he saw, because of the call, what I have been telling him is real. That, combined with formidable me showing up, was enough to get him to cooperate. I told him I'd make a rhubarb pie. When it's done. As far as the lawn, Bill has been gone. The have a small RV which is not there, so they went camping. Mark will ask for the use of his mower when Bill gets back. Honestly, the tree and weeds in the flowers bothers me the most.

The iris and peonies are blooming. It's a riot of color. I need to thin phlox, that pretty flower is so invasive it's choking out three of the flower beds. The positive is weeds don't stand a chance! We are well above normal in temperature, at least what use to be normal. It will be 90F today and in that range into next week. Also very humid. I had to turn the air conditioner on last night. In May! Being so hot and humid at the time of year where we normally have spring weather is unhelpful.

I will end with the thought that the entitled neighbor actually performed a service. Getting angry, at Mark, cleared my funk and gave Mark a wakeup call. Listen to the aware one in the family!