Few Days Later and Few Loose Ends

We are keeping our walks up at the river…

And even watched a Polyphemus moth delicately fall to the ground for his last bit of life.

Ben fixed another drink called a Sazerac

Freeze the cocktail glass and coat inside with absinthe…..discard leftover.

Put in one shot of rosemary simple syrup (recipe in previous blog)

Two shots bourbon

Three dashes of Paychard bitters (this has a different flavor than angostura bitters)

If served over ice it seems to taste different from when kept neat. Personally I thought that without ice it tasted a bit like contemplative sadness, with ice it seemed more joyful. Try it and see. Quite good either way.

Here is Ben’s meat pie to help me use up pie crusts that get forgotten in the freezer.

The ingredients were pretty much, one and a half pounds of cooked up ground beef, instant mashed potatoes, onions and a bit of frozen corn and some chopped rosemary. Fill bottom crust with mixture and put on top crust (hopefully after it has thawed completely). It was filling! It was good! It was dinner and lunch the next day.

And some more drawings in the journal.

I have stitched up several more pages of scraps that have been put into the book and now just need to find the time to draw.  Tomorrow!

Til later…..


Some Family Time

As soon as Amy and Ben arrive they start the sangria.

Make 24 hours before using.

They cut up:

Apricots, plums, peaches, apple, pitted black cherries, mango, ginger, small stem of bruised mint. Then poured in 2 cups Southern Comfort in lieu of brandy and 1 gallon dry red wine.

It is a nice mix for hot summer days. When all is consumed dispose of fruit responsibly. Garbage disposal is better than compost pile where wildlife can become quite ill. Ben may have caused a squirrel to die happy.

Next just before dinner we moved onto a Cucumber Aquavit Gimlet:

2 shots Aquavit mixed with muddled two mint leaves, the juice of 1/4 lime, 1 tsp sugar and one slice of cucumber. Strain and pour over ice. Garnish with mint sprig.

Next a rosemary simple syrup was made by heating 1 cup sugar to 1 cup water and 1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary. Bring to boil and strain into a bottle.

Now you can make a Rosemary Old Fashioned

2 shots bourbon, 1 shot rosemary syrup, 2 dashes bitters. Mine had angostura bitters, Ben chose celery bitters. Garnish with rosemary sprig. They looked and tasted quite different but both very good.




The celery bitters is a less sweet, more dry and savory. version. Nice.

A note from Ben: The word “utepils” is Norwegian for sitting outside and enjoying a beer. It is looked on as a holiday and with a capital “U” designates the holiday of the first day Norwegians can do this.

The following day we watched a you tube video of Tasting History with Max Miller. A fascinating series of early, early recipes. This is where Ben learned how to make the Epityrum we were eating with crackers and cheese at the cocktail hour. It is very much like a tapenade.


2 cups pitted assorted brined olives chopped and set aside in bowl.  In separate bowl mix 1/4 cup olive oil, 2 T red wine vinegar, 1 T chopped coriander leaves, 1/2 tsp ground cumin, 1 T chopped fennel, 2 tsp chopped rue or rosemary leaves and 1 T mint. Pour herb mixture over olives to marinate. This is delicious and we can thank Cato the Elder in early Greek times for it.     Watching Tasting History You Tube episodes is fun.

We decided to forego dinner after eating so much at the cocktail hour and finished the evening with this drink we called Rhubarb Sunset Cocktail made using Ben’s Rhubarb Ginger Cordial.

First you need the bottled cordial made three weeks ahead of time.

In 2 quart jar put 1 lb of cut up rhubarb, a fifth (750ml) gin, 1/2 cup sugar, 3 large strips of orange zest, a one inch knob of fresh ginger. Store in dark place turning occasionally to mix ingredients and dissolve sugar. Strain and bottle in three weeks.

Rhubarb Sunset Cocktail

Over ice pour 2 shots rhubarb cordial, a healthy splash of tonic water and the juice of a good size lime wedge. Toss in lime remains as garnish. Absolutely delicious!

We had two very nice bird watching walks along the river and I would put some of the pictures here but I will save them for next time.

Ben also had time to make several prints of his first white line wood carving. He is now carving another block.

I don’t know what we are drinking tonight besides Sangria which appears to be an “anytime” refresher.

Til later….





Not Yet

I think Lee is getting closer to being moved to the Nursing Home near me. It has been another week of distress as paperwork gets to the right places. It is so complicated and difficult to keep track of that I keep a stack of different pads of paper for each person involved as we work through the process.

Surely next week…..

In the meantime. Walks to the dam.

This morning I decided to look in the other direction and focus on things that depict a more hopeful perspective.

Surprises from friends and family.

Coated strawberries arriving via FedEx with a lovely note from “The Gs”.

A take out order of Oyster Shooters from a favorite restaurant that thoughtfully threw in popovers and a lovely bottle of Pinot Noir.

Patches needed to spend the night at the vets due to a severe upper respiratory infection. Patrick picked up the cat, the tab, and the oysters before coming back home. She is so much better.

I did another page in the book using an old print of myself on cloth. Then drawings of parts of sticks Lee brought in and a bourbon straight up.

It is nice having someone here to share meals with. It gives me practice with being around other people. Covid and Lee’s and my circumstances have had a way of keeping me isolated these past few years.

Today Patrick is putting in a higher speed modum for the computer system, installing a “see-all” camera for the doorbell/front door so I can see from the studio who is here. Then he will readjust the dryer vent outside so that I can reach it to clean the screen of accumulated lint.

And today I went back to carving.

This an old pine plank that I carved of a male figure based on some work I was doing on masculinity in graduate school. Now I am completely removing that section of “feelings” to fill in with smaller prints of how things change in the life of a man. How “what matters” is so temporary. I would like a long series of them in a row on some Japanese kozo paper that will take the number of male figures I would like.

It feels good to carve away what was there and think about the small carvings that will fill each one’s center.

Til later…..



It Did Not Get Better

I like this odd couple. They just go through their lives thinking it will all be just fine. But sometimes it isn’t.

The Nursing Home gave their one bed to a patient already in their care who took a turn for the worse. Lee would be on a waiting list. A scramble is now on to find a place for him. The cost per month will double. Assets will need adjusting.

His decline resulted in sitters that needed paying out of pocket were called in for twelve hour shifts to stay with him at night. His medications have been adjusted.

I walk the dam each morning to clear my head and prepare for the next bit of news that I no longer expect to be good.

The full moon was setting late last week when worries overt00k every minute of the day. Now our son has arrived to help me keep it together.

To add to problems our cat Patches is wheezing and snorting. She is also losing weight. A vet appointment in two days.  Sadie our other cat just keeps looking for Lee.

My latest addition to my sketch book from last week.

I am practicing sitting in his chair. I am reading a book. I am making calls. I am getting offers to help…but with what! I am saving one friends kind offer of bringing his truck and driving two hours to get here and haul things to one place or another. I am saving him as a gift to myself to have him come down and carve wood blocks with me. Someone in the studio would be wonderful when I have Lee settled yet again.

Movers can be called when I need to bring all those things to make Lee feel at home need to come back home. And Patrick has his truck and can do it if necessary. But for now we wait and hope they can manage Lee until another place is found.

It will get better….just not as soon as we hoped. The sun still comes up.

This morning.

Til later…..