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More Walks/More Drawings

The views in each direction at the dam yesterday morning just before 7 am.

And three days of drawing in the sketchbook.

I could not resist bringing several of these leaves home last weekend. It took a couple of days to finish but I loved the challenge.

And so many crows here including one juvenile who will not leave his parents alone. He seems utterly helpless.

Lee is constantly on my mind so I looked up at the shelves of precious things and chose to do a section that has these four turned bowls of his. He was so proud of them and all the other wooden things he made. Each day I use his tamping tool for compressing the fine grounds in the expresso machine. I sit at his long wormy chestnut trestle table in the dining room and type this post. Everywhere I look are bits and pieces of him left behind.

Once I rearranged the section of the living room I thought he could come through the door any minute and tell me the chair is out of place and maybe I should put it back. Funny how our minds work.

And another leaf I photographed at the river this morning. Bugs are reeking havoc on some plants.

Anyway today a friend comes for lunch and others come to have dinner with me and catch up. Covid and Lee’s dementia have kept me isolated for some time and I look forward to company.

I even ordered a spigoted glass container to make Sangria for friends coming in September.

Better get this posted…

Til later….

Back By Myself/But Not For Long

Amy, Ben and I had some lovely walks at the river and dam this past week. They went birding….

while I just walked along and looked.

When back home Ben decided to work more on his white line printmaking.

With these results! Love that kingfisher on the block.

Amy helped me rethink the Night Critters Bat before cutting it up, and I ended up making alterations and framing it like the rest of them.

She also made a comment about the living room space which ended up with us taking the large Indian textile off the wall over the Bali chest and hanging my first Lost Peaces artwork.  I also got away from thinking the chest had to be in the middle and therefore crowding my African Mountain Laurel chair so made it all more open looking. Ted Cooley’s crow keeps watch over the dead and dying peace doves in the artwork and his charming surrendering men sit on the table to the left with an African basket. That wall now is not so oppressive. And like Amy pointed out, we can actually see there is a window there!

They left for home this morning, leaving me the last of the sangria that I am sipping now.

Another friend comes in August to go down to Greenville, South Carolina to look over the area for possibly moving to in a year. By then I may have decided my time here in this house Lee and I built is over. Reminders of him are everywhere and maintenance will become more expensive as I simply give up trying to keep up with it all. It gives my family time to make the choices of what they would like to keep after I make selections of what I will take with me. Anyway, that is the plan so far.

Friends from St; Louis come in September to visit, work in the studio and take a trip to Asheville. It will be two years since I was there and I look forward to showing the town to them. Suggestions for what not to miss are welcome.

In October Amy and Ben will return and then Patrick if he can fit me in his busy schedule. I like when he shows up because I can load his truck. Ben limits what I can put in his car but at least he did take two cases of Lee’s honey from our old beekeeping days. He also left me those wonderful drink recipes and his bottle of rosemary simple syrup. Amy only drinks hot or cold tea so I really did not need those recipes.

That is it for now. I am still working in my journal. Several new stitched pieces but a very complex bug eaten leaf is taking a long time to complete. One of these beauties.

Til later….

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.

Mine.

 

Ben’s.

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.

Epityrum

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….