Thursday, August 19, 2021

Turtles and Flowers

With no schedule or internet resources today, I explored a park in town.  Our town has a lot of flowers in public places, including a whole corner lot nearby with tiered rows that are tended every year by volunteers.  The property is called Dahlia Hill.  Each row holds different varieties of dahlias, all labeled with their name and sometimes with the name of someone in whose memory they are planted.  There are hundreds of them, different shapes and colors, and although they are not yet fully in bloom it is already beautiful.





I also took a walk, longer than my feet approved, along a river.  On the other side, along two ends of a fallen log (only one end pictured here), was a row of perhaps 20 turtles.  My grandchildren suggested (by text) that perhaps it was a Turtle Council, which might, I suppose, if the turtles are in charge, explain why useful changes take so long to happen.



So all in all, it was not the best of days.  Definitely not.  

But it was not the worst of days, either.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

My Grands are Stars

 One of my artistic grandchildren, who adorned themself with a handpainted star.   This photo makes me happy.



Sunday, August 15, 2021

Time to Hang Up My Oven Mitts?

I am 71 years old and, I tell myself, coping well.  But today caused me to rethink my abilities a bit.   Tonight we went out after dinner to a local dessert spot because Jack wanted a slice of sugar free cherry pie, and only one place in town serves it.  When we discovered that they were closed, I promised him that I would make him one instead.   Easy peasy.  I mixed up frozen cherries with a sugar substitute and other ingredients, popped them into a refrigerator pie shell, pulled out a cookie tray to set it on in case it bubbled over and put the whole shebang into the oven.   I set a timer and sat down to wait.

Twenty minutes later I was disturbed by an odd smell so I went to the kitchen to investigate.  I opened the oven and, under the cookie sheet, this is what I saw.

Don't even ask because I have no idea what it is, except that it is plastic.  I can only surmise that maybe a cutting board was stuck to the bottom of the cookie sheet?  It doesn't exactly look like a cutting board, so I honestly don't know.  All I know for sure is that our house filled with the smell of melted plastic,  we both lost our appetite for pie, and I was just glad we didn't have company coming.  We think the oven and maybe even the cookie sheet can be salvaged -- the plastic peeled off the oven floor in a whole sheet.  There is some slight waxy residue but not much, and we are hopeful that we can get it off.  The racks, on the other hand, are a lost cause, and new ones are on order.  But the real question is, this is Jack's fault, right?

Other than that, it has been a perfectly good, if unproductive, week.  I have two quilt tops sitting idle  that can't be finished until the border fabric on order arrives.  Since nothing much was going on, we decided to go away on a long weekend, in fearful anticipation of Covid non-compliance shutting things down again soon.  But when we arrived at out first destination, we realized that there were no superchargers in that part of the state and that we would need to drive half-way home and then back up again if we wanted to go to the second destination on my itinerary.  So we scratched the rest of the trip and had a very nice one-night stay.   When we got home I felt like all I had done was drive and eat, and I was not even a little bit rested, so it was a valuable learning experience.  I will plan more carefully next time.  I underestimated how quickly I would need to charge again when we were driving mostly on back roads instead of on the highway.  I knew going in that this would be a negative factor with the Tesla, but it seems to me an acceptable trade-off for not using fossil fuel, and I am sure more superchargers will be built as time goes on.  No regrets.

So instead of a long weekend, we visited a lovely local museum and an overpriced local quilt shop, and spent one night at a golf course that also contains an Elk preserve.  We learned a lot about Elk, their habits, their life cycle, and their benefits.  It was really quite interesting.  We saw several elk but the photo opportunities were disappointing because, although the elk roam freely within the several hundred acre preserve, the preserve is fenced, and fences do not make good photos.  Of course, if it were not fenced, we would be unlikely to see elk at all, but seeing them this way was not very different from seeing them at a zoo.  There are several hundred wild elk in Michigan, but they are susceptible to the bovine tuberculosis that threatens our much, much larger whitetail deer population.   Until a few years ago people could create food plots for the elk to improve the chances of a sighting, but those group feeding areas spread disease and have been outlawed now to protect both the elk and the deer, as well as livestock in the area.


After the elk tour, we were taken to a lovely cabin in the middle of the property and served a nice 5 course dinner,  including a pork loin crown roast, prepared on a wood stove, along with surprisingly drinkable local wines.   It was fun, but since we exposed ourselves to strangers, we are now quarantining for a few days before we see George or other family.  We do not expect to be infectious, but we don't want to take any chances, either, because the virus is clearly on the upswing again.   I am trying to stop hoping that we will get to take another trip before things shut down again.  Now I am just mostly hoping again that we can all stay well.  Thank goodness stupidity isn't contagious, because we are exposed to an awful lot of that these days.