It is another beautiful day. The heat broke late in the afternoon on Wednesday, bliss. This morning the temperature hovered at eight degrees centigrade and the sun shone brightly through the trees.
As I made my way into the kitchen this morning another culinary success awaited me. Last night the few and inexpensive ingredients needed for split pea soup went into the crock pot. Left overnight it transformed itself, without any further human intervention, into a lovely soup. I will not even speculate on the age of the ham bone used for this soup. I found it in the freezer and suspect it moved here with us three years ago. It suffered from a bit of freezer burn, but otherwise appeared intact. Waste not, want not, as the saying goes.
I baked a loaf of bread yesterday, and will take advantage of the cooler weather again today to bake another loaf. It is wonderful when heat waves are punctuated with periods of cooler temperatures, which allow indoor cooking and baking. Atilla and I take full advantage of these brief interludes of cool to prepare and stockpile our favorite hot weather foods.
Yesterday was beautiful, but I spent my entire day cooking, baking, banking, budgeting and paying bills. Banking days always depress my spirit, so it was a good idea to combine it with baking, which I enjoy.
The mosquito population, in proximity to the house, has diminished since the last heat wave. They still congregate in numbers in the early light and at dusk, but during the day I can freely move about the yard and the deck. Of course, if one ventures into the bush there will be hungry hordes to greet. Our property abuts two wetland environments, and so mosquitoes come with the territory.
An unexpected benefit of losing our north deck relates to the insect poplulation. Since Attila has repaired the sill plates, replaced the door with a window and closed in the exterior wall where the deck used to be, we have had few ants, wasps and mosquitoes in the house. We did not realize the degree to which that faulty construction had left us vulnerable to insects and elements. It is almost lonely in here without ants, wasps and mosquitoes to kill. Just kidding about that, of course.
I believe my honest description of our isolation, renovations and the mosquito population have discouraged visitors. I do consider painting idyllic “cottage country” scenarios to invite envy and attract my family and friends. I could post pictures of deck chairs on docks, canoes, misty waters and unusual pristine shorelines. However, this journal serves as a witness to my own reality. Alas, here too my vision of the world is out of step with popular myth and hype. I just cannot seem to “get with the program”.
Sitting here, with the sun darting past the trees to slant across the room, watching the dragonfly clinging to the screen on the kitchen window, listening to the birds calling out to each other in the bush beyond, “the program” seems like a lot of tinny noise.
|RECIPES :: Cast
Maggie's Bodhran & Tippers
By the Easy Chair
The Shadow of the Wind
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
"Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away... We will not be shipwrecked on a vain reality."
from Walden & on the Duty of Civil Disobedieince
by Henry David Thoreau
"He has magic in him, this man within the painted mask and swirling skirts.
But these days he has become unviable. Unfeasible. Condemned goods. His children deride him. They long to be everything that he is not. He has watched them grow up to become clerks and bus conductors... But he himself, left dangling somewhere between heaven and earth, cannot do what they do... "
from The God of Small Things, page 219
by Arundhati Roy
[Although the "he" may or may not accurately reflect the above authors' intent, my world view does not divide conceptual content by gender, but does recognize gender distinction in the details of experience. And of course, they say, the devil is in the details.]
On the Screen
Wind S 7km/h
Press 102.04 kPa
Visibility 14.0 km
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