Nothing too exciting to regale you with this past week…except maybe for the fact that we VOTED!!!

And my burn wound is looking tons better:

the honeycomb pattern is from the bandage

So, I thought I’d show you what I was distracted by on my walk the other day by: dew patterns on leaves. 😁

water surface tension (cohesion and adhesion) is fascinating stuff
I love looking at the droplets for lost edges and think about how that is rendered in a drawing

Just for fun, can you guess what trees the central leaves are from? I will tell you next week! So be sure to come back. 😃🌿

Homestead odds and ends

Also known as the post without a theme, I’m sharing photos of weird things I’ve taken in and around the house.

Birds that teach a lesson…

a Wood Thrush that flew into our window and died

Rude watermelons…

I didn’t actually expect to be mooned by a “Moons and Stars”

Vegetable horror stories…

hubby’s colleague gave us bitter melon seeds; I never knew the ripe ones look like something out of an Alien movie

And speaking of space alien veggies…

kohlrabi bigger than softball (but smaller than rude watermelons)

Hmmm, I can’t seem to get away from plants that look like monsters of my nightmares…

the flower blossoms from the ginger plant appears to be in mid attack…
revenge of the veggies??

What do you think? Should we be sleeping with one eye opened?

The Fantastic Four…er, Forager

My family appreciates nature’s bounty and shining/winged sumac is one of the plants growing wild on our property that we make use of.

The kids picked a bunch of the berries:

Look closer!

I put them in a pitcher and soaked them in cold water:

Then, I strained the liquid through cheesecloth over a sieve, and sweetened it with a simple syrup:

Et, voilà! A refreshing fake-lemonade:

One thing we didn’t get as much of this year is pawpaws. This was the extent of it:

Have you ever tried sumac-ade?

(If there are any editors reading my blog…big if…I have a manuscript about this! Have I mentioned that I’m an award-winning author? 😉 )

Soon to be shawl weather

There’s already been some brisk evenings, so I’m crocheting a shawl for myself. Good gravy, I feel like a little old lady.

I found the pattern at Leelee Knits. She has a beautiful blog where she features fabulous patterns for both crochet and knit products for free, but be sure to buy some every now and then to support her and the blog.

How are you preparing for winter (or summer, depending on your hemisphere)?

Not-sour grapes

Our Concord grape bore a ton of fruits this year. The kids harvested about 10 pounds and I made jelly. Behold the jewel-toned goodness!

There they are, next to the marmalade and wild black raspberry jelly (and our giant tub of Vegemite, of course).
Extra that we put in a Weck jar and ate on homemade toasted bread.

We thought we would have a second, equally big harvest in another week but something (curse you evil creatures…you know who are you are RACCOONS) came in the night and ate EVERY LAST GRAPE off the plant…even the unripe ones. What the heck?! The only upside to this brazen theft is that I don’t have to slave for another 8 hours on a second batch.

So, what have raccoons done for you lately?

Yummy and yucky

I told some friends on Instagram and Twitter that I’d share the recipe for Bavarian Apple Torte in my blog this week. As it turned out, I already did so last year! I swear my memory is worthless. I’d made this again for hubby’s birthday this week. We love this dessert.

In other news, I bet you were just wondering how my burn was doing! Fair to middling, as hubby likes to say. On the one hand, I’m not in much pain. On the other hand, it’s not looking much better. (hey, I think I made a joke there) The photo on the left was taken on August 12, and the one on the right was taken a few days ago, September 8th. I swear it looks better last month.

Do you have a favorite apple recipe you’d like to share with me? @ me on my Twitter account!

Whatcha reading?

Me, I just finished this gem:

It’s like a combination of People magazine but about scientists instead of thespians and a philosophy text. I would pair it with any of Sean Carroll’s books (like “The Big Picture”).

And I’m looking forward to reading this one next:

I enjoyed his “A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived” and hope this will be just as readable and fascinating.

How about you? What are your recent favorite reads? Tell me via Twitter!

You are cordially invited…

Today (Friday, August 28, 2020) at 3:00 p.m. EDT (12:00 p.m. PDT), the Asian Pacific American Librarians Association will be holding its awards ceremony virtually on its YouTube Channel!

I’m humbled to be in the company of winning authors far more famous, such as George Takei, Jen Wang, Gordon Chang, and Devi Laskar. We all invite you to join us. The pre-recorded acceptance speeches are from 3pm EDT to 3:45pm EDT. Then we will be live to answer questions at 3:45 to 4:45.

Hope to “see” you then!

Let them eat (healthy-ish) cake!

Goodness, I had such an amazing awesome week, I completely forgot to write a post. But because it was a wonderful week filled with wonderful news, I propose we celebrate…with cake!

This cake is fairly healthful so you shouldn’t feel too bad about indulging. You can finally have your cake and eat it, too–without a guilty conscience! 😁

My dear friend Grace shared this recipe with me years ago and the recipe card was written out by my BFF sister Monica.

the ingredients
the how-to; simple, no?

Bon appetite! Hope you give it a try and love it as much as we do.

Mouse turds and dill seeds

dill seed and “mouse droppings” peppers

That might be a good metaphor for the week.

Monday was a mouse turd pepper (official name…hah) kind of day: dealing with a volatile and self-absorbed person is about as pleasant as finding mouse turd in your food…whether a real turd or these killer spicy ones that hubby is growing. Why is it that so many charismatic people turn out to be psychos?

I shouldn’t knock the peppers though; hubby says they’re really pretty good. I can’t eat anything spicier than jalapeños because I get indigestion.

But by Wednesday, things were more like the dill seeds, full of hope! I got some possibly good news which I’m looking forward to learning more about, and hey! My arm is so much better.

And if anyone is wondering, the dill seed is for making pickles.

I hope your week is more dill seed than mouse turd!