Category Archives: Uncategorized

I was deeply touched…

By the simple ceremony this evening honoring those who died of COVID-19. The simplicity of the prayers offered struck me more deeply than a long sermon would have done. I cried when the nurse sang Amazing Grace. I imagined how her patients would be comforted by her singing, which was beautiful.

I particularly was struck by how they kept political point scoring out of everything that was said. It really was about honoring those effected, not putting people down. This was real leadership.

Let the healing begin.

Crazy town USA

Take a look at this: Pro-Trump riot on Capitol Hill was even more violent than it appeared.

Words Matter

There are not two sides to this. ONE thing was done with ONE goal. The mob of insurrectionists are ALL bad and evil people.

They are NOT patriots: they do not want to live in the democratic republic defined by the constitution. They want to put in place an autocracy.

They are NOT conservatives: conservatives have respect for institutions and the rule of law.

They sure as H.E. double toothpicks are not “right”, they are the far wrong.

It is not over:

Mr. Lyndsey Graham (who does not deserve a title and should be removed from office for his actions that have enabled this situation to occur) said “if something else happens all options will be on the table”. So, what was last week? I’d call last Wednesday “something else”. How many COVID-19 deaths are we at now?

We just got a major warning from the Federal Bureau of Investigation about major armed violence in EVERY state capitol in the next few days as well as D.C.…is that “something else”?

For DC Republicans money talks…and bullshit walks the halls of congress. Armed insurrection is an emergency. It wasn’t quelled last week.

Armed insurrection is an emergency.

Time to eat up those dried beans you’ve been saving for an emergency. Send a message to corporate America, one that they actually understand, by not spending, and they will pass it on to congress.

Oh, Donny Boy could be out the day after tomorrow, if Moscow Mitch has a fire lit under him by big money, and Moscow only has feeling in his wallet. Even people coming to lynch him didn’t do anything.

One-to-Three Photo Processing Challenge

One-to-three is a monthly photo processing challenge on my other web site, theSquirrelChase.com. I’d love to have you join in: The challenge is simple: take one photo and get creative with it by processing it three different ways. Then share the results, with a link to this month’s post. I’ll do a start up post on the first of each month and at the end of the month I’ll do a round up, so we can all share in the creativity and fun.

Here’s my January 2021 contribution:

How to get the looks above:

I used Topaz Studio 2

Background

Since having to isolate due to the pandemic, last spring, I’ve been doing a lot of experimentation with photo processing and I thought it might be fun to share some of the things I’ve discovered and see what others are doing.

I’m hosting the challenge on the other site to try and keep my WordPress.org skills.

Link to the One-to-Three Photo Processing Challenge.

‘Tis the season…ready or not

This year I’m not. Not ready, not grumpy, but not filled with joy either. Just not. Usually I enjoy the pretty, and the seasonal music and smells. This year not. But here are some ghosts of Christmases past:

I have had one joy note:

Two of my nieces stopped by this past week for a masked, socially distanced, visit on the porch and in the yard. No physical hugs, but they brought me this incredible poinsettia:

A non-traditional Christmas tree.

I’m treasuring it and going to use it as my Christmas tree this year. I need to stay isolated because my father, who is part of our pod, has to have major heart surgery next month and a case of covid would likely be deadly for him.

It does seem like when you are starting to feel bleak something, like a text message from a much loved niece, comes to break the bleak. May all of you have bleak-breakers and long distance love this season.

For the Len’s Artists Challenge #128: Here comes the holiday season, and Nancy Merrill’s Photo a Week: Christmas.

One-to-Three Photo Processing Challenge

One-to-three is a monthly photo processing challenge on my other web site, theSquirrelChase.com. I’d love to have you join in: The challenge is simple: take one photo and get creative with it by processing it three different ways. Then share the results, with a link to this month’s post. I’ll do a start up post on the first of each month and at the end of the month I’ll do a round up, so we can all share in the creativity and fun.

Here’s my December 2020 contribution:

I used the same photo of holly as I did on theSquirrelChase.com post, I couldn’t stop playing with it.

How to get the looks above:

For the faux lens ball effect I used the direction in my Something new post.

For the other two I went in and explored the looks in Topaz Studio 2.

The “cave dweller” look is in their “warm” group and the “flat I” look is in the “fun” group.

Background

Since having to isolate due to the pandemic, last spring, I’ve been doing a lot of experimentation with photo processing and I thought it might be fun to share some of the things I’ve discovered and see what others are doing.

I’m hosting the challenge on the other site to try and keep my WordPress.org skills.

Link to the One-to-Three Photo Processing Challenge.

Another cranberry chronicle

If we were having coffee I’d offer you some cranberry upside down cake. It’s a hybrid of two recipes: one I copied out of a magazine years and years ago that became a family favorite, the other is a scaled down one from a Baking for Two magazine I got a few years ago, not long after our son flew off to make his own nest.

Cranberry upside-down cake.

It’s kind of fussy to make but worth it.

Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

The recipe makes a 6″ round cake, just right for two.

For the topping (bottom?)

  • 2 tsp (or up to 1 tbsp) of melted butter
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (pecans and/or walnuts work well)
  • 1 1/4 cup fresh cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350 deg F. Oil the 6″ round cake pan. Pour the melted butter into the pan and spread it out. sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter as evenly as reasonable. Heat in the oven for 2 minutes, then add the nuts and cranberries. Set aside.

For the cake

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup milk (I tend to use Trader Joe’s Almond Beverage)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, separated, plus one large yolk
  • pinch cream of tartar

Whisk together the flower, baking powder and salt in medium bowl. Whisk the milk and vanilla together in a separate bowl.

Beat butter and sugar together on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Add egg yolks, one at a time, and beat until combined, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Reduce speed to low then add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with milk mixture in two additions, scraping down the bowl as needed.

Beat the egg white and cream of tartar to soft peaks.

Whisk 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter, then fold in the remaining. Pour over the topping layer in the pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes then run a knife around the edge and invert it onto a serving plate.

Another cranberry idea from this week

I don’t have a recipe for this, because I made it up on the fly.

I used the crusts I cut off of the bread I used to make dressing for Thanksgiving to make a cranberry apple bread pudding.

Bread pudding ready to pop in the oven.

I cut about three cups of the crusts up, tossed them with a sliced up apple and a cup or so of cranberries. then put the mixture into 6 muffin cups and a mini loaf pan (grease the pans well). Whisked together a bunch of eggs, about 6, some milk, about 1 cup (I use Trader Joe’s Almond Beverage), some sugar, about 1/4 cup, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Pour the egg-y mix over the bread and let it soak for a while, then bake at 350 deg F until a knife comes out clean. This makes a nice breakfast, with a drizzle of maple syrup, or just a sweet, but not too sweet, snack.

Thanksgiving was fine for us

We went to my Dad’s (we officially designated him part of our household for pandemic purposes months ago) it was just the three of us plus one close friend of the family…plus the three dogs…and our cat.

We had all the usual suspects: turkey, gravy, dressing, mashed potatoes, baked sweet potatoes, brussel sprouts and cranberry sauce, with pumpkin pie after. Needless to say there were significant amounts of left overs.

It rained a bit, but didn’t pour, so we were able to walk on the beach when the tide was out. The dogs love that.

All-in-all it was a relaxed time, more so than the last couple of years, which included my grandmother’s last Thanksgiving in 2018 and our first without her in 2019.

How was your week? If you celebrate USA Thanksgiving how did it go?

For Weekend Coffee Share by Eclectic Ali.

Suddenly, I awoke

Almost moonset.

If I were a magic being I would follow the moon trail. I wonder where it would take me?

The two images are the same photo processed in slightly different ways. I couldn’t decide which one to use…Which do you think is better?

For Travel with intent’s One Word Sunday: Night and The Blog of Hammas Rais’s Weekend Sky.