Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I saw Jupiter last night, blazing from its velvet of sky.
I'm not nearly as good with constellations as I hope someday to be. I only know a few--the Bears, Polaris, Cassiopeia, Leo... often I can pick out Orion. I was riding home from Ben's basketball game last night through dark countryside, thinking and listening to the radio. When it's night outside one forgets to watch out windows, but when I did I was rewarded by a star so bright it almost took shape in that blanket of sky. 'That's got to be a planet' I said. And Will obligingly pulled out his phone and found his constellation app for me. I spent the remainder of the drive pointing it around and exclaiming at what I saw.

Sure enough, I had found Jupiter in the Eastern sky, right alongside the Twins, Castor and Pollux. Over to the right, just as I had expected, was Orion. From there, I couldn't see many other stars from my window, but I still waved the phone about, seeing what was out there in space, whether I could see them or not. When I pointed it at Will, I was told that (way beyond him in space) was the constellation of Neptune; above my head was a Pegasus, and over a little I found Perseus. These made me grin, and I told Will that it was a lot more fun looking at constellations when I knew a little mythology. I know what all the names are now! (Thanks Rick Riordan, for getting me interested!)

The Season Begins


I rolled out of bed at a reasonably early hour on Monday, stumbled out of my red and white pajamas and into my festive plaid for the day; blinked through a bit of Bible reading, and stuck my laptop (now playing Christmas music) into Ben's room to wake him up. Then I headed downstairs to the kitchen. The coffee was made already, so I started tea and bacon, and moved on to pancakes and whipped cream. It was a scrumptious way to start the morning, let me tell you. Ben was under the weather with a cold (which is why there are no pictures of him) but he was soon downstairs wearing his own red plaid (his elf-hat came out later).
we don't actually have any snow just now, but if it wants to fall, that's fine by me!
(Because flame-retardant icicles is a revolutionary concept)

Twice-baked potatoes -- a particularly delectable tradition that Ben and I started several years ago. We stuffed ourselves with this rare treat after carrying down countless boxes and bins and setting up the tree. Then we set about with lights and glittering balls, tinsel hanging off our ears and Psych's Christmas episodes on in the background (Ben and I like to add our own traditions to the mix). He and I enjoyed a happy jumble of Bing Crosby, Shawn Spencer, Michael BublĂ© (of course!), Perry Como, Diana Krall,The Chipmunk song, etc. We would have added the Christmas episodes of NCIS if we had them. We like a little cop-show with our Christmas cheer. ;)
One must have ginger-spice cake of course
 I made this while Nigella's Christmas Kitchen played, and Ben was away at basketball practice. I put more decorations on the tree while it baked. It was dark and rich and treacle-y. Perfect for this chilly weather.
 
our German twirling nativity
 ~tree is in the diningroom this year

meatballs and pasta; roast acorn squash, beets, and carrots

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

At Random


CHB

Wodehouse Wednesday

"It was one of those days you sometimes get latish in the autumn when the sun beams, the birds toot, and there is a bracing tang in the air that sends the blood beetling briskly through the veins.”
~ P.G. Wodehouse

  ' "That is the mystery which we have to solve. This Honest Patch Perkins, as he called himself, must have borrowed you car . . . with or without your permission."
   "Incredulous!"
   "Incredible, m'lord"
   "Thank you, Jeeves. Incredible! How would I know any Honest Patch Perkins?"
   "You don't?"
   "Never heard of him in my life. Never laid eyes on him. What does he look like?"
   "He is tall . . . about your height . . . and wears a ginger mustache and a black patch over his left eye."
   "No, dash it, that's not possible . . . Oh, I see what you mean. A black patch over his left eye and a ginger mustache on the upper lip. I thought for a moment . . ."
   "And a checked coat and a crimson tie with blue horseshoes on it."
   "Good heavens! he must look the most ghastly outsider. Eh, Jeeves?"
   "Certainly far from soigne, m'lord."
   "Very far from soigne. Oh, by the way, Jeeves, that reminds me. Bertie Wooster told me that you once made some such remark to him, and it gave him the idea for a ballad to be entitled, 'Way down upon the soigne river'. Did anything ever come of it, do you know?"
   "I fancy not, m'lord."
"Bertie wouldn't have been equal to whacking it out, I suppose. But one can see a song hit there, handled by the right person." ' 
---The Return of Jeeves, P.G. Wodehouse