Monday, April 30, 2012

I love my morning coffee. Apparently, my morning coffee also loves me.


I brew it a cup at a time, generally with freshly ground beans. I have an espresso maker, very manual, and I put in enough ground coffee for a single pull of espresso. Then I run the machine until I have an 8 ounce cup, so not espresso, but more like an Americano. The advantage is that rather than an espresso diluted with water to make an 8 oz serving, I run all the water through the grounds so it's all coffee. With a nice rich, thick head of crema. Mmm!

And nothing accompanies a good cup of coffee like a cookie, especially a chocolate chip cookie.


This particular batch happens to be an experimentation with a classic recipe. To the normal Toll House recipe - the best I have tried - I added 2 teaspoons of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. I also reduced the sugar by 20%, but that's just my personal preference. So these are a pretty darned good cookie that bites back just a little bit. I do believe it is my new favorite variation.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

If you get up early enough in the morning, you can get some really dramatically lit photos. The angle of the sun, the relative color of the light is more warm/yellow than in the noon hours, and the dew is still on the flowers and grass. Or, like me, you can sleep in and manipulate your camera to achieve results that are similarly dramatic.

See it in B&W here.

These were taken at about 8:30 this morning, and to be fair to myself, the house across the street blocks the sun on this part of the yard until around then anyway, so why bother being up at the crack of dawn?


I have a bumper crop of dandelions on my front terrace. Every time the city does me a favor and reseeds after they finish work, I get noxious weeks where my grass used to be. Thanks Mayor, but maybe we'd be happier if the crews just left mud behind. Then I could seed my own grass and not your mix of dandelions, creeping charlie, and crab grass. Where do you get that mix anyway?


And Nala has again proven herself trustworthy being outside in the yard unleashed and unattended. She remains inside the fence, and so pretty much gets to spend as much time out there as she wants (when we are at Reagan said, "Trust, but verify.") That makes her a happy kitty, and me a happy kitty 'owner'. She even likes it on chilly mornings when it is 37 degrees (F) and the grass is wet with dew.

Life is good.

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Saturday, April 14, 2012

For now I intend to enjoy it

Wow, almost two full weeks since I posted. It has been crazy busy those two weeks, but still! Last weekend I directed and performed three pieces in an aerial dance show. It went well, and the audiences seemed to enjoy it. I am glad it is done. I had almost every evening this past week free. Mostly I sat and stared.

Today I had to do a bunch of the things that had been neglected like errands, cleaning the accumulated neglect of several weeks out of the living room, and mowing the lawn. Fortunately that last one means being outside, and so there is no reason not to have my camera around for a few pics of the yard. Things have sure changed in two weeks!


The bleeding hearts are all in full bloom, and likely near their peak. At the moment, not much else is blooming. Our tulips are all "late bloomers" and the daffodils and hyacinth are done. Iris should be soon. So, it is bleeding hearts and trillium.


Our white trillium are rescued. That is the only legitimate way to have them here in Wisconsin as they are protected. We rescued ours about 10 years ago when a small woods was bulldozed for more farm land. We brought home three. Happily they seem to be thriving, and propagating. We now have seven in bloom.


Nala got to be outside with me a bunch too. She loves to stalk the birds, but she does not seem to be adept at catching them. That is fine with me. She also recently discovered earthworms at twilight. They seem to mystify her!

Life is good, and this moment of exhalation is especially savory. All too soon we will be back in rehearsal mode for the summer show, and free time will disappear again. So for now, I intend to enjoy it.

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