Blogless Sara reported that her sister had great success with making crockpot yogurt, then Norma posted about it, and the Crockpot Brigade marched. I can only imagine that Norma's post has struck fear in the hearts of everyone at Stonyfield! Boy oh boy, did I ever want to join the Brigade, but alas, no crockpot (silly me, thinking they were only useful to meat eaters! I know better now!). A trip to Target remedied that problem, and on Saturday, I set to making yogurt.
Could it be easier? No. I used organic 1% milk and plain Stonyfield non-fat yogurt. This batch is a bit thin, despite adding powdered milk. Next time, I'll strain it to get a texture closer to Greek yogurt. The only trick is to get your timing right. I started mine late in the morning, which meant that I had to stay up until midnight to get the finished yogurt into the fridge. Next time, I'll start it at about 4:30 p.m., and it will be ready for the fridge when I get up in the morning.
How nice when a friend from SnB becomes simply, a friend. That's the case with lovely Spring, who happens to be a fabulous photographer, too. Monday night she brought her camera instead of knitting, and I'm wowed by the results.
We've had a run of humid heat after a more temperate, if rainy, summer. Suddenly I feel like I'm moving through molasses, and the list of what I actually accomplish is much shorter than the one of what I want to accomplish. For once, though, I'm not going to beat myself up over it. Summer break should mean a more laid back attitude, and that's what I intend to have.
There is a little pressure on me, however. My mom is turning 70 in two weeks, and the Golden Swallowtail I began nearly a year ago will make the perfect gift. After a stop in at my LYS, I'm back on track. I missed a row, tried to make up for it in the successive rows, and finally had to admit that I needed to rip back. Oh, the hubris! I had no lifeline. Laura helped me to gently pull out the stitches and get everything back on the needle in an orderly way. I'm excited to finish and present my mom with something wonderful (just like she is) to celebrate.
How are you managing to stay cool as summer progresses? We've got fans, but no a/c. Today my plan is to visit a museum with my nephew. The car and the museum will both be air conditioned, which will help a lot! I'd love to hear your strategies, too.
P.S. There is a new writing prompt at Open Road Writing. Let me know if you find it useful!
Today is generally agreed to be the birth date of William Shakespeare, the writer whose work I hold more dear than any other's. I agree with Harold Bloom'sassessment (I own two copies of the book; one autographed by Bloom and treasured, one marked up with my notes) that Shakespeare taught us how to be human.
The summer between my two years of graduate school (the first time around), I lived and studied at St. John's College, Oxford. My time in Oxford was among the happiest of my life. I liked being alone, and I loved the city; I should have been born there and never left, but so it goes.
More than anything, I adored my proximity to so many performances of my beloved's work. That summer, I saw: A Midsummer Night's Dream (twice at New College), Antony and Cleopatra (once at Stratford, once at the Globe--that performance changed my life), The Tempest (at Magdelen College), Comedy of Errors (the Globe), Othello (Stratford--soooo creepy),and MacBeth at Wadham College. I fit in a few other plays, but not Shakespeare's.
I wrote my MA thesis throughout the following two semesters, and because of Mark Rylance's performace as Cleopatra, I focused on her as a female hero. I won't bore you with the details, but what fun!
So, on this anniversary of your life, dearest Will, thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
I don't want to say it too loudly and jinx anything, but, wow! It was warm enough for me to hang a load of laundry outside. I put the deck chairs out and basked in the warmth as I wrote a letter.
Did you have a pen pal as a kid? I was thinking about mine today. Sarah Jane and I wrote letters from first grade until we reached our early twenties. I should look for her online. How fun would it be to check in with a former pen pal?
My grandmother in Ohio and I also exchanged letters. Hers were so great, full of Little House on the Prairie-like stories. The one that moves me the most, though, was written in response to my asking about her wedding day. I was just about to marry my first husband and had written her about my dress and other details. In her return letter she said I was the first one of her descendants to ever ask about her wedding. She was 16 when she married my grandfather, who was 18. He'd had his eye on her since she was about 12 or so. They went camping for their honeymoon and had a fish fry on their wedding night. That letter is a treasure.
I try to engage my far-flung relatives in letter writing now and again, and although many of the kids like to receive mail, none has a penchant for letter writing. It's a little sad, but maybe that will change.
How do you feel about writing letters? To whom do you write?
A woman got a box that was as magical as she could wish. Layer upon layer of mystery hid the object of her desire, and aren't all good stories about desire?
That's how the tale of my new Kindle 2 would start. I had a moment of sadness this afternoon as I saw the UPS truck pull away from my neighbor's house and scurry down the road. "Drat," I said. "He messed up again." Our address is on one street, and our drive is on another, so it happens a lot. I get little notes in the mail that UPS tried to deliver, but couldn't find me. Just as I dialed the distributor, the mutts went into a barking frenzy, and I knew it was here. Sure enough, shivering in the cold on the stoop, lay my Kindle.
The packaging just builds the excitement. I ordered this originally on December 6. On my birthday, Amazon made the big announcement that v.2 was on its way, and I tried to wait patiently. The hype, as far as I'm concerned, is totally worthwhile, just like Shannenabler said it would be when she convinced me to order one lo those many weeks ago.
I haven't had much time with it, but I can say that the text is a breeze to read (and I have sad ol' eyes). It's easy to download material, and easy to navigate it. I love being able to look up words and make notes as I read. I'm not crazy about the keyboard, but I don't have a cell phone and am not a texter, so I'm not used to small keys...I'm sure I'll get used to them. I'm a little afraid of scratching it at this point, but the cover I ordered will be here soon. I wish it came with at least a temporary cover to hold me over...I won't be taking this outside of the house until the cover arrives.
Get a load of this Inauguration Speech word cloud.
Excitement. Relief. Joy. Renewal*. Just some of the feelings in my heart as I choked back tears of happiness.
It's time for responsibility now. Are you ready to "...pick [yourself] up, dust [yourself] off..." and help to change the U.S.? There are so many ways, big and small, to do so: strive to live a greener life; volunteer at a literacy organization; raise money for MS research. At least, those are the ways I plan to respond to President Obama's call to "...seize gladly..." my responsibility to the world. I'm ready to help my nation to "...set aside childish things..." and to do so in my own life.
There are cynics everywhere who find it easier to naysay and point out what might be wrong in the world. I'm tired of pointing fingers, though, and to the cynics, I say, let's look at what can be right in the world. Instead of adding to the wrong, let's add to the right.
I'm energized by having a sense of direction from my new President, a direction in which I can believe. Do you feel a desire to respond to President Obama's challenge? How do you plan to do so?
*And dayum if he didn't look good today! And Michelle's dress! And the girls--coordinated, graceful, adorable!
It's nearly 11 p.m. The race is nearly over. I'm so hopeful and buoyed right now.
Voting today was one of the best experiences of my life. Each year since I moved to CT, Neal and I have gone together to vote. We didn't have to wait on line (probably because I brought plenty to do on line). I studied the ballot for a few minutes and carefully colored in the circles. I teared up as I filled in the circle for Obama/Biden. As we walked out the door after depositing our ballots, I broke into tears.
I can't believe that there is finally a chance for hope, for change, for pride after so long. Cynicism has reigned for years, but if CNN is right, then I believe we're in for a new era of unification and renewal.