Monday, September 18, 2017

Ted Kooster Poet Laureate

ABC Wednesday
September 20th, 2017

The letter is K for Ted Kooster

Ted Kooster was born on April 25th, 1939

in Ames, Iowa

He worked for many years as Vice President
of an Insurance Firm,
writing his poetry in the mornings,
in the evenings,
and during his spare moments.

For two terms Poet Laureate in the United States,
a Pulitzer Prize Winner,
now he writes children's books,
is a Professor at the University of Nebraska,
and is Editor of a newspaper column

"American Life in Poetry"

which is carried in 150 newspapers
 throughout the country
as well as being distributed
by email,
and used in classrooms.
(From Wikipedia)

I have his book
"The Wheeling Year -
A Poet's Field Book"

in which he says about September

"One of our old neglected apple trees is so burdened with fruit this year that a limb has cracked, turned brown, and drapes, limp-wristed, bejewelled with apples that ripen, day after day, on those lifeless fingers.  This morning I noticed that hornets have come to set each garnet in golden filigree"

and he goes on to say, about September...

"Labor Day weekend, rainy and cool, and the second hatch of barn swallows are still in their nest under the eaves, three of them, downy and mewing, their beaks like buds just opening, while the rest of the swallows, an extended family of a dozen or more, including the year's first hatch, wheel round and round this axis, crying,  as if to unwind the invisible thread that holds them here, 
with winter coming".

A beautiful expression of a poet's awareness
it is well named

"A Poet's Field Guide"

Open it to any page and there is a vignette of life;
creative, imaginative, heart touching, sometimes poignant
and very beautiful.

For more expressions of the letter K visit
here at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to all who maintain this meme.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday morning Scones

Sunday, September 17th, 2017

Cool and smokey this morning, and with the weather report over
 let me tell you about making scones!

I have this fabulous recipe in our church cookbook "Secrets of a Small Town",
 inserted by a dear friend who is, unfortunately,
long gone from our midst.

She suggests doubling the recipe, and each time I make it, that's what I do!

It was a great hit at after-service refreshments last week at church,
 and I'm always in for things that make an good impression.

Being a 'bake right after breakfast' type of woman, (as I age), 
I got busy right after the second cup of coffee
 and threw together these marvelous biscuits.  

All went well, and I slipped them into the 425 degree oven,
forgetting that the last time the oven performed at that degree of heat
the super-sensitive smoke alarm led me a merry chase 
up and down the hallway, with a towel to quieten it.....
until at last I had to plug in a fan to make a breeze and calm it down.

Sure enough, - as the timer was about to go off at 12 minutes
 the alarm started to wail, 
and only increased its cries 
when I took those lovely scones from the oven!

What do the neighbours think??

Living alone,
and with diminished hearing,
I know it is a comforting 'thing'
to have outside my bedroom door..

but seriously??

Well, it's no wonder it kicked up such a rumpus...
Look at the bottoms!

I shall serve them with butter and jam 
and a sharp knife to cut off the burnt part, and they will be delicious.

One can get away with that kind of thing when one is ancient,
and family will be happy that I still have the
ways and means and the wit to make scones.

Even burnt scones....

Here is the recipe...

Jean's English Scones

2 cups of flour
1/2 cup of sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs (save one white)
1/4 cup currants
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of margarine
1/4 cup of mixed fruit

Mix flour, sugar salt and baking powder.  Cut in margarine.  Add fruit and mix.  
Add milk, one whole egg and one egg yolk.
Stir until moistened.

Turn out and knead well.  
Roll out about 1/4 inch thick.
Cut into shapes, put on cookie sheet and brush with egg yolk.
Sprinkle with sugar and bake at 425 degrees F for 12 to 15 minutes

Watch carefully, - if your oven is sensitive take a peak at 11 minutes.

I doubled the recipe and used cheese instead of fruit. 
so I ended up with nice cheesy scones 
with black bottoms!!!

I plan to spend the rest of the day winding a warp 
to put on the loom...
and hoping all goes well!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017


ABC Wednesday
September 13th, 2017

Letter is J for Jambalaya

The Music

The Recipe

In a large Dutch oven heat 1 tbsp of olive oil
add  one onion, finely chopped
along with two chopped bell peppers
cook for about five minutes until tender - almost!

Stir in one pound of boneless chicken breasts, cubed
along with one teaspoon of oregano, some salt
and some pepper.

Cook until the chicken is gold and then stir in
one half a pound of andouille sausage
two cloves of garlic and 
two tablespoons of tomato paste,

Cook until it smells yummy
(probably about a minute)
and then add two cups of chicken stock,
one can of crushed tomatoes
a cup of long grain rice
and 2 teaspoons of Old Bay seasoning.

Cover with a tight lid and cook until the
rice is tender and the liquid almost
absorbed (about twenty minutes)

Add a pound of shrimp (peeled and deveined) 
and cook until the shrimp is pink
(three to five minutes)

Stir in two green onions, thinly sliced,
before serving.


For more interesting Js click here
at ABC Wednesday
many thanks to all who maintain this meme

Wednesday, September 06, 2017


ABC Wednesday
September 6th, 2017

The letter is I, for INDIGO

by Barbara Strang

To achieve the
desired blue

the cloth had to
be lifted in
and out of the vats

in the heat
of India, Nigeria,
or Thailand.

Indigo, - you used
to wear that deep-dyed hue,
it suited you.

The name for the
spectral blue-violet.

as blue as
deep as your eyes,

the lashes a flight of geese
on the last stripe of blue as the
sky plunges towards night.

More I s here at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to all who maintain this meme!

Sunday, September 03, 2017

This and that, and then there's the past

Sunday, September the third, 2017

While I have my lunch this very smokey September Sunday I am listening to David Garret as he plays Beethoven's Concerto for Violin and. Orchestra in D with the National Philharmonic of Russia.

Right soloist, right piece of music, but not what is on the DVD I watched.
and I must warn you it is 27 minutes long
but pure pleasure...

 It is a long time since  I have gone through the cupboard Charles made to house all the music we collected over the years; the records, the cassettes, then the DVD audios and movies, as time passed and the media came to us in different forms.  What I really wanted to listen to was the Adagio in seemed somehow fitting when I came in exhausted but satisfied with my morning bringing order (more or less) to the garden...

Sunday...,and I'm not terribly focused.  All week my energies have been concentrated on the loom, with satisfying results now the shuttle is whizzing back and forth through a nice taut warp.

This morning I had a lovely four minute egg with toasted soldiers  (not something my beloved husband would have approved of....dipping your toast in the dripping yolk! ). A second cup of coffee and I browsed a bit in Anna Quindlen's "Lots of Candles - Plenty of Cake".  I ordered three of her books from the library, to re-read because they give me nothing but pleasure and comforting memories.

The quote with which she starts the first chapter.."Life must be lived forward but understood backward" ( Kierkegaard) resounds with me more and more, the longer I live.  Quindlen says "It's. nothing short of astonishing, all that we learn between the time we are born and the time we the laboratory of our lives". But our understanding comes late in life.....

"There comes a time when we finally know what matters, and more importantly, what doesn't".

And then in the next chapter she goes on to talk about the bane of my life.."STUFF". I remember those first sweet innocent days of our marriage when Charles had his uniform, I had my trousseau (sp) and there was a barrel full of wedding gifts to pick up at the train station.

Now I view with despair this great collection of "things" we have accumulated over sixty-seven years of marriage and family and events and treasuring.  I have pretty well limited myself to books, and a little bit of new cotton thread to weave with, since my love departed.

I ponder on ways to get rid of all this STUFF, much of which has so kindly been given to us by our six children, and their offspring, and their offsprings' offsprings.... Do you suppose I could label it all, to be returned on my departure...but how would I remember what came from who, and imagine the uproar if the legacy went to the wrong person.

Well, I will be like Scarlett and worry about that tomorrow  if and when.....

The Beethoven is over now...I think I will make a cup of tea and take it into the loom room and contemplate the beginning of my fourth towel. I have an hour before Radio City comes on Knowledge Network .... Enough time for three or four bobbins to advance the work.....

Maybe by bedtime the smoke from these ferocious wildfires that are all around us will have wafted away with a change of breeze and fresh air will blow through the open window.

And maybe I should be very grateful that it is smoke, and not flames!!!!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

A Gentle Reminder

as We Welcome September

Now hath the summer reached her golden close....(Lampman)

and perhaps the White Rabbit will arrange

for a welcome smattering

of sweet rain.....

Tuesday, August 29, 2017


ABC Wednesday
August 30th, 2017

The letter is H for Hallelujah

A beautiful version, I think..

Leonard Cohen took the world by storm with this haunting piece of music..

It has even reached the thousands of Retired Ukulele Groups that add music 
to their entertainment repertoire........


It's great to play....

For more Hs click here for ABC Wednesday
with thanks to all who
maintain this meme.