Monday, August 21, 2017

Total Solar Eclipse 2017 at Land Between the Lakes

We went up to Land Between the Lakes for the Eclipse today.  

 We started the morning at Hematite Lake, but the duckweed was high... we didn't get to see much of what the lake is famous for.  We decided to head further on North.

 Hematite lake wasn't much to see right now.. but this boulder was lovely.

Esme wasn't that thrilled by the trip to the dam - she said she'd seen it before (which she hadn't)... she perked up when we saw some herons down by the water.  They had been dropping bits of dead fish though, so there was a sort of odor about the place.

 The herons were fishing down by the water.
We went down there and walked out near the water - it was a long climb back up!

 We built a simple pinhole viewer box 

 Esme got some souvenir rocks.

 This is what was visible in the pinhole viewer box.

 And someone had extra glasses and gave Esme a pair.

 The box really did work.. it just wasn't a big image.
During totality the image disappeared entirely and came back with the sun, just as it should.

Totality was very cool!  It got very dark, and the air got cool and moist like it does at dusk.

  Mark caught some pictures with his camera.

We went on a long trip!  We saw all three dams, and ended up watching the Eclipse just south of the Golden Pond Observatory (which was all full on parking - but there were several 'overflows').  We had a nice chat with some people from a University and our pinhole box worked really well!  I'm so glad we got to spend this event together as a family.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Out at the city pool

Esme and her friend had a lot of fun out at the city pool tonight.  Mark even got in to calm Esme's fears about the water slides! 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

No bus and notes

No bus this morning!  I'm glad I didn't have to be at work at seven, like the other morning.. I would have been late or Esme would not have gone to school.  Luckily, I was noon today, and we took her in.  Mark drove us in and the morning traffic was not half as bad as I had feared.  Spud got a sausage biscuit after seeing little girl off at the school.

I noticed something this morning when I was practicing my Welsh.  I is much easier for me to use my 'audio echo' remembering what I just heard in Welsh than it is with French OR English... Isn't that weird?  My audio memory isn't very good, dismal compared to my visual memory.  But Welsh does have an echo for the end of the sentence while I'm still processing the beginning of it.. which I find difficult in most other languages, including, sometimes, English.

Off to pull the laundry into the dryer and get ready for work.
The coconut curry sauce I found last night was awesome.  I should have only made half a cup of rice to go with it, but I made a full (dry) cup, and it is a bit watered down because of it.  But still SO good.. Mark said I made a terribly happy noise opening the container.  Yes, I did.  It smelled even better than the Thai Curry Rice I used to make but they discontinued.  With a little extra curry powder mixed in even the half-strength one is going to be an awesome lunch today.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

reading list updated

The Signature of All Things, by Elizabeth Gilbert (25% through)
Unaccustomed Earth, by Jhumpa Lahiri
Salt to the Sea, by Ruta Sepetys
Sea of Poppies, by Amitav Ghosh
Heartburn, by Nora Ephron
Serafina and the Splintered Heart, by Robert Beatty
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, by Mark Haddon,
Darker Still, by Leanna Renee Heber

I might just have to finish 'signature' and go right into Serafina... I've been waiting for that for a long time!  But I'm still reading volume one to Esme, so maybe I should wait until we are at least done with that... hmm... two weeks to read the last five.. a few days to read the Lahiri and Sepetys books.. 20 hours left on Signature.

bit o bits

I reheated another bowl of the green pea soup this morning with lots of hot madras curry powder stirred into it (remember, it already had turmeric and cumin and red pepper in it!).  SO good.  It was just what I was wanting this morning.

In chapter four or five of Signature of All Things.  Trying to do French in morning and Welsh at night to keep my brain powering on them...

This is how far we are in 'Serafina and the Black Cloak'.. ironic bookmark, as she is a girl that can turn into a panther! (catamount)

I got my yellow split peas!  Simple things make me happy.  We are going to a different store today and I hope to look at more spices.  Looked a little at Indian food and it is not quite what I am wanting.  Although, indian yellow dhal does look like something I would make and eat.  Looked at Swedish food, and that, too... was not on the note my tastes have been leaning towards.  It's somewhere in between... will have to keep looking until I find an ethnic cuisine that can appreciate hot curry powder, rutabagas and orange squash equally... *heh*  Maybe I'm just my own mix and I should write a little recipe book.

//They had no fried chicken at the store :( At least. none for sale.  They were cooking up some huge order to go out and weren't planning on making any for the public today.  We had to settle with something else.  However, I did find some Aka Miso that I had to pounce upon.  I shared a tiny bit of Esme's fast food and came home to make a very nice bowl of miso soup as my main lunch :)

Finished stage one of the acrylic rug - going to use it as a chair mat until I think if I want to put some extra rings around it and make it an even bigger rug.  It is as wide as the floor rug in Esme's room but not as long... if I put another few borders on it though, it will be as large of a square as the other rug in there.

I'm silly that I am pleased for digging up an old soap dish that was not being used and putting it on the pedestal sink when I thought we needed one there.  *rolls eyes at self*

Thursday, August 10, 2017


I'm on to 'The Signature of All Things'... it is starting out interestingly.  Tomorrow is Friday?  The end of the week and we can use it.  I've told Esme and Mark we can get fried chicken on Saturday and they think it is a great idea.  I have some yellow split peas that came in on an order to pickup at the store... they didn't have them in the store but they were free pickup.  I've been having a taste for making vegetable 'soup/goulashes' again... but maybe not quite as much as the other day.

Green Split Pea Soup
chicken pieces
1 cup of green split peas, washed
1/4 cup of red lentils (normally would be yellow split peas), washed
onion, chopped up
can of cooked carrots
can of cooked diced potato
a little chicken boullion (because I had some)
water to cover the mixture twice deep (at least this much, you could add more and make it thin)
garlic powder, turmeric, cumin, black pepper and red pepper flakes
a bit of salt
a bit of olive oil

cooked down until everything is ready to fall apart,  I got about three quarts out of this considering we ate some.  Esme had some (she asked) but mostly picked out the carrots and chicken I think - but she made an effort.

I'm also experimenting with some preserved ginger root.  Made Esme a chicken and honey and carrots with some ginger and onions in it tonight.  She ate all of hers (even after I said she could pick out the onions).

Also crocheting a heavy green acrylic rug with some clearance yarn.. probably double-up a few things to make a border for it as it is coming out a bit smaller than I'd hoped for the two skeins they had.

Weeded out all of Esme's too small jeans, a few to go to a younger girl that are decent condition and a few to cut up and sew into something else.  I'm trying to find a few things in the house we can repurpose into 'more useful lives'.. like a jewelry dish that is small but pretty that I've moved to the bathroom for Esme's hair clips.. and one of the rugs I had washed had originally been by my bedside table but is more useful by Esme's. etc.. Whenever I see something and think of a good use for it I try to remember it later and put it to a test.