Friday, January 03, 2014


Sitting in my chair, warm sunlight streaming through the windows, fiddling around with travel photos and trying to clean off my desk, I almost fell asleep a few times. My drooping head hit the monitor and I disturbed the cats: one asleep near the keyboard, the other at my feet. Torpor comes to mind: jet lag, disturbed sleep, worry. Yesterday I opened Christmas cards and while mostly enjoyable, I had a jolt or two of bad news: an alcoholic 80 year old friend back on the sauce which is tantamount to suicide; the death of another - not unusual at my age, but getting the news in a Christmas card is something new for me. 

I perked myself up a bit by eating a Chobani pomegranate yogurt - that stuff is so good. And by doing a few jumping jacks. Well, hopping-up-a-bit jacks. I don't jump much anymore.

In between involuntary naps, I've been trying to assemble a Barn Owl box I purchased - plastic model, double insulated so the birds don't boil. Three parts don't fit - the screw or bolt holes don't match the holes they're supposed to go in. The instructions don't include a picture of the finished product!! Seems to me this would be elementary. Show us please what we're shooting for. &*&*(&(*)&^%%$$!!!!! As expected, I tried to bolt a few pieces where they don't belong, but got back on track. For the moment I'm stymied and don't expect further instructions from the manufacturer until after the holidays.
Holes don't line up. No self respecting owl would live with this.

Richard is dragging too..he does push-ups whenever he starts to fade. Exhausted from the push-ups, he's bleary eyed but still working out in the grove. He retrieved a few pomegranates left on the trees, split and bird pecked, but with a little effort I can rescue a few arils (great word, huh) to munch on. 
Frankly, I'm not up to anything more challenging in the culinary department than pomegranate picking. For dinner, we'll have "The Italian Thing". Saute sliced Italian sausages with chopped shallot, add 1/2 pound of orzo and 1 3/4 cups chicken broth to the pan. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. The orzo gets creamy and delicious. Stir in anything you'd like - I think frozen peas were suggested in the original recipe. Finely chop fennel fronds, dill, basil - all that stuff we have in the garden; grate parmesan for the top. In my semi-conscious condition I have to sip a minimum of wine lest I chop more than fronds or grate more than cheese. Knuckle rasping is no fun.

If we were still in Paris, sigh, we could follow David Lebovitz's lead and have steak frites for dinner.
Read about his dinner here:
Steak frites with David

My final big news! We discovered the cats have a tunnel they've been using for break-outs. It's actually a small culvert partially blocked with dirt. We couldn't figure out how they'd suddenly appear like ghosts at the front of our property, out in front of the gates. All the access possibilities for them are blocked. Turns out they crawl through about 500 feet of culvert for their escape. I have to admit my respect for them has increased dramatically. They lounge about here, cleaning their butts endlessly (male cats seem to really enjoy this bit of grooming), grabbing a few pieces of kibble from time to time, every so often summoning a burst of energy for a bird pounce or lizard grab. All a ruse: they fooled us completely. Behind those innocent little faces, schemes, plots and escape plans were afoot. 

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