10 March, 2013

You should smell like dirt...and smoke

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.  ~Margaret Atwood

 Yesterday it was a lovely early (early!) spring day. It was cool, but the sunshine and blue skies made it necessary for us to spend a lot of time out in the garden. We took the heavy layer of straw mulch off the raised beds to let the sunshine get at the soil.

I took pictures of things.

Things like flowers:

A dog and a witch hazel bush. Witch hazels here bloom in late winter. This one has been blooming since the third week of February.

And the yard in its early spring, very little growth glory.

We wound up picking up sticks and stuffing the chiminea full of wood and having a little fire. We sat there for a couple of hours burning sticks, talking, drinking wine, and wishing that we had some marshmallows. Or marshmallow PEEPS!

Alas, no confectionary, so we just enjoyed the spring and a quiet time together in our yard.

08 March, 2013

How did I get sanding sugar in my hair?

See that? That, right there, is the dessert tower my cookie baking partner put together for a little party at his house.

I put that up there because I'm thinking desserts. Next Sunday is our highest of high holy dessert days - St. Patrick's Day. This will be the fourth year we have done the coffee hour refreshments for the weekend of all things green, Irish, and Leprechaun-ish. Jim has an excuse, he's of the Irish extraction. I just like baking cookies.

Sugar cookies and a tray of shortbread. We always do sugar cookies as they are fun to theme up and people really like them.

We will be baking all week, culminating in an orgy of baking and frosting next Saturday. I can hardly wait.

02 March, 2013

A good life well spent

My Uncle Arthur died this past week. He was (I believe) 85 years old. He had been suffering some sort of dementia for the past several years, and he broke his hip at Christmas. His kidneys started shutting down last week and he died peacefully with his son John at his side.

Arthur was a character. He was a policemen in Texas, and for many years was the Chief of Police of the small town where my family lived. After he retired from that job he worked as a bailiff in the county court. Due to a lifetime of hanging out with cops, criminals, and criminal lawyers, he knew more stories and filthy jokes than anyone I've ever met, and he told them with a twinkle in his eye and cracked himself up every time he told one.

I remember as a kid that I could hardly believe my Uncle, who was the funniest, kindest person, could be a cop. From what I heard, on the job, he could be a hardass when it was required, but to his family he was gentle and caring. Once he took my sister and I to the police station and "booked" us. We had our fingerprints taken. I was charged with "impersonating a female," and I still have my fingerprint card.

He loved dogs, guns, hunting, telling stories, grilling enormous chunks of meat, puttering in his shed doing things like making bullets, and most especially, being with his family. We'll miss you Uncle Arthur.