Folk Thursday: Arlo and Emmylou

Ron sent me this link. The song, written by Woody Guthrie, is about a Jan. 29, 1948, plane crash that killed 32 people, 28 of whom were illegal immigrants on their way to a deportation center in California. Guthrie was outraged by news accounts that named the four crew members but referred to the 28 immigrants as “deportees,” never bothering to identify them.

The more things change….


Nice surprise

I crashed early last night, so I didn’t get to check my e-mail after Ron got home. That made it even nicer when I got up this morning to find a little present from Ron in my inbox: An iTunes gift certificate for Shelby Lynne’s new album, Just a Little Lovin’, which is a whole album of Dusty Springfield covers. Wonderful stuff. I highly recommend it.

Thanks, Ron. 🙂


10 on Tuesday

I skipped a couple of weeks’ worth of 10 on Tuesday lists because I didn’t like the topics, but this week’s topic was “10 Things You’d Buy If You Had a Million Dollars,” which seems like more fun.

The catch is that you can’t spend the money on somebody else — it’s got to be stuff just for yourself. Here’s my list:

1. 20 acres in the middle of nowhere (preferably New Mexico or the Texas Panhandle)
2. Small (500-square-foot or less) Earthship
3. Good-sized barn
4. Half a dozen Dexter mini-cattle
5. Half a dozen Boer goats
6. 25 chickens (mostly buff Orpingtons)
7. 50 beehives full of golden Italians
8. BLM mustang
9. Good Border collie to help keep track of the other critters
10. Hoop house

What would you buy?


Show, don’t tell

I think this weekend probably works better as a scrapbook than a written essay:


Ron and his dad run the log splitter at the farm. I stacked wood for a long time before a golden sunset pushed me inside to get the camera.


Twilight creeps up on the barn. 




The requisite sunset pictures for Brad. 


Buster, farm dog extraordinaire.




A stop at Redmon’s candy store on Route 66 in Phillipsburg, Mo., yielded a two-foot-long marshmallow twist, an all-day sucker shaped like a daisy, and a three-foot-long gummi snake. That and a yellow-and-lavender sock monkey made me very popular with our 4-year-old niece. I love that Smurfette look she’s sporting in the second picture….

This next series of images is from one of the coolest animated neon signs on Route 66. Be sure to scroll all the way to the last stage:







I didn’t include my photos from our stay at the Wayside Motel in Marlborough, Mo., but I’ll probably post them later. The Wayside is a cute, historic motel with a really great location — directly across Route 66 from the stone gates that mark the old entrance to the late, great Coral Court Motel.

Hope your weekend was good.


New glasses

So I finally got sick of looking through scratched-up, out-of-date lenses and went to the optometrist this afternoon to get my glasses updated.

I wound up buying two pairs of glasses because I couldn’t decide which frame I liked better. (Hey — cut me some slack. I used to be an optician. I love shopping for glasses the way some women love shopping for shoes.)

Ron hasn’t seen them yet, so I’m posting them here:


These are my bifocals. Ridiculously hip, non? I normally go for tortoiseshell, but I wanted something heavier this time, and I sort of dug those crazy pink and purplish stripes on the sides. Goofy, yes, but kind of fun, and they should hold up well.


If this frame didn’t exist already, I would design it. I don’t know who came up with the idea to cross-breed cateyes with rimless frames, but I think it’s brilliant. And check out this great little detail:


I was actually wandering through the dispensary, asking myself, “WWREW?” (What Would Ray Eames Wear?) when I spotted these. That crazy geometric pattern printed on the top half of the eyewire was too Mid-Century Modern to pass up. The lenses are too shallow to accommodate a bifocal, but I don’t care; if all else fails, I can have them tinted pink and make killer sunglasses out of them.

On a totally unrelated note, it is exactly three weeks until the Cubs’ pitchers and catchers report to spring training. 🙂




It had been probably 15 years since I last made divinity.

If you’ve ever eaten it, you know that good divinity is a beautiful thing — delicate little clouds of fluffy sugar, like a dainty, standalone version of that decadent fluff they put in the middle of Krispy Kremes.

If you’ve ever made it, you know that divinity is also a maddening thing — temperamental, with a perverse tendency to ignore every known principle of chemistry or physics and do just exactly the opposite of what you’re expecting. For instance, the batch I made last night, when the weather was bitterly cold and very dry — ideal divinity-making conditions — turned out chewy and reminiscent of the awful prepackaged stuff that passes for divinity at convenience stores. Tonight, with rain falling outside and humidity at 85 percent, I used a different recipe (Mom and I determined that the first one had errors in both the temperature and the mixing time) and made what is probably the best divinity I’ve ever eaten.

Here’s the recipe, in case you’re interested. Divinity is fickle, so your mileage may vary … but the ingredients are cheap, and when it’s good, the end product is to die for.

The recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookies and Candies cookbook, with additional notations by Mom and me:

Perfect Divinity

In a heavy 2-quart saucepan (Mom recommends aluminum or copper if you’ve got it, as it heats more evenly), combine 2-1/2 cups granulated sugar, 1/2 cup light corn syrup, 1/2 cup water, and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook over high heat to hard-ball stage (260 degrees), stirring only till sugar dissolves. Meanwhile, when the syrup starts to boil, beat two room-temperature egg whites until stiff peaks form. When syrup reaches 260 degrees, very gradually add the syrup to egg whites (drizzle it in there in a stream no bigger around than a pencil), beating at high speed with electric mixer the whole time. Add 1 teaspoon vanilla and beat till candy holds its shape (about 4 or 5 minutes). If desired, add 1/2 cup chopped nuts. Drop from a teaspoon onto waxed paper; swirl top. Makes about 40.

Give to people you love and/or want to impress.


Folk Thursday: Bonus track

It’s not Thursday, but my little sister called me this evening to tell me that she’d gotten out of bed on this Martin Luther King Jr. Day with this song stuck in her head. She thought it might make a good Folk Thursday offering. I liked it so much that I decided to post it today, while we’re all thinking about King’s legacy.

Not sure I agree with all of the slideshow creator’s selections (I don’t think I’d put Tupac Shakur and Princess Diana up there with Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa, and Gandhi) … but if the Ray Charles version of this song doesn’t tear your heart out, you probably don’t have one.

Let’s all honor Abraham, Martin and John by making some sparks in the dark this week.


Polar fleece (and temperatures)

I won’t pretend I was amazingly productive all day, but I did get a couple of projects done. We went over to Foyil early in the morning to help clear downed branches from the nature trail at Ed Galloway’s Totem Pole Park. The 15-degree weather left me feeling like a human popsicle, and I seem to have tiny wood chips caught all up in my clothes, but at least the trail isn’t so hazardous now.

I saw a gorgeous indigo bunting flitting across Route 66 in east Tulsa on the way back from Foyil, and three big hawks were circling above the road as we were on our way to lunch in Sapulpa. I forgot to mention this the other day, but Ron says we’ve got garlic coming up in the garden. It seems to sprout a week later every year. Not sure what that’s about, but as long as we get a decent crop, I don’t really care when it sprouts.

I spent the afternoon setting up my new sewing machine (I wound up buying a Kenmore after the Singer turned out to be defective), and then I devoted most of the evening to making seatcovers for my car. I’d made a cotton seatcover a week and a half ago, but it didn’t fit as well as I’d hoped, so I made two new ones out of Cars-themed polar fleece. I used a tied fleece blanket as a cover for the back seat, so I designed the front seatcovers to look like tied fleece blankets, too. They’re not perfect, but I think they turned out pretty cute, and they were very easy to make. I’ll try to get a picture of them when I get a hand free.

I still have a ton of projects I need to work on, but it’s been a long day, so I think I’m just going to poke the fire, let the dogs out one more time, and crash.

Hope your Saturday was good.

Goal for Sunday: Make divinity.