Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The aimless, No Goal bullet journal

I keep a bullet journal as I may have mentioned. It grew out of this story I wrote for The Buffalo News on bullet journaling.

Speaking of growing ... The other day I am drawing up my October calendar spread. I wanted it to look sort of brooding and October-ish, so I began doodling a barren tree. That is it, in the picture above! Anyway, I am having fun drawing this tree, la la la la la la. Then I realize...

That is the column where I usually put my goals for the month!

Things to do, stuff I want to get achieved. Such was the case in bright, cheery August.

The goals column is skinny but you would be amazed what you can fit in there. That is, unless you start doodling a big old tree.

I guess I will have no goals for October! October will be the month of No Goal. That is a hockey catchphrase up here in Buffalo, dating from some long-ago game where we were cheated. It applies to me this month.

I will look on the bright side.

October will be fun!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Riding the Reddy

Today I took a break, borrowed a Reddy Bike at Canalside, and rode down to Tifft Farm Nature Preserve.

What fun! I love taking a ride like that, particularly in a sun dress and sandals, which I did today. You get to go over the Ohio Street bridge. I always ride over the grating so I can see the water beneath my feet.

Landscapes like that one up above, I love it.

I want to have a picnic here.

That is the Cotter at left, our 1905 fireboat. Here is another pic I took.

Sometimes I like the take the boat north from downtown, to LaSalle Park. But now I am seeing that south is the way to go. I love the grain elevators, the Old First Ward, the Outer Harbor. There are endless bike paths. Which, those bike paths are not everywhere. Everyone loves to tell you, we are all connected by bike routes. That is not true.

I ride Reddy Bikes so much they lose money on me. I love them so much I did a story on them for The Buffalo News. Plus if I take a ride at lunch time I can skip the gym at night, giving me more time to work on important things.

"Fun!" That is what I exalted, sailing down that ribbon of highway.

It is!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Can stand the heat

This heat wave, I love it! Above is a picture I took of torpid Hoyt Lake.

One of the things I have been doing to celebrate the heat wave is go swimming. The other thing I will get to in a second.

The swimming has been great. No, you do not swim in Hoyt Lake. But there is plenty of other opportunity! The other day, I went to Beaver Island with my brother and my niece and nephew. There were no lifeguards or parking fees because the season is over, at least so they say. Hundreds of people were on the beach, folks of all stripes. All of us unsupervised! It was so peaceful and beautiful.

We kept gloating about it being late September and here we were swimming. Except as George reminded me, we have been swimming at Beaver Island much later in the year than this. We do get beautiful autumns here in Buffalo, or should we say, beautiful summers.

Today I went swimming at LA Fitness but even indoor swimming is wonderful. They have huge windows and it feels so refreshing.

So... what was the other thing I was doing to celebrate the heat wave?

I have had the oven going full blast!!

For our Tridentine Mass coffee hour, I made Orange Cornmeal Cake out of Martha Stewart ...

... and Cocoa Fudge Bundt Cake...

... and one of my signature coffee wreaths, from King Arthur Flour. Howard took all these pictures and he photographed the wreath before it went into the oven. When it came out, it was huge!

The Orange Cornmeal cake was really interesting because you top it with sugar and the sugar forms this crust. The fudge Bundt was a great old Betty Crocker recipe that mixed up all in one bowl.

I will have to remember that.

Along with this heat wave!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Dollar Tree Hoax

Today I got my chiro adjustment, and after that I am supposed to take it easy, and so to relax I made a stop at Savers. I met my friends Tracy and Lizzie and Nike.

We were hanging around Office Supplies, having fun, and I selected with Nike's help a baggie of old Crayola crayons. That is another story for another day. For now I have to get to the shocker.

Lizzie and Nike told me that they had read in the paper this morning that Dollar Tree was closing!

What in the world??

Tracy and I immediately began to protest. Dollar Tree had just opened new stores. It was impossible. They always looked as if they were doing well. They --

"It's right here," Nike said, and she pointed at her phone.

No way! I was too upset to think properly. Shortly after that Nike and Lizzie left to go, you guessed it, to Dollar Tree. I did not want to go with them. I was too sad. Tracy and I wandered around buying this and that and mourning the loss.

I have written before about my great love for Dollar Tree, which ranks up there with my great love for Mozart, Leonard Pennario, and the Catholic Church. Where would I now buy Totally Awesome cleaning products? What about cheap Lime-A-Way toilet cleaner? About once a month you find a coupon in The Buffalo News and Dollar Tree takes coupons.

How about their writing implements? I love that brand name Jot. I just bought a cute Jot notebook a few weeks ago to keep track of my chapter revisions.

Cookbooks. Coloring books.

Wrapping paper. Gift bags. Nail polish. Wax paper. Bar ware. Made-in-USA glass candle holders. Hot sauce. Those 50-ounce drums of Totally Awesome dish soap. (They never did disappear.) My head was spinning.

And what about Tevive Tea? Just yesterday I enjoyed a cup of Peach Passion.

And oh, the holy frozen food!


Guess what, I get home and I look in the paper to see where this Dollar Tree story is, so I can put it on Twitter (where I am, under @MaryKunzGoldman), and post, "I am devastated."

I could not find that story anywhere!

Subsequently I did a search and sure enough.

Fake News!

I should have guessed. How could Dollar Tree close, with me keeping them in business? At first I was really mad at Nike and Lizzie for causing me this stress. But a second later, I was over it. Number one they love Dollar Tree as much as I do, and were as distraught as I was.

And secondly, who cares?

Dollar Tree lives!

I will appreciate it double from now on.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Sunset over Hertel Avenue

Sometimes the best pictures of sunsets are in urban settings!

I personally prefer the above picture to the greatest inspirational pictures of the sun setting over a peaceful ocean. It is Sunset Over Hertel Avenue! I took it from the lot of the Lexington Food Co-Op.

Another shot that same evening. This was a minute or so earlier if memory serves me.

Speaking of the sun, here is my masterful photo of the solar eclipse a month or so ago.

That was August 21, yikes! I can barely bear to look at my camera roll, the weeks and months are passing so fast. Barely bear, that is a phrase I like. It is like manly man or girly girl.

Jeoffry does not care what the sun is doing.

As long as he has his bird, he's happy!

All right, it is back to work with my fine self.

There is one thing the sun never sets on.

That is procrastination!

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Bless me, Father, for I have cooked

Today for church coffee hour I went back to a cookbook I've had for years and had completely forgotten about. It is this cookbook from Cape May's Mainstay Inn. It is called, "Breakfast At Nine, Tea At Four."

Why, you cute cookbook!

I made Banana Crunch Coffee Cake, p. 104. While it was baking I turned a few pages and found Orange Kuchen. I had an orange. I had everything I needed. So I made that too.

Here is a funny thing. Both the Banana Crunch cake took about three times as much sugar and butter as the Orange Kuchen. Both baked in the same pan, the 9 by 13, one of my favorite pans, I must point out.

Well, even though the banana cake took enough sugar and butter -- and coconut, too! -- to sink a ship, I made it as written. Give the people what they want! Several times I have skimped and tried to make things healthy and in that case nobody eats it.

Both cakes were a success. My friend Oscar complimented me on the orange cake. Oscar comes from some South American or Latin American country I can never remember, but he is an authority on baking and he loves the taste of orange peel. As do I! It is most zesty.

Another way in which I was a winner, I made a crock pot of white beans and greens, the greens being the collards from my Porter Farms CSA, which is another story for another day. One of the gentlemen complimented me on that! He and his wife were on some kind of plant-based diet and he could not believe his luck.

Long story short, here I am kicking back and listening to Harry Connick Jr. and basking in my greatness. Oh! There is one more thing.

Lizzie and I both managed to make it to Mass in a timely fashion! The Kyrie was just beginning which was not bad for us. Last week, even better, we made it in time for the Asperges. What are we doing right? We were trying to figure that out because it would be great if this trend continued.

I think with me, it was because I made two big coffee cakes instead of any number of smaller ones. That plus I made Amaretto Coffee Wreath ...

... which was huge too. Howard took that picture of it on its parchment paper! I threw these treats together yesterday easily, among doing other things. Howard helped me carry them out to the car this morning so that was something else. He usually helps me but this morning he did the lion's share of it. Not as many pans, and a lot of help! That made a difference.

Now if I could only bring this kind of productivity to the rest of my life.

Onward and upward!

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Weber wondering

So I get a big tray of spareribs from Tops. They are all spiced up and ready to barbecue. I scanned the ingredients and it all looks nice and natural. I've got all my ducks in a row, right?


What do you do when ...

... the package says to grill for 7 minutes a side, and ....

.... every cookbook and online recipe says to grill for about two hours?

What do you do??

Whom do you trust???

Do you start them in the oven and then finish them on the Weber?

What about Constanze Weber, Mozart's wife, pictured up above?

She was the first soprano soloist in Mozart's "Great" Mass in C Minor which is challenging, but I do not think she ever had the challenge of grilling spareribs!

Constanze Weber did not have a Weber!

I do. With which, I like to cook and I like to think I have gotten good at it. However, I have a confession. Meat confuses the daylight out of me.

Every cookbook I see tells me that this or that cut of beef could be called this or could be called that. There is no consistency. Every book tells me --

Oh, wait, the husband is home. The ribs will be cooked, one way or another. I do not need to point out that this impossible situation came about thanks to Eve being created from Adam's rib, you know? The rib situation is complicated from the word go.

I will report on how this goes.

Wish me luck!