Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I got up this morning before 6 and went out to watch the end of the lunar eclipse. I tried to go back to sleep afterwards, but couldn't. So, it has been a long, long day.

Greg was out in my front yard taking photos. I am, once again, reminded of how lovely it is to have your own personal professional photographer. You can see a whole series of eclipse photos on Greg's blog - I just stole one to put here (with his permission, of course). Check out the whole eclipse in sequence at www.thelope.com.

A little before 8 this morning the roofers next door insisted I move the van and the car from the driveway because they were afraid they would drop shingles on them while working on the house. Had I known they were coming, I would have charged the van battery. I don't drive it very often so always have to charge the battery before driving it. I'm not sure how they expect to find the neighbors at home whenever they happen to show up. Regardless, they pushed the van down the driveway so it was out of the way and I dug out the battery charger so I could move it back. All of this hoopla and they pulled off about a half dozen shingles and then left, not to seen the rest of the day. It's at least good to know that other people have no better luck with people who work on their homes than I do. On other home fronts, I called the lawn guy tonight and it will be next Wednesday before he can do my yard. Apparently lawn guys are in great demand.

I got some MHA projects completed today that I have been putting off and then spent a few hours in the studio tonight. I've been painting some backgrounds and have black paint under my fingernails - it looks really awful but I can't get it out. I've cut my nails to the point that they're as short as possible. It will wear off eventually, but it's not very attractive in the meantime. I have noticed people looking askance more than once - as if I'm a person who hasn't washed her hands in some weeks. Anyone who knows me knows this is not likely. I wash my hands many times each day. No, I'm not obsessive. I just like my hands clean. And, I rarely get sick. So there.

This is nothing new. My mother had the bathroom redone in her house when I was about three and had the sink installed at a level I could easily reach without her assistance. My father was saying, exasperatedly, "Mary Lea, she's going to grow!" To which my mother replied, "You don't know how many times a day I wash this child's hands." She had me come in and reach as far as I could and told the workman, "That's where I want the sink." And that's where the sink remains decades later.

I also have a thing about brushing my teeth. I remember on a trip once telling Matthew I needed to buy some toothpaste that day because I was out. He said, "Well, that's no wonder. You brush your teeth 20 times a day." For the record, I do not brush my teeth that much. At the time we were staying in a hotel room where we were sleeping about four inches from each other, waking up practically nose to nose every morning. You know Europeans love that coziness. I pointed out to Matthew that a person you're waking up only centimeters from could have worse habits than brushing their teeth multiple times a day. He conceded this was definitely true.

OK... moving on to other topics... time for a confession... My latest guilty pleasure - watching  "Rob and Big."  I'm not a huge reality show fan, but there's something funny about these guys and their friendship.And, shoot, they probably have a better chance of staying together than the Barkers did.

Homemade Granola

Teresa made homemade granola for Kansas Dialogue and people were asking for the recipe. I told them I would ask and if she agreed to give it, I would post it on the blog. Well... here it is...

It's Alton Brown's recipe from "Good Eats" on the Food Network. It's mighty yummy!

3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup cashews
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar.
In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.
Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.