Several images, same place, slightly altered viewpoints

Late Summer HIlls 1993.JPG

1320 The Repeating Hills.jpg

 

hills #177 copy.JPG

425 late sumer hills.JPG

Hills Hills Hills 2011 2.jpg

Every time, I see it differently. Every time I fancy that the painting might be too much the same, too like a predecessor. But here’s the fun– I even seem to change the number of hills! How they lie, how they feel depends upon something far more subjective than the physics of how light can strike a slope. This scene by the way is North of King City CA on one of the county roads. The painting immediately above this text would show you the outlines of the Pinnacles if I had turned a few degrees to my right. And yes, before you ask, I have more paintings of this area still, though all of the above have sold. Maybe some day I shall share the full suite on this blog. I wonder what happened to the very first one I did back about 1990. It was a small painting, something like ten by fourteen inches before I became emboldened about my long formats. Maybe some day I will see that one again and assess the full course. Maybe, however, I shall never cease from pursuing these hills!

1 Comment

Filed under painting

A little time with pencils and paper

daft-wee-willie-wilberforce-in-pencil-9-13-2016

So here is our Daft Wee Willie Wilberforce in pencil. I was talking with a visiting friend, discussing sketches. When I stepped out into our passageway I saw that another friend who recently lost her artistically gifted and active husband, had kindly dropped off a bundle of his pencils in case I might be able to use them. Here are a few results.

watsons-head-gray-pencil

Watson’s stripes.

watson-before-he-decided-to-move-copy

Watson before he moved on to make some mischief.

2 Comments

Filed under cat pictures, cats, Drawings

Haste to the Wedding Cake

 

P1000828.JPG

…and don’t forget the mushrooms. Here is my first draft, at approximately one third or one quarter size, of the ‘woodsy’ wedding cake I will make for two friends who will marry this January. Raspberry filling, golden wedding cake recipe from Rose Berenbaum’s Cake Bible, a sour cream and milk chocolate ganache to frost and then hold on the black chocolate bark elements, and a cream cheese white frosting dribbled for the cut trunk surfaces. I made some fast punted white chocolate mushrooms, but will do better next time. I scraped a little white chocolate over the bark to brighten the details then dusted the mushrooms and ‘wood’surfaces with cocoa powder, then the bark with confectioner’s sugar. Now my friends will arrive in a few minutes and get to taste. We will discuss what we want to change. I have a LOT of ideas on that…. But it’s a first draft after all!

P1000825

1 Comment

Filed under blog, food, recipies

Now that school has begun once more

As a parent I got so angry about ‘make-work’ repetitive homework problems and the kind of assignments that clearly were purposed to shape youngsters into obedient sameness suitable for future repetitive uncaring jobs focused solely on ‘getting it done’. Obedience should not be the focus of an education.

To have institutionalized teaching of obedience leak into the home and violate the refuge for a tired kid back from a day of frenetic input, bullying and goose-stepping is simply wrong. Teaching needs to happen in school. Practice likewise. Homework should be for the assignments that were reasonably timed within a school day that a student did not manage to complete. It should not be added on top of full, demanding days. How I hated my child’s homework. It spoiled time we would have better shared reading books– and by the way the fact that I was supposed to count the pages my kid read and report it to the school was insulting. It made the creative act of reading a ‘check in a box’ activity. I ended up reporting the books the kid read, not the pages.

Then let us speak of both the school and teachers’ punitive attitudes towards the noncompliant parent, and then the punishment through the school and teachers’ attitudes and restrictions for the kid who didn’t jump through all the hoops while in the sanctuary of the home. Or worse yet, for the kid whose parents didn’t jump through the hoops. The kids were held hostage for our parental ‘good’ behavior.

My solution? The homework group. A mixed batch of kids of different ranges of abilities working together to get the pages and pages of repetitive exercises done, with homemade brownies or cake, and discussions about science and history that enlivened as much as possible of this tedious obedience training. Lots of reading aloud to illustrate human history and what the international news brought to our door. Maps, and stories from epidemiology and novels, sometimes animal tales laced with natural history.  It wasn’t perfect but it made the process of cookie-cuttering our children something I at least had a hand in.

Guess I should draft a blog on this….Short, incomplete, here it is, but better than nothing.

 

 

2 Comments

Filed under blog, education, homework, school,

The Rey Fire

P1000508

Leave a comment

August 20, 2016 · 4:47 am

Last Comment on All For Pie

concord grapes in box

I must share with you the final tally in our effort to save our concord grapes from the rats. We put up eighteen pies’ worth of concord grapes in the freezer– this is seventy two cups after stemming. So yes, it was worth the labor and the invention of rat proofs!

Grape Pie

Oven 400 F

9″ unbaked pie shell

Topping:

3/4 c flour

1/2 c sugar

cut in 1/3 c butter until crumbly

Filling: Combine these three ingredients thoroughly.

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

dash of salt

————–

1 Tb lemon juice or more

1 Tb melted butter

4 cups concord-type grapes


Slip the skins from the grapes and put the sugar combination with the skins in a bowl. Simmer the grape innards until very soft, soft enough to easily press through a sieve to remove the seeds. I have tried other methods but none work as well as this one. Mix the now seedless grape pulp with the other filling ingredients including the melted butter and lemon juice. Pour into the pie crust and scatter the crumbly topping over the top before baking for 40 to 50 minutes. Best served at room temperature, not hot.

1 Comment

Filed under blog, food, food processing, gardening, pests, rats, Uncategorized

Fresh Fruit Cake

Now is the season for too much– and too many. I am swamped with plumcots, those speckled crosses between apricots and plums, the garnet hue shocking under the frosted skin. I have a few in a basket here mixed with a few of my Harrold Red apples, and as you see I have polished up a few so you can see the difference.

Harrolds and Plumcots1

Here is possibly my favorite use for such fruit. It’s an adaptable simple recipe that tolerates haste and imperfection but still tastes both fresh and happy in the mouth. Not a pretty cake but full of flavor, using the whole wheat to give a nuttiness that showcases the fruit.

Robin’s Rude Fresh Fruit Cake 

Rude in the sense of rough, but perfectly well-mannered enough for any company.(Apple, Pineapple, Pear, Peach, Plumcot, any of these or more will work.)

Sift if you insist, or otherwise simply mix in a 9″ x 13″ deep sided baking pan, no need to grease it:

1 1/2 cups standard white flour

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

1 heaping tablespoon psyllium husk (optional)

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp fresh grated nutmeg

Throw together in a bowl:

3/4 cup vegetable oil (canola or grape seed work well)

3 eggs slightly beaten

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup of golden raisins (optional– I often forget this.)

3 to 6 cups of coarsely chopped (about 1″ chunks but don’t get obsessive– both smaller and bigger will work) cored fruit, skins included. I like about 6 cups but have been rumored to exceed even that. If you go overboard the cake becomes more and more like a pudding!

last bit of plucot cake

Mix the wet and dry ingredients casually together– use your fingers if you like, in the baking dish until there are no big areas of the dry stuff and place in a preheated 375 degree oven. Bake for about 45 minutes and test with a toothpick for doneness. Try not to overbake. You want the batter cooked, nicely set to a crumb, but not hard. If you overbake it and it seems too dry, douse with a half cup of cider or the like while still hot, concentrating on the edges of the pan.

Note— if you want this to be more like an upside down cake you could place half or more of the fruit on the bottom of the pan, mixing the rest into the batter before topping it.

plumcot cake

3 Comments

Filed under food, food processing, recipies