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Dreaming of Winter

It’s hot and sticky, I’m in the middle of several projects but have nothing finished, and I’m short on time because Mr. Man wants me to give him a haircut. What does that mean for this blog post and you, fair readers?

How about something fun and easy, with a bit of history thrown in? I give you the NHL’s oldest recorded footage of hockey:

Safety gear? What safety gear?

Stay cool, friends!

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One of my favorite reads is the terrific* Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews.  

Here’s the first book:

Magic Bites (Kate Daniels, #1) by Ilona Andrews

This husband and wife team also have a number of other great books, all starring kick-ass women willing to go to any lengths to save what needs saving.

The writing is excellent, the plots fresh and unpredictable in the best ways, and the characters, even the bad ones, are complex and well-drawn. (The authors are particularly adept at helping readers understand, and at times forgive, even the darkest characters.)

What’s not to love?

* * *

So when I decided it was time to learn how to make a vintage-style travel postcard, I thought of Atlanta. Not the vibrant city it is now, but as Kate sees it after magic returns to the world, complete with mysterious denizens, vampire Casinos, witch jungles, shapeshifter Keeps, ruins and one lone high rise. 

Welcome to Atlanta.

* * *

Original photos by Shashidhar SMorica PhamHidayat AbisenaMichael DenningCory GazailleToa HeftibaAustrian National Library & Christopher Alvarenga on Unsplash

* * *

* Feel free to disagree with me, I don’t mind. Just know that I am right;)

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Working today, but I’ve also got the back of my mind hard at work designing a fairy* door.

As one does.

* * *

Photo by Justine Meyer on Unsplash

* Don’t tell those uptight little pixie dust factories, but I like garden gnomes better:)

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Day 2

“I never said it would be easy, I only said it would be worth it.” 

― Mae West
Photo by Veronika Frank on Unsplash

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Mr. Man had to get up early so we started the day with an extra hour. I decided to use it to learn something.

Suddenly, that extra time has disappeared and taken its friends with it.

On the plus side, I found an angel.

* * *

Original Photo by Joseph Gonzalez on Unsplash

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* * *

In the early twentieth century, Dorothy Levitt, née Elizabeth Levi (1882-1922) was “the premier woman motorist and botorist [motorboat driver] of the world”… The Woman and the Car is a practical, how-to guide for those who wanted to take to the roads, but did not quite know how. 

— On the Road: *The Woman and the Car* (1909) – The Public Domain Review

Have times changed since 1909? Obviously, but not everything. “Many of the extensive recommendations regarding mechanics, etiquette, and the temptations of car culture hold true today.” Also, who wouldn’t like to have this much fun going to the grocery store?

I’m off to run an errand, but am I just picking up milk, or am I practicing a little petro-feminism?*

* * *

* And I’m looking forward to the day when I can practice electro-feminism.

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Today, work work work. 

Did I wake up tired? Did I procrastinate a little too much? Does everything I say or do today seem not quite right? 

Yes.

No matter.

It’s time to work. It may not be the fun kind, but it is the kind worth doing. 

* * *

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”

— Jack London

* * *

Photo by Oxana Melis on Unsplash

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Chilling

Today is Fridge Day. As previously mentioned, Mr Man and I were unlucky enough to need a new fridge, but ! fortunate in that we were able to find a replacement that would arrive before Fall.* The replacement is being delivered sometime in the next couple of hours, so we’re getting ready.

Step 1: empty the old fridge

Step 2: marvel at the ancient relics to be found therein!

The old fridge has a very deep deli drawer and things could, and did, obviously, get lost in there. Like these Riviera yogurts from 2016 that somehow (incredibly!) still look 100% edible five years later. How?! (Magic, that’s how.) Or the mint vodka I made lo those many years ago (that’s code for I have no idea how old it is).

It’s true that best before dates are food quality guidelines, rather than “you will absolutely, positively die if you eat this even one minute after this date” warnings, but even so, I’ll skip the decade-old fish.

Everything that can be composted/recycled was. The dining room is full of coolers and insulated bags. Drawers were emptied, shelves cleared, and sacrifices to the Appliance Gods were made in the usual fashion.

Now we wait.

* * *

What I wish I were drinking.
Photo by Whitney Wright on Unsplash

* * *

* I’m not kidding about this timeline, as you will know if you have had to purchase a new appliance lately. Supply chain issues from computer chips to shipping bottlenecks are rampant these days, but it will all get sorted out… eventually.

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What Was

I’m still thinking about history, and how even when it’s gone it really isn’t.

I came across a series of reconstructions (by a travel insurance company, who knew insurance could be this interesting?), showing a selection of UNESCO heritage sites as they are, and as they were.

Once upon a time.

Reconstructions of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

* * *

Palmyra. Budget Direct Travel Insurance via World History Encyclopedia

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More history, today. And photography. This is my grandmother on the Swedish-ish side. She was ten or twelve* at the time, and much more agile than when I knew her.

This is also me experimenting with photo restoration techniques.

My Twelve-Year Old Grandma

Grandma Dorothea was sweet, literally and figuratively. She did many things well (gardening, bridge, surviving the Great Depression with her sense of humor intact, making grandchildren happy), but above all, she baked. I can still recall the flash of joy on seeing pound cake in her kitchen. Her chocolate mint squares are decadent, melt-in-your-mouth bites of chocolate cake, creamy mint, and dark chocolate glaze.

She wasn’t much of a cook, but (despite the very cryptic notes left on her 3″x5″ recipe cards) she was one hell of a baker.

* * *

Grandma’s Chocolate Mint Squares

Cake Layer

  • 1 cup sugar                  
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 can chocolate syrup (16 oz)
  • 4 eggs beaten              
  • 1 cup flour                  
  • ½ tsp. salt

1.     Mix and bake in 9”x13” greased and floured pan for 30-35 minutes at 350°F.

Mint Layer

  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbs. Crème de Menthe
  • ½ cup melted butter

2.     Mix and spread on the cool cake. Chill briefly to set.

Glaze

  • 6 oz. chocolate chips
  • 6 Tbs. butter

3.     Melt over low heat. Cool a bit and spread over mint layer.

4.     Chill until chocolate sets and cut into small(ish) squares.

* * *

* Inquiring minds want to know: at what age does one stop being a whippersnapper?

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