7QT: Instead of the news

One: It’s been hard to write this year. There is so much terrible news, and all of it is much more important than anything I have to say about school or local food. When I finally get over it to write something and schedule it to post automatically Monday morning, something terrible happens (looking at you, white supremacists who overran Charlottesville, and nutcase in Barcelona) and then my response appears to be some links about the upcoming eclipse.  There are many thoughtful, wise responses to the state of our nation and world.  I’m sorry that you won’t find them here.  Read them first, and then when you can’t take reality any more, you can pick up some sheet cake and come back here to read about something less distressing.

Two: Welcome back. While you were gone, I’ve been organizing our books.  Every year I  pull out the ones I want to have handy to assign for school.  I’ve been putting it off this summer because… well, see #1 above.  (It’s not just writing that’s been hard.)  But school starts on Monday, and I’m running out of time. I began yesterday by going through all the shelves and pulling out the books I need. Now I have to make room for them in a convenient spot, which involves moving those books somewhere else.  Anyway, it quickly became overwhelming.

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Three: So instead of finishing the task, I moved on to the abundance in the kitchen.  It’s August, which means melons and corn and tomatoes and peaches. Hallelujah. A God who made the peach is Someone I can get behind.

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I used to spend a hot, August afternoon sweating over the canner with these beauties. No more. Now I wash them, slice them in half to remove the pit, and freeze them on parchment paper. (The peaches, not the pits.) It takes about 10 minutes and involves no heat. Then, when the peaches are frozen, I throw them in bags.  In the winter they are perfect for the cobblers and smoothies that are the antidote to the February blues.

Four: While I’ve been working hard (or running to escape the news), the children are struggling with boredom. Poor things. I feel so sorry for them.

Five: Phoebe has taken to writing a newspaper.  I was nervous about this at first, until her first two articles were Tips about the Eclipse and Tips for Going Back to School. A girl after my own heart.

Six: Moriah has been coping by baking. Alas, that enables my coping by eating. After days of double chocolate chip cookies, lemon bars and flourless chocolate cake (she has been limited only by the egg production of our hens), I begged her please to make something that could count as lunch.  “Here,” I said, “use all these gorgeous tomatoes to make some sauce.”

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Seven: Teenage boredom for the win. Now if I could only talk her into helping me with the books…

When you can’t take the real news any more, check out Kelly for more Quick Takes.

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6 thoughts on “7QT: Instead of the news

  1. I’ve missed your blog. Changing some things around so that my week includes checking in on you here in this space. It may also have to do with you calling me mean. But whatever. We love each other and I’m glad to be back. mwah. Maybe after a while I’ll start writing again…maybe.

    • Okay, so you didn’t actually call me mean. You’d never do that. What I’m trying to say is that I love your writing and I’m glad for the kick in the pants to come back here. I am done now. That is all.

  2. Last week Mom took K and me to her college room mate’s cottage in New Jersey, and to Ellis Island and the Stature of Liberty. Did you know that doctors of the time tried very hard to work at the hospital on Ellis Island because it was state of the art and all the world’s diseases and conditions would come to them? The health care bill was paid for by the shipping companies, since they were supposed to only transport healthy people, and keep them that way in passage.

    One column was called the kissing post because that’s where husbands who’d sent for their wives and children met them after they’d been processed to bring them to NY or to the NJ train to anywhere. Ellis Island workers would hang out by the column to see the reunions and remember why they did their jobs. The medical buildings are on the part of the island that hasn’t been restored into museums yet, and was further damaged by Sandy, but they have hardhat tour for people over aged 12. The ranger said it was too emotionally intense for younger children since it deals with the 2% of people who were sent back to their countries or didn’t recover.

    I thought, oh, what a cool location for a novel, and there was one in the gift shop. But the in the part I skimmed, the heroine understood medicine like someone from 2004, not 1904, so I left it in the gift shop. But I took notes in my journal to write this to you.

    The pigeons and gulls by picnic area near the cafeteria were so bold, that K sat next to them and sketched them in her notebook.

    • Wow! It sounds like an amazing trip. Thanks for your excellent notes! I am writing an historical novel with a medical main character- I would love to chat more about the sensibilities that seemed modern to you. Thanks!

  3. Now I feel sad for the novel I didn’t read – it’s on the Island of Unwanted Toys.

    An Irish Mother is giving birth for the first time, and the plucky nurse uses Lamaze with her to breath through the contractions – I was under the impression that that didn’t come in until the ’50s, not the ’20s, though I couldn’t tell from the clothes on the cover exactly which time period the book was set, Ellis Island was in operation from 1892 – 1854, but the fancy font on the front cover said 1910s to me.

    With people like me who took biology only in high school, when various medical procedures
    were known is probably sketchy, and has that “people long ago knew nothing” bias. So you may need to hang lanterns on procedures for us.

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