Earthquakes and Lightning (and Carrot Cake)

So, how about that earthquake? 5.9, and last night another aftershock, 4.5. I know, you California people, it’s just ‘rocking the baby.’ But we are not prepared, emotionally or structurally, for an earthquake that large, and ours have a different feeling, spreading wider distances because of geology. So. There.

A bit of music for earthquakes…

Apparently there is no ‘umbrella’ theory about preventing them, in the same way I pretend there is a way to ward off the rain when necessary. “Walk softly and carry a big umbrella” is my motto for cloudy skies.  Of course, I lose a lot of umbrellas that way, because unnecessary, dry umbrellas get set down and forgotten. But I like to think of it as spreading a bit of insurance for the unsuspecting.

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Since I can’t do much about the earthquakes, except walk around the house standing objects back up and straightening frames on the wall, I guess I better get moving on dealing with Irene.

The last big hurricane we had here began with an “I” you know. So, I have two days off to gas up the cars, get cash (in small bills),  fill up the propane tank on the grill, buy cat food, move all the lawn furniture and such into our fancy new shed, charge all the electronics, find the candles, buy cat litter, freeze lots of ice cubes and bottles with water, (hmm, remove screens from windows? Have to check on that…) If I prepare properly and carefully enough, my ‘umbrella’  should be able to cause the storm to blow out to sea. If not,  I have enough books in my To-Be-Read pile that even after the nook runs out of juice, I will not run out of entertainment.

A song to move her along….

In other news.

I’ve been working on this carrot cake for years now. I started with a recipe that bears so little resemblance to what I bake that I thought it might be time to re-write it! Any occasion that I should be bringing food, Timmy suggests carrot cake.  (Of course, he would suggest it simply because it is Tuesday, I do believe)

I’ve baked it and tortured people with a 9 hour drive with a warm cake smelling up the back seat of a car, and we once had our hostess make an executive decision Easter morning and declare it breakfast. Pity the poor souls who came to dinner to find the desserts decimated.

House Specialty Carrot Cake (cupcakes)2011Aug18-92

  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 4 to 5 carrots, shredded or grated, your choice.
  • 1  16 oz can crushed pineapple, lightly drained (open the can, set it into the strainer upside down till you need it. Whatever juice is still in the pineapple goes into the cake, I don’t press it out)2011Aug18-962011Aug18-100

In large mixing bowl combine and stir all dry ingredients to blend. Add all remaining ingredients and beat well until blended. Pour into a greased and floured 13×9 inch pan and bake at 350 for 50-60 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.  ( I have a lovely double-walled aluminum pan that I swear by)

Optionally, line or grease 30 cupcake tins and fill 2/3 of the way to the top and bake for 25 minutes (15-18 minutes for mini-sized cupcake/muffins).  Frost cooled cake with cream cheese frosting or  eat as is! (No frosting makes it a healthy muffin!!)

2011Aug 18-126

My husband has been battling the yellow jacket infestation in our yard. The moles and voles have been very generous, sharing their old living quarters with the flying attack squadrons. Husband has been flouting his greater size, larger brain and opposable thumbs in attempting to win the war. Which I appreciate, because those things HURT when they sting!

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My “YEAR ON THE APPOMATTOX has been kind of put on the back burner this month, because of the unrelenting heat and humidity which make it unpleasant to walk through the area, and the absolute GREEN-ness of the area, which has offered little to see visually.

However, I went back last week, found this fellow 2011AUG16-38

and noted that the shades of green are starting to separate because each plant welcomes autumn in a different fashion. I think it will be a lovely view starting in the next few weeks, and I look forward to getting back down there weekly.

Friday afternoon, my dear mother-in-law, Evelyn is going in for a second back surgery. Suffice it to say it’s a nasty, painful procedure and all we can ask for are good, healing thoughts…

Five months in…

…or, how I have been spending my artistic time. As you may recall, on January 1 of this year, I started a series of photographs. My plan is to spend the entire year going back to this one small area of the Appomattox River and recording the changes.I had never been to this park area before. I went that day looking for a specific shot, and got the idea.

It is not a ‘nice’ park. It isn’t groomed, it’s gone wild. It’s not in the best of neighborhoods, (but it is right there at the edge of Old Towne in Petersburg, my favorite shooting location) it’s right down the street from a college campus, it doesn’t have a ball field or swing sets, but does have lots of young adults who use the trail as a shortcut, use the rocks as their party central on the weekends and as a swimming hole/fishing area the rest of the time. As well as lots of neighborly types who walk their dogs, and older men who while the day away fishing.  I go to the Patton Park side on my own, but the Trail side I only go to with my husband as is it desolate. (It turns out I got to this just in time. The Patton side was formally dedicated as a park just a few weeks back. Until that time, you can see how it went from VERY wild to much more groomed…I am glad I happened upon it in it’s more ‘natural’ state)

I decided to split the location, a walk of no more than 10 minutes in either direction from the parking lot. Currently the galleries are strictly chronological, but I do intend to go in there at some point and move like photos together, to really see the changes.

Each of these links have LOTS of photos. Like, HUNDREDS. Smile Just click on either link, below.

The photos start in Patton Park, on January 1, and go thru this week.

I started going over to the Trail side a few weeks later.

I am very excited to see the amazing changes, and can not wait to see the blazing autumn here! And maybe even snow, as all the snow we had this winter was before January 1.

If you enjoy, I would love to hear from you—leave a comment under the photos that you especially enjoy. Give a few photos a Thumbs up! and / or LIKE some of the images. If you want to follow, subscribe to my blog, or  LIKE my Facebook page.

I hope at the beginning of next year, to be able to whittle these photos down to a representative collection and have a photo show….
Thanks for looking!

Five months in…

…or, how I have been spending my artistic time. As you may recall, on January 1 of this year, I started a series of photographs. My plan is to spend the entire year going back to this one small area of the Appomattox River and recording the changes.I had never been to this park area before. I went that day looking for a specific shot, and got the idea.

It is not a ‘nice’ park. It isn’t groomed, it’s gone wild. It’s not in the best of neighborhoods, (but it is right there at the edge of Old Towne in Petersburg, my favorite shooting location) it’s right down the street from a college campus, it doesn’t have a ball field or swing sets, but does have lots of young adults who use the trail as a shortcut, use the rocks as their party central on the weekends and as a swimming hole/fishing area the rest of the time. As well as lots of neighborly types who walk their dogs, and older men who while the day away fishing.  I go to the Patton Park side on my own, but the Trail side I only go to with my husband as is it desolate. (It turns out I got to this just in time. The Patton side was formally dedicated as a park just a few weeks back. Until that time, you can see how it went from VERY wild to much more groomed…I am glad I happened upon it in it’s more ‘natural’ state)

I decided to split the location, a walk of no more than 10 minutes in either direction from the parking lot. Currently the galleries are strictly chronological, but I do intend to go in there at some point and move like photos together, to really see the changes.

Each of these links have LOTS of photos. Like, HUNDREDS. Smile Just click on either link, below.

The photos start in Patton Park, on January 1, and go thru this week.

I started going over to the Trail side a few weeks later.

I am very excited to see the amazing changes, and can not wait to see the blazing autumn here! And maybe even snow, as all the snow we had this winter was before January 1.

If you enjoy, I would love to hear from you—leave a comment under the photos that you especially enjoy. Give a few photos a Thumbs up! and / or LIKE some of the images. If you want to follow, subscribe to my blog, or  LIKE my Facebook page.

I hope at the beginning of next year, to be able to whittle these photos down to a representative collection and have a photo show….
Thanks for looking!