Mine is not seven days long. But four ain't bad at all. I took today and Monday off, so I could bracket my weekend retreat nicely and stress-free. I'm cleaning up around the house and in the yard, and after lunch time, I'll take off for Santa Cruz, where I will spend the weekend a half dozen intrepid NaNoWriMo veterans. Rob found us a great house on Black's Beach, and we'll write and write and eat and drink and have a good time.
Don't let me forget to pack my Bundt pan, the flour sifter, and the zester. The Food Librarian declared Sunday Bundt Cake Day, and who am I to protest? There were several votes for the Cream Cheese Pound Cake with Lime Glaze, so that's what it'll be. It also meant that I could snatch limes from my neighbors' tree as I dropped off the winter seedlings on their patio table: purple kohlrabi, shelling peas, broccolini, and a cluster of spindly leeks that were tested and declared edible my Ms. Maia. Her thinking seemed to be that it looked close enough to cat grass. I may plant more leeks for her. Good on her for eating her veggies.
Random trivia tidbit: a Bundt cake in German is called a Guglhupf [Google-hoopf].
It's raining really hard here today. Everybody is talking about the first storm of the season. I kinda like it. The only thing that could make it better would be if I could stay at home, throw a couple of logs in the fireplace, bake something, and settle down on the sofa in my designer snuggie with a book and a couple of cookies and three cats.
But there's work to be done, so I'm at the office, listening to rainy music. Here are a few of the songs in my playlist today:
The Cure, Prayers for Rain
Marc Cohn, Rainy Season
The Doors, Riders on the Storm
Elvis Presley, Kentucky Rain
Paul Weller, Early Morning Rain
Eurythmics, Here Comes The Rain Again
Grace Jones, Walking In The Rain
Creedence Clearwater Revival, Who'll Stop The Rain
Creedence Clearwater Revival, Have You Ever Seen The Rain
Went down into the moon-bright backyard with my iPhone and checked out the stars with Starmap. Oh, so that was Jupiter, not Venus. And what's this constellation called again? Right, Boötes, the Herdsman. And what's this brightish star next to Boötes? Aha, it's called Alphecca, and is part of the Corona Borealis, the Northern Crown.
Have I told you lately how much in love I am with my iPhone? Starmap is one of my favorite apps. Check out how cool it is. And that movie doesn't even show one of the most wondrous features - I have the new 3GS iPhone, with a built-in compass. I hold up my iPhone to the night sky, and it shows me the stars right in front of me, exactly what I'm looking at. I turn with my iPhone in hand, and the map turns with me, ever so gracefully.
It's so beautifully done, it restores my faith in mankind.
It's high time for a garden update. Well, truthfully, it's way past time for a garden update. How is it doing? Fair to middlin.
I killed the cukes; I didn't water them enough, most likely. Next year I'll give them a different bed and extra liquid. The radishes are very popular with something that keeps digging them up. Squirrels, probably. I've only eaten one myself.
The tomatoes are putting out very modestly. I ripped out the Mexico beefsteak tomato because it hadn't set any fruit at all. Stupice and Isis Candy are coming along slowly, German Red Strawberry is doing okay, and the Early Girl started first, true to its name, but none of them is very big or has lots of tomatoes on them. Gardening goddess Finny has pledged to help me with soil testing and amending next spring, so that I'll get decent results.
I am such a shameless hussy. I just met my new iPhone last weekend, and we're already in bed together. In my defense, it seduced me. On the other hand, it didn't make me do anything I wasn't absolutely ready for.
I've already bought a couple of apps, and installed a few more free ones. Here's what I got so far. Tell me what else I must have.
Surely you have heard by now that I bought an ice cream maker. Oh yes! It's the talk of the town!
I've also invested in three very different sets of recipes: Ice Cream Deck, a set of cards with a recipe each, Lick It!, which has vegan recipes, substituting nondairy milks, and including lots of sorbet and fruit sauce recipes, and Making Artisan Gelato, which boasts "45 Recipes and Techniques for Crafting Flavor-Infused Gelato and Sorbet at Home".
I made sorbet from my friend Sherri's excellent Meyer lemons last weekend. It didn't last long, and the crowds outside my house are clamoring for more. My housemate Anna suggested I make popsicles next time, which I think is a great idea ... now where did I put the popsicle molds I bought?
I work out with a personal trainer once a week. She puts me through my paces in circuit training - three rounds of six exercises each, using the props in our gym: hand weights, a step bench, a stability ball, resistance bands, and all that good stuff.
She's off on vacation next week, and then I have two weeks of vacation in July, but I don't want to lose all my hard-earned muscle tone, so I just asked her for homework that I can do without props at home or in a hotel room. Here's what she said (posting it here so I can access it from anywhere, because I will not be away from the interwebs):
For homework I would like you to walk 20 minutes (at least) each day come rain or shine - i don't mind where or when. Walk up all possible stairs also, and do 1 set of 10 calf raises each time you hit some stairs. (5 stairs minimum) no calf raises into Macys!!
In your room:
Lunges forwards sideways and backwards x 12 reps (2 rounds) (quads and cardio)
On all fours knee to elbow ( does back - upper and lower, butt, abs) x 10
bridge with 10 raises one leg raise 10 secs then other leg (butt and hams)
12 Push ups man style (triceps and chest)
Plank with 1 leg raised for 30 secs and other leg other 30 secs - no cheating! (abs and whole body)
1 Leg raised off floor or bed or ball, and lift bag of sugar 10 times repeat other side. (biceps, hip flexors, abs)
P.S.: for added variety, some more body weight exercises, like scissor kicks, sit-ups, boat pose, etc. Lots of photos that illustrate the exercises well.