Another year, another reminder

Driving past a cemetery, you may notice American flags here and there. They mark the graves of men and women who served their country in the armed forces.  Each May the weatherbeaten flags are replaced by new ones.  Ever wonder who does it?

Last year I wrote this for the Sunday paper: Honor.

Eye spy


Safety at the beach

The eyes have it

HAMPTON BEACH, N.H. – Each year over 20,000 Americans suffer eye injuries from frisbees, wiffleballs, beach volleyballs, kicked up sand and snapped beer caps.  The Academy of American Ophthalmologists has issued a press release reminding beach-goers to protect their baby blues this season with beach-sports-specific eye protection properly fitted by an eye-care professional.

"It is absolutely necessary for innocent bystanders as well as beach athletes to use protective eyewear," said Dr. I. C. Yu, a Hampton Beach eye doctor who has witnessed more than her fair share of gorey eyeball injuries.  "The consequences of unprotected eyes at the beach can be devasting.  An aerobie or a beach dart can put someone's eye out."

Yu says beach-goers can protect their gorgeous orbs and flaunt their personal style with this season's hot eye protection gear: giant plastic sunglasses, available for 350 tickets at the the Playland Arcade.

"You can't just buy them, you have to win them," advises Yu. "The fastest way to earn tickets is usually by playing skeeball."

If a person does sustain an injury to the eyeball such as a corneal abrasion, retinal detachment, or internal or external bleeding, it is important to not just keep sitting there in a beach chair or standing in line at the fried dough stand but to go seek medical help.

Last game of the season


The foolish fears of what might happen.
I cast them all away


Among the clover-scented grass,
Among the new-mown hay,


Among the husking of the corn,
Where drowsy poppies nod


Where ill thoughts die and good are born—
Out in the fields with God.

– Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Happy Family


The way to a man's heart is through his stomach, they say.  (And the way to the pharaoh's brain is through his nose.)

This is another post about food.

"I love the new happy, cooking Amy," says my husband.  Makes me sound like a doll.  Happy Cooking Amy Barbie, comes with apron, tiny wok and tiny working scissors to snip miniature chives.  No chef's toque, though: it would mess up her hair.

I have started tonight's rosemary olive focaccia already, because it has several risings and I want to bake it before we go watch Laura's last lacrosse game at 5.  Lately I've been on a quest to find really good olive oil, good enough to dip bread in, and not having much luck.  Any suggestions?

We will also have walnut chicken breast stir fry, made in the wok.  For dessert: dark chocolate.  It's good for you!

A recent recipe I tried and everyone liked: Pork-Stuffed Cabbage Rolls. The carrots and celery, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil and sesame seeds made this dish lighter, brighter and more Asian than some other cabbage roll recipes I found.  I would make these babies again except this time make sure I have scallions to tie them together so I don't have to use string.  I took the string off before serving, naturally, but even the thought of boiled string is pretty unappetizing.

R.E.M. (with Kate Pierson of the B-52s): Shiny Happy People video



Mint, an herb whose enthusiasm should be contained

Flowers first, then strawberries 

Sage shadows on a clay pot 

Full Flower Moon last night and 44˚ at wake up. The morning sun lights green fires up in the trees and on the freshly mowed lawn.

The JV lacrosse team is coming to our house for the season's final team dinner, a tradition before most away games. Beat Exeter! The girls have requested lasagna and pasta and salad. 

Laura says, "Do you remember that lasagna you used to make when I was little? Make that!" I say, "Oh yeah… but where's the recipe I wonder."  John says, "It's from a cookbook called 'Baby Let's Eat.'"  I say, "I can't believe you can remember that. Do we still have it?"  John says, "Yep, on the cookbook shelf." 

'Sage is singularly good for the head and brain, it quickeneth the senses and memory, strengtheneth the sinews, restoreth health to those that have the palsy, and taketh away shakey trembling of the members.'
'The smelle of minte rejoiceth the heart of man, for which cause they used to strew it in chambers and places of recreation, pleasure and repose, where feasts and banquets are made.'
'Gather strawberry leaves on Lamas Eve, press them in the distillery until the aromatick perfume thereof becomes sensible. Take a fat turkey and pluck him, and baste him, then enfold him carefully in the strawberry leaves. Then boil him in water from the well, and add rosemary, velvet flower, lavender, thistles, stinging nettles, and other sweet-smelling herbs. Add also a pinte of canary wine, and half a pound of butter and one of ginger passed through the sieve. Sieve with plums and stewed raisins and a little salt. Cover him with a silver dish cover.'