A Weekly Offering of This n That

Rainy Day is my alter ego. She is the little angel that sits on one shoulder and whispers in my ear to forgo that 6" piece of triple chocolate fudge with the four scoops of ice cream on it; she is also the little devil who sits on my other shoulder and convinces me that I can eat just one bite of each and be satisfied, and then laughs with such great abandon when in fact, I eat the whole thing, she falls off my shoulder. Mostly, Rainy Day helps me see the humor in living and, mostly, she encourages me down the right path. Not necessarily the straight and narrow one (how fun is that?) but the path that offers the most adventure and fun.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rainy Day Has Wrinkles!

NOTE: One person responded to last week's Big Question. Thank you, Shelley! I think you are probably correct, and will let you know once verified;-)

Rainy Day does not understand all the hoopla over wrinkle removers. Rainy D has wrinkles, and she's quite content. Yes, they make her look a bit older, but she remembers all the adventures that put them there--the near misses while traveling the Blue Highways, the trials (not to mention the tribulations) of raising two children. She remembers her Dearly Beloved Ex and the fun times they had at the beginning of their relationship. Oh, and the memories from Basic Training, and the memories from her jobs after the military. Yes, Rainy D is actually somewhat proud of her wrinkles, and really doesn't see a reason to go spend good, hard earned money to get rid of them.

Rainy D would rather spend that money on books! She doesn't have quite so many all over her house any more, but she still buys them. Rainy Day has come, kicking and screaming, into the electronic age – she has an eReader, and on that little, hand held computer, she has books, books, and more books. She even gets her favorite magazine delivered not to her door, but to her eReader! Why, Rainy Day can even read those books on her phone! Whatever is this world coming too?

Why should Rainy Day care about wrinkles? Her quilts don't care that she has wrinkles. Her animals don't care. Her kids never notice and her eReader only wants to be held, and now and again charged.
Even if she got rid of her wrinkles, Rainy Day is positive she would never have the beauty of Sophia Loren or Elizabeth Taylor – so she is content to stay wrinkled and be happy as she is. Unless, of course, by getting rid of the wrinkles, she might have a chance with the cute young man next door....

(And if you'd like to see what books Rainy Day has read, and if it's suitable for eReaders, go to Rainy Day Reads.)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Rainy Day wants to know: What is it???

What is this 'mortar and pestle' called? What is it used for? And why does she have it? Oh, wait, she knows why she has it – she bought it at a garage sale several years ago for twenty-five cents from someone who also didn't know what it was, or was for, and hoped she could solve the great mystery. She couldn't.

As you can see, it's just a smidge over seven inches long, including pestle, and an inch wide. It's cute. But what is it? The inside is smooth, so it must be used for crushing rather than grinding?

She's taken it into various Kitchen Stores, and no one has a clue. They look at it, then at Rainy Day, then stare blankly into the void and shrug their shoulders, repeating the same mantra, "I dunno. Good luck on finding out."

It seems a labor intensive way to get cranberry juice, one berry at a time. With the spout, Rainy Day thinks it looks more like it's for liquid whatevers than dry whatevers. But, maybe it's for crushing dry stuff and then carefully pouring?

If you know what it is and what it's for, would you be so kind as to tell Rainy Day? Please. Pretty please.

Oh, one more thing, it was made in Japan and the back of the mortar, near the bottom has two wee teensy 'feet' to keep it from rolling around, and the top has a hole for a hook or nail.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Something Else that Rainy Day Misses - Accents

Rainy Day desires to apologize to you, her gentle readers, for being so late in getting her post up. You see, the cherries on her trees are ripe, and ready for picking, and Rainy D got up bright and early this morning to get one (of two) trees picked before the heat set in -- or the lawn guy showed up. She now has two huge bowls of cherries to wash, pit, and freeze in quart bags for this coming Jam Session in October;-)
Now, back to our regularly scheduled programming...

When Rainy Day was a little girl, and could hear without hearing aids, she lived in a culturally diverse city – Portland, Oregon. And, being totally without manners, when she heard someone talk differently than she talked, she'd march right up to them and ask where they were from. If they spoke a language she didn't know (she barely knew English, and you can believe she didn't know any others) she marched right up to them, and asked what language they were speaking. She loved all the different languages she heard, and the different accents.

By the time Rainy Day entered High School, she could pretty well tell where any accent she heard was from. She could distinguish a Bronx from a Brooklyn, a Louisville from an Anniston, a German from...well, you get the point.

Rainy Day loves accents. When she was nine years old, she spent a summer in the South with her grandparents, and never got enough of Cajun or New Orleans or Georgia. She could tell by the radio stations where they were. She thought she'd died and gone to Accent Heaven.

There were times when her love of accents got her in trouble, too. And times when it brought happiness. Rainy Day was also an unconscious mimic. A young man used to come to the house to sell Spud Nuts, door to door. We always bought a half dozen – they were, after all, to die for. One day, Rainy Day answered the door, and this young man asked his usual question, and Rainy Day turned around and mimicked him perfectly – without realizing what she had done. Rainy Day's mother was furious. She bought a dozen spud nuts, and wouldn't let Rainy Day have any.

Then, there was Rainy Day's girl friend, Olivia. Olivia's mother was a war bride from a small part of London. After Olivia and I graduated from high school, and I had my own apartment, Olivia's mother used to call me every so often, ostensibly to talk to Olivia should she be at Rainy Day's domicile. She never was. Rainy Day finally figured it out – she was homesick, and Rainy Day, without realizing what she did, mimicked her accent perfectly.  Years later, long after Rainy Day lost track of Olivia and her mother, she met an Englishman at work, and told him the story. He asked if she could remember the accent, as he was from London. Rainy Day looked at him, and started speaking. He, in turned laughed, "That's from Such-and-Such area, it's about a four city blocks of London, and are you sure you weren't raised there?"

And then, a double-edged sword sliced it's way through our culture -- cable television and syndicated radio. Now, everyone talks like everyone else, what Rainy Day calls NPR Vanilla. The newscasters from Portland, Maine sound like the ones from Portland, Oregon who sound like the ones from New Orleans, Louisiana. If one wants to hear accents now they must watch those 'reality' shows and hope the actors can do the accents more or less correctly. Rainy Day is starved for accents, but not that starved. Even when she travelled around the country a few years ago, the only accents she heard on the radio were in commercials.
Rainy Day is not advocating a return to the 'good old days' but, golly gosh, she really would love to hear regional accents again. She misses them, greatly.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Rainy Day Meets Joseph, Again

Frozen Sunrise on Mount Joseph, from the front door of our cabin
Spring run-ff drowns picnic tables and fire pits in Wallowa State Park, southern end of Joseph
A couple of weeks ago, Rainy Day and a friend of hers visited Joseph, Oregon for a couple of days. Joseph is in the Wallowa Mountains, in the northeast corner of Oregon, at an elevation of about 4300 feet, and it was cool and damp, and overcast most of the time. It is the old stomping grounds of the band of Nez Perce Indians, which Chief Joseph led. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous, the people are very friendly, and they have a marvelous quilt store. Oh, and several art galleries;-)

When Rainy Day was a girl, her family often took her to the nearby Lostine River to camp and fish. It felt like coming home again.

Grave marker for Chief Joseph
When Chief Joseph took his people on a desperate march to reach Canada and freedom from General Oliver O. Howard's attempt to forcibly move his band of people to a reservation in Idaho he got them almost to the border before they were caught and brought back. As far as Rainy Day knows, his method of moving his people is still taught, and used, by the US Military.

Cameras are very scary for young 'uns

Deer munching grass, watching fox as they played

Young buck checking his herd (not shown) and eating breakfast

Frozen sunrise thawing
If you Google 'Chief Joseph' there is a tremendous amount of information on him. For his famous Surrender Speech, I Will Fight No More Forever, click here