Our local newspaper covering Eureka, Pacific and somewhere else -- Gray Summit? -- came in the mailbox every two weeks bearing news of VFW suppers and church fish fries, all-you-can-eat breakfasts, Railroad Days and the bank's Customer Appreciation Day, flea markets, photos of prize-winning kids or teachers or the high-school play, and canned advice by our local Edward Jones agents. But it has died.
The paper -- The Current -- over the past year got thinner and thinner, a signal that advertisers had either deserted it or their ad people weren't aggressive enough, and a healthy newspaper must be 70 percent advertising. It used to have two plump sections, and occasionally a third special supplement. I had read every inch, sometimes laughing ("Local Photographer Almost Gets Picture Published"). I read about the new mayor at 8:30 a.m. on his first day in office firing every town employee including the city clerk who'd worked there 25 years. That's-a called drainin' the swamp. One time the mayoral candidates were Ms. Pigg and Mr. Titter. I learned that from the paper and will never forget it.
For a while the electronic Patch brought news and I called because I used to be a reporter, but their $50 per article was paltry. It takes all day and mileage to run around collecting information and interviews to put together just one news article, or learn enough about a person or business to write a feature story, and for local politics you must sit through the aldermen's meetings, etc. and can't leave, and covering politics in three towns means there are three such meetings to go to, not just one. Life is too short. The dying Current changed publishers three times, thinned and died. I will miss it. Along with bringing useful news (no disrespect intended) I used its obituary pages to peel potatoes on, at the same time reading those life summaries and how everybody was connected to everybody else and will be dearly missed.
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
Monday, February 26, 2018
Rain ended, yesterday I trekked over the property to watch brimming waterfalls, see ferns unfolding, look at buds on trees, step ankle-deep in mud, breathe in the most delicious, cleanest, laundered spring air and whitest sunlight, cleaned up trash by the creek, checked the cabin roof bashed (whomp! whomp!!) by thick oak branches broken off by Saturday night's windstorm -- the roof is okay -- and then bent to clean storm debris from the lane and around the cabin. That done, I was about to photograph the wonders of some velvety little buds when I looked down and saw in the sunny sweet spot at the house's southwest corner, these!
They never fail! If I were a flower, I would be a crocus (from the Latin word crocatus, meaning "saffron yellow"). Crocuses are not just the promise of spring. They are the signature on the contract!
Saturday, February 24, 2018
|8:30 a.m., 24 Feb 2018|
Then it's past 4:30 p.m. and I want dinner. What to do? Why, St. Bridget's Church is just a block away and it has a fish fry every Friday during Lent, $10 per plate for adults. Liked it; there's retro cool in having dinner in a school gymnasium ("Go, Shamrocks!") among tables full of strangers. Please note at the right of the photo the peach pie in the plastic container.
See, it's a slippery slope into decadence, February style: cabin fever, coffeehouse, a fish fry, pie, then at home I open a bottle of pinot noir and loll myself to sleep.
Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Yesterday I led our "spiritual group" on the topic of raising our vibrations to attract our "perfect mate." We had fun listing the many fine qualities of the him or her just about to arrive, who is looking for someone just like us. I brought unicorn and princess valentines enough for all and wished everyone Happy Valentine's day.
Only one sprinkling of salt has been necessary on the concrete steps this winter. And. . . already the bluebirds are back, very active, and they love to have families in my bluebird box and I can hardly wait. Happy Valentine's Day. Happy day every day. Love is everywhere and spring is gaining momentum.
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Because I know beef is a treat and not a staple I buy only favorite cuts and only grass-fed, for a while driving 42 miles round-trip to obtain favored cuts. So for the first time, and because it's winter, I had steaks delivered from a local source: farmergirlmeats.com, Warrenton, MO. Six in a box: 2 filets mignon, 2 strips, 2 ribeyes. Flash-frozen, they came from the farm to my house by UPS the same day. This shipping arrangement cost money but so had driving 42 miles. (There's a pick-up option if you want.) Now I have my favorites and will eat one steak per week. They're aged, too. Free-range chicken, lamb, and so on are also available.
|The steaks arrived in a cooler.|
I trim the thawed steak if it needs it, pat it dry, salt and pepper both sides liberally, place it in a pan that has heated to smoking a couple of drops of oil, and cook the steak 90 seconds on one side and 90 seconds on the other, then remove it to a plate, tent the plate with foil and leave it for 10 minutes to distribute heat and juices. I like it rare. Like fish, a steak is tenderest when raw, and after that it's all downhill.
From half of one ribeye I made the above-pictured steak salad. The salad is a Cooking Light recipe called Antipasto Bowl, using asparagus, olives, mozzarella pearls, and more. My lunch was as good as it looks. The secret of good food: good ingredients.
Tuesday, February 6, 2018
I like their powdery-soft look. The needles, two or three inches long, are "bundled" in twos or threes, and the bark looks scaly. Male and female cones grow on the same tree (very handy for them), although it takes a few years for the tree to produce cones. The wood is great if the tree is mature. The trees pictured must have taken root in 2002 or later, after the cliff's original face was blasted off for road widening.
While cedars, alien invaders in Missouri, require at least an inch of soil, and I know that because I chop them down and rip them up trying to preserve the property's native oak-hickory forest, the Short-Leaf Pine (pinus echinaceus) is tougher. I have no idea how these Short-Leafs cling to the foot of a St. Peters sandstone cliff and find nourishment, unless they simply like life.