My Commonplace Blog

Bits of info in bytes



Keeping It Fresh


For several months I started each day downing a glass of tepid water with lemon and honey. Somewhere on the interwebs, no doubt several somewheres, this is touted as the fountain of youth, the elixer of good health, etc. Why not try? Well, the hubs lasted about two weeks. I stuck with it until I could no longer stand the delay it caused between feet hitting the floor and coffee.

The end came sometime after the purchase of more lemon juice. For many years, I’ve had it in my head that the hubs doesn’t like lemon very much. He’s asked several times not to use lemon in dishes so I add it to my serving only. Clearly no reason to keep fresh lemons in this house. So here I am trying to figure out how to use up a substantial amount of lemon juice. Hesitantly, I suggested lemon bars. Not a big personal favorite, but not something avoided. He was enthused. I was confused.

After putting a little thought to it, I realized he doesn’t like lemon in savory dishes but he does like lemony desserts. Whereas, I like lemon in savory dishes and respond meh to lemony desserts. He cooks meal regularly but I can’t recall him making a dessert aside from instant pudding; with detailed instructions, he can bake chocolate chip cookies using dough I’ve made.

So lemon bars it will be, no doubt repeatedly. Who knew?





Ill Decor


Sigh. I guess, maybe, perhaps this is better or at least the least offensive option.

For some reason, that I missed because I wasn’t paying attention when it was uttered, the hubs said the best place for the router is my studio/office.

First it sat on the cabinet, cords tucked behind it and its ugly-but-necessary e-cousins. When reception went wonky, heat was the suspected culprit. Then it sat perched on a stump of PVC pipe. Other e-issues, now determined to be unrelated to the router, hiked it to the wall, cords flowing in all their un-glory. The hubs thinks this works better. Tried to sell it to me as opening up space. What you see is all the space it ‘opened’ but protesting is futile. I’m trying to look at the end result as an art installation that speaks to our electronic age. After all, not like I’m going to give up the interwebs any time soon.

And while we’re talking about untastefulness, the Henri Bendel bag held candles purchased as gifts. I can’t bear that you might think otherwise.




Fruits and Labors or I Paid WHAT for Apples or Soggy Bottom

Apple pie

Pie making is a skill I neither possess or wish to develop into a strength. Passable is my goal. It is, however, my neighbor’s unfailing strength. So we work to stay in good standing with her and hope fruit-and-crust goodness continues to regularly cross the property line.

As for consuming pie, it is a dessert category I enjoy occasionally. Whereas the hubs could eat apple pie every day, and that’s only a minor exaggeration. So when I say a small something about possibly, maybe, I might consider making an apple pie, the look in his eyes first of surprise, then of hope and longing means it’s best to follow through.

Apple whole

Also of note: I don’t like to reward Facebook’s generally crappy algorithms. So when I saw a suggested post about a unique variety of cooking apples being carried for a short time at a local small grocer, I was torn – to click or not to click. When I got there, as expected there was no mention of price. . . Obviously, I caved completely. Sucker.

But here in the Land of the Frugal, part of the point of scrimping is to allow the occasional indulgence. Hmmm. Let me indulge myself in spending more than $10 (yes! more than ten bucks!) on apples to spend an afternoon making pie. Oh joy, oh rapture! Oh sign me up for that! Ahem.

Apple cut

Pink Pearl delivered first on color. As promised, the color is lovely. And after I spent all. that. time. cutting and peeling, peeling and cutting, (tiny violin time)

Apple sliced

the bowl of fruit was pretty and inviting. As with cooking apples, the flavor and texture is OK in the fresh state.

But the proof is in the pie. And it is delicious, with one minor flaw. Since I don’t bake pie often, I underestimate the amount of liquid that cooks out of the fruit. Failing to address the issue ahead of baking leads to inadequate liquid retention in the filling resulting in, all together now, a soggy bottom. This shortcoming has not deterred continued consumption of the final product.

For the future, a memory test: Next year at this time will I recall the price of these apples before heading to the store? And will I recall and prepare for the cooking liquid issue? Because chances are slim that I will make another pie before then.













The Annual Dust Up Delayed


Each May for the past 20 years, give or take,  the hubs’ fishing buddy arrives for two days of fishing and male bonding for them, and blissful peace and quiet for me.


My home office/studio doubles as the guest room so there’s a major cleanup before said fishing buddy arrives.


This involves dusting the bookshelves that run along two walls. An annual cleanup is sufficient as there’s not much dust up there.


When a significant chance of rain moved the trip up by two days, less than a day was left for clean up. No, I do not work ahead on housekeeping.

Alas, the bookshelves did not get dusted. Oh darn. . .

The Cats’ Turn

Diana says post more about the pets. Since the dogs have had their days in the sun, time for the cats to shine. Or not. They’re cats. They really don’t care. And that is why I adore them so.

Their quirks, however, are undeniably charming. For example, here are the two older cats Citrus and Zebra (the ears on the left).

Citrus and Zebra 2

Zebra does not like to nap in contact with the other cats. Come to think of it, she doesn’t sleep in bodily contact with us either. But put her under a blanket and all species can crowd around.


And if she can peek out, all the better. Something tells me this little cat would have done just fine in the wild.

Daily Illusion

Look at the stripe across the trail, a little above center in this pic:

That’s water flowing from the hill across the trail. From this vantage point, it looks like the water runs to the left. That’s the illusion: It runs to the right as it should since that’s downhill.

At a similar distance from the opposite direction, the water flow looks normal. For some reason, this drives me a little crazy. I keep trying to compensate for it.

The other morning I had a totally woo-woo silly moment: I’m making my life harder because I’m mentally trying to push water uphill when in reality the water is flowing easily downhill.

Doesn’t change a darn thing in my life, but does make me laugh. Years of yoga and this is what I get! Oooooommmmm.

A link to this YouTube channel was posted on — pretty fascinating:

Primitive Technology

Having a sense of involvement in the things that make up life is a thing of mine. I appreciate the work/effort/advances in civilization that allow me a comfortable life.

This, however, might be a little too involved. But watching these videos certainly elevates the appreciation of life’s conveniences.

Absurdity is another personal favorite: Part of me is enjoying the mental image of a person filming this, a super-juxtaposition of ancient and modern.



Thinking Ahead

Back when, worrying/fretting about things was my norm. While I got over that, I really didn’t do anything more than develop rote systems for dealing with basic (and solidly foreseeable anxieties – e.g., getting to the airport on time, meeting a deadline) and accepting that worry was my status quo. Take what Daniel Levitin discusses in this TED Talk, and there’s a valuable life lesson. If obsessing is a normal state, obsess intelligently, obsess forward. I’ve got something here, but I don’t know what exactly. Let me think on it.

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