What are they doing to our bread? (a paranoid paradox)

First, a general comment about bread.     I have always loved bread, any kind of bread, but for one main criteria—it must be fresh and soft.     My paranoia about such things runs deep, and my kids still make fun of me for cautioning store check-put people from “smashing the bread.”

The paradox here is a rather self-centered idiosyncrasy which I nurture and perpetuate, having progressed from being a picky kid, to a picky great-grandmother.     As much as I like bread, I have refused to eat it unless it was fresh enough for my particular palate.   However, in recent months I have found store-bought white bread to be nearly inedible.

Even the “better” brands of bread, like Schwebel’s (my personal favorite,) have lost their appeal because they are TOO soft.    Imagine that…too soft for me.

Not only is the new bread soft, it is spongy, and will wad up into a Play-Doh-like ball.   It is not chewy, like a really great thick slice of really-really-good Italian bread…but chewy as in gummy and difficult to swallow.     It’s hard to handle when eating it, too, as it tends to smash together rather than having the old springy texture that would pop back into shape.

And even worse is the smell!   Not the good old yeasty bread-smell, that managed to last even after the bread had become stale.    Having a soft-feeling loaf of bread around can be misleading, and give a false sense of freshness…but upon holding the wrapper open and inhaling what should be a…well, bread-smell… actually rewards the sniffer with an acrid, chemical smell.

This phenomenon has been apparent to me especially lately, in very recent years…even I might say 2017.   Sure, I could blame it on the current political situation, but who would suspect bread-tampering?    To be fair, I remember once when we bought a loaf of the famous Wonder bread, and it stayed soft so long that (this is true…) it went from “fresh-as-new” to black-n-blue-mold” color…overnight.


Here’s a link that is a wealth of information on the subject of bread:  http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/34889/how-do-commercial-bakers-get-white-fluffy-bread

….a surprise in my Tree Garden

My gardening is about as haphazard as my housekeeping.   Plants and trees just sort of fend for themselves, and left to their own devices they never cease to amaze me.    Years ago, when I first built this house, planted assorted trees and other plants….not counting the volunteers in my notorious “tree garden.”      One of the prettiest of my flowering varieties, with marvelous pink flowers, kept pace with another ornamental tree nearby…until we had an especially cold winter about five years ago which froze out and killed quite a lot of specimen in this area.   Although it has been apparent that this tree was indeed defunct, what with its growth covering of lichen.   The branches literally disintegrated to the point where many were removed by the wind itself.

Ever the optimist, last year I determined that among the miscellaneous plant life growing in the vicinity, several shoots were thought to be trees, but their species was quite unknown to me, and could be one of numerous trees in the near neighborhood.      So I let the people that wield weed-wappers and chainsaws, and such, in the area…that these weed-appearing growths are to be left alone.    The tree itself kept developing lichen, and chunks of it kept falling off…I could push the whole thing over if so inclined.

This morning my daughter (who lives next door) and I went for a walk around the place and I pointed out the tree, and its new growth.   The bark of the tree has reminded me of cherry tree bark, and the shoots were developing thickness enough to see that the bark was the same.   As my eye traveled up the tree…there were three pink flowers…which I recognized as being related to the tree in question, and a closer look found two more blossoms further down the branches.

I of course ran in the house to grab my camera.   My first shots were badly over exposed, with the sun high up behind the blossoms, so that the sky was bright and drowned out the delicate pink color.   Each blossom is about an inch in diameter.




New Growth in front, next to the original tree.  


Tree covered with lichen and moss.  New growth behind.



A long shot toward the North, the barn and Tree Garden on the left rear,  the subject tree with the blossoms hanging from a new growth branch…the original tree to the right.
DSC00630 (2)
Welcome blossoms!   



Wildflower Aliens, thanks to The Big Wooden Tent…for the re-blog.

The cheery and informative post from The Big Wooden Tent, features  many wildflower species that are found also here across Lake Erie, in my Ohio back yard.   These plants all have botanical names which are mostly unknown to me, except for buttercups and chicory and the like.    I guess we can thank the prevailing winds for the propagation.



The Big Wooden Tent

I have talked about our swamp plants, our native plants and some of the plants that grow in our wildflower meadow; the Tufted vetch (vicia cracca), clover and the White Hepaticas. The Hepaticas is a native plant, but the Tufted vetch and clover are not. We have so many plants that are not native, but have naturalized so that they appear in my book “Wildflowers of Ontario”. The Tufted vetch was introduced from Eurasia.

Red Clover

White Clover (Trifolium repens) and Red Clover (Prifolium pratense) are native to Europe, Western Asia and northwest Africa, but it has naturalised in many other regions. This one seems too pale to be Red Clover, but too pink to be White Clover, so I am not sure which it is. Clover improves poor soil by fixing nitrogen from the air, so it is not necessarily a bad plant. Only bumblebees and butterflies have the mouth parts…

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[Why Nuts?] A look into the unique creative art of blogger I-Shan Lin…

Here is a delightful and different blog by I-Shan LIn. Her drawings and writing are fresh and creative. Thanks for the permission to re-blog.

“I’ve got all I need. Me, a paper boat and lots of nuts. So there’s nothing to be afraid of.” 

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There was a greenhouse…

There was a greenhouse across the road
today it is gone
devoured by a hungry back-hoe
and maybe a bulldozer

There was a greenhouse across the road
for years,
its always been there
in my recollection
and for long, long years past

There was a greenhouse across the road
which provided a home
for flowers without number
lighted, and heated
to foster life and procreation

There was a greenhouse across the road
that just last autumn
was bustling and singing
with joyful voices and brilliant colors
as plants moved on to new gardens

There is no longer a greenhouse across the road
the metal and glass and plastic
are gone away, and perhaps
soon will be forgotten
except for a few sad reminders.

© Sometimes, 2017

pack a lunch and let’s go!


NO Folks…..I did not get this from watching FOXNEWS!!!!   Yahoo.   Anyway….it is a real mind-boggler, especially for someone like me who freaks out at an atrium in a Mall.   I just don’t do heights…even a ladder will weaken the knees.

The Google-Street-Map is spectacular, 3-D view of the gorge and the walkway.       I see there’s a Restaurant-Bar located along the trail.

Oh, and helmets are required of all participants because of the 300-foot drop.

Anybody want to go?

Voyager 2’s Golden Record… intercepted? or still out there?

For no apparent reason this morning I thought about the space capsule that went zooming out beyond our Solar System on June 16, 1977.      I have known about the “Golden Record” containing various information about Earth that space aliens might be interested in, assuming that they someday “find” the capsule floating around out there and delve into our characteristics.      The NASA Space Agency facility in Cleveland, Ohio used to be open to the public, and I visited a couple of times on field trips with Girl Scouts or school class groups.     I was especially impressed with two features…although there was an endless wealth of exhibits: our Sun, in an animated flaming ball complete with sun flares and other details; and the Golden Record on Voyager 2.

The thing that impressed me the most was that the United States’ choice of popular music at the time was Chuck Berry’s Johnny B. Goode, also famous as featured at the “Under the Sea” high school dance, in the movie Back to the Future.      Not sure I ever knew much more detail, except that the compilers had included some Bach and Beethoven, chosen by some of the more grown up nations.

Included here is the Wikipedia link for those of us who would like either a refresher course in Voyager 2, or a deeper look into the contents of the Golden Record….which is, I believe, literally a well, golden…record.      There are all kinds of information about various countries of Earth, animals, humans (although NASA apparently got some flack about naked human pictures, so they used silhouettes.)    I love that there is a recording of authentic Navajo Chants, and an hour-long recording of someone’s brain waves thinking about “earth-things” including thoughts of love.  Also, the sounds of thunder and rain, birds, animals, and motor vehicles…uh, wind and thunder maybe, but a John Deere tractor?   (They didn’t specify the brand, that’s just me.)   Other humanoid species probably would identify with Earth nature sounds…but a rumbling bulldozer or whatever is a bit of a stretch.

This Wikipedia site is really good…pictures and easy-to-follow charts and symbols.    Here’s the link:     https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contents_of_the_Voyager_Golden_Record



Death is late…Re-blogged from writer George Agak’s site, Sliver of Darkness.

I am very touched by this excellent poem by George Agak.      His work is very graphic, and grabs ahold of the reader and doesn’t let go.       It is an accomplishment to achieve such a deeply emotional work of writing, and as you folks know, I am not subject to being moved by hyperbole….so I appreciate what I may call beauty-in-horror.      It is a sad fact that this kind of terrible scenario exists in our modern world.       Thanks for letting me re-blog, George!


Sliver of Darkness


I will write a letter and toss it in the wind
Or strip your hammock and toss in the river
I might be dead when they reach you
Nothing has changed
Yet nothing has remained the same
The gods have been vexed
All this time they’ve held rain

Grass still grows
Watered by endless flow of blood
The valley has changed its appeal
The shades we once rested under
Now home rotting humans
And vultures feast
The freedom fighters have fought the system
Then rebelled against their prior motives
They kill anything in human gait

But still….
The government lives
Not counting the ones lost
They fly outside to drink and dine
Because this nation is rotten
Their appetite might wane

When they took you, bro,
I couldn’t fight them
That’s cowardice I know
But death isn’t for the brave either

Bro, this nation is rich
You could have seen…

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FYI about the Khan Sheikoun affair for open-minders, from the Huffington Post


Even for readers who already have their minds made up owe it to themselves to read this detailed Huffington Post article by Scott Ritter, and to add it to all available sources of information.     Here is a great example of “Alternate Facts,” in a logical sense of being mixed information from different sources, that as a whole may lead to knowledge of what really happened in Khan Sheikoun.

There is a creditable “trail of misinformation” under the smug expressions of media reporters.   We can’t believe selectively here…this situation is important enough for followers to be informed and alert…research, research, research!

It really makes me wonder why many of the same pundits who daily attack Donald Trump as a liar and self-advantage seeker suddenly hail him as a hero—are we really a people who judge our presidents by their bully-characteristics?   Are we understanding the “America First” thing to mean “America As Boss of the World…Richer and Stronger and Meaner than any other nation?”

Cure for lagging respect and trust—bomb somebody.