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Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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« yet another sunrise | Main | fleece and hammocks »

the art of sitting quietly

LOTR updated

Sent in my article yesterday, woohoo! Just waiting to see if my editor's happy with it...if she is, then it means my sabbatical can truly begin (no work commitments in the near future). Many thanks to Amanda Snyder, by the way, for getting my book on the "Staff Recommended" list in her store! :-)

The hummingbirds are out, so I mixed together some sugar-water for the feeder. Spent about half an hour watching them, gradually edging closer. I was wearing a red lumberjack shirt, and the occasional hummingbird would check me out, buzzing around my head like a giant bumblebee, hovering and doing fly-bys. Hummingbirds are bizarre, fascinating little creatures. Their wings are a blur, flapping at about 50 times a second. They have to feed every 10 minutes or so (hey, even I'm not that bad). Pretty vicious, too...extremely territorial, dive-bombing and jabbing their long bills at each other.

And fun to watch. :-)

I'm re-learning the art of sitting quietly. Sounds easy, but it's difficult for someone who is used to multitasking heavily, always having something on the go, wanting to be productive every single moment of the day.

This morning, I spent over an hour watching the sun rise. I tend to wake up at 5 a.m. these days, no matter what time I get to bed the night before. The first couple days, I headed right into the boathouse to start a fire and have some tea. Now I find myself drawn down to sit on the dock and watch morning happen. Good way to start the day.

I've been doing some experimenting with camp cooking, in preparation for our hiking trip with Alison and Jeff later this year. We'll be hiking 10 days, and therefore want to pack as little as possible. Food is an important component in trip enjoyment for me (I know you all find that a surprise), so I've started experimenting. Bought an Outback Oven (tm) at Mountain Co-op along with some dehydrated food (powdered eggs, powdered shortening, etc.).

Some of my experiments have worked, some haven't. I keep detailed notes. My breakfast mix has worked pretty well: quick oatmeal flakes, dry milk, brown sugar, banana chips, wheat germ, chopped dehyrated apple. Add hot water, stir for about a minute, and YUM.

My first baking attempt in the oven yesterday was a miserable failure. I was trying to make bread rolls, but they ended up being inedible. :-( The problem was caused by the powdered shortening I used instead of using regular cooking oil. The result was a non-Newtonian liquid (collodial suspension...I talked about this in my April 30 Blathering). Cool to poke at, not cool for baking. But I haven't given up! I'm going to give bread rolls another go later this week.

And HEY, my suet is still up on the tree despite Jeff's earlier predictions of doom. He's now saying that it will take the animals a few days to figure out how to get it down, that they're probably plotting about it even now. HA. We'll see about that...

Today's Blatherpics:

- 5:25 a.m. this morning. That's the sun peeking through the mist.

- Hummingbird at feeder.

- Our "Outback Oven" (tm). A shielded "pot parka" goes over top to help heat circulate evenly around the cooking food.

Today's Poll:

At this moment, do you have anything in your fridge that you know is past its prime? (i.e. squishy cucumbers? doubtful cheese? a jar of some mystery substance way in the back that you'll end up throwing out?)

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