Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Gallopalooza At Churchill Downs

On Friday Mari, Paula and I visited Churchill Downs to have a look at the Gallopalooza horses that will be placed around town this year. This picture is near the entrance to the clubhouse and features jockeys wearing the winning owners' silks for major races on the most recent Derby Day.
This horse, also near the entrance, was the only one in the outdoors. Any others that had been outside were moved indoors after the weather damaged a few of them. At the entrance we were given a paper listing all of the horses, their sponsors, their artists and the location where they will be displayed after they leave the track. There are 136 of them. The artists designed and created each of them to express a certain theme approved by the respective sponsor. There are many unusual and creative beauties. My slide show presents only a few of our favorites. Below is a picture of my choice as the best.

Next to each horse was a large jug on which was attached a paper listing the horses "pedigree" - name, artist, sponsor and "farm" (ultimate location.) Visitors were advised that they could vote for their favorite by depositing a penny (or more) in the jug.

After we had our fill of viewing (and walking) we went to get our fill of fish at Mike Lenahan's - it's spelled "Lennig's" but pronounced "Lenahan's", much the same as a nearby park is spelled Des Pres Park but is pronounced "Du Pres Park." The restaurant is located about as far away from Presentation Academy as you could get and still be in Jefferson County, but Paula and Mari still managed to visit with faculty members, ex students and other connections.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


"O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!" This past Saturday was the first day of the "official" farmers market. A few farmers braved the winter storms and were open all year but now others began to appear. Opening bell is at 8:00 a.m. during the Summer. Fresh produce was at a minimum on Saturday - green onions, parsnips, salad greens, etc. - but will soon make a dramatic entrance as the weather dictates. Cheese, meat, eggs, honey and other non-seasonal items were available.

Snake charmer Thad Watkins displayed some of his unusual gourds, frightening women and children and warding off dogs (which are outlawed this year for the first time because of a few unpleasant experiences in past years.) I saw Bill Friedlander at the market who commented that there ought to be a petition to get dogs back on the premises.

Kathy and James Jackson had eggs and a few green onions available. They had been at the market every week during the winter with eggs and as much pleasant visiting as the cold weather would permit.

The King queens and their mother were there, looking for omelets. Alas they had to settle for a sweet role from the coffee lady. Not all vendors showed on this first day including the breakfast cookers. One regular customer commented that it was probably still too cool for guitar fingering and the regular folk singer wasn't performing.

Jim Fiedler had these pork chops for sale. In his weekly newsletter he emphasized the fact that "fat" is actually healthy, bucking the populist health propaganda. He hints that this revelation of health news may have been prompted by his butcher's lack of a trimming knife! A googling indicates that his argument may, in fact, be correct.

Other farmers who were there provided additional social opportunities and attractive fresh selections. Cheese, flowers, plants, chicken, eggs and other offerings presented by knowledgeable and interesting people made the day a delight. Of course Kara Peers, our "Buffalo Girl" was there as she has been all winter (buffaloes and Kara are hardy creatures!)

Each of the next several weeks will bring more and more delightful treats, both culinary and social. I look forward to all of them!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Science Project in Ra's al Khaymah

Kate sent me the following e-mail this morning:

"This week Rayyan's science lesson was on plants, the experiment to put white carnations in water with food coloring. The local florist didn't have white carnations, but said that mums would be better and actually orchids the best (as if!). So I bought some mums (and he gave me a dyed orchid as a gift).
I remember trying something like this with celery as a younger person, but I don't recall it working terribly well. But maybe celery isn't as fun as flowers."
Here Rayyan, Bilal and Nusaiba make the dye containers into which they will stick the flowers to see if they really change colors

Monday, March 9, 2009


Taylor Sweeney in her cheerleader ensemble urged the U of L Cardinals to victory as they won the regular season title of the Big East Conference. On her right is her Aunt Cheri Hall and on her left is her mother, Kristi Sweeney. Hopefully her cheering can echo the success attained by her Aunt Laura who, as the Cardinal Bird, cheered the Cardinals to an NCAA national title in Indianapolis in 1986!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Put Another Nickel In

Many, many years ago, when I was in my singles, on rainy days I would stack all of my sisters' 78 rpm records on the floor and listen to both sides of all of them over and over. My oldest sister, Doris, was 14 years older than me so the music was primarily from the late twenties, all of the thirties and the early forties. I listened to them so many times that I committed all of the lyrics to memory. This was the beginning of what has become a lifelong hobby of collecting popular music and learning lyrics.

On my first computer I attempted to catalog my music and record much of it on cassette tape. This at least enabled me to know if I had a particular song but fast forwarding or rewinding to find the song was something of a chore even if the tape itself could be located in the somewhat strange filing system I developed. Then came CDs which made the task of finding the song much easier. It still didn't help in locating the CD in my library. Ultimately Adam rescued me from this confusion by introducing me to iTunes.

Now I put my music on my computer hard drive and catalog it in iTunes. I have chosen Joel Whitburn as my catalog expert. I check each song that I add in his books on popular music to see if they "charted" and, if so, what year and how high. Thus iTunes allows me to find songs by title, artist, album, year on the chart, category etc. I can quickly find and play any song (e.g. the top hits of any particular year) on command. I have connected my computer to my stereo system and I can record from any media (33&1/3, 45 or 78 rpm records, cassette tape, 8 Track tape or even reel to reel.) Yes, I still have an 8 track player!

I have songs in my collection from every year in the twentieth century and can create at least one full CD with songs from almost every single year. Christmas music amounts to 4500 songs among the 65,000 total on my computer.

Every day I listen to a variety in various genres. I take the advice of Teresa Brewer and always "put another nickel in!"

Monday, February 16, 2009

Dealing With Eggs

Every morning I enjoy four soft cooked eggs with toast and tea. On Saturdays I visit the farmers market to purchase farm fresh and socialize with the local farmers.

I am currently using my third cooker and it is far superior to the first two. The earlier models required me to carefully measure the water I put into the cooker to obtain the desired doneness of the eggs. A slight miscalculation of the volume created a much larger degree of doneness in the eggs. This newest model isn't particular about the water volume and instead allows me to slide the dial to the desired type of cooked egg. Traditionally the fresher the egg the harder it is to peel it when it is hard cooked. This machine eliminates that difficulty. Hard cooked eggs peel with a ridiculous ease! It is important to note the little egg punch next to the cooker. Perforating the end of the egg helps to avoid cracks in the shell. My only complaint is that the alarm that sounds when the egg is ready is too quiet for these old ears. I have to listen carefully.

When the eggs are ready I place them in this six egg cup and cut the top with these scissors. This spoon is just the right size to dig in the shells. The Irish butter tastes great on fresh Ezekiel toast (made in my bread machine and toasted in my million dollar toaster.)

Now for the final touch! A variety of "finishing" salts puts a unique tinge of additional goodness in each egg. Mari decided that this giant salt pig (actually designed for rimming margarita glasses) would work nicely to place three different flavors at my disposal. This was wonderful until Adam and Wendy provided me with this very nice selection from around the world.

Armed with all of this, it is now time to enjoy my breakfast with a good book and my yodeling pickle.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Maria Muldaur

I have this new album by Maria on which she sings "I Went To The Animal Fair" which evokes childhood memories and another new album by her containing bawdy ballads.