Monthly Archives: May 2020


So many people are corona-baking. I am as well.

But I’ve started this year’s canning early, and am spending time over the stove every weekend.

In the past few weeks:

  • Two batches of blackberry preserves
  • A batch of raspberry preserves
  • Harissa
  • Chermoula
  • Passionfruit curd

This weekend it’s been sweet pickle relish, from scratch (English cucumbers, onion, red pepper, garlic, salt, white vinegar, sugar, turmeric).

And a few quarts of my famous lime pickles.

I have been ordering produce from SunFarm Produce, a wholesaler who is selling to the public. Two days ago they delivered a $107 order, since the neighbors and I went together to place an order.

They had pickling cucumbers. I ordered 10 pounds.

I pickled. Simple.

But the homemade sweet pickle relish? Heaven! I could really learn to like this stuff. As usual, though, I’m giving most of it away.

(The photo is from previous pickling sessions.)

Social distance, day 76: MEET NELSON

Please say hello to Nelson, a two-year-old Yorkie mix.

Nelson arrived today from Needy Paws Rescue. He and I are already madly in like with each other.

In this video, he is chewing because I gave him a treat. He really doesn’t chew all the time.

Nelson is a snuggle-bug. He’s an inquisitive little 10-pound chap. He cannot figure out why every thirty minutes something on my landing makes noise (the cuckoo clock), but he does love to go investigate. He has also already rolled in smelly things in the yard, so there’s that.

Even Olivette, the enchanting child who lives in the house next to me, is smitten with him!

More of the first-day photos and the first gotcha-day video:


This week would have been my father and step-mother’s twentieth wedding anniversary.

JoAnne and Pop.

As more evidence that strange things are taking place worldwide . . . my garden is sprouting an elephant ear plant.

I never lifted the bulb 20 months ago.  I planted parsley on top of it last year.  This year the bulb is sprouting again.  But it should be mushy dead.

I’m not complaining.  But something has brought this thing back to life.  Elephant ear resurrection, I say.

I’m so thankful that the Metropolitan Opera is streaming a different opera every night.  Over the last eight weeks, I’ve watched probably two dozen different operas.  And happily so!

Revisiting artists such as Pavarotti, Joan Sutherland, Renata Scotto, Pablo Elvira, Natalie Dessay . . . this continues to be a delight.

I’ve determined that I’m going to listen to an Evensong recording every Sunday, since no one is doing Evensong right now.  I have enough recordings to last me for about three months.  Many of them are themed to particular days, such as Evensong for St. Etheldreda from Ely Cathedral, or Evensong for Easter from King’s College Cambridge, with Boris Ord! (That’s what was up on this Sunday, the last Sunday of Eastertide.)  Tomorrow is Evensong for Pentecost, and a week later is Westminster Abbey music for Trinity Sunday.

News update

From the Post-Dispatch website:

  • As Mediterranean beaches and Las Vegas casinos laid out plans to welcome tourists again, South Korea announced a spike in new infections Wednesday and considered reimposing social distancing restrictions, revealing the setbacks ahead for others on the road to reopening.
  • More than one in every six young workers have stopped working during the coronavirus pandemic, the U.N. labor agency reported Wednesday, warning of long-term fallout that could lead to a “lock-down generation” if steps aren’t taken to ease the crisis.
  • The European Union proposed Wednesday a 750 billion-euro ($825 billion) recovery fund to help countries weather a painful recession triggered by the coronavirus and bridge divisions over the conditions that should be attached for access to the money.
  • Latin America is facing increased infections and spiking deaths, according to the World Health Organization. But there’s no sign of any slowdown for swindlers in the region even in the midst of a devastating pandemic.
  • Sen. Marco Rubio, the new Republican chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is warning that foreign actors will seek to amplify conspiracy theories about the coronavirus and find new ways to interfere in the 2020 presidential election.