Browsing Archives for September 2009


My mom’s brother Chuck passed away a few months ago.  Chuck was a passionate, gourmet cook and he left quite a legacy of pots and pans.






Chuck had no family of his own, so my mom had the task of organizing his small estate.  April and I both received some of his cookware.






The copper pots are lovely, but they needed a little cleaning up, so I assembled a few supplies…




Here we have lemons, baking soda, salt and beer.





I began by pouring the beer into a tall glass.





To clean my copper pots, I am using a wheat beer… a Tallgrass wheat beer.  





Spueeze a lemon wedge into your beer.

Please don’t skimp on the lemon… uh… it is for the cleaning.






Add a dash or two of salt.  Everyone knows that the salt does all the scrubbing.





Take a healthy swig to determine if the mixture is correct for your cleaning purposes.

Do you feel clean now?


Then you can begin!






Pick up your first copper pot.





Cut another lemon slice and sprinkle salt on it.






Rub the salted lemon right onto the copper pot.





Layers of tarnish will immediately begin to disappear underneath the salty scrub.



It really is amazing how quickly it works.





If not all the tarnish disappears easily, you might want to make a simple paste.



Mix about a half cup of baking soda with about about a tablespoon of salt.




Squeeze in half a lemon.





The mixture will be very foamy and you might find yourself hearkening back to a certain junior high science experiment involving a volcanic eruption.   





I used the ‘spent’ lemon as a scrubber and applied the mixture to the copper pot.





I was hoping that the pasty concoction would work to get rid of some of those stubborn spots.




About half way through the pots and pans, I ran out of lemons.





I also ran out of beer…






And my jeans, the table, the floor… everything was covered in pasty lemon juice.





But what are a few insufferable hardships in the light of shiny copper pots?!?  

So, I subsituted vinegar for the lemons and made some more paste.





To amp up the scrubbing action, I applied the salt right to the pots.  







You can see how the paste reacts with the copper turning the mixture green.




Once I got everything coated in the pasty mixture, I remembered I had some lemon juice in the back of the fridge.






I used the lemon juice as a rinse agent to wipe off the paste and to get one more layer of tarnish off the old pots.






Then I rinsed everything in warm water and let them dry.





The pots cleaned up very nicely.  






I suppose I could get even more tarnish off of them if I wanted to, but I don’t mind a bit of ‘patina’.












Here’s a before shot…






And here’s an after shot.  


Fancy, shiny pots!

It’s too bad they don’t have a fancy, shiny cook to go with them!

Thankfully Daddy Long Legs is a BOOK and not a spider!

I enjoyed reading everyone’s thoughts on letter writing. I do think there is something very special about a real hand-written letter that can not be duplicated in any electronic form. I love to receive a good note in any form, but a letter… a hand written letter – it just means a bit more somehow…

The winners are…

16 – Lea wins the pretty green cover version of Daddy Long Legs.

80 - Iowa Cowgirl – wins the blurry red cover (sorry!) of Daddy Long Legs Try not to judge the book by it’s cover!

85 - Naomi B wins a copy of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society (I just remembered I had an extra copy).

Winners please email me at with your mailing addresses.

Thanks to everyone who entered and for reading this silly, silly blog.

Napping on the porch,


I had a surprise day off yesterday.

It’s a long story, but I thought I had to work and guess what?

I didn’t!

So when I read Miz Booshay’s throw down to get out and photograph some Fall bokeh, I immediately thought ‘old bus’.




It’s so obvious isn’t it?

Everyone thinks ‘old bus’ when they think Fall bokeh don’t they?




And there just happens to be this old bus in a field south of town that I have wanted to photograph for ages!
So I packed up my camera and I headed out.





It wasn’t easy.





There was barbwire and cowpies and tallgrass to cross.

I am honestly terrified of snakes and just positive that my foot is going to land on one whenever I am walking through a pasture.

But Miz Booshay said I had to take this dang fall bokeh photo!

So I conquered my fears and crossed into that scary old bus pasture.






I began to circle my subject – looking for good angles.

I was also trying to find something to focus the camera on rather than the bus in order to get some bokeh action going on.

But other than the cow patties and some flinty rocks poking out of the dirt, there wasn’t much foreground on which to focus.






Do you see any foreground?


You don’t.





And yes!

I see the grasses!

But grasses do not good foreground make!  They are always blowing around and giving the camera seizures as it tries to focus on a blade of grass that won’t stand still, when it really wants to focus on the ‘old bus’!





But I kept trying with the grasses…






And trying…



I got a few okay shots, figured I had done my best and turned to go.

But something made me look back one more time.

Maybe it was the rattle of a snake…

Maybe it was the moo of a distant cow…

Maybe it was the ghosty wheez of a long forgotten bus…

But I looked over my shoulder one more time…

And when I did, I noticed a small mound of yellow wild flowers that I hadn’t seen before.








I had finally found my foreground.






And I got my old bus Fall bokeh.





The end.
















And then the end again…

But in purple and pink this time.