Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Wild Pear


If you haven't been there yet, you should definitely make it happen. 

For us it was a snap decision. We would drive from Central Oregon to the state Capital, and eat lunch at The Wild Pear! It was on the way to where we were going, sort of. And it had only recently been renovated so I dearly wanted to see its new digs. We could maybe meet the kindly bro-in-law+lovely wife there, making it a foursome. We invited, and they said yes. Brilliant! It was they who had first introduced me to this spot, and so meeting them there was fitting.

Getting to The Wild Pear was a snap. Siri alternately guided and bullied us to the left and to the right until - there it was, perched on the right just past a surprisingly empty parking space - which we instantly snagged before anyone else could.

Soon our guests appeared, and together we perused the menu. This took some time, because obviously everything in it is smashing and delicious and who can ever decide? You have got to check out their menu items, here. It has everything from their signature pizzas to fresh soups, salads, hot entrees, sandwiches and wraps, all fresh from the fruit and vegetable gardens of greenest Oregon. Oh - and desserts. You can't forget the desserts...if ever there is still room for them after all the deliciousness.

I meant to get the Lobster and Seafood Melt, but simply had to order the soup instead. This is because their soup is undeniably the best, most tasty soup in any restaurant I've been to, and there would never be room for both. I chose the Coconut Curry Butternut Squash Soup. I couldn't resist it, along with the 'Imported Cheeses and Fresh Fruit with Baguette'. The fruit consisted of red grapes, strawberries, blueberries and - one other thing I can't remember. The cheeses were brie, sweet cheddar and smoked provolone. The sweet cheddar was especially amazing and by the end of it, I was edging toward uncomfortably full.

Mother had their quiche+cup-of-soup, which was so good (she having given me a lovely bite) that I wished I'd ordered it too. You can see it below:

Also on our table was the Turkey Club Sandwich (bro-in-law) and a salad with their special curried pasta (lovely sister-in-law). It was all fabulous and no one could possibly consider the dessert options, although sorely tempted by the Oregon Mixed Berry Cobbler - which looked superb.

As grand as the food was, I have to say that the company was even better - ideal, in fact. It was the perfect place for talking, and laughing, and gazing around at the lovely year-long renovations they had done. It had been a lonely year without The Wild Pear, especially for the Salem residents who had come to rely on its constantly delicious offerings.

But they are back, and you must go see them. Check it out for yourself, and see if I have this right. When it comes to food, the SconeLady generally does.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

(a side note: The Wild Pear does catering, too, and you just won't believe the choices you will see on their catering menu, here!)

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/57373363@N00/272685296">Pear</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>

Monday, June 29, 2015


Grandma came home, and it was a free-for-all. I don't think I could have been any happier, surrounded by three children (all bouncing), gazing over their heads at their mother and grandfather. 

They were about to begin a swim lesson on this hot day, but were momentarily distracted by the appearance of their grandmother at the pool. Grandpa had brought her straight from the airport and they had not known - thus, the amiable free-for-all. They came running from all directions and my hands were suddenly grasped, my neck hugged, my waist squeezed. 

"Grandma! You CAME!" shouted one.

"You've been gone SO LONG!" intoned another. The third just stood and looked up at me, patting my arm and smiling. Just about every configuration of love was offered and received. It was what you might call the perfect moment.

Nevertheless, when it was time they obediently trouped over to their swim instructors and began. But for those several perfect moments, they were all mine. 

Occasionally from the pool would come furtive glances over at Grandma, as if to be certain she was still there. They smiled and did their best and demonstrated their skills, from jumping in and swimming after a rubber ducky (the littlest) to the American Crawl, back stroke, and diving board (the two more serious swimmers). Of course Grandma thought it was all splendid.

Thus begins the summer. And it was interesting how I had this feeling of deja vu, a feeling of having been there before. Every summer of our parenthood was spent in just that way, in swimming pools all over this land, north and south. Little ones learning to not only survive in water, but to conquer it. I know of at least one little girl who is an enthusiastic diver already, and wants to be on an Olympic dive team. A grand plan! No rubber duckies for this one. It is all business with her.

A successful summer takes a lot of work, you know. Children can't just run around willy-nilly with no plan. Their mother must organize it all, signing everyone up for the variety of lessons kindly offered by a benevolent city (for a fee, of course). That's the way it works. 

It's how you keep parents and children from going crazy throughout these long, hot days. And pretty soon, just about the time the mothers can hardly wait for school to start again, it actually does. Boys and girls will once again line up at the door and enter, pencils in hand, while their folks breathe a sigh of relief - and think back gratefully on another summer well spent.

It's the American Way.

See you along it!
the SconeLady

Sunday, June 28, 2015

In My Happy Place

My mother always lets me take her photograph. She is not squeamish, as others may be (and with good reason) about her daughter plastering her picture all over the place online. There are pics out there already, of:

  • her 1943 wedding
  • her high school graduation 
  • her with a great-granddaughter bending over a complicated puzzle
  • her making quilts (splendid)
  • her standing in line at a restaurant
  • her being interviewed by the rather stunning son
  • her at dinner
  • her at breakfast
  • her simply being her adorable self 
There are just any number of images of my beautiful mother out there. And she gave permission for them all.

After a long drive through Oregon forests today, we descended upon the dining room to consume their special: stuffed pork loin with spiced applesauce, peas, and yams. With chocolate pudding and whipped cream. And frozen vanilla cake with berries. And a salad bar! All throughout the meal we munched happily while listening to the chatter and laughter of those around us. It was indeed a 'Happy Place'.

The SconeLady's mother finds friends

We talked about the very interesting things we had done on our journeys, and felt sorry that it was now almost over. Of particular note was the quilt she had hand-made for yesterday's lovely bride.

It had taken many hours over many weeks to complete, but it was done at last and was a thing of rare beauty.

A highlight for us all was the moment when it was presented to the bridal couple, to their astonishment. 

Any of you quilters out there will instantly know what an undertaking this was, and how very much appreciated it will always be. It was fun to be a part of that moment, that day.

And now we ready ourselves for another farewell - but not a long one, Lord willing. For we have plans! And if you thought we were in a Happy Place before, just wait till you hear about this one!

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Saturday, June 27, 2015


It was just as I had expected - the Bride was beautiful, and brilliant! The Groom loomed above us all from his great height (6'4", perhaps?) and could dance like a dream. He also stared quite a bit at the Lady in White next to him. For good reason.

New bride and groom on June 27, 2015

The whole thing was just as sweet and as interesting as it could be:

  • we approached the church in the beginnings of a heat wave
  • we were hailed by siblings and cousins in every direction
  • there were kisses given, and hugs
  • someone laughed at the cute beard of one sibling brother
  • a baby pulled the sibling brother's cute beard
  • it was suddenly time to stop visiting and start finding our seats
  • the grandparents of the bride and groom sat at the back, waiting for their escorts and looking adorable
  • the minister welcomed all, and thanked us for supporting this Holy Matrimony
  • the minister blessed the bride and groom, and stated Who it is that created marriage
  • the groom kissed his bride with a flourish
  • everyone cheered and then trooped downstairs and ate copious amounts of delicious food
  • everyone joined in the Contra Dancing, led by the striking sibling who taught them patiently how to do it
  • the congregants all gathered out front to wait for the bride and groom to appear and then disappear again
  • the bride and groom came out in their motorcycle helmets, chaps, leather coats and gloves - in the middle of the heat wave
  • the bride and groom kissed again (helmets clanging) and then jumped aboard their massive motorcycle as the crowd cheered
The bride's grandparents looking adorable on her Big Day

It is a sign of a successful wedding when everybody has a ball, and nobody wants to leave. But we did, finally, leave - taking our water bottles, umbrellas, wedding programs, wedding favors, walkers, and bags. Hugs, more kisses, some tears, and then it was all finally over. 

The world can rest a little easier tonight, I think, knowing that these two wonderful young people have vowed to love, honor, and cherish one another, till death do them part. Such a thing makes us all stronger. Welcome, Katie and Jake! Be encouraged. You are joining a cherished tradition, and we honor your vows on this, your Day of days.


See you along the Way!
the SconeLady

Friday, June 26, 2015

Standing On The Cusp

One thousand miles north of home we sit together and think of the Event that is only a day away, remembering when it was our turn. Mother sits here next to me - she, my planning partner in those busy days when there were a hundred things still to do and no time. But were we worried? No! We were too excited to be worried. 

Standing on the cusp of Holy Matrimony is an awesome place for a Bride and Groom to be, all filled with joys and responsibilities. There was so much we didn't know, but were willing to learn. "Mom, will I be good enough?" I ventured.

"Oh yes, you'll be up to it, never fear - with God's strength, of course."

My father had come a distance for this occasion, and we two stood together just around the corner from my Groom. "Where is he, daddy?" I whispered.

My father peered around the corner. "Just about 10 yards down," he whispered back.

"What! Let's go back to the Bridal room, I shouldn't be 'seen'."

So we went back and hid amongst the clutter left behind by a Bride and her 7 maidens - shoes, clothes, makeup, hairspray everywhere. Until finally..

"It's time!" said an urgent voice outside in the hallway. The organ music floated out toward us where we stood at-the-ready:

"Like a river glorious, is God's perfect peace.
Overall victorious, in its bright increase.
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day;
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way."

We watched as the bridesmaids and groomsmen made their gradual way to the front, waiting with anticipation for the Big Moment - the moment when Mother would stand.

"Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blessed,
Finding as He promised perfect peace and rest."

And then, suddenly it was our turn. The organ majestically paused, and then opened up in the deep chords that would hail the arrival of the Bride. Was I that lucky girl? I could hardly believe it, and my heart bounced around as Dad took my arm. And my mother stood and looked back at me, smiling. She was beautiful. Then everyone stood and the organ boomed out the sweetest song in all of Christendom..

"Oh Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the works Thy hands have made.
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed!"

We walked slowly down that aisle and saw ahead the attendants, the flowers, the candles, the minister, and the GROOM! - all waiting, all focusing, upon us. Down and down we went to the front until we came face to face with that young man, ready and waiting there for me. 

"Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!"

"Dearly beloved, we are gathered this day in the sight of God and this company, to join together this man and this woman..." began the minister, as we two grasped hands. It was time. It was just as we had hoped.

"Who gives this woman to be wedded to this man?"

"Her family and I do," said my father. And the rest is history.

Tomorrow's lovely and brilliant Bride awaits her Groom, and we all await them both. The solemnity mingles with the joy and the excitement, the clear confidence being that God is faithful, over all.

For this is Holy Matrimony: "Those whom God has joined together, let no man put asunder."

See you along the Way!
the SconeLady

Thursday, June 25, 2015

En Route

Hello dear Readers!

A post is brewing, just for you. There is a shopping trip to enjoy...a rehearsal dinner to be excited about, and then, a wedding to honor and rejoice over. What fun!

I will tell you all about it, just as soon as I can. And in the meantime,

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Salute to the Strawberry

Whenever you begin to think more highly of yourself than you ought, try casting your memory back to humbler times. It always works.

When the SconeLady was growing up, it was sometimes believed that indoor toilets were unsanitary. Are you shocked by this? Outhouses were separate from the human beings inside the house, and therefore preferable. Mother was patient about this, but for obvious reasons wished deep down that we could be ushered into the 20th Century. Her children were little tykes who may not make it through the night, finding themselves out of doors in the dark (the nightly trek could be adventurous).

We all remember it well, this adventure, largely involving a cow (or two) who were standing immobile on the pathway and chewing contemplatively. Or perhaps just sleeping in an upright position. It might be that our appearance out of doors in the dark startled her just as much as her presence started us. And if you think this was no big deal, just you try wandering half asleep, arms outstretched ahead of you, and - wham! you are nose first into the side of a hairy wall. It isn't pleasant. 

Maybe people were right when they said it 'built character', but we might have argued the point.

Even if we had an outhouse, there were other nicer things to be had on the farm. There was always the cellar! Sometimes we were asked to go down to it to get things Mother needed. She did an enormous amount of canning in the small farmhouse kitchen, providing all sorts of goodies during winter. We liked this errand because it was always during daylight hours and involved no cattle. 

It was lovely and cool down in that cellar, and the glass jars felt smooth and comfortable in our hands. We never dropped a jar because we knew that each jar meant sustenance for another day. Mother always smiled when we came back in, carrying her requests.

Doesn't our cellar look rather like a Hobbit hole? I think so. It is the sweetest thing.

Today, these cellars hold things like the wooden strawberry flats that used to be filled with berries in the old days. Days when nothing had ever tasted so good as a firm, sweet strawberry in the hot sun of a strawberry patch. Days when we rose early and worked hard even though we were little. Days when people weren't so squeamish about children actually helping and even earning - not only money, but the confidence their work provided.

All of this and more, we have been reminded of over these last few days. And there was a lot to remember. But mostly we saluted the undisputed star of everybody's show, day in and day out, year after year... the dearest and the sweetest taste in this wide, wide world: the Strawberry.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Tuesday, June 23, 2015



Tonight we sat together in a darkened room, and watched. 

It was Poldark. Interesting, but strange. There was only one episode and when it was finished, we suddenly realized that now we would have to wait for the next. I, who am used to binge-watching episodes of a variety of series, do not wish to wait. But wait I must.

In the room with us was an 11 year old Chicagoan whose interest was peaked right from the start. This was not your usual 11 year old, I promise you. She was more intelligent and funny than any middle schooler I ever taught, and she absorbed more than I did of the plot points and set pieces. Perhaps Illinois is not altogether a bad place.

At first we were all drawn in by the opening scenes of outstanding Cornwellian beauty (you should just have seen the cliffs!). But soon we became distracted by the charm of the lead actor, which is completely understandable (you should have just seen Aiden Turner as Captain Ross Poldark!). He played opposite a beautiful girl whom he had apparently loved, and then lost. This lost and lovely girl had somehow blundered her way toward a rather dweebish character whom none of us could believe she would choose. Sometimes there is just no accounting for taste.


Of utmost importance, though, is the fact that the series is filmed in Cornwall - the most delightful place in this wide world. If the acting had been insipid and uninspiring, it wouldn't have mattered because everywhere you looked there was Cornwall. And all you really need is Cornwall...with perhaps a scone or two thrown in. 

But the actors were neither insipid nor uninspiring and were completely top drawer (except, perhaps, for the Dweeb). Just when I thought we had run out of smashing British television series with superior talent and dazzlingly good looks, out comes Poldark to surprise us once again. And I really do think you should make an immediate dash for the television, or the computer, or the smartphone, and look for it on BBC1. Or PBS Masterpiece Theatre. 

And do yourself a favor, will you? Watch it with an 11-year-old.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/24728083@N08/2332527397">World Heritage</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/">(license)</a>

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/51458030@N08/9446520903">Hobbit Q&A</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>

Monday, June 22, 2015

A River Absolutely Runs Through It

From high above the ravine, the driver maneuvered an isolated highway descending steeply to the riverbed below. Far below! We seemed to drop down and down, with no end in sight. I did not LIKE how far below it was, the river waiting calmly down there for our truck to reach it. Warning signs dotted the roadway, "8% descent next 4 miles. CAUTION". 

You didn't need to tell us twice.


Some of the time I covered my poor eyes, wondering where on earth the guardrails had disappeared to. But the driver was cautious, just as cautious as the signs warned us to be as we crawled ever lower until I could finally breathe again.

The Deschutes River, Maupin, Oregon

And the struggle was worth it, dear Readers! We reached The Imperial River Company just when I was beginning to wonder if we ever would. It is a riverside hotel that houses the adventurous - those who want to sit on a raft and go shooting down the rapids. I did not want to go shooting down the rapids but was kindly invited anyway. I opted for staying happily indoors. With the air conditioning at full blast. With food and drink and of course comfort at my beck and call. Riverside relaxation? Oh yes, please!

As the rafters pulled away and drifted down the current, I hiked up to and across a gigantic bridge. The structure overlooked the Deschutes River far below, and I could watch as the various and brightly colored rafts carried eager passengers peacefully along. Although it would be hot later on, the morning was crisp and full of promise, birds chirping and a fresh breeze chilling the wanderer. Following the river, I listened to an Alexander McCall Smith audiobook, hearing the many strange new things that were happening to young Bertie, who sometimes sings the blues. Time passed quickly.

The rafters floated on down, hoping for white water to overtake them - which it did, with dramatic results. Bodies flew about and one lady was thrown in but kept her head and lived to tell the tale. It was all rather exciting but all the same, I was glad I was not there. 

And the adventure ended in the nicest possible way, too. It's called, 'Death By Chocolate' and is enormous. It took some doing, but the SconeLady ate the whole thing and was NOT ONE BIT SORRY. In fact, everybody should experience a day like this one, next to a beautiful river, with enormous bridges, dramatic truck rides down ravines, and ice creams. 

But I still say Oregon needs more guardrails.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/29332014@N00/3875655426">Rowena looking fantastic with the haze from the Mosier forest fires</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Wheat Fields and Old Friends (2)

Late last night, I sank gratefully into my bed after a long day. It was a day when people who looked slightly familiar shared stories that both fascinated and tickled me. A day that began with a small town cafe and ended with a roar at the sweetest hometown Drive-in theater (you should just see Jurassic World on that monstrosity of a screen, accompanied by the roars and screams of dinosaurs who are bent on chewing up the idiots who didn't know any better than to create them). 

Small town cafe
Oatmeal and raisins at the counter

The entire weekend was a fabulous success, even besides Jurassic World. Somebody showed us the place that proves we came across the prairie on a wagon train. Somebody else told of when their motorcycle had crashed into the wheel well of a Mac truck and how they'd experienced a flat tire during the ambulance drive to the hospital. Another story confirmed what we had all known but didn't have proof of: that our great uncle Henry could 'divine' wells!. How great is that?

Our ancestors were  found on the 'Pioneer Steps'

Surrounding us all throughout all of these revelations, were the fields. Wheat fields, mostly, wherever we went. You could not escape them and they made you wish to run through them. Lovely.

How lovely to have come from a spot that looks like this: 

And to see people gazing in awe at the most imposing item of the weekend:

Growing up there seemed, today, magical. This view alone made the weekend worth everything we did to get there. A Legacy! with more to come.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Friday, June 19, 2015


And 38 years later, here we are still holding hands. And deeply grateful.

Early in those years someone at work heard me say that I believed in staying married whatever the difficulty.  Upon hearing this (shocking) statement, he mocked it and exclaimed, "And how can you possibly say that or even know it? It's ridiculous." 

My thought was that we had better say it. It's something of what we mean when we make a vow. Saying it out loud and purposing to do it, under God. And so in the spirit of saying it, I wrote a song with these words at its center:

I shall stay, I will stay with you.
And I'll see you through your young and elder years.
We will face the harder moments through our tears,
But I'll be here
I can't bear to miss one gray or golden year.

Gray. Golden. Simply both, and then everything in between. And just look at us, all young and hopeful and ready for anything.

And then just last night, the fun of celebrating those 38 years with samplings of both the Gray, and the Golden.

Still holding hands, and still deeply grateful. Happy Anniversary to the SconeLady's husband - the warm, the witty, the never-boring love of my life!

See you along the way! 
the SconeLady

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Cake of Cakes

The SconeLady (right) enjoys 'The Keck' at her birthday party
When Mother was growing up, the family upheld an important birthday tradition, which was: the birthday girl did not have to do the dishes. This tradition was highly valued. No matter that the Depression meant there would be fewer gifts. The girls didn't mind that so much because this one thing was far more satisfactory than a gift. They looked forward to it for months.

When she had her own family, Mother kept the tradition going. One day per year, we did NOT have to do the dishes. Utter joy!

Somewhere along the way a Cake was also developed. It was a Cake of cakes, a jewel of confection, a tasty morsel never to be missed or forgotten. It eventually came to be revered as "The KECK".

We love The Keck (pronunciation comes from the movie Father of the Bride) and may have even written about The Keck in this space before. No matter - I am writing about it again because it is soon to be the lovely daughter's birthday! And so it was time to get out all of the ingredients once more.

For the cake:
1 box of Devil's Food Cake Mix
(follow directions on the box)

For the cream:
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 tablespoons white sugar
Semisweet chocolate frosting (recipe below)

  • mix and bake the Devil's Food Cake Mix (either 8' or 9' layers). 
  • let cool completely.
  • freeze the two layers for 5 hours
  • pour the cream into mixing bowl
  • add vanilla
  • whip the cream until somewhat thick, then add the sugar
  • continue whipping until stiff peaks form
  • remove cake from freezer
  • slice the layers in two (see photograph below), giving you 4 layers
  • spread the whipped cream between the layers
  • place the cake in the freezer

For the frosting:

6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
6 tablespoons softened salted butter
6 tablespoons hot coffee
1 pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 box confectioner's sugar

  • mix together the cocoa, butter, coffee, salt, and vanilla. 
  • add the confectioner's sugar, and whip until all ingredients are smooth
  • take the cake out of the freezer, and spread the frosting on the top and sides
  • return to the freezer until 1 hour before use
Some people enjoy the cake with vanilla ice cream, but the SconeLady thinks it is just peachy without that! The slightly frozen whipped cream is just so tasty that ice cream will almost certainly impede upon it. In her opinion, of course.

So happy, happy birthday to the lovely daughter! The loveliest of women, dynamic wife, Mother extraordinaire, and brilliant communicator, all rolled into one dream of a girl.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

P.S. the cake frosting is darker than usual and I think it is because I accidentally added a little too much cocoa powder! But it still tastes great.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Good Night, Sleep Tight

Sweetness, and light. Putting to bed three very nice children is like that. They know the drill so well now that the thing just seems to happen on its own. Step by step, inch by inch they go about doing the things they know their mother expects them to do. The littlest still needed a bit of help, but that is the sweetest part because he is just so darn nice about it. 

"I want to wear these jammies," he said, indicating a rather warm set of comfy p.j.'s. 

"Won't you be too hot in them?" Grandma asked.

"I want to be hot." And who was I to argue with a three-year-old? His mother could worry about it when she got home, if there was any worry to be had. 

Teeth were brushed, hair bands removed, and their own choices of p.j.'s were put on. Next was 'story'. Grandpa sat ready as they picked out a good juicy one - The Eleventh Hour. Small eyes were glued to the pages as he read them one by one and the mystery built. They must have read it numerous times, but their interest remained keen and they made comments indicating where they thought it might be going. Occasionally the smallest wandered toward his own bed to sleepily peruse a book that had a frog in it. And then Grandpa finished the mystery book, and it was time.
"But now we pray," the granddaughter piped. And we prayed.

"But now we sing a song." A song was sung.

"But now .." and at this juncture the eldest firmly said, "We go to BED!" 

And, finally, they did. Kisses were given, and hugs. Goodnights rang out; the door closed; and then, silence.

We looked at each other. Waited. One never knows how long it may take for a "Grandma? Grandpa?" to issue forth. But - nothing so far.

Having brought two cars, Grandpa graciously said, "You can go on home, I'll stay until the folks get back." So, I went. It later came to my notice that there was some 'activity' shortly after. I believe one, maybe two popped out of bed. And one, maybe two came out into the living room. I believe the doggie eagerly awaited their presence and capitalized on it. 

But I was safe within my Volvo, driving along blissfully unaware of any shenanigans that may or may not be happening. All I could think of was how the night before I had sat in a theater, eyes glued to horrific maulings and killings by expensive dinosaurs designed only to maul and kill. And then this night? This night was jokes, and laughter, and p.j.'s, and hungry tummies. And absolutely none of it cost a penny.

Sweetness and light never does.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Cream Tea for Three

(Previously mentioned here)

We had stopped along the way at a castle, having heard of their splendid Cream Tea. The place was very imposing and serious looking, which should have been a forewarning of what was about to come. But we were hungry, and eager, and nothing could dampen our enthusiasm for scones.

We approached the very large and heavy doors to the castle, Rosie and I letting Ted go in first. Ted is very adept at getting us into places, and making our way for us. Never would we presume to open a conversation with a Maitre d' or a dining room Host, not unless Ted were away. So we tagged along behind him, peeking around at the unbelievably ancient fortress surrounding us. The hall was lined with suits of armor and stately portraits fading with age. It was the kind of place that makes one feel like whispering.

We listened vaguely as Ted spoke with the man in charge, who seemed to be something along the lines of a Head Waiter or Maitre d'. Whatever he was, it was evident that he was Very Important. And suddenly, Rosie and I started listening closely, for we were not hearing happy things.

"Excuse me sir, but do you have a reservation?" the Very Important said.

"No, we don't, but there appears to be space here for us," said Ted.

"Excuse me sir, but I must go and check if we have space," said the Man.

"What does he mean, do we have reservations? And why would they be required?" whispered Rosie. "The place is empty!"

We both giggled because it was true. There wasn't anyone that we could see who was seated or eating anything at all. It was puzzling.

"I'm afraid reservations are required, sir," said the man when he returned. At this point Ted drew him aside ("Might I have a word?"), so that Rosie and I did not hear exactly what was being said. We could guess what was being said, but watched passively, and waited. At last, both Ted and the man were smiling like old friends, and we were handed over to a rather timid looking personage whom, we assumed, was at last our waiter.

We ordered the Cream Tea, and apart from the fact that the order appeared to confuse the little man, and produced the pot of tea long before the scones, we enjoyed our repast. There were far too many scones, strangely, and we tried to return some of them. But this proved also to be confusing, and so we let it drop. All throughout this exchange, I dared not look in Rosie's direction, because we would both surely have burst into laughter and embarrassed the poor thing (he was so sweet that we didn't want to get him into trouble with such a Very Important boss).

The scones were good, although they were not quite a 10. We thought, perhaps a 6? This was partly because just achieving our cream tea was so very difficult, and partly because the clotted cream was rather too thick for comfort. Clotted cream must be just the right creamy smoothness, no more, no less.

But we were in lovely England and on our way to St Ives, so really, who could complain? How many people in this world get to go to a castle for a cream tea? So Rosie and I held our tongues until we were out the doors and well away from any listening ears.

"What on earth was that all about?" she asked Ted. "And what did you SAY to that Man?"

But Ted held his own counsel. We were led to the black Mercedes and deposited therein. "Have you taken your carsick pills?" he asked me. 

"Why?" I quaked. 

"Because we are about to make up for lost time."

Wherein I strapped myself in, grabbed my pill bottle, and hoped for the best.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

Monday, June 15, 2015

When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth

Pardon me, while I scream.

It would be gory, no question about that. No one who had actually seen it had actually told me anything about it. But even if it was (gory), I could handle it, right? I had seen Jurassic Parks 1, 2, and 3 (was there a 4?) and had come out shaken and stirred - but still in one piece. This time I didn't know what to expect.

Having heard that theaters everywhere were packing them in and that it would be hard to get tickets, we decided to do a matinee. It was almost full, but we found good seats next to a lively and close-knit couple who were clearly not thinking about dinosaurs. They were paying quite a lot of attention to each other, though, and I started wishing the movie would START ALREADY.

If you have already seen Jurassic World, you will know that it does not take very long for the scary bits to show up. 

As things heated up and extinct monsters made their debuts in front of us, the volume and the music built up, and up, until the fear in the theater became palpable. And then a dinosaur screamed. It was a scream like no other scream, horrific and meaningful (the intent being: somebody was GOING TO DIE), coming out of a gigantic mouth filled with sharp, crooked, messy teeth. I believe it had already eaten someone because - well, just because (you have to see it).

Then the dinosaur screaming continued, at ever louder decibel levels, and suddenly I heard someone else screaming along with it. The screams came from someone sitting quite near us, and sounded like a woman. And then, I realized ... it wasn't just any woman - the woman was ME. This humiliating thing happened again and again; and then the largest dinosaur, the one who was the most dangerous, simply would NOT go away, and would NOT stop, and suddenly the woman who was me shouted, "OH NO, NOT AGAIN!!"

It was so embarrassing.

The only thing I can compare it with is the time my sister and I went to see JAWS for the first time, back in 1977. We were so frightened that we both found ourselves curled up and screaming on the floorboards of the theater (I think our husbands pretended they didn't know us). 

In any case, I thought this was a good, solid movie. And the lively close-knit couple next to us? Well, they got scared, let's just say, and walked out of the theater somewhat subdued. I think they were actually pale.

It was a great blockbuster summer film complete with suspense, amazing music, and all sorts of genetically engineered monster-like antediluvian horrors all leading up to the inevitable sequel.

It would have been perfect if only I could have gotten that woman to stop her everlasting screaming.

See you along the way!
the SconeLady

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/52957117@N04/7197846552">Dinosaur  Adventure</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/14405058@N08/5969927281">Dinosaur Hall</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/">(license)</a>