Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hanging Out With Ben

I've missed Logan and will be happy to see him home again tomorrow evening. Ben and I have kept busy in his absence doing things he wouldn't enjoy. Like eating vegetables. I've tried to eat vegetarian along with Ben this week and to cook up some interesting food. Last night I made a quiche with kale (from Millap"s Farm), oyster mushrooms, and caramelized onions. It was yummy, but I must say the oyster mushrooms were a surprise. I bought them at the farmer's market last Saturday and had a choice between white ones or some of a grayish color. I took the gray ones for no particular reason. The surprise was that they actually smelled and tasted like fresh fish. The texture, even after sauteing before using, was quite firm, almost woody, and a nice contrast to the mooshy quiche.

Grandpa Steve took us to the opera last week at the Opera in the Ozarks festival in Eureka Springs where we saw a wonderful performance of La Boheme. Opera in the Ozarks is an eight week workshop for aspiring opera singers -- four weeks of rehearsal and four weeks of performance.  That northwest corner of Arkansas is quite a cultural hotspot : Opera in the Ozarks is in its 62nd year, Crystal Bridges opened last year, and there are many artists and writers in the region.

On Sunday we went to the Springfield library to see a performance of "Walking Toward America" based on the experience of Ilga Vise as a WWII Latvian refugee in her early teens who walked with her family from Riga to Germany to escape the Russian Army at the close of WWII.  It was scripted by Sandra Fenichel Asher and performed by Annie Meek Montgomery who played the roles of several people and of Ilga at different ages. Very powerful and moving. All three women, Ilga, Annie, and Sandra have ties to Springfield. Ilga was present and answered questions from the audience after the performance. Amazing woman!

Yesterday Ben and I went to the zoo where he spent a couple of hours observing a Madagascar Cockroach expel an egg sac. We learned a lot about the very unusual process, but I won't say anymore about it, leaving it to Ben to describe on his Facebook status page. Last evening he went on a bird hunt, hoping to spot the elusive Painted Bunting, but only heard its song.
 Last week he returned to field station where they were restoring habitat for the Swainson's   Warbler. Here's what that guy looks like.
Today I booked my flight for my September trip to California for a "Golden Girls" reunion. Five of us from high school are going to get together in Mendocino at Little River Inn for four days of reliving the 1950's. I plan to be in the Sacramento area for a few days, September 22nd, 23rd, 29th and 30th.  Drop me an email so we can plan to get together.

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