The Roundup

Corn chaff after the harvest

With the holiday baking season upon us it’s a good time to highlight Joy Of Baking, a comprehensive site that offers much more than recipies. The site founder states “to become a good baker all you need are good ingredients and some time and patience in the kitchen. Practice does eventually lead to excellence so I encourage you to start easy and as your confidence builds you will be amazed at what you can accomplish.”

Stephen Shore’s work “has been widely published and exhibited for the past forty-five years. He was the first living photographer to have a one-man show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York since Alfred Stieglitz, forty years earlier. He has also had one-man shows at George Eastman House, Rochester; Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Jeu de Paume, Paris; and Art Institute of Chicago. In 2017, the Museum of Modern Art opened a major retrospective spanning Stephen Shore’s entire career.”

The Museum of Hoaxes “was established in 1997. It explores deception, mischief, and misinformation throughout history, playing host to a variety of humbugs and hoodwinks — from ancient fakery all the way up to modern schemes, dupes, and dodges that circulate online.” Warning: this site is addictive!

With Black Friday right around the corner it’s a good time to visit The Black

Have a good weekend!

Open Vistas

Our southern vista after the harvest

The local farmers recently finished harvesting the crops along our road and around our acreage, opening up the vistas. Once again we can see the surrounding water towers, farms and co-op elevators miles away as well as the distant traffic moving along the highway. Some truckers outline their rigs with bright colored lights. During the evening as they drive along emerging from behind one slope and disappearing behind another they look like huge lit up fish swimming across the landscape. We were surrounded by corn this year and for a few days after the fields were harvested the chaff was a little thick blowing into our yard. We raked and burned the stuff a couple of times, but most of it eventually blew across our acreage and into the next field. The field mice are trying to move into the garage and outbuildings for the winter, but thankfully there is no sign of them in the house. We hide poison in the outbuildings so the dogs can’t get to it and traps loaded with peanut butter in the garage, but so far there has not been much activity. Within the last week I heard two packs of coyotes yipping and howling at each other fairly close to us, but I couldn’t see them in the darkness. They went quiet soon and I haven’t heard them since then. They will be back. The seasons are still battling with each other, the snow blowing one day and the warm sun shining down the next. We all know what the outcome of the fight will be, but I still can’t help rooting for the underdog.

Website Review: Smithsonian


“Smithsonian magazine and place a Smithsonian lens on the world, looking at the topics and subject matters researched, studied and exhibited by the Smithsonian Institution — science, history, art, popular culture and innovation — and chronicling them every day for our diverse readership.” I have been a reader of the Smithsonian Magazine for at least 20 years and I still look forward to digging into a new issue when it arrives. The online presence of the magazine offers a healthy chunk of what is in the printed version, and they also provide a free email newsletter. Well worth the time to check out this site.

An Old Recipe Box

An Old Recipe Box

A few years ago I created a project blog I titled An Old Recipe Box. To quote from the introduction: “While cleaning out a house in Villisca, Iowa I found an old, rusty green recipe box. I decided to scan each recipe, from the front of the box to the back, in the order that the box was found. I also decided I would not go through the box ahead of time but rather explore it with the reader, week by week, until finished.” Not too surprisingly the blog generated little traffic and today it receives about 500 pageviews a month. There are dozens of scanned recipes and other ephemera on the blog that give a glimpse at Midwestern life during the mid-twentieth century.

S.E. Hinton

S.E. Hinton

I was introduced to Ponyboy when I was in my early teens, like most people who know him. I immediately liked him and his extended group of greaser friends and family created by S.E. Hinton. I went on to meet Rusty-James, the Motorcycle Boy, Bryon and Mark. My teenage brain was a little taken aback when I found out the S.E. part of the author’s name stood for Susan Eloise. A young woman was creating these cool characters, almost all young males. It didn’t bother me or make me stop reading. When I hit my later teens and had moved on to Hemingway and Fitzgerald and the crew, I found I couldn’t resist rereading some of her books even into my twenty’s. Maybe the main reason I reread them is because the characters are so likable, which made me care about them and what happened to them. The books are mainly about relationships, and how they change. Four of her books were made into movies, two directed by Francis Ford Coppola and three featuring Matt Dillon. It is hard to adapt a well loved book into a movie that fans like, and while the movies were not awful they also did not come very close to how I imagined the characters to look, to talk, even to move. That is my fault, not mistakes by the actors or directors. I have not read Hinton’s later books, so I have no opinion on those, but I would recommend you introduce a teenager you know to at least the first three she wrote, The Outsiders, That Was Then, This Is Now and Rumble Fish. And if you haven’t read them yourself, well, there’s still time.

The Roundup

Our final fall tomato harvest

Wild Edible “is about merging primal roots and instinct with a passion for preparing and eating good food. It’s about foraging for wild food and medicinal plants and herbs, and it’s about locally and sustainably grown veggies, as well as humanely raised meat, and how they all mesh together to nourish and sustain our bodies and souls.”

“Since 1980, Guitar World has been the ultimate resource for guitarists. Whether you want to learn the techniques employed by your guitar heroes, read about their latest projects or simply need to know which guitar is the right one to buy, Guitar World is the place to look.”

The Creation Research Society “is independent and unaffiliated with any other organization, religious group or church body. The CRS advocates the concept of special creation (as opposed to evolution), both of the universe and of the earth with its complexity of living forms. Membership in the Society requires agreement with the CRS Statement of Belief. Members of the society include research scientists from various fields of scientific accomplishment who are committed to full belief in the biblical record of creation and early history.”

BookScouter “helps you sell textbooks and used books for the most money by comparing offers from over 30 book buyback vendors with a single search.”