September 25th, 2013

life is good

COLLECTIVISM

Yesterday, as we sat at the kitchen table eating dinner, we counted NINE magpies hopping about in the street in front of our house. That's surely enough for a tiding. Or even a charm, which is one of the alternative collective nouns for magpies according to a couple of different websites I checked. A charm of magpies seems more fitting to me, since I think they are such charming birds. They're so flashy and curious and bold. And big! Striking black and white with a brilliant flash of peacock blue that shines out when they spread their wings.

They seemed to be congregating (another of their collective nouns) but loosely, hopping back and forth in their funny two-footed hop but not really paying attention to each other. We had the windows closed so we couldn't hear if there was any tittering going on (yet another of their collective noun designations) but after a few moments they seemed to lose interest and move apart or flew away.

The sun slants long through the trees and the skies of an evening are full of Maxfield Parrish clouds: tinted royally purple and orange and coral and pink as the sun slopes down. The sugar beet trucks are trundling through our village and the factory is huffing and puffing across the highway. There hasn't been a lot of wind or rain, though it's turned chilly. I wipe condensation from the car windows each morning, expecting any day now I'll be scraping instead.

Tonight I baked a cake: a Lemon dream cake, in a Bundt pan and then I drizzled icing over the top (tinted yellow) and scattered silver and white dragée balls around the top. It came out perfectly from the oven and it looks even better. I hope it tastes as good as it looks; it ought to: my sister gave me secret ingredients to add to cake mixes: Dream Whip and PUDDING mix. Have you ever done this? She swears the cake comes out moister and stays moister. And I mixed the powdered sugar icing with milk instead of water which is what I've always done in the past when I was making that kind of icing for cookies. NOMNOMNOM! I can't wait to try it!



The cake, along with a pile of other snacky goodies, is for book group tomorrow, which I am hosting. The only bad thing about hosting book group is that usually you miss out on a lot of the actual book discussion because you are busy running back and forth to the kitchen, setting things out and making coffee and tea and checking that you have enough ice cubes and folding napkins into magpie shapes...

What would be a good collective noun for the people in my bookgroup? A bevy of bookworms! An absorption of... A series of... A bibiliography of... A library of readers!