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The sky is white, wide and wild. It seems snow-laden. Snow-burdened. But you never know. It’s been known to disappoint. Snown to disappoint. The wind is shaking the honeysuckle leaves in the trellis, still green from summer. It’s swaying the bird feeder, bereft of birds. There was a small yellow and blue tit hunched there earlier, but he’s nowhere to be seen now.

There is still snow on the ground, a patchy white blanket tufted with the too long grass, also of late summer. There are rose hips scattered on the deck. I am glad to be inside, out of the cold. Anders is on his way to South Africa. He left yesterday but it takes 11 hours to get there from London and he still had to get to London first. It’s cold there, too, he said. It’s no more than 23-25 degrees*. I laughed. Cold for Africa, maybe.

I need to start cooking soon. I am making two potato au gratin dishes for a potluck that I am attending tonight. One will be vegetarian with broccoli and mushrooms and the other will also have broccoli, but sausages. I wish I could find ground sausage here. It’s weird that it doesn’t exist. I don’t think about it except when the urge for a breakfast casserole hits which, granted, isn’t often. There’s no chicken soup here either, neither the broth, noodle, nor the creamy kind. Isn’t that weird? There was, when I first moved here, but over the years it has disappeared from the grocery stores. Now I have to badger my brother to send me some from Germany or pay exorbitant rates to ship it here.

Karin is going to the potluck with me; she’s coming after work and meeting me there. I am glad she will be with me. I’m glad any time she wants to spend time with me these days. She probably doesn’t know how much I am dreading the day she moves away. Since she is coming, I am also bringing two snickerdoodle cookie cakes. They don’t look like much since the red sugar and cinnamon topping is quite dull but I’m sure they will be yummy, regardless.

I am listening to Laurie Anderson’s Strange Angels because the book I am reading mentioned it. It’s so good. Both the book and the album. It’s a book by Pamela Dean. I’ve been re-reading everything she’s written and wishing there was more. She doesn’t seem to have published anything since the early 2000s which is a bummer. Her wikipedia page says nothing by way of explanation and the last entry on her website is dated 2008. She does blog regularly on Livejournal, though.

Technically, I am still sick, but since it’s been 1.5 weeks and it’s all down in my lungs, I am pretty sure I’m not contagious or anything. I need to get out of the house and be around other people (work doesn’t count) for awhile. I need to at least get out of the ‘90s which is where I seem to be mentally, judging by my music and reading choices.

Edited an hour later to add: it worked; it’s snowing.

mood: contemplative
music: Laurie Anderson—Strange Angels


I solved the breakfast sausage thing long ago. The store has very nice ground pork. I created my own seasoning using rubbed sage, thyme, garlic and onion powder and cayenne pepper. Start easy with the seasonings, fry up a tiny bit to taste and keep adding the seasonings until you hit a combo that works for your taste. Just be warned that when you get close to where you think you want to be, let it sit overnight in the fridge and fry up a bit more in the morning before you add anything else as the spices do strengthen.

Yes, I know I could make my lazy and want to be able to just buy it! Haha!


You could do the same with the chicken noodle soup and put it in the freezer in serving sizes. That is what I do.... Seester

Or you could mail me some in a cooler...

I'm glad that your snow arrived. Thanks for sending it our way, but you really could have kept the wind and just sent the snow :-)

I hear you on the ground sausage (we call it sausage meat) - there are so many recipes from home where I could have used some, but it was not to be found here. Actually there are no decent sausages here either, which surprises me as we are neighbours to Germany who make a wonderful array of sausages. But here they make tasteless hot dog type of sausages. I showed a native Spaniard what Swedes called "chorizio" and he was horrified :-)

And I've noticed that condensed soups have disappeared from the shops here as well. I used to be able to get Campbell's mushroom and chicken soups and I have lots of recipes that use condensed soup, but alas they have all been replaced by ready to serve ones in tetra packs. Which I don't want - I want it undiluted!

Sorry that you are still sick. That seems to be taking its time going away. I hope that you feel better soon. And save some of that cake for me - I'll swap you a slice of Lemon Meringue Pie.

All the campbells soups have disappeared completely, it bums mw out.

And our snow was fone by morning.

Believe it or not, I am still not healthy. Bleah!

Yeah, Campbells soups became Bong soups here. Those soups are awful and super salty, plus only come in ready to eat packs. You can get the condensed ones sent from the UK but postage is prohibitive.

Still sick? :( That sounds awful. I had hoped that you were better by now. Should I send Nurse Sophie to care for you?

From Megsie

I agree with the person above who said to make your own sausage! Jeff used to make some for our egg dish before we had kids, I don't think he has since, but we have ground sausage here...or we just take off the casings and use that as ground sausage...we are lucky. We make our own chicken broth (or I guess turkey) after Thanksgiving. It is easy and it makes a LOT. We freeze it in ziplock bags one cup per bag. Awesome. I don't know what to tell you about cream of chicken/mushroom soup though. Ah. The things I take for granted. I feel grateful now.

Hope you start to feel better soon! You have been through enough already! xo

RE: From Megsie

Still not 100% but at least a little better each day!


Glad you got some snow. I would love to share what's on my deck & roof and piled all around the yard! The plow guy actually had to come to just move the piles back farther so there's room for more! There's at least 15-18" on the roof in most places- and I need to finish roof raking it on 2 sides of the house. But it means clearing the deck first -otherwise what would drop down when roof raking would make the amount too heavy to move! So instead I've stayed inside for 2 days -trying to talk myself back into finisf=hing the job. So -just trying to say in a huge round-about way....don't wish for too much! (snow) Love, Lizardmom


What? Do you at least have chickens? Is there a shortage? I'm very confused.


P.S. Glad you're feeling better. I was starting to worry a little.

Having chickens and making my own soup is not the point. I want my processed oversalted canned chicken soup deliciousness!

Also, still not 100% but a little better every day. Cough.

Chicken broth and sausage

I have a solution for the chicken broth, assuming you can get your hands on a whole chicken (preferably cleaned, defeathered, and otherwise made to look a little like the chickens you might find in USA groceries): boil the beast (alongside veggies of your choice if you wish) until it's thoroughly cooked. Remove the bird and put its carcass to good use in feeding people who like such stuff. Strain the water into a container suitable for freezing (and that will fit in your freezer). There you have it. As for sausage, I agree with the previous response. So there you go.

RE: Chicken broth and sausage

Yeah yeah yeah. You people are missing the point.

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

Abraham Lincoln

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