Thursday, September 19, 2013


Never pegged myself as being a fan of football, and I don't think the bug has gotten to me yet. I went to a number of Giants games in New York with Maryann and my old friend, Jon Sawyer, both of whom loved to make fun of me for my lack of knowledge. I once flew out of my seat to yell on for the Giants, and in the din, Maryann asked me, "why the hell did you stand?" "I have no idea," I replied. Must have been the heat of the moment.

I was here today at the invitation of my professor housemate, Ken Brinson. He purchased season tickets, and they are quite wonderful. It was a perfect day for watching football, neither too hot or too cold, but on the field, it was probably twenty degrees warmer, if all the leg cramping that was going on was any indicator.

Now this photo is one of the multi-purpose sports stadium of Lewis & Clark University. It is used for football, track and soccer. It's a beautiful field, and I took the photo with my cell phone in row L right on the 50-yard-line as you can see. The home team, The Panthers, were hosting their first home game of the season, this time against Clairmont College. Neither team are very good with the Panthers having such serious holes in their defense, that even I knew they sucked at times. But charging towards the goal post after a truly lackluster opening quarter, got my adrenaline up.  The score see-sawed all afternoon long and the Panthers lost in a heartbreaking tie-breaker in overtime by a field goal. The two smallest guys on the team were the heroes who put a lot of yards on the field on Saturday.  It was fun and far more involving than big, professional football.  I may get seriously more involved. Like watching triple A baseball, you're closer to the players, and college football is a lot more loosey-goosey than watching a pro-game.

Taking advantage of the fall season, I got to my nursery and snagged to beautiful rose bushes at an end-of-season, two-for-one sale. One of the roses is nearly black-red with a velvety surface that looks unreal. It was planted on the driveway side with three other rose bushes. The other is an apricot- to- bright pink beauty that will be planted in the dog run. I've got more tulip and daffodil bulbs to plant in the front yard, but that is going to require a big clean-up. The previous owner put down that awful garden cloth that retards weeds, and I've got to pull up a lot of ornamental grass that I'm sick of looking at, and till that soil, enrich it and then add mulch. But that is a whole weekend job that has to be done this month. Not looking forward to it. Otherwise, the garden is in roughly decent shape. Some plants are going next season and I'll search out their replacements at the Heart Plant Society sale in April. I've decided it was time to be a bit ruthless with things I don't like.

All summer long, I resisted making fruit pies--my favorite dessert, until my plot tree ripened, and four gorgeous nectarines came my way. This deep-dish beauty features a butter/shortening crust and was not only good for dessert, but excellent for breakfast.

My friend Sara, brought over an enormous sack of Asian Pears, which I've been turning into Asian Pear Butter. I made two versions--one with orange zest and nutmeg, and the other with fresh ginger. Asian Pears are not my favorite fruit. I know you put them in salads, but they never seem sweet enough for me. It seems I've peeled about 75 of these pears, and I don't care if I don't see another for at least a year. Sara's wonderful garden also produces figs, and I expect to see a large bag of persimmons on my doorstep any day now.

I've been watching Aaron Sorkin's up and down NEWSROOM on HBO, and find that when the show sticks to news and stays away from ticky romances, it is terrific. I love Jeff Daniels, but his girlfriend, Mac, is a giant pain in the ass. I like the nasty senior producer because he's interesting. Dav Patel is excellent as the computer expert, and Olivia Munn is fascinatingly unpredictable and very sexy as the financial anchor on the show.  Perhaps best of all is Jane Fonda as the commanding Leona, owner the the network that airs this news program. Sorkin has lavished Leona with the most fabulous lines, and Fonda, looking sensational, serves them up in dazzling form. She deserves an Emmy for her work this season. There's simply no other actress quite in her class on TV at the moment (though Marcia Gay Harden as the lawyer managed to hold her own in their scenes together, and in her depositions with all the cast members when the show is being sued by a mendacious producer who has faked a story. Let's hope the third season continues to focus on great stories, and leaves office romantic entanglements alone.

And finally, the jacket is done for BACK IN THE GARDEN WITH DULCY, the second book my publishing partners and I have done. It is a memoir and a collections of columns by the late, Dulcy Mahar. She was a beloved garden columnist for The Oregonian for twenty two years. Her husband Ted has written the opening chapter of his 50-year marriage to Dulcy. She was a completely self-taught gardener who held down demanding full-time jobs over the years as she researched and wrote her weekly column. Dulcy's gentle humor, good instructions, and lack of pretense endeared her to her many admirers.
The columns are lavishly illustrated with many gorgeous photos of her stunning garden. It goes on sale on November 16th.  This is going to be a very beautiful volume.