Greetings! These past several weeks it seems that I’ve been writing about sad and serious things, always looking for that nugget of good, that silver lining, of course, but. . .This week it’s time to reset my palate and veer toward things that are more casual, more colorful, more fun. On with the mélange of cool stuff!


Wait a minute. Doesn’t mélange have something to do with. . .you know. . .


Nice try with the vocab, Lily, but I’m pretty sure you’re thinking of ménage, which can have a “you know” connotation. The online dictionary defines that word as “members of a household” which we three, plus Hoosegow, are. Mélange simply means a mixture or a medley of stuff. So let’s make that stuff fun!


Like mixing up streusel topping and eating it without bothering to make a coffee cake?


That’s the spirit, 9, and thank you for sharing your very most secret of favorite clandestine snacks which once was also mine. Along those lines, this month a friend gifted me with a loaf of very special cinnamon swirl bread. The top recommendation was to use it for French toast, which I’ve done twice in the interim:


The perfect mélange: cinnamon swirl French toast with bananas and blueberries!


Wow, that looks fabulous!


If it hadn’t been, I wouldn’t have made it twice, Lily. Another great thing- -a hot recommendation on swim goggles that don’t dent the skin around my eyes so it leaves me looking like a raccoon. I’m talking Speedo Vanquisher 2.0s! They worked perfectly at the pool this morning, a good thing since my old goggles, in addition to severely denting my face, had sprung a leak on the left side. I’d be okay with it until the cup filled up and then- -freak out! Not something you want to do in a pool.


So, something yummy and a technical problem solved! Add to the mélange a bunch of stuff under the heading of “annual.” For those of you who believe in preventive exams, July is my month for my “annual” exam with my GYN provider, also my yearly mammogram. Both of those things happened this week, and while they don’t exactly fall under the heading of “fun,” they are done and seem to have gone okay.


Since I was getting tuned up I also signed up for a remote computer diagnostic session with my beloved computer consultant, who lives in Port Townsend. It’s never occurred to me to find someone local because 1. she’s so damn good and 2. she’s a straight shooter, all smarts and no bull. Face it, you can’t always find that in a computer consultant. Also, she’s really fun to talk to. A couple of tweaks and updates, my anxious questions reassuringly answered, and we’re good to go for another year.


In the garden- -oh my stars! After a two-year apricot famine the trees are not exactly loaded to breaking but loaded enough. Fruit is ripening so quickly I’m both preserving some for later (frozen sauces and halves) and sharing with neighbors, plus eating as many as I possibly can. For some crazy reason I also bought a pint of Rainier cherries. Discovery: these go well in a salad of romaine, feta cheese and chopped up salmon burger. You’re welcome!


Add these to the mélange! A rain of apricots.

On my third attempt this year, the green beans are coming up, too. I think we’ve had a wide-spread local problem with green beans in 2022 because when I went to purchase more seeds (thinking the ones I’d tried earlier were “bad”) all I could find were wax bean seeds, kind of like finding Necco wafers when you were hoping for salted caramels. I did buy an envelope of wax bean seeds, but I replanted the ones I’d tried before, first. Along came the heat, and, voila! From a planting on July 13 of 26 seeds, 16 are currently up.



The tomatoes, four varieties, are bearing mightily though they are, at present, far from ripe. Sunflowers and borage, all volunteers from not one but two years ago, are coming in gangbusters.


There’s a fun event on the horizon next week. My friends at DW Distilling, Walla Walla’s go-to brandy distillery, are hosting an event to welcome the visiting B-17 and B-25 crews that will be at Walla Walla Airport next week. I’m signed up for the welcome event and am super-excited because Dad was part of a B-17 crew in WWII. Details about the visiting aviators here:


No, I am not booking a flight (a bit steep for my finances!), but I look forward to meeting people who can tell me something about what Dad experienced, and to share his story, too.


Dad, with the B-17 crew, back row second from left.



Speaking of which, I also found this link:


Yup, that’s Dad. He didn’t talk about his WWII experiences much, but I suspect he would be pleased to see that he and other US airmen are actively remembered by the Brits.


Food, goggles, garden, B-17s- -quite a variety, yes? Nurturing the memories of those we love and have lost is an important part of what makes us human, but so is enjoying the happy things of everyday life.


So there!

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