Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

09 June 2008

So Where Were We?

Thursday and Friday were the last days of school, with outdoor activities sandwiched in between rainstorms.

Our son and I went to the beach both days after school. The water was still mostly refrigerator-cold, but the air was in the high 80's (around 30 C), so the lake breeze and the chilly water felt good.

My Honda Fit is now a real Michigan car, since it has been irretrievably beach-sanded with our local squeaky round-grained sand.

Saturday we had tickets to the Shrine circus (thanks, Pat!), so we took the child up there, watched the juggler, the trapeze artist, and the pink and blue poodles, and then did our grocery shopping.

Saturday night we were absolutely pounded on by thunderstorms loud enough to wake the child up, so neither he nor I got much sleep. This was a real blinger of a storm, the kind where the window glass lights up white, and before you have time to think, the glass reverberates in the frame with the thunder.

So Sunday morning I woke up feeling sleepy and slow. The weather was relatively nice in the morning, and we started a batch of bread dough. Minutes after I put it in the oven for first rise, with a clear sky and calm weather, the electricity went off.

And stayed off.

Hmmm, time to wake up and think quick, or at least more quickly than bread dough! I asked my husband to start some charcoal, and I dug out the cast-iron sauce pan and soup kettle. I re-greased the kettle, as the seasoning looked a little suspect, and when the dough had risen, divided it into the cast iron. Meanwhile coals were getting hot out in our heavy-duty park-style grill.

By the second rise, we put both pots out over the coals and covered the grill with the top of our big oven roaster pan. It took longer than the oven, since it's not enclosed and it was windy, but the dough baked fairly well in there, and at least we didn't end up throwing it away.

Then we had another storm Sunday afternoon. It got pitchy-dark, so dark I couldn't see to read sitting next to the window in the daytime in June! We prowled around from window to window, flinching at the lightning and watching the rain blow sideways and backwards, until it gave that up.

The power came on here Sunday evening, but the wireless internet didn't until today.

Now I see from the wonder of the internet that another storm is headed this way. Somewhere around 100,000 people in Michigan don't have power back yet; the road I took from the beach to the library Friday washed out Saturday night north of where I turn the corner; and the highway washed out and is closed north of me, right where we drove Saturday afternoon.

Me, I'm feeling perfectly happy to have had a day with hot and cold running water and a working refrigerator so far today.

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Blogger Georgie said...

Good thinking! The pirate and I baked bread on the weekend too (his favourite bit was punching it down after the first rise).

Does "the last days of school" mean that its summer holidays for you *already*?

7:02 PM  
Anonymous walterknitty said...

I grew up in Iowa and now live in Oregon. It makes my chest ache to hear about those kinds of storms. It's the one thing I miss about living in Iowa (those kinds of storms and thunderstorms in general), that and the lightning bugs.

9:09 PM  
Blogger Knitting Linguist said...

Wow. That is some insane June weather you're having! Excellent save with the bread, though - I'm glad the rain held off long enough for it to work :)

10:34 PM  
Blogger catsmum said...

what a great way to make "the power's out" into a memorable experience. I discovered the hard way when I moved up here that power outages also meant no water as I'm reliant on the rainwater tank and its electric pump ... which is why I now have an extra 4500 litre tank up on the top of the hill for gravity fed water when I need it.

2:18 AM  
Blogger Bells said...

Oh good save! Wouldn't want to waste all that rising!

I bet those storms are really dramatic.

5:05 AM  
Blogger Roxie said...

Bravo! Talk about a variety of lost arts - baking on the coals fits right in there. Good for you. With a nice dutch oven, you could bake cakes!

9:16 AM  
Blogger Beth said...

Wow, I'll have to see this arrangement next time we visit! We have natural gas and I remember back in the day you could still light the oven in a power failure. These newfangled jobbies though, the ovens cannot be lit without power. I still have a cook top but that's not much good for baking bread!

1:46 PM  
Blogger Donna Lee said...

Clever woman! We only got a bit of rain and thunder and lightning from that storm. I guess it blew itself out over you all. But it was enough to wash away the nasty heat and humidity. I do love a good thunder storm, when I am inside of course.

2:46 PM  
Blogger Lucia said...

Brilliant! Just like the pioneers. Well, OK, not quite, but in that direction.

Midwestern thunderstorms are (usually) much more intense than ours -- although we did have a hailstorm a few weeks ago.

5:14 PM  

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