Saturday, August 23, 2008

One tired puppy and a foodie post - and more on lizards

Whew, I am one tired puppy after the first week of school. But all is well, or well enough, and the magic of the first week did happen despite all the craziness: it is always exciting to meet the new students and see the old ones again, to see colleagues after the summer, and to have nice new syllabi and revamped course websites even if one has been up half the night getting them finished.

And then of course there are all the meetings. And more and more meetings.

I am also up for the dreaded Fourth Year Evaluation, which will take up a lot of time and energy the next few weeks. That's all I am going to say about that on a Saturday! In fact, from next week on I think I am going to observe computer Shabbat and not post from Friday evening to Saturday evening.

I am about to go back to bed since I did not get enough sleep last night. I stayed up very late and got up early (for a Saturday - which still means three hours later than usual) to go to the farmers' market and buy fresh produce. There are two farmers' markets in these parts. The one where I've been more often in the past is the downtown Greensboro one. This summer I have gone often to the one several miles out of town, the Piedmont Triad Farmers' Market (the Piedmont Triad is the cluster of Greensboro, High Point, and Winston-Salem, not to be confused with the Triangle, which is Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, a ways north of here) because it has a better selection of summer produce.

In brief: I got yellow peaches, several kinds of heirloom tomatoes, assorted peppers, apples, and goat cheese (two kinds). Also three ears of corn, because I almost missed the corn season. It's been around for weeks and I haven't had any yet this summer. Guess what I'm having for lunch in a few hours?

I also got the first lamb of the year. I am mostly a vegetarian, but unlike Mother of Acts of Hope, age almost 90, who has been a real vegetarian (no dead animals of any kind) since the 1960s or so, I have a little fish once in a while, and even less often, I eat lamb. More on the area sheep farm once I have had some rest and sleep.

I didn't get okra at all this year, or beans, because it was a more worky summer than most and I have been very minimal about cooking. I have delicious meals, and they are nutritious, but they don't require a lot of preparation. You've never had bread and cheese for your main course? Give it a try. With a salad of summer tomatoes and lettuce it makes a great meal. I'll slice and cook and fuss over more complicated dishes next summer, inch'Allah.

No lizards on the ledge today, but it's not as sunny as yesterday. Answer to JohnieB's question in the comments of the last post: I'm not sure one can do anything to attract lizards. They just show up if there is a wall for them to crawl on and it's very hot and sunny. I live within the city limits but I am on the edge of a college campus and against some woods, so there are a lot of critters around. I'm not sure what constitutes lizard habitat, but "hot and dry" describes most places where I've seen lizards in my life -- though "dry" doesn't mean it's not muggy. I have seen lizards both in Mediterranean climates and here in North Carolina where "hot" means "humid" most of the time, though there are some dry exceptions that fill me with nostalgia for California.

Time for a fresh peach and a long nap, or maybe it's more like the end of the night's sleep during the day.

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