Monday, August 21, 2017

Do you give a fuck about the eclipse?


The physical eclipse doesn’t really excite me much, but then again I am in Ohio.  We are expecting something like 70% totality which is of course not totality.  But it’s okay, I’m glad for a good word like totality to have a boost in the vernacular.  God knows I deal in totality.  Or at least I usually do.  I'm having some bouts of indecision whiplash which is most unlike me.  Of course, the last thing we really need more of right now is totality, but that’s a fight waiting to happen I guess. 
What does intrigue me incredibly is the astrological nature of this eclipse.  But I am in a huge rush and need to just get this cookie recipe posted and hopefully talk about all this later.  I’m very sorry that this is a repost of an old recipe.  I am going to refer to it on Instagram today and wanted it in a convenient spot. 


After a long and busy summer, my boat totes were looking like shit.  So Friday was their laundry day.  Barbie
enjoyed supervising their drying and refused to move. So now they're freshly laundered with some freshly washed dog hair attached.  


To make a long thought short, I’d love a discussion on all of this.  Whether you give a damn about astrology or not, we can all enjoy an excuse for changes we’d like to make—big, small, or gigantic.  I should know better but—you know President Donald Trump’s rising sign is Leo and this is a double Leo eclipse.  So it’s actually an opportunity for him to change his relationship with the world and how the world perceives him.  Which is interesting given that, in my opinion, one of his most sinister and unwise cohorts is recently out.  Perhaps I am woefully optimistic, but I wonder if he could seize the chance and make a U-turn.  What do you think?  Remember, I accept moderated anonymous comments.  So anything goes…just as long as it’s not vicious. 
A prime example of my eclipse-related indecision vertigo: I made these with one very strong intention, shipped them, then had made a 180 emotional reversal of course by the time they arrived 30 hours later.

Dark and White Chocolate Chunk Cookies

2 1/2 cups AP flour
1 1/4cups (2.5 sticks) butter, melted
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons diastatic malt powder
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon bourbon whiskey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/4 teaspoon salt-plus another tablespoon or so for topping
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 large eggs
8 oz dark chocolate
4 oz white chocolate

1. Add flour, vegetable oil, and diastatic malt powder to melted butter.  Lightly mix until combined, being mindful to keep mixing to a minimum.  Let sit about 20 minutes. 

2. Chop chocolates into large chunks.  Put chopped chocolate into freezer.

3.  Mix sugars, eggs, whiskey, salt, and vanilla into the flour and butter mixture.  Once just combined, add chocolate and delicately mix in.  Some of the chunks will break, but keep mixing to a minimum both to minimize chocolate breakage and to maintain the soft texture of the cookies. 

4. Line sheet tray with parchment.  Using a 2" ice cream scoop, scoop cookie dough onto sheet trays.  Because they will freeze on this sheet, the dough balls can be crowded on.  Avoid temptation to pat or handle dough balls in any way, unless uneven shards break out of the circular perimeter, those may be patted back in to maintain the shape. 

5. Sprinkle each dough ball with about 3/4 pinch kosher salt. 

6. Freeze uncovered 4-12 hours. 

7. Preheat oven to 400F. 

8. Quickly place dough balls onto ungreased nonstick sheet tray.  The cookies will be about 2x the size of the dough so allow for expansion.  I only bake one sheet at a time as to keep oven humidity down. Quickly get cookies into oven and bake 9 minutes.  Put remaining dough back into freezer.  Start watching closely through closed oven door at about 7 minutes.  You will see the bottom and perimeter browning but middle should still look uncooked (though the middle will temp about 160).  In my oven, they are perfect after nine minutes exactly. 

9.  Remove and repeat.  Allow to cool on baking sheet.  If you try to remove them from baking sheet while still hot, they will likely break.  Interestingly, they taste very best about 24 hours after baking.  Though they are very good an hour or two after bake. 

 
The Christmas adaptation is here 

65 comments:

  1. I decided in July after an intense year and a half of being a news junkie that it was not making me informed but just very upset. I know there is an eclipse today because i am still on IG and its relevance to astrology. But in the UK it is not making such a huge dent in news as it is in the USA. Today the major news is that Big Ben's bell won't ring - but perhaps that is eclipse related. At this point, anything and everything is because of this eclipse. But the consensus is split about pets seeing the eclipse - some are saying keep pets indoors and some are saying don't be silly and let animals do their thing.

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    1. I brought Barbie to work with me because she is of course highly sensitive and special and she was completely unshaded! Haha. Totally agree with you on the "news" front. More often than not it's presented as entertainment than information.

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  2. I'm planning to have a nap this afternoon while the eclipse is on the go. Or maybe I'll sit in the family room and watch the news. Mostly I don't want to damage my eyes and I've been lecturing my kids NOT TO LOOK at the sun this afternoon. Of course they know that already. To be honest it feels like a weird day. I was just at Costco and ALL of the kids were screaming. I have never witnessed so many screaming children in my life. I could actually feel the exhaustion of the parents because god knows I've been there with my three, my older two especially were little hellions in stores.
    Interesting optimism re Trump and I hope you are right. Isn't he speaking tonight as well? I think I might watch that. With a giant glass of wine. XXX

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    1. I took a nap too. I made pesto for several hours and I needed a nap after that adventure.

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    2. Haha it was a weird day! And I had about seventeen radical eclipse changes reverberate around me so I certainly believe in all of it. Does this mean you're home from Newfoundland? I'm so sad I really want to go there now!

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  3. Oh dear. What a topic. The DT's. He may be incapable of change but we can always have hope.

    The cookies look otherworldly delicious. THANKS for the recipe!

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    1. Thank you so much! Let me know if you make them! Haha yes I am always looking for ways to understand him and perhaps went a bit far.

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  4. NO!
    I DONOT GIVE A FUCK ABOUT THE ECLIPSE.
    Never GOT the BIG DEAL............plus, they tell you NOT To LOOK AT IT without those glasses!Who has those glasses anyway and YOU know they will LOOK ANYWAY!!!!!!!Best to stay PUT and READ BLOGS today as the ECLIPSE makes the DAY DARK AND DRAB!!!!!!!!
    Maybe BAKE TOO.........we shall see I just finished scrubbing my bedroom floors off now to do the LOO!!!!!!!
    XX

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    1. I burst out laughing when I read this earlier! This is exactly how I feel about watching it, but I have to say I ended up feeling a bit bewitched by the overwhelming aspect of togetherness it offered. I mean people were obsessed with it! For a moment the world did feel still!

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  5. Your sunsets (sunrises?) are beautiful.
    The cookies look luscious.
    Let's hope that totality does a job on totalitarians so the sun sets on them at last.
    I love your posts.

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    1. Thank you so much! Yes these are sunsets for once! Usually I am all about my sunrises but a few Sundays ago I had nothing to do and it was a gorgeous night. Ended up having the pleasure of the most gorgeous sunset I've seen in Ohio in a long time!

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  6. Hey, I'm first!! :) I give no fucks about the eclipse. As I said to someone, "I saw it in 1979. If you've seen one, you've seen 'em all." About Trump changing his spots: hahahaha. Not a chance in hell. That is one man who enjoys being evil to his core, and I see no changes in our future (or his). Let's all hope I'm totally wrong!

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    1. Haha!! he doesn't seem intent on wanting to change, that's for sure. But I am glad for Bannon's departure. At least.

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  7. I am unfortunately gluten free. I've been able to successfully substitute a combo of chick pea flour, white sorghum flour & xanthan gum for AP flour in cookies. However in this recipe the diastatic malt powder is not gluten free. I am not familiar with what purpose this serves in the cookies. Have you ever made these cookies without it? Can I eliminate it or substitute something else ?

    Re:Trump-he's been the same for 71 years. He's not going to change now. If you are interested in a true representation of his business persona, read "The Making If Donald Trump" by David Cay Johnson. Even if you think you understand who he is, you will find it very enlightening and will not be disappointed. I say this as a born & bred New Yorker.

    Barbe

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    1. I haven't made the cookies without it. I'm sure they would still be excellent, just perhaps not as doughy. I'd try letting the flours sit in the butter a little longer as to hydrate the flour as much as possible. Oh I don't think I can read anything on him haha my reading has gone deep into the past lately to avoid any reminders of the acrimony in the modern world! But thank you. I'll add it to my list.

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  8. Clean boat totes, a happy pup, and a missing chunk of sun will not change a leopard's spots.

    And then there's this:
    A Narcissist's Prayer
    That didn't happen.
    And if it did, it wasn't that bad.
    And if it was, that's not a big deal.
    And if it is, that's not my fault.
    And if it was, I didn't mean it.
    And if I did...
    You deserved it.

    And you, Stephen, deserve a better President.

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    1. Haha that is brilliant! Thank you.

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    2. So clever and so funny! Trump seems to be running the country as if it's his own private reality TV show. But it's one of those like Gogglebox that you just can't bear to watch because it's so awful. He's a joke in most of the rest of the world, specially in Europe. But scary too, because he has the nuclear trigger and at times seems to be sorely tempting and provoking those who also have it.
      Don't think we got the eclipse here in Oz (wrong spot on the globe and solar path or something) - there was no hysteria about it and not much interest. Interesting to watch American reactions on IG though - probably more so than the actual eclipse - shrieking and hysterical OTT language by celebrities - who didn't seem too bothered by the risks they were taking in directly viewing it with what looked like cellophane lenses that may have fallen out of magazines.
      I'm getting so bored with Trump - wish we could get a new host for this show. Pammie

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  9. The first time I saw the totes and Barbie I thought you had taken them all to the beach! It's clear to me now the second time around. :) Don't you love how well that canvas holds up? I have a couple of market bags in that fabric and one tiny lunch tote from LL Bean that launder well. I want to read that book that Barbe recommends. I have heard of it. I keep thinking about how DT is foregoing attendance at the Kennedy Center Honors. hmm, he doesn't want to sit in a box in a theater while the majority of the country is outraged at him. (~Nicole in CA)

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    1. Oh most of them do make it to the beach! Haha I don't travel light by any means! Yes I'm very very surprised by that, too!

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    2. I don't think he goes anywhere where the clapping is for someone else.

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  10. Ok I harvested basil from the garden and I am need up with 2 -13 gallon clean trash bags full of the herb. Spent the afternoon making pesto. Now I have 13 packets of pesto for the future. Frozen pesto last months and I should have enough for a year. Did not pay much attention to the eclipse or DT looking at it from the Truman balcony. I need to make your cookies. They look fabulousa.

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    1. Major typo in my comment- it should read...and I ended up with 2-13 gallon clean trash bags of herb. Geez

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    2. The pesto sounds fabulous! Have you been enjoying your garden even more this year being retired? Is the remodel done?

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    3. I am enjoying everything more now that I am retired. I get to do all the fun things that I did not have time to do before . Such as the Lilly Pulitzer After Party Sale- should be coming up next week. My hours are flexible and ,I can spend time with friends more. I have gone back to school and taking financial planning classes. Also still have my part time job and the people I work with are terrific. Final remodeling project are draperies. I should have them from the designer by the end of September. Had to go custom. Who knows when this project is done I will probably find another home project to work on.

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  11. Hi Stephen,
    Absolutely thrilled that you are back blocking regularly, rarely comment but always excited to see my notification that you have 'spoken'. Please don't ask me for any sort of opinion on DT as I just can't go there - way to offensive for anyone here to have to put up with. Love the sound of the cookies. Do you think that you could do me a big favour and reprint a recipe that you did a long time ago for a home made hand cream. I have tried searching for it but haven't been able to find it. Please give Barbie a huge hug from me.
    Love Cindy from Oz

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    1. Thank you so much! I don't know where that went but I will dig it up! You can email me if you'd like salonstephen@gmail or I can copy and paste it and put it in here. I'll find it!

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    2. Thanks for that Stephen - just tried to email you but that address isn't working (must be the eclipse - haha), so I will keep a lookout here. Thank you again.
      Cindy F
      xx

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  12. Hi Stephen, I made the cookies according to your Christmas recipe version. Took awhile to find the diastatic powder here in Sydney during Christmas season. Delicious. I of course ate most of them! They're unfortunately still on display on my torso. Fought the family for even the dregs. Delicious.
    Did you know that some years ago, DT was forbidden to build a casino in Sydney due to his mafia connections. Interesting times..
    Beautiful shots of the sky. Den xx

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    1. I'm soooo glad to hear that!! Thank you Den! Where did you end up finding the DMP?

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    2. How interesting about DT and casinos in Oz! Best wishes, Pammie

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  13. I was concerned when I read that the last time there was an eclipse visible only from the US was in 1776. I had a moment of, Oh No, It's an Omen, an eclipse for the beginning and end of this country, especially after all that "fire and fury" talk. As someone mentioned above I have been reading way too much news this past year, and very little of it seems good to me. I need an intervention.

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    1. Haha I know! Yeah I keep my news exposure very short anymore. Not worth all the rage!

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  14. Glad that you are back! Your comment on the bewitching aspect of togetherness that the eclipse offered touched me. After viewing the eclipse from my yard, I went in and watched it on tv as it occurred over Charleston. The crowds burst into applause and cheers as the dark deepened. Delightful to witness so many people, happy at the same time!

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    1. Thank you! It really was wonderful how it was so universally exciting to everyone!

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  15. Hey Mr. Jones! Great photos, I want to order some of your cookies, Barbie looks sensational, and Trump is on right now....reading his message to the world. He's trying to make up for past remarks. We did not go nuts over the eclipse today and if it made people happy to drive hundreds of miles to witness it...fine with me. I watched it on tv and it only got moderately dark here. Thanks for sending out some words! I have many regarding DT but will have to email you....

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    1. Thank you!! Haha I didn't watch Trump but I got a few texts! Yeah it really only got a little cloudy here.

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  16. Okay, don't hate me, but I did give a fuck. I'm in Charleston, SC, and I watched this impressive phenomenon from Waterfront Park, where there was a lovely breeze and an enthusiastic crowd. It really was incredible and I'm glad we made the trek up the coast to be here. Plus the FOOD! I've had divine oysters, fried green tomatoes and okra, shrimp and scallops - it doesn't get much better than this!

    And, Stephen, honey, that excuse of a human - currently on my television screen flatly reciting/lying from a teleprompter - is incapable of change. I don't care if Leo jumped over the moon, or the House of the Rising Sun, the grifter-in-chief will never be able to grow a soul, or a heart for that matter. He has always been this way, and his competence is now widely questioned, at long last, even by the ones that put on blinders and abetted his election. I respect those here who are optimistic. All I can say is "bless your hearts" and hope you're not too fond of your health care, clean air and water, or your personal safety if you happen to be a minority or 'look different' (aka: not white or female).

    PS: Betty, I don't know what you saw in '79, but I'll have what you're having! (last 'total eclipse' was 99 years ago)

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    1. Oh please! I was not at all skeptical of eclipse hype I just didn't have it! I'm so glad you enjoyed it so much! And, I mean, most things are better in South Carolina! Haha. I talked to a friend in Charleston earlier and he said though it was a bit cloudy the view was still incredible. Haha love your comment! I should have been a bit clearer. I don't necessarily have the highest hopes I was just running a bit with the possssssible astrological magic of the eclipse. lets go to lunch in Charleston sometime!

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  17. Nope, don't care! However, my husband and son (science nerds) are traveling home (S.F Bay Area) from Madras, Oregon as I type. It took them an hour to drive 50 FEET from their campsite! No way, no how, no thanks! But, they had a great time and met a lot of wonderful people from all over the globe. DT will not improve, in fact, just thinking of him makes me stress eat!! I could plow through an entire platter of those yummy cookies!! But, I'll settle for a glass of wine, lol! Thanks for the post...love that Barbie :)
    Renee in Northern California

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    1. Haha I know I do think there has been a lot of weight gained in 2017! Oh that's so so great your husband and son could enjoy it together and you could enjoy your time without them! Haha cheers!

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  18. Hi, Stephen! I should have watched it. I didn't think it would be worth watching here but in fact I'm seeing the great photos of it from here and it would have been nice. It wasn't total here though and if you weren't looking at the sun (through glasses) it was only as if a big cloud had passed over. The shadows were interesting, though!

    On a different topic, I spent my last money of the month to go visit my friends' house and rock garden and stream and hummingbirds this week. They are the friends who reported fewer h birds this year but there were juveniles and adults. Wouldn't you know that the day before I went they had an adult male Ruby throated who did not appear at all while I was there. I did however get photos of 3 immature males. The lighting was tough. I ended up vignetting a couple of the photos and that made them look better. The fault was with the cluttered background, not the birds! Still, there is hope that the immature males will come back with ruby throats next year. I think they will all have migrated by today. I am broke... (have food but no $) but happy!!! any h-bird news on your front?

    Speaking of fronts, I just cannot watch the news anymore.

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    1. Today was the first day I saw more than one at the same time! Both juveniles! Surprised I don't have adults since I had four juveniles last year! So glad you got some great photos! I'd love to see them!

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  19. No eclipse here down under :( It sounds like you all had a united and fun time. Those flaming skies are quite amazing, beautifully captured. As for the cookies, wow, they would be cookie sin big time, he he

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  20. Couldn't care less about the eclipse either, would rather do some baking. I did see a funny set up on Insta where a guy placed padded bras over his eyes and was looking up at the eclipse. it was hilarious. The padded bras were rather small but looked better than the welder's mask some were wearing.

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  21. Oh my God! You know that I gave ALL THE FUCKS that everyone else did not! I'll take 'em! Scooped them up like ice cream!! I have been reading for dayyyyssssss about the astrological roll out of this eclipse (when I really, really should have been doing other things) and STILL AM. It is so good. And I am not even in the US as you know! Ahhaahaaahhaaa. But I swear to the Divine Feminine that I felt waves of love all the way over here. I love it. And love love. So there. :) And fuck the term "woo woo" because whether we realize it or not, this shit is happening and it is real. :) (it felt very good to get that out)

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    1. I love this comment so much! I regret that my tone here came off as if I looked down at eclipse hype! I've been a little moody the last few weeks! Haha. But remedying that rapidly. Thank you for encouraging me to see the magic in all of it!

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  22. Oh I loved the eclipse! I wasn't really in on all the hype beforehand, but when I experienced it, it was magic. I'm in Colorado and it only got to about 90% here, but it was amazing. I didn't look at it, although a friend had gotten us the glasses. I just sat on my front porch facing away from the sun and just felt what was happening and looked all around at how the colors were changing the further the moon obstructed the sun. The temperature dropped significantly, the crickets started chirping, it felt peaceful and calm, the sun was out but not that intense glare, it was a lovely soft filtered light. Almost like an evening light but different. I got a bit light-headed, no drugs either - no drink, no nothing. I just got woozy. I kind of wish the light could be like that all the time, it was so peaceful. One of my dogs was acting a little odd, the other just slept. Our old cat slept and I couldn't get our other cat to come home, but he did soon after. The horses were like, eh no biggie. It just felt so peaceful, quiet and calm.

    I can understand how those who lived through total eclipses hundreds of years ago thought the world was ending. I felt in harmony with the earth and every thing in it. I wish I knew a better way to honor it. Astrologically it was in my 12th house and was only two degrees from my natal Venus and three degrees from my natal Mercury which is square Mars in Taurus. I expect to feel or experience some changes from this but I don't really know what they will be. Changes in my communication style, changes in what I value? Mercury is my chart ruler so. Also the full moon will occur on my birthday so maybe it will all be major. Whatever it is I hope it's good.

    I don't know what to say about Trump, I am glad Bannon is out though.

    Barbie looks so amazing - look at that shine!! Love your totes and that they are monogrammed! I did make your cookies at Christmas and they were divine.

    Thanks for your photos and post as always. Cheers, Valorie

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm so glad to hear you made the cookies and loved them! It's funny-one of my friends remarked that she wished she could be in Colorado for the eclipse more than anywhere else! I was intrigued by this but then as she explained the elevation and clear clear air it made perfect sense.

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  23. We were in the path of totality for the eclipse, and I just have to say that it was AWESOME!!! Much more amazing and beautiful than I'd expected. The moon blocked the sun entirely, causing the sun to be completely jet black, with the corona peeking out, sparkling and sending out these shooting flares which were totally cool. The changes in the light were the coolest thing for me though, quickly becoming darker until it reached a dusk-like feeling, and the temperature drop was more extreme than I'd expected too. The shadows from the trees created hundreds of partial solar eclipses on the ground, and I didn't expect that at all. I don't know how or why it looked that way, it just did. Very, very cool. And this from someone who didn't think it was any big deal at all. Oh, and the traffic in our little town was impressive. Good grief...oh, and the dogs frolicked and played the whole time like nothing was happening. They don't look at the sun, way smarter than most folks are. I was so enraptured with the entire process that I forgot to take a single picture. :)

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    1. Im so glad to hear that!! Sounds amazing! I'm sure it was a great week for all the businesses!

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  24. I believe I gave less of a fuck than you did. I was sitting at our little cottage seaside, watching other revelers head out in their little boats with those funky glasses and big straw sunhats with ridiculous bows (really, bows still?) all excited... for that 30 percent totality we got here in CT. What we got was a slightly overcast day where suddenly it appeared a little more overcast, and that's pretty much it.

    As for 45 - well.. I am encouraged by the ousting of the most evil creep ever to walk the halls there in my opinion, however I can't help but wonder if there is an alterior motive to that... Unleashing the devil, if you will. Oh, how I hope you have something here - that the leopard will indeed shed his spots....or atleast bleach them out some. Just, let's now hold our breath, shall we? I have been trying to stay away from the news lately, as it only brings angst.

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    1. Hehe! Okay I love a giant hat with a bow! Haha! I'm so glad you were at the cottage!

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  25. Barbie is spectacular as always. Ditto for your boat totes. I was roped into the eclipse by my enthusiastic children who built an observation thingy out of a J. Crew shoebox. We all tried to pretend to be excited about the partial total whatever when it happened. We have a PM with good hair, abs, and moderate views so I can mainly ignore the news. I can't do eggs in baking, but if I simply mix butter. chocolate, and bourbon, I imagine I'll like the results. xo

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    1. Thank you!! I agree with you! But don't forget Tudeau's ass! Haha! I'm glad the kids loved it!!

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  26. Just got back from Corvallis, Oregon where we saw the total eclipse. There are no words, I can only tell you that if you have the chance -- ever -- to experience this, DO SO. Don't take a camera and expect to do anything except look around you and gape. Astrologically speaking, well, that is another story. Gravitationally speaking the doctor who caught you when you were born had a far more powerful gravitational effect on you than whatever constellation the moon and stars were in at that time. Plus, astronomically, the "sun signs" are off by one full sign and a 13th sign, Ophiuchus (winter constellation) is not even represented although the sun DOES travel through it for a month (meaning there are Ophiuchans among us!). But having said, that, I do seem to have many of the characteristics of a Leo, so maybe at least the personality aspects of it somehow work. But if the eclipse bodes ill for the Current Occupant of the White House, I would not be surprised at all lol.

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    1. Oh I'm soooooooo glad you went! I was SO hoping you did!! Yes it's so interesting re the 13th sign. That all flares up every now and then but I once asked my astrologer about it and she kind of shrugged her shoulders and said it's all art and little science and it all stands the way it's been. Listen, if I have an infection I'm not going to look to the stars to heal it. I'm going with hard science! Haha but I have always found astrology to be so interesting and useful. Was such a huge help to me when I worked in sales!

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  27. Loved the eclipse. What a great way for people to come together and for kids and adults to get excited about SCIENCE - we need more uplifting and positive experiences like this.

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  28. Your pink and white platter is on sale on eBay FYI

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  29. Steven. I enjoy reading your blog! Your pink and white antique platter is on sale on eBay. FYI in case you want more!

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    1. AHHHH!!!! Thank you!!!! They're in Ohio!

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