Sunday, October 4, 2015

33 in pictures

A new tea set (isn't it beautiful?), some math jokes, a new birdhouse, a candle-lit cold house, a hot pie - it was a good day.

We have an interesting habit of building a new birdhouse on my birthday. It is a lovely project but also a nice way to spend the day together working on a project that is not a chore. We have several houses now made for tiny birds. This is a big house made for big birds. Woodpeckers, actually. Northern flickers, specifically.

Flickers are unique woodpeckers that feed on ants on the ground instead of pecking on dead trees to excavate bugs. This habit makes them relatively weak construction workers and we tidy humans like to cut down the unsightly rotten trees in which these birds are capable of making their homes. Flicker populations are declining across the country partly because of this habitat shortage, but also because we tidy humans like to kill ants. This birdhouse will be filled up with wood chips to simulate a rotten tree that the flickers can excavate themselves and feel quite homey. Now, for keeping the squirrels and the starlings out - that will be a worry for another day.

The birdhouse project took most of our afternoon, but we did make it to a local junk shop where I had been eyeing this Williamsburg Pottery candleholder. The roast cooked in the oven while we worked on the house and gave us a delightfully low-key dinner and delicious leftovers - just what I needed.

Because it's just not an occasion without some mathematics jokes to celebrate it, I eight sum pi. These past few years I've made a tradition of baking myself an apple pie. I used to cut out fancy decorations for the top crust but in the past few years I have become a fan of a crumb topping that I use on almost everything. It is so easy peasy to put on top of muffins, crumb cakes, pies, cobblers, etc. Here... make some for yourself and you'll be amazed by all you find to do with it.

Easy Peasy Crumb Topping To Top All Scrummy Things

1 c. all purpose flour (white wheat is fine, too)
1/2 c. dark brown sugar
1 stk. semi-softened butter
1/4 tsp apple pie spice or just cinnamon

Whiz it all in a food processor until just crumbly. Not too long or it will become a dough. Alternately, be old fashioned and cut it all together with a pastry blender. You can make a double batch and store it in the freezer to use it whenever you want.


  1. Oh, I absolutely love the idea of building a bird house every year. Our yard is small, but there is always space for a birdhouse, isn't there?
    All the best for you!

    1. There is always room, especially if you make different kinds. A wren house is very different from what a robin loves. And, as my dear hubby informed me, they won't last forever, so some will expire as new ones come along. Dust to dust.

  2. happy birthday and I love that you did a building project that you get to watch all year round.

  3. Thirty-three looks and sounds wonderful. (P.S. I forgot how much younger you are than me. Or did I ever know? I was thirty-three - no! thirty-two! - when we met.)

  4. Oh my word that tea set is just soooooooooo pretty.