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Hitting the farmers’ market this morning for a couple of things for self and Mom and then cooking my dish for World on the Square family fair (see earlier post). Going there about 12 to help get ready for the International tasting buffet that opens at 4, when the fair opens. Naturally, today is the hottest day of the year so far. The buffet is in the basement of a church, air conditioned, which is why I’ve been banished there instead of my former post with Mom at the Passport booth. I kept getting heat stroke, so they finally said, “If you can’t stand the heat, get into the kitchen.”

All the kids (and adults who want to) can pick up “passports”: little booklets with questions about various countries. They take the books to the information booths set up on the square, ask the questions, get the answers, and get their books stamped. When they have at least a certain number stamped, they come back to the Passport Booth and claim a prize–like a Chinese fan or a fiesta bandana or a friendship bracelet.

And there are “door” prizes, too, which you don’t have to be present to win! Mom and I are among those who solicit donations. I don’t know what anybody else scored, but we got a HUGE basket of baby gifts from Butt Drugs, gift certificates from lots of downtown merchants, a wine basket from Turtle Run Winery…. Great stuff, this year. Makes me wish I were a guest and not a worker.

Oh, yeah, except that I’ll be in the kitchen with all that food….


writing prompt: If you were called upon to make an ethnic dish, what would you make? I’m making bratwurst and cabbage.

I went to pick up my friend Ardis for the Southern Indiana Writers Group meeting last night. We haven’t gone for a couple of weeks, so I was interested to see what progress has been made on theArdis hornets wasp or hornet nest that’s growing on the lintel of her garage door. This picture seems to be tinted sort of blue/green (forgive my partial colorblindness). That’s because I’m not quite a total idiot, and took this picture from INSIDE my car, through the windshield. The hornets were flying around past the driver’s side door, all like, “Come on, sucka–you want a piece o’ DIS? BRING IT!” And I’m all like, “I have a press pass. Just taking a picture. Bill Clinton said he’ll be here any minute.”

This nest is GORGEOUS, isn’t it? There is absolutely no practical reason for this to be so fantastically beautiful, yet it is. Makes me want to gas the little devils and take it for myself. OH NO I’M SLIDING DOWN TO HELL HELLLLLP!!!!!

Serves me right.

I’m a bit giddy this morning because I have nowhere to go and nothing to do all day long. I’ve completed my appointed tasks for the week, and need do nothing I do not choose to do. Tomorrow is World on the Square, and I’ll be working my brains off then down in the International Food TASTING, but today is freeeeeeee! My youngest grandson might come over to show me his new shoes and his new Transformers and to snag some of his big brother’s Megazords from storage, but that’s a pure pleasure.

So today, I’ll be reading #4 daughter’s wonderful fantasy novel, writing comments, and wishing I had thought it up. heee!


writing prompt: Have a character commit one of the seven deadly sins, but against the insect world rather than a human. (sloth, lust, wrath, envy, pride, gluttony, greed) Yes, I had to look them up–couldn’t remember gluttony and greed–too busy envying the beauty of the wasps’ nest and lusting to have it for myself–lucky for them, I’m too slothful to take it away from them.

August 8, 2009 — THIS SATURDAY — is the 10th annual World on the Square family festival in Corydon, Indiana. Here’s a little of what the web site says:

2009 is Community Unity’s tenth year hosting Harrison County’s festival celebrating the cultural diversity of our region! Come join us to enjoy the many forms of cultural entertainment, the booths with info about nations and cultures, and taste samples of delicious ethnic foods.

World on the Square is … FREE!FREE!FREE!

Admission to World on the Square is open to all and without charge. Some tables may sell refreshment items, T-shirts or small novelties for a reasonable fee — but vending is not a major purpose of World on the Square.

The international food samples are free for as long as they last, but the samples are not dispensed in meal-sized servings, nor are the samples intended collectively to be a substitute for a complete meal.

That last had to be put in, because a lot of visitors pile their “sampling” plates high, then throw away masses of food that they decide they don’t like or want, after all. Then the later visitors have nothing to eat except chips and salsa, which is disappointing for them.

I always take a dish to the international sampler. I think I’ll take bratwurst and cabbage this year, since I have lots of both. I bought two packages of brats at the store before we got off onto veg and organic meat, so this will be a good way to unload it. –Er, I mean, share it.

Come join the fun. It’s always a blast, and the music is great!


writing prompt: Go to a community event and take note of the people, the vendors/presenters. If there is none available to you, what kind would you put on, if you were going to?

Sounds like the world’s most boring race… Although one might disagree that such a race would be boring, if one had read my story, “On The Rocks”, at that. At any rate, Turtle Run is actually theturtle run shed name of a winery near Corydon.

Mom and I went there the other day, and I took some pictures. This is a storage shed. In case you hadn’t noticed, I like pictures of things that have weathered the years. NO! STOP LOOKING AT MY SELF-SNAP! I WAS NOT TALKING ABOUT THAT PICTURE!! Okay.

We usually buy our Turtle Run wine at Butt Drugs, but sometimes we drive out there. They’re very civic-minded, and donate a door prize every year to World on the Square. They also allow non-profit groups to come work harvesting grapes in the fall, then they donate what the groups earned in wages to the charity of the group’s choice. So we end up going out to the winery a few times a year.

turtle1Since it’s called Turtle Run, it’s not surprising that there are turtles everywhere. I snapped a few. Does that make them snapping turtles? haha i crack myself up oh me oh my.

Turtle Run makes a great Vignoles, better some years than others. It’s best (IMO) when the grapes get frosted on the vine. It turtle2makes what they call an ice wine, that’s naturally sweet but not TOO sweet. This time, though, I bought the Catawba, which they told me was lightly sweet–thought I might as well try something new. Mom got a red wine, but red wines (except my beloved Chianti) give me the headache, so I’m sticking with the whites or roses.

turtle3They have some gorgeous Rose of Sharon bushes or, as we call them around here, Rose o’ Sharon. Because of that pronunciation, I used to think it was a Rosa Sharon bush, andRose of Sharon I always wondered who Rosa Sharon was.

When my mom lived in Corning, NY, we used to visit a winery called Bully Hill. One of their wines was Love My Goat. I’d rather drink turtles, quite honestly.

Well, a daughter just came to visit, so I have to get off. See you tomorrow!


Writing prompt: Invent a winery. What would its mascot be? Give its wines odd names. Enjoy.

I want to post about the Leora Brown School in Corydon. It was built in 1891 for the education of black children and was called the Corydon Colored School. Leora Brown, a descendant of one of Indiana’s first families, attended the school, then returned from Miss Blaker’s Teachers College in Indianapolis to teach at her old school. In 1950, the school was closed, but was used later for first grade overflow and then special education classes until it was closed again in the 1970’s. Maxine Brown, a niece of Leora Brown, bought the building, restored it, and renamed it for her aunt, who died at the age of 82.

Now the Leora Brown school is available to all members of the community for weddings, reunions, cultural events, historical research meetings–you name it. I’ve been there for the Unbridled Whimsy art show, the high school’s French Club’s Night At The Museum, classical piano concerts, jazz concerts, luncheons, book signings…I can’t remember them all. The Leora Brown School is definitely one of my Happy Places.

The last time I went was on Monday, when we listened to tapes of Martin Luther King, Jr. speeches. “Peace Tiles” made by kids at the World on the Square festival were also on display. Here’s a picture of Leora Brown and some of her students:



The building is kept up really well. Although it didn’t have indoor plumbing when the children were attending, it does now, as well as tiny kitchen facilities.



The address is 400 E. Summit (also known as Cemetery Hill because… well… that’s where the two major cemeteries are).

Here is some pictures of the Peace Tiles:



So that’s the Leora Brown School, and now I’m happy. Look at those great Peace Tiles made by children of many places, races and cultures, and you be happy, too! 🙂


Writing prompt: Create a public meeting place that’s important to a character. Write its history.

I’ve been getting ready for World on the Square today. World on the Square happens in Corydon, Indiana on the second Saturday of August every year, from 4-8. Corydon is just a little town, what you call your semi-rural community, but every year there’s this family festival with booths featuring different countries. The booths have information and artifacts, pictures, sometimes stuff for sale. There are musical acts from different backgrounds, like a bagpiper and belly dancers (not at the same time, although that would be interesting….). There’s a free tasting buffet of food from different countries, from cabbage and sausage to Thai satay. And it’s all free, which is a price I like a lot.

So I’m volunteering in the food tasting venue, which is definitely fox-in-the-henhouse. I made English shortbread, since I’m part English.

My friend T gave me her shortbread recipe:

a whole pound of butter!!
1 ¼ C powdered sugar
4 C flour
1 t double-acting baking powder
¼ t salt
(Optional: 1/2 cup ground nuts)
Preheat oven to 325
Place all ingredients into a large bowl and cut together thoroughly. If necessary, finish mixing with hands. The dough will be soft.
Roll dough into 1 1/2″ balls. Place on ungreased sheet and flatten with a cookie stamp. Baking time is approximately 20 minutes.

It is WAY good! Makes about SEVEN DOZEN cookies.

I also made some lemon basil cookies for another thing on Sunday, but that’s another posting. Now I have to go sit under the fan and read. Ah’m tahrd.


Here is where I ramble on about whatever happens to fall through my mind. I also have a professional site, where I post about my books, stories, news and appearances. Every month, I post a “Hot Flash” there–a story or prose poem of about 50 words. I hope you enjoy your visit. –Marian Allen

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