JULY 2017

                     
                  SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR THE DOG DAYS OF SUMMER

The ancient Romans named the hottest stretch of mid-summer for Sirius, the Dog Star, which, from early July to mid-August, rises with the sun. These sultry, lethargy-inducing temperatures were thought to be caused by additional heat produced when the brightest star pairs its thermal output with the sun's.

Surviving the dog days is a tall order when you're landlocked in the steaming center of the country, 500 miles from the mountains and 1,300 miles from an ocean.  Rise early to bike or walk while it's bearable.  Drink iced water, iced coffee, iced tea.  Sneak out to a movie during the hottest afternoon hours. The siesta, invented by cultures more sensible than ours, is a reasonable habit to assume.

Or, just get the hell outta Dodge!  Craig and I added a few extra days visiting friends in Boulder to my Aspen trunk show schedule in order to hike or bike while breathing in cool, pine-perfumed, high altitude fresh air.  Here, the view from near the summit of Independence Pass. 


  The novelty of wearing fleece in July!               A few sprinkles at the top of the pass.                                                
  Forest. 
Elephant flowers. 



Texture.
Right: the unfiltered, ultra high-def of every morning in Aspen. 

Bring on the clouds and storms!
 
The dramatic, stormy skies of a Nebraska summer deliver visual entertainment and an occasional reprieve from the oppressive heat and humidity.  All of these exotic clouds were in my neighborhood or on my morning bike commute to the Y.


Altocumulus. 

Asperitas. 

Mammatus. 

 Cloud reflection in post-storm puddle. 

Cumulus. 

Layered mammatus and cumulus. 
  
San Francisco American Crafts Council Show
at Ft. Mason, August 4-6, Booth 531.
I'll soon be off to cooler temps and my favorite event of the year. Please stop by!
For show details check the American Crafts Council website. 

 
If you follow my Instagram or Facebook posts, you've been seeing a lot of Twig cuffs.
The framework is perfect for composing one color palette after another, and they're off to new homes almost as soon as I can make them.   
It's been fun staging photos in the back yard outside my studio.
I update my website frequently, as new items are completed.

  Dark green tourmaline, labradorite, Tahitian pearl. 
Zing!  Boulder opal, tanzanite, pink tourmaline. 
 
Sea of Cortez pearls. 
 
Opal, sapphire, tanzanite. 
 
Opal, gem chrysocolla, kyanite, emerald.

Right: Labradorite, golden moonstone, Tahitian pearl. 
 

Peach pie is a great distraction from the dog days.
Well, OK, it does mean cranking up the AC in order to tolerate a hot oven, but the rewards are worth every drop of sweat, especially when I have a case of perfectly ripe, sweet peaches from western Colorado as my chief ingredient!

 


 
 
Peach pie is so simple I'm sure you all have, or can easily find, a recipe. There's always the debate, however, about how to make the best crust. I won't claim that mine could pass muster on the Great British Baking show, but when I served this pie to my book club the other night there were sighs of satisfaction and murmurs of contentment over the crust. One word: butter. Here's my recipe, taken straight from Martha Stewart's Pies & Tarts, given to me by a friend back in 1985.

Martha Stewart's Pâte Brisée  (makes two 10" crusts)
2 1/2 cups flour ( I use half white, half whole wheat.)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup chilled butter cut into small bits
1/4-1/3 cup ice water
10" pie dish, lightly buttered

~ Put chilled ingredients, except water, in a food processor.  Process until mixture resembles coarse meal.
~ Add water, drip by drip with the machine running, until the dough holds together without sticking. (Martha says not more than 30 seconds.) Squeeze a bit of dough to test and add a little more water if it's dry and crumbly.
~ Turn dough out onto a sheet of waxed paper and press into a thick, flat circle.
 At this point I divide the dough in half and re-form into 2 rounds for the bottom and top crusts.
~ Martha says to wrap the dough in waxed paper or plastic wrap and chill for an hour.  That takes too long, so I put one piece in the fridge and go straight into the rolling process for the bottom crust.
~ On a floured surface roll out the dough to 1/8" thickness and place in pie dish.
~ Put your peach filling in, and then roll out the top crust, fold and crimp edges, and pierce steam vents in the top crust.  Sometimes, to dress it up a little, I'll brush the crust with a beaten egg and sprinkle lightly with sugar.

And we are totally looking forward to this:
                      
Yup, Nebraska is finally getting attention for something other than football and the Keystone XL pipeline issue!  My daughter will be here from NY, and friends are coming from Colorado and San Francisco to see this remarkable celestial event.

 
 
 
  I learned that during totality you can remove your special protective eclipse glasses and look right at the sun. Fingers crossed it won't be a cloudy day.  

The road West: what is out there. How you get there.


                  
       
  
Happy trails, wherever they may take you, 
--Sydney 
 
© 2015 Sydney Lynch Jewelry, Inc.

2949 Plymouth Ave.          P/F: (402) 435-2920 
Lincoln, NE 68502             E: sydney@sydneylynch.com