September 28th, 2015

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Picoreview: NCIS Season 10

Picoreview: NCIS Season 10 (and the first 2 eps of s11): …that was actually really, really good.

I mean, NCIS is a solid show. It’s generally of reasonably high quality and consistency, with very few actively bad episodes and correspondingly few really *good* ones. The actors are all appealing and their interactions are terrific, and the whole thing lends itself to the sense of family that it’s supposed to. The season started out with plenty of AUGH, between the bombing and (much more alarmingly) Ducky’s heart attack, but every season starts with AUGH and most of them don’t hold on to the AUGH through as much of the season as s10 did.

“The Namesake,” guest starring Billy Dee Williams, is one of the exceptional episodes, as are many of the NCIS father/children episodes (“You Better Watch Out,” with Tony’s father, and “Squall,” with McGee’s previously-never-seen-father, are also good this season), but it’s the Ziva storyline that absolutely rocks the season. Literally: it gives the show a massive shake-up mid-season that follows through into the 2nd episode of the 11th season, and…

(spoilers, mostly about Tony and Ziva, behind the cut)
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(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

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apple picking party!

We have, as I may have mentioned, several apple trees in the garden. The apples aren’t really ripe yet, but a lot of them are cooking apples that aren’t going to be any good to eat straight off the tree anyway, so yesterday we had an apple picking party and the family came out to play in the garden and pick apples and eat apple pie (made, yes, from garden apples. I forgot to take a picture but it was lovely and tasty!).

Hail, hail, the gang’s all here!
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Indy gets in on the action, with Grandma to make sure he doesn’t fall down.
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Deirdre flies her youngest son…
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…while the elder is up a tree!
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Grandpa holds things steady.
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Young Indiana took this one! (I cropped it. :))
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The haul, which is about…a third of the apples from one tree. Perhaps. :) a href=”http://mizkit.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/appleparty020.jpg”>appleparty020</a>

Deirdre took away about half the apples in the grey laundry basket, citing plans for chutney. I, today, boiled six pounds of apples, acquired 8 cups of juice and 4 cups of pulp, made 6 very pretty, if rather taste-free, jars of apple jelly and four jars of rather ugly, if very tasty, apple jam. I don’t know if the latter would be less ugly with less cinnamon, or if it’s just ugly.

It’s certainly ugly of spirit. It’s like applesauce only with added hate. My arms are covered with spot burns from splashing jam, which sticks painfully.

Pretty, if tasteless, apple jelly :)
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Tonight I’ll be peeling, coring, slicing and freezing as many apples as I can fit onto the ice trays in our freezers. Tomorrow I’ll probably be doing the same. Later in the week I may make some more apple jelly and reduce the sugar (although honestly, the apple juice I got from the boil was pretty tasteless too: kind of flat and tart all at once, but not super appley or anything), but first I need more jars! I’m out of jars! It hardly seems possible! Although I’ve probably made fifty or sixty jars of jam in the past few weeks, now that I think about it… :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)