The "puzzlement" of the hanging nests has been solved. I showed the nests to my Thursday milk customer and she said, "Oh, yes...those are bushtits." (Hey, I didn't name them!) I looked up bushtits in my bird guide book and sure enough, that's exactly what they are. Evidently "keeping up with the Joneses" extends to the avian world. These two nests are fairly close together, but one family called in an interior decorator because theirs has bright blue strands of unravelled baling twine interwoven amongst the grasses...the Martha Stewart of birddom. Anyone who has watched the old BBC/PBS productions of "Keeping Up Appearances" would recognize the hand of the pretentious Hyacinth Bucket (which she pronounced Bouquet!). At any rate, it's nice to know my new neighbors.
"Comfort food" means something different for everyone. Plagued with throat problems as a kid, I was well acquainted with Jell-O, Junket, and custard. Custard was nearly the only edible item on the menu when I made my almost-annual trip to the hospital to deliver the next baby. Custard is pretty high up there on my list of comfort food, but I don't think I've ever had better than the custard I make from fresh eggs with their golden yolks and the cream from fresh goat milk. With the best intentions yesterday of making it last this time, I had just a small bowl when it was warm from the oven. And then a small bowl later for an afternoon snack. Another few spoonfuls while I was waiting for the pot of bean soup to reheat. A small bowl for dessert. By bedtime...it was all gone. If I were ever asked what is good comfort food, I have the solution. But I have no answer as to how to make it last.