Miss Mina's Blog

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In the Kitchen: Cherry Clafoutis 

Dear Constant Reader,

Dipping my toe back into blogging…

It’s sour cherry season at The Manor again! I tend to share new recipes I try each season, but this is one I make every year. It’s easy and delicious — clafoutis. Technically it’s only clafoutis if you use cherries; with any other fruit it’s flaugnarde.

There are lots of recipes out there. This is the one I’ve cobbled together from a number of sources over the years. It’s more custardy than pancakey. I use other fruit too, especially in the glorious…

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Still Nothing 

Dear Constant Reader,

I just feeling ready to ease back into writing here by resuming Friday Tips.

And I can’t.

With today’s Supreme Court decision, I am so filled with rage and sorrow and fear that I can’t think straight, let alone compose an educational and mildly entertaining post for you all.

No Words 

Dear Constant Reader,

I’m not even sure how to start this. Our beloved Albert A. Cat died a week ago after three grueling weeks of illness. We kept hoping he would recover and did everything we could. In the end, he was in his favorite place, on Scratch’s chest, as they lay on the daybed in his room. He went to sleep and never woke up.

For ten years he brought so much joy into our lives. His sweet nature and rakishly handsome looks made friends and fans all over the world. He was a very special cat and…

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Brief Update 

Dear Constant Reader,

I’m sorry for the lack of missives, but my heart just hasn’t been in it. Our beloved Albert A. Cat is declining rapidly. We’re holding out hope for a recovery, but it’s emotionally and physically exhausting nursing him and worrying.

On top of that, both Scratch and I were sick, one right after the other. He had something minor that cleared up in a couple of days. I had Covid. Although it’s now been long enough that it’s safe for me to be around others, I’m still recovering and get…

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Friday Tip 

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s been a really rough week. Thank you to everyone who reached out in one way or another. I appreciate all your good thoughts and well wishes.

I’ve probably given you this tip in one form or another, but it’s worth saying again.

You don’t have to do everything yourself. Ask for help. Even if it’s hard. Especially when it’s hard.

Be kind to each other.

These writings and other creative projects are supported by my 16 Patrons. Thank you so much! To become a Patron, go to my Patreon

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Friday Tip 

Dear Constant Reader,

Things are not so great right now and I wasn’t sure I could come up with a Friday tip. As usual Scratch came to my rescue with this one.

Hope for the best; prepare for the worst.

Although this is what I’m doing in my personal life, it also translates to performers and producers. What could go wrong? You forget a costume piece. A performer no-shows. The audience isn’t what you expected. &c. And then what do you do about it?

Hopefully everything will go smoothly, but you’ve got a plan in…

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RVA Burlesque Festival 2022 

Dear Constant Reader,

At the end of March I attended the first ever RVA Burlesque Festival in Richmond, VA. I was so thrilled to be accepted — I’m hardly ever accepted to festivals, I knew four of the producers, and I’d never performed in VA before. However, the festival was originally scheduled for the end of March 2020. Needless to say, that didn’t happen. Two years later and it was finally time!

I was performing in the Friday night showcase and flying down Friday morning. I was a little nervous as it was…

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Friday Tip 

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s Friday! To some of you I wish a peaceful Good Friday and a joyous Easter. To others, Chag Sameach and a zisn Pesach! For everyone else, happy Friday!

It’s also traditionally tax day, so here’s a tip in honor of that:

If you are getting paid for your gigs as an independent contractor, set aside some of the money against taxes.

If you make over $600 for a particular employer, they have to file a 1099 and you will owe taxes on the income. I like to put part of every payment into a…

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Friday Tip 

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s Friday again! Since I’m teaching a series of boa classes this month (Beautiful Boas, starts this Sunday!), I thought I’d give you a boa tip:

Want a big, fluffy boa without breaking the bank? Braid three thinner boas together.

Secure the ends with some hair elastics and you’re good to go! If the boa starts getting skimpy from feather loss (an inevitability), just thread another one through the existing braid.

Remember that the resulting boa is going to be shorter because of the…

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Friday Tip 

Dear Constant Reader,

It’s been busy! I had a couple of days to recover from the RVA Burlesque Festival last weekend, then last night was Burlesque with a Band. Tonight is Monster Truck Burlesque at Deacon Giles (it’s our April Fool’s Day show – there aren’t actually monster trucks, but there will be burlesque). Tomorrow I’m hosting a bachelorette party in a charming seaside town. Eventually I’ll have some down time…

Here’s your tip, courtesy of Mr. Scratch:

If you need a better grip with your slippery

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