From our leaf tours:
It is the Solstice, Blessed Be. As they days grow slowly longer, may we also grow to love one another and to learn to live in peace. Holi...
Images of my container garden.
Belated Happy St. Patrick's Day. I have been too sick to enjoy one of my favorite holidays. I didn't even get corned beef, or to w...
Happy Halloween; it is my favorite night of the year! We were low key this year, but we did get out our graveyards and pumpkins. A scarecr...
Memoir; Writing your Life Story: Solstice, also for Dr. E's Greening Tips for the C... : It is the Solstice; Blessed Be! I look forwar...
Look closely at how delicate I am. I am probably a may fly, but I am as detailed as the scarabs from an Egyptian royal tomb. No one a...
Proclamation of Thanksgiving Washington, D.C. October 3, 1863 This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America's national...
Fresh Greek Peasant Salad This is the salad I grew up with; it was our late night snack and early lunch. This one has home grown t...
At this time of almost New Year, I would like to comment on the new family kindle, nothing personal, it's a fun little gadget, but rathe...
- I (1)
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Just my thoughts on how quickly time passes, and though it is warm with a cool breeze today, tomorrw will be icy and snowy. Trite but true. Also trite but true, waiting in the DMV is misery, especially when they made the mistake that hauled you in. I renewed and rejoiced my license by mail, and then never got the updated version. I had to go and wait anyway. "Welcome to the DMV," said the sign, not really. The manager I spoke to turned her back on me and walked away mid sentence. I can't blame them; the atmosphere is both sterile and chaotic, nothing relieves the tedium. No art, save a large straw flower wreath on the happier end dealing with stickers, ugly chairs, ugly colors, no real place to concentrate when taking the test; in short, tired, depressing surroundings with tired, depressed employees. At least it's over. Then I can return to the daily abuse. A quote: "e wo plants a tree plants a hope" by Luc Larcom, a gifted writer who had to work in a mill. If she could do it, I can. No need to feel so much like T. S. Eliot in the bank Another quote: "One touch of nautre makes the whole world kin." William Shakespeare. These make me feel a little better, but not much.
Monday, June 25, 2012
A Blessed Solstice, and Frolicksome Midsummer. I reviewed the play with my class today; it was criminal law, but we looked for crimes in the play, and looked at fairy artifacts with refreshments. It is a time to make sandwich loaf, as my mother did from the American Woman's cookbook, and to sip iced tea and coffee. We are out, with fruit bats circling overhead against the new moon, and a very cool June breeze. There are candles and porch lights surrounding us, and chimineas blaze. The phantom and black velvet petunias are triving, but we lost a basil, and the orchids are struggling. I took springs of lavender and hosta to school, with tiger lillies and made sure to water. It is hard to be sad in this weather, but I can't help it. Life is difficult, and there is not enough time to enjoy anything much. The DMV didn't send me my new license, and I have email accounts going down right and left. Life was better witout these things, and it was simpler. We would be driving across The Badlands this time of the year, and seeing the sites, only to move to the ocean and The Cliff House. I love being cold in summer. There is a tiny moth, with transparent wings, that just lit on my screen, perhaps to read? Who knows; all this talk of fairies as made me fey. We are on Pinterest; I love building the boards. They remind me of Mah Jong. They are the virtual collections I love to build, a variation on Marilyn Gelfman Karp's Mental Collections in In Flagrante Collecto. Summer calls to me to look for shells and lightning bugs, to walk on dewy grass, and feel warm sand between my toes. It reminds me of fairs, and flea markets, and picking bouquets of clover and wildflowers. My mother is in summer, with my birthday and my childhood. It's laziness makes me productive and happy. Here is a birthday poem from Miss Meuriling, written in autograph book, Never B# Never B-flat Always B-Natural To end, "If we shadows have offended, think but this, and all is mended . . "
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
I have been trying to post for days, and have not been able to. I had lots of great quotes, which are on my desk. Am reading a lot on gardening, including Rumer Godden's An Episode of Sparrows, and lots of critical material on Frances Hodgson Burnett, who wrote "The Secret Garden." Yesterday was my birthday, near Midsummer. I received many good wishes and small presents, eventhough I was very sick yet again wit allergy/respiratory issues. We are dying from heat, and many air conditioners have failed in the area. We continue to develop our water project, and that seems to be the one thing going right this week. I'm thrilled that I can post! More in the morning, and a happy midsummer and Blessed Solstice to all!
Friday, June 15, 2012
The old saying goes that which doesn't kill us makes us stronger; I say, that which doesn't kill us makes us weaker so we die hideously later. It has been the nastiest of days, already. What do you do when your 80+ year old dad insists on mowing his own lawn, then announces he is sick, and sounds terrible? [He won't admit to allergies, and sinus issues, those are for communist sissies, and he won't listen to anything YOU say because he hates your husband]; when the nastiest person at work takes a week off--again--then shows up three days before she's supposed to; when the local Walter Mitty regales everone with his latest dynamic feats, and you know he's been sitting home whining and sniffling over an old, dogeared Playboy; when you're cut off from the morning/pm commute by not only construction, but road closings, and nasty little drivers who like to cut you off, yell, turn without signals, etc, because they know the driving is difficult, and because they can, and when you know no matter how much you get paid, the bills will devour your financial whole? I don't have any answers. And the arthritis is now spreading to my right wrist, so if I do come up with any, it may be hard to type them out. My friend Angela W., a successful writer says, wait and things will happen. I think she means good things, but she doesn't specify. It is hard this close to my birthday and Midsummer to feel so spent. Birthdays used to be wonderful and magical, Mom got rainbow cake, and made favors by hand, and I had wonderful Dr. Doolittle parties, and HOlly Hobbie parties, and dinners out on Father's Day, and more cake at my grandma's later in the summer, and swimming parties, and so much. Now, what is there? So, I write., and I work on collections, and I craft and paint when I can, but that isn't often. We do work too much in this country, and life flies by, and then it's over. One tries to look for the pelicans as they fly over the river, and to wonder why they weren't there when one was growing up. We look for new varieties of flowers, and try to notice how they glow just before it rains, against the cloudy sky. We treasure our friends, even if they are acting weird, we laught at their foibles and ours. We try to go to church, even when the very young pastor who wants to be a bishop sees us as a stepping stone to his promotion, and forbids us wearing Evil Eye charms just when we most need them. Restraing, writes Conrad, restraint is what makes us human, and allows us to function and not descend into animalistic behavior. I will try, Mr. Conrad, I will try.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
I would like to feature a series of posts on this subject. It is summer, and time to haunt the local farmers markets, and take advantage of fresh produce and products of all types. Here are some tips for shopping/eating local: P.5 Seven places to find locally grwon food 1. Farmers' markets 2. Community suported Agriculture 3. U-Pick 4. Farm stands 5. Food co-ops 6. Restaurants featuring locally grown food, with seanoaly basied menus 7. Home gardens Websites: The Natural Resources defense Council. www.nrdc.org The Eat Well Guide. www.eatwellguide.org Local Harvest. www.localharvest.org HMS also advocates at p. 14 Plant-based meals; here are three tips: 1. Follow "if it grows together, it goes together." E.G. Romesco sacue over grilled vegetables; sauce is roasted red peppers, olive oil, adn nuts. 2. Make olive oil really shine by mathicng it with rosemary and pine nuts. rec; Tuscan varietal oive oil. 3. Complment a french, milder olive oil with subtly flavored foods. [My tip; use it instead of butter, cook with it instead of any other oil, fry with it, if you must, drizzle over vegetables, cooked and fresh; for more anitoxidants, sprinkle all these with black pepper, preferably freshly ground].
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Here is a link from my Etsy newsletter, feature products that are handmade and reclaimed/recycled. Also featured is a photo of a reclaimed/altered book of Alice in Wonderland, another of my favorite collecting areas, and a book I love and have taught many times: Also, 2 easy recipes and ideas: Lobster Bisque: 2-3 c. skim milk 3tbsp. flour 3 tbsp. can't believe it's not butter or butter 3 tbsp. jarred lobster bisque base, "better than bouillon" brand 3 tbsp. tomato paste. some chopped celery can of crabmeat or fresh crab/lobster can oysters 8 oz. scallops or other seafood or fish dash of pepper 1/4 tsp. paprika 1/2 c water 1/2 c white wine or sherry Make a roux of the flour and butter and remove from heat; whisk skim milk. I like to remove the butter from the heat after it's melted and whisk in the flower. Add the milk slowly. Stir in the lobster bisque base. Add chopped celery. More vegetables and white beans would make it a chowder. Add paprika, seafood, water, wine, stirr in tomato paste. Bring to a boil, simmer five minutes. Easy stir fry: 3 boneless porkshops sprig fresh cilantro or a tbsp. dried coriander or cilantro sesame oil assorted vegetables, fresh and Asian frozen stirfry mix 1 pck. Asian noodle instant dinner, the kind you add water to and cook in microwave, any kind. Cube the meat and brown in sesame oil, add water and soy, a little wine. Sprinkle with salt/pepper. I add a teaspoon of minced shallots. Remove browned meat. Add more water, and cook the vegetables till tender in pan where meat was. Return meat and simmer together. Prepare noodle dish as instructed on package. Empty cooked noodles in a large bowl, add vegetables, add meat. Serve with green salad with tomatoes, sunflower seeds, chopped chese, carrots, celery, and garnish with four deviled eggs. Use light sesame or Asian dressing.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
Memoir; Writing your Life Story: Someone Splendid This Way Came: Rest in Peace Ray ...: He died yesterday at 91; his books will live forever. How right he was with, or "write" with Farenheit 451; here we are with blue tooths an...
Tuesday, June 5, 2012
From our Local Paper: Food to protect your heart: Fruits and vegetables Fiber Low Fat Dairy "Shake off some Salt" Free Foods to Avoid in Restaurants: Bread Chips and Salsa Free Refills Pickles; bad for high blood pressure The others are all high in fat and calories 25 Tips to Make Meals simpler, tastier, healthier: 1. Homemade vinaigrettes are three parts oil to one part acid liek vinegar or lemon juice 2. Convenience costs money; do the peeling, shreedding and chopping, plan for time. 3. Buy extra loaves of bread and freeze them. 4. To protect nonstick skillets, put a paper plate between each one before you stack them 5. Let mea rest when it is out of the oven or grill for ten mintues so juices settle. Ten with foil. 6. Buy herbs with roots attached and put in a glass of water. 7. Add fresh vegetables to pickle brine after pickles are gone, and put in the fridge for two days to pickle. 8. Avoid cooking it all on high heat. 9. Use a garlic press to mince chipotle peppers and jalapenos. 10. Baking soda and pwoeder are not interchangeable. 11. Fresh and dried herbs are often interchangeable. 12. wehn filling a tube pan, put a small paper cup over the hole in the middle so you don't drip batter into it. 13. Use stale french bread to make panznella sald of bread cubes, fresh mozzarella, halved grape tomoatoes and chopped basil with balsamic vinaigrette. 14. Use a pie pan or 7 by 11 baking dish for meatloaf. It gets a crusty outer layer many like. 15. Don't cook prok beyond an itnernal temp of 160degrees. 16. Put a dsitwoel under the cuttingboard to keep it from sliding. 17. sprinkle grated cheese on various dishes for flavor. 18. Look for ground turkey labels; if it says breast, it is white meat, but if not, it has dark meat, which makes it less try and tastier. 19. Steam or stir fry veggies. 20. use goat cheese or other soft cheese, salad dressing or horseradish sauce in place of mayo on sandwiches. 21. Tor ehat chicken, cover with a loose tent of wax paper so tiw on't dry out. 22. Deli meats are good on salads, too. 23. Keep a slice of bread in the jar or bag with cookies that have hardened to keep them soft again. 24. Soak raw onions in salt water before serving; they won't be as pungeant. 25. Use flavored ice popos in smoothies, especially no sugar ones.
Memoir; Writing your Life Story: The Secret Life of Objects: This book by Dawn Raffel reminds me of Anne Rice's Teh Wtiching hour because she talks about how simple objects can invoke feelings, or seem...
Monday, June 4, 2012
An Apologia for Countess Erzebet Bathory: A Few Excerpts: Most are from The Crime Library, but some are also from older histories and documents, translated many times, and none really judged for th...