Saturday, July 31, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Internet Solutions to a Moody Summer
Labels: Random ThoughtsStumble It!
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Breyers Smooth and Creamy, er, Dreamy
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
Rhubarb Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup shortening
- 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups diced fresh rhubarb
- 3/4 cup flaked coconut (optional)
- CREAM CHEESE FROSTING:
- 1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoon butter, softened
- 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
1. In a large mixing bowl, cream shortening and brown sugar. Beat in eggs. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.
2. Stir in rhubarb and coconut. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto greased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually beat in the confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over cooled cookies. Store in the refrigerator.
Possible add-ins: coconut (see above), 1 teaspoon orange zest, a few chopped tart cherries
Monday, July 26, 2010
My Garden Show - beyond the backyard
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Farmers' Market, Daisy Style
Friday, July 23, 2010
Reading, reading, reading.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Back to School Vaccines: it's not too early!
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
It's in the bag - or it was in my bag.
Labels: Random ThoughtsStumble It!
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Berry Corn Muffins
Monday, July 19, 2010
Staying cool in the heat
Saturday, July 17, 2010
Lucky seven: a list of seven links
A post I enjoyed writing: I enjoy blogging in general. If I didn't enjoy it, I would close up the blog and spend my time elsewhere. Many posts that related to the 2008 election were fun to write because they were fun to experience. Volunteering at Democratic headquarters. Election reactions. My favorite, the Recipe for an Historic Inauguration.
A post on someone else’s blog that I wish I’d written: This was easy. I went straight to PunditMom and searched her archives. The woman is brilliant. Her open letter to the New York Times after a reporter thoroughly disrespected women bloggers - well, read it.
A post with a creative title: The recent "No bladder left untested," despite its tendency to make people cringe, gathered a lot of attention.
Labels: Random ThoughtsStumble It!
Friday, July 16, 2010
Coping and Cooking
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
Baby Girl Discovers Shoes
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Strawberry Crunch Bars
2 cups rolled oats or quick oats
1 ¼ cups brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup melted butter
¼ - ½ cup applesauce (start with the smaller amount)
⅔ cup strawberry jam or jelly
Monday, July 12, 2010
Remodeling the old homestead: choosing the colors
Labels: family life this old houseStumble It!
Sunday, July 11, 2010
Rain, rain. Or not.
Last week the weather was fabulous. Not too hot, not too cool. Windows open at night for lovely sleeping weather. No rain. We're actually using the water in the barrels! It's the kind of weather when I can actually get out in the dirt and accomplish gardening goals.
Task one: transplant herbs. I bought a few lightweight, inexpensive pots from Fleet Farm. I moved the herbs from their long hanging pot; now they're on the steps leading up to the deck. I felt like they needed more space to grow and they were getting too soggy. I also noticed that a few stray oregano seedlings were coming up in odd places. They must have reseeded last year, unseen by me. I'll pick up more oregano seeds and fill in the rest; we can reserve this long, narrow pot on the rail for oregano and just say it was meant to be.
Task two: take care of the transplanted rhubarb. I moved several rhubarb plants from their home near the garage to the former abode of mint and hollyhocks. I've decided to wait a few years before trying hollyhocks again; mine caught a bad case of rust last year. As for mint, we still have plenty.
Task three: fence the new tomato plot! Chuck started this, but has had little or no time to finish. I'll weed a bit, keep the tomatoes on their supports, but that's all. You see, the neighborhood rabbits have found a home there. We chase them out, wave them off, and talk sweetly to the baby one so we don't scare it. No, not really. But as long as these three adorable furry creatures find refuge in my tomatoes, I can't plant carrots. Or more lettuce. Or expect the broccoli to reach maturity.
Task four: keep it all watered. That's easy! The barrels are still very full, thanks to yet another storm over the weekend. Stumble It!
Friday, July 09, 2010
Increasing the iron: the research
So far, I've found that red meat, egg yolks, seafood, shellfish, oysters are high in iron. Some of these are also high in cholesterol, so I'll need to balance this. Shellfish and oysters are not exactly plentiful here in the great lakes, but I can get other fish. Did you notice I left out liver? It's high on the iron list, but it's not going on my shopping list. Nope.
On the plant side, we have dark green, leafy vegetables (grow, spinach, grow!), dried fruit, beans, lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, and artichokes. Blackstrap molasses is another iron-rich food option. If I make grandma's baked beans with molasses, that would be a great side dish. Red beans and rice would be good, too. I wonder if the rest of the family will eat artichokes? I like artichoke hearts in pasta dishes at the local Italian restaurant. Am I gutsy enough to cook them myself? Maybe.
The good news? Adding vitamin C in the form of orange juice, tomatoes, or berries can increase your absorption of iron-rich foods. Homemade jam with organic berries! Homegrown tomatoes! Berries from the Farmers' Market on top of iron-enriched cereal - with orange juice on the side! I can do this.
The bad news? Coffee can actually interfere with the absorption of iron. Hm. Must think on this one. Sob.
Before I take any more action, I think I'll take a nap. Rest is good. ZZZZZZzzzzzzz.
Much of my information came from Everyday Health's collection of articles on iron in diets. I'll keep working on it and discussing this with my doctor. No worries, bloggy peeps. And you know it: if I find a good recipe, I'll post it here.
And you also know this: I'm open to suggestions. Leave me a link to a good iron-rich recipe, and I just might try it! Stumble It!
Thursday, July 08, 2010
No bladder left untested
I needed an ultrasound to help figure out what's going wrong. If you're familiar with ultrasounds and uteruses (uteri?) you might know that these are done with a full bladder. According to those in the know, the full bladder makes it easier to distinguish the uterus and recognize what's in it. Hence, the pre-test instructions noted that for a 12:15 appointment, I was to empty my bladder at 11:00, drink 40 oz. of liquids between 11:00 and 11:15, and then refrain from emptying the aforementioned full bladder until after the test was completed.
Enter Teacher Bladder!! Educator humor always mentions teachers' superhuman bladders. I can look at the clock during class, register that I have 40 minutes until the recess bell, and say to myself, "No problem. I can hold it." An ultrasound shouldn't be any different. Or should it?
Well, I was nervous. Nervous about the tests and nervous about the potential results, although I hadn't yet admitted that to myself. Nerves + full bladder = added nervousness and an increased need to go.
Upon arrival at the clinic, I had to wait in not one, but two waiting rooms. Nervousness + waiting + full bladder = even more increased need to go.
After completing the final registration and getting my fashionable wristband, I had to walk past no fewer than two large, prominently labeled restrooms on the way to the radiology department. Oh, the torture!
Yes, I called on my inner teacher - in July. Now that's just cruel. Stumble It!
Wednesday, July 07, 2010
Many moons ago, I thought I was done.
I thought I was done facing the dementors, those Potter-esque creatures that make their victims chilled to the bone, feel like they'll never be happy again, and after the attack, head for the chocolate.
I was rejoicing, cleaning out the bathroom vanity and saying, "I don't need these supplies any more!"
Enough euphemisms, readers? I thought I had reached the big M: Menopause.
I was wrong.
After restocking the bathroom and heaving a deep, heavy sigh, I realized this had gone on a bit longer than normal. I made note of the start date and kept track of unusual traits. Three weeks in, I called the clinic.
We scheduled tests. Blood tests, ultrasounds, the works. I thanked my lucky stars that I have good coverage. I thanked my lucky stars that I didn't decide to teach summer school this year; I had the flexibility to schedule appointments without making sub plans and using up sick days. I could even -- well, anything more borders on TMI, much too much information.
Results came in:
I'm anemic. Not surprising, to be honest.
I have a few abnormal cells here and there, but nothing serious.
These should not be problems. But should, you know, is a bogus word.
Based on this, we move ahead. I'll keep you informed, readers and friends. So far, rest easy in the knowledge that I'm resting and recovering, too. And I'm hiding that box of fudge in the refrigerator. Stumble It!
Tuesday, July 06, 2010
We served it with leftover potato salad and veggies from the graduation party. No cake for dessert; it's all gone!
1 pound ground beef
1/2 teaspoon olive oil
1 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup green pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup ketchup
2 Tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon Worcerstershire sauce
1 teaspoon mustard
1 teaspoon white vinegar
1/4 cup water (if needed)
hamburger buns (I like whole wheat buns best)
1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat and add the ground beef. Stir to separate the meat and then add the onions, peppers, garlic, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking until the meat is cooked and the onions are translucent - about 5 minutes.
2. In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine the ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, vinegar, and 1/4 cup water.
3. Drain meat. Add liquid ingredients to meat in skillet and stir well. Continue to simmer for about 5 minutes to meld the flavors.
4. Serve on whole wheat buns.
Mmmm: a simple staple, done well.
For the original sloppy joe recipe, look here. Stumble It!
Monday, July 05, 2010
Top Ten Reasons I Adore Fleet Farm
9. My receipts come with a discount on gas at their gas station. If I fill up the minivan there after making a purchase, I save. I fill my van so seldom; if I can wait to fill the tank when I'm at Fleet Farm, it's a winner.
8. The clerk at the Fleet gas station resembles a young Brad Paisley. If the teen girls start hanging around the bait counter, we'll know why.
7. I can resist most impulse buys because of the unique merchandise. I do not need a blaze orange negligee. Really, honey.
6. I said most impulse buys, not all. I did buy a small funnel for my jam. It turned out to be a perfect fit for the tops of the jars, and it prevented waste and messes. I've never seen this little gizmo anywhere else - only at Fleet Farm.
5. It's a huge store; getting what I need requires exercise. Who needs a treadmill? Who needs to walk the mall? I just shop at Fleet Farm.
4. It's easier to say than Farm and Fleet.
3. Chuck and I bought our bikes there three years ago, and they're still going strong.
2. It keeps me humble. Walking from the canning supplies to the garden center I passed through the equine section. There are things on the shelves that a city girl like me will never need. Need? I don't even know what most of the equine equipment is!
1. At Fleet Farm, I found everything I needed to make my first batch of jam! Stumble It!
Friday, July 02, 2010
Move the spill - virtually
How big is the Gulf Oil Spill now? Move it anywhere you wish, virtually. I moved it to Lake Michigan to put it in perspective.
Try it. If the size of the disaster didn't worry you before this, it will now. Stumble It!