Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Spring, Summer, and good health
- I picked up a food saver to replace my hand pump. I liked using the zipper bags for vegetables, but pumping the air out of each bag got tiring. Pushing a button and "zip!" sucking the air out will make it easier.
- I've set aside good containers for freezing fresh fruits and fresh peppers. It's so nice to reach into the freezer and pull out a jalapeno pepper from last fall's garden instead of buying one from the store, a pepper probably imported over a great distance.
- The tomato and pepper sections of our garden will be bigger and more varied. The family requested more salsa this year; last year's stock only lasted until December. More salsa means more pulp tomatoes and more peppers.
- We'll continue to plant spinach; adding spinach to soups and stews and salads and omelets, to name a few, can increase or maintain a decent amount of iron in my diet.
- Herbs! Seasoning with fresh herbs is tasty and helps us resist adding too much salt to our food. The chives are right outside the dining room door, making them easily accessible.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
What a difference a week makes
Labels: gardenStumble It!
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Planned overs and Pantry Raids - Soup with Ham
Monday, April 25, 2011
Sprout or MacGonagall?
Sunday, April 24, 2011
Everything I Needed to Know I learned from the Easter Bunny
Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
Walk softly and carry a big carrot.
Everyone needs a friend who is all ears.
There’s no such thing as too much candy.
All work and no play can make you a basket case.
A cute little tail attracts a lot of attention.
Everyone is entitled to a bad hare day.
Let happy thoughts multiply like rabbits.
Some body parts should be floppy.
Keep your paws off other people’s jellybeans.
Good things come in small-sugar coated packages.
The grass is greener in someone else’s basket.
An Easter bonnet can cover the wildest hare.
To show your true colors, you have to come out of your shell.
he best things in life are still sweet and gooey.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Light a Single Candle
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
ABC order - by adjective?
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Maple Oatmeal Muffins
Monday, April 18, 2011
Labels: depressionStumble It!
Friday, April 15, 2011
The Wild Asparagus Economy
Thursday, April 14, 2011
If the doc fits
- The unacknowledged 30 minute delay
- Presumption of vitamin needs based on too little information
- Lack of empathy, minimizing my illness to the level of a poster on the wall
- Unrealistic expectations: attempting to put me, in the depths of clinical depression, in someone else's shoes.
Labels: depressionStumble It!
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
- jalapeno peppers
- green bell peppers
- yellow pear tomatoes
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Mac and Cheese Bake
1 can condensed cream of chicken (or celery or mushroom) soup
2 cups milk
2 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Mozzarella
1 package (16 ounces) macaroni, any shape. I used elbow mac.
1. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water. Drain.
2. In a separate bowl, mix condensed soup, cheeses, and milk. Stir in cooked pasta. Pour into a greased casserole dish. Cover.
3. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
The cheeses called for were actually Parmesan and Mozzarella. I vary mine according to the kinds of cheeses in our refrigerator.
Add-ins are good. I added 1/2 cup of diced ham, 1/2 cup frozen peas, and a handful of fresh basil. Sprinkle it with ground pepper and serve!
Labels: kitchen storiesStumble It!
Monday, April 11, 2011
Pennywise, green, or both?
- Used plastic shopping bags for the garbage (I use my own bags - how did we get this huge crate of plastic?) - frugal and green
- As always, used biodegradable litter - green, similar cost to other products
- Found the "lost" litter boxes under a pile of snow - we must have left them out to rinse in the rain when the last snowstorm surprised us. Is this green, frugal, both, or neither?
- Changed heating program by dropping the temps two degrees all day. I'm the only one home most days; I can dress in layers if I feel cold. Both frugal and green.
- If I open windows, I turn the heat off. This is frugal, but it can backfire; I must remember to turn it back on at night when the temperature drops toward freezing.
- The heavy items all hang on dryer racks until they're merely damp: jeans, sweats, heavy sweaters use much less energy to dry, but the clothes still come out soft. Frugal, somewhat green.
- Anti-static dryer balls! I rarely buy fabric softener. The only time I need it is in the sweater load. Frugal - very frugal.
- Washing everything on warm or cold, never hot, saves shrinkage as well as saving money.
- I put together the Ultimate Greenhouse set of shelving.
- Now it's time to take inventory of seeds and plan the layout for both plots.
- Then I can start a few seeds so they're ready for planting when the frost danger is gone.
- Green? Of course. Frugal? When we're harvesting bunny food and making our own salsa, the grocery bills will go down.
Saturday, April 09, 2011
Staying cool, staying calm, and fighting the good fight
Friday, April 08, 2011
Wild about Harry
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone has a special magic. The shortest of the seven, it introduces Harry and his readers to a whole new world: a world of magic. Witches, wizards, a sport played on flying broomsticks, owl post, powerful potions, and more incredible yet believable things exist in this parallel world. In The Sorcerer's Stone, Harry first learns of his family and his wizard identity.
Readers can share his awe as he learns that his new school has its own train that leaves from platform Nine and Three Quarters at Kings Cross Station. Somewhere between platforms nine and ten, he encounters the Weasley family, asks them for help finding the train, befriends Ron, and the rest, as they say, is history. Mythology? Legend? Wizardry? Ghostology?
I enjoy rereading The Sorcerer's Stone because of JK Rowling's genius. The settings are magically unique, but she describes them in a matter of fact tone so that we readers know this is only the beginning of the mysteries to come. When she describes the staircases at Hogwarts' School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, all 142 of them: "...wide, sweeping ones; narrow, rickety ones; some that led somewhere different on a Friday..." it's simply in a paragraph about Harry attempting to learn his way to his classes. What a vision of a magical boarding school!
And the classes! No Intro to British Lit here. Harry takes History of Magic (taught by a ghost), Herbology, Charms, Transfiguration, Potions, and the cursed (literally, but we don't know that until a later book) Defense Against the Dark Arts.
The "strange and splendid place" in the first line is the Great Hall as Harry sees it on his arrival at Hogwarts. In his limited upbringing by his neglectful Muggle (non-magical) relatives, he had never even dared imagine a world so wonderful. Thankfully for all readers, JK Rowling did imagine such a strange and splendid place - a world nearby, yet far different from our everyday Muggle existance. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone stands on its own as a wonderful story and sets up the reading world for an adventure that begins - and ends, several books later - on Platform Nine and Three Quarters at Kings Cross Station.
I continue to reread the Harry Potter series in preparation for the final movie, coming this summer, but also because they're stories that pull me in - into another world, a fascinating world. Hand me a wand and we'll get started!
Labels: So many books: So little timeStumble It!
Wednesday, April 06, 2011
The little switches that matter
If you're thinking, "Nah, I just don't have time for this. My routines are perfect the way they are. I don't have to start looking at rocks, making changes, adding new ingredients to ice cream and finding the writing on the walls."
Tuesday, April 05, 2011
Election Day and Homemade Bread
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1-1/2 cups water (add more if dough is too dry in 1 tbs increments)
3 Tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup honey
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups white bread flour
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
2-1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Place all the ingredients in the pan, using the least amount of liquid and adding more if needed, as seen below. Set for 1 1/2 lb. loaf. Select Medium or Light Crust, Wheat course, and press start. Tip: Stay home and enjoy inhaling the lovely aroma of baking bread.
Observe the dough as it kneads. After 5 to 1- minutes, if it appears dry or stiff, or if the machine sounds like it's straining to knead it, add more liquid 1 Tablespoon at a time until dough forms a smooth, soft, pliable ball that is slightly tacky to the touch. Tip: put a little hot water in the honey-coated measuring cup and use this for the additional water, as needed.
Monday, April 04, 2011
Monday, Monday - a Historic Monday
On April 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was assassinated in Memphis as he labored to bring economic justice and respect for 1,300 city sanitation workers.
On Monday -- the anniversary of Dr. King’s death – the National Education Association and other labor unions, civil rights organizations, and religious leaders will stand together across this country for the same human rights and human dignity for working men and women.
On Monday, we will remind our elected officials that workers’ rights are human rights. These groups will host a range of community and workplace-focused actions across the country starting this weekend.
On Monday, remembering the courage and determination of Dr. King and those Memphis sanitation workers who endured assault and arrest as they walked a picket line for two months, we will stand together with public workers across this country whose bargaining rights are under attack, with private workers who can’t get bargaining rights, and against those politicians and their allies who want to silence our political voice.
On Monday, we will fight back against those who are trying to silence the voices of workers and the middle class in Wisconsin, Ohio, Idaho, Florida, Tennessee and countless other states. How will you stand up for workers on April 4?
Well, I'm blogging. And I'm Tweeting, and Plurking, and I might even post a notice on Facebook. I'll continue to post worker history, both national and local, and I'll get ready to vote. It's an Activist Day - official or not, I think it's earned its capitals.