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5/30/11

Other Random Thoughts

Spotted in the parking lot of the post office: a truck bearing the name Bland Landscaping Design. I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, but a Doing Business As might be in order here.  


Making egg salad with these:
The best method I've found for cooking eggs comes from America's Test Kitchen (recipe is premium content, basic recap below). Use the oldest eggs you have, they'll peel easier.
  1. PLACE eggs in saucepan large enough to hold them in single layer. ADD cold water to cover eggs by 1 inch. HEAT over high heat just to boiling. REMOVE from burner. COVER pan.
  2. LET EGGS STAND in hot water about 15 minutes for large eggs (12 minutes for medium eggs; 18 minutes for extra large).
  3. With slotted spoon drop into sink of cold water with tray of ice cubes added. Let sit for 5 minutes.
Working around this:
Back to work tomorrow after five days off (including Saturday and Sunday). 
Heard on the radio recently that Americans have the least amount of vacation days (14) and most of us don't take all of them. The French on average get 37 vacation days and take 35 of them. Plus they have a 35 hour work week (I think they still do.). 
Vive la France!


Oh and I'm going to make baked kale chips with the kale from the CSA on Saturday (kale, broccoli, snap peas and eggs this week).


The eggs are amazing. BIG golden yellow yolks. 


Eggs from hens raised on pasture show 4 to 6 times as much vitamin D as typical supermarket eggs. 
• 1⁄3 less cholesterol• 1⁄4 less saturated fat• 2⁄3 more vitamin A• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids• 3 times more vitamin E• 7 times more beta carotene 

Read more: http://www.motherearthnews.com/eggs.aspx#ixzz1NrvwyxZU






Baked Kale Chips
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic 

3 large handfuls lacinato kale, torn into shreds
1 to 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Preparing to bake. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Combine the salt, smoked paprika, and garlic in a small bowl.
Wash the kale. Rinse the kale leaves, then put them in a salad spinner and spin until the green becomes a blur. Round and round, spinning and spinning — let the kale dry. After it comes out, dry it even more with paper towels. Those leaves should be bone dry.
Oiling the kale. Put the kale leaves in a large bowl. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of the olive oil. Massage the oil into the leaves. You might need more. You might have larger hands than I do. Use your judgment.
Bake the chips. Arrange the kale chips onto the sheet tray and slide it into the oven. Bake until the leaves are crisp to the touch but still a dark green. (When they turn brown, they turn bitter.) Check at the 12-minute mark, to be sure.
Remove them from the oven. Sprinkle with the garlic smoked paprika salt.
Let them cool a bit. Eat.
Found the recipe on this blog: Gluten Free Girl and the Chef  The smoked paprika intrigues me (and I happen to have some). 

Memorial Day

My father served during three wars and was part of the action in the Pacific Theater on LST (Tank Landing Ship) 842I grew up saluting the flag and saying the pledge of allegiance.  
Now, like Hebrew National hot dogs, I answer to a higher authority and am decidedly unpatriotic. 
I think patriotism [= I am right and you are not] is responsible for so many wars. You must think, believe, sound like, and look JUST LIKE ME. If you don't, I might have to kill you and count myself right in doing so. I might even have to manufacture something to justify it (you worship the wrong god, drink baby's blood, or have weapons of mass destruction for instance.). The Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. undoes me - because I feel inescapably responsible. How can I not? Reflected in the polished stone, behind all those names - is my face


Once I stopped with my anam cara (soul friend in Irish) in LA to visit friends of hers from Africa. I did not know them and aside from some minimal courtesies in English the conversation was entirely in French, of which I understand about five words. 
I sat there eating peanuts, listening for one of my five recognizable French words, and wishing my headache would go away; then suddenly I started crying uncontrollably; I went through all the napkins on the table and a good portion of a roll of toilet paper, unable to stop.  Turns out they were talking about their village being overrun with soldiers, families separated, people killed. One of their daughters was still in Africa and they were hoping she was safe. 


The distinct impression was that God let me touch just for a nanosecond a minuscule portion of His grief  over what we do to one another - in His name. A whole other story - kind of. Because religion and power and patriotism are an [unholy] trinity that millions have died for and from.
Even though I have heard this said by some Christians, I still haven't found the passage in the Bible that says that America is God's chosen country and we (Americans) are his chosen people.
Remember Shadrach, Meshach and Abendago and their refusal to show patriotism (bow down/worship/pledge allegiance) to the king of Babylon?  Just saying...

Patriotism is a virtue of the vicious. Oscar Wilde


Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism — how passionately I hate them! Albert Einstein


Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. "Patriotism" is its cult. It should hardly be necessary to say, that by "patriotism" I mean that attitude which puts the own nation above humanity, above the principles of truth and justice; not the loving interest in one's own nation, which is the concern with the nation's spiritual as much as with its material welfare — never with its power over other nations. Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one's country which is not part of one's love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship. Erich Fromm


Conceit, arrogance, and egotism are the essentials of patriotism. ... Patriotism assumes that our globe is divided into little spots, each one surrounded by an iron gate. Those who have had the fortune of being born on some particular spot, consider themselves better, nobler, grander, more intelligent than the living beings inhabiting any other spot. It is, therefore, the duty of everyone living on that chosen spot to fight, kill, and die in the attempt to impose his superiority upon all the others. Emma Goldman


True patriotism hates injustice in its own land more than anywhere else. Clarence Darrow


Wouldn't it be nice NOT to have to have a Memorial Day?

5/24/11

Goofy Little Cat #2

video

This is what this goofy cat does [watch the above ten second video]; after smooshing the box, he "surfs" over to the food dish, lays down on the box, scoops food from the dish onto the box...and then eats it.
I only have a photo of the latter:
So weird.

5/22/11

Wikihow

Because I am a lemming, just like everyone else, iGoogle is my home page; on iGoogle you can add fun widgets to personalize your page.
Here are my widgets, starting on the left: date and time, Google Calendar, daily quotes (love quotes!), Wikihow, Word Monkey (dictionary); middle column: moon phases, Gmail, Google Reader (all the blogs I follow in one place - when you have a new post - Google Reader tells me); right column: the local weather, NPR Topics: News,  BBC News, and CNN.com.

Wikihow is how-to's.
Today's are "How to Recommend Someone on Tumblr" (I don't even know what Tumblr is, so probably won't read that one); "In Honor of Conan Doyle's Birthday - How to Develop Your Sherlock Holmes Intuition"; and finally, "How to Eat a Banana".

Gee, thanks Wikihow!

Now I'm off to develop my Sherlock Holmes intuition.

Thank God That's Over

It is now safe to roam about the cabin.

I can also change my Facebook photo from this:










back to this:











or maybe even this:











OMGah! Thank you TJ Maxx for perpetuating the crazy cat lady persona. (shhhhh...listen...you can hear all the dog people congratulating themselves on being dog people...even if they have twenty yappy little dogs who never shut up and their yard consists of only dog poop and no-one can come in their house without a courtesy leg hump - they are feeling might-tee fine about having canines right now...)

Yes, I went on over to CB on Mother's Day. We wandered around, sat outside, where she scratched her legs and said "Iggy", about nine thousand times.
Then we changed her underwear/diaper. She kept saying "iggy" then too.
Not half as iggy as it was for me.
I would like to never do that again please.

When I came home, W., the youngest daughter of the people I used to work for, (known her since she was four - she'll be seventeen in the fall.), had left this card on my doorstep:



I know it was from her because a few years ago, while we (her parents/my employers, W. and myself) were shopping for office furniture, the salesman, making conversation with an eight year old, asked if I was her grandmother. (I'm younger than her parents.) She thought it was HILARIOUS. And couldn't wait to relay that conversation at dinner.
So now I get her cards from Grandma on her birthday and she calls me that when I show up at school functions. Good times. (no, really, it is pretty damn funny.)

Fie on Mother's Day anyway though.

Shoe-in

Whew, I feel like it's been ages since I wrote anything. Busy, trying to make this job work - money wise that is. And sort out all the relationship potholes. My favorite (not).
Back working after hours for The Dude, a.k.a. my realtor friend, making flyers and virtual tours online. It's fun. Want to see one of my favorites? Follow this link: http://tours.tourfactory.com/tours/tour.asp?t=670675

Anywoo, here I sit, on a hard bench as Lillie is in my chair, (a little bit of quiet is worth a sore butt in my opinion), with some raisin toast and a cup of black coffee since I forgot to get milk yesterday; trying to put something down you faithful few might find interesting.

Yesterday was our CSA box pick-up: eggs, broccoli, several kinds of lettuce and peas. For another $7 I picked up a couple of fat country style ribs (they look like chops). Waiting for the eggs to get a little older so they'll boil/peel better - been craving some egg salad.

Just hung some laundry on the drying rack in the bathroom and look what I found:


ANYWAY. (I do not have A.D.D. Really.)









Thursday I took some new shoes over to Mom. The doctor said her shoes seemed tight, so I had a date with DSW (alone, because when we went together it was a fiasco.)
She always thinks the stuff I bring is for me. Or maybe with opposite disorder, she means her but says me. Whatever.

We start the process:
Me: Mom, sit here. (motioning to the ottoman)
Mom: These are all here. (picking up one of the pillows that fill the chair, several of which are NOT hers)
Me: Great. Sit here please, [patting the ottoman], so we can try the shoes on.
Mom: Shoes? Are they yours?
Me: Nooooo...they're for you. You need to try them on.
Mom: Fry them around? (Walking over to the bag on the bed and peering inside.)
Me: TRY. Try them on to see if they're comfortable and you like them. Here, sit down.
Mom: (standing next to the ottoman but still unclear on the action)
Me: Put your tuchas here Cinderella.
Mom: (laughing) I know. (still not sitting down)
This goes on for another few interchanges, then she finally gets it and sits down.
She tries on the first pair.
Mom: These are anything anything anything?
Me: Ummmmm...I'm not sure? How do these feel?
Mom: Iggy.
Me: Oh great. Stop saying that. (knowing full well she knows not what she says) Do they feel good?

Mom: (walking around the room) I guess I can have some.
Me: oh god.
Mom: Iggy.
Me: Seriously, don't say that. Let's try on another pair.
Mom: For you?
Me: (sigh) No, for you, these are all for you.
Mom: Okay, then we can get going.
Me: I had a red one but the wheel fell off. (Soooooo mean)
Mom: I know.
We repeated the above three more times and settled on two pair of shoes. Then we paraded our new shoes (What new shoes?) out into the living room and then to the dining room for supper.
On the way a woman stopped us and asked where I was from. 
Durham.
Durham?
Yes.
Oh, I thought you came from the laundry room.
I really didn't know how to respond to that. 
So we continued on.
In the dining room, after a three minute dance getting Mom seated (what's that about?), she unwrapped and wrapped her silverware.
That's where I left her, in her new shoes.
  

5/15/11

I Love Portuguese

I know, I've said this before.
French used to be my favorite foreign language, but, sorry Francais, you have been replaced by the very sexy, round language of Portuguese. (Do languages have shapes to you or it that just me? For instance, German is very sharp and pointy, like a triangle; Spanish is oval.)


So here is a Portuguese 101 video (the young man is ADORABLE!)
Hello = Oi.
(In Cockney, Oi means WTF?! or Hey! or something similar.)

What Five Dollars Will Get You

Woodcrest Farm, site of several canning and cheese making adventures, is now offering ~$10 a week melange of organic produce, meat, free range eggs, and honey (not necessarily all at the same time).
I'm splitting the box with a friend - making it just $5.00 each!

This is my haul from yesterday (our first): HALF of a red leaf lettuce (it was monstrous!), half the swiss chard, half a kohlrabi (related to cabbage), snap peas, and half a dozen eggs. You couldn't get that for $5.00 in a store.


If you read this blog and are in the Chapel Hill/Durham area - give them a call and sign up (click on their name above). It's a great deal. They will also do an all meat/egg box, although that is more than the $10 average price.
I can't wait until the tomatoes come in!


*************************************************************************
This is what a whole kohlrabi looks like:












I'd never had it before.
It tastes like a cross between cabbage and a mild radish. The texture is more radish than cabbage; it reminds me a little of jicama, but not as sweet.
Jicama
I like it.

5/8/11

Been a Long Time

And if you're expecting I'll have something interesting to say after my hiatus - you are so, so wrong.

Well, a bit late, at least for those who had interaction with me, I figured out why I felt so fragile week before last.
Last Saturday marked the twelfth year of my dad's death. Those anniversary traumas can sneak up on one. Everything was all relationship overboard! I'd throw them the lifeline, but it would hit them in the head and knock them unconscious. Trying to fix it made it worse. Ugh. I HATE that. Makes me want to be a hermit.
I almost didn't go on the Jordan Lake sunset cruise. Because the only thing worse than being in all that crap - is  talking about it; doing that in my head non-stop already. Playing the tape over and over, re-winding...that's where I said x and then they said y and...
Anyway. All patched up for now.

Today is Mother's Day - another Hallmark holiday. Grumble, grumble, grumble. I am SO LIKE MY FATHER. Who loved his mother - but hated holidays. (My mother swore he liked Christmas more than she did, but I didn't believe her.) Forced allegiance to whatever retail buying scheme is attached to the said holiday. How many guilty Mother's Day crappy brunches will be had today? How much money spent on roses that don't smell and will never open (just droop)?
 If you love your mom, you love her everyday - not just today when you're told you're supposed to. If you don't - she already knows it. One day of BS and a sappy card you don't mean is not going to change it. Save your money.

I have issues people.

Speaking of mothers, the woman formerly known as my mother, has not been seen in awhile. I still have Easter toys for her, shampoo and body wash.
I know I've said this before, but I don't like going to CB. Sigh.


Strange flowers at Cedar Creek Gallery

My neighbor's roses

5/1/11

Jordan Lake Sunset Cruise

Friday evening several of the Gals went on a Jordan Lake sunset cruise. One of our own retired Friday, so we had another reason to celebrate - besides TGIF. The weather and the company were perfect!

Captain Don supplied glasses, ice, soft drinks, and a wonderful dip his wife makes. During the tour we learned many facts about Jordan Lake, (man-made, 18 miles long, 180 [I think] miles of shore line), as we relaxed and enjoyed the scenery and the great spring evening.

Primary colors


Great blue heron

There's a bald eagle's nest in there somewhere



Perfect way to celebrate your retirement!

Solo gets her sea lake legs!



Here is the information to book your own tour:

Description
Guided Boat Tours on Jordan Lake for Private Groups Up to 12. Eco-Tours, Sunset Cruises, Special Events...and More!
Phone
919-585-1488
Website
Hours
Mon - Sat:7:00 am-10:00 pm
Sun:12:00 pm-10:00 pm