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Reinforcing my 2009 theme

Posted on 2009.01.06 at 10:09
Current Mood: optimisticoptimistic

Following is an excerpt from The Writer's Almanac.  It's an NPR show that I have delivered via email daily.  So I find a little inspiration, almost daily as well.

It's the birthday of Khalil Gibran, (books by this author) born in Bsharri, Lebanon (1883). When Gibran was 12 years old, his mother left her husband and moved her four children to Boston. He grew up, became a popular host, and one day the publisher Alfred A. Knopf came to one of his parties. Knopf was impressed, and he published Gibran's book The Prophet (1924). It became a huge best-seller in the 1960s.

The Prophet contains lines like: "Work is love made visible."

Awww!  That's a sweet way for me to justify why I work more than I play.  And I thought I just enjoyed projects!

Make Something from Nothing

Posted on 2009.01.04 at 16:38
Current Mood: determineddetermined

Happy New Year!

I enjoyed my most relaxing December ever!  My wheat-free, dust-free lifestyle opened up a lot of time for me to move at a leisurely pace.  I brought no decorations down from my dusty attic.  So there are none to put away.  Sweet!  I did very little holiday baking at home.  Of course, I dipped lots of things in chocolate for the sorority girls.  But their party was back on Dec. 8.  All my forbidden confections were done by then.  And, NO CATERING!  Yahooey!

I've decided on a theme for 2009.  It's not so much a resolution as a continuation.  Here it is:

Make something from nothing.

In my parents and grandparents generations, everyone routinely did this.  They were resourceful and multi-skilled.  They grew things, fixed things, sewed things, built things, cooked things.  I'm reminded of the recipe for corned beef from a cookbook my friend Liz inherited from her grandmother.  It started something like this:

"Get a cow.  Get a barrel.  Put the cow in the barrel . . ."

That's a far cry from walking up to the deli counter and saying, "I'll have half a pound, sliced thin, please."

I have lots of resourceful and talented friends.  I am delighted at your accomplishments.  I am thankful for your help and advice.  I hope we all learn how to do more things from scratch in 2009.  I hope it makes us all healthy, wealthy and wise.  I hope these efforts bring us together.

I plan to expand my gardens in 2009.  Many seed catalogs have already arrived in my mailbox and I'm already thinking of Spring.  I look forward to learning how to best raise the six laying hens I plan to get in May.  My whole yard will be a Victory Garden!

Posted on 2008.12.04 at 23:18
Whoa!  Erik Estrada is back patrolling the streets of Muncie in his police uniform!  I don't have any plans for Friday night.  Maybe I'll take a short drive north and try to get arrested!

Posted on 2008.11.05 at 09:06
Current Mood: hopefulhopeful

The longest presidential campaign in history came to an end last night.  I stayed up late to watch the McCain and Obama speeches, even though my celebration began when Ohio went blue.  I thought Pennsylvania returns would be too close to call, but the state was claimed by Democrats early in the evening while I was watching returns at the Chatterbox.  That blue rectangle on the map made me feel like the future had finally arrived.

As individuals, my friends and I have been embracing this future our entire lives.  We changed rules.  We changed attitudes.  We changed the world.  I'm proud of us!  It's been a long haul - life long.

What I wanted most in post-election America was a return to grace.  Finding the kindest way to make a point.  Doing what's best for the most people, and our vulnerable earth.  Both McCain and Obama's speeches were heartening.  And I'm glad there will be a new puppy in the White House.  I hope it's a "dog of the people."  I'm sure the DC animal shelters are overcrowded.

In the conspicuous absence of Tim Russert on election night, I was comforted by the professional presence of his son, Luke, covering the youth vote at Indiana University.  He has his father's skills, enthusiasm and humor.  And that familiar smile.  I look forward to future political insights from the new torch-bearer.

My favorite interview of election night was cut short.  A man was hurrying away from a rally and a reporter asked him for a comment.  He said, "I have to go home and wake my children."

Posted on 2008.11.04 at 10:41

I'm having a lot of fun with photos these days.  So I've been posting on my other blog, where photo posting is easy.  Visit me there:



Posted on 2008.10.02 at 08:30
Current Mood: chipperchipper

September has been a VERY busy month!  I needed 48 hours in every day.  My garden needed the extra weeks of summer, and many plants are still producing.  That should come to an end soon.  My thermometer read 36 degrees when I woke up this morning.  No frost, but it can't be far off.  I should go pick some of my neighbor's apples (with permission!) before it gets any colder.  I could use a whole weekend of football on tv to make some applesauce to put in the freezer.  Free weekends have been nonexistent for me in September.

I've been finishing up yard projects to get ready for fall.  I have two large piles of bonfire fare.  I had to burn one without an audience, just to make room for the new stuff.  I hate to waste the entertainment value of a good fire, but it had to be done.  I'll save the rest of the branches for my bonfire party Oct. 18.  Yes, I'm finally having a party.  We'll try keeping all the food and wheat beer outside.  I hope it works!  I've missed having my friends over.  I like it when we're all together.

My science fair projects continue.  I'm the lab rat in my latest experiment.  I'm attempting to dye my hair with boiled walnut hulls.  I did a trial run with walnut shells.  Their stain is not as intense as the stain from the hulls.  I didn't have an allergic reaction, so I'm ready to proceed.

The instructions are a hoot!  "Cover your entire bathroom with newspaper.  Take off all you clothes.  Wear gloves.  Don't get any stain on your skin."  Ha!  If this works, it will be more than a temporary fix.  I want to look not-so-ancient at my upcoming college reunion.  I have nine days to make the miraculous transformation.

Alarmed by television . . .

Posted on 2008.09.14 at 21:33
Current Mood: annoyedannoyed

Not once, but twice, while watching Sunday night tv.

First I saw an ad for an ad.  "Watch this show at this time and you can see this movie trailer."  I guess some folks are tuning in for the commercials now.  I'd understand if it happened to be Superbowl Sunday, but we're only in the second week of the NFL season.

Second, high fructose corn syrup has found a new way to deal with its image problem.  I've seen two ads that point out that it is just as safe as sugar or honey, when used in moderation.  It's okay to feed it to the people you love.  Sheesh!  The food additive lobby must be stronger than I suspected.

Posted on 2008.09.11 at 09:26
Current Mood: busybusy

I know I've been missing from blog-land for a long time.  I've been posting on http://glutenfreekay.blogspot.com occasionally.  My latest fish photo is there.  So are photos of the cucuzzi squash plants that are taking over the world, starting with my back yard. 

End of summer activities are keeping me hoppin'.  My gardens are still producing.  School has started.  I'm looking for a new job, where I can use 20 years of food experience without actually touching food all day.  I had a great interview for just such a job, and I was hopeful.  But I got a note yesterday that they had promoted someone from within the company.  They will keep me in mind for future openings.  They had been trying to persuade the second-in-command to take the position.  She's capable but young, and didn't feel ready.  I think they talked her into it about 15 minutes after my interview.

Mother had a heart attack the day after Labor Day.  She was in the hospital for three days.  She's recovering nicely at home now.  I'll go with her to see the cardiologist next week.  I don't want this to happen again.  I hope the cardiologist knows how to fix her heart, which tests show is in great shape.  It's a puzzle.

In the meantime, I'm overstocked on cucumbers, okra, and beans.  The tomatoes have slowed down, but Rich will bring me some from his parents' big garden in a week or so.  I bought a lot of canning jars at an auction last weekend.  So I'm ready!  The auction house had a loaded peach tree, so I picked some.  They made a swell cobbler.  And my neighbors with lots of apple trees gave me permission to pick their apples.  There will be more cobblers in my future.

My weekend projects will include draining the pool and cutting down all the goldenrod in my gardens.  I hope to get rid of all the goldenrod before it goes to seed.  I've made a little progress.  We're supposed to get rain (!) and we sure need it.  Maybe there will be some breaks.

Oil prices (by the barrel) went down, but gas at the pump is back to $3.95.  Go figure.

Posted on 2008.08.05 at 09:30
Current Mood: draineddrained
 I got caught up on my mowing, and the weather was too perfect for indoor work.  So I spent my weekend afternoons floating in the pool.  Seldom do we enjoy temps in the low 80s and low humidity in August.  So I made a point of enjoying it thoroughly!

Monday brought the heat and humidity back.  But it was time to get back to weeding.  No, I'm not caught up - like that's ever going to happen!  At least the potato patch is back in order.  Two mondo trash bags full of weeds now sit at the curb for the trash men. 

My late cucumber plants are in the ground.  Hope to enjoy fall harvests.  The early vines are dying of wilt disease.  Cucumber beetles carry it from plant to plant.  It kills the squash plants as well.  I've lost about half the zucchini plants already.  Such is gardening life without chemicals.  I prefer bugs to poison.

I inhaled some citronella on Sunday night, bug candles at an outdoor party.  They seemed harmless enough, but I know better.  I can't breathe chemical fumes or any scented candles or air fresheners.  So I fought a headache all day, which bloomed into a migraine in the evening and sent me to bed early.  I slept for ten hours, drug-free, and am feeling better this morning.  Hope my system will recover soon.

I'm glad today is a rainy day.  I need to bake some bread and catch up on indoor stuff.

Posted on 2008.07.30 at 08:00
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
I gave myself the week off from major garden projects.  I'm still picking vegetables and weeding daily.  That's enough to keep me busy.  It's the height of bean season, so I'm picking, breaking and freezing beans almost every day.  Cucumbers are also abundant.  I've made three gallons of pickles in the last two days.  Two gallons are for Rich.  There were lots of cukes hiding in his garden.  I found them!

I spent three days at the Midwest Writers Workshop last week.  It was a delightful collection of authors, agents and publishers.  I gathered lots of valuable information, and caught up with an old friend.  I also got to meet Bill Fitzhugh, one of my favorite funny mystery writers.  One of his mysteries, Pest Control, has been made into a musical.  He thought he was being punk'd when someone wanted to buy the stage rights.  He says the show is really funny and has the best cockroach costumes ever.  It features 26 musical numbers.

The challenge of the conference was spending three days indoors.  I hadn't spent three days in a row indoors all summer.  I was anxious to get back to my gardens.

When I got home, my pool was so gunky that I had to drain it to get it clean.  Now that the temps are rising, I want to have a pristine pool.  It was 89 degrees yesterday.  The fresh pool water was very cold and quite refreshing.

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