Just Think: Ponder THAT!

It’s been a dark and gloomy time since yesterday. I think I saw the glint of the sun for about 32.7 seconds at 9:07 am. That was it. Intermittent rain, never very hard, dashed in and out throughout the day and night.

There’s been no more rain yet today, but gloomy it tis. You know the kind I mean. Everything is leafless, grey-brown, boring. A chill wind, wet-damp everywhere. The beasties are all tucked into their lairs awaiting a call to pee or better weather.

I’m snuggled in too, none to excited about making pork chops, mashed taters and gravy and some kind of veggie. But I will. It’s a day for watching football and pondering things.

What kind of things? Dunno, haven’t pondered them yet. But I’ll link up as I find stuff worthy of the word. Trust me. I know you do.

First up I was led to this lovely post by Roger Ebert. Seems he blogs. Thomas from Living Next Door to Alice gets the H/T for this. Ebert’s post is about being an outsider, no matter how defined, and loneliness. It’s a powerful post. He wrote in response to hundreds of comments on an earlier post found here.  I think I’ll pop Mr. Ebert’s blog in my reader. You may want to as well.

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America, she is a fickle woman. I just read a poll that suggests that voters are already having “buyers remorse” about electing Republicans and giving them the House. We have, as I’ve said, rather short attention spans.

Keeping on a theme of thoughtful ponderful ideas, we offer Big Think (catchy huh and on point!) and an analysis of a worried electorate and how Obama understands it, but has yet to give up on rationality as the key to tapping into the psyche of the average joe.

Actually this piece is a perfect companion to my post Fundamentally Futile, and says it way better than I did.

The real arrogance comes in clinging stubbornly to the belief in the supreme powers of reason. Smart people need to be smart enough to realize that our smarts can only get us so far.

This is well worth your reading.

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I ran into a blog on cooking. Big deal, tens of thousands of them. I went, I saw, I was convinced. I’ve brined the last two turkeys, and have been thrilled with the results. I now understand that using one of those roasting bags works just the same, and saves all the mess of brining. So, I’m going to try it. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

PS: I searched another blog with the same raves. This person compared a deep-fried turkey to the oven bagged one, and found them equally moist and tasty and the bagged one was hugely easier.

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I long to be a writer of note. I long to write searingly honest raw gut-wrenching words of who I am inside, deep inside. I offer a glimmer now and then, but then retreat out of fear and perhaps some loathing. Don’t we all loath ourselves just a little? Don’t we all delight in believing that our hidden ugly places are not so bad. That yours are as bad if not worse than mine? That we could share our pain and our arrogance at one and the same time, if only we were courageous enough? I ponder being searingly honest like I imagine Hemingway was or Plath, or Williams, and then I chuckle and figure I’ll be about as honest as Bill Watterson, hiding behind Hobbes. Go figure.

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“Isn’t it sad how some people’s grip on their lives is so precarious that they’ll embrace any preposterous delusion rather than face an occasional bleak truth?” (Calvin)
“It’s not denial. I’m just very selective about the reality I accept.” (Calvin)

“History is the fiction we invent to persuade ourselves that events are knowable and that life has order and direction. That’s why events are always reinterpreted when values change. We need new versions of history to allow for our current prejudices.” (Calvin)

“It’s not the pace of life I mind. It’s the sudden stop at the end.” (Hobbes)

God put me on this earth to accomplish a certain number of things.
Right now I am so far behind that I will never die…(Calvin)

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Time to ponder. Time to think about starting to work up the menu for Thanksgiving and the list of stuff to shop for. I haven’t decided upon a dessert. I want something easy. I want something insanely good. Any ideas–please let me know. What are your go-to recipes for Thanksgiving? A plus is that I already have enough cornbread in the freezer for the dressing. It’s a weird recipe, with mozzarella cheese and pine nuts. But delicious.

I want to do something with shredded brussel sprouts and then saute them? Any ideas about what herbs or additions? Lemon juice and djohn mustard with parsley? Help me out! Or jalapeno and brown sugar glaze? oooh, I like that idea!

I always carmelize pearl onions. I always make some fancy cranberry sauce with orange segments and pecans or something. I always do green onions and radishes and olives and sweet pickles. I have the rolls already in the freezer from a week ago–bonus!

I have a squash on top of the fridge. I roast that. Mashed taters and gravy. Hmmmm, am I missing anything?

The dessert–come on and tell me what to make!

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Happy Saturday. Go Iowa! Take a nap. Eat gravy. Have a brownie.

Trapping the Lint of My Mind

Things are getting busy everywhere now. The time of the year of course may have something to do with it. Planning for a ridiculous meal that will take all of 20 minutes to consume. It never ceases to shock me, after putting in hours of work designing and cooking it.

Adding to this is my continued involvement at Christ Church. My meeting was moved to Friday at the last minute. I’ve had contact as well with the Adult Ed program that runs four years. I think they are waving me off until next fall, with but at least I’ll get the summer reading program underway sometime. It’s still unclear to me, and they said they would get back with me. As well, the jail ministry won’t commence until spring, mostly because the jail won’t be ready for occupancy again until then. This due to the floods.

Add to this the Contrarian has got three appointments for various consults at the VA and more to come. Most is just the usual, a new colonoscopy is due, and an MRI. He has balance problems but this is something that has gone on for years and they are thinking perhaps a pinched nerve. It is something he has learned to live with, but treatment would be a blessing. No major concerns on our part at all, just the misery of driving to Iowa City and sitting in waiting rooms. You cannot know how much the Contrarian hates this. “Might as well just rent a room down there and stay for two months,” he carps.

So, with all that, I’m sure I’ll be missing some postings along the way. But I trust that most everyone else is just as busy. I was grousing last night about what to do for dinner today, when his Majesty, the Contrarian whimpered with the appropriate tear in the corner of his eye, “Perhaps chicken potpie?” he whispered. I looked with disdain,

“Do you have a clue how much work that is? I mean we have the chicken, but cutting up veggies, making a gravy, and then making a biscuit crust to bake on top? Do you know how much time that takes?” “But it would be so good,” he retorted, his soft blue/grey eyes begged silently. “We shall see,” I replied, unmoved by his puppy dog eyes. (So you can guess what I did this morning after cleaning the kitchen and laundry room!”

I wanted to show off my FIRST scarf that I knitted. It shall take me forever to make them of course, and certainly, I won’t have more than a couple for the upcoming winter, but I think it turned out nicely enough.

nov19_01I did it in a simple k5, p5 for five and alternate. It looks to be plenty warm and I hope someone enjoys it. I’m making another but for myself. I bought a “new” coat at the Goodwill, my favorite place to shop, and I had nothing that would match it, so I am making a scarf and hat to go with it. Hopefully it will be finished before the winter takes hold!

Now I thought I would lay out the menu for Thankgiving. It’s a huge meal for us, but we eat it for three days with relish and then I freeze up the remaining turkey and dressing if any is left. I’ll give some of the recipes should anyone be interested.

Menu

  • Turkey
  • Dressing
  • Mashed potatoes/gravy
  • Winter squash
  • Caramelized onions
  • Cranberry sauce
  • rolls
  • relish tray
  • Parmesan Creamed corn
  • pumpkin pie
  • german chocolate cake
  • wine

Turkey

By all means brine your turkey. It makes so much difference you will never not do it that way again. The brine consists of:

  • 1 1/2 C salt
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 TBSP whole coriander
  • 1 TBSP juniper berries
  • 2 TBSP who peppercorns
  • 1 TBSP fennel
  • 1 TSP mustard seeds
  • 1 Bottle white wine
  • 2 medium onions
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 inch ginger
  • Enough water to cover the bird.

Place all in a bucket, lined with plastic bag, secure, and keep in a very cold place, outside if possible or in an unheated garage, for 24 hours. Drain, pat dry and prepare as usual. I’m told the brining reduces the cooking time by about 20%. If you have no cold place, put all in a cooler filled with ice bags. It is also better to dissolve the salt in part of the water heated until dissolved. Add the spices and herbs to this and allow to cool a bit before proceeding to the bird.

Stuffing

I got this last year from GMA from their dressing contest. I have no idea whether this one won, but it was one of the 4 finalists, so I tried it, and we loved it past adoration. We scarfed it unabashedly as if we were stealing. It is sinfully caloric and fattening, but so good it will become your favorite. I am just giving the ingredients, you know they all get added together. Bake at 375 for 45 min or so. depending on what else is in your oven at the time.

  • 1 1/2 lbs. Italian sausage, decased and cooked
  • 1 large onion, sauted
  • 7 ribs celery, sauted6
  • 4 cloves garlic, sauted
  • 6 oz bacon, ham or panchetta cooked and crumbled
  • Add to:
  • 6 C. bread, staled and cubed
  • 3 C cornbread, crumbled – make ahead a day or so
  • 1/2 C butter, cubed
  • 1 TBSP sage
  • 1 1/2 TBSP poultry seasoning
  • 1 TSP salt
  • 2 C mozzarella cheese, cubed
  • 1 C Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 C pinenuts
  • 4-5 cups chicken broth.

Mashed Potatoes

Nothing special here, but I am adding some rutabaga and parsnips I think to the potatoes to enliven the taste a bit

Gravy

I’ll use the neck and gizzard, heart and liver which I will cook in some chicken stock and then remove the meat from the neckbones. I’ll add minced onion, garlic, mushrooms and saute them. Salt, pepper, a bit of worcheshire sauce, and then butter/flour and the chicken stock and heat until boiling and thickened. Add a bit of cream if desired.

Winter Squash

I always bake this a day ahead, remove from the skin, add butter, salt, pepper, some maple syrup and mix together. On the day of eating, I’ll add pecans to the top and bake covered until warmed through. Also can be microwaved if space is hard to find in the oven.

Caramelized Onions

Nothing tricky here. Just simmer your onions a bit, cut off the root ends and slip the skins off to a clean new surface. Drain nicely, add to a pan with butter and just saute forever until they are nicely browned all over. Slow is the key, don’t turn them too high or they will burn. Make the day before and then you can just heat them before eating.

Cranberry sauce

Prepare according to package directions. I then section an orange, and add it, and some of the juice to the cooled cranberry sauce. Just before the meal, add chopped walnuts or pecans. I think I may add a bit of raisin this year and see how that tastes. I’m also adding some minced fresh ginger as well.

Creamed corn with Parmesan

This is simply corn, sauted with salt and pepper, some cream, a bit of chicken stock and Parmesan cheese. All done on the stove. The recipe calls for 6 cups of corn to serve 4. If you use that much, use 3/4 C of the cream, and 1/4 C of the stock, with 1 C Parmesan. I plan to cut this down to closer to half. (Martha Stewart Living recipe)

Pumpkin Pie

Directly out of the Joy of Cooking , the bible of American cooking

German Chocolate Cake

Right off the back of the package of the German chocolate

Well, that’s about it. We don’t go to nearly this trouble for Christmas, but we really enjoy this meal a lot. The only thing different this year is the corn recipe.

I do as much of the stuff ahead as I can. I’ll start on Tuesday and do the bulk of the cooking on Wednesday. Thursday will be for roasting the turkey, potatoes, and gravy mostly.

Have a blessed day everyone, and stay warm!

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Short Takes on the Day 11/13/08

It’s simply shockingly sad. Bush is doing his level best to help out his business friends at the tail end of his disastrous presidency by trashing the environment. All the plans, regulation loosenings and so far are designed to help industry make money, and reduce the protection of lands and animals now in place. It will take much time and effort by the Obama people to undo this. It was said that Clinton was only able to undo about 13% of what Daddy Bush did at the end of his presidency. True, Clinton did the same and Dubya could only undo 3% of the Clinton environmental protections. Why this evil man is intent on destroying the earth is beyond me. He has his, why can’t he let us at least exist? AlterNet has the story.

I recently read a book called “Deep Economy” about how we might revision our economic mantra of “growth is good.” It dealt largely with environmental issues, but did make the point that studies show that Americans are deeply unhappy overall as compared to much of Europe and many other countries as well. Money and buying stuff does not make us happy it turns out. A World Health Organization now places the US first in those countries whose citizenry is depressed and otherwise mentally ill. Read more, and discover that if you are stressed with not enough time, not enough leisure, you are very much not alone.

While much against the theology of Augustine can be argued with, there is something very right about a guy who asked God to cure him of his sexual needs, but “not quite yet.” He became a very human being for that statement in his Confessions. That being said, his birthday is today, and I think we should all pause and remember this great Father of the Church. If you would like to read more about this incomparable man, link to Gill’s Ancient History Blog.

You might enjoy this aside: Being a blogger, we all get used to our private and overused phrases. Much as John McCain drove us insane with “my friends” we all have our peccadilloes when it comes to language. Britannica Blog gives us “the 10 most overused and useless expressions in English.” Did you find one you use? Numbers 4 and 5 were ones I think I use a bit too frequently.

Uncovering women’s history is always fascinating. Every heard of a woman by the name of Cynisca? Probably not, but she was the first woman to compete and win an Olympic event, and we are talking about 396 and 392 BCE. Read this fascinating tale with tons of historical background at Rogueclassicism today. G,wan, get a little knowledge, your brain will thank you for it.

Speaking of birthdays, yesterday’s was Grace Kelly. That wonderful biographer Elizabeth Kerri Mahon at Scandalous Women does her usual top notch job and presents you with a lovely reflection on this American Princess.

If you are a history buff, you might find this new blog fun. It’s called Histatic! The history blog for all your inquisitive needs. Give it a look see and bookmark if it suits your fancy. I’ll be picking up the feed and checking it for good posts that you might enjoy.

I had a co-worker when I was a lawyer, who used to go to magazines like Bon Appetit and others of that type and make their entire holiday menu. I have never done such a thing, and frankly won’t because we have found the perfect Thanksgiving menu on earth, all from different sources. But if you want to do something different, Baking Delights has a full menu for you with all the recipes. You might not choose to make it all, but you might find a recipe that you do like. I think I should try to post the incredible stuffing recipe we used last year. First time we ate every drop of stuffing I tell you, and I will never do another turkey that isn’t brined either. Enjoy!

Simply Recipes gifts us with a great Tex-Mex dish. It’s similar to enchiladas, but she says without the trouble. It’s often used as a breakfast food. Give it a look if you love Mexican food. This looks like one I’ll add to my repertoire. Full directions are given for Chilaquiles.

And just to close out the recipes, here’s one you should not miss. Easy as anything to make, elegant for the holidays, and it is Chocolate! Now that combination is not to be missed. Called Chocolate Purses, you can wow your guests and also adapt easily to your own particular tastes. What could be better? Our thanks to Uncommon Artistic Endeavors.

This next story has been on the news in the mainstream media for a few days. Partly it makes me just laugh and partly it makes me sick to my stomach. The NRA has done an excellent job in making up a scare story that Obama is gonna take away guns, and gun sales have skyrocketed. That’s the funny part, the scary part, is the gun sales have skyrocketed. What kind of world are people living in that they have to run out and buy $1000+ assault rifles before they are banned? What kind of nut wants one? The winners are of course the NRA and its beloved gun manufacturing industry. Once again the idiot poor does the bidding of the rich. Crooks & Liars has the story.

Oh Goodie Goodie, DistributorCapDC has a quiz for couch potatoes and prizes too! Hurry on over and take it, win win win, I never win a thing. Maybe this time!

And to close out, just a personal observation. Sarah, our dear Sarah is being called the gift that keeps on giving for Democrats. She is making more of an ass of herself, now that she is out from restrictions and can do things her way. Although she claimed many of her woes were the result of the left wing media, she is courting that media for all it’s worth these days. She is granting “exclusive” interviews nearly every day. True to form, she says nothing, and says that nothing in such circular fashion that one can but weep with joy that the girl hasn’t lost her stupid touch. You might have thought she would bone up a bit, but word is that her latest foray on Larry King resulted in answers about the federal economic bailout that were “stunning” in their lack of any knowledge of what it entailed.

Miss Palin continues to adhere to the idea that politics is a piece of cake and requires no real knowledge of anything. Since she is apparently interested in virtually nothing, this works well for her so far. Her press conference at the Governor’s meeting consisted of 3 questions and then was closed down. The other governors felt a bit left out as you can guess. She was not wanted there in the first place so we are told. Sarah is that annoying fly that you cannot swat and cannot evade. It will soon be time to bring out the assault spray and overkill the land in order to make sure she gets her fatal dose.

I know this sounds weird, but a bunch of political bloggers and others have set up a food network site. You can find it here, called the “Internet Food Association.” Some of our favorites, such as Simply Recipes are on board. Who knows who might be next. Bookmark it and check it out if you love food and new recipes.

Have a greater day than ever before!

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Chock full of Nuts ~~ Not Me

This textile is entitled “The Bridal Chamber of Herse” and dates from 1550 C.E.

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I hope you guys are enjoying the new blog. I am sure it’s disconcerting to some, and some have probably left in utter disgust. Perhaps a few have even decided this is a great visit. I guess I like that it’s so diverse, you never know what to expect, and I continually look for new stuff to titillate your taste and eye buds. The sad fact is that there aren’t many crafting, food, and gardening blogs that update regularly. That’s the way most people operate. I am somewhat driven. We all have to find our own niche as it were. I hope you can just skip the stuff that bores you to tears and enjoy what you do like. I do want input, so feel free. Although this is MY forum, I do not wish to either offend or bore the entire world to a degree that I am left to talking only to myself. I do that regularly enough as it is. So, rant away at what you like, would like more of, or utterly detest. I’ll listen at least, though I make no promises.

I really am going to take a post and give you some idea of what some of these links are. Some are worth your incorporating perhaps.

That said, lets see what’s cooking, percolating, or oozing up to the surface today!

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Yesterday we learned that Mexico began the assault on the Alamo. Today the deed was completed with many dead. A rather ugly incident to be sure, and one that generated all the patriotic hoopla necessary to continue the fight for control of Texas. I’m never quite sure why we applaud taking someone else’s land. We seem to find this time in our history as glorious expansion. Instead, we murdered in typical ethnic cleansing measure tens of thousands of people, all because we wanted the land. Odd I find.

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I am not one of those who uses any holiday as an excuse to craft things. I certainly don’t have time or inclination to make things for St. Patrick’s day, although actually it has big significance for me: the Contrarian and I arrived from Connecticut to Iowa on that day, and I became an official citizen of Iowa. Anyhoo, Sandi’s Crochet Blog has a pattern for a leprechaun hat that you can adapt to some decorating plan if you wish. And even if not, she has lots of helpful hints on her blog if you are a crochet person.

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If you have come to know me at all, you have discerned that I am wary of fundamentalists, and I tend to write about the subject with regularity. I have since stopped a Catholic blog I was doing. There is a great deal of talk in the public square about what role religion played in the formation of this country, and thus what role it should play in public affairs today. I am a very strict secularist, myself. My faith belongs in Church, not in politics. That’s my opinion. For a review of a new book on faith and our forefathers, stop by Religion in American History, and read a fine post about Steven Waldman’s “Founding Faith.”

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I feel I need to alert you to this one. Many of you go to Pioneer Woman, as I do. and today I saw an amazing thing. She is asking you to take a survey to get to know her readership better as she prepares for a new skin for her blog. The goodie is a $300 gift certificate to a random winner who takes the survey. I did so, and didn’t think too much about it. At the end, it said I had to go back to the post, and leave a comment so she would know I took it. (She’s using a professional survey company) When I returned, I found in excess of 6600 comments, and knew I could never download it, but tried anyway. I saw a goodly number of comments that were very angry. They felt the survey had nothing to do with getting to know anyone, but were solely directed at the usual marketing campaign, asking location, age, income, occupation, etc. Admittedly there were no questions you and I might typically ask our readers. So you are warned, Go and take it if you wish, I wish I hadn’t and can’t win in any event since I can’t leave a comment.

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My sweet tooth is oh hiatus at the moment until I can shop. No butter really sucks! But Epicurious provides me something to drool over most every day it seems. Profiteroles with Coffee Ice Cream sounds so decadently delicious that I want to cry. I want some now! Psst. It’s cream puffs with ice cream and chocolate sauce.

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At Gardening Tips ‘n Ideas, we find a plant that I am not familiar with, and frankly don’t know if it’s suitable for Iowa or not. She is growing it in South Washington state I believe. It seems a hardy bugger, and she says its super soft and luxuriant. She has a nice picture of it, the botanical name, and if you decide you like it, it should be easy to find out enough about it to determine if you can grow it. It’s called a Albany Woolly Bush.

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Knitting dragonflies is a new blogger I’ve found. She’s involved in an award game today, and that isn’t really the point, but she does list about 10 other knitting blogs she likes. If you are a knitting fanatic you may want to check out her list to see if you have these blogs. I guess it should get me to thinking about a quiz or poll or something. Hehe, mostly because I’m nosey!

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I don’t know about you, but I loved those futuristic predictions about how technology would be changing our lives. Course, I think we were supposed to have personal little jet planes by now, and I haven’t seen any dealerships for them yet, but…Live Science has the top 10 technological advances that will change your life. I bet you just gotta go look and see now right? Just say Hydrogen and therapeutic cloning.

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I for one, was thrilled that Hillary did so well on Tuesday, but that has not stopped as Mad Kane says, the onslaught from the blogger left demanding that she still step aside for their candidate. She has a good argument and another of her best limericks. Have fun.

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MamieDale is also a new blog find. She shows you how to do a silhouette and mount it for scrapbooking. I remember doing these in grade school. I had forgotten all about them until this blog. Would be fun to do pets as well don’t you think?

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Just thought you should know that Midlife by Farmlife is well worth a daily check. Jeannelle is one fine photographer and her prose ain’t bad either. Nostalgic and all around good reads all the time. Don’t miss her!

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Back to food! The Midwest neurotica has a chicken recipe, and can’t we all use just one more. This one requires cherry coke! This one is simple, and sounds strange, but she said it was good. When you have little time, this could be the time saver you are looking for.

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Begging for Bargains has a couple of things you might want to take a look at. There is one for being a tester for products, to free checklists for spring cleaning (wow do I need this), clip art, and stuff for moms. I just picked up the feed, so I’ll be more current next time, promise.

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Another thing that makes me nearly insane is when people claim the don’t believe in evolution. If ever a scientific proposition had more proof than that for evolution, I doubt I’ve seen it. Cracking the genome was the icing on the cake by the way. After a long and bitter struggle, it seems that real science is winning out in the state of Florida against the powers of religious fanaticism. The evangelical nut cases did push through a “scientific theory” attachment to evolution, but little else. (theory in science is not what it’s commonly thought of. In science, the theory of evolution is actually more “proven” than gravity is.) Read all about it on the editorial page of the NYTimes.

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The heresy of one age becomes the orthodoxy of the next. -Helen Keller

“The word ‘politics’ is derived from the word ‘poly’, meaning ‘many’, and the word ‘ticks’, meaning ‘blood sucking parasites’.” ~~ Larry Hardiman

“Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.” ~~Sir Richard Steele

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Of all the Royals, Sarah Ferguson seemed the most normal. She seemed to laugh at the stuffiness exhibited by the Queen and well that stodge of all stodges, Prince Charlie. Scandalous Woman has a very nice biographical sketch of the woman Prince Andrew wed. Support women’s history!

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I usually draw the line at food that is fussy fixing. Things like ravioli. But I seldom turn down a recipe from Simply Recipes because, well they are just that good, and the site is lovely, and the pictures are delightfully delicious to look at. Try this one: turkey and bacon rolls.

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Okay, if you are so insufferably addicted to reusing everything in your house, then go over to the Tip Junkie and find ways to use the CD case. Calendar? Photo frame? It’s truly amazing how inventive some folks can be isn’t it? They call it repurposing. Isn’t that snooty as heck? lol. It’s reusing trash! Gimme a break. Okay, I may try one, …..maybe two. You cannot know how badly I want to go to Michaels.

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We watch a good deal of History channel stuff, and I know we’ve watched a series on the American Revolution and the US presidents. Somewhere in all that I learned that John and Abigail Adams carried on a long and fascinating letter writing life. They are collected in a book, linked by the US History Site Blog. The book is entitled “My Dearest Friend” and is edited by Margaret Hogan and C. James Taylor. There is a link for certain free audio offerings as well from Harvard University Press. Enjoy this one. I think this book would be a great gift for anyone who loves American history.

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On this day in history:

~1521 Magellan discovered Guam
~1619 Cyrano de Bergerac, dramatist was born
~1806 Elizabeth Barrett Browning born
~1831 Edgar Allen Poe removed from Westpoint
~1836 The Alamo was captured
~1836 Davy Crockett, killed, Alamo
~1857 Dred Scott decision, slaves cannot be citizens
~1888 Louisa May Alcott, writer, died
~1896 First car driven in Detroit, driven by Charles B. King
~1906 Lou Costello born, comedian
~1921 Edict in Pa. women are to wear skirts at least 4 inches below the knee
~1964 Muhammad Ali takes his new name
~1981 Walter Cronkite’s last anchor night for CBS news
~1982 Ayn Rand, writer, philosopher, died
~1986 Georgia O’Keeffe, artist, died

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I swear it’s true:

Teacher Appoints Student Insect Monitor

An Eagle Rock schoolteacher doesn’t want any bugs squashed in her classroom, so she’s appointed a student insect monitor to take wiggling, creepy critters outside.

Melodie Conrad’s be-kind-to-bugs effort is getting praise from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, which is giving her its Compassionate Teacher Award.

The Eagle Rock Elementary School & Magnet Center teacher says there’s simply too much violence in society, adding, “I just wanted to be careful that they’re exposed to just the opposite in this room.”

It’s not a matter of creating bug activists. Conrad says she is aiming to instill a sense of respect for life.

Information from: (Los Angeles) Daily News, http://www.dailynews.com/ & Davesdaily.com

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