Showing posts from January, 2011

Muppet Show - Chocolate Moose

I don't think this is very different than how I cook on a good day.

hand shucked?

Agh, I feel like I've been going in a hundred directions lately. Trying to get some writing done for a thing; Farm work; work at the library; volunteering at the other library; parties; always something. I need to watch "What about Bob?" again--this movie always makes me die laughing. Until I get it from the library, I will just have to enjoy and share some of my favorite scenes!

the caterpillar

TheVery Hungry Caterpillar turned 40 years old in 2009; M & N and kiddos, Mummy Dearest and I were all able to see the Very Hungry Caterpillar atop his 40th cake at the Eric Carle Museum. I just now stumbled upon this wonderful, short video about the story behind the caterpillar as told by its creator--my favorite children's illustrator--Eric Carle.

I love that he published this book the year he turned 40 years old; it makes turning 40 seem less scary--knowing that I too may one day make my own masterpiece.

Also, check out Eric Carle's blog, found here.


"I exist as I am, that is enough. " Walt Whitman
Some days it just has to be enough. It has to be enough to know that sometimes no matter how hard we want to crawl out of our skins and be someone different; no matter how much we hate our little idiosyncratic things; no matter how many lousy things we do, we are greatness too. On the mean reds days I try and think about the good things too; the things that mark me as individual, the good peculiarities. 

how to cook EVERYTHING

I have a love/hate relationship with the author Mark Bittman. Not really...I like most of the recipes which he's compiled, I just hate the smugness of the title: How to cook Everything. Excuse me, you don't know how to cook everything. Ahem, diatribe over, I thought this was cool. Thought I'd share.

OMG! That stew's made out of PEOPLE!!!

a clear (almost) midnight

"A clear midnight"
This is the hour, O soul, thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best: Night, sleep, death, and the stars.
~ Uncle Walt (Whitman)

I feel that I so seldom write these days. Is it the winter sluggishness that makes me less prone to writing? I'm not sure, but lately I feel like I have zero energy at the end of the day for anything like writing, or (still) organizing things in my not-quite-new-anymore-cabin.

Today was a rough day. Emotionally rough. I had a strange (and later resolved) confrontation at work; and Tuesdays are just long anyway. I work 6:30am-2:30pm then have a meeting from 4pm-6pm. I have stayed away from my little cabin all day and am avoiding it now. Avoiding the inevidable cold which will greet me both out of doors and in; having turned my thermostat down to 60degrees F this morning. I am now making mys…

the bread and the knife

I love poetry. And I love Billy Collins. And I love kids. So what can be better than putting together a Billy Collins poetry reciting toddler? Too cool! (Mummy, thanks for sharing this!)


You are the bread and the knife, The crystal goblet and the wine... -Jacques CrickillonYou are the bread and the knife,
the crystal goblet and the wine.
You are the dew on the morning grass
and the burning wheel of the sun.
You are the white apron of the baker,
and the marsh birds suddenly in flight.

However, you are not the wind in the orchard,
the plums on the counter,
or the house of cards.
And you are certainly not the pine-scented air.
There is just no way that you are the pine-scented air.

It is possible that you are the fish under the bridge,
maybe even the pigeon on the general's head,
but you are not even close
to being the field of cornflowers at dusk.

And a quick look in the mirror will show
that you are neither the boots in the corner
nor the boat asleep in its boathouse.

It might inte…

i have a nickname too

This and more found here.

searching for that tranquility of mind

Things are looking up.

I went straight from work at the library yesterday to making dinner with Mummy Dearest; enjoying a meal with Mummy, Hubby, Big Fish and Little Fish--one of my favorite families to hang out with. :) Turkey meatloaf, roasted potatoes and (slightly salty--my bad) maple mustard Brussels sprouts. YUM! A silly movie then home to read and go to bed and then sleep late today. I normally open the Kitchen everyday, but switched with Sierra this weekend and I am closing, which is a welcome change. Seems like the extra sleep really helped as I am feeling loads better today. As I said, things are looking up.

Sometimes when I am sick and in need of encouragement I turn to poetry, but sometimes I also turn to great and inspirational quotes. Here are some fun, REALLY OLD gems!

Better be wise by the misfortunes of others than by your own. In critical moments even the very powerful have need of the weakest.It is thrifty to prepare today for the wants of tomorrow.
~ Aesop (620 BC -…

sick and tired, but still learning

I love working at the library, but today felt like a doozie. I have one of those amazingly annoying colds with the runny nose that just won't stop, sneezing and one eye which just won't stop tearing. Aside from the congested sinuses I feel fine, though I smell terrible--that hospital-ish hand sanitizer smell lingers around me, as that is what I apply to my hands every fifteen minutes or so when I blow my nose and sound off like a flock of honking geese! The patrons have at least been lovely--very patient, many acknowledging that I sound terrible and should be home.

Today has been busy, a constant flow of questions and tech related problems has helped the day pass faster. One thing I like about my job is that when I am searching for something with others I learn something too. What did I learn today in LibraryLand, you ask? Well, I learned:
the call number for sharks is 597.3Renaissance is spelled R-e-n-a-i-s-s-a-n-c-e. That "i" is tricky!In Massachusetts Form 1 is fo…

can you tell what I'm thinking of?

My lovely tomatoes  Shadow gardening!
 The cukes which became the pickles which are almost gone! 32 quarts this year!
 Yum! Fresh Farm cabbage!
 Farm cauliflower--divine!
Ok, maybe thinking of summer is jumping the gun...a little. But, I am tired of snow already and want to be ankle deep in dirt, hunched over in a garden. I want to see things growing! I feel so whiney! It is this cold I caught, forcing me to wish that I didn't have to sit wrapped up in a blanket, in a way too warm cabin, sipping loads of peppermint tea. Ok, ok, at least the 5 inches of fluffy stuff we got last night is pretty to look at. The trees are positively picturesque, loaded with heavy winter white coats. Ok, ok, summer is too much to ask for...I'll settle for an early spring...that starts NOW!

surety of winter

I was so glad to get home yesterday. I enjoyed my time in Michigan, seeing family and friends, but there is nothing like coming home; leaving the airport to drive now familiar highways; watch as the winter afternoon slowly melted into night, burgeoning a bright yellow orb. It felt wonderful to sit in my snug cabin, tucked in by two feet of snow, read the pile of library books and magazines I checked out before I left. Can't wait to get back to the Kitchen and cooking tomorrow.

"Winter Trees"

All the complicated details of the attiring and the disattiring are completed! A liquid moon moves gently among the long branches. Thus having prepared their buds against a sure winter the wise trees stand sleeping in the cold. ~ William Carlos Williams

vroom vroom

Southeastern Michigan, particularly Detroit, gets revved up every January for the North American International Auto Show. Growing up in Michigan, which is still the leading auto producing state in the U.S.; living for a time in Detroit, a.k.a. the Motor City; growing up within a family (grandfather and father among others) whose members worked for all of the Big Three at some point; I have always been interested in cars.

Thinking about the NAI Auto Show made me recall the shows I've been to in the past with my best friend Kim--teenagers excited to go to the show with Kim's Dad, a GM Industrial Designer. One year in particular, when oh, the glory I felt when I slide behind the wheel of the cherry red 1994 Mustang--the then 30 years removed heir to my *still* dream car, a 1964 Mustang. I remember sleeping under a huge poster of that very car, dreaming things 13 year old girls dream. Ah, that all seems a million years away now. Yet, hearing about the NAI Auto Show on the news ev…

going home fatter

Seriously. I have been eating such good food while I've been back in Michigan I am going to go back to Massachusetts fatter. Really. Food in Michigan (at least my Michigan) is definitely richer than stuff we eat at the Farm.
Last night I went out with my best friend Kim and two of the girls we worked with at the town Cinema back when we were in high school. In the way that it happens as you grow up and grow away from one another, Kim and I lost touch with Andrea and Courtney (themselves best friends from our rival high school) after we all started college nearly 13 years ago. Thanks to Facebook we reconnected and set up a dinner date for while I was back in the Mitten State.
We ate at the Clarkston Union. Kim swore by their mac n' cheese and we weren't dissapointed. I had the Meatloaf, mashers and sauteed squash and zucchini. SO GOOD. We all shared a small side of the famous mac n' cheese. SO GOOD! And for dessert Courtney and I split the homemade ice cream sandwich…

fun places to visit--mitten edition

Here are two cool places which I've been able to visit while being home.
Owned by a friend of a friend, Filipo Marc Winery
(39085 Garfield Road, Clinton Twp, MI 48038, (586) 226-3990)
is a fun little shop with all things wine related. We were there for a wine tasting event, but after asking a few questions, were offered the grand tour by owner Gerard Giacona. The shop not only makes its own wines, but also offers opportunities for people to make their own wine (with supervision) and makes HUGE batches of wine to order for weddings/parties. If you are ever out on the East side, check this gem out! The French Laundry  is absolutely, hands-down my favorite restaurant which I try and visit as many times as possible while I am home. I not only love love love the food, but I also love that the French Laundry offers cooking classes, wine/beer tastings and special dinners. I love the ambiance of the place, from the vines that grow up the back wall inside to the chalkboard with the days'…

mitten handed maps

I am here in the Mitten State. The state that breeds Michiganders/Michiganians who use our hands as maps. Oh, yes. We actually do it. Seriously. My friend didn't believe me until she saw it with her own eyes.

Been back since Friday and my time here has been a whirlwind of seeing lots of friends and familly and spending lots of time in my bro A3's truck driving all over the place (since everyone lives all over SE MI).  Some highlights include: College K and Jesse's Engagement Party/wine tasting. (This turned into drinks followed by more drinks and karoke. Ah, how I was craving some good ole' Midwest karoke!) Staying with one of my favorite Aunties Sledding with Monster Niece S and Monster Nephew A (now 6 and 4.5 years respectfully) My Dad's side of the family's belated Christmas party Lunch with my priest Father J--one of the coolest people I know Seeing True Grit with Mom, A3 and A3's fiancee Dayna--AWESOME movie!! Seeing HP7 again, this time with Mom, this…

yODEling from the Midwest

A poem I've loved since I was in college.

"Ode to the West Wind"
O wild West Wind, thou breath of Autumn’s being,
Thou, from whose unseen presence the leaves dead
Are driven, like ghosts from an enchanter fleeing,

Yellow, and black, and pale, and hectic red,
Pestilence-stricken multitudes: O thou,
Who chariotest to their dark wintry bed

The winged seeds, where they lie cold and low,
Each like a corpse within its grave, until
Thine azure sister of the Spring shall blow

Her clarion o’er the dreaming earth, and fill
(Driving sweet buds like flocks to feed in air)
With living hues and odours plain and hill:

Wild Spirit, which art moving everywhere;
Destroyer and preserver; hear, oh hear!


Thou on whose stream, mid the steep sky’s commotion,
Loose clouds like earth’s decaying leaves are shed,
Shook from the tangled boughs of Heaven and Ocean,

Angels of rain and lightning: there are spread
On the blue surface of thine aëry surge,
Like the bright hair uplifted from the head

my bags are packed and I'm ready to go

I should be in bed, but now I am wide awake. 4am will come too early; the time for getting up, getting ready, trudging suitcases up my snowy road; walking along the river who's tricklings will send me off. I will climb into a cold car, bundled for winter, head out past the boundaries of my home here. I will travel away from the Farm and into a big city with thoughts turned towards an airport, a plane and then the embrace of the friend who will pick me up in Detroit.

focusing on good

I never revisited my list of 30 things for 30, maybe because I didn't finish all the things on there. Reading my friend Tizzy's recent post of how much can change in 6 months made me decide to celebrate what I DID DO in 2010. Almost half way to my goal. I can be proud of that.
I cleaned our disgusting basementI read something like 37 booksI hiked all the Farm trails (18?) but two!
Read so much poetry this year/so many poets new to me!Watched the Godfather IGot to more of the museums nearb/more shops/restaurants that I was curious about Read The FountainheadGrew sunflowers Got a PT library jobHad a Breakfast at Tiffany’s night in NYC (thanks Tizzy and Joel!)Sent poetry for publication though it was refused, at least I tried!Picked up a hitch hiker Lost one clothing size, working on moreRead the Bible more/pray more


Holy Jesus. I will NEVER again feel guilty when I bring my books back a couple of days late.

Mt. Clemens, MI Library book 76 years late

PA library book 65 years late

What do I do?
What do I do?
This library book is 42
Years overdue.
I admit that it's mine
But I can't pay the fine--
Should I turn it in
Or hide it again?
What do I do?
What do I do?

~ Shel Silverstein

the cheese stands alone

Firsts. Hmm. Lots of firsts in the past week. First risotto last week, first hockey game on the Farm pond tonight and first trapped mouse in my new cabin. The first two events were far more lovely than the last. It is times like these when you think, I really need a boy here now to get this damn mouse of the house…or anyone braver than me really!

Upon moving in I found evidence of a mouse. I got proactive and bought sticky traps. I can already hear people saying, “but that’s mean, that draws it out!” Well, too damn bad, I say. I can’t stand the sight of snapped in half twitching mice. Sticky traps, though possibly less humane, means my ability to not be found in the fetal position on my bed, crying over a disfigured mouse. 
So, I made two “traps,” taping sticky traps into boxes (easier disposal later—thinking ahead!) and tapped boxes to tile floors, in case the little bugger is a fighter. Good idea on my part because my first mouse was, in fact, he was the worst kind of s…

Iowa (Traveling III) - Dar Williams

For some reason I have the song "Iowa," by Dar Williams in my head a lot lately. I will share this video. Ignore the video, just turn the music up loud! I love the line about running through the screen door of discretion. STORY OF MY DAMN LIFE!

risotto bliss

Since I have been moving and settling and shifting and resettling and cleaning and purging old junk, I've been remiss in sharing Farm kitchen bliss.
  In a short but sweet moment I will share the bliss of risotto. While Flava Flav was out of town last week I made my first risotto totally solo!! It was exciting and the end result was something that I was pleased with. Ah, such sustenance in cold New England winter! Risotto is the creamiest rice you can ever imagine; the pizza of the rice world because, like pizza, you can pretty much put whatever you want in it. For me the best risotto contains tons of sautéed onions and mushrooms, a little thyme, salt and pepper and TONS of parmesan, and lots of fresh parsley to finish--and this is exactly how I made mine!

The trick to risotto is adding the liquid  slowly (NOT all at once), allowing the rice to absorb it in a fashion which, according to this site, “lends its starches to the cooking liquid, giving the risotto a rich co…

2011 means change

Lots of changes. Simple changes. Silly changes. Frustrating changes. Liberating changes. Changes. Hmmm, what's first? Well, I was given--by the Farm's Staff Council (staff peers, who once elected, decide on staff matters dealing with housing and pets)--Hitchin' Post, a little two room cabin down the hill from Avalon, the home I'd shared for over a year with TSO and RugbyGirl. That was on 12/21. I began moving things down that night, and with the help of B2, got my furniture in and situated on Christmas Eve. This year my Christmas present was my very own cabin, and all of the work of moving, slugging boxes by myself for 10 hours on Christmas day. Phew.

I am mostly unpacked, but since Hitchin' Post is so very very very tiny, I have been finding amazing ways of making my things fit: impromptu book shelves out of old milk crates in my closet; and not so amazing ways of making my things fit: mercilessly throwing away old, unusable, nostalgic junk; taking garbage bags of…