Monday, March 31, 2014


Cats are like potato chips. You can never have just one.

I could get that bird. If I wanted.
The bed is mine all MINE!!
My life is hell. I have to move an inch to get back in the sun. Pity me.
Murray's counting the kitty toys. Red ribbon, milk ring, old sock,
Leopard wand. And, BERT! RAR!

It's vacation week and was Bountiful Basket weekend

It's spring break and Saturday was a Bountiful Basket Saturday. Yay!

I had lots of peppers. I'd bought a reduced package of tiny sweet red and orange peppers. I also had all the Anaheim peppers left over from the Basket two weeks ago. I had one left over wrinkled green pepper from some era long before. And, in the Basket on Saturday were three large red peppers. So, I needed to use a lot of peppers, lol.

What to do? I roasted them. Then, I mulled. By Sunday morning I'd looked up recipes. It's not rocket science. I googled "How to use a lot of peppers." Literally. That's the kind of searches I do. I just ask, and google answers. I try not to think about the Orwellian implications of this.

I found a recipe for a pepper tart. I often make quiche and I'd thought briefly about a pepper and cheese quiche. But I only had four eggs left and I didn't want to use them all. The tart called for 1 full egg and 1 yolk. Of course the tart comes out thinner but that was OK, quiche is heavy anyway. I liked the fact that it used fewer eggs, no flour and only cooks in the oven for 15 minutes. The oven (and the dryer) takes so much electricity I can tell by the monthly bill when I've cooked a lot. I had feta cheese on hand so I topped the tart with that.

It came out great! I only had a deep dish pie shell on hand but next time I'll get a shallow pie shell or phyllo dough for a real tart.
You see how the tart definitely doesn't need a deep dish
It's thin, but I like that. The flavor of the peppers is more prominent
Now the other problem: I had 6 pears left but they were weird. I'd eaten one the day before at school for my lunch, but it was hard even though it looked soft. As a matter of fact half of one pear was rotten in my bowl, but the rest were still hard. It was one of those situations where they'd never soften up, so I'd need to cook them. Throwing them out was out of the question. I don't waste.

Voila, pear sauce. I simply peeled and chopped them, put them in boiling water and cooked until they were soft. I blended them with ginger and cinnamon, lemon juice and just a tablespoon of sugar. You can see it filled a large Ball Mason jar. (I've already had one helping. It used to be filled to the top. ;)

Of course I never turn the oven on unless I can stuff it. This saves electricity. The costliest items in the home for electricity are the air conditioner, the dryer and the oven. So when the oven is on, it's working to cook several dishes, not just one. Using all the food you have with a minimum of extra ingredients saves money too.

Here is the photo of the Bountiful Basket and all that was in it. The photo is from our local co-op Facebook page.

I ate the strawberries right away. I roasted the carrots whole. The cauliflower will be roasted next weekend. I've already eaten some of the bananas and apples. I roasted the peppers as mentioned. Below was my Sunday Brunch after church. The potatoes were from the last Bountiful Basket two weeks ago.

Not everything was a success. The carrots came with tops. They were two feet long and green. I love anything green so I looked up recipes for how to use carrot tops. Yes they're edible, and I set about to make carrot top pesto. I stripped the leaves from the top so I wouldn't have the hard thin stems to deal with and put the leaves in boiling water to blanch them, in order to soften them up. I don't have a hand blender so I put them in the regular blender with lemon juice and olive oil. There wasn't enough bulk to blend and the whole thing ended up being a propeller-stalling stringy mess with splattered olive oil up the sides of the blender. And the carrot tops didn't taste good anyway.

Well, I tried not to waste anything. Maybe next time I'll roast the tops...

Today is 78 degrees and tomorrow and the next day are predicted to the the same. I have plans to have breakfast with some gals on Thursday morning and another date with a different gal friend later in the week. It's all good.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Movie Review: "Things To Come"

In 1933 HG Wells wrote a book called The Shape of Things To Come. He later adapted it for the 1936 Alexander Korda film, Things to Come. Wikipedia says, "This depicted, all too accurately, the impending World War, with cities being destroyed by aerial bombs." I read elsewhere that Wells was kind of a prophet of aeronautics, predicting as early as 1901, an air war. The Wright Brothers made the very first flight in 1903, two years after Wells predicted that war would take to the skies.. Wells also predicted the outbreak of WWII and was off by only 16 months. He also predicted people movers, Segway, aircraft dominance in war, being slaves to technology, amphibious tanks, drones, zombies, robots, and more.

HG Wells also wrote The War of the Worlds, The Time Machine, The Invisible Man and The Island of Doctor Moreau.

So his book The Shape of Things To Come was was made into a movie Things to Come. If you watch it having a Christian worldview, it is sadly right on the money. It depicts man's endless seeking of something greater, always learning but never able to come to knowledge of the truth. So ultimately the film is dystopian, because it is Godless, though Wells wanted to depict a utopia, because science is his god.

If you watch it just as entertainment, it is a stunning film. It is tremendously a visually stunning movie, as much or more than even Fritz Lang's Metropolis, and that's saying a lot if a 75 year old movie can still top the stun list. The futuristic sets in the future years segment of the movie are especially stunning.

The film begins in 1940, 4 years into Wells' future. War is predicted, and soon enough, it comes to pass. The city, named 'Everytown', (looking suspiciously like London) is destroyed by air. This actually happened in a few years into the future when in WWII, parts of the city were razed by Nazi bombers.

However, unlike WWII, the war in Things To Come simply never ended for decades and decades. The population of the world was reduced dramatically and people forgot why they were fighting. A fiefdom was set up in Everytown by The Boss, AKA The Chief. he ruled tyrannically. A pestilence swept over the globe known as the wandering sickness, whereupon infected people would arise from their sickbeds and wander aimlessly and catatonically about, infecting more people as they passed. These we know as today's zombies, the first cinematic depiction of such a thing. The Boss ordered any wanderer to be summarily shot. However, because of this brutal approach, soon the disease was conquered, and the economy began rebounding, though a Stone Age one.

The Boss dreams of removing 'the hill people;' from the area where coal and oil fields are so as to obtain petrol and make his ancient biplanes fly again. However he recognizes this is a race against time because so many decades have passed, the technology for oil extraction and its conversion to usable fuel was dying with all the old men who once knew how to do these things.

Even as The Boss dreams of this, an advanced aircraft lands one day and an old man emerges, the every man who was featured in the beginning of the film in Everytown musing about the possibility of war. He has allied with a group of techno-crats, aircraft engineers and other scientists, who have built factories, squashed the concept of national sovereignty and tells The Boss that he aims to take over and their group will stamp out disease and war via science and reason AKA "Sanity" as he puts it. It is by now the late 1970s.

The movie continues on through the 1980s and on into 2046 with a preparation for a manned moon shot. Thought he world has indeed rid itself of disease and war, one lone sculptor wonders at what price. he is discontent, and asks the technocrat planning the moon shot what all this sterile living and subservience to science is for. "Progress isn't living! Progress is preparation for living!" He yells.

It is amazing what Wells did with his sets and how he showed the future. It's not a perfect film but it is an amazing film, One has to give proper due to the man whose vision of the future was so perceptive and the questions he asked of mankind's struggle with itself so poignant- all encapsulated in a 96 minute movie. It is in Hulu plus in the Criterion Collection, and is on Youtube for free in its entirety. Check it out.

Here are some photos from the movie.

This is the interior courtyard of Everytown in 2036. The clear tube going up the side is a pneumatic elevator, and the crosswalk is a conveyance that moves people.

It made me think of the interior of the Contemporary Resort Hotel at Disney world in FL. I stayed there after it first opened in 1971. Note the similarities the monorail passing directly through the courtyard.

Flat screen tvs, wrist phones with video screen and iPads are in use in this film, 60 years before they came to be...

The Technocrat's iPad

 Oh look, here is a modern Galaxy Smartwatch...

Yup, a rocket all right. In the movie they called it a 'space gun'.

Saturn rocket on launch pad, 1961

The aircraft particularly show a design aesthetic advanced beyond imagining. This blogger said:

"It’s especially apparent in the designs for the majestic Wings Over the World airships, which although often described as flying wings are actually something even more exotic. Their combination of swept wings (a decade before the earliest such aircraft entered service), tailless construction (which wouldn’t become really practical until the 1990’s), and twin catamaran fuselages (a design concept that has hardly ever been used in the real world) is like something out of Nausicaa in the Valley of the Wind, and the models representing them are curiously much more convincing than those used for the comparatively conventional 1940’s fighter planes."


Single man aircraft manufactured by Wings Over the World ... almost looks like a drone

 Or an Ibis RJ03...

Anyway you get the idea!

Further Reading:

NY Times original movie review, 1936 Boy, those guys sure could write well back then.

Overview by Turner Classic Movies

AMG review

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Making inroads with the new kitty

I love weekends. I'm sorry this one is drawing to a close.

It's been warm and nice. I've napped, read, watched tv on my computer, corresponded, wrote blogs, listened to music and sermons. What I have not done is cleaned nor cooked, two things that are necessary for me to get ready for the week. Oh well. I see a lot of sandwiches in my future.

Five more workdays and then spring vacation. Well, two days during the following week are two days the School Officials determined to recover from all the snow days we had in February. Monday and Tuesday. Oh well.

I've been watching the BBC's highly rated and well-reviewed cop series called 'Line of Duty.' LOL, the BBC's 'season' is five episodes long. I kind of like that. It's long enough to develop a complicated story but short enough to keep my attention.

I also really enjoyed the BBC's Collision series a while back. Another good one. Ditto as above.

My big accomplishment this weekend was that I finally successfully trimmed my kitty's claws. I've spent several weeks running up to it. He lived his first two or three months outside as a stray, so he is not so used to being handled. So over the last 8 weeks I pick up and hold the cat at odd times. I press the pads gently. I give him a treat when he allows touching. I comb his hair. I put him down before he gets restless. Repeat. I've trimmed one or two at a time, but finally I clipped all the front claws- and no blood drawn from him with trimming them too closely and none from me with his scratching. Yay!

In 5 hours I'll be in dreamland. When I wake up, another work-week begins. The kids made me laugh a lot last week. I hope for more of the same. Soon, a vacation will lull me to relaxation-land. I'm looking forward to that.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Honey the Great Dane & Lemon the Tortoiseshell Cat - Magic Moments Together

As has been said, this IS worth every minute of the ten minutes. Very sweet. We all need some sweetness in our lives. I love my precious three kitties! Here is the background to the video

"Honey & Lemon shared the same birthday - they came into our lives together, grew up together, played together, shared adventures together - and should have grown old together...but we lost Lemon to a mystery infection while she was staying in a cattery, in Jan 2009. She was only 5yrs old. For such a tiny cat, she has left a huge hole in our hearts - and an empty space by Honey's side. She was the night to Honey's day, the spice to Honey's sweetness, the devil minx to Honey's angel goodness - and she was a cat in a million."

Monday, March 17, 2014

Bert Vants To Be Alone

My ole cat Bert likes a good nap. And then He likes a good snooze. And after that, he likes a good sleep. With a new kitty in the house who likes to play, sometimes Bert likes a good hide.

"Ahhh, No one can see me. I'm gonna relax now!"

5 seconds later...
What's THIS??!! A lump! A suspiciously gray, Bert-looking lump!"

"If keep poking him, I'm sure I can get him to play!"


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Dawn and breakfast

Spring in Georgia is simply amazing. And beautiful. And warm. And it lasts a while. There is all good.

I know that many people suffer from allergies from the many things that bloom around here, especially the Bartlett pear trees, so spring for them isn't so grand. I'm sorry about that, but I do love the flowers and the colors and especially the birds' return. The grass is already greening up nicely.

This shot is from the end of my driveway looking across the street.

This is looking at the side yard, forsythia blooming and at the end of the forsythia row is the as-yet-unbudded fig tree.

On the weekends I have time to make a fancier breakfast and I have time to eat it. On the weekdays it's fried egg on unbuttered English muffin, gobbled. On Saturdays it's Baguette French Toast and red potato home fries, eaten sitting down.

That's my Shenandoah Ware Depression era or earlier 8" cereal bowl. I have three, and I love them. I use them for everything, absolutely everything. Every meal is eaten out of one of these. I love the size and shape and the pattern (daffodils). Someday I might just go into Comer to the Shabby Chic boutique and see if she is carrying any Depression era Shenandoah ware.

Until then, I have some French Toast to eat and a Bountiful Basket to pick up. Have a good day everyone.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Weekends 11 years apart

Friday night 2003, party at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel

Friday night 2014, late afternoon/early evening nap after a long workweek, and...
 A cup of herb tea.

A sturdy teapot

The only party is in my teacup

Peace and quiet

Weekends 11 years apart

Glad the weekend's here

It was a long week. The weather has turned nice though, Georgia warm. The Bartlett pear trees are blooming, which doesn't help the hayfever or the breathing but they are wonderfully gorgeous to look at. So are the dogwoods and the forshythia and the daffodils.

I did a quick grocery shopping after school and I was pleased with the good deals I got. Green peppers were reduced, and sweet mini red peppers, as was French baguette, a rye loaf, and pita. Turkey was on sale, and canned Alaska salmon. I intend to make salmon-black bean patties with that. The turkey of course will be sandwiches on all that good bread. I also got pie shells to make a broccoli cheese quiche and penne to have primavera.

My sweet for the week will be angel food cake with pineapple. You take a box of angel food cake, mix it with a can of crushed pineapple with juice, put it in an unbuttered cake pan, and bake. That. is. literally. it. And it's low calorie.

I bought 18 items and saved $4.20 by choosing things on sale or reduced. Final tally was $32.

Tomorrow I pick up the Bountiful Basket of produce. I can't wait to see what this week's basket will bring. I finally made the jicama salad with strawberries I had gotten last time and it was good! Jicama tastes like apples.

I did my dishes and most of my cleaning (have to get to the vacuuming soon or the dust bunnies will become mutant and carry off the cats and then come for me). I will need some serious R&R this weekend after the long week. Nothing earth shattering, just a pile-up of high maintenance kids with spring fever, lol.

I finished a good book by Charles Martin called "The Mountain Between Us" so I feel a little bereft right now until I find another novel to get absorbed in. I'll have to do that soon because I want to spend Saturday afternoon napping and reading.

The pink sky this morning was amazing. It was a uniform stripe across the bottom horizon of carnation and coral and crimson. Such beauty.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

The first google glasses, invented in 1890

Stereoscopy. Wikipedia defines stereoscopy as "Most stereoscopic methods present two offset images separately to the left and right eye of the viewer. These two-dimensional images are then combined in the brain to give the perception of 3D depth. This technique is distinguished from 3D displays that display an image in three full dimensions, allowing the observer to increase information about the 3-dimensional objects being displayed by head and eye movements."

Stereoscopy got very popular very fast. LOL, here is the first internet cafe, or, the first Google Glasses

Wiki creative commons

Kaiserpanorama consisted of a multi-station viewing apparatus and sets of stereo slides. Patented by A. Fuhrmann around 1890.

Early morning photos

It's so pretty out and the birds are so lively I went out to take some photos.

A lonely birdhouse waiting for an occupant

Looking down the driveway across the street. The sun comes up here

The back yard and hayfield adjacent. I really love this view. I take a lot of pictures of it. The photo doesn't show it well but the mist is filmy and the sun is just turning the skies pink

Blue skies with the occasional chemtrail

I like how the sun which is now over the horizon is streaming next door and lighting up the tin on the neighbor's barn, and his shed with ladder


BBQ tofu and other adulterations

I had a good week at school. Times of productivity punctuated by a one day stomach bug that rendered me catatonic in pajamas. The weather is crazy, a 73 degree day followed by a freeze warning followed by chilly rain and threat of sleet followed by warm weather again. Turbulent spring, O how I love the coming tornado season. But I do love the daffodils and bluebells blooming already. The forsythia is coming. In Maine, Feb-March were definitely winter months so the fact that spring comes so early here, at least compared to New England, is a never-ending source of joy.

When I arrived home on Friday I had a burst of energy and I cooked. I made pineapple-sour cream muffins, chocolate covered strawberries, and BBQ tofu. I know that last one seems a total adulteration of everything that's holy in the South regarding meat, BBQ, and food in general, but hey, meatless is the new meat. Or something.

I like the pineapple-sour cream muffins because not only do they taste good, but the recipe isn't sweet. It only uses a bit of sugar and relies on the fruit for sweetness and moisture. I also like it because it requires few ingredients, and those are ones I am likely to have on hand. Finally, they're easy to make. Here is the recipe from

I bought a flat of strawberries at the last Bountiful Basket day. Eight packets of huge and luscious strawberries! I gave one away and I'm left with 7 to get through before they go bad, not very hard for me, a berry lover. The last packet and a half I dipped in chocolate. I had never melted chocolate but it wasn't hard and making them is very easy, and they look like they were a lot more effort than they were. Fancy too.

I had a package of tofu and rather than the Asian marinade I've been using I thought I'd try honey BBQ. Maybe the South is rubbing off on me. The Romaine made a nice cool crunch against the tang of the tofu I'd baked. I had roasted broccoli on the side, again, another veggie I'd gotten at Bountiful Basket day.

The bowl is Shenandoah ware, a wide and shallow bowl I use for everything, absolutely everything. I have three of them, though one is pretty cracked and I'll have to stop using it soon. I love them and would buy more if I cam across some. It is the Daffodil pattern.

I'm pleased to report that Murray the new kitty is growing up some. He isn't so much of a maniac at night, though the is more fond of wires and plugs than I'd like him to be. I've awakened several times this week to find a tiny lump sleeping peacefully next to me rather than lamps overturned or curtains askew, and he is learning not to use his claws to get my attention. He is growing up just fine.

Today is supposed to be 69 to 70 degrees and sunny. The birds are back and I enjoy them lots. I'll open the front door for more light to stream in and the windows for some fresh air. I'll go out and look for some more wildflowers later when the ground firms up a bit from the muddy mess the last two days of drenching rain had rendered it. I suspect a nap is in my future too. Because what is a weekend without a nap?

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Bountiful Basket day and crazy kitties

It's a warmish spring day and I went to Danielsville to pick up my Bountiful Basket. There was a lot in it. Here are two photos of how pretty the food looks.

Good looking produce, huh?!

I plan to make a black bean-corn-sweet pepper salad. We received a jicama in our basket and I plan to make a Jicama Salad with that and the strawberries and the rest of the peppers I don't use in the black bean salad.

We also received broccoli, so I'll roast that. Asparagus will be steamed. Romaine goes on sandwiches. Heirloom cherry tomatoes will be mixed into Penne and likely some of the asparagus too. We received lots of citrus, including mandarin oranges so I'll peel those and make an orange and pineapple salad for my lunches.

I could go on but that's the gist of it. I'm sad I forgot to buy quiche shells at the store yesterday, I'd planned to make a quiche. I love broccoli-cheese quiche. That'll have to wait till next time.

I took a walk around the yard to see what was what. It's in good shape. The place seems to have weathered the hard winter pretty well. I cleaned out my flower pots and got them ready for new seeds. I filled the bird feeder and the birdies are happy. And I spotted some of these strange looking colorful objects in the yard also, hm, what could they be????

Soon there will be a ton more out there. I really do enjoy bringing in a flower or two for my kitchen windowsill.

A boy at school has been missing his parapro, who is visiting her grown & married daughter and her new grandbaby for a week. On Friday I let the kids play at centers for 10 minutes or so. They can go to books, marker board, blocks or art. This week I also added Legos. As I asked each of the 7 children in the group what they wanted to do they all slid off their chairs and went to their chosen center. But one boy said "I want to write a note and draw a picture" for the parapro that he was missing so much. He worked a long time on the picture and then asked me to help him write the note. It all took about 10 minutes and during this time the other children were playing and laughing and having a good time. He persevered. When he got done he asked to go to blocks.

I was both inspired and ashamed of myself. Next to the boy was a tantalizing and fun playtime with fun toys, but this 6 year old boy sat and did something to serve another, selflessly. If I had been sitting three feet away from a fun or a tantalizing thing would I have resisted long enough to have finished a task that would benefit another? Probably not. That's why I was ashamed f myself and inspired by him. Kids are amazing.

My new kitty runs around like a nutcase at night and often wakes me up. Especially when he runs over the CPAP machine and steps on the button that turns it off. I have to sit up and turn it back on. Also he likes to play with the tubing so I have to haul that up and tuck it under the covers so his claws can't puncture a hole in it. This means I can't turn over as much. Sigh. I know when he is older I'll long for the days when he was so cute in discovering everything and running around. But all it means today is that I'm tired and I'm going to take a nap! Till next time...