Saturday, May 31, 2008

New Look...

Yes, I changed the layout. I was soooo tired of the brown and the narrow center. I mean, I had to go thru this renovation to get the kitchen layout I wanted, so I suspect it will be the same with the blog. It's still ME tho!!

Now it's time to learn how to make a different banner....long and slim. Learning something new is a good thing.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Flashback Friday May 30

Today would have been my dear mil's birthday. She was a sweetheart, a tiny little thing (4'10) but there was no doubt that she ruled the roost. These pics were taken when she went as my chaperone (!) back when I was visiting her son down at the Air Force base in Mississippi in 1963. (Tells you a lot about this concept since blogspot thinks the word is misspelled and doesn't have an alternative; dictionary says it's an outdated word... )

Mama was sick on the train going down, and I was sick on the train coming back up. She had great fear that I was pregnant! However, as I reminded her years later when she told me this, it would be pretty unlikely that I'd have morning sickness 3 days after The Possible Event. ;-) eta: There was none of that. This was pre-pill.

Mama always had a soft spot for cats, and she found this one down on the AF base and just had to love him up. Mama went to heaven ( I have no doubt about this) in 1999 when she was in her 80s. She was the best mil a woman could ask for. Love you Dorothy.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chocolate Therapy

Chocolate Therapy
Originally uploaded by redazadi

Some days you just know what's important. (click the pic to see the little note).

This pic and the other chocy one on flickr are for my flickrfriend Katcat who can get a comment on one of my pics before I'm done uploading them, I swear!! Maureen

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

On my desk...May 28

Yikes, I'm not sure there will be anything new on my desk today as I got the postcards for a swap finally done, and sent out. I wanted to seal the inkjet printing and am flumoxed as to what to use. Modgepodge for paper(which I doubted but bought on the clerk's advice...)made one run, as I thought it would. I bit the bullet and used some old aerosole clear lacquer which worked but of course smelled to high heaven. I would do this outside but it was starting to rain. To quote Gilda Radner's Roseanna Dandanna, It's always somthing. ANY suggestions as to what to use to coat ink jet prints is appreciated.

On my desk...May 28

And as I put most of the stuff away, I am probably going to do some 'word cutting' for collages. I love doing this and used to journal with random phrases.

So I will add the pic of the postcards that were sent. Each had more stuff on the mailing side but the addresses are there so... you don't get to see that side.

What is NOT on my desk but is now on my mind is a swap I signed up for - a journal exchange, and the topics are really quite good, don't you think?? You must mail the Journal to your partner on July 1. This will take some dedication for me. (I think it will be the green journal or the black one that will be for the project.)

Here are the themes (there are 31 in total)

* write a letter to yourself in the future
* find a photo of a person you do not know. Write a brief biography about them
* Fill and entire page in your journal with small circles. Colour them in
* create instructions for a simple everyday task (e.g. washing up, making a cup of tea)
* Write a letter to somebody you admire
* Glue a photo of yourself as a child into your journal. Write about what you think you were doing that day
* Make a list of everything you would buy with a million pound (2 million dollars)
* write an entry in code
* find a photo, alter it in anyway you wish
* illustrate your grocery list
* make a map of everywhere you went in one day
* cut out all media for one day, write about the effects (try to do this on a non work day, but if you work everyday you may continue to use the essential things - not swapbot!)
* go for a walk, draw/list all the things you see
* Physically alter a page (i.e. cut holes in it, pour tea on it, burn it, fold it etc)
* glue an envie into your journal. For one week collect items you find in the street and put in the envie. Please don't put dangerous or really dirty items in.
* Draw or list all the things in your purse/bag (the bag you carry all your belongings around in i.e. money, phone, lipgloss, hairbrush, diary. Not the one your money and cards go in)
* Write your own definition of one of the following concepts - sitting, waiting, sleeping or eating
* write an entry in your journal in really LARGE letters (free choice what you actually write)
* Write down a secret. Cut it up and glue back randomly. You could cut the letters from differant newspapers and magazines if you wished
* create a character based on somebody you know. Write a list of personality traits
* Create an image using dots
* list 10 of your habits (or all of them if you have less than 10)
* list 10 things you would like to do every day
* list your 10 most important things. Not including animals or people
* make a list of everything you buy in the next week
* write in your journal using a differant medium (i.e. brush & ink, charcoal, old typewriter, crayons, markers) (again free choice what you write about)
* Draw the individual items of your favourite outfit
* Find a piece of poetry you respond to. Rewrite it and glue it in your journal
* record all the sounds you hear in one hour
* write about your relationship with a household appliance (i.e. washer, dishwasher, kettle)
* cut a random shape out of layers of a magazine. Make a collage of the results.

Feel free to join...Journal Swap-Theme a Day. Final date to sign up is May 31st.

Other desks to spy on are at this girl's blog...have a peep.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A phrase to make my heart ache

She shrugged. "Fine with me." She and I headed over to Surfas to get some chocolate and when we returned, she made herself a rum and coke while I started on the dessert.

No, no, not the 'rum and coke'. Surfas! Ah Surfas. If you EVER get to Los Angeles, and like food,

do not hesitate. Go to Surfas.

The rest of the post is pretty darn good too...well, only if you like Chocolate Pots de Creme.

WellFed is the blog, well fed indeed! the gentleman has some knockout simple but great food. Check him out.

Monday, May 26, 2008

The Vietnam Wall

The Vietnam Wall
Originally uploaded by redazadi

This is where I was on Memorial Day a year ago today. Sadly, we could be planning the next wall it seems. A war for every generation...

Saturday, May 24, 2008

This is: something I got, but still haven't used.

Well, after thinking about this one, and trying to narrow it down, I'll got with the one that is causing me grief. Good theme FlossyP !

This pantry

and this shelf in particular.
Sweet jars

Some of these I bought, and some were gifts, but you know with this kind of non-basic food, you usually don't end up using the whole kit and caboodle in a recipe. And what does that lead to my lovelies??? Yes, another jar in the fridge, another jar half empty/half full, whatever you call it, it's just another jar in the fridge. I have a lot of jars in the fridge and it drives me nuts.

I had one of those plans to use one 'new shelf item' a week, but I kind of got backfilled so to speak, meaning the fridge said NO More!! I want one of these shelves cleared to use for pastas so it's time to get working on these again. I have, at least, stopped buying most of the 'interesting' items I used to buy. Well, mostly stopped buying....Food lovers who like to cook have low resistance for this sort of thing.

Want to see more unused goodies or baddies or ...check out the list at Threebuttons.

Oh so addictive

I really don't even like these but when they are present, I find myself going back for a 2nd, thinking about a 3rd....

So for a taste of a truly Maryland special - Berger Cookies- that you can now reproduce fairly accurately at home, try this saga on the King Arthur flour site.

Friday, May 23, 2008

vietnamese chicken meatballs in lettuce wraps

vietnamese chicken meatballs in lettuce wraps
Originally uploaded by baostar

Well, this is certainly a recipe I'll try out soon - esp as it's an oven dish, and our days of using the oven will be over quite soon. That is an interesting technique of using sugar to coat the meatballs before baking...oven caramelizing. Who knew???

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken thighs, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
* 3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
* 3 small shallots, finely chopped
* 3 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 stalk of fresh lemongrass, tender white inner bulb only, minced
* 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro, plus 1/3 cup leaves for serving
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped mint, plus 1/3 cup leaves for serving
* 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
* 1/2 cup granulated sugar
* 1 head Boston or red leaf lettuce, leaves separated
* 1 small seedless cucumber - peeled, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
* 1 small red onion, halved and sliced
* Asian chili sauce, for serving


1. Preheat the oven to 400 degree. Position a rack in the top third of the oven. In a food processor, pulse the chicken until coarsely ground; transfer to a bowl. Add the fish sauce, shallots, garlic, lemongrass, chopped cilantro and mint, cornstarch, salt and pepper and mix with your hands.
2. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spread the sugar on a plate. Using slightly moistened hands, roll the chicken mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls. Roll the meatballs in the sugar until they are evenly coated. Transfer the meatballs to the prepared baking sheet and bake them for 15 minutes, until they are lightly browned and cooked through.
3. Meanwhile, arrange the lettuce, cilantro and mint leaves, cucumber and onion on a platter. Transfer the meatballs to the platter and serve with chili sauce.

Recipe from Small Bites by Jennifer Joyce

Uploaded by baostar on 20 May 08, 1.41PM EDT.

Flashback Friday 1. 08 05 23

mm with boys 1975

Ah the younger, slimmer days...with my two sons outside my parents house, the house where I spent most of my growing up years in Maryland. In fact, the house I lived in until I 'went from my father's house to my husband's house.' By this point, August 1978, my father had been dead of ALS for 5 years. The summer shot was just before we left for Iran and a tumultuous couple of months in that troubled country. It was hard for my mother to see her grandchildren, esp that lanky boy on my right, go so far away - again. He was the love of her life, esp as she had time to 'mother' him, a joy she was denied when I was an infant during WWII when she only saw me on weekends - if she was lucky. Little did we know how soon she'd have us back.

Same house, but circa 1966...the year of my first marriage. It always appalled my mother that these new houses were built without sidewalks. Ah - the start of car dependent suburbia, and in suburbia then, there was nothing to walk to anyhow. Give me the urban or or if I have to, the country ...suburbs are still wastelands imho.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Book Tag - fun to play

When I decided to do some early morning 'desk peeping', I saw this over at Kootoyoo's and decided to do it instead. But oh no, I don't have too many 'reading' books near the computer. This is one of the few that are not computer books. Pema Chodron's When Things Fall Apart was my purse book (4.5x7")till I went to a smaller purse;I think I'll try and squeeze it in because it is great for a few minutes reading, esp when having to wait.

When Things Fall Apart
1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.

Rather than beating ourselves up, we can use our personal stuckness as a stepping stone to understanding what people are up against all over the world. Breathe in for all of us and breathe out for all of us. Use what seems like poison as medicine.
Cheating! here's the final sentence of the paragraph...We can use our personal suffering as the path to compassion for all beings.

Over the years, I have really appreciated the simple, down to earth writings of Joko Beck and Pema Chodren. Perhaps it's because they are western women, that the make Buddhist teaching understandable and real to this very western woman. The above quote is about the practice of tonglen.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How can her feet be cold???

Lol...I'm talking about Two Cold Feet who has a wonderful giveaway. But look at those goodies to warm you up.

Besides living in an area I really like, she goes and visits an area we will be off to in August. Thanks for the heads up on some interesting places in Arizona, Stacy.

On my desk...May 21

On my desk...May 21
Originally uploaded by redazadi

Not too much going on -on the desk. As I was just back from the time in Boulder some of it reflects the purse emptying. You can click the pic to read the notes.

I was really happy to find a place that sold crystals and got my granddaughter a small moon for her room, and the little charms of Buddhist principles for my daughter. I hope I can get them mailed tomorrow.

The postcards were not what I had in mind for the Quote themed swap but I saw a template over at Designer Digitals and I thought ok, I'm gonna try my hand at the Photoshop (elements) one more time. I'm kind of worried that I cannot figure out how to drag and drop pics as all sorts of instructions say to do. But I got this done, and am content with it. Now I just need to put some backing on it since I feel the cardstock is too thin to mail.

And I got my tabbing done on the JinShinJutsyu book which is good since I am off to study group this am. I look forward to seeing other desks this afternoon. If YOU want to see more, go over to Kootoyoo for a list of players.

Monday, May 19, 2008

This is I recycle

A bit late but I thought I had done this post and scheduled it to post yesterday. I guess I thought about that more than doing it. ;-) This week's theme came from Angela's Mum. Thanks Mum!

Nothing exotic here, but I think we made a really neat spot for the daily bits and scraps that end up going out back to the compost pile. We designed that pull out drawer to use Ikea Trofast bins - the drawer front is a standard Ikea one from the rest of the renovation. The cutout board holding it, slots thru two simple slots on each side of the cabinet frame. I thought of putting a door on the standard waste bin section below, but figured why mess with simple.

We use very few bottles or cans, so they aren't recycled - yet. The newspapers and most large paper items are stored in the hall closet , well the dining room closet, in a wine crate that has rope handles. (I made these all by my lonesome almost 20+years ago!!). All that paper goes out weekly including the paper that goes into a tray by each of our computers.

Fairly current magazines go to the local hospital on about a monthly basis, and I have made it a goal to go through some of my old hoards and pass them on also. I decided to go through some cooking mags and sort them by month rather than year, so I can take 'appropriate' ones each month to the hospital. If I get some that are cut up a bit too much, they can still go with a note that they are for the psychiatric section where they continue to be used for art therapy.

Other working household stuff that does not go to one of the best charity shops near us, the Lutheran Mission,

often gets put on freecycle. The problem there is I find great stuff incl boxes of magazines asking to but cut up. I often share my 'wealth' with my Artist Way group if I can.

Books that we read usually come from used book stores, and when we are done with them, if they don't go onto a friend, go into boxes to be taken to one of the biggest book sales around us Stone Ridge Book Sale . Besides the tax benefit we get, we can usually find time to go to one of the wonderful restaurants in Bethesda.

Recycling is picked up at the curb weekly but it isn't sorted, nor is there any penalty for not recycling. :-( In time that will come I believe, esp after seeing my friend in Maine's major recycling works.

I hope this gives you an idea or two...and I look forward to checking what others do to recycle. Angela over at Three Buttons has a list of regulars if you want to see more ideas about recyling.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Time to Look Elsewhere For Me

Yep, it's time to hit the road again, or rather the skies...

Look for me over at Get in the Car to hear about our adventures at higher altitudes. It's also the area where we were married 7 years ago, and so it's nice that Dick has a work trip to give us a chance to get back to where a lot of the official fun began.

WEDNESDAY - Mostly sunny in the morning then becoming mostly cloudy. Highs around 60. Northwest winds 10 to 15 mph in the afternoon.

WEDNESDAY NIGHT - Cloudy with a 40 percent chance of rain showers. Lows around 40. North winds 10 to 20 mph.

THURSDAY AND THURSDAY NIGHT - Mostly cloudy. A 40 percent chance of rain showers. Highs in the mid 50s. Lows in the upper 30s.

FRIDAY AND FRIDAY NIGHT - Partly cloudy. Highs in the mid 60s. Lows in the lower 40s.

SATURDAY AND SATURDAY NIGHT - Mostly cloudy. Highs in the lower 70s. Lows in the mid 40s.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

On My Desk...the other desk

Well since I will miss the May 14 On My Desk, I think I will show you some of the stuff we've had that come from my ground floor "desk". i.e. the kitchen islands

The whole weekend has been rain rain rain, with a not too badly flooded cellar. DH tells me we had a whole month's worth of rain in the past 3 days. One day last week, I made iced coffees, it was so nicely warm, and then...bam..on go the fireplaces again. I will say it one more time - As much as I was against converting our wood fireplace to gas, I think it is an idea made in heaven. Click! heat! and some flames to look at. We have a little Jotul in the kitchen and our cat Sebastian has totally bonded to it. He cries to have it on!

But I digress. Food. Back to warming, stick to the ribs food.

So we've had this last night...good food, but almost no natural light left at 6 p.m.

Beef Goulash with Pierogis

And this earlier...I finally got a mosaic done, tho not after a lot of work trying to do one on my own. Thank you big huge labs, and thank you Madhur Jaffrey. That cauliflower recipe has been a fave over about 30 years and this time, I added chicken to it for this curry.

3 step Dinner

These stuffed peppers were a snack for the man of the house, but the leftover filling that made tiny, steamed meatballs convinced me that this is one "I" like just as much.

Stuffing Peppers

And just to remind us that the sun does shine, did shine, and will shine again, here is our boy in his newest hideyhole. (See the cat on the chair on the right? Not MY chair.)

Safety of Small Places

Sunday, May 11, 2008

This mother

ML 1934
Originally uploaded by redazadi

This is my mother.

And this week's meme theme comes from Zoesquid

I like this picture because it shows a part of her I never really knew...the carefree young woman who still had dreams and possibilities ahead despite the harsh realities of growing up in a coal mining town. The unpainted siding of a company owned house didn't snuff the sparkle in her eyes.

And advice? I don't really recall any, but it's probably because I always had a 'fast' mouth. I suspect she may have given advice..hesitantly and anticipating my own quick retort....because I know she often said, "I'd slap those teeth down your throat if they hadn't cost me so much money to straighten them!!"

My mother died of cancer when I was 37.
I love you Mommy. And thank you.

More takes on this theme can be found over on ThreeButtons blogroll of players.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

For My Australian Friends

This was at the bottom of a junk email about Pet RX very bizarre.

cockroach Racing
It started in a parking garage. Two men had been arguing all night about their roaches. Drunk and Australian, they decided that the only way to determine who truly possessed ˜the fastest roaches in Brisbane was to retreat to a local parking garage. To the cheers of inebriated fans, they held a race. No one really remembers who won. This is how cockroach racing was born. Every year, in a glorious feat of Australian absurdity, roaches are now raced to the cheers of thousands. The roaches are actually introduced, as at a boxing match, until a bin of them is overturned in the middle of a circle. And at the signal, the box is raised, and these panicked pests make a break for it. The way that Australians figure it, the cockroaches are just as much a part of their culture as kangaroos or koalas - maybe even moreso. At least with roaches, everybody has one. And besides, a cockroach race is a good excuse to drink. It is, therefore, a brilliant idea. Performance-enhancers like coffee, sugar and wine are banned. And anyone who argues with the rules is deemed simply, ˜Not very Australian at all.

Is this for real???

Friday, May 9, 2008

Flashback Friday May 9

Today I'll share a few family pics that have been on the computer for a bit.

My Uncle Joe was someone I never met but I'd say if I'd met him as a young woman ...well, he was darn good looking. He died in India at the end, in fact just after the end, of WWII. Pretty tragic - his plane flew into a mountainside and his remains weren't brought back until 4? 5? years later. He and my Aunt Florence had one son who was two months younger than I was. We fought a lot. ;-) My Aunt Florence never remarried, but was always a fun loving woman but sadly died in her 50s? of Alzheimers.

Joe and Florence( right) w/friends

Here is another pic of them with another couple - possibly in Atlantic City or nearby as they lived in Pennsylvania. I would say it was in the early 40s. Of my mother's siblings who survived childhood, my Uncle Joe was the only one who kept his blond hair.

Joe Florence swim

Pre-war, my uncle worked as a tree trimmer and did a lot of work in upstate NY. This could have been there or in PA or even on their honeymoon?? No notes, and no one left to ask...

Now we go later into the 1940s with a pic of my father taken somewhere in Europe. This is either Sept 17 of 1944 or 1945.

Daddy @  Red Cross - Europe 1944?

And here is the back of the picture with my father's notes. In looking at it after all these years, I found it funny that he commented on his squinting. My first husband was a squinter too! (click to read more easily)

Back Red Cross picture

Happy Vintage weekend to all!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Note the flowers in the Banner

Just a note today that "them's there my peonies " - getting ready to pop. They were in the ground about 3+ years before they appeared as flowers, and darn it , they are not a color I love. Too bad...I'll appreciate what I've got, esp with the long incubation time!! I thought it was time to add a touch of spring to this blog.

I hope I don't miss the flowering with an upcoming trip. The cherry blossom out front bloomed while I was in the 5-day class, and I only saw it coming and going at the ends of the day. Then it rained. Then the ground was covered with matted flowers. Then they dried, and I am still trying to brush them off the bricks and walk.

Mother Nature has a sense of humor!

On My desk..May 7

On My desk..May 7
Originally uploaded by redazadi

A clean table...I finally feel as if my sorting and shuffling is having some effect. This is the tall table and it's the one that has tended to have the most clutter on it, obviously making it hard to do anything creative on it.

The photo, if you click on it, has many notes, but the main project I am working on in the next couple of days will be the two postcards for the SwapBot exchange. Some of the other things are just there cause the left end of the table is where I put things to go downstairs or to the post office.

I have a newsletter to write today and tonight and when I get that off the computer table, I can work on the tabbing of my textbooks. Mary, who organizes the local Jin Shin Jutysu classes, is so very good at making visual teaching aids. She does all this on her own, and is good enough to share her techniques and ideas with our study group. I love you and your talent Mary!!

Ok, less 'puter time today, and back to the fun work. Motto...don't read about it, Do It !!

btw, yesterday was a day of cooking. The kitchen island is my MAIN being a bit of a necessity in life, esp in the life of my dh.

More desks can be found on Kootoyoo's blog . Isn't it fun to see what we all are doing??

Monday, May 5, 2008

A Full Weekend

Lots of things going on, and all nice ones. I realized I was really really tired Friday afternoon, and ended up taking a nap tho when it's 2 hrs that's beyond a nap! It felt good even tho I missed my Artist Way group in Baltimore, but I did take a pic to show I'm still working on my Silliness.

Silly Nanny

Saturday a good friend who is a hvac man came over and finished doing the ductwork that was left undone during the renovation. Our original hvac man got into a huff when he found out he needed a permit in the city of Annapolis. That's how it's done here, hon! This isn't Baltimore! Mike had also come a week earlier and helped clean the cellar out so he could get the duct work in. Thanks soooo much!! A check we were glad to write!
New ductwork will be going in

Then a chance to go out with friends for dinner here in Annapolis. Guess which two were out in the garden in the afternoon? Yep, those two red faces on the right. On the drive back to our house, I had a chance to ride in the Porsche. Made me think about the one I used to have!

4 @ Mikes

Sunday am...a breakfast I've been meaning to make for a while. Unfortunately, Dick had already eaten when I got around to making the eggs in salsa.

Sunday Eggs with Salsa

The eggs are actually poached in the salsa.

eggs in salsa

Then some time enjoying the garden - makes the hard work somewhat worthwhile. ;-)

Pretty Ladies

Finally dinner of pasta with gruyere sauce (upscale mac and cheese), grilled salmon and roasted asparagus. It was so nice to have the new crop of herbs for the salmon marinade - chives and lemon thyme. A really fresh taste.

Grilling Salmon

Uhmmmmmm. Very good and all gone!

Late Spring Dinner

What tops a good weekend more than a new book? Thanks to ??? from the This is ... meme for the recommendation.

Too much history behind me, and I guessed the location of the fence/story right away, but it's a very good book, poignant. Try it! If it was your blog on which I saw this recommendation, tell me and I'll give you credit. ;-)

Sunday, May 4, 2008

This is ...the pair of shoes I'd sleep in...sortof

All in all, I am happier barefoot and if we didn't have an old cat who is prone to regurgitation, I'd be barefoot a lot. But this is as close as it old slippers that are wonderfully warm in the winter with socks and are soon to be replaced by Crocs. But sleep in Crocs??? not hardly.

So thank you HipHop and Banana Bread for this different one.

This is...the pair of shoes I'd sleep in

Wanna see more? Check over at Three Buttons for a long list of players.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Flashback Friday... May 2

MJB Christmas 1945
Originally uploaded by redazadi

I'm sorry but I forget who it was that rec'd the book about the Steiff family. I often wondered in years that followed this shot whether my bear came from that lineage. I loved it because it was so soft plus it was MY size! Actually, he looks larger in this shot.

Looking at that furniture reminds me of how much I disliked so scratchey. You couldn't put your face on it without being pricked by the textures. And for you vintage folk, how about the doilies? My xh used to call them 'tidies' and I know they were crocheted by my Nana. Another item long gone...which I wish I had. Fortunately we have photographs to jog the memory.

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