Saturday, September 21, 2013

Little Free Library #8921 Open

The slanted tiles was not a good option, so I started out by tiering them into steps.  I have some more refining to "finish" them, but I still officially opened my Little Free Library today.

I inaugurated it with 15 books:

An anthology of Native American Folktales
"Stranger at the Gate" ~ Mel White
"The Good Book" ~ Peter Gnomes
"Gilead" ~ Marilynn Robinson
"The Confederacy of Dunces" ~ John Kennedy Toole
"The Celtic Way of Prayer" ~ Esther de Waal
"God: A Biography" ~ Jack Miles
 "All Over But the Shouting"  ~ Rick Bragg
"The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson"
"A Book of Luminous Things: An International Anthology of Poetry" ~ ed. by Czeslaw Milosz
"Weekend Handmade: More than 40 Projects and Ideas for Inspired Crafting" ~ Kelly Wilkinson
"The DaVinci Code" - Dan Brown
"The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry" ~ ed. by Stephen Mitchell
"The Tale of Despereaux" ~ Kate DiCamillo
"Blizzard's Wake" ~ Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

They cover genre's like memoir, fiction, poetry, children's and young adult.  3 won prizes, Pulizter, National Book, Newberry, etc.

It's a beginning.  I can't wait to see what my neighbors contribute!

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Week ~ September 22nd to 29th

Monday, September 16, 2013

My Little Free Library Moves Closer

to reality!
 James, the neighborhood Jack-of-all-Trades came by on Saturday and dug the post hole for me.

 Sunday morning, I placed it with a cement foot.  Cement is heavy!

Latter I addressed 63 flyers for my neighbors to announce it.

Today was a very long day, so I plan to attach the library to the pole tomorrow, and hopefully will be able to work on the "patio," too.  I want leveled steps and a sloping platform.

Chili Con Cerdo Pappardella

Keep it simple is the best way to make Chili.

Country cut boneless pork
Green Bell Pepper
Red Bell Pepper
Red Beans
Diced Tomatoes with Garlic and Oregano
Diced Mild Ro-Tel Tomatoes
McCormick Tex-Mex Chili Seasoning
Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Pappardella Pasta

Spicy served with earthy--green beans.

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Week ~ September 15th to 21st

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Who Talks Like Me?

Red means you do...Blue?  Not so much!  Sorry Elizabeth, New Jersey.

Rising Oceans!

National Geographic Magazine has a very interesting article about the perils of Ice Cap melting.

It inspired me to make a huge map of the Washington, D.C. area from a website that let me down topographical maps in pieces.  This creation involved over 40 pages!  But such is my obsessive nature.

Here are the results of my first coloring:
 Current Sea Level.
 10 Feet higher.
20 Feet higher.
 30 Feet higher.
50 Feet higher.

Hillwood Manor Animal Park!

Living here since 1994, I have seen a definite increase in the number and variety of wild animals that share my natural world.  I live inside the Beltway here in Washington, DC.  So what can you expect to find?  Mind you, these are all animals that have and do regularly traverse my yard or the yards of my IMMEDIATE neighbors.

Squirrels (Gray and Black)
Cotten Tail Rabbits
Ground Hogs/Woodchucks
White Tale Deer
Red Fox
Garter Snakes
Worm Snakes
Grass Snakes
Black Rat Snakes

And so many birds, they hardly merit naming, except for this one seen by Roméo and me for the first time this week, a Wild American Turkey.

Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup

Tonight's repast.

Button and Oyster Mushrooms, Yukon Gold Potatoes, Carrots, Celery, Yellow Onion, Parsley, Nutmeg, Black Pepper, Proscuito and Chicken Stoke.

Creamed with organic flour whisked into half & half, and then also a little whipping cream.

To die for~!

Moroccan Goat Stew (not exactly....)

This is a Mediterranean inspired meal.  The stew is dominated by Cummin, Roasted Paprika and Cinnamon (flavors endemic to the cuisine of Morocco).  If it had been made in Morroco, it would have been made with goat, but I didn't have goat, so a used pork...apologies to Islam.

I accompanied it with cous cous made with strong parsley and golden raisins.  The campari tomatoes where seasoned with oregano, sea salt and black pepper.
The ingredients of the stew are very simple: besides the meat, there is onion, carrot, and pea.  The peas are added at the very end after all the cooking is complete and the heat is turned off.  I used frozen petit peas, and you want them to thaw and heat, but not cook.  You want their sweetness to come through on the palate.

Stuffed Pork Chops!

This was inspired by finding these beautiful THICK pork chops at the local Giant Food grocery.  Then, they had the most beautiful green beans I've every seen, too.  The rest is just a no brainer!

Stuffing savory pork stove top stuffing with freshly chopped scallions and celery, and silver queen corn. Once stuffed the chops are wrapped in apple smoked bacon, surrounded with extra stuffing, and then fresh apple wedges tucked in throughout. baking it at 350˚ for 60 minutes.

Lasagna a la Randuwa!

I saw this image in the New York Times and it was called Lasagna and I thought it looked like

SO I let the idea percolate for a while and then came up with this!

Here the way I did it starting at the bottom.

first layer of noodles
- Ricotta Cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese
- sliced Scallions
second layer of noodles
- Ricotta Cheese
- Italian 6 Cheese mix
- freshly minced Basil
third layer of noodles
- Ricotta Cheese
- Mozzarella Cheese
- Mild Italian Sausage (pre-cooked)
- diced Campari Tomatoes
- diced Green Bell Pepper (just a little)
- Italian 6 Cheese mix
fourth layer of noodles
- Ricotta Cheese
- Italian 6 Cheese mix
- freshly minced Basil
fifth layer of noodles
- ground Nutmeg
- Italian 6 Cheese mix

Baked at 325˚ for 50 minutes. Let stand for 15 minutes. Serve with a topping of more diced Campari Tomatoes, Green Bell Pepper, and Kalamata Olives.

My Little Free Library

The Little Free Library is a movement begun in Wisconsin and Minnesota.  People create a "Little Free Library" and then they place books in it for neighbors to borrow, or take, and a place where they can share a book with others.  You can read more about it here: Little Free Library

Mine was registered as #8921, which I guess would tell you how many others there are that are officially part of the movement as of September 3, 2013.

Here a photographic journey of the creation of mine!

I had 5/8 plywood and used it to cut out the basic parts following the design dimensions that Little Free Library provided on their website.

 Adding the shelf made the structure stronger and gave a place for books taller that 12".

 I used tongue and groove paneling for siding.  I love the stuff.

 Painted the inside with a light yellow to reflect the light.

 All of the colors came from paint that I also had around.  In fact, I didn't spend over $30.00 in extra items to create it.

 I used the free laminate floor sample from Lowe's and Home Depot to use as "shingles" for the roof.

 The post is ready to place in the ground!

 The door was a bit fancy...

 Bit it fit just fine and the placard on the roof is from Little Free Library to identify it as a registered "official" member of the movement.

And, of course, Roméo, was my constant little helper!  Every library needs one.

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Week ~ September 8th to 14th


I have a friend with a wonderful pet bird whose beak was just seriously injured. It gave me cause to seek out information on birds' beaks. Here is what I found in Wikipedia, the attribution is to Temple Grandin (so let's face it, it's completely credible) and while her bird's beak wasn't "trimmed," the information here leads to a larger issue on the subject:

"Because the beak is a sensitive organ with many sensory receptors, beak trimming is "acutely painful" to the birds it is performed on. It is nonetheless routinely done to intensively farmed poultry flocks, particularly laying and broiler breeder flocks, because it helps reduce the damage the flocks inflict on themselves due to a number of stress-induced behaviors, including cannibalism, vent pecking and feather pecking. A cauterizing blade or infrared beam is used to cut off about half of the upper beak and about a third of the lower beak. Pain and sensitivity can persist for weeks or months after the procedure, and neuromas can form along the cut edges. Food intake typically decreases for some period after the beak is trimmed. However, studies show that trimmed poultry's adrenal glands weigh less, and their plasma corticosterone levels are lower than those found in untrimmed poultry, indicating that they are less stressed overall."

Editorial: YOU ALL DO KNOW that when you buy eggs at the grocery store, that UNLESS the carton says CAGE FREE or FREE RANGE, there is every likelihood that the eggs came from debeaked chickens? You did know this, right? I have only bought cage free eggs for years, and for what? A few cents more per egg. Think about it, won't you?

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Bully For All Of Us Who Believe

Left a local market to find this on my truck's window. 

And you know what? 

I love evangelicals--NO, I love zealots. People who risk being made to look as a jackass for what they want others to know, are just wonderful in my book. Now, the cause here is absurd in this case, but that's not the point. I am a zealot for ideas, and evangelist for poetry, plants, I proselytize for reality, for truth, for ideas, intelligence, community. And that's absurd for many people, too!