Sunday, September 27, 2015


In Honor of This Evening's Blood Moon Eclipse

I am not sorry...and I just couldn't resist making this meme!!

My Dog, My Bestest Buddy Ever!

A couple of shorts from our errands today!
In some former life I must have been some kind of amazing goddamn saint to have deserved such kharma in this life!  He is bestest buddy ever, my pearl of great price...  Truly.

Sweep The Creek

Today was a day of cleaning up trash in the creek.  Volunteers from the neighborhood and organizations like Girl Scouts and Friends of Sligo Creek organized battalions of trash bag carrying do-gooders to comb the rocks and crooks and crannies for garbage.  It's a tradition.

Jerusalem Artichokes In The Park

Golly, I love these beautiful flowers.  They have grown on the flood plains along the trail for years and always seem to be the final "Hallelujah" of summer.

A Bacon-Wrapped Open Burrito for Breakfast!

I started by cutting up a couple of slices of bacon into bits and frying it. 
Removed from the grease and added one small potato cubed. 
Cooked until browned and removed. 
Added half a red and half a green pepper diced and one small onion diced and after about 30 seconds returned the potatoes and bacon and then added two eggs scrambled, turned off the heat and stirred until the eggs had all set. 

Next, I placed a layer of cheddar cheese up the middle of a large tortilla shell.
Sprinkled a little taco seasoning and added half the egg mixture, more cheese,more seasoning, the rest of the egg mixture more cheese. 
Closed the tortilla and wrapped it with a slice of bacon, sprinkled some more cheese on top and baked it at 425 for 10-12 minutes.  You want the bacon the be cooked.

I could easily feed two and honestly with some fruit or yogurt you could serve this and cut it into quarters and know that you and your three friends were ready to face the day!

Sloppy Joe's The RIght Way!

I slow roast the beef the day before with carrots, onions, celery, potatoes and mushrooms (4 hours covered @ 275˚).  Pull it the next day.  Add red and green peppers and a new onion (none of the former veggies are included--I eat them separately).  Then I add Manwich sauce and a 1/4 cup of brown sugar along with a little 1/4 cup of the broth from the roast.  I set in on low (2.0 on my electric stove) covered and forget about it for a couple of hours.  Then I take the cover off and click the temp up just a little so that it reduces some of the moisture until it's ready.

Toasted the role and grabbed some red seedless grapes.  Life doesn't have to be complicated to be amazing.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Best Parts!

So I bought a beef roast to cook and you can't cook a beef roast without using it to also make amazing potatoes and carrots, right? The cooked roast is intended for pulled beef sloppy Joe's tomorrow and the reward of it is potatoes and carrots for dinner today! As I shared on the cooking group I belong to, as a kid (and still!) this is my favorite part of the roast beef. And the carrots must be eating on nice buttered homemade bread! Oh, my! Happy tummy!

Busy Week in the Park #2 - The Offensive Teens Incident

This is the playground.
Imagine the deer are 18 to 20 year old boys
Went to the park with Romeo after work today. Three or four young guys were hanging out on the children's playground equipment when we arrived. One of them shouted something to me and I looked at them--didn't get a good look. The shouter appeared to be taller than the others, and the two that I did see better seemed to be Hispanic or Anglo, maybe wearing school uniforms? (There's a Parochial Catholic High School near the park called Our Lady of Perpetual Sorrows)

I didn't hear what the kid said and so sincerely called back, "What?" and then the taunting and comments exploded--very adolescent shit. Mocking me. Sexual innuendoes. Laughter and self-adulation for his clever repartee surrounded by his buddies' affirmations. I just ignored them at that point and yet, the "alpha dude" continued to yell at me, even after I was over the bridge and pretty much out of sight. I heard them mock others on the trail at that point. A female jogger ran up to where Romeo and I were and then slowed down. It seemed clear to me that she was working to get some distance from them. Then a bike rider came after her, slowing down once he crossed the second bridge.

Romeo and I continued on our walk and did our stuff and returned to the park about 20 minutes later, only to be accosted again. I completely ignored them at this point. We drove home, and I called the police. I explained the situation, how it was inappropriate and threatening behavior with jeers of a sexual nature in a park children frequent. I mentioned the recent attacks of cabbies by a group of young men and made it clear that I expected a police response. Not five minutes later a patrol car sped past my home in the direction of the park.

Now, I can assure you that no cop in Takoma Park is gonna fly down there and shoot these fools, but enough is enough. You don't get to act like assholes and threaten others just because you have too much testosterone and need to masturbate instead of pissing on strangers to impress your friends.

Busy Week In The Park #1 - The Chow Chow Incident

It was a picture perfect day here in the Nation's capital, and I had a holiday for Yom Kippur.  With the Pope in town, I chose to lay low.  The big event of the day?  A walk in the park with Romeo. 

We got there around noon and the place was empty.  As we approached the first bring a trio of young men (18-20ish) came across the bridge.  They were Latino and dressed in sportswear.  All were fit and the stockiest one wore a "wife beater" and had a large furry rust-colored Chowchow.  As they neared he sort of let his dog get closer to Romeo, and I responded in kind because Romeo was wagging his tail.   They went nuzzle to nuzzle and did their friendly sniffing. 

I said, "As long as their tales keep waging, right?"  He acknowledged the comment and let it stand.

Then the guy said, "C'mon.  Let's go," and he gave a little tug to his dogs leash.

And then Romeo just erupted in 6 aggressive barks in 2 seconds.  The young man's dog was stunned and he pulled him back quickly even as I called out "Romeo!" and pulled him back.

The young man made immediate eye contact with me, and the look in his eyes sort of said, "What The Fuck!  You want a piece of this, Papi?!"

One of his buddies said to him, "It's your fault, man.  You said 'c'mon'".  (Blessed are the peacemakers, eh?)

I said, "Sorry." 

Then I looked at Romeo and he was like smelling clover as if nothing had just happened or even better the thing that just happened had nothing to do with him!  What a moock!  

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Week ~ September 27th through October 3rd

Friday, September 25, 2015

What I'm Reading #88

I am not a great fan of cookbooks. I have a few and the one's I have I cherish. (recipes, on the other hand are another thing entirely, right?) But I do own some cookbooks. One series that inspires me and has proven to be trustworthy is the World Kitchen books published in the United Kingdom by none other than Murdoch Publishing (Rupert Murdoch, progenitor of FOX TV). They are designed to feature the cuisine of a particular nation. I started with Morocco, and then came Thailand, followed by Italy. I don't think they are in print anymore and exploring them on Amazon can be a sobering experience! At one point the only available copies of the France version were nearly $500.00.

So imagine my delight when I was able to acquire it recently for less than $30 as new? I am thrilled and plan to spend quality time this weekend exploring it's culinary gifts.

What I'm Listening to #120

This past week the Canadian Polaris Music Awards were given and the album of the year was "Power In The Blood" by Buffy Saint Marie. I can tell you that only a handful of albums in my life have so moved me:

"The Rhythm of the Saints" by Paul Simon and that because it was given to me by a friend on the eve of my trip to Brazil.
"The Rising" by Bruce Springsteen after 9/11
"Revolution Starts Now" by Steve Earl in response to the War on Terrorism

This album is the same sort of revelation. May I be half as badass when I'm 74 years old!

Another One Bites The Dust....

I have to say, I'm no particular fan of John Boehner. I was still surprised and impressed by his decision to resign. He was so happy at his news conference---Zippity do dah? Seriously! Loved it. And here the deal. The people in the Republican Party who the true assholes are a fringe minority of Tea Party members. Why aren't they just there own freaking party?

There are 435 members of the House of Representatives. 218 members is the critical number to get a majority. If the 48 Tea Party members were really interested in governing, they would continue to muck around in the Republican party. They would form their own political party, and it wouldn't hurt them one bit! If they did this the House party affiliation numbers would look like this:

199 members of the Republicans
188 members of the Democrats
48 members of the Tea Party

The House leader would likely be a reasonable Republican. Everyone could vote their conscience. There would be a Tea Party leader and leadership roster to spout their rhetoric to the press. And government would WORK!

Sunday, September 20, 2015


I'm loving all this Rethuglian foolishness. Trump--what a maroon! For years I taught writing to 4th and 5th graders. There comes a point where many sort of burst into filling pages with words, but don't really say anything. It's very reminiscent of the Donald on the stump. I would tell my students that if I can take the topic of what they've written and switch in another one--and it STILL makes sense--then they need to do better.

Let's apply this technique to something Trump has said. Let's use his statements about the Bible. Here's his quote:

The Bible, is special. The Bible, the more you see it, the more you read it, the more incredible it is. I don’t like to use this analogy, but like a great movie, a great, incredible movie. You’ll see it once it will be good. You’ll see it again. You can see it 20 times and every time you’ll appreciate it more. The Bible is the most special thing.

Now let's change the word "Bible":

The Gay Porn, is special. The Gay Porn, the more you see it, the more you read it, the more incredible it is. I don’t like to use this analogy, but like a great movie, a great, incredible movie. You’ll see it once it will be good. You’ll see it again. You can see it 20 times and every time you’ll appreciate it more. The Gay Porn is the most special thing.

You know, in this case, I'd be willing to say that the edited version actually makes more sense....

Don't Feed The Animals....

My redesign of the French Meme...

Random Quote #209

A Wonderful Supper

I came across this pic and recipe in the New York Times Food section, and I used it to inspire my supper.


4 garlic cloves, minced, plus 1 garlic clove, cut in half
 Salt to taste (about 2 teaspoons)
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon dried thyme, or a few sprigs fresh thyme
½ cup pasta, such as elbow macaroni, orecchiette or fusilli
1 cup frozen peas
4 slices country-style bread, cut in half, or 8 slices baguette, lightly toasted
2 large eggs, beaten
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
 Ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped freshparsley
2 to 3 tablespoons freshly gratedParmesan or Gruyère cheese


  1. Bring 6 1/2 cups water to a boil in a 3- or 4-quart saucepan. Add minced garlic, salt, bay leaf and thyme. Cover and simmer 15 minutes. Taste and adjust salt. Remove bay leaf, and fresh thyme sprigs, if using. (Dried thyme will be difficult to remove.)
  2. Add pasta to pot. Stir, cover and simmer until al dente, about 5 to 10 minutes, depending on pasta type. Stir from time to time so that pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot. Add peas and simmer 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, rub toasted bread slices with cut garlic clove and place 2 pieces in each bowl.
  4. Beat together eggs and olive oil. Temper the egg: Spoon 2 ladlefuls of the hot soup into eggs and stir together.
  5. Turn off heat under soup and slowly stir in tempered egg mixture. Add pepper and parsley. Ladle soup into bowls over bread, sprinkle cheese over the top and serve.
I served mine with homemade Ham Salad on fresh Baguette medallions.

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Week ~ September 20th through September 26th

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Big Haul At The Farmer's Market

Not a bad haul today from the Farmer's Market.  And it was PACKED to the gills!  At one point I noticed this thirty-something Hispanic women.  She was placing white peaches into a bag.  After selecting 6 she briefly looked up at me.  We made eye contact, and then she just walked off into the crowd.  What? I thought, like did I just see what I thought I saw? 

 I followed her.  She was in a bit of hurry, but with the crush of people, she couldn't move inconspicuously and quickly.  half a dozen or so booths away from the one with the peaches I called out in her direction: "Excuse me!"

She and a couple dozen other people all looked at me and her face sank.  I asked in a very loud voice, "Did you plan to pay for those peaches or just steal them?"

"Oh, oh, I'm sorry," she said, "I'm sorry."  And she turned with her many bags including the peaches and headed back toward the peach farm booth.  She kept saying, "I'm sorry.  I'm sorry..." as I followed her and I said, "I don't care if you're sorry.  I don't need you to be sorry.  I want you to not be a thief!" 

She did one more strange thing.  When she got the peach farm booth, she dropped all over her other bags on the ground under a table just outside the booth and took only the bag with the peaches to the pay.  And I noticed that when she pulled her red snap purse out of her skirt, she pulled out a wad of $20's.  Once she paid, I just walked away.

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Week ~ September 13th through September 19th

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Monday, September 07, 2015

The Sky--Upside-down

Shrimp Mozambique!~

Shrimp Mozambique (Camarão Moçambique):
(serves 4-6)
2 lbs frozen, deveined, easy peel shrimp (do not remove peel)
1 stick butter
1/2 lg. onion, finely diced
6 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
1 Tbs. crushed red pepper, heaping
1 beer (12 oz)
kosher salt to taste


In a medium pot, melt one stick of butter.  Add in onions, saute for about 5 minutes.  Add in garlic, saute an additional 5 minutes.  Add in a pinch of salt.  Add in Azafran, stir.  Add in crushed red pepper, stir.  Add in frozen shrimp, stir to coat shrimp in sauce.  Add in beer, stir, cover and bring to a boil.  Once it comes to a boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 8-12 minutes. Taste for salt, add if needed.  Serve over a bed of white rice.

Southern Pimiento Cheese Burger

I'd never heard of this until recently on the NPR program "The Splendid Table".  The host, Lynn Rosetta Casper has a pair of regular guests who send in reports from the "road" as they criss cross America in search of authentic regional cuisine (who wouldn't love that job!?)
I dressed it with lettuce, pickle relish and the pimiento cheese.  It was not unlike a Big Mac, but better!

Pimiento Cheese:  In a food processor mix the following

6 OZ grated cheddar cheese
6 OZ Philadelphia Cream Cheese
half a cup of mayonnaise
1 small jar of pimientos (drained)

Whiz it up until it's well mixed and fairly smooth.  I'll never miss the little glass jar of Kraft Pimiento again!

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Volunteer Torenia

As the Gardens slow with the fading summer, surprises still happen.  Here a little volunteer Torenia thrives in the space between the walkway bricks.

Postcard Round-UP

Postcards from friends over the past week or so...  Don't you love getting a postcard in the mail?!

From a friend who lives in southeastern Ohio. 
From an Alaskan friend who is vacationing in Hawaii. 
From a Kentucky friend.  I suggested that he start using conditioner. 
From Grandfather Mountain North Carolina.

Sunday Funny

Romeo's Big Day

It started with a bath and then a walk in the park.  Once everything down there was deemed secured and buckled up and headed off to PetSmart for a "Pet-icure"!
Once buckled in, Romeo usually rides sitting up and totally tuned in to the trip.

On the way home, he's pretty tuckered out.  But he has his new bag of kibbles so the trauma of the clipping and grinding is all ameliorated.

Pride Birthdays and Memorials for the Week ~ September 6th through September 12th