Quote of the Day


it fits!

We received this as a shower gift and finally grew into it! Thank you Gma TwoChas!


no posts


:: too hot ~ we are having a heat wave. All the way to the low 90s. Don't laugh ~ we are acclimated to 60s and 70s, so this is a lot for us. To get a feel for it, figure your average summer day temperature and add 20 degrees. See? It is hot.

:: too sick ~ no pool for me. I've been in bed with a sore throat all weekend. Whaa. Feeling too poorly to even blog, though not to poorly to watch Dae Jang Guem.



birthday wishes

Chickadee's birthday is coming up in July. She is eagerly awaiting the arrival of dolly (remember the great dolly hunt?)

So, dolly clothes for an 18-inch dolly would make a great birthday present, as would a contribution to "The Expressionists" Summer Art Camp at Pace Atelier, as would hair clippies. She doesn't need clothes or stuffed animals.



works for me: 9 literary podcasts

In keeping with my podcast list series, here are 9 literary podcasts that work for me.

1. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
2.Bronte's Jane Eyre, lots of Doyle's Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and more
3.Classic Poetry Aloud ~ he even takes requests!
4. Classic Tales ~ includes a Jack London and a G. K. Chesterton
5. Jane Austin: Northanger Abbey and Persuasion
6. Poem of the Day ~ from the Poetry Foundation
7. Poem of the Day ~ with ads, alas
8.Pride and Prejudice ~ 60 segments for your listening pleasure
9. Summaries of The Scarlet Letter, Frankenstein, Robinson Crusoe, Pride & Prejudice ~ each in less than 30 minutes


My other Works for Me posts.



Go here for maximum cuteness.

Head-to-Toe Beauty Secrets: Face

Facial Beauty Secret #1: Eyebrows ~ go pay to have someone do them right and then, every morning after you brush your teeth, pluck out 2 encroaching offenders. You can handle two plucks a morning and if you keep up with it, you won't lose the line that was properly selected by someone who knew what they are doing. Anyway, if your eyebrows are tidy, you look well-groomed.

Facial Beauty Secret #2: Smile ~ Forget the fancy-dancy whitening strips and toothpastes. Just grab your Baking Soda, dip your brush in, and brush your teeth for that just-polished feeling and a natural whitening.

(Just leave a box in the bathroom. If you notice the sink needs scouring, just shake some baking soda in, scrub it a bit with your washcloth that was heading for the laundry anyway, and rinse. How easy is that?)

Facial Beauty Secret #3: Make-up ~ if you wear it, wear a quality foundation and bargain everything else. Get your mascara cheaply enough that you can toss it every 3 months for hygiene reasons. In case you really want to know, I wear Lancome Photogenic Ultra-Comfort Skin-Illuminating Makeup for foundation and whatever drug store color (mascara, blush, lipstick, etc.) catches my fancy. Currently I'm liking Almay's i-color Bring out the Green Line and Burt's Bees Coffee Lip Shimmer.



eeps deja ju

Remember the class I didn't know I was teaching? It happened again. Good thing I had already canceled my outing for today as I am feeling poorly. It's even worse this time: last time I got a week's notice; this time class started last Thursday.

The good news is that I'll get a wee bit of money for the class. It only has 3 students so the pay will be slashed, but every little bit helps, and it is a course I enjoy: American Literature.

fruit crisp

This super yummy recipe is derived from an Apricot Crisp recipe which I found at The Smitten Kitchen. I altered it to work with other fruits. Pear would be really good when they come into season.

Awesome Fruit Crisp

Combine in a pretty baking dish:
About 1 pound of Fruit ~ a mixture of fresh and canned is fine
Sugar to taste ~ you just want to take the tart off, nothing more
1 T flour ~ add a bit more if working with an especially juicy fruit
1 t Spice (nutmeg, cinnamon, etc.) or Extract (vanilla, almond, etc.)

Combine in bowl:
½ to 1 stick butter, melted
6 T pearl sugar
½ C whole oats, toasted
¼ C white flour
¼ C whole wheat flour
½ t salt
3 T sliced almonds

Pour this over the fruit.

Bake at 350 F for about 35 minutes.




God in All

He inspires all.
He gives life to all.
He dominates all.
He supports all.
He lights the light of the sun.
He furnishes the light of the night.
He has made springs in dry land.
He is the God of heaven and earth,
of sea, and rivers,,
of sun, moon and stars,
of the lofty mountain and the lowly valley,
the God above heaven,
and in heaven,
and under heaven.
~ St. Patrick

from The Wisdom of the Celts, compiled by David Adam



I wonder how long will this last . . .

. . . as I rather like it.

A conversation with my daughter:
Me: Honey, when you wear a strong color -- like hot pink -- you need to break it with white, or it's too much.
Chickadee: So no hot pink pants with hot pink shirt?
Me: Right.
Chickadee: Oh Mama, (throws her arms around my neck and kisses me) thank you so much for telling me.



canning know how

As the season moves forward, I'll try to share my canning know-how with you. In the meantime, enjoy these:

:: The Simple Woman's Cannery. Currently she is featuring a very helpful post on Pressure Canners.

:: Canned Laughter She has a nice quick pickle recipe up right now.

What are your favorite canning blogs?



Dae Jang Geum

See these?

If someone offers to loan the Dae Jang Geum series to you, run. Because if you watch just one you will want to watch just one more and then just one more and so one. Each set has 6 3-hour discs and there are 3 sets!

The story revolves around the lives of the court ladies aka cooks in old Korea. The plot line is engaging, the costuming beautiful, and the cooking exquisite. Alas, it takes a toll on real life where I am over-tired (from staying up too late), my appearance is frumpy, and the cooking is not happening at all.

I sat down to watch them Sunday afternoon as I was fairly current on my housework and physically spent from stripping down and reconfiguring three rooms (bedroom, playroom, office) last week. I thought I'd take a little break. The break has lasted 3 days now.

As I said, run away.


:: this post is included in the Movie Monday roundup hosted by Missy Frye.


works for me? tomato

It's time to report on our annual exercise in futility: tomato growing. Last year, inspired by Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle I planted all sorts of gorgeous sounding plants (from a big box store, I am ashamed to admit) into too-small pots filled with garden soil. Yes, you are right, I didn't have a clue what I was doing. However did you guess??

The unhealthy plants, with the cramped roots, and the disease ridden soil combined to produce decay and despair.

But not this year. This year I ordered heirloom seeds from Seeds of Change, including the coveted Silvery Fir Tree tomato from Russia, and planted them in fresh organic potting soil,
bought them their own little warming hut, and cooed over them daily. All was well, until they all wilted and died.

No, I will not be dissuaded. I ordered 8 lovely tomato plants from The Tomato Girl
and was delighted to receive 5 extras. They plants are big and robust, though a bit jet-lagged which is understandable, so I followed the detailed directions exactly and let them rest up a bit. I even played a lot of classical music for them (most Chopin if you are curious). When they perked up a bit, we began supervised outings, venturing cautiously back into the land of sun and breeze. I unbundled them today and they are at this moment enjoying a spa-like soak in a bucket of Alaskan Fish Fertilizer.

As the plants begin to look stout (TomatoGirl's term) we will start to plant them. Some are going into the vegie garden with layers of newspaper and grass-clippings to prevent splash-up and the rest are going into growbags.

What's a growbag? It is a thrifty alternative to a planter. It's a cool summer here this year (that's saying a lot as I usually put on shorts at 60 degrees and whinge about the heat at 85), so I want the plants near the house so that they can benefit from the stucco's heat-retention. I didn't want to buy, tote, nor store oodles of gigantic pots, so we are trying growbags. I'll let you know how it goes.

Here are the tomatoes that I am growing from The Tomato Girl:
:: Anna Russian

:: German Pink
:: Carbon (pictured)
:: Ananas Noir
:: Sarah Black
:: Persimmon
:: Yellow Perfection
:: Clementine (thanks to Hanna over at This Garden is Illegal)
:: Garden Peach

:: Big Rainbow
:: Matt's Wild Cherry (pictured)

:: Early Giant
:: Wanda's Potato Leaf

:: Black Bell Peppers
:: Fooled You Jalapeño Peppers
:: Black Beauty Eggplants
:: Kumari Sri Lanka Eggplants
:: Round Mauve Eggplants

So how, you may ask, is this a Works for Me post? I shamelessly lured you over here with the hope that you will share what works for you. I implore you, if you have any tomato wisdom, please share. I really really want this to be my year.

My other Works for Me posts.


Head-to-Toe Beauty Secrets: Skin

Beautiful Skin Secret #1: Top secret to great skin? WATER ~ drink it up!

Did you know that:

1. 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. (Likely applies to half the world population.)
2. In 37% of Americans, the thirst mechanism is so weak that it is mistaken for hunger.
3. Even MILD dehydration will slow down one's metabolism as 3%.
4. One glass of water will shut down midnight hunger pangs for almost 100% of the dieters studied in a University of Washington study.
5. Lack of water, the #1 trigger of daytime fatigue.
6. Preliminary research indicates that 8-10 glasses of water a day could significantly ease back and joint pain or up to 80% of sufferers.
7. A mere 2% drop in body water can trigger fuzzy short-term memory, trouble with basic math, and difficulty focusing on the computer screen or on a ! printed page.
8. Drinking 5 glasses of water daily decreases the risk of colon cancer by 45%, plus it can slash the risk of breast cancer by 79%., and one is 50% less likely to develop bladder cancer.
~ shamelessly lifted from Bits & Pieces

Beautiful Skin Secret #2: sleep ~'tis called beauty sleep for a reason. Turn the computer off and go to bed.

Beautiful Skin Secret#3: Remember how amazingly light and pretty your windows were after you washed them? It's the same with your skin after you exfoliate. Get that dead skin out of here! You know, don't you, that dust is mostly dead skin? If you don't want it sitting around your house, why on earth would you leave it clinging to your skin? There are a zillion products to try. I recommend using something mild enough to use daily. Because an exfoliant does not stay on your skin long enough to be absorbed -- as compared to lotions -- you should use the cheapest one you are happy with. Just use one.

In case you care, I use LUSH's Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser, but as we are on a real tight budget right now I probably will replace it with a drug store product when I run out. I use it every day or two.
Angels on Bare Skin Cleanser

Beautiful Skin Secret #4: lotions and potions ~ buy the cheapest make-up (except foundation) you can get away with and the best skin-care you can afford. Lotions, creams, and foundations are absorbed into your body and you don't want junk in there. I used Clinque until I was 30, Lancome until I was in my early 40s, and LUSH for the last few years. I'm pretty happy with my skin. I switched over to LUSH from Lancome because it was cheaper and the ingredient list is more wholesome and I like the results better. I use these: Mirror Mirror, Gorgeous, and Skin's Shangri La Moisturizer.

Mirror Mirror Moisturizer Gorgeous Moisturizer Skin's Shangri La Moisturizer

Beautiful Skin Secret #5: If I could only have one beauty product it would be Dream Cream Body Cream. It is hands-down the best body cream I have ever used. It soothes bug bites and sunburns and miscellaneous rashes that I am prone to, softens crusty feet, makes sun & chlorine dried skin look glowy, and can be used as a make-up remover in a pinch. I can never have too many little pots of dream cream (hinty-hint-hint).
Dream Cream Body Cream