Saturday, July 31, 2010

Grateful doesn't cover it.

My good friend, blogger, TV and radio personality Sheletta Brundidge did me the biggest favor.  She drove down here from St. Paul with her 3-year-old pistol, I mean son, to speak to my Middle Schoolers about careers.  But she did more than that.  She talked to them about their DREAMS and their UNIQUE TALENT.  She told them that they each had something special to offer the world.  They listened to her, really listened to her, in ways I haven't seen in a while.

Then a few days later she was laid off from 107.1.!!!!  Her show has been replaced with a corporate package featuring The Gayle King show - yes, Oprah's best friend Gayle King!  Now why in the world some corporate egghead thinks that the Twin Cities would rather listen to Gayle King who doesn't know us, doesn't understand us, and never has to scrape ice and snow off her windshield just to get to work, is beyond me.  Sheletta was a local, who knew the local scene and the local buzz.  Crazy.

Remember my Steak ala Nonna?  I forgot to mention that the red wine I used was from dear friend MG.  Don't you think the label is appropriate??  I'm grateful for good humor and MG.  But I wish he'd add to his blog more often than every 6 months.

And finally feeling very very grateful that I'm not a migrant farm worker.  Last week I spent a few hours in the hot sun being swarmed by mosquitoes to pick a flat of red raspberries.  All the while I was thinking how lucky I could do this for fun, and that I could walk away whenever I wanted to and drive back to my air conditioned home.  Feeling sad that anyone would have to do this year round just to keep food in their children's bellies.

Also feeling grateful that my batch of low-sugar jam turned out pretty darned good.  Think I'll make more.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What does that even MEAN?

Why are Asians spamming my blog?  Why would anyone go to a whole lot of trouble to spam American blogs in a language not typically read by Americans?  Spanish Spamming I could almost understand, but Asian characters?
Ever clicked through one?  What's at the other end?  I heavily suspect a virus that will result in porn pop-ups.

Great Post - click here for enjoying fun!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Steak ala Nonna

Great recipe to share, from my mother-in-law Nonna, which means Grandma in Italian.  This is a great way to make a normal size steak feed an entire family.  We've had it twice this summer, after sirloin was on sale for $3.99 a pound.  Not before!

You'll need:
A plate sized steak: skirt, sirloin, whatever.  Better without a bone.
Fresh garlic - I used 3 cloves - chopped
EEVO - about 1/4 cup or more
Chili sauce - about 1/4 - 1/2 cup
Red wine - about 1/4 to 1/2 cup
Soy Sauce - about 3T
Wor Sauce - about 1 T

In a small sauce pan, heat the EVOO.  Add the garlic and cook slightly but don't brown.  Add the chili sauce, wine, soy, and wor. sauce.  Let this simmer while the alcohol cooks off.
Meanwhile, grill the steak to medium.  When it's done, let it rest for just a moment, then slice against the grain and put slices on a platter.  Pour the hot marinade over.  DIG IN!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Lost my political edge?

I've noticed my post are taking on a rather bland Suzy Homemaker theme.  It appears my political rancor has cooled down for the time being.  But never fear - I'm still watching with my keen powers of observation and razor-tongued wit at the ready.

So Michelle Bachmann wants to be the Tea Party Chairman??  GO FOR IT Michelle!!  And leave behind your congressional seat to an actual human.  Did you read that she and her like minded slack jaws are threatening to "fully investigate this administration" after their big wins in November?  Great, just what this nation needs . . . . Michelle Bachmann and Glenn Beck chasing black liberal phantoms down ever dark dead-end alley with the mainstream media panting and drooling right behind them.  Thing of it is, they are good at it.

Anyone else notice that Sarah Palin is starting to look like a Carol Burnett character?

Seriously, her makeup is getting more extreme, what with her drawn over eyebrows and heavily lined lips.
I don't even think she's a real woman.  I think she and Michelle Bachman are products of some Stepford-Wife factory.  Her software needs a virus scan - that's where words like "refudiate" come from.

And just how the $^&$%$& does anyone come to the conclusion that the BP spill is Obama's fault?  After 8 long years of oil men letting oil men be oil men, with no oversight IN sight, they want to blame it on Obama?  Then they want Obama's head on a platter for making BP pay for it?  If President Obama had ordered the military into that area immediately, they would have had the Tea Partiers shouting in tongues about loss of civil rights.

I'm sorry, I just can't live with these people.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Like Blogger Like Daughter

While uploading photos, I discovered that our now 11-year-old cupcake is following in Mom's footsteps and photographing her food.  She used to have a blog (really!).  Perhaps there is another foodie blogger just waiting to bust out, again.  Guess this baked apple didn't fall far from the tree.

Her 4th of July fruit pizza

The day she was craving s'mores but it was too wet for a campfire.

Ok, this last one is mine but I had to sneak it in here.  First batch of pesto!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Never throw anything away

Saddest cute thing happened at work today.

First, we've had this bottle of vegetable oil lingering around our supplies.  No one knows where it came from. We finally decided we'd throw it out at the end of the school day.

Also, while the Middle Schoolers are my responsibility, things come up during the day and we all pitch in no matter our original assignments.

Mid morning, a teacher brings in the sweetest little kindergarten boy who wasn't feeling so hot.  So we had him lay down in our "sick child" area with a pillow and blanket.  This space is right next to the cart full of outdoor toys and other recess equipment.

When his teacher comes to check on him, he sheepishly and tearfully shows us his problem.  He has fingers from BOTH HANDS wedged tight into a whiffle ball!
Those tiny digits were swollen and painful.
I took one look and said "Where's that vegetable oil!".
We parked him over the garbage can and poured about 1 cup of the grease over his hands, mine, and the ball. While big fat tears rolled down his face I tugged those tiny fingers from their plastic prison.

Right then we declared "We are NOT throwing out the vegetable oil!"

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Too Big to Succeed

Ever think the good ole USA is just too darned big to succeed?
Europeans are always mocking our outrageous elections, our ongoing infighting, our inability to agree on anything, and our soccer team.

We have almost 310 million people here, some of them actual humans.  Germany's got a mere 82 million, England has maybe 60 million, Sweden has a tiny 9 million if you can stay ahead of the suicide counts.  China has over 3 BILLION folks but they are all, well, Chinese and not an enormous tossed salad of cultures and colors like America.

How in the world can Blue Minnesota ever come to a meeting of the minds with Alabama?  How can Massachusetts ever compromise with Arizona?

What would happen if we actually did what the Rebels of the 1860's proposed and enforce strong state's rights - strong enough to be considered nations?  What if we actually divided into smaller nations, say the Southeast, the Midwest, the West, etc.?  What if the anti-tax folks actually had to live in their own stink, plow their own roads, and school their own kids?  How long before they come streaming, armed, over our borders to take a chunk of our universal medical care, clean water, public education, state universities, and safe parks?

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Superior Vacation

Back from our week in Duluth on the shores of Lake Superior.

Our beach house/cottage combo was groovy.  A good hike over the dunes and we were right on the shores of Park Point - the largest freshwater beach in the world.  The decor was eclectic and I loved it - lots of little collected treasures and original art.  The kitchen was better than mine at home!

Can't go to Duluth without spending time in Canal Park.  Here are the cousins doing what the Corps of Engineers expressly forbids - hanging onto the famous lift bridge.

Of course there were campfires and s'mores.  One night all the kids and I even got the wild idea to sleep on the beach.  But the wind proved too strong and I froze my ass off and went in at 1:30am.  We Minnesotans were put to great shame when the NYC kids lasted out there until 5:30am.

I could watch these ships all day.

No trip to Duluth is complete without some time on the rocks of Canal Park skipping stones.

We had to try out the new Alpine Coaster at Spirit Mtn.  Here I am about to have a cardiac arrest. 


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Headed Up North

Packing packing packing for our week-long visit to beautiful Lake Superior.  We're meeting Johnny C's NY Italian family there.  As I told you here, they are very different from us, so this should be interesting.    We've got a beach house almost directly in from the rainbow pictured above.

We plan to spend lots of time on the beach.  Otherwise we'll be hiking and picnicking.  What will we eat you ask??  Cuz that's pretty important in my world.  For the first 24 hours I'm packing homegrown lettuce, beans, and basil.  Also homemade pasta salad, egg salad, pesto, cookie dough, burgers, etc.  And plenty of coffee and iced tea - you betcha!

And in case you're wondering Dr. Monkey, we should make it home just before the first blizzards of winter.
See you all next week!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Empty Head

My blog has become a veritable wasteland.  So sorry dear readers.  My brain isn't exactly empty, but rather full of a demanding summer job.  Or maybe it's just that I can't solidify my thoughts into a good thumping post.

But never fear, there are lots of good ideas swimming around in there.  And I still owe you photos from my blogger get-together.  By the time I post them everyone's hair-do will be out of style.

We're headed to Duluth and stunning Lake Superior for a week.   That place is magical - there's just something about the northwoods that sets my soul singing.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Beach Friday #2

Another successful Beach Friday!

Friday July 2nd we ventured to Schulze Lake Beach in Lebanon Hills Regional Park, 800 block of Cliff Road in Eagan.  Took two extra kids, a picnic lunch, and plenty of sunscreen.  The weather was perfect.

My only reservation: it was crowded and I mean CROWDED with little kids.  Like being in an overrun kiddie pool.  At one point, we ventured outside the ropes to do some kid-free water buffaloing and dang if those rugrats didn't follow us with their squirt guns and floaties.  Sometimes I hate kids.

Probably would have been better if I'd ignored the no-alcohol signs and brought some mojitos.  The smokers sure ignored the rules - guess "Smoking Allowed in Parking Lot Only" means "Go ahead and light right up among the crowds of toddlers and babies on the beach".

I need to bring my camera and get actual photos - what kind of irresponsible blogger does a series and doesn't bring their camera along?  A slacker blogger that's who.

Next week will be either St. Croix or a downtown Minneapolis location.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

A Sad 4th

One of my best online friends, Marie aka The Attentive Aphorist.
died last night after long months of serious medical issues.
Her wit and compassion will be sorely missed.
Rest in Peace Marie.

Friday, July 2, 2010