Monday, May 30, 2011

a hot Memorial Day

The White House
Office of the Press Secretary

Prayer for Peace, Memorial Day, 2011

     For over two centuries, brave men and women have laid down their lives in defense of our great Nation.  These heroes have made the ultimate sacrifice so we may uphold the ideals we all cherish.  On this Memorial Day, we honor the generations of Americans who have fought and died to defend our freedom.
     Today, all who wear the uniform of the United States carry with them the proud legacies of those who have made our Nation great, from the patriots who fought at Lexington and Concord to the troops who stormed the beaches at Normandy.  Ordinary men and women of extraordinary courage have, since our earliest days, answered the call of duty with valor and unwavering devotion.  From Gettysburg to Kandahar, America's sons and daughters have served with honor and distinction, securing our liberties and laying a foundation for lasting peace.
     On this solemn day in which Americans unite in remembrance of our country's fallen, we also pray for our military personnel and their families, our veterans, and all who have lost loved ones.  As a grateful Nation, we forever carry the selfless sacrifice of our fallen heroes in our hearts, and we share the task of caring for those they left behind.
     In his second Inaugural Address, in the midst of the Civil War, President Lincoln called on our embattled Nation "to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just, and a lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations."  On this Memorial Day, and every day, we bear a heavy burden of responsibility to uphold the founding principles so many died defending.  I call on all Americans to come together to honor the men and women who gave their lives so that we may live free, and to strive for a just and lasting peace in our world.
     In honor of our fallen service members, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, as amended (36 U.S.C. 116), has requested the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer.  The Congress, by Public Law 106 579, has also designated 3:00 p.m. local time on that day as a time for all Americans to observe, in their own way, the National Moment of Remembrance.
     NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim Memorial Day, May 30, 2011, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and I designate the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time to unite in prayer.  I also ask all Americans to observe the National Moment of Remembrance beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.
     I request the Governors of the United States and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the appropriate officials of all units of government, to direct that the flag be flown at half staff until noon on this Memorial Day on all buildings, grounds, and naval vessels throughout the United States and in all areas under its jurisdiction and control.  I also request the people of the United States to display the flag at half staff from their homes for the customary forenoon period.
     IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this
twenty-seventh day of May, in the year of our Lord two thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

hot weather food: Macaroni and Salmon Salad

I have a real preoccupation with this subject - what to serve for dinner when it's hot.  And we're already having some of that, so yesterday I made a favorite around here.

I'm pretty sure I got this from an old Gourmet magazine, but it's not on their website - I suppose their archives only go so far back. But I am almost positive it came from them.

You can tell it's an older recipe by the title - who uses the term "macaroni salad" anymore?  Except I did see it again very recently, but it was a retro thing.

Anyway, if you don't mind canned salmon, and you like dill - try this unusual mixture. (I guess I can print it here, because it doesn't appear anywhere else, and how could Gourmet take issue with somebody who loved their magazine so much?  If they were still around to take issue with anybody. Or to print any issues, for that matter!)

I've altered it a bit, which I'll explain later.

                                 Macaroni and Salmon Salad

2 c. elbow macaroni, or ditalini
1 1/2 c. frozen peas
1 c. chopped celery
1 large can salmon, drained, and skin and bones removed
3/4 c. mayonnaise
3 T. lemon juice
1 T. dried dill weed

Cook your pasta as usual, and about two minutes before it's done, add the peas, and finish them together.

Drain, run a bit of cold water over them to cool them off, and put them into the fridge to chill for a while, after adding a bit of olive oil to prevent sticking. Also, put your can of salmon in the fridge.

Later, when it's nearing dinner time, chop your celery and add it along with the (flaked) salmon. (And when you open the can, turn around and you'll see two cats named Henry and Dolly right behind you. But when you try to take their picture they look the other way and try to appear nonchalant. And you find you're getting salmon all over your camera for nothing.)

Now, mix the mayo with the lemon and dill, and add it to the other. You've just made a very elegant and unusual pasta salad, which is especially nice served with sliced tomatoes.

I doubled the original recipe here -  it makes a good amount, and I tripled the dressing ingredients  -   it wasn't moist enough in my view. It also called for some scallions, which I almost never put in. But you may.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

{pretty, happy, funny, real} - fur and feather version

{pretty} -  I think Dolly is a pretty kitty, and she's posing so nicely here

{happy}  -  I'm very happy, and relieved to see a sign of life in that robin's nest

I was getting concerned because I didn't hear any cheeping. Maybe they don't cheep as much as I'd imagined.

{funny} - Dolly is yawning here, not screaming  - she rarely speaks at all

and {real} - another cat picture - of Henry's paws, which are really furry

and when I first noticed it, I pulled on the long tufts, thinking I'd help him out by cleaning out the excess fur.
But it's rooted in there!  Kinda reminds me of Sasquatch, or something.


round button chicken

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Neapolitan-style zucchini soup

This is a recipe I adapted from Twelve Months of Monastery Soups - the author has some things in his which I don't include in mine.  It's a thin, delicate soup - good for summer, as long as it's not too hot for soup.
And fast - I made it after work yesterday with very little effort.

Thinly slice 7 small zucchini (or maybe 5 medium or 3-4 large*), but don't worry too much about thinness - zucchini cooks quickly, after all. Cook it for a bit in 3 T. of butter, (I used half olive oil, half butter - I think some butter flavor helps.) Then add 6 cups weak chicken broth (I used water with one Knorr chicken cube), plus 1 tsp. dried parsley and the same amount of basil.  Bring to a boil and add some small pasta like ditalini - a half cup, maybe.  Boil it twenty minutes, add salt to taste and it's done. I recently discovered that it's especially nice with rice rather than pasta - it gives it an elegance somehow. But the pasta makes it more substantial.

 * When I did this, I had 4 large zucchini. It was quite a lot, and I ended up using 10 cups of water, but still used one cube - I just use it for a bit of flavor that it wouldn't have without.  If you don't like delicate flavors, this is not for you!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

happy birthday, Bob

Today Bob Dylan is 70 years of age.

How the time does go!    

But, it ain't no use to sit and wonder why, babe

Sunday, May 22, 2011

what matters

"Do not pursue spectacular deeds. What matters is the gift of your self, the degree of love that you put into each one of your actions."

                               -  Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Saturday, May 21, 2011

{pretty, happy, funny, real} a little late


I keep this cup in my box of Biz - a good idea I got from the ladies at Marie Madeline Studio.


{Happy}, because this tote handle is the last item in a pile of mending; after this, the pile is gone!
The bag is also {pretty} - I bought it from Anna, by the way. Her tutorial is linked in my sidebar.


Henry is a very silly cat.


Cat hair on the keyboard, although it's ususally a lot worse than this.

round button chicken
and a Happy Birthday to Leila!

more garden wisdom

   "I always feel so sorry for the poor weeds," said the Story Girl dreamily. "It must be very hard to be rooted up."
    "They shouldn't grow in the wrong place," said Felicity mercilessly.
     "When weeds go to heaven I suppose they will be flowers." continued the Story Girl.
     "You do think such queer things," said Felicity.
     "A rich man in Toronto has a floral clock in his garden," I said. "It looks just like the face of a clock, and there are flowers in it that open at every hour, so that you can always tell the time."
     "Oh, I wish we had one here," exclaimed Cecily.
     "What would be the use of it?" asked the Story Girl a little disdainfully. "Nobody ever wants to know the time in a garden."

                                                        The Story Girl,    L.M. Montgomery

Friday, May 20, 2011

living in a garden

"I think I could be always good if I lived in a garden all the time."

              The Story Girl,   L.M. Montgomery

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

the day of the double mussers

The other day, Dolly got herself worked up and rushed onto the kitchen table, mussing up the tablecloth.

(I had three cute pictures, and couldn't pick my favorite)

The same day, I went into the living room, and there was Henry on the couch -

he had pulled down the sheet (we cover everything with sheets, because Dolly tears the upholstery to shreds).
It was all mussed up.     He'd never done that before.

Two cats, two musses, on the same day!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Monday, May 16, 2011

baby quilt with large squares

Emily and I have been working on a baby quilt for a friend of hers. It's in large squares, and we'd sewn some strips.

Em's been under the weather, so today I put the strips together - it's not something two can do, anyway.

We can continue when she's feeling better.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

the cheeriness of yellow on the dreariest of days

Having a friend over for dinner, I was desperate to brighten up the table on a very dark, rainy day.

Blue and yellow - just the thing.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

"the power to know leisure"

"The point and the justification of leisure are not that the functionary should function faultlessly and without a breakdown, but that the functionary should continue to be a man - and that means that he should not be wholly absorbed in the clear-cut milieu of his strictly limited function; the point is also that he should retain the faculty of grasping the world as a whole and realizing his full potentialities as an entity meant to reach Wholeness.

Because Wholeness is what man strives for, the power to achieve leisure is one of the fundamental powers of the human soul. Like the gift for contemplative absorption in the things that are, and like the capacity of the spirit to soar in festive celebration, the power to know leisure is the power to overstep the boundaries of the workaday world and reach out to superhuman, life-giving existential forces that refresh and renew us before we turn back to our daily work. Only in genuine leisure does a 'gate to freedom' open. Through that gate man may escape from the 'restricted area' of that 'latent anxiety' which a keen observer has perceived to be the mark of the world of work, where 'work and unemployment' are the two inescapable poles of existence.'"

from  Josef Pieper's  "Leisure the Basis of Culture"  (recommended by Leila)

Friday, May 13, 2011

funny, but I'm really pretty darn happy

I just found out last week that our local supermarket is once again carrying Italian soda - finally!
So, this is a {happy}

But I'm {pretty} {happy}.  I'm {real}ly {happy}! 

Maybe that seems {funny} to you.

round button chicken

Monday, May 9, 2011

it was such a beautiful day

so, I brought my quilt outside

to do some stitching

beside a potted hydrangea.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

{pretty} skirt, {happy} ironing, {funny} quilt and {real} challenge

This week my {pretty} is detail on a skirt I made last year from a lovely embroidered lawn - obtained at a good price, I might add

My {happy} is a photo of the same skirt on the ironing board, because most of my clothes require ironing, but I'm very happy lately to be ironing some pretty spring skirts after our long, long winter.

My {funny} is the "odd" meaning of funny, not the comical one - although you may laugh at it if you like.
I started this quilt last year but didn't feel like touching it during the winter. You quilters out there will definitely find this a strange one but I am willing to expose myself by showing it here - I very sloppily zigzagged circles onto a backing fabric with buttons in the middle in a random pattern. 

I picked it up recently and began hand quilting it, which is something I've never done.

I'm going around the outside, and then on the inside, along the zigzagging.  I said it was strange; I'm not looking for compliments here.  But it's what I'm working on, so I may as well show it.

There are going to be many "empty" areas when I'm done,

 and I have the idea to continue sewing concentric circles around the existing fabric circles - like dropping stones in the water! So, it will most likely take a long time to finish. But I have to say I'm enjoying it.

My {real} this time is a re-do of an earlier post here, called Pay It Forward 2011, where I promise to make a little something by hand and send it to the first five bloggers who say they'd like to get something handmade. But in turn, they have to do the same, and advertise it on their blogs.  I didn't get any takers, not having many readers, but I thought I'd give it another try.  So, we'll see!  But it's for {real}!

Thank you again, Leila!

round button chicken

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

ornamental cherry in bloom

It was warm and summery today, and the flowering trees suddenly came alive. I highly recommend the ornamental cherry tree - it grows briskly, and the new leaves are an orange-y green color.   Didn't know that color before, did you?

Tomorrow we're having rain - these little rosettes are so short lived, I thought I'd better take some pictures, even though it wasn't sunny at the time.

I hope it isn't a heavy rain. I'd like to see them last a bit.

Monday, May 2, 2011

lovely pillowcases

I bought two of these at a church rummage sale several years ago, in excellent shape and too beautiful to resist. But they were yellowed, so I put them away.  Not long ago, needing some more pillowcases, I remembered these, soaked them in Biz for a week, and - they're perfect!